Saturday, April 28, 2012

31 Day Dress Dare Challenge

I belong to a Catholic women's Bible study and fellowship group. We are worldwide and a good friend from my last group, we'll call her Demanda, in Germany told me about a challenge she and my old group is doing. May is the month in which we honor our heavenly Mother, Mary. And we should all strive to be like Mary. You know the saying "What would Jesus Do?" Well, I challenge you "What would Mary do?" if she lived today? What would she wear? Who would she hang out? What would she read or watch on TV or at the movies?

Demanda's group is taking up a 31 day dress dare challenge. They are going to wear skirts and dresses for the 31 days of May in honor of our Mother, Mary. She challenged me, too. At first I scoffed! I live in Hawaii!! We go to the beach, and the pool, and hiking, and stuff. And I walk the dog. And sometimes wearing skirts all day isn't so comfy on the inner thighs, you know what I mean?

And then I thought, I live in Hawaii.. How hard can it be? At least I won't have to look for leggings to wear under my skirts on chilly days like my friend Demanda in Germany. And all of the reasons why I CAN wear skirts all month started piling up in my mind. I already have lots of skirts in my closet. But I need more casual skirts. No problem, Old Navy always has a great selection of casual skirts. What about that thigh problem? Time to head to the sports store and Ross to find bike shorts. I can wear t-shirts and my slippah's. I also realized that I tend to wear the same jeans or capris several times a week. So what's the difference between doing that and wearing a skirt and t-shirt?

Demanda challenged me to google the 31 Day Dress Dare Challenge. I did and found a couple of good blogs of women's experiences doing the challenge. D speaks on the rules. You can wear pants to work out and to sleep in. Swimming suits are going to be a challenge here in Hawaii. I already wear a skirted swimsuit and am not planning to get a full body suit. Sorry. I feel I am already modest enough on the beach. speaks to how this young lady felt after wearing skirts and dresses for 31 days. I wonder if I will really feel the interior changes that she speaks of. I'm looking forward to finding out.

I am doing the 31 day dress dare challenge. I also challenged the women in my women's group and there are about 7 joining me. We start on Tuesday and on Monday I will be at Old Navy taking advantage of my 10% military discount and filling in my wardrobe with a few casual pieces.

What would Our Mother Mary wear if she lived today? Would I be someone she would want to hang out with? Will wearing skirts all month help me to be more like my ultimate role model? And who wouldn't want to be more like her?

Who wants to join me?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Birthdays Last All Month

In our house, Birthdays last all month.
Well, if you are the daughter of the family then your birthday is celebrated the entire month!
Mk's birthday fell on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. My day was spent taking care of things at the chapel for the Easter Vigil Mass that night.
This is how she has celebrated so far:
Thursday: last day of school before the Easter weekend so we made brownie cupcakes to take to school and share.
Friday: Mom and daughter went to get mani/spa pedis
Saturday: Actual birthday. Uncle Brian made her chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for breakfast and then she had chocolate cheesecake for her birthday cake. Plus she got to open lots of birthday presents. Later, while I went to the chapel, Uncle Brian took her with him to Kailua to drop off a load of things at his new apartment, then they went to Kailua Bay beach part, lunch at Boston's North End Pizza and back home again to get ready for the Easter Vigil Mass.
Sunday: Easter brunch at Haleiwa Joes in Kaneohe.
And finally this weekend is the actual birthday party with her friends.
So Friday night: sleepover with her two best friends, bowling first, makeovers in her room and some Dance Central and Just Dance 3 on the XBox 360. And they are finishing up by sleeping in the living room while watching a movie.
Saturday: Birthday party at Farrell's at PearlRidge Mall and finish up at Fun Factory.
Will follow up with fun pictures!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Waikiki Sunset December 27th, 2011

Why Am I Catholic Part II

In the last post, I told how my mother sparked my interest in the Catholic faith not because she was Catholic or interested herself in becoming Catholic. But because of her matter of fact statements about the Catholic Church, the Pope and the election of the new Pope.
I sat with my mom on the couch and watched the news coverage of the pope being elected. The things I remember are the white smoke coming from a chimney and my mom telling me that white smoke meant a new pope had been elected. Most likely, she didn't know all of this stuff either. She was probably just listening to the news announcers. I sate and watched with her long enough to see the new pope. I really had to see what a pope looked like. Now, I know that what I watched was the election of Pope John Paul II.
Over the next years, I didn't actively seek out the Catholic Church. I was content where I was.
But, the second thing that brought me to the Catholic Church was my future husband. When I was about 16 years old, I used to fervently pray for God to reveal to me who my future husband would be. And one time, He answered me. Of course, He didn't come down and say "Mary, one day you will be married to a man named Matt Fitter". No, it was more like a quiet inside of me and I just KNEW that my future husband's name would start with an "M". That's all I knew. And I believed it and believed in it. I told my two best friends, Carla and Julie. And that was it. I didn't feel the need to pester God any longer about my future husband.
I met Matt when I was 22. We knew each other and were friends for a year before we started dating. After five months of dating, he had joined the Army and left for basic and we spent the next two years dating long distance. And then we were engaged long distance for another year before finally tying the knot. By this time, I had forgotten that God had told me my future husband's name would start with the letter "M". It wasn't until we were almost married that I remembered. And I think it was my friend Carla who reminded me. So, Matt was chosen for me by God before I ever knew him. And Matt was/is Catholic.
And from the time that I watched a new Pope being elected, I had always felt a pull, a calling, to the Catholic Church. And being engaged to a Catholic man was not just a coincidence but a fulfillment of that calling. From then, it was only a matter of time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why Am I Catholic?

I am a convert.
My family's church attendance was pretty spotty while I was growing up. When I was little, I remember going to some churches that I would now describe as charismatic. I remember people praying with their arms raised up and faces turned up to God. I remember being scared as I watched grown-ups praying, singing, crying, and sometimes chanting in a language that I did not understand and sometimes falling on the ground.
As I got older, our family settled into a Pentecostal Holiness church ~ mostly because my Aunt was very active in this church and made sure that our family made it to church, too. God Bless Her. But around the age of 12, my parents and my brothers stopped going to church. Thankfully, my dad continued to bring me to church. He would drive me in to town on Sunday mornings for Sunday school and for church service and again on Wednesday nights so I could attend youth group. This church was very instrumental in my faith journey and in growing in my knowledge of Scripture. I still have lifelong friends from there.
But let me explain how I became Catholic.
I'd never heard of the Catholic church. I didn't know what it was. One day, when I was in the 7th or 8th grade, I came home and my mom was watching TV. No other shows were on except for live coverage of this one event. This was back in the days when TV's only had 3 channels and PBS. And all three channels were covering this event. So, no after school cartoons for us. I asked my mom what she was watching and she told me about this place called the Catholic Church, the Vatican and a Pope who had just died and that Catholic Church was voting for a new Pope.
What's a pope? Well, he's the leader of the Catholic Church and they elect a new one when the Pope dies.
What's the Catholic Church. It's a church and the Pope is their leader. It's one of the oldest churches in the world.
And all of this from my mom who was raised Southern Baptist and then became Pentecostal Holiness and then wasn't anything for a long time. What I remember about that conversation was that my mom was very matter of fact about what was going on. There was no negativity, no condemnation, no judgement. This was my first exposure to the Catholic Church.
And this was the first time I really felt like I was being called to become Catholic. As I grew, I heard more about the Catholic Church and a lot of it was not nice. I remember my pastor being excited everytime we had visitors who "used to be Catholic". I didn't understand at the time why that excited some people. I do now. But, negative comments about the Catholic Church only caused to raise my couriosity.
God was still calling me.
So that was the first spark, my first memory of the Catholic Church. And it came from my Mom.