Life

Dear Journal: A Joyful Weekend

Dear Journal, 

I am learning to be okay with taking less time for things and not finishing things so far in advance. I’m learning it’s okay to not be glued to my desk. It’s okay to finish assignments the day before they are due. 

I’m in a season of great joy right now. Praise Jesus for all the positive vibes, including living with my friends, leading Young Life, having a supportive family, and gaining confidence in myself. 

This weekend was so refreshing, I had to share in a raw journal entry post. On Friday, I woke up at 5:30a.m. to meet our high school friends for our first Campaigners, Young Life’s bible study. We woke up to the stars shining against the 6a.m. darkness and drove back to the red and pink sunrise. I’m excited to dive deeper into the Bible and learn from others. 

I am thankful for experiencing God’s creation through nature and in His children.

In the afternoon I chatted with students at the high school during their lunch. It was good to see them again. At lunch my roommate and I bonded over taking the bus to Meijer and spending more money than intended. My roommate graciously cleaned the kitchen that was desperate and made cookies while I worked out. She is so selfless and I am so thankful. We laughed in between bites at dinner and watched a movie together. 

I am thankful for cozy nights in and random acts of kindness. 

On Saturday, I slept in later than expected and my friend picked me up for brunch. We decided to wait the 30 to 45 minutes the hostess expected, even though the perfectionist in me would have wanted to grab something quicker to eat. But we had already made the drive and it gave us more time to talk. We sat at a small table by the window, I indulged by ordering chocolate red velvet pancakes with cream cheese frosting, and we talked about life. My friend is so genuine, kind, encouraging, loving, and I am blessed to have her in my life. She teaches me how to be a better Catholic woman and friend. 

I am thankful for virtuous friendships with people who truly care for me.

Around 3p.m., I met my other friends to study with them, and I was able to enjoy dinner and dessert with them. I would usually never put homework off for this long. I’m a start-on-Friday-and-work-until-Sunday kind of student. But instead of worrying about the hours I could have spent studying, I simply started working. I was able to complete everything I wanted to get done by that night. (It was also nice to study with a friend to help me focus.) I understand this doesn’t work for all weeks. Last week I was rushing around and staying up until 12a.m.. Still, everything will get done. 

I’m thankful for productivity and doing my best. 

Finally on Sunday, I woke up just before I wanted to (even when had forgotten to set an alarm) so I could get a run in. After my busy week, I’ve found running to be my stress reliever and have been working to fit it in. I went to mass with my friends before meeting up with my parents and grandparents! It was so much fun to have lunch with them and show them around campus. Walking around campus makes me appreciate my education, how hard my family worked to send me here, and how blessed I am to have an opportunity to learn here. A beautiful day enhances all beauty. The beauty in opportunities, in people who love you more than you deserve, and the gifts God has given you. 

I’m thankful for the hard work, sacrifice, and unconditional love of my family to help me get where I am today. 

I know gratitude has become a theme in most of my posts, but it is something I always reflect on. Even when there are so many goals I haven’t accomplished, still boxes unchecked on my to do list, times when I stumble into sin or don’t feel my best, I believe there is still space for thankfulness. This doesn’t mean not allowing ourselves to feel or grieve when things get hard. I believe Jesus takes our tears just as willingly He takes our praise. No matter what season of life you’re working through, God is there. 

Thanks for everything, Jesus. Thank you for working invisibly, just so you can surprise us when we’re impatient. So we can understand where You were when we look back at times in our life. Thanks for standing in plain sight with open arms, and giving us tiny blessings throughout the day. Thank you for placing people in our lives to help us, stand by us, love us and to ultimately point us back to You. 

Love, 

Rachel

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