#WhyNotNow

It’s Fat Tuesday! Bon Appetit :))

Fontbonne enjoyed a three day weekend due to all the snow! A little snow in February is always a good thing but there seems to be some unusual weather patterns this new year. Many people have been talking about global warming over the past decade but is it really happening?

The Mauna Loa carbon dioxide record, also known as the “Keeling Curve,” is the world’s longest unbroken record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.  This record is taken near the top of Mauna Loa on the big island of Hawaii. It shows that carbon dioxide has been increasing steadily from values around 317 parts per million when Charles D. Keeling began measurements in 1958, to nearly 400 ppm today. A few things that effect this number are industry pollution, unnecessary consumer waste, inefficient energy sources, and forest destruction. Since the new year, the carbon (ppm) has decreased to around 395 but please take time to look over this website. While our actions today do not effect the our lives or the lives of our children, it is our grandchildren and the generations after that feel the full consequences of environmental change.

climate.nasa.gov/effects/

Simple things like not getting a receipt at McDonald’s, using online bank statements, turning off lights, televisions, and other electronics throughout the night when the house is left unattended, and even RECYCLING can help reduce the carbon parts per million and help our world with it’s sustainable future!

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Acceptance of Diversity

Cultural Food Lab- Northern India

 

If I’ve learned one thing this year at Fontbonne, it’s cultural competence.  Cultural competence is one of the greatest qualities you can acquire to further your acceptance of the people and cultures around you.  There are may ways to “culture” yourself… Books, forming new friendships & acquaintances and even trying the food of a culture you’ve never tried before.  In my class, Food Pathways of Diverse Cultures, we dive into recipes from places like the Middle East, the Americas,  India and Africa.  It’s truly amazing what happens when you are exposed to traditional foods from cultures other than your own.  I am realizing how much culture is out there that I have yet to experience.  This is an exciting realization for me, because I am passionate about lifelong learning.

The more we learn about cultures and belief systems outside our own bubble, the more likely we are to whole heartedly accept the diverse population we live in. Sometimes we see the world through a narrow scope,  but there is more to see than anyone can even imagine.  If you feel your view may be narrow, try widening it just a smidge, and open up to something you’ve never experienced before 🙂 I promise you won’t regret it!

 

Blessing: I got a car

I am so happy that this summer I got blessed with a car. It has been so hard not having one and the fact that I finally have one is great. No more asking for rides to places, no more waiting on people to come and get me, no more going only where the driver wants to go. I can finally go where I want to go and do what I want to do. I am so happy to be able to be mobile and finally free. My wait has not been in vain. I got my first car for only $100 dollars! You can’t tell me that God is not good! He truly has blessed me this summer.

Help Yourself By Helping Others

Hello! Today, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on community service and its relevance to Fontbonne’s mission statement.

“Why is service so important?”

Serving your community lets others know that you want to help change the world little by little while gaining a new perspective of life. Service, amidst being so important, is beneficial for communication skills as well as other attributes that are admirable in the work place.

“Why is it important for Fontbonne to encourage and participate in service as a whole?”

At Fontbonne, it is important and somewhat obligatory to be inclusive and welcoming as a part of promoting and participating in community service. People, especially college-aged students, need to understand the value of contributing to such great causes, whether those be for the environment or social justice.

“And why is service important to you personally?”

I just really love helping people and accomplishing either tough or fun tasks that promote goodness and the cultivation of a stronger community . It makes me happy to see others smile! I always think, “Wow, we just made a huge impact on someone’s life today. I’m so proud of us,” after I finish a day of service with various groups of people.

“Who has influenced your thoughts on service and community contribution?”

My parents. I owe it all to them. (And God, of course)! They taught me well.

A couple of examples of places that offer amazing volunteer opportunities are 1) NAMI St. Louis (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and 2) Saint Vincent de Paul thrift stores. If you have the chance, check either out on the web to learn more about their causes.

Thank you so much for reading! Good luck with studying for finals, everyone. Ta, ta for now!

Scrambled Eggs

I went to Sam’s Club today and I bought a carton of delightful brown eggs. When I got back to my apartment, the first thing I did was make myself some scrambled eggs. Mmmm… they were really good. I follow Gordon Ramsay’s recipe for them; constantly stirring over medium heat with a little wedge of butter, when it begins to form, add milk, salt, and then take off the heat while stirring. Sooner or later, it’s cooked to perfection.

Uh…Why am I writing about scrambled eggs?

Because when I get the craving for scrambled eggs, my body clock knows that finals is approaching. Cue freak-outs. Grade woes. Cramming. The whole ridiculous foray into existentialism; “why am I here?” “why am I doing this?” “is it all worth it?” Granted, some of us can manage time better than others, but finals are always served with a side of stress. Like many others, I tend to eat my stress away. I’m trying to do better, I promise! But I also promise that I have a point with my blog post.

Scrambled eggs are really such a comfort food for me. Eggs are regularly a college students’ go-to-meal. And to some extent, eating eggs makes me feel like Gaston from “Beauty and the Beast”- powerful, confident, and goal-oriented. Just… not obnoxiously evil. But it’s the comfort I crave. The feeling that everything’s going to be all right. When you’re away from your parents, especially in a another country, comfort is not readily available to you. But the longer you live here, the more ways, and the more people, you find bring you that sense of, “everything is going to be all right.” Food is only one way I find that. I also find that through hanging out with my friends, accomplishing a summary report, going for walks in Forest Park, going to the Art Museum, and feeling the breeze on my face after this long winter.

A lot of changes are occurring and a lot of people are leaving us, but I am comforted with  my scrambled eggs, and also in knowing that I can trust Fontbonne to give me that omnipresent feeling that things will work out in the end, and there will always be someone here to tell you that.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (JK, I’m Talking About COLLEGE)

If I were to give a new student advice on how to survive college, the first word that would come out of my mouth is, “God.”

It is crucial to have a backbone of faith – in something. By having faith in our Lord, you will have more faith in yourself. When you have more faith in yourself, you feel more motivated to do what you love and live gloriously in college.

I don’t know where I would be without speaking & living with and for God. He walks with me every day…I can feel and hear the Holy Spirit responding to my cries for help and my shouts of joy – especially when I am most distracted by life’s complexities. Those complexities make me so much stronger, and I could not be without the Lord. When I am weak, He carries me, comforts me, and helps me to be back on my own two feet again.

God is not a choice for me. He is necessary and innate. And I absolutely adore my one and only Savior.

P.S. Check out “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young — it’s an amazing devotional that I think would help just about anyone as a morning pick-me-up, nightly read, or daily reminder!

Ta, ta for now!

Busy Person’s Retreat

Campus Ministry is hosting a Busy Person’s Retreat this week. There was a meeting last and the first session today, and I am already glad to be a participant. The retreat asks each student to read an assigned scripture each day and reflect on it. Then for just 30 minutes Monday through Wednesday, you meet with a spiritual leader (such as a priest) to discuss. My meetings are with one of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The conversations can also be very open-ended and tailored to whatever you personally want to get out of the retreat. On Friday, there will be luncheon to close the retreat and bring all the participants together.

Because I am very involved on campus, it is easy to get set in a busy routine and forget about setting time aside for prayer. One of the purposes of this retreat is to remind people to see God in all things and not get too caught up in a routine way of life. It is important to trust God’s plan and practice really looking around at life. So many things that we pass everyday get overlooked because of being so “plugged in” to society.

An ongoing goal of mine is to strengthen my relationship with God. Conveniently, Fontbonne is a Catholic school. Therefore, there are always ways to practice my religion through the masses offered, retreats, worship groups, internal and external events, etc. While Fontbonne is Catholic, students do not have to be Catholic to enroll here. All faiths are always welcome.

Supernatural

A lot of our values growing up have been shaped by movies and television and I’m not ashamed to admit it. This spring break, I’ve been catching up on a TV show called “Supernatural.” It’s about two brothers that fight evil forces in the world. The show is funny, graphic, and full of cool visual effects, but what I take away from it is not that demons or angels exist, but that family is one of the strongest forces one can have. These two brothers will really fight for each other, and I find that really inspirational. But the show also tells you that family doesn’t always have to be blood.

After each show, I think of my own family.  I think of my friends that make my family here. They fight for me in ways that I don’t realize. I also believe that God fights for me. And yet, it’s hard to remember that. On days when it’s hardest to see the light, it’s hard to see how many people are rooting for you!  But hey, they are rooting for you!

That really comforts me. Our inner demons can be vanquished by the power of community and love. It’s a refreshing and comforting thought. And I’m glad that Fontbonne is one of those fighter communities that really reaches out to you when you need it!

Life is a test

Pray your way and be worry free. Things rarely make sense if you force them. Just be yourself, do whatever makes you happy and don’t waste your time trying to fix things out of your control. – Jeffery Facchin
I know… we all can change. – Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead)

A wise man told me this recently when I told him that I felt lost. So I took his words of wisdom into my life. I started to focus on what makes me happy, which one of the things was writing poetry. I had thought about changing what I wanted to do with my life. I changed my major to General Studies English. I felt the weight and worry lifted off of my shoulders. The stress that was holding me back just disappeared. I can have more open to my career than what I had previously.

I was not going to worry about trying my hardest to make everyone happy, but I was going to make myself happy again. That meant that I was taking more appreciation into the friendships that I currently have right now, and everything that I have in my life. I wasn’t going to try to force broken friendships to be fixed. If it was meant to be fixed than the broken friendships would be fixed.

Doing things like reading graphic novels, playing video games, and writing have changed my outlook on life. I had recently asked my folks if I could adopt a dog as a graduation gift in December. They said as long as I pay for everything for the dog. This had made my whole year. I felt more grown up because of this. I am looking forward to my dog. I will have something to look forward to when I came home from work. I have changed for the better. I take more pride in what I do.

Back in the St. Lou Groove

Hello again, readers!

It’s so nice to not only be starting a new year, but a whole new selection of classes. Break was most definitely not long enough for a large portion of us I would assume! Even so, it was much needed and well-deserved.

What are your resolutions for 2014? Maybe you only have one? Well, if I could say anything for you to keep in mind, it would be to trust Christ’s plans for you; seriously, let Jesus take the wheel. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing our lives be pieced together day by day with just a little Faith and Thanksgiving for all that you have been given. Even if you seem to always be busy, God is everywhere, ready and willing to converse with you and listen to your concerns.

Let’s be honest – life gets super stressful and it’s as if we can’t do anything about it. Sometimes, we really do have to just accept what’s happening in our lives. Other times, turn to God. Trust Him so that with each day and each moment you put your trust in Him, He will lift more of life’s burdens off of you.

I hope this tidbit of TLC empowers those who are reading! I know it does for me, so remember, God loves you inside and out. He, although maybe unlike others, will always be by your side.

Ta, ta for now!