Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Not Alone Series: Social Media

Our lives tend to revolve around social media and knowing what's happening in everyone's lives. How has this effected your life? In your experience, has social media made dating easier? Harder? Ex: not judging something you see about the guy you're dating on Twitter/FB

I .joke sometimes that my phone is my life. Although I am not surgically attached to my phone, it is not allowed in bed with me and I can actually go a whole day without checking facebook unless I get a notification, if I forget my phone home I will go back for it I tend to leave most other things behind.

When I'm out with friends I try to keep my phone on silent. One of my friends teased me once about having so many notifications on phone because I did not feel the need to check everything as soon as I got it.

I have less than 100 friends on facebook, once that used to bother me now not so much. I have family who I don't talk to a lot and a childhood penpal who I mainly send birthday greetings and the occasional hi but everyone else is someone I "talk" to in some way other than facebook and I actually know who they are even if I've never met a few in real life yet. We didn't meet on facebook.

I have 200 minutes on my phone and they roll over every month because I "talk" to my friends via social media most of the time. It's easier just to group chat most times and for those times when an actual conversation is just not possible social media is our friend.

Social media has also brought me these wonderful ladies of the Not Alone Series. I met Jen last year and Martha along with the adorable Zuzu. I'm looking forward to meeting a few more in July.

Social Media and dating - Last year even before I read Cindy's post on her review of "Real Men Don't Text" a few friends and I had a late night conversation about this. I knew I did not want a guy texting me, if he had something to say to me he should call me or come over, video chat is acceptable. I have no problem being silly and having fun tweeting or IGing things to each other, a cute text now and then but our main means of communication should be actual, real life conversations.

I think one thing that helps me keep social media in check is that I have most of my friends here locally even though we live a bit apart. While we use social media a lot with each other it's not our main means of communication. We get together as often as we can. We use group chats to plan some of those times like right now we are in the middle of planning a party for some of our friends. We use it to send silly things to each other. Yes I have a friend who takes pictures of us doing something and instagrams it but that's usually how our brunches start at 11 in the morning and end at 11 at night, because everyone else decides they need to be there too and you can't end it as soon as someone new shows up.

Social media is a great tool that has helped me meet new friends, keep up with some old friends who I barely get to see and keeps me from being totally anti-social sometimes.

How does social media affect your life? How has it affected your dating life?

Check out what everyone else is saying, visit Morgan for the link-up.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Not Alone Series: Making Friends

We LOVE the NAS community, but creating a real-life community is essential to our lives! What have been your struggles in making friends as a young adult? Do you have any advice for those struggling to build community post-college?

"Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another" Prov 27:17

I would love to say that my greatest struggle to making friends as an adult has been that I am shy and introverted. While that has played a major part I would say my biggest obstacle was my old friends or should I say my old way of making friends.

As a child I was very much a loner, happy just to read a book. I also had a ton of friends that I didn't have to make myself. I come from a large extended family with cousins of varying ages plus the area I lived in families had as much as 11 or as little as 2 kids and we all just played together. As you got older you just stuck closer to those you had more in common with and there you have it friends with no effort.

It doesn't work as easily as that in the young adult/adult world.

I have a great group of Catholic friends who I did not know since I was two or probably longer and they didn't just appear on my doorstep although that would have been nice. I had to step out of my comfort zone.

Do something different - I went to a retreat on my own. I didn't really go to make friends although I wasn't against it but I was starting to take my Faith a little more seriously and some of my friends were stepping back from theirs. I just needed something. I tried to get a friend to go with me but she didn't want to go so I went alone something I never did. A whole weekend surrounded by people I did not know was positively my worst nightmare but it was one of the best weekends I spent, this may sound mean but it helped that my room-mate couldn't make it so I had my solitary time when I needed it. I had to put myself out there a little but everyone was really nice and I did make some good friends.

Join something/get involved - I would say this one was really crucial in my making friends. One of my friends from the retreat heard about a conference that a group was having and she invited me. We had really hit it off, had hung out since then so I thought why not. The group that I am now very involved with (my friend who invited me is not) is exactly what I was looking for. It's a community. It's a group of young, Catholic adults 21-40 that meet regularly for bible study, prayer or something, we also hang out together and do crazy things like have mid-night barbecues because someone thought it was a great idea at 2 in the morning.

Say Hi - Okay I wasn't the one to say hi but it still worked for me. Maybe you've seen someone around that you think looks interesting. Maybe they've been reading a book that you've always wanted to read or that you read and loved. Maybe you just like their sense of style. It doesn't hurt to just say hi, make some small talk mention the book, compliment her shoes or hair or that great dress you would love to know where she got it. It may lead to a great friendship, a casual acquaintance or a one off conversation.

My church is small, more old people than young but we have slowly been getting more young people and families these last couple of years. Most of the things I am involved with is outside my parish but I try to invite some of the younger people when we have something going on. It has not really worked out for me as yet but I can't stop trying. I also need to make the effort to get more involved in my own Parish.

My tips are mainly church based but you can apply them anywhere. I did a cooking class about a year ago, I even volunteered to do the first demonstration. Totally out of my comfort zone, didn't make any lasting friendships but I did have some good conversation and got some practice at putting myself out there.

Making and and keeping friends as adults takes some effort on our part. I have learnt to value the few friendships I have made in the last few years.

How have you made friends? What are your suggestions? See what everyone has to say. Visit Jen for the link-up.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Not Alone Series: If You were Called To The Religious Life

While most of us feel called to marriage, it is important to see the beauty in all vocations! If/when you were discerning religious life, which communities interest(ed) you? What do you see as the positives of that vocation?

In Secondary school when we had to write our career choices for the planning of career day one brave girl wrote nun. My whole class got a good laugh. I became friends with her after and I loved talking great ideas with her. She didn't become a nun but that was the first time the idea of choosing Religious Life became even an idea of a choice.

I believe that I have prayerfully and carefully discerned marriage as my vocation however since then I have been approached by quite a few people who I respect and value their opinion as to whether I had considered Religious Life.

My parish priest, who has known me through the end of my teenage years into adulthood. My current confessor, this man hears my sins on a regular basis. My first spiritual director, I also consider her a friend, who is a Dominican nun. A good friend who happens to be a Sister of Charity nun. These are the main ones.

Now each time I have been approached I have prayerfully considered but just didn't feel the pull or the desire but I have considered what kind of order would suit me. I love the idea of community. Working, praying and sharing with others.

I have always dismissed a cloistered order. I may be an introvert and may even enjoy filling my days with contemplative prayer but I just can't see myself cloistered away. The sister of one of the members of one of my church is a cloistered nun, I met her once when she visited for her mother's funeral, she permission. I like being in the middle of things if not the centre.

I can definitely see myself as a Sister of Charity, the sisters belong to my parish and I have been around them a lot. I love what they do, I especially love their habits. They work a lot with children which I know I would love. However they don't use technology, I love technology. I know that if God puts it on my heart to become a Religious Sister and even to choose Sisters of Charity I will be able to let go of all the modern things that love like cell phones, tablets, computers and television. It would be hard but I could do it. They may not have cars and their driver is not always available but those times I see them calling out the good in others as there is always a parishioner willing and able to give them a lift.

Now a Dominican nun I can definitely see myself there. Those were the nuns from my primary school and a few that I know personally. The ones I know personally work with children in an educational capacity, I would love that. Many also work in the church which I think I would also enjoy. Bonus, they drive and own technology.

There are discernment weekends every so often but I haven't been able to go to one. Part of the reason is fear but also they usually tend to fall on weekends that are heavily scheduled.

I guess until I marry Religious Life will always be a possibility.

Has Religious Life ever been a possibility to you? Have you ever considered on order over another. Visit Morgan for the link-up, see what everyone else is saying.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Not Alone Series: Favourite Saint

But! Not just any fave. More specifically a Saint related to marriage, chastity, etc!! How has s/he helped you during this time of singleness?

Way back when, before I even really knew what chastity and purity really were or entailed I chose St Maria Goretti as my Confirmation saint. Her 18 year old neighbour tried to rape her when she was 12 years old, she told him she would rather die than submit to him so he repeatedly stabbed her with a knife. Even as she lay dying in the hospital she forgave him. She died holding an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While in prison her attacker repented and was even present at her canonization. St Maria Goretti is a great example to me of courage and strength to live a pure and chaste life.

St Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Now here is an example of love, marriage and chastity. He married a woman who having the child of another. He raised this child as his own. His marriage was chaste and celibate from start to finish. He is the ultimate example of husbandly love. I read once saints are our models and intercessors therefore since St Joseph is a great model of a husband, obedience to God and honour so I definitely want him interceding for me.

Finally the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. She is closest to her Son. Just as at the wedding feast at Cana He will hear and answer her request. Mary is also the second half of that great marriage to Joseph, you know the marriage that is a great example of love, honour and obedience to God. Mary had a great marriage and a wonderful spouse so I trust her intercession on my behalf that I may have the same.

Pray to Mary for a Good Spouse

Mary Immaculate,
Sweet Mother of the young,
I entrust to your special care the decision
that I am to make as to my future husband (wife).
You are my Guiding Star!
Direct me to the person
with whom I can best cooperate
in doing God's holy Will
and with whom I can
live in peace, love, and harmony in this life
and attain to eternal joys in the next.

Who are the saintly examples that you look to for marriage, love, chastity and the like. See what everyone else is saying. Visit Jen for the link-up.

Friday, 2 May 2014

It's May

The fifth month of the year, seriously the FIFTH month. The month of Mary. Since the beginning of this week a song has been playing in my head that we used to sing every May while I was in primary school.

For 'tis the month of Mary, the lovely month of May
Mary, dear Mother,
We sing a hymn to thee
Thou art the Queen of Heaven
Thou, too, our Queen shall be,
Oh! rule us and guide us unto

I attended a Marian school so there were always activities and ways of honouring Mary throughout May that happened annually. I have grown in my love and devotion to Our Blessed Mother since then and I am very thankful for the seeds that were planted way back.

Seven years of tilling and nurturing, weeding and fertilizing. I never really thought anything stuck but my love and devotion to Mary now proves that a few things did. I am thankful to all the teachers, priests and nuns who put in the time and effort, not to mention the patience to prepare us and teach us, we didn't always make it easy.

I am thankful for my love of May, even though it brings with it pollen, allergies and sinus infections, because it is a month dedicated to Mary. I hope I can live out this May honouring Mary, the mother of my Lord (it's also the month of mothers).

"Mary is the radiant sign and inviting model of the moral life." Saint Pope John Paul II

Now the song that I was able to find on youtube although although for some reason I can't get it loaded on here so check out the link if you want to hear the song.