Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Not Alone Series: Social Media

Our lives tend to revolve around social media and knowing what's happening in everyone's lives. How has this effected your life? In your experience, has social media made dating easier? Harder? 
i.e. not judging something you see about the guy you're dating on Twitter/FB

Jen suggested this topic after the following video was floating around, you guessed it, social media.

Kind of ironic that a video encouraging us to ditch the phones and "constant connections" went viral.

Have you seen it? Did it make you think?

When I first watched this video, I really wanted to throw my (brand new barely had it for a week) phone out the window.
....and 5 minutes later I was texting and checking Instagram as usual.

But I will say this: since seeing this video, I've become more aware of my, and others', usage of technology when in a social setting.

I spent this weekend with my best friends from college. The six of us haven't all been together since a wedding two years ago. Since then, one has been married for nearly 2 year, two got engaged, and one is about to move to Texas. We have TONS to talk about.

So cute!

But you know what kept happening throughout the time we spent together?
Even when the conversation was moving along, somene would be checking her phone.
Occasionally, someone would be texting.
There were even times when we were all silent and some of us were zoned out while the others checked Facebook, Instagram, what have you.

Y'all, we have PLENTY to talk about. Exciting things are happening! We haven't spent this much quality time together in TWO YEARS!

Yet, a portion of our weekend was spent forsaking one another for the glow of our phones.

Now, I'm not perfect. I certainly could learn to leave my phone zipped in my purse more often.
Even during the time that I've been writing this post, I've checked Facebook a couple times.

What is with our constant need to be connected?
Is the world going to crumble if you don't tweet your feelings at.this.very.moment.?
Will your food taste less delicious if you don't first 'gram a picture of it?
What would happen if you didn't text your friend back right.now.?

Yesterday, (Happy Memorial Day!) I went to a barbecue at a friend's house. I had a lot to carry, so when I got out of my car, I put my phone in my purse so I could use both hands for the loot.
And you know what happened?
I got to the party, dropped my purse at the door, got talking, and forgot about my phone for 4+ hrs.

There were a couple times throughout the evening when I thought "oh, I wonder if so-and-so texted me back...oh, I wonder if so-and-so emailed me....oh, I wonder if so-and-so posted pictures from this weekend..."
But despite the ingrained habit of constantly being connected, I was immediately sucked back into the present. Instead, I was able to focus entirely on the person in front of me, to give my undivided attention to them.

I'm sure you know how frustrating it is when the person you're talking to keeps checking their phone. It feels like they don't really care about what you have to say, as if they wish that you'd just shut up already.
Do you know how that feels? I definitely do.

So then, why would I do that to someone else?

I'm making an effort to be more present in the present moment.
Will you join me?

**And in regards to dating and social media, my advice is this:

Googling your date: not a bad thing
Analyzing your date's tagged pictures and freaking out about the girls he has his arm around: bad thing.

Social media can be our friend, but shouldn't replace normal human interaction.

What do you think about social media? How has it influenced your life? What about your dating life?
Link up below!


Next week's topic:
NAS year in review
June 4th, 2013 was the very first NAS post! How has your life changed in the past year? How has the NAS community impacted you? Where would you like to see the NAS go in the future?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

St. Gianna Beretta Molla {Guest Post at Cherishing Everyday Beauty}

Happy Saturday, all!

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm guest posting over at Sarah's blog, Cherishing Everyday Beauty, today! Here's a sneak peek...


My freshman year of college, I attended a retreat held by the Newman Center called "Koinonia" (Greek for community). Every retreat had a patron saint chosen for the weekend and my retreat's patron saint was St. Gianna Beretta Molla. Our tagline for the weekend was "Love courageously!"

This weekend was where I really began to dive further into my faith and relationship with God. Looking back, the fact that St. Gianna was the patron saint of a retreat that kickstarted my faith journey seems extremely providential, but I'll get to that a bit later.

Ever since I first learned of St. Gianna, I loved her.
I loved her story, I loved her life, I loved her devotion to love....


Click over to Cherishing Everyday Beauty to read the rest! While you're there, check out the other posts in her Saints Series! 

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, May 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes (29)

Well well well what do we have here?! A non-NAS post?! WOAH. Yep, that's right...I'm making a come-back people! Brace yourselves! :) Linking up with Jen in an attempt to ease myself back into the land of the blogging. :)

[1] This past weekend I had the absolutely WORST bout of allergies EVER. Perhaps it was mixed with a sinus infection, but regardless...Happy Mother's Day, Mom...now can you take my temperature?

Yes I am a 24 year old adult and still want my mommy to take care of me when I'm sick.

The good news is that with all of the rain we've had this week, pollen counts are plummeting!
Hello breathing easy!

The bad news is that with all of the rain we've had this week....it's been raining all week.
Hello humidity and crazy curls!

Furrr realzz.

[2] I've ready for some warm weather...heck, I'd settle for sunny and 55°. But thanks to Audrey's post on cute spring shoes, I'm back in my optimistic, "the sun will come out tomorrow let's hope maybe if the rain doesn't ruin it" mood :)

I'm pining for these babies.

[3] I cannot believe that I've yet to mention this in a blog post. If you've been around for any length of time (before I went all AWOL), you'll know that I have a severe attachment to the Patton clan.
Some would call me a stalker, I prefer affectionately attentive. I think they're cool with it.

But aaanyway, can we just pause for a moment and acknowledge:

a) how freaking cute/adorable/perfect little Miss Phoebe is?
b) how freaking cute/adorable/perfect the name "Phoebe Patton" is?
c) how much I love the 4 kid grams? LOVE.
d) how much I want Simace to adopt me. Please? I do diapers.

Lemme know, Grace. I'm (affectionately) yours :)

[4] Also, don't ask me how many times I've watched this video of the Patton kids meet their newest sib.
No, really...don't. If I answer I just might have to admit I have a problem.

[5] Move on, Morgan....

Ok, so have y'all heard 6' 2'' by Marie Miller? I know I've seen it shared by others before, but I stumbled upon it again and AH...love.

Plus, turns out she's Catholic. I loved this article about how true and natural this desire/longing/etc for your spouse is. Solidarity, people!

[6] While I'm talking about music, I've been real sentimental lately thinking about how my baby sister is graduating from high school in a couple weeks. ahhhh when did she grow up?! ...and Compass by Lady Antebellum reminds me of her and this place in life.

My favorite line:

"So let your heart, sweetheart be your compass when you're lost and you should follow it wherever it may go"

This should be true for everyone, but especially as a soon-to-be HS grad...it's important :) I'm real pumped though that she'd decided to attend my alma mater and will only be 45 mins from me! Yay!

[7] I'm so excited for the next few weeks! I found out a little while ago that I was accepted into the 2014 Vita Institute at Notre Dame! I'll be staying on campus for a little more than a week at the beginning of June and studying various subjects in relation to the pro-life movement including philosophy, politics, law, social science, biology, etc. I cannot wait!

Well, that wasn't so hard! Maybe I'll be able to crank out another post in 3 months ;)
Have a lovely weekend! Check out the other Quick Takers over at Jen's!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Not Alone Series: If you were called to religious life...

Hello! See below for the next few weeks' topics!
This week's topic was suggested by Laura!

While most of us feel called to marriage, it is important to see the beauty in all vocations! If/when you were discerning religious life, which communities interest(ed) you? What do you see as the positives of that vocation?

During my sophomore year of college, I discerned that I was called to marriage. And because I'd felt God had been totally clear, I never approached that topic again. Onwards and upwards toward marriage.

And then a couple months ago, doubt crept in.

"What if you're supposed to be a nun?"
"Maybe that's why you're still single..."

I'd never felt doubt like that before. Oh man, I was freaking out.
Was this from God? Or was it the enemy? Should I re-discern? Or should I stay the course?
Thank God for the silent retreat I attended, where I had the best spiritual direction of my life.

I met with the wisest Sister I've ever known, and I am so grateful for her advice. She told me that there's no danger in continuing discernment, even if you think you know what you're called to. Your vocation has been already been chosen, so if I'm called to marriage, only more clarity can come from learning more about religious life and religious communities. So, that's what I decided to do! After all, if I truly want to live the Lord's plan for my life, shouldn't I be open to whatever that plan is?

During the past few weeks, I entered spiritual direction with the aforementioned Sister and did a lot of soul-searching, praying, surrendering, and opening myself up to whatever the Lord wants.
Oh, and I watched the Light of Love film which is INCREDIBLE. 
Please watch it. I loved learning about different religious Sisters and their lives! It's so awesome what the Lord can do!

I've since been reconfirmed in my original discernment - I believe that the Lord has created me for marriage. 

This questioning, I believe, came from a place of fear: fear that God has forgotten about me, fear of having no control, etc. Being called to marriage is scary! You have no control over when you will meet Mr. Right... and I really like control. With religious life, at least you can make the decision to enter an order. 
I caution you against this way of thinking, friends. It's a dangerous slope, which can easily turn into you choosing the wrong vocation simply because of some perceived "control". No good.

But in attempting to reopen myself to religious life has allowed me to remember the beauty of that vocation and learn more about certain communities.

If I did have a call to religious life, I would expect that I'd be drawn to communities like the Missionaries of Charity or the Salesians of Don Bosco. I have a heart for ministry, so I think that would be something I'd desire to keep focused on. During my silent retreat (which wasn't so silent), we watched this video on Mother Teresa, which really spoke to my heart...especially the part with the babies at the orphanage! But there are so many other kinds of orders out there, my research has barely scratched the surface! Like what about the Dominicans of St. Cecilia, the Sisters of Life, or the Daughters of St. Paul?

One of my friends is a cloistered Carmelite and I don't think I could ever do that. We're all called to contemplative prayer, but my soul is not made to be cloistered!

I was just trying to count how many friends of mine are now religious Sisters or intending to enter religious life....I want to say it's about...10? Plus I have a great aunt who was a Sister....oh, and my Grandpa Lynch once dated Mother Dolores.

What I see to be the most beautiful part about religious life is how you're able to give yourself totally and completely to God. As a religious, one marries our Lord and from thereon, every second of one's life is devoted to Him! What a gift! It would be incredible to be able to serve anyone, anywhere, in whatever way was needed. Because that's what you're called to do as a religious!
A married woman gives herself to God in a a different way...through sacrifice to her husband and children. It's a calling as necessary and beautiful, but different.

I've heard before that religious life is a higher calling than marriage. Technically, this is true, since being married to God is as close to heaven as we can get on earth. However, that doesn't mean that religious life is better than marriage. We were all made for one vocation in particular. During my re-discernment, I struggled seeking what that Lord created me for rather than what I've heard in the past as being "better".

If you are called to marriage, that is what's best for you. That doesn't mean that one is better than the other, but your heart was made for one specific vocation. Don't allow your mind to lead you away from what your heart was made for.

ANYWAY. Marriage is awesome. Religious life is awesome.
If for no other reason, I hope that this time I've taken to explore religious life will help me to be encouraging of vocations to religious life in my family, my friends, perhaps my children or nieces and nephews.

I can't wait to hear from you! Have you looked into any religious orders? What do you see in religious life that is appealing? Link up below and check out Jen's post!


Next week's topic:
Making Friends
We LOVE the NAS community, but creating a real-life community is essential to our lives! What have been your struggles in making friends as a young adult? Do you have any advice for those struggling to build community post-college?

5/27: Social MediaOur lives tend to revolve around social media and knowing what's happening in everyone's lives. How has this effected your life? In your experience, has social media made dating easier? Harder? i.e. not judging something you see about the guy you're dating on Twitter/FB

6/3: NAS year in reviewJune 4th, 2013 was the very first NAS post! How has your life changed in the past year? How has this community impacted you?

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