[For the first post in our FOCUS series, click here.]
By: Kassandra Leal, UF FOCUS Missionary
Move out of apartment, check.
Five weeks of FOCUS New Staff Training (NST), check.
Three weeks serving on mission in Brazil, check.
All moved into my new house, check.
Processing the last two months…not checked.
This summer has been chaotic. I have been on adrenaline since the end of May, and now that I’m getting ready to fly home to visit my family, I have found myself at “the wall “that my teammate, Drew, touched on.
Fall is coming, and I am tired.
We live in a culture of busyness, nonstop, “go-go-go” mentality. We forget to rest and to reflect on the ways that God has worked throughout the days, weeks, or months. And I am ALL about self-care and doing things that bring you life, but here I am again finding myself at the end of the busyness, tired.
One of my favorite prayers is a Daily Examen. I pray my Examen at the end of the day to reflect on the blessings God has given me throughout the day, and ways I have failed to love Him and ask Him to give me the graces to love and serve Him the next day. This prayer has changed my life, because I have allowed the Holy Spirit to make me more aware of what happens in my day, from the little blessings like no traffic, to the little annoyances that trigger my impatience.
This is a simple and easy way to process.
We often live in the next moment versus the present moment. So processing not only our day, but also our entire summer, will help us see the many ways that God has been present with us.
Fall is coming, and I am getting ready.
You may not have had the same exact summer I have had. Maybe you have been living in a different state for an internship, traveling with friends and family, working from home, or enjoying your summer doing the hobbies that you give you life. Praise God for any and all pastimes this summer! All of that said, I know I want to love and serve when we hit the ground in the Fall, so that means that I will be processing the remainder of this summer.
I want to pray with all the opportunities that I had to grow. I want to thank Jesus for all the people whom He put in my life to love. I want to be in awe of the marvels that He did through the mission trip, and how He worked through my heart at training.
All of this, of course, takes time. I want to give God the time and the praise. Work glorifies God, but so does the stillness.
Join me in being still for these last couple of weeks before the school year starts, and ask God to show you how He has been working in you this summer. Thank Him for the hard and growing moments and for the joyful ones.
I am praying for you all as you get ready to come back to Florida or are coming for the first time. Please pray for all of us back at Catholic Gators!