It has been a great car so far and I hope that it has a long, long life ahead of it yet! 🙂
Right after I crashed my car, about 20 months ago now, one of my priests told me to, “Get a St. Christopher medal!” Okay. So, I went to the Catholic bookstore and looked at all their medals, looking in particular for a necklace that I could wear all the time. While I was looking, I knew that I didn’t want to have a saint medal without a crucifix. It just felt wrong to have anyone on my person without Jesus there too. I picked out a crucifix and a St. Christopher. When I got home, I didn’t want to be wearing two chains, so I tried to take off one of the pendants and place it on the other chain. Well, the way the necklaces were made, you couldn’t just do this. So, I had to open the jump ring holding it on to the chain, take it off, then try to push it back together. If I remember correctly, I did this to the St. Christopher medal, since I didn’t feel right ripping apart the crucifix. They both had a little gap in the jump rings.
I presented myself to my priest and asked him to bless my St. Christoper medal, which he graciously did. I normally do not wear jewelry, but this necklace I never took off. So much so, that when my dad saw it and saw that there were gaps in the jump rings and offered to solder it shut, I declined. I thought it was fine, and I didn’t want to alter it. That, and I really didn’t want to take it off and didn’t think that my dad would agree to solder it while it was still on me.
20 months go by. I am fairly active and I’ve never had a problem with my necklace. I’ve gone jogging, swam in the ocean off Australia, ditto Jamaica — nothing. It’s always been fine. Occasionally, I have thought about having it soldered, but never got around to it.
About two months ago, on June 11, 2009, was the first time I took it off. And that was because I was in the ER and they were having me get a CT scan and required that all metal be removed.
Fast forward to today. I had a busy weekend planned. Meetings, a baby shower and a bridal shower, in addition to some other things which needed to get done. I had stayed out pretty late in Clinton/Tecumseh/Manchester Saturday night, and this morning, I pretty much just got up and headed out for Mass. I hadn’t had any time to go shopping for something to wear to the bridal shower, or take a shower or anything. During Mass, I got the sense that I should stay home today and pray. I thought about doing this, but ultimately set that thought aside. This was the bridal shower for a very good friend, and I was expected to be there. I didn’t want to let her down — I wanted to share in her day. Her shower started at 1 pm. By the time I got my shopping done, and got home, it was already 1:15 or so, and I still needed to take a shower and get ready. I did this as quickly as I could, knowing that I still had a 25-30 minute drive ahead of me to get there. I got a message from Patty, saying that she wasn’t going to make it to the shower after all and asked if I could take her present. Since I was already late and not far from home, I called her to see where she was. As it turns out, she was at a coffee shop about a mile from my house and on the way. I stopped to pick up her present and she asked me if I didn’t think that I should maybe stay home today. I was already an hour late, and I had been rushing around lately and I could really use the rest. Plus, I didn’t feel all that great today. It had been harder for me to breathe, and at this point it was 2 pm and I haven’t had anything to eat. I gave my reasons for going, and she asked me a couple more times if maybe it wouldn’t be a better thing to stay home. I was still a little conflicted, especially because I still felt that I should be spending the day at home in prayer, but ultimately decided to go. Patty told me to be careful and left with a parting, “At least think about not going.”
So, I went. The place where she was having her bridal shower was darling. It looked like a castle.
As I was driving up there, I was feeling worse — probably from not eating. When I arrived, I found out that I had missed lunch and that the kitchen couldn’t get me anything to eat. I felt like I was going to pass out or cry or something. Then, I realized that my St. Christopher medal was missing. I looked around for it, but it wasn’t anywhere to be found. I was sad that I had lost it, because it means a lot to me, but I tried to make myself feel better by thinking about the truth of the matter:
1. It was just an object, and not something irreplaceable. After all, I could go out and get another one and ask Father to bless the new one.
2. Even if Father couldn’t/wouldn’t bless another one for me, he had already blessed me, and I couldn’t lose myself.
Still sad, but not catastrophically upset. I felt increasingly bad, I felt that I was a horrible guest and I thought that I probably should have stayed at home, if nothing else but to save Krystin from having an Eeyore at her shower. After the shower, Stacy stayed behind with me as I ate something. I did feel a little better after our meal. Not great, but definitely better.
Tonight after I got home, I looked around the house for my medal, but didn’t find it. I decided to go for a walk. As I walked, I was thinking about the day. In addition to the things that I realized at the shower, I had these other insights:
1. Not only did Father bless me (and pray over me many times), but he baptized me and brought me into the new covenant as an adopted daughter of God. That right there trumps any number of blessed medals. And that is something that can never, ever be lost or taken from me. It’s now a permanent part of who I am.
2. It might be a blessed medal, but it is not a magic medal and I have never thought of it as such. I know that it reminds me of St. Christopher, and reminds me to ask him for intercession, but I also know that it is God’s grace and protection and love which are efficacious in any capacity in my life. The medal itself does absolutely nothing.
3. The thought popped into my head that while I had lost St. Christopher, I hadn’t lost my crucifix. I didn’t lose God. 🙂
4. I felt that God was saying, “Okay, so you often ask for his [St. Christopher’s] intercession, particularly when driving. Now, let’s focus less on him and more on Me.” I knew it was time to stop worrying so much about where that medal went and start focusing on the true priorities in my life. Ironically, this morning, I looked at some pictures from Katie and Joe’s wedding and saw a couple of me and was drawn visually to my necklace — normally, I wouldn’t have paid much attention to that detail. Also ironically was the fact that when I was driving here, usually I ask for St. Christopher’s intercession (not every time I drive, but when I do pray in this way, it is usually directed at him). However, today, I was praying to Jesus.
5. More irony. God told me to stay home and pray. I didn’t listen to Him. Then, He had Patty try to tell me to stay home today. I didn’t listen either. Now, my medal for the Saint who is the patron of travelers…is gone.
That has to be a coincidence . . . right?? 🙂
The other Jennie does it on Friday. So I’m a little late. What else is new? 🙂
1. Broken McSickyPants
This is my new name. My medical issues have only gotten worse. I still have the continual chest pain (which has now become more pronounced) and dyspnea on exertion. Lately, we have added to the mix dizziness, incredible fatigue, nausea and that awful feeling like you are about to pass out. My doctors still don’t have a good idea of what is wrong with me, since I have been passing all of my medical tests (I guess I’ve always tested pretty well). At least the infected poison ivy spots are finally clearing up a little and healing! 🙂 I do not feel like myself, and I hate that I can’t really do anything. Praise God, He gave me a good sense of humor and a sunny disposition. I am actually pretty happy overall.
2. On Being a Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist
Today, we had the pleasure of having Fr. Stanley celebrate Mass with us. Since I go to daily Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel, where he currently is at, I have been able to see him upon occasion (although he doesn’t really do the 6:30 a.m. Mass that I typically attend). Having him here at St. Anastasia for Sunday Mass was a real treat. He was my first confessor and he has a very comforting way about him. He joked about the length of his homilies as he began his homily today. I was sitting next to the girl I sponsored into the Church this year, and at one point she commented that the wooden pew was hurting her butt for some reason this week. I laughed, “You probably aren’t used to sitting in one spot for so long!” Again, picking on poor Fr. Stanley’s homily. 🙂 In my defense, he started it! 🙂 God gave me a wonderful gift of joy today, particularly during the Mass. I was happy that Fr. Stanley was there, but this went beyond him. As I went up to the altar and received my paten of consecrated hosts, I remember cradling the paten in my hands. I must have had some big idiotic grin on my face, but I wasn’t really worried about that. I just gazed lovingly at Jesus in my hands and thought to Him, “I love You!” I know, it sounds pretty sappy, right? But that’s okay. I don’t mind being sappy. 🙂 I love Him. 🙂 Sometimes I wonder what people think when they get me in line for Communion. Here I am with a huge smile on my face, handing them our Lord, and nearly petting Him into place in their hands — to make sure He gets there safely. Hopefully, they share in my joy at the presence of our Lord, and aren’t standing there thinking that I’m a little odd or something.
3. The World is Now a Safer Place!
Why? Because I finally got new tires on my car! After 1 year, 7 months, 23 days and nearly 47,000 miles of driving, it was finally time to discard the old and buy some new. Of course, the “red” tire health report card, “Change your tires IMMEDIATELY” postcard, squeaking around off-ramps in dry conditions and, finally, hydroplaning in the rain while driving straight all contributed to this decision. Perhaps that fact that I had racing slicks on my car is the reason why I got that speeding ticket a while back, earning me the name Zoomie Vroom McLawBreaker. I really liked that name, by the way. But I have been good, and have been using my cruise control until I can re-train myself to enjoy lower velocities.
4. iPhone vs. BlackBerry Tour
Ah, just when I thought that I would finally change service providers in order to get the fancy-pants new iPhone (since bundling my home internet, land line, and TV service would save me about $60 a month), I have been given pause to reconsider. On Saturday, after getting my tires changed, I walked into the Sprint store, help up my current BlackBerry and challenged, “Why should I not want to trade this in for an iPhone? Convince me!” Now, mostly, I like the iPhone for all the apps and stuff that you can get with it, and for the larger screen. The touch screen keyboard would be a hindrance to typing as you drive (just for example, not that I do this necessarily . . . . ), but it is fun for scrolling. Being able to sync to my Podcasts and iTunes is also a definite plus. I know that iPhone is compatible with my work e-mail system, so that’s not an issue either. And it can go international, which was the main reason why I picked my BlackBerry 8830 in the first place.
Now, nice things about the BlackBerry Tour include the fact that I can increase the memory by adding a micro SD card, and that they give me a 1 GB out the door. That’s pretty sweet. Then, I found out that the new BlackBerry will also have a similar capacity for apps. As an upgrade to my current phone, this one has all the same capability, but adds on a camera and video feature, which I had been missing. The screen resolution is also pretty sweet. They say it supports AAC encoding, so I shouldn’t have to convert my iTunes library, and that it might soon or already does have an app to help with syncing.
Soo…. What can the iPhone do that the Tour cannot also do? And I can still save my $60 a month, by getting rid of my second cell phone. Please discuss benefits of one over the other in the comment box.
5. This Crazy Bipolar Weather
Today it has been alternating between being sunny with puffy white clouds and torrential downpours. Seriously. We left Mass, went to CostCo, came back and it started raining like crazy, just made it in the church before we got completely soaked. Then, we had our 1.5 hour Faith Café meeting, and by the time we got out, everything had dried up! I even managed to mow the lawn when I got home! It wasn’t wet anymore! Then, just now, the rains came again. I raced out, snapped a couple pics, then . . . it was over. Sun’s peeking out again. 🙂 Gotta love Michigan!
6. Reading Material
I am SO excited, because I have finally finished reading the entire Bible! Okay, okay, so I did this a couple weeks back, but I am still excited! I have bought myself a new Ignatius Bible, RSV translation, the leather one. Yay! Isn’t it gorgeous?! (Humor me)
My next project is to read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church! 🙂
7. Blogging and Facebook
Have you guys noticed this phenomenon in your personal life? I have noticed that the more I am on Facebook, the less I blog. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. I tend to get more feedback from Facebook (I think my “feeds” are more read there), yet I can’t usually go into depth on any topic. I just found out how to link my blog posts to my Notes on Facebook. Let’s see if this helps any, or just confuses the matter. 🙂
Last oil change, guy says, “Your tires are in the red. So, next oil change, you should probably get new ones.”
Then, postcard comes in the mail. “Your tires need to be replaced IMMEDIATELY.”
Huh. Well, the guy said, next oil change. I got like 7,500 miles, right?
Stacy comes over, tell her about the tires, she’s skeptical if they really need replacing already. Looks. Says, “Yeah you do!”
Figures speeding ticket must be due to the influence of the nice racing slicks I’m developing. 🙂
Did you know that if your tires have no tread, your car tends to fly off the road?
I found that out.
I guess “red” = “bad”….
It’s supposed to rain the next several days.
— Broken McSickyPants, formerly Zoomie Vroom McLawBreaker