Category Archives: Jennspeak

Warning: Swimfannery Ahead!

The purpose of this blog is, in part, to share the awesomeness that is my life! πŸ™‚ Well, a lot of the awesomeness isn’t places or things that I do but people.

Of course, my friends that I see and interact with every day are essential and greatly loved, but in this post, I’d like to highlight someone(s) who brighten my day, even though I’ve never met them in person (yet).

If you’ve never been to FYA, and love reading, you have GOT to click over there. Now. Go. See? It’s pretty awesome. πŸ™‚

I’ve “known” Posh for many years via her previous blog (which is no longer in existence, *sob*) and I’ve got to tell you… I would totally give her a BFF charm! In fact, I keep thinking that someday, I’ll travel down to Texas and she will introduce me to:
Champs cans,

the Schlitterbahn,

and some tasty business!

Until that momentous day, I will continue to read their site to discover books to read and follow their adventures on the FB. πŸ™‚

Dreaming of the Schlitterbahn while watching the snow come down outside my window at work. Stupid weather!!! 😑

Little Ball of Hate


I am going to be talking just to You in this post. Mostly because You are all good and You love me and are probably the only One who would want to be around me right now.

I know that emotions are transient, and that they, in themselves, are not sinful. It’s what we do with them, right? Well, right now, I am so frustrated. I can’t even point out a particular reason for my extreme frustration, but there it is. And everything seems to be making it worse!

I am trying to be kind and to help others. I don’t want to feel this way.

I am trying to work on my homework for Catechism study tonight. At the end of the section we are to read for today’s lesson, it tells us to read and pray with Psalm 139 this week. So I looked up and read it. It was all about how You know our innermost thoughts. So You already know how tempestuous I am inside this morning.

I know it will pass. I also know that any comfort given by others is not likely to be received well by me at the moment. I am just not very receptive. The last thing I want when I feel this way is for people to be kind or understanding. Why is that? Is it because their kindness points out in even sharper relief the fact that I am feeling anything BUT kindness at the moment?

Please give me Your peace. It’s the only thing that can help. And please help me to see others through Your eyes and to love them with Your love, for my own is very insufficient, especially now.

Thank You for listening to me and being here with me, even when I don’t want to be with myself. I love You.


Have you ever stopped to reflect on how you’ve learned words? Certainly, a lot of our knowledge is from our parents and from school, but what about those words that we learned on our own, by reading in context and things like this?

Do we *really* know what they mean? Precisely?

Maybe not. I know there are quite a few words that I only know the meaning of in a general sense. There are probably a lot of words that I’ve only read and never heard, so I’m not certain of the correct way to pronounce them.

Like “banal”. I always thought the emphasis was on the first syllable, which had a long A sound. But, I have heard many people on the radio pronounce it with a short A, and emphasis on the second syllable. And what exactly does it mean?

Merriam-Webster says it means, “lacking originality, freshness,” where I always thought it meant something like, “boring” or “meaningless”.

Maybe I should work harder to look up these words I don’t really know. Instead of tending to skip past them and remaining ignorant. πŸ™‚

Here’s another one: Ineffable = “incapable of being expressed in words; unspeakable; not to be uttered”

Perhaps some day, I’ll master the English language…. Some day a long time from now…. πŸ™‚

Wednesday Musing

God’s most precious gift He could give us is the gift of His only Son, right?

I get that parents usually love their children more than themselves and therefore the gift of an only child would be a greater gift than if you sacrificed yourself for another person.

But on the other hand, it can seem a bit … external.

Good thing for us there is no dichotomy here. Because Jesus *is* God. As the Word of God, He is the incarnate reality of God the Father’s perfect self-image. So, in a way, you can think of it as God — in giving His only Son — is giving everything that He is, holding nothing back. A complete gift of self. To us.

He’s giving us all that He is and all that He holds dear. There is nothing else that could be given above this. And He lays it all before us, and waits to see what our response will be.

Sometimes I Feel Like a Second-Class Citizen at My Own Parish

Cranky Babies Get Tossed Away!

My sentiments come from two sources.

First, I am a little unsettled, I suppose, over something that happened yesterday at church. I was reading in the library, when a man came in. He looked a little surprised that I was there, then let me know that they were having a meeting for the Evangelization team at 7 pm. He said not to worry and to take my time, since we had over 20 minutes until the meeting was to begin. He said he was going to go to the chapel to pray and left. He was very warm and friendly.

Then. A woman came in and set her things on the table. She looked over at me and demanded, “Who are *you*? You aren’t attending this meeting are you? I didn’t think there was going to be any newcomers at this meeting.” Clearly, I was unwelcome in the library. I was a little surprised at her behavior, but didn’t really say anything. The meeting was still more than 20 minutes away. I started packing up my things and I guess she realized what she had sounded like, because she apologized for being rude, offered me some of the cookies she had brought and left the room. I didn’t really feel like having any of her cookies at that point and finished putting stuff in my bag. She and the first man came in as I was leaving and she apologized again. There was still 15 minutes until the meeting and in the meantime, another woman had wandered in to look at the library books.

I was a little hurt by her rudeness, but more amused at the irony of being made to feel unwelcome in my parish by a member of the parish’s *Evangelization* committee. What if I *hadn’t* been Catholic? What if I were considering becoming Catholic? I’m not sure that I would feel comfortable joining that community. And it might just push me away enough that I don’t continue to look for the truth that is found in the Catholic Church.

The second reason why I sometime feel like a second-class citizen is a sore spot with me. I’m sure I’m probably just sensitive to it, but it pushes my buttons:

I’m single. And apparently this isn’t okay.

Let me explain. The Catholic Church thinks this is just fine. In fact, the Church recognizes the single life as a valid vocation. God can *call* people to the single life. Singles generally have more time to do his work (over people who have obligations to raising a family) and live in the world where there is usually greater access to people for the purposes of evangelization, apologetics, and witnessing to the faith (over consecrated religious).

However, people who *attend* the church often act in a way that gives the impression that singles are not as important as consecrated men and women or married people. Worse, they treat us as if we are in some sort of “holding pattern” and that one day, if we are lucky, God might remember us and call us to the married state or the consecrated/religious life.

As if we were God’s forgotten, neglected step-children or something.

No, I don’t have a husband to love me, support me, or help out when I am tired, stressed, or just can’t handle projects on my own. No, I don’t have cute children.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not a valuable member of society. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I couldn’t have anything to contribute to a discussion on kids and family life. I can’t tell you how many times friends, even good friends, have left me out of wedding planning or pregnancy talks or advice about kids because I am single. They just don’t think of me.

Even in the parish, there is a lack of attention paid to the needs of singles. Don’t get me wrong. I really, truly understand that the value of a stable, faith-based family life is under attack. And I know how important solid marriages are for society in general. I know that it’s important to nurture and protect these marriages and families. And I pray for them.

But have you noticed that if there is any events directed towards singles in the parish, they are usually “social gatherings” which seem to be mostly directed towards “meeting people” and dating? What? So that us poor single people can *finally* meet someone and then be able to get on with our lives as married folk?

A couple years ago, the parish put out a special bulletin, highlighting the various vocations. It had articles written by a nun, a deacon, a married couple and a priest. There was nothing, zero, by a single person. I complained about this, and … was invited to write an article which they would run in the next bulletin to remedy the oversight. πŸ™‚ Which I did.

I am a happy person. I usually don’t dwell upon things like this. I suppose feeling this way helps me to learn humility. It’s NOT all about me. It’s about others. I should be willing to pour out my life for those around me. But sometimes I pout, and jump up and down and yell, “I’M LOVED BY GOD, TOO!”

Good thing for me that Confession is tomorrow. I certainly need it! πŸ™‚

How the Navy Taught Me to be a Better Catholic


One of the first things you learn when you are in training to be a Reactor Operator is Basic Electricity and Electronics, or B-double-E. A solid foundation for the rest that you will learn in order to be successful in your job. In our training program, we have to go over a vast amount of material in a relatively short time. It is much faster-paced and dense than most college curricula. Because of this, there is not enough time to explain the origin of all of the theories and formulas which we employ. To try and diffuse our persistent, “But why?” questions, Chief instituted this simple practice:

The “I Believe” Button

So, there would be concepts that he would introduce, saying, “This is the way it is. You’re going to have to trust me and hit your ‘I Believe’ button, so we can continue.”

In a way, the Church is full of opportunities for us to hit our “I Believe” buttons. The very nature of the Church herself is a mystery. God is a mystery. Sacraments are a mystery. Faith is a mystery. We can understand these things to a degree, but never in totality, due to the infinite nature of God.

Because I have been conditioned by my military training to take some things on faith, I am better disposed to submitting my intellect and my will to the teaching of the Magisterium on matters of faith and morals.

I know that it’s possible to not know exactly how everything works, but trust that I will have enough knowledge to get the job done (or in the case of the Church, be provided with all the knowledge necessary for my salvation and my mission to evangelize others).

It is also a reminder to me to be humble, for there are things which I don’t know, and there are things I will never completely understand and that’s okay. My worth and dignity aren’t based on the knowledge filling my brain, or the sharpness of my intellect, but rather the way I live my life according to the faith.

I am glad that I have had this idea presented to me, so that when confronted with a difficulty, instead of allowing it to present a question in my faith because I don’t have an answer, I can hit my “I Believe” button and be strengthened in my faith. Because I trust in the Holy Spirit which guides the Church according to His Truth.

What a Beautiful Morning!

This picture is taken from a great article on genetic engineering by
I think that it represents me today very well. I feel happy and brightly colored on a subcellular level. πŸ™‚

This is a great morning! I was running a bit late getting out the door, but I had clean clothes in the dryer and gas in the car. Traffic was light and fast (!) and I made it to Mass early (YAY!). Mass was beautiful. It was one of those times where you are completely immersed in the liturgy and feel very connected to Christ.

After Mass, I went to my favorite Starbucks in Plymouth, and was served an iced (no-ice) caramel mocha. Oh YUM!

Even though I feel pretty weak today, on a muscular level, my energy level is high and I feel like dancing or skating or something. I blasted my dancey music all the way in to work. πŸ™‚

On the bus ride in to work, I read some more of Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI and was struck by several insightful passages, based on the parable of the Good Samaritan.

“I have to become like someone in love, someone whose heart is open to being shaken up by another’s need.”

“The risk of goodness is something we must relearn from within, but we can do that only if we ourselves become good from within, if we ourselves are ‘neighbors’ from within, and if we then have an eye for the sort of service that is asked of us, that is possible for us, and is therefore also expected of us, in our environment and within the wider ambit of our lives.”

“Man is, they said, spoliatus supernaturalibus and vulneratus in naturalibus: bereft of the splendor of the supernatural grace he had received and wounded in nature.”

“From earthly history alone, from its cultures and religions alone, no healing comes.”

“God himself, who for us is foreign and distant, has set out to take care of his wounded creature…. He pours oil and wine into our wounds, a gesture seen as an image of the healing gift of the sacraments, and he brings us to the inn, the Church, in which he arranges for our care and also pays a deposit for the cost of that care.”

After work today, I anticipate meeting up with a friend and attending a prayer meeting on healing. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the day will unfold! πŸ™‚

Happy Friday!


The thing about trust, is that it can be very easy. But for it to be easy, you have to make yourself vulnerable. You have to be willing to be hurt as badly as you were before or worse, again today. There is no “building trust,” because then you subject the other person to trying to “prove” their trustworthiness, and you always keep this seed of doubt within you, looking for “warning signs” of a breach of trust. True trust, I think, is laying yourself bare before the other person and saying, “I *choose* to trust you, unconditionally, regardless of the past. I *give* you the power to hurt me, because I *know* you will not choose to do so.”

Of course, you’d want to be prudent about whom you are giving your trust to…. πŸ™‚