god is hope, god is light…

god is hope, god is light…

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It has been quite the while since the last update and wow, so much has happened…each day is very, so very busy, but not so much overwhelming. I think it’s the commute that is the killer every day. Excuse me, not killer, but the struggle if you will. It’s not the number of students that I have, or the number of classes I teach each day…I only have about 42 students total and then I only teach two sections per day, if that. the schedule is a little difficult to explain, so I will leave that up for your own curiosity to ponder. It’s the getting out of bed part that is the hardest part of the morning, but once I turn on my lights and jump out of bed (literally), then I am awake. Like, awake, ready to get goin on the day! Then of course it is the getting on the train back home, after a full day of school, when the tiredness catches up with me and I am once again exhausted, only to get in time for dinner and prayer. Come 7:30pm, the day is over, only to begin lesson planning once again, or catch up on phone calls, or emails, or anything else that requires attention that I otherwise put off until this time. Story of my life!

This past week has given me time. What I mean by that, is that I would recall countless moments this past week where I would be sitting in my chair, and realize, crystal, you are sitting in your chair, and you were just thinking, but you had silence – no music, no nothing…then when I realize that I just had that realization, I would be like, ok, wait, what was I thinking about? And sure enough, I don’t think I was necessarily thinking about anything…but, do you get it? I was giving myself some time to just be and sit in my chair and give myself a moment – GIVE MYSELF A MOMENT! I didn’t even have any idea, but I think my mind and body is smarter than I am, and it knows what it needs, so it took it! That pretty much never happens, cause well, if you know me, I am always on the go and looking for the next thing to do!

One of my weaknesses, or maybe strengths in need of improvement if you will, is that I am always too involved with things. It is something that I have had going on since junior high school, and people always tell me that I need to slow down, or I need to stop joining organization after organization, and it’s definitely a place of looking more inward towards, but the fact is, is that I don’t really think I will slow down with this stuff. I love everything that I do, and I do my best in everything that I am involved in…so yes, balance is always a situation for me. and I like balance – I think the problem is, is that, as a libra (my sign are scales!) is that while my life is balanced, cause I like that, the weights are heavy on both sides. Haha…soo as long as I don’t tip, I think I’m fine. I haven’t tipped in a while, and hopefully it remains that way for even a longer while. BUT I am happy that I was able to give myself some time this week and realize that I was doing so. I was so happy. Haha!

Another awesome realization that I had, was on Friday. Michelle and I were walking to mr. softee as we usually do once a week to reward ourselves for a job well done at the high school, and I was thinking, and proceeded to externally process (I was never such a big external processor, but since cabrini mission corps, apparently this has developed!), I said, “you know, I don’t really feel like I’m working. I’m just being, and I am just doing what I love doing.” I think one thing that I love about all the walking that I do, is that it gives me time to think – to contemplate – to meditate…sure I can say the same thing about driving around in california, but there’s something different about walking. I think I see things more up close, and I am able to have more freedom with my thoughts, and therefore, that thought came to mind, and it felt so good to verbalize that.

I realized that really, I am doing what I love. How is that really possible? Truly, I think it is possible because I really followed my heart and where I felt like God was calling me. It was through the art of listening – not only to myself when I would talk about my passions, but also to God, and that inner voice that calls me to the place of my passion and my rich joy. But honestly, I don’t even think I can begin to explain the greatness that is entailed in walking up and down the stairs, and the hallways of the high school, saying hi to the students, and sitting in campus ministry, just watching the girls interact with one another, and talk about boys, talk about their clubs that they are excited about joining, or even their classes that they are struggling in the most.

It is such a joy, and to know that this is my ministry right now, wow, I am just so overjoyed at that. Truly, God has molded me and prepared me for my ministry at the high school right now, and I know that every step I take here in new york continues to be for my future ministry wherever that leads me.

The homily today was talking about “it is in giving, that we receive.” I have already received so much. I can not even begin to explain how well I am being taken care of, how much I am being served each day. Sure I get frustrated teaching sometimes when my class is talking and I’m about to make a really good point about their lesson, but when I am up there teaching, it is such a gift to be able to help shape the mind, heart, and spirit of these girls in teaching health, and that is why I put all of my effort and heart in all that I do, each day. They may not realize it, because to be honest, I don’t think I appreciated my teachers all that much until I take a moment to think about all the time and help my teachers gave to prepare me for the “real world” as I began college. It really is amazing. What a gift!

So my sister is moving to Hawaii and we therefore have committed to hanging out together once a week. It’s such a great time because we never really did that before, and now we do so habitually. We go to mass, wherever the Spirit leads us, and then we go to brunch. It’s great! Today I got to see her little doggy, alecs, and that was fun. Even if his hair is kinda tangled and stuff!

It is a delight to say bye to the subway attendant after leaving the L train as michelle and I begin our trek back home from our long commute from high school. I think the best part about that, is that it signifies, thanks be to God, we survived the subway ride and now just need to walk a few blocks home, and then we are home sweet home. Today when I was on my way home back from my sister’s place, I got to the subway station, of course, just as the doors were closing and ready to leave, and I was like, dang it! BUT, the attendant definitely saw me, stopped the subway and opened its doors for me to enter. I yelled thank you, and it really made me happy. What a nice person! The subway attendants are not given much credit, but really, they do so much. Shoot, without them, no one could get anywhere! AND it is really interesting to listen to their announcements over the intercom. Seriously, when they say things like, get home safely, or have a pleasant evening, that’s so nice of them. I enjoy it at least!

I bought my ticket home for the holidays and looks like I will be going home in about 3 months in time for Christmas and New Years. It seems like such a long time, but I know time will go by fast, and really, I am not too home sick, but when I think about my doggies, my mom, and my family in orange county, then I get a little sad, so I try not to think about it. Oh well, I am doing real well, and thank God for that.

Choir is wonderful and it is great to be blessed with the ministry of music. I have been able to help some of the girls practice their solos, teaching them counting, and helping them aim higher with their voices to reach their higher notes. Even though I’m not amazing by any means in terms of singing, I think my ear is well cultivated to know right from wrong and act as a guidance to know where the voice should be, if it needs to be corrected. So praised God, the choir is great, I get such a big smile on my face when I hear the girls sing, My All in All…it is so precious, and so real – it really is truly beautiful.

And with that, I will begin another week at the high school. With much prayer, with much love and joy in my heart, with the confidence and faith knowing that God has called me there, and with the utmost zeal for my brothers and sisters that I will pass each day this week, I am hoping it will be a great one!

Thank you for the love. I need it, and I hope you receive mine too! Happy Day!

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