Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Countdown: 27 days!

27 days till I'm in London!
Join me as I travel the world! ... Well, atleast Europe =]

[Photo credit to Google Images]

Monday, July 30, 2012

Thank God for Detachment!


I can't believe it is the the eve of the last day of July already! Time has just flown by this summer. The summer has been loaded with lots of fun with family and friends, lots of swimming and running, laughter and love, joys and struggles (just to name a few). I feel so blessed. 

I have felt God really stretch me this summer in more ways than I can name. Really, the hardest part is naming how God has worked in my life. But today I had an "Ah-ha!" moment when I realized one BIG thing God has been working on with me: DETACHMENT

chillin with St. Ignatius
You know when things happen in your life and you don't understand why? Yeah, I'm sure you do. It's a pretty common occurrence. Well a lot of that has happened this summer, but for all of it (the good and bad) I'm so grateful, because it has taught me detachment.

God has put that big word (detachment) on my heart for these 2 and half months now. Thanks to St. Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises it has been a familiar concept in my daily prayer. (Side note: Anyone wanting a spiritual kick in the pants, do "The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius." They are pretty hardcore. Just Do It!) 

Also, ironically, sometimes Twitter helps me out with little reminders of detachment. Example: Yesterday C.S. Lewis(CSLewisU) Tweeted, "Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose, only upon the Beloved who will never pass away." Preach it brother!

Tweet it Brother!
So today, and for the rest of my life, I want to be detached, Lord. Detached from everything that is of this world. Detached from all that is fleeting. Detached from my desires and from my dreams. Yes, all of these things are good because they are from you, but they are not my everything. Lord, help me to attach myself to you, attach myself to your eternal love, and your promise of salvation. Let my attachments be pure and from you alone. Thanks God. I'm going to need a lot of help.

My prayer for anyone reading this (Yay! Thanks for reading this!) is that you would hear God calling you to detach from anything that is holding you back from loving Him with your whole heart, body, mind and soul. Let's attach ourselves to God and never let go! He will never let go of us.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Countdown: 1 MONTH

I just realized what a special day today is... It's one month till I leave for my semester abroad and will be bloggin' across the Atlantic!

Holy cow! It's coming up so fast! I really can't believe it. 

Things I will (maybe) miss...

my room and roommate (sister allison)

Las Vegas Skyline



my little cubicle

In'N Out

Things I'll [definitely] miss: 

My family!

Especially this one!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Countdown: 37 days to London!

Countdown to Study Abroad: 
From and including: Sunday, July 22, 2012
To and including: Monday, August 27, 2012
It is 37 days from the start date to the end date, end date included
Or 1 month, 6 days including the end date

Alternative time units

37 days can be converted to one of these units:
  • 3,196,800 seconds
  • 53,280 minutes
  • 888 hours
  • 5 weeks (rounded down)

What I'm looking forward to:
  • Seeing the Natural History Museum
  • Big Ben
  • St. Peter's Cathedral
  • Bike tour of the city
  • Hanging out with Becca and Jenny!!
  • Experiencing something new.
  • The fears that come with traveling
  • Taking the tube
  • Hearing British accents everywhere!
It will be great!


(pictures are from google images. I'll post my own pics in 37 days!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Countdown begins: Blogging from Europe!


In my growing excitement (I'm even typing bigger! Can't you tell I'm excited!!) to be studying abroad I calculated the time between today (7/19/2012) and the day that I land in London to begin this adventure (8/27/2012)!!! Here are the results thanks to timeanddate.com...

Duration calculation results

From and including: Thursday, July 19, 2012
To and including: Monday, August 27, 2012
It is 40 days from the start date to the end date, end date included
Or 1 month, 9 days including the end date

Alternative time units

40 days can be converted to one of these units:
  • 3,456,000 seconds              <-- Oh My! So many seconds!
  • 57,600 minutes
  • 960 hours                          
  • 5 weeks (rounded down)    
  • And 1,920 Barney shows (As my mom would say when we were wee little ones on long road trips)

I'll keep you posted on the countdown. This is really going to happen! Crazy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Make it a [lil sibs] Date #2

Sibling [Double] Date #2: Gabrielle, Annemarie, & Michela

Just a Lazy Sunday turned into the perfect day for a date with Gabrielle and Annemarie!

Started out by using all of our Baskin Robbins Gift Cards for a very satisfying and free snack! 

Exhibit A: Two very satisfied girls...

 Exhibit B: Three very satisfied girls...

Exhibit C: My favorite. 

After our {ice cream} adventure we headed to the movie theater to catch "Brave." I'm not big on going to the theater and paying a bundle "for the experience" so this was a big deal. We all really enjoyed the movie though! Towards the end I hear Annemarie sniffling next to me. I couldn't believe she was crying! And then I realized, "Yeah this is really sad! Why am I not crying?" Again, my cold heart inhibited me from crying during a movie. Oh well! She is just much more in touch with her emotions I guess =]

Cute picture, minus the glare. The little brothers were my favorite! 

 Look at my beautiful little sisters! Cute, right?

Well that was the end of our Double [Sibling] Date! It was a ton of fun and I love spending time with them! 

I am really trying to appreciate the time at home with my family. I know that I will not always return to Las Vegas for the whole summer so I'm trying to live in the present (trying). God has given me this time to really invest in my siblings. I need to enjoy every minute of it while we are all here. 

God bless and thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Make it a Date! (lil sibs edition)

Lately, I have seen so many cute Date ideas for couples posted on Pinterest and different blog sites. Being single myself, my first thought is wishing for a special someone to go do all these fun/romantic things with. Even though that is not in God's plan at the moment, that doesn't mean I can't go on a date! That's where the lil sibs come in...

One thing that I have noticed as I have gotten older is that spending time with my younger siblings (8 in all) is not as easy as when I was 7, 8, 9, 10 or even 12. Life gets busier and sometimes I think "grown-up things" are more important (they really aren't, I just think that sometimes). 

So, this summer I am trying harder to spend one-on-one time with each of my siblings. I have added it to my 101 things in 1001 days and  my goal is to have one "sibling date" with each lil sib this summer. That's going to be kinda hard since Matthew has already left for WestPoint Basic Training, but I will make it up to him by the quantity of letters he will receive from me.

Let the fun begin!

Sibling Date #1: Julianna + Michela 

Julianna and I had a rather spontaneous sibling date. We were goinging to go golf on the putting green with some friends but it didn't work out. We had already gotten all dressed in our sporty, golf-gear, and I was not about to let my outfit change go to waste. So instead we took our dad's gold clubs, and took pictures in our front yard of us "golfing" (Note: No golf balls were actually hit during this adventure due to the close proximity of cars, people, and houses).

Then, since Julianna got her permit earlier that day, I took her driving for the first time! I drove to the church parking lot (classic first lesson spot) and then handed the wheel over to her. I have to admit I was kinda nervous. As my heart rate was increasing my thoughts increased as well, "This is what my mom and dad went through with me," "I understand why dad always seemed so stressed when I was driving," "I can't believe I have been driving for 7 years now!" "I can't believe my dad took me on the freeway the first time I went driving!!!" "Why did we take the nicest car we own?" "I've never been in an accident before...." Needless to say, we survived! And had fun on our first sibling date/driving lesson!

Good work, Julianna! I'm so proud of you!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Funny [Real-Life] Reminders

Every girl wants to be told she is beautiful. Especially any girl whose love language is Words of Affirmation (That's me!) Even though we may know it, it's always good to be reminded. 

 Here are a few funny real-life reminders:

1. James, my 4 year old little brother (pictured below hamming it up for the camera) is currently obsessed with the One Direction song, "What Makes You Beautiful." When I say obsessed, I mean OBSESSED! If we are driving together he makes me scan the airwaves till we find a station that is playing it.

Anyway, the other day when I was helping in the kitchen he came up to me and said, "Michela, you don't know you're beautiful."  Awwww! That's sure to melt any big sisters heart. Thanks for the reminder, James!

2. Best part of my work week is when Allison and I get to go to Costco to stock up the kitchen.  (confession: its my favorite part because of the samples. Who doesn't like free food?! And my mom never buys dinosaur chicken nuggets so I might as well experience them when I get the chance, right?)
Today was especially interesting because Allison and I got a funny little reminder. We were walking along, pushing our massive cart when this old man (probably between 70 & 80) stopped us. Here is the conversation:

Old Man: Are you ladies from Tennessee?
Allison and I: (nervous/confused giggle) No... We're from here...?
Old Man: Are you sure?
Allison: Yeah, we're sure.
Old Man: Really? Cus you're the only tens I see!
Allison and I: (confused laughter) Haha, Thanks?!? (probably blushing)

We definitely weren't expecting that to come out of his mouth! When I think about it, it was hilarious, but it was also a little reminder from God for me to keep smiling and recognize my own beauty, even when I don't feel like I'm beautiful.

Someday my prince will come and use cheesy pick-up lines on me all the time! Haha maybe not, but he will definitely tell me that I'm beautiful. Right now God reminds me of my beauty in His own sense of humor.

What funny real-life reminders has God given you lately?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


One of the big projects/hardest thing I had to do this summer was to fundraise... dun dun dun!

My original problem was that I had the wrong mindset. I didn't want to ask people for money. That's just awkward. (Crazy, most people love money but hates talking about it! Interesting...) But what I really needed was some encouragement and words of wisdom from my good friend Kevin. He reminded me that I am not asking my friends and family for money, but instead I'm asking them to partner with me in this mission, outreaching to college students. To be better equipped I need training (aka School of the New Evangelization)! That's where the money comes in... 

So anyway, thanks to my good friend, I am doing it! I am raising partners in my mission to share the gospel on college campuses! To share life with me and to share the good work that God is doing! It has been a lot better since changing my perspective. I hate to say it, but *Gasp!* I'm starting to enjoy it!?!?!

I am so excited to go to Minnesota and reconnect with all my friends and those I met last summer. Seriously, it was such a rejuvenating 9 days last year and really got me excited about ministry on campus and household life! This year will be different but so good.

As a way to connect with my partners I'm making a prayer intention card for each. You those times when you ask someone what you can pray for them for and they tell you and then you promptly forget. Now I can't forget! I'm so excited to be interceding with my partners as well. It will be a beautiful, prayer-filled year! 

So here is the prayer intention ring that I'm making.... 

 Their name on the front (made all pretty with scrapbooking supplies), and their intentions on the back.
 work in progress... (cheese!)
all the supplies: note cards, 1-hole-punch, scrapbook paper, cutouts, pens, etc., and a expandable ring! 

the finished product! 

It's easy and a fun project to do with your friends (The first one I did was with the sisters of NET team 1! I'm just adding more people to the same ring.)

God bless!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Me? Rich? Nah...

Lately I have been reflecting on how blessed I am. I have everything I could possibly want and need and so much more. But today I was struck by how rich I really am. 

I have never thought of me or my family as rich, but when I came upon extreme poverty this weekend I realized how rich I actually am. Not rich in the sense of an abundance of money and material items (although this also may be true compared to much of the world) but rich in blessings, knowledge, faith, love.

I was only able to recognize this because of my encounters with women who are not so fortunate as I. This summer I have been volunteering at a home for women who are pregnant and homeless. From our conversations I realize most of them never had good relationships with their parents, were never taught their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,  they have dignity and deserve respect, saving yourself for your husband is beautiful and what God asks of us, and they are loved and cherished by their Heavenly Father. Most of these women have been abused, cheated on by their boyfriends, or lived in violent and broken homes. Real poverty of spirit. 

 All of this makes me think, "God why me? Why did You choose to give me so many blessings?" Parents who love each other and show their love to me in visible ways, wonderful siblings to laugh with, an education, faith, moral upbringing. I never did anything to gain any of this, but He chose to give them all to me. 

For some reason He gave them all to me and I have no right to question it. The only question I have to ask now is "What do you want me to do with all of these treasures?" How can I share my wealth with every man and women that I meet? 

God give me the grace to share the abundance of wealth that you have bestowed upon me with everyone I meet.

Luke 12:34 - "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be."