Posts Tagged With: Refresh


Ahhh! Summer!

Summer, for me, is a time to regroup from the normal routine of work. I am fortunate that I have shorter work days in the summer and a more flexible schedule. I am able to close my office for two weeks in July to give all the staff a well deserved break.

What I find myself doing, especially on those hot humid days when you want to stay in air conditioning, is purging.

Cleaning closets, desk drawer, cabinets, the pantry or the garage.
Well, you got me there, actually my husband and son did the garage. But they will tell you, I came out and gave direction on want I would like donated or tossed. 🙂 So glad they love me so much!!

Cleaning is so good for our souls and our minds.
It helps us to really look at what we have accumulated over the year (or years).
I love to help others in need, so St. Vincent DePaul Society, Morningstar Mission and Amvets rejoice…donations coming at you!

I have paid notice lately of the garbage families throw away. I don’t mean I sift through their garbage, but as I drive through neighborhoods on my way to work, the mounds of stuff amazes me. How do we stop these piles? I know the lighter feeling I have when I clean out my home, motivates me to not bring more clutter in. And why are we a throw away society, when others are in such need?

I know you feel overwhelmed sometimes…so do I.
Maybe it’s because my children are young adults that we have less stuff around the house. But know we just accumulate paperwork, books, computer gadgets and work stuff. I remember when both my children were away at college during the same year and when they came home they would say “You cleaned for me!” or “It’s always so clean when I come home” – well, it was not that I cleaned more, it just stayed cleaner with only two people in the house!  (Yes, we missed the bustle of children in the house too)

And it felt WONDERFUL!! To walk into a home that was clean and clutter free.

One day I caught one of those hoarder shows on cable. I was mesmerized. I could not believe people could let their homes get that
bad. I could understand how you feel depressed and not motivated to clean, but I could not understand why they would bring more clothes and items into the house.  Certainly a sad addiction.

There are so many people in need; emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually, we need to help in whatever way we can.

I remember two stories the Deacon’s wife told years ago and I have never forgotten them.
She worked with the poor of the parish, giving love and aid where she could.
One family would come looking for clothes for her five children. She was humble and grateful for anything that she received. The Deacon’s wife told me, “what I really wished I could give them was gift cards to buy new underwear.” I thought that an odd statement. But she went on to explain, when you can’t afford clothes, you don’t spend money on underwear. It’s enough to put food on the table, a roof over their heads and clothes on their back.  I certainly can do with one less pair of slacks so someone else can have clothes.
Then she also shared about a mother and her daughter. They lived in a one bedroom apartment together and would come to the pantry for food supplies. The Deacon’s wife would consistently have a need for cleaning supplies and personal products for these women.  Food stamps don’t cover things other than food. She said “they work with one light bulb, going from room to room and putting the bulb at the table to eat and do homework, then moving it to the bedroom or kitchen as needed.” I realized how blessed I am. I flip a switch without even thinking about the gift it is to have electricity. I began donating gift cards and items other than food. She also expressed the sadness of when having a food drive, how many people give away the food they bought, never opened because no one liked it, even if it’s expired. People in need like to have Lucky Charms and something other than Baked Beans.

What a grace experience to really peer into another life. Talk about humbling…

Cleaning out homes and donating under used or unused items can be a tremendous help for others and cause me little suffrage.
Cleaning helps us to release those things that are holding us back. Releasing and letting go of our “stuff” physically can help us to let go of our emotional stuff too.

I find this task that others may dread…a cleansing and refreshing experience!

So during these days of “too hot to be outside” ~ CLEAN and be CLEANSED!!

Categories: Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment


This past weekend I was high! It was exciting, exhilarating and exhausting all at once. This is the eleventh time I was on this high and it never gets old. Each year at the end of June I spend three days getting lit on fire!

Okay, I don’t know what you are thinking, but I am talking about the energy and fire of the Holy Spirit!

YLC 2011’s theme was “Bread of Life, Covenant of Love” and at this 31st Annual Youth Leadership Conference you felt LIFE and LOVE!!

Over 650 teens, 50 college students and 100 adults come together to Praise and Worship and learn how to Share their Faith with others.

It was a powerful experience.

LIFE – – I felt LIFE at every turn. From the high energy in the large general sessions that included teen witness talks, intoxicating prayer services, compassionate reconciliation and adoration; joyful presentations by Jesse Manibusan and ValLimar Jansen and workshops by spirit filled presenters!  We experienced God’s great love through new friends, reconnecting with old friends, singing, adoring, Mass on the grass, and of course frisbee in the quad.

The power of forgiveness was flowing in the field house Friday night with teens gathered at the large crosses, knelt in adoration and feeling the mercy of reconciliation.

Prayer experiences on Saturday were a strong testament to the openness of these amazing youth. They were assigned “by the Holy Spirit” which prayer workshop to experience. Their openness try new things and let the Spirit guide them was apparent as they attended Guided Meditation, Taize, Marian, Art Prayer, Centering, Novena, Digital, Nature and other prayer forms. What a spirit-filled adventure.

LOVE – – I felt LOVE! Love from all the youth; smiling, joyful, kind youth that were eager to share that joy with everyone they met. I want to harness that love and energy just to release a little every day. The youths were happy to be there even amid all the construction of the college campus and walking from dorm to workshops, from workshops to cafeteria, from cafeteria to dorms and back again!

This was a high for me. It is every year.

Our bodies seek this type of event to refocus and refresh ourselves. It’s a time to put the busy-ness of life away and to be in the presence of a collective joy. From 6:30 am to 10:30 pm, non-stop vitality is exciting, exhilarating and exhausting all at once. We all need a retreat every year. I actually prefer three “retreat” experiences a year. They can be service retreats, leadership retreats, contemplative retreats or spa retreats. We need to spend time working outside of our everyday routine…and get REFRESHED!

Even though I was so glad to be in my own bed Sunday evening, I was already missing the joy and fire of the weekend.
Well, until next YLC!

Categories: Balance, God, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: