Totus Tuus

“The hardest but best summer of your life” this came so true this summer. Before leaving and during training I heard this phrase more times than I can count. This summer changed my life in so many ways. I don’t even know how to start to explain them all but, here goes nothing. Here’s to the summer that changed me.

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Training- It feels like training was forever ago but it was just the end of May. Joliet Diocese trained with about 4 other diocese for two weeks long. When I heard training was going to be two weeks long I dreaded how long it was. Training was intense, to say the least, but it flew by too fast. The first 24hrs of training was treated like a mini-retreat. Fr.Grismer gave us a talk and left us with these questions. We were asked to take a look at where you were in your life & to ask ourselves what is it we are asking Jesus to heal? These questions ended up being the foundation of training. The first 24hrs went fast and it was time to really start learning about what we were about to be doing for 7ish weeks. God began to break open my heart in ways I didn’t think were possible. He began to heal in those areas of my heart that were broken, messy and hurt.  God wrecked me so much in a good way in just two weeks. We had mass, adoration, and confession every single day. I loved how we had mandatory adoration and also the chance to go to confession! Having all three of these every day was so powerful!

IMG_8965.jpgAt the end of the first week of training, the Joliet Diocese went up to Lake Geneva for the weekend. Saturday morning we found out our teams. It kinda is funny how teams worked. I never thought I would be put on the team I was on. God placed us where we suppose to be this summer. I love my team and wouldn’t want to trade them for the world. Every team got a Chaplin and of course, God showing up again. My team’s Chaplin was Fr.Ryan. That weekend was so peaceful and was really good to get out of the retreat center. The second week of training was all about deciding who was teaching what and who was giving a talk on what. The second week was full of so many talks on how to teach classes, how to give a testimony, etc. Just like that training was done and we were heading to our first-week teaching.

We went to a total of 6 parishes. When people told me summer will go by in a blink of an eye I didn’t believe them. It was week one and I was telling myself I have 5 more weeks of this left and I didn’t know how I was going to survive 5 more weeks of teaching kids.

Week 1-St. Pius X

 

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Week one was a trial in error week for sure. Week 1 I taught 3rd & 4th graders and I had the biggest class for the first week out of all of the grades. I fell in love teaching 3rd and 4th graders by the end of the summer. The first week teaching them was challenging for sure. The kids just kept asking questions which I loved even if I had to get back to them about the answers. It reminded me of what a childlike faith looked like. God taught me a lot about patience during week one. I am the most impatient person I know so it was funny how that happened to be what God wanted to teach me during week 1. I learned how to be patient with the kids and teens, my team and myself. Patience was a theme for sure this summer and God kept teaching me more about it. From hearing other people’s experiences from Totus Tuus I had this plan/idea how week one was going to be. It wasn’t the way I thought it would go but it was the way God planned it to be!

Week 2- The Cathedral of St. Raymond
IMG_9276.jpgWhen we found out what parishes we were going to I was so excited we were going to the Cathedral for a whole week! I love the Cathedral I can’t put it into words how grateful I was that we were there for a WHOLE WEEK! Every morning as a team we prayed the rosary in the Church and one of the first few days this lady asked to pray the rosary with us every day. It was a gift praying the rosary with her. I broke two rosaries week two in two days. On Friday the lady that was praying the rosary with us gave each of us rosaries. I laughed as I pulled out my rosary that Friday morning because it broke in my hands and God provides! A lot got brought up week two of my past of challenges, pains and hurts, etc. that I never realized affected me. I let God into the hurt and pain that was in my heart. Only God can heal me! I can’t do it alone. As I was reflecting on the different things that hurt me I learned that only God can satisfy me. 

Week 3- St. Mary Nativity

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Nobody told me how fast this summer would go. I was sitting in this Church in front of Jesus mid-week and I was speechless that we were halfway done with the summer. IMG_9401.JPG We had our biggest teen group week 3. It was beautiful watching so many kids go to confession on Tuesday night. That night I knew that I wanted to still become a youth minister. Watching the teens crack and grow from Sunday night to Thursday was an amazing gift. This week Louisa and I’s host family was about 20 minutes away from the parish and on our way to the Church and Home every day we jammed to Jesus songs and that was probably my favorite thing to end the night every day that week. It was the simplest and little things that made my day. IMG_9346-1.JPGSomething that I learned week 3 was always make sure you are wearing shoes during the water fight. I stepped in glass during the water fight. The first 3 parishes flew by so fast! On Friday we met with our Chaplin before all of us went home for our week off. Let me tell you I cried leaving them. I loved my team so much! I wouldn’t have traded my team for anything.

Week 4- St. Matthew

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Week 4 I had the chance to teach 1st and 2nd graders. They are so innocent and so cute! I love their childlike faith. The joy they spread is so contagious. Also, Emily thanks for coming to visit us week 4 and taking us to Starbucks! 1st and 2nd graders were challenging somedays more than others for me. Also, Tony thanks for coming to visit us too. This week was definitely learning that I don’t need to earn God’s love! We don’t deserve God’s love but He loves us so much! If it was only you on the earth He could still die for you! This summer I learned a lot about authentic love and the love of God. Week 4  I was struggling with my relationship with Mama Mary and one morning while praying the rosary everything clicked. She reminded me that even when I don’t think She is with me she is. IMG_9528.jpeg

Week 5- St. Jude 

IMG_9579.JPGAs silly this picture is it probably is one of my favorites. You can definitely see all of our personalities. At the beginning of the summer, someone said at training is to be a fool for God and make sure you have fun. This picture shows both of those things. St. Jude was a hard week for me. Each week had their own challenges but St. Jude was one I remember being especially hard for me. Thank God Fr.Steve came and did mass for the kids twice this week. It was good to see a familiar face during a tough week. I learned this week that God’s love is so intimate it isn’t like any other kind of love. We aren’t in competition for God’s love. God choose me to do Totus Tuus this past summer. IMG_9623.JPGIt was truly a gift choosing kids to bring up the offerings every day for mass. Whenever I picked who would bring up the gifts they were so excited to bring them up to Father. It was probably one of my favorite things to do all summer long. Often times kids don’t go to mass that often so the fact they got to participate in mass they were so happy about doing it. During my toughest weeks, I learned and stretched a lot looking back on this summer.

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The last and final week. This summer went so fast!! I was sad about starting the last week. I bonded with my team so well. Louisa and I had this amazing sisterhood. Cherish the time you have with people. At the beginning of this week, I was feeling off and didn’t really know why. When Tuesday rolled around I went to confession and felt a weight getting lifted off my shoulders. God’s grace is never-ending. At week 6 I took some time and realizing that I needed these people to be on my team. God placed them on my team for a reason. During one of the last few days of mass, Father gave a homily about we were apostles this summer. We planted seeds in all the people’s lives we touched. We often don’t see the fruits from the week. It was reassuring hearing that because Josh reminded me of that all summer long and trust me I needed to hear it. We got to see relics of St. John Paull II and St. Mother Teresa and that was an amazing experience. I cried seeing them. IMG_1876.jpeg

I could talk about my team all day long but I am very thankful for them. They helped me grow, learn and stretch in ways that I didn’t think were possible. Thank you for loving me even when it was hard to love me. I miss them so much!

The Goodbye/see you later

IMG_9747.JPGI tried to prepare myself and try to hold myself together but there definitely were a lot of tears shed. My whole heart in one picture. On our last Friday, we all met together and had dinner, shared graces, challenges, etc from the whole summer. There were so many graces from this summer that God even is still teaching me about. I learned that it is okay to feel and to give yourself permission to feel and to forgive yourself. I did learn about my worth this summer in so many ways. Before starting this summer I looked in the world for my worth and that is not where I would find it. My worth lies in God and Him alone! My Joliet Diocese Fam, you guys have my whole heart. I am so glad I was able to share this experience with you all. IMG_9743.jpegAnna is going to kill me for putting this in here. This picture shows so much. I learned so much about myself because of her. Watching one another grow, learn and grief this summer has been a gift. If we weren’t put into Fr. Steve’s car going to training I don’t think we would be such good friends so thank you, Jesus, for that car ride. As soon as we tried to say goodbye to one another we both started bawling hardcore. Thanks for understanding my heart in ways I don’t understand it. IMG_0823.jpeg

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the people that made this summer possible. Fr. Steve & Ashley thank you for your time, energy, hard work, prayers and always being there for all of us. I can go on and on about how you have changed my life for the better but I will stop myself now. Fr. Ryan thank you for being an amazing Chaplin. Thanks for giving advice, praying for us, always being there and so much more! Emily, Joe, and Christian thank you for everything you did for us this summer. The littlest things meant the most to me. You all mean the world to me. At the beginning of the summer, they told us that this summer is going to change you in ways you won’t see coming and let me tell you that it is so true. This summer changed me in so many ways. I wouldn’t have wanted to trade this summer for anything. I truly know what Totus Tuus means on a personal level. 

 

Totus Tuus for life.

Totus Tuus saves lives.

Our Lady of the Rosary

Happy Our lady of the Rosary feast day! I thought it was a perfect day to share my rosary story/journey. I have never been a fan of praying the rosary. I thought it was always useless I was just repeating the same prayers over and over again. I also, though it was boring and I didn’t get the point of it. This is how I felt about praying the rosary until this summer. As I headed to training and I was in the car Fr. Steve said let’s pray a rosary. I made sure I packed a billion rosaries but of course, I couldn’t find one as we were about to pray it, Thankfully priests always have about 100 rosaries on them at all times. I was like your kidding me we actually are going to pray this. I didn’t know the prayers or any of the mysteries of the rosary. We prayed it and I felt so calm praying but also I was asking myself what I signed up for this summer. This summer was all about the rosary (lol.)

This summer we prayed the rosary every day as a team. I still don’t have all the mysteries memorized but that is okay. My team was at The Cathedral week 2 and there was this lady that prayed the rosary with us every morning. Earlier that week on one of my rosaries broke. On Friday the last day, we would pray the rosary with this lady as we were praying the rosary another one of my rosaries fell apart in my hands. It is funny how Mama Mary was watching that all happen. The lady that prayed the rosary with us every day gave each of us rosaries. I pray the rosary with the one she gave me almost every time I pray the rosary. I am still learning more about the rosary but I can say I have fallen more in love with it. I have grown in my relationship with Mama Mary through praying the rosary this summer and as I grow closer to her she keeps bringing me closer to Jesus.

“The rosary that is my weapon” -St. Padre Pio

Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for us!

A new season of life

A new season is coming as summer is coming to an end. Fall is coming around the corner. The same goes for our life. I am right now in a new season of my life. I was on the phone the other day with a dear friend of mine that I met doing Totus Tuus. I shared how it has been hard to be at home and hard to pray again. She said that it is okay that I am struggling with it because we are all in a new season of life. I  didn’t realize that until she said those words to me and ever since I have been praying with those words and realizing that I am in a new season of life. I do wish my prayer life was better but it will not be the same as it was this summer. I had a team I prayed with this summer that helped me so much. During Totus Tuus we had personal prayer and during that time I did so much. I had time to journal every day, read part of a book, etc. I do wish my prayer life was the same as it was this summer and that is something I am holding onto. God has put me in this new season of my life for a reason. I am slowly realizing that things will not be the same as they were when I was doing Totus Tuus. Things aren’t the same as they were this summer and they won’t be but God works in the ordinary days of our life. We don’t need to be doing intense ministry to see God working in our lives. He is working in our daily lives even if we don’t see it. Also, maybe you did intense ministry work this summer and God wrecked you and you want to process this summer fast it isn’t going to happen like that. A priest recently told me that I will process and learn everything that God did this summer in prayer. I do wish he told me some logical advice but prayer is a conversation with God and the more time we spend in prayer the more He will reveal to us. Your past season is part of you but don’t try to hold on to it forever and miss the season God has you in right now.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See I am doing something new! Now, it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the wilderness, I make a way, in the wasteland rivers.” 

5 years of LifeTeen

The past five years flew by in a blink of an eye. Youth Ministers, Bible, Blanket and BBQ, YLC Retreats, Steubenville, lock-ins, game nights, LifeTeen nights, shaving cream fights, praise and worship, you name it we probably did it…

The first time I ever heard about LifeTeen was a confirmation night. A few kids and one of the adult leaders came and talked to us about LifeTeen. At that moment I knew I wanted to join. I knew after I made my confirmation it was up to me to continue growing in my faith life. My friend Lauren and I texted each other and went to our first ever LifeTeen night. If it wasn’t for us to start going to LifeTeen I wouldn’t be who I am today. Thanks to Lauren for being my friend since the ole great elementary school days. IMG_0345.jpg

It feels like my first LifeTeen night was just yesterday. The first year I was in LifeTeen, I would only went when Lauren went. I was still a very shy person in eighth grade. That summer we went to Youth Leadership Conference (YLC) at Lewis University. It was my first ever “Jesus Conference”. I don’t remember much from it besides meeting one of my best friends (Sammy), learning about Jesus and singing christian songs, which back then I thought all these people were Jesus freaks and now look I call myself a “Jesus Freak.” At that point in my faith journey I didn’t know what it meant to live out my life for Jesus. I was slowly getting comfortable around all these new people. Over the next few months I slowly became more open and talked to the people who were there. I even started going to LifeTeen alone! (that was a big step for me) I knew my faith was important to me and wanted friends that believed in the same thing as me and wanted to know more about God.

I remember the exact moment that I felt like LifeTeen was my new home. It was a game night and we were playing volleyball. Hannah (adult leader and became our youth minister later) and I were on the same team and hysterically laughing on the ground about how we weren’t any good. That was when I felt so loved and welcomed by everyone. I knew it was going to be the place I went to feel safe. Little did I know how much it was going to change my life.

Freshmen year was kinda a blur until the summer. I went to LifeTeen when I could. Towards the end of the year I fully started going weekly alone and made amazing friends. That summer I went on the Summer Retreat all alone, without knowing anyone going. The first person I remember welcoming me into this LifeTeen family on this retreat was Hope. She loved me and wanted to get to know me. I learned what it meant to make God the center of my life. I prayed during retreat that Hannah and I would get closer and God sure answered that prayer for me!! We went to YLC that summer again too. After that summer I prayed more frequently. I broke out of my shell that year and was just myself. The people there accepted me for who I am. I met a few other great friends that year I am still friends with today. Megan, Hope,  Elizabeth, Jaime and Kevin, ect.

Around Christmas time of freshmen year is when I opened to Hannah for the first time ever! She was one of the first people I have ever fully trusted. She has a secret power of knowing something is up without me saying anything. Hannah if your reading this I love you for that sometimes! She was someone who was always there for me and still is from afar. She is someone I look up and gives me great advice no matter what the situation is. She has always been there with a shoulder I can cry on and to give me amazing hugs. She has and still pushes me outside of my comfort zone and I am so grateful for that. I led small groups and gave about 4 testimonies and if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have the confidence for sharing my story with others. I could go on and on about her but we will leave that for another time. She has changed my life in so many ways! Thanks for being the person you are today, never change!!IMG_0850.jpg

Sophomore year Ryan Essington was our Youth Minister. We had an amazing adult core team that year too. You could say I had my doubts at first when He became our youth minister. He changed LifeTeen for the better. He created a Lead team, which was amazing. Lead helped run big events, taught LifeTeen nights and all the stuff in the middle. My faith life really became my own that year.IMG_8618.jpg

We went to Steubenville for the first time. We saw people rest during adoration and didn’t understand why. We heard many different amazing speakers and had adoration. We had a great prayerful experience. I really enjoyed going to mass and wanted more of Jesus.

Ryan brought a different view on LifeTeen. We loved what He taught us. He helped me grow in so many ways. That Summer he ran the retreat, The Wild Goose Retreat. To this day it is still talked about.  The first night we played duck duck goose and thought Ryan was crazy but, I was going along with it. That retreat changed my life. I learned how to pray in a new way. We learned about charismatic prayer and it was uncomfortable at first but eventually I fell in love with it. It really helped me grow in my relationship with God and my prayer life.13876665_1769189373359398_7057544827940317295_n.jpg

Sophomore year was hard for me, when I heard we were going to have adoration I dreading it. We had adoration Saturday night our worship leader started playing and I started bawling and didn’t understand why. We had a prayer team come in and pray over us. It was a powerful experience to say the least.  That was the first time ever I surrendered everything to God. I felt his presence for the first time. I felt loved and wanted for the first time in a long time. The Holy Spirit was on fire in all of us!! I fell in love with adoration after that retreat. After Retreat we were all on fire for Christ in a new way, we wanted more of Him. After Retreat Ryan taught us many different things about the Holy Spirit and how to use the fire inside us everyday.

Junior year was another challenging year for me. My Great Aunt passed away and school was tough. Not long after Ryan told us He was leaving and going back to school to become a funeral director. He changed my life and helped my grow in my relationship with God. He left in October. August to October flew by with Ryan. October was here before we wanted it to be. I didn’t want him to leave LifeTeen. Thanks to Ryan I know how to have my own personal relationship with God! We had worship nights, teachings, game nights, ect. I cherished those last moments left before Ryan left and went  to school. Through the hard time of change I learned to cherish what is right in front of you because it could be gone in a blink of an eye.

After Ryan left, Hannah became our youth minister for good. Ryan left LifeTeen in such a great place and Hannah had another job and still gave LifeTeen all her energy. Lead team became more involved at LifeTeen. Lead began to do more of the teachings. We continued to have praise and worship nights even though Ryan wasn’t there. It was an important part of LifeTeen. She made sure LifeTeen was the best it could be. Junior year was challenging for me, it was a year to trust and learn for sure. LifeTeen was always there for me. There were so many people around me that I could go to. That year I had my solid catholic group of friends. They were sure a blessing from God. Junior year was full of emotions.

I remember finding out that Fr.David’s term was up at SMIP and was going to be reassigned to a new Church. Hannah planned on leaving too and go back to school. The school year ended and summer was in full swing. To be honest I dreaded that summer because I knew I was going to have to say another “goodbye” to the person that helped me through so much. I made the most out of those last few months though.

Hannah’s last “big thing” with us was our Summer Retreat. Lead helped plan it. It was a lot of work but totally worth it. The core team planned day after day to make it perfect for us! It sure was. I miss those lovely people that were on the core team. I got the chance to give my first ever witness talk… it sure was hard. Summer Retreat was beautiful and God gave us so many gifts and graces. That was one Jesus filled weekend. We got back to SMIP Sunday night and it was the goodbye part… let me just say I don’t think I stopped crying for awhile. It was emotional but, good that we ended on such a great place with Hannah leaving. I am glad we had an amazing weekend with her.IMG_0947.jpg

Deacon Ryan took over LifeTeen well now Fr.Ryan. At first I was dreading another new youth minister. Hannah told me I am leaving you in good hands and Wow she was SO RIGHT! He changed my life for the better. He brought this raw and honesty to LifeTeen. Having a Deacon run LifeTeen is crazy enough but, his authenticity brought a different aspect to it. I could listen to him talk all day long. He is freaking amazing! I learned so much from him during the 6ish months he was running LifeTeen. That time he was with us flew by so fast. He gave us the phrase “Live Life Intensely” and since that day it is stuck with me and changed how I live my life. I can go on and on about him but I’ll stop myself. The fact that he is a priest is amazing! I went to his first mass at his home parish and it was beyond beautiful! It is crazy that it has almost been a year since he’s been ordained. IMG_4476.jpg

During Fr. Ryan’s time at LifeTeen they were looking for someone to take over LifeTeen. We got a new youth minister senior year of high school. It felt like that year flew by in a blink of an eye. It felt like the last year went too fast. If I could do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing. I am beyond blessed  for my LEAD team friends that before I knew it became my best friends. Before I knew it I was graduating high school and planned on going to all the events LifeTeen for our last summer in LifeTeen. It was so good that all of us went to Steubenville and to the retreat. Im glad for our last two big events together were so good. It was hard to say goodbye to my best friends as most of them went away to school but I am glad I get to call them my best friends. IMG_5214.jpg

LifeTeen changed my life and I can go on and on about how it changed my life but all I have to say is thank you to everyone who was part of my journey and for always being there for me. Once you are part of LifeTeen you are always part of it. If It wasn’t for LifeTeen I wouldn’t be doing Totus Tuus this summer!

“The world will never be dark if we are on fire for Christ.”

Holidays aren’t the same

As a kid I couldn’t wait to get up on Christmas morning and run downstairs with Mikey and open up gifts together but as we get older it gets harder.

Holiday’s are supposed to be the best time of the year filled with joy and laughter. As much as I love the holiday’s and spending time with my family there is something hard about it too. Holiday’s aren’t the same anymore. I miss my loved one’s that passed away that aren’t spending another holiday here on earth. There is a part of my heart that aches because they are gone and it is hard to say the least. There is a part of my heart that is left empty because they are gone. I am reminded so much of them around this time of year because I see families all over spending time together.

Christmas comes and I see everyone sitting around and there is an empty chair and it hits me that something is different. As time goes on it is supposed to get easier right? Nope, it doesn’t you just figure out how to get through the holiday’s without them. I am blessed to be spending time with my family for the holiday’s because I am reminded how lucky I am to have this great, big, and crazy family that loves me no matter what!

I miss how Holiday’s use to be but, I am thankful I get to celebrate Christmas with the ones I love! Spending Christmas with my family is a gift because I am reminded how much I am loved by them.

If you are missing someone this holiday season remember you are not alone, and look around you because YOU are so LOVED!

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Merry Christmas!

 

XOXO Cass

Follow your Passion

Finding your passion and what you love doing is such a hard thing to do. What should I major in? How is someone suppose to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives at the age of 18? What can I see myself doing for 25+ years that I will be happy at? What am I going to make the most money doing? I have set my mind on quiet a few different kind of majors from a teacher to a youth minister and everything in between.

I have spent a lot of time praying and thinking about what brings me the most joy. I finally decided to switched majors to theology/religious studies. My end goal is to become a youth minister but that may change. I know that I want to work in Youth Ministry in some way because I have such a big passion for it and I fell in love with it. I would love to thank my past youth ministers for that one 😉 It has taken me some time to realize that making the most money isn’t going to bring me true happiness but doing something I love with my whole heart is going to bring me authentic happiness! It isn’t a competition to see who brings in the most money. When you die you aren’t going to bring with you all the things you bought.

Finding what your passion is hard and I am probably going to change my major a million more times till I finally decide on something. Don’t be afraid of what others say about what you want to do! Some people will support you and others won’t. It is going to bring you true happiness and nobody can take that away from you! It is going to take a lot of work but it is going to be worth it in the end! Follow you’re passion don’t settle for something you won’t want to be doing for a long time. Don’t let other’s influence what you want to do. In the end it comes down to following your dreams! A lot of people would go back and do it all over again because they don’t like their job and dread going to work everyday. Since we have the chance at this age do what you want not what others tell you to do!

Fight for your dreams and do what you love! Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams!!

 

XOXO Cass

Another Goodbye

To the girl who had to say goodbye to someone who means so much to me. Goodbyes use to not be this hard for me but I think since I joined LifeTeen and since I am so involved at Church they affect me so much more.

I thought that since I have had said many goodbyes to people who mean so much to me that they get easier? No, they just get harder.

Relationships are so important to me, especially these ones. I have had to say goodbye to many youth ministers and friends and our relationship isn’t the same anymore. That is what I fear the most when I said goodbye to these people. They mean the world to me!

I feel like it is one goodbye after another. It was exhausting to say goodbye to all my friends. It still doesn’t feel real. It hit me the other day when I was in Mass on Sunday and didn’t see them. These last two weeks have been hard for sure. I hate change so this one for sure has been really hard for me. I didn’t just have to say goodbye to my best friends from Church but also someone who I considered a sister, a mentor, she helped out with LifeTeen and was always there for me. I know I still will be able to talk to them but it has been hard not seeing them weekly and being able to go and hang out with them all the time. I can’t help from getting sad about this because it has been one of my hardest transitions. How do I meet new friends that have the same values as me and on fire with Christ like they were? Making friends has never been so hard before but I am taking it one day at a time and seeing where God brings me this year.

I am trying to be hopeful this year and let God help me grow this year. Change has been something that I have always struggled with but I have a feeling this one is going to be beautiful for me.

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”

XoXo Cass

 

 

 

His Plan is better than Mine

To: The girl who thought she had her plans figured out but God decided to change them. It has been a hard process for me accepting what happened and finally talking about it. We make plans and God just laughs.

This fall I didn’t think I would be going to my community college I had this plan of serving on NET (National Evangelization Team). For those who don’t know much about it, it’s a catholic missionary organization where you are put on a team and hold retreats for teams all around the states. If you want to know more about it check out their website http://www.netusa.org.

I had the idea of one day applying but it was in the back of my head until I started Senior year. I ending up applying early senior year and my interview was in February. I put all my hope into getting accepted. I thought the interview and retreat went great. I met amazing catholic people at the retreat that I still talk to today. I loved the staff members that were there too. I patiently waited and prayed about it all! I finally received the letter. I ripped open the letter one night and tears became to fall and I read the words that I didn’t get accepted but can reapply in the next year. I was devastated. I was confused because I thought this is what God wanted me to do. Why didn’t I get accepted? Why did you make me go through this process if I wasn’t going to get in? The questions to God went on and on as you can imagine. I was running away from God instead of to him.

Many tears and adoration hours later I am slowly understanding Gods plan for me this year. I think I wanted to be on NET more than really focusing on what God wanted for me.” Maybe closing the NET Ministries door is saving you from something~Fr.B” Maybe one day I will reapply for NET but we will see where God takes me.

I started my first day of college yesterday. I went in scared and nervous starting. I saw a few of my friends at school that I talk to and that gave me Hope to believe that God has a reason why I am home this year. I liked my first day of college and excited to see what happens this year. It is totally different that High School and I am still struggling with the change of everyone leaving but I am trusting in God with this all.

Maybe you thought you were going to go to that one should but didn’t get in, start dating a guy you have been talking to, get your dream job, ect the list goes on. Let me just tell you I was there this year and still ask myself why didn’t this or that happen. God didn’t want you to go to that college or get that job for some reason. Trust in him because it is all part of his plan for you. I struggle with trusting in God with the future because that is the unknown to me and I want to know what His plan for me is all at once then one thing at a time.

Jeremiah 1:5  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before  you were born I dedicated you.”

God knew the plans He had for you before you were even born! Isn’t that crazy??! He knew our plans before creation. Trust in him with your future. Give it all to him and He will guide you on the right path. Talk to God and tell him your dreams and goals He wants to know them. Don’t be afraid to because you think He won’t give them to you. He wants that relationship with you. He has the best interest at Heart for you!

This is for sure a new season for me and it may be for you too but I am trusting in God with wherever He takes me this school year. Go and spend time with Him and Trust in what He is doing for you because in the end everything will work out.

I am praying for you!

I never thought I'd end up divorced - never! And yet I did because of the poor choices he made. And somehow, I ended up here . . . I'm home, and happy, and blessed. Just close your eyes and breathe through it. God's plan will prevail, and it will be better than you could have ever imagined it. Rest, relax and pray - always pray!

XOXO Cass

A Girl who Lost her Best Friend

To a friend who has lost her best friend. Remember when you guys use to talk about the future and how you were going to be best friends forever? yah me too.

I use to be best friends with this girl, and we use to talk about everything. We were always together. We texted, snap chatted, we did whatever it took to talk all day long. There wasn’t a day we didn’t talk. We talked for hours about everything, I trusted her. I told her my deepest secrets. One day we just stopped talking. I tried to talk and nothing happened. I tried to figure out what happen and got no where.

They left me and found a different group of friends. I am not saying that is a bad thing but how it happened hurt me. They were into things I weren’t. Why did she leave me for no reason?

Did I do something?

Was there something wrong with me?

Should I become Her?

Should I party like Her?

Should I dress like that?

Should I not be who I am?

The answer is No! You are so loved by God and that’s all that matters. You are perfect the way you are.

There are so many things I ask myself about why this friendship didn’t work out and why we don’t talk anymore. Some nights I find myself going on Her Instagram and becoming jealous how happy she looks and how much fun they are having.

But, now you find yourself feeling lost,abandoned,hurt and lonely. You try to move on but, the pain comes back some days like today. I have asked God why many different times but He has wanted to teach me things from this friendship.

Sometimes you need to text that person to get closure and talk. For me this didn’t work I was ignored when I wanted a solid answer on why she dropped me as a friend.

God puts people in your life for certain reasons.

One of my friends last week sent me something that said, “God takes people out of our lives for certain reasons”. Wow, that hit me like a ton of bricks. We struggle with people leaving us and it is painful but it’s all part of His plan. Trust what He is doing, I am still working on that on.

There is Hope. God will give you new friends that bring you up and believe in the things that you do. I have found a good group of friends that I have prayed for. They have ALWAYS been there for me when I needed them. I believe that God will give you a good group of friends, keep praying.

Let go, and God will do the rest. You have done all you can. Now it is out of your control. Try to move on, even if you have to un follow them on social media or delete their number. I am still trying to move on from this friendship. I am taking it one day at a time.

Learn from this. God is using this to mold you and help you grow. There is something to learn from God about this situation.

Some friends bring ruin on us, but a true friend is more loyal than a brother ~Proverbs 18:24. Jesus is your friend. His love is greater than all others. God loves you more than anyone else can in a life time.

I am praying for you! I am still struggling with moving past this friendship and accepting that we are no longer friends. There is hope in God. He will never leave you. Trust that it is all part of his plan.

XoXo Cassie

 

Mission Trip

Hey Friends, It has been quiet some time since my last post but a lot has been going on! In June I went on a mission trip to New Orleans, with my parish. It was my first one I’ve ever been on. It has been on my heart lately to share what I experienced with others.

On June 9th we headed to New Orleans for a one week mission trip. It was my first ever mission trip and I was excited but nervous. There was only two other teens going with me from my parish. We arrived at the school Sunday afternoon that we were staying at for the week. We blew up our air mattresses and tried to get settled as much as possible. Sleeping on a school floor can only get so comfortable.

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Sunday evening we found out what team we were put on and kinda had an idea of what we were going to be doing the rest of the week. We had the chance to get to know one another. My whole team was from Illinois besides one person which I found funny, because people come from all over the states.

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I loved my team! By the end of the week we were more like family. I miss them, they are such great people! God hand-picked our teams for us, we were suppose to be there for a reason.

Every morning the staff went on the intercom at 5:15 and woke us up and played an obnoxious song that lasted about 5 minutes everyday. Waking up at 5:15 every morning was challenging but I got through it with God’s grace. Everyday we had breakfast and mass then headed off to our sites for the rest of the day. The days were very long and exhausting but by the end of the week it was worth it. God gave me energy to do the work I needed to do for him.

Monday we went to a newly built school and cleaned out classrooms and checked computers to see if they were working or not. It helped the school save a lot of time by us helping them so they could focus on other things that they needed to get done before school year. Monday night at program we learned how to Echo God’s love. Echo was the theme of Catholic Heart this summer.

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Tuesday-Thursday we worked for habitat for humanity. We put up siding on the house which was very hard at first until you get the hang of it. It was very hot and humid on top of it so the first day was a little rough for me. God gave me the grace and strength to do his work and get through it. There were four teams that were working on this house all week. The days were long but was totally worth it in the end.IMG_4946.JPG

Tuesday night at program we saw a skit by teens and adults. We also had a procession of Jesus being brought to the Church by Father. We had time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Spending time in front of Jesus was beautiful.

Wednesday and Thursday I was inside the house caulking, which was so much better for me. I liked it better than putting siding on the house. By the end of Thursday I think there was more caulk on myself than the baseboard, siding and walls.IMG_4647.JPG

My caulking buddy! Renee and I got more caulk on ourselves than where it was supposed to go. I am so glad I got to meet so many new people who are also on fire for Christ.

Wednesday night at program we had a dance party. They played some of the recent pop songs. Through out the whole week each one of the staff members gave a witness talk.

Thursday was our last day working at the house. We got so much done in only 3 days! We almost finished the siding of the whole house. We finished caulking the whole house.IMG_4634.jpeg

This is all 4 teams that worked on the house together. We got so much done in just three days, I am so proud of how hard we worked. I am so glad God put each one of them in my life.

Thursday night was our last night of program. We had another staff member give a witness talk. That night you got the chance to go to confession and be with Jesus. It was a very powerful night for me.

Friday was our free day! In the morning we had mass and a wrap up. It was sad leaving everyone. I met so many amazing people, I hope to see them all again one day.

Often times on mission trips it’s hard to realize you did a lot of work when you don’t see the end result. We Echoed God’s love by helping out others for the week. I am so thankful for this mission trip and how God worked through me. I can’t wait to go on another mission trip.

“I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do”~John 17:4

“Here I am, I said; send me”~Isaiah 6:8

He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” ~Mark 16:15