Thursday, October 28, 2010

Soundtrack of My Life

The assignment - (Start with significant events in your life and give them a song - explain the connection between the two.)

1. Life's A Dance - John Michael Montgomery - Having my first real job at the Warren Theater. Being out of the Andale High School microcosm and in the real world. Experiencing what it was like to be more than just a wallflower or drama/band geek because I worked there without preconceptions. "You learn as you go... sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow"

2. The Reason - Hoobastank - Junior year of High School was a turning point in my Mom's and my relationship. Everything from that point on got lots better until we truly were best friends. "I've found a reason to show a side of me you didn't know."

3. This Magic Moment - The Drifters - Finally getting my first kiss when I was 17... in a little park, under a semi-cloudy but bright-mooned sky with a boy I had a major crush on. Seriously dreamy. "This magic moment... so different and so new."

4. I'll Be - Edwin McCain - Experiencing First Love . This song was actually "our song," but it so wonderfully expresses that feeling that comes with first love. Being completely enamored with an awesome (though somewhat silly) boy who was equally enamored with me. Hearing and saying "I love you" for the first time. The notion that we would be high school sweethearts who would be together forever. "I'll be the greatest fan of your life."

5. Lady in Red - Chris De Burgh - Senior Prom. I'm not sure why this song applies here other than I had an awesome red dress for senior prom. It was a super memorable night when the aforementioned first-love and I were the first couple on the dance floor (after much coaxing from him). Plus a super awesome brunch with a ton of our friends afterwards. Just a great night! "Lady in red is dancing with me, Cheek to cheek. There’s nobody here... It’s just you and me. It’s where I wanna be"

6. I Hope You Dance - LeAnn Womack - Losing my cousin Zack to cancer. This song was popular the summer Zack passed away, and it always made me cry. But more than that, Zack's terrible battle with cancer for 2 years taught me to seize every moment. I learned to go back to KU my sophomore year and actually EXPERIENCE college life and all the fun and excitement it would bring. I learned to "dance". "Don't ever fear those mountains in the distance. Don't ever settle for the path of least resistance."

7. Just Like a Pill - Pink - The Rebelliousness stages of college. There were many moments in college beginning about halfway through my sophomore year, when I just decided that being the practical good girl wasn't always so fun. So I dated some interesting guys. Flirted with the wild side of life just a little bit. And usually ended up realizing, I didn't really like being that person for very long. "And I swear you're just like a pill. Instead of makin' me better, you keep makin' me ill. You keep makin' me ill."

8. For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield - March for Life trips with the KU crew. While coordinating the M4L trip from KU for two years was an extremely important and life changing part of my life, I couldn't quite come up with a song that expressed all of the feelings I encountered on those trips and in all of my college career spent "Working for Life". But I like this song because of the following lyrics. "Young people speakin their minds... getting so much resistance from behind. I think it's time we STOP, hey what's that sound? Everybody look what's goin down."

9. Refiner's Fire - The 3-4 years I spent discerning my vocation. It wasn't always easy to consider being a nun. In fact there were lots of times of tears and awe and heartache and wonder. But it was totally the Refiner's Fire shaping me into the woman I would become. Thanks be to God for that. "Refiner's Fire. My heart's one desire is to be holy. Set apart for you Lord. I want to be holy. Ready to do your will."

10. Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me - Keith Urban - Days in the Daisy House. So much of this part of my life I remember as joyful and silly and fun. This song just expresses all those things that Kim and Lisa and all of our Daisy friends enjoyed! The crazy parties, the awesome roadtrips, the new friends, the ministry that became our life - what a gift! "I got the ones I love beside me, my troubles behind me. I'm alive and I'm free... who wouldn't wanna be me."

11. I Believe In Miracles - Hot Chocolate - Meeting Andrew. Andrew thought it was funny that this was the song I picked for him. But it felt like a miracle when he strolled into my life. It took me by surprise and made me happy and this is a silly song that expresses that. "Where did you come from, angel... How did you know I'd be the one... Did you know you're everything i prayed for? Did you know every night and day for."

12. I Can Only Imagine - Mercy Me - Our Wedding. I suppose this seems like a weird song for my wedding day. It's not a romantic song or even a song about relationship with other humans. But it's a song about what heaven will be like. And our wedding day was the closest to heaven I've ever been. As Fr. Jarrod said the day after our wedding in his homily at Sunday Mass, "What a beautiful example we have witnessed of what the heavenly banquet will be like." All of our awesome friends so happy and excited and having fun. It was like a dream. It was beyond imagination. "I can only imagine... when that day comes... and I find myself, standing in the Son."

13. With Arms Wide Open - Creed - Mia's birth. How amazing it was to experience the joy of becoming parents for the first time. Suddenly being able to hold the tiny being that had leapt in my womb for so many months. And then realizing that we were now responsible for another's life... growth... future. AMAZING. "Welcome to this place, I'll show you everything. With arms wide open."

14. Danny's Song - Anne Murray - Just Being Married. We were so quickly pregnant after becoming married, that we didn't really get to see or experience the fruits of marriage until a couple of years in. But this song describes the simplicity of love that Andrew and I share... and how I really think all we need is each other. "Even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with ya honey and everything will bring a chain of love. In the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes... you tell me everything's gonna be alright."

15. Turn, Turn, Turn - The Byrds - Our terrible car accident in 2007. This was one of those moments in life when you realize how precious every minute is. Knowing that if we had arrived 1 second earlier at the intersection, it's likely I would not have survived the crash... or at least been in MUCH worse shape that I was, really taught me to trust more, to enjoy more, and to love more. And though I still struggle, it's a moment I can go back to and remember what I felt and thought. There is truly a season in life for everything, but it's important to remember the meaning behind it all. "To everything... turn turn turn, there is a season... turn turn turn, And a time to every purpose under heaven."

16. We are the Champions - Queen - Vince's birth. There's no other way to express how I felt after going through a natural, unmedicated birth (all by researching how to do it on the internet) than the feeling I think runners must have when they complete a marathon. I felt so accomplished. So humbled. So in awe of the thing I was capable of. "We Are the Champions my friend. And We'll keep on fighting til the end."


When I first read Lisa's soundtrack, I thought I would never take the time to write my own... but this was SUPER DUPER FUN! So I challenge you to write yours as well!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Sent with a Message of Love...

"I will let fall from Heaven... a Shower of Roses." –St. Therese, the Little Flower

St. Therese is one of my most favorite saints. Her simple way of life and simple faith in God really speak to me. And reading about her in "Story of a Soul" plus saying a novena to her before moving in with my roommates in 2004 pretty much made the Daisy House the awesome place that it was. That provides the basis of this little story that I just feel like I have to share...

Last month, on September 23rd, to be exact, I went in for my first real ultrasound for baby U3. It's always so exciting to finally get to see the little human being that's been making you sick for the last few months. And there was our baby... on the screen in black and white... wiggling and waving to Andrew, Mia, Vince and I. But something didn't look right. Something just seemed kind of "off" about the sonogram. And while I knew the sonographer really wasn't supposed to tell me anything, after about 30 minutes of her taking lots and lots of pictures and poking around, I decided to ask the question that had been bugging me since the first minute our baby popped on the screen.

"Is that placenta previa?" I asked, with a bit of shaking in my voice. (For those of you who don't know, placenta previa is when the placenta sits extremely low in the uterus and basically blocks the baby's way out. If it doesn't naturally move on its own, there's a high chance the mom will end up on bedrest for at least a little while, and the baby may end up coming VERY early. Not to mention, this very pro natural-birth momma would certainly need to have a c-section.)

The sonographer gave me a small sympathetic smile and said "You're right... I'm not supposed to tell you, but that's what it is. I'm sure your doctor will be calling you in the next few days to talk to you about it."

With my baby's photos in hand, I left the office to go back to work. My emotions were all over the place. But fear was outweighing the others. I automatically began researching the condition, and phoned my doc's office to find out if there was anything I should be doing. The nurse just said... take it easy, don't run, don't lift over 20 lbs -- meaning EITHER of my children -- and we'll call you back next week when we get the official results.

That night after crying on and off for about 6 hours, I talked to U3's godmother. Being one of my Daisy sisters, I knew she would understand when I said "We have to say a novena to St. Therese that this placenta will move and that baby and I will be okay."

Lisa said, "I started one this morning and didn't even know what I was praying for."

It turned out that Sept 23rd was exactly 9 days before St. Therese's feast day. And so I began my novena as well. When St. Therese was alive she wrote in her journal that she would spend her heaven doing good on earth. She would shower roses down from heaven to answer prayers. And so I prayed, diligently, for the next 9 days, the following prayer...

"St. Therese, pick me a rose from the heavenly garden, and send it to me with a message of love. Grant me the favor, I thee implore, and tell my Lord I love Him each day more and more."

About 4 days into the Novena, I received the official results of the sonogram. Yes, I do have complete placenta previa... and also there's another complication. It seems our little baby showed a "bright spot on her/his heart". The nurse explained that sometimes these things just go away, but sometimes they can indicate a chromosonal abnormality like Down Syndrome. I will have to go see a maternal/fetal specialist some time in the next month for further testing to determine if the baby has any other markers. At this point I decided that God was truly trying to teach me a lesson. Apparently I worry too much, and don't trust enough... so He's going to teach me to trust, one way or the other. And I kept on praying my Novena. Always ending it with, "St. Therese, pray for us."

On Friday, October 1st, the feast of my sweet St. Therese, I recited the last day of my novena on my way to being a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's weddings. Though I was EXTREMELY hopeful that I would see a rose that day, I didn't really think it would happen. I figured there might be roses in Valerie's bouquets... but I thought those couldn't count because I sort of knew those might be there going in to the whole Novena.

The morning passed quickly with getting our hair done, running errands and having lunch. And then we arrived at the church, where I had just been the evening before. I unpacked my car of all my bridesmaid goodies, and headed for the door. As I approached the front entrance of the church, something bright caught my eye that I hadn't noticed the previous evening. There was a plant to the left of the doorway FILLED to the brim with bright pink flowers. I, being the non-green-thumbed person that I am, asked the bride's mom if she knew what kind of flowers they were.

Patty said, "Kristi, I don't know very many flowers at all. That's not really my thing, but those are DEFINITELY roses."

"Are you sure?" I asked... not willing to believe that St. Therese would not only send me flowers so soon, but even send them in my favorite color.

"I'm positive," Patty said.

A wide smile crept across my face and tears filled my eyes. At that moment I knew that this little being growing in my womb was going to be just fine. The Lord was watching over both of us. And He will be throughout the next 20 weeks. I was so shocked and happy and humbled... that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. But every chance I get to tell this story, I will tell it. Because St. Therese is helping me to build trust in God... which is something I've always always struggled with. Thank you, Little Flower!!! You rock!!! Give Jesus a big hug for me!!!

"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses." Countless lives have been touched by her intercession, and millions have imitated her "little way." She has been acclaimed the "greatest saint of modem times." Everywhere in the world, her roses continue to fall.