Happy March! It’ been a fast two months since I last posted. I have been pretty busy, but in different ways than I have been in the past semesters. In the past semesters, I was very busy with school work, clinicals, and just nursing in general. This semester is definitely less intensive than the other nursing semesters, so I have more free time. But the problem is that I get so excited that I have free time, I fill it all immediately with other things because I can! So, I’m busy, but in the best way possible. I am doing Student Network Evangelization Teams (SENT), intramural basketball, and training for a marathon!
I did SENT last spring and absolutely loved it. For those of you who don’t know about it, SENT is an organization on campus that forms teams of students to organize retreats for local high school students. Usually teams have about 8-10 students who are assigned to a parish. They prepare and plan a retreat for the teens in the parish: talks, skits, reflections, music, and games. The team gets together about once a week to plan and practice the retreat, and on retreat weekend, we all get in a big white van and go put on a retreat! It is a really great way to meet people, draw closer to the Lord in prayer, and reach out to the youth of the Catholic Church. Doing SENT really made me go out of my nursing bubble and delve into a new ministry with a whole new group of people. I loved it because it challenged me on so many different levels and helped me grow in my faith and as a person.
I am leading two retreats this semester: one was in February and the next one is in April. The February one was great. It was a Confirmation retreat for 8th graders at a Parish right outside of Pittsburgh. Everything went smoothly, and it was awesome to see the teens really open up and delve into the sacrament. Along with talks, prayer teams, and small groups, we did Boys vs. Girls competitions throughout the day that were a huge success. Girls and boys battled to win different games, like seeing who could drink a smoothie made of a breakfast burrito, a doughnut, hash browns, orange juice, and coffee the fastest, and a massive rock-paper-scissors battle. Although it’s hard to see the fruits of all our work in one retreat day, we all left confident that the Holy Spirit worked through us and would continue to bless the teens after the retreat was over. My April team is going to start meeting next week, and I can’t wait!
Our intramural basketball season was a blast. Our team was a combination girls from lots of different households, backgrounds, and majors who have the common love of basketball. We had a lot of fun at games, and were seeded at the number two spot for the playoffs. We ended up losing in the final game, a painful repeat for me of last year, but had a blast playing in the close game. My entire household, Theotokos, showed up to the game with posters, signs, and cheers. The previous week, we made a “Harlem Shake” video in the library that went viral on YouTube – it was hilarious to make and even more fun to watch and share. If you want to watch it, check out the link! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4_ZXGtk-Os
I’m also training for a marathon with one of my nursing major friends. I have never had any desire to run that ridiculous distance, but she asked me, and I thought, “Why not?” Thus far, we’ve run in about every element: snow, hail, rain, wind, and sleet. Not to sound like a crazy person, but I am enjoying it. It’s fun to go farther every week, and to laugh about whatever type of outrageous weather we are trying to run through. It is also a great prayer, an amazing way to offer up suffering and find joy in the little things. We offer up each run for different intentions, and my go-to man for this marathon is Blessed John Paul II, who was an athlete too.
Have a blessed Lent!