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blessings

Hi, everyone-

I originally meant for my previous post (“Farewell for now…”) to be it for the spring 2017 semester, but that all changed after the events of this week.  I am sure you have seen on the news the terrible flooding that has occurred as a result of the torrential rains we’ve been attacked with.  And while I’m sure you are familiar with some of the places affected (I-44 and 141, for example), you may not know Eureka, Pacific, or smaller communities affected as well.  I live in Wildwood, just northwest of the Eureka city limits.  This small town is particularly affected in a specific area of their “old town/Central Avenue” area, and multiple businesses were completely flooded in the December 2015 flood.  Imagine their thoughts when they heard it was going to flood nearly as much…then it was changed to as much…then it was changed to more than the record set just over a year ago.  These are people, down-to-earth, hardworking, and kind, who poured blood, sweat, tears, and more dollars than you could imagine into rebuilding their businesses — and here they were, facing the exact same catastrophe (or worse) again.  The distress, hopelessness, and fear was evident in Facebook posts that flooded my news feed.

But then…that distress, hopelessness, and fear changed to resiliency, hope, and courage.  Those hardworking, down-to-earth people recruited and recruited and recruited some more, desperately calling for all hands on deck to fill sandbags, load trailers, and construct massive sandbag walls around all of the Central Avenue businesses in danger of the impending floodwaters.  People of all ages came together to save their beloved little town.  When the crest predictions kept rising, the wall kept rising along with it.  When the water started coming up faster than expected at the crack of dawn one morning, people filled the scene to one-up the water.  When part of the wall collapsed by a restaurant, every effort was made to quickly reconstruct it and pump water out of the building.  Every time another challenge arose, Eureka residents and non-residents alike were there to meet and exceed the challenge.  And when the waters rose, crested, and then began to recede, and the walls were still holding, there were sighs of relief, tears of joy, and thankfulness for all the people who stepped up to help.  The stories starting to circulate — about the National Guard and first responders working right alongside little kids and middle-aged men, the four young men who drove two hours just to help because they “needed to do something,” the Missouri State Highway Patroller spending hours lifting sandbags while on-duty, the unaffected businesses giving out thousands of free meals to volunteers  — are touching, heart-warming, and utterly inspiring.  It’s amazing how much love and support can come out of such a terrible event.

Amidst all of this, where was I?  I must admit — when I first heard the predictions and knew the normal route I took to Fontbonne would be closing, I was selfish.  I was concerned about myself, about my so-called “inconvenience” at getting to finals.  And then I began to think about what so many other people would be going through, losing their homes, businesses, and livelihoods, and realized I had no right to be so concerned about my situation.  Most of all, I felt guilty…guilty for sitting at home or in a classroom, studying my brains out, taking final exams, wrapping the semester up…while other people were out there taking off work or out of school to help sandbag.  I just didn’t feel right about studying and taking gazillions of finals while all this was going on, even though I knew I absolutely had to; I would be facing horrendous grades and the wrath of Fontbonne if I didn’t show up every day this week.

As I’ve now emerged from my next-to-last final (and my last one is online) and the local businesses and homes are emerging from the flood, I’m having my own flood…a flood of gratitude.  Although I was not personally affected by the flood, I still empathize with those who are, and I send my heartfelt love and prayers to them.  And most of all, I consider the small annoyances of battling traffic, late nights up studying, hard finals, and anything else that I may have deemed negative this semester to be blessings in disguise — at least I have the means to attend college, and I safely (and on time!) got to and from all of the finals this week.  I encourage you all to keep that in mind as well, both in the present as finals wrap up and we anxiously await our grades, and in the future, whatever it may hold.

Blessings,

~Anna

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Mari

Count Your Blessings

by Mari on November 15, 2016

in Campus Community

Hi friends,

The day after watching the Presidential Election, I definitely felt some tension in the air as I walked through the residence halls and on the campus. I promise, this won’t be a ranting blog post about controversial politics or whom I voted for. Whether you woke up rejoicing that Donald Trump won, or fearing for the future because Hillary Clinton lost, the world continues regardless of the political climate in the U.S. I resumed my daily routine which included eating oatmeal for breakfast, attending class, and writing papers. Throughout the day, the election seemed to weigh on my mind. I thought about both sides, the amount of time put into both candidates’ campaigns. Both candidates have been campaigning since I was a senior in high school, and now I am a freshman in college. It is truly bewildering to realize how quickly time passes us due to our busy schedules.

I tried my best to change my mindset throughout the day to positive energy. As I was walking around Fontbonne’s beautiful campus, I noticed the colorful leaves on the ground, sparkling in the daylight in this past brisk morning. I had called my dad and we talked on the phone for about fifteen minutes, something that I take for granted sometimes. As I walked in the St. Joe residence hall, someone politely held the door open for me. My friend and I were falling asleep trying to do homework due to staying up all night. We were searching for ANY form of caffeine, so we decided to stop by Sister Linda’s office. My friend and I felt much more at ease after conversing with Sister Linda in her office and having coffee in our hands. I would highly recommend visiting her office for great conversations with Sister Linda! I also received a reassuring text from my good friend Mary Beth, who advised me to continue being passionate for the issues I care most about. I also called my friend Edwin on FaceTime, and we caught up on our college adventures. Even though he attends college in Virginia, we have still managed to stay in touch. The point of me addressing these blessings is that in the end, only we can decide for ourselves how our day will go. I refused to let an election define the outcome of my day. So I would suggest trying to find the small blessings in your life every day.

“Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow. But if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.”-Fred McFeely Rogers

Take care,

Mari

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Thank God for blessing me this year, so that I have enough grace to finish everything I should finish in 2013. Here is the list of what I did this year:

  • Continued to be a contributor for Real Life at Fontbonne blog
  • Became a social media specialist for Student Alumni Association of Fontbonne
  • Volunteered to play with patients at Children’s Hospital during the summer semester
  • Served as a graduate intern to help an annual health enhancement conference
  • Volunteered my time as a student intern at St. Louis Children’s Hospital
  • Completed my leadership shadowing at Health Literacy Missouri
  • Became a member of different associations in the field of healthcare
  • Kept my 4.0 GPA!

I didn’t realize how much work I finished this year until I wrote it down. I am very proud of myself, especially since I worked hard to be a responsible student and to keep my 4.0 GPA even though I attended many extracurricular activities. I know that I can’t complete so many tasks without support from the people around me. Therefore, I am very grateful for my dear God, family, friends, professors, and all the people who supported me and helped me. I’m truly blessed to have you all in my life. Thank you for your help in 2013!

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Alumni Posts

Family > Money

by Alumni Posts on February 23, 2012

in Faith

So Lent is here, and today I had time to reflect. The past week or so, I feel like I have been in fast forward, with basketball ending and my classes picking up with assignments and tests, there seems to be fewer hours in every day. As I sat in church, all I could think about was my family. They are the biggest blessing to me and worth more then any amount of money I could ever win. My parents are still happily married, approaching thirty years. They are by far the best supporters anybody could have. My older sister had an amazing fiancé and is excelling in her new career. My little brother and sister are doing great as well. I love getting those iPhone group chat messages from all of them. For example, my dad will send one out in the morning with an inspirational quote. Then we will all add to it and catch up. It’s nice because it feels like we are all at home catching up at the dinner table. I’m having so much fun at college and being busy and  I barely have the time to make it home as much as I would want to. This weekend, I am devoting Saturday and Sunday to my family and I couldn’t be more excited. I love you guys.

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Thanksgiving Work

by Alumni Posts November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving break came and went in the matter of a snap. I had a long list of things I needed to complete over the five days, but now I am playing catch up with all my school work this Monday and Tuesday. It’s fine with me though because I spent a lot of my time […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.