Gathering the Daughters for the Life of the World: That was the theme of our weekend excursion to Skaneateles, NY. About 100 newer/younger CSSJs and directors met to swap stories of life and ministry, to share the state of our hearts, to pray, and eat, and laugh, and dance. It was a grand time. A very emotionally involved time. The stories some of our sisters from India and Mexico and all sorts of places here in the States were incredible. I was glad, also, for the opportunity to share my own stories. When I was in high school and college I loved to serve. I loved service trips and volunteering and campus ministry. And at least half of the reason was selfish. While I always hoped that my ministry was good for those with whom I served, I loved the way it made me feel, I love to help other people find their smile. Sometimes I lose that. It becomes work and not ministry. But, trips like this always get me refocused. I come back to Ripley with a burning desire for prayer, to listen to God and have the Holy Spirit push me on. The Spirit was definitely at work this past weekend.
It was also good to come back home. I am so grateful for community--CSJ and small town Ripley. I am grateful to be in the lives of my students and my track team and my youth group and anyone else who will let me in. I'm grateful to be aware enough to see the tiniest tear in a teen's eye, to wait in line at the grocery store behind a family with a million groceries even though they just opened up the next lane so I can sit and talk to their two little kids, grateful to come home for dinner and prayer and to be able to share who I am and what I feel with my sister. Life is good--and I am grateful.