Hurrahing in Harvest

As Creighton’s campus was prepared in celebration of our new President’s inauguration this week (welcome, welcome Fr. Hendrickson!!), verses from Gerard Manley Hopkins–a Jesuit priest and poet–were flashed across the screens of the business school. I was happily reminded of one of my long-time favorite poems, which in turn never fails to remind me to gratefully behold all of the beauty enveloping us:

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil…

And man, did I need that reminder. It’s funny how easily we forget the things that we once knew, and I had surely forgotten that amongst my other whirlwind of duties, I have a duty to myself and others to simply take delight in the wonders of this world. We are given our days and our daily bread; truly the only thing that God allows to be overflowing in our lives are His blessings. Therefore, this fresh Sunday morning, I’ve decided to pen a humble little “thankful list”:

The Culprit Cafe

As I watch the bustling streets and looming buildings out this large picture window, steamy soy cappuccino in hand, Omaha actually feels like a real city! And this lull of coffeehouse melodies warms the heart just the same. They say it best in their own words: “our mission is to provide a place to feel a sense of community, and a healthy amount of indulgence…” Amen to that!

Confirmation Class

Each Saturday, I do my best to teach ten 8th graders about God, the Catholic Church, and the powerful sacrament of Confirmation. I do my best to keep it interesting with field trips outside, healthy snacks, and fascinating stories about saints. What they probably don’t know is that the whole time, they’re the ones teaching me about God.

Cooking

So we girls had a jolly potluck on Friday night, and as I conquered the (super simple) recipes for Glazed Mexican Chocolate Popcorn and Pumpkin Popcorn (because pumpkin is KING this time of year), I was reminded of the simple joy of cooking. I may still burn the toast from time to time, but you can bet that this is a skill I will be practicing relentlessly. 🙂

My people

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We like to spend our nights exploring the little town of Omaha on bikes, discovering the best friend-date spots, cooking and arguing over who gets to clean up after, and giving inspirational speeches to each other. They act as my mothers, guardian angels, and my best friends simultaneously, need I say more?

Driving

There is something about the exhilarating sense of freedom that comes from zipping from one location to another, always with the option to take a spontaneous detour. So much taken for granted, the ability to go where I want, when I want, is a power like none other.

Flowers

It may not have been the most manly gift, but with all the good autumn deals, I simply could not resist sending the Head of the Jace Household a lovely bouquet of fall blossoms and chocolate for his birthday (it may have been two for one…so our lovely cottage may have a delivery in store as well…). Also, please notice the cover photo of this post– the community around my cabin takes it upon themselves to plant an entire sea of sunflowers each year, encompassing a vast stretch of country highway. Now that is something to be thankful for!


Though my personal role in actual fall harvests are confined to exuberant visits to pumpkin patches and apple orchards, we can all hurrah in the harvest of the fruits of our labors and be thankful for the opportunity to devote our time and efforts to meaningful learning and work. Please enjoy another Hopkins poem below, as fall, in all her crisp glory, is coming fast upon us!

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Taken from Bartleby.com
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Happy Birthday, USA!

My family has a wonderful birthday tradition where we take turns going around the dinner table to speak about why we are thankful for the birthday boy/girl. Today, it looks like it’s my turn to talk about America.

There is a reason that I sit here today in front of my laptop, trying to scribble this out. There is a reason that the stretches of highways are populated with more families than usual today, trying to gather in celebration. There is a reason that so many people want to uproot and move to the United States, trying to forge a better life for their young children. There is a reason that we all can go on a drive and pass cheerful Little League games, mirror-like corporate office buildings, fresh farm stands selling sweet corn, vibrant art museums, libraries, malls, concert venues, hiking paths…the list goes on, trying to figure out how we ought to pursue happiness. There is a reason that, over the ages, countless men and women have looked death in the face and decided that yes, this is a sacrifice I will make, trying to protect my country. That reason is so colossal, so historical, and so profound that no words exist to fully grasp it’s essence. I’m stuck with the next-best option:

America is great.

She was built upon the firm foundation of God-given values, she is served and preserved for posterity by her faithful children, and she joins states, peoples, and families to become better in unity. America is not perfect, but greatness commands both respect and love. It can (and should) be a tough love sometimes, like when we speak up to caution her against something that we believe is not good for her. Or when we look at her actions and have the humility to say, hey, that was a mistake. But such an opinion is secondary, it flows from our hearts that beat knowing that America has done more for us than we could ever hope to repay. And for that we are truly grateful. As her happy children we will do our duty to repay, to preserve, and better her with each coming day. Happy birthday, USA!

Little brother Sam stole my outfit ;)
Little brother Sam stole my outfit 😉