Thursday, April 24, 2014

#SmallSuccess: Cleaning it up

As I am approaching the end of another choir season, the end of a semester and the beginning of a major project, I have been cleaning things up a bit. I've been sorting through things, tossing out old stuff and managing the chaos that I call a life.

It isn't so much that I am a messy person, or particularly disorganized, either. I'm just busy. So when I come in from school at the end of the day, I throw down what I don't need and grab what I do need and I'm back out the door again. But every now and then, I lose things in the mess and I have to clean up.

The same thing happens with my interior life. One of the things I am cleaning up is my prayer life.

Apart from the fact that this was a wretched Lent for me, I have also let my prayer life fall apart. I used to say the Divine Office everyday. Now, I'm doing well to get the Morning Offering and a gasped "Hail Mary" out in the morning. What's happening?

Well, I had taken all my Catholic Apps off my phone to make room for an upgrade. Turns out, I need that reminder. So, back on they go.

I had also lost myself in the quagmire that is academia. You know, when you commit yourself to a goal and you move toward it without wavering and you will get somewhere. It may not be the place that you were expecting to be, though, and that's where I was headed.

This past week I had to ask myself some tough questions about where my life is now, and where I want it to be at the end of next year's classes when I graduate.

In truth, I have been asking myself these questions for about two months, now, but I haven't really been spending much time relying on God for direction. So, I made a re-commitment to prayer. Instead of asking, "Where am I really headed?" "Are these the best decisions for my family and for me?" and "Is this really what I want to spend the rest of my life doing?" the questions had to change.

This isn't about me. It's about the will of God for my life. So the new questions are for God, not me: "Where do you want me to go?" "What is your will for my family and for me?" and "Is this what you want me to do for the rest of my life?"

The results surprised me but I have a sense of clarity about my direction that I didn't have before. And it looks like a much better track than it was before. I'll share much more about this later after the final pieces are in place.

So here are my small successes this week:

1) I have been walking at least a mile 3 times a week. Last night we bumped it up to two miles.
2) I completed my final paper for my British Literature class. I took a big risk with the construction, but I think it's a good paper.
3) I spent some quality time in prayer re-evaluating my goals and priorities.
4) I was selected to present a paper at the University's Student Research Symposium. I will be presenting an analysis of "Possession" by A.S. Byatt. It's a great book and I highly recommend it for adults who love literature. But be ready to read between the lines.
5) I have a domain name. I have a website built. Now I just have to get the two put together and then you will be able to see it.

What are your small successes? Feel free to share them in the combox, or head over to to share a link to your blog over there.


  1. First--I put that book on reserve at the library. I'm always up for book recommedations.
    Second--good for you on the regular walks!
    Third--Here is my favorite prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. It might be helpful:
    "Most high, all-glorious, good God, bring light to the darkness of my heart. Give me right faith, firm hope and perfect charity, with wisdom and insight, O Lord, that I might always discern your holy and true will."

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  3. Okay, it said I had the comment twice, so I tried to delete one, and it deleted both. Those are great big successes!

  4. An amazingly successful week for you! "Where do you want me to go?" is EXACTLY what I need to do with some crazy stuff going on in my life right now. Thank you for the inspiration. Blessings for your upcoming week!