What Next?

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I’ve been absent from my blog for awhile now. I’ve tried time and again to write a post but I’ve just had no motivation or inspiration. But, on Sunday I am starting a year long volunteer program run by the Sisters of St. Joseph called the Saint Joseph Worker Program. So I have found a little inspiration.

This program is a four pillar program of justice, spirituality, leadership, and intentional community.

Justice. Each volunteer is placed with a different organization that reaches out to those in need. I will be with Catholic Charities as a nurse in their home for children. I will serve little kiddos who have been removed by the county from unsafe situations runaways or homeless youth. I am both excited and nervous. I could use all the prayers you have to offer for grace and strength to work in such an emotionally challenging area.

Spirituality. This will involve retreats, meeting with a mentor/spiritual director, developing a deeper prayer life, etc. This is the part of the program about which I am most excited. While I sometimes find spirituality challenging, it’s a challenge that I thoroughly enjoy, more of an adventure really. I love growing closer to the Lord.

Leadership. Within our placement sites we will be expected to develop our personal leadership skills.  We will be given opportunities to network and meet with mentors who can help us develop our strengths and weaknesses.

Intentional Community. For the next year I will be living and sharing life with five of the other women in the program, with 7 others in another house that we will spend time with as well. We will share meals together and spend at least two afternoons/evenings together each week doing some sort of activity, one of which includes what the sisters call “Sharing of the Heart”. I think this could prove the challenging part of the program. I love living with other people, but I’m a bit of an introvert and quite shy. I don’t open up easily and definitely need my alone time each day, so  being required to share what’s on my mind will be difficult, very beneficial, but difficult. My hope is that I will learn to be comfortable with sharing my heart with those around me, I want to learn to be open so that others will be comfortable being open with me. I want to allow others to love me as I truly am, not merely as I present myself. So, this will be the most difficult, but probably my favorite part as well. One plus is that we each have our own room. I have not had a roommate since I was in first grade and my brothers moved to a different room, so it would be weird to go to that.

We are also asked to learn to live simply as part of the community life. We will be sharing a household food budget so I will learn to reign in my eating out habits (not too mention I have no income to spend over the next year). The houses are already furnished for us and we encouraged to bring as little with us as possible, just some decorations to make our rooms our own and any necessities. This means that as I am packing for the move I have had to downsize considerably. It’s been a challenge to decide what things I really don’t need, but I’ve wanted to minimize my belongings for awhile. I have a lofty goal of one day being able to keep all of my belongings in a single suitcase, able to go where the Lord calls me at a moment’s notice. I’m far from that now, but this has been a push in the right direction.

I hope that this year will provide more inspiration for posts and that my blog will not be as sparse over the next 12 months. Please pray for me as I embark on this new journey.

Peace and blessings!

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