Mission Monday — missionaries on the field

So let’s try this again…Mission Monday is a link up with other missionaries across the country, sharing how they are living the mission of the New Evangelization. 

Saturday we spent our afternoon at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, where we have spent many Fall Saturday afternoons over the last three years. Yesterday, however, would be the last time. No, we don’t know our plans for next year…but we do know the plans for the stadium. It will be demolished on Monday. In its 54 year history, there were close to 300 games played, some won, some lost. All loved and cherished by alumni, community members, and fans alike. Monday will begin the final phase of the new stadium project which includes a significant upgrade of seating, an additional jumbo scoreboard, and a turf field. It’ll be neat, but it is sad to see the traditional stadium full of memories go. 

How does this relate to the mission?  I could write about change…I could write about traditions…but today I just want to write a little about what Andrew (and the missionaries before him) have done for the mighty Jackrabbits, both on and off this field. 

Andrew started a Bible study with just a couple of guys on the team three years ago. Attendance was spotty, their prayer lives and frequency of the Sacraments was a little less than stellar. But over time, through prayer and perseverance (and a little coaxing by way of the players’ parents!) these young men have formed a solid study with close to 15 guys attending weekly, being led by one of their own teammates, and even stop to pray with one another prior to each game. God is good!!

Andrew hasn’t missed a single home game in three years, and the boys, along with their parents, attribute his own zeal for their souls to be inspiring as to how zealous they should be not only for the sport they play, but also the seal they should have for glorifying the Lord in all they do. 

It’s been fun watching so many of these young men grow up and mature on and off the field, and around our dinner table (and boy, can they eat!!) It has also been such a blessing to watch their relationships with the Lord transform as true sons seeking the Father’s will in their lives. 

To end, here’s a few fun pictures with the guys over the last couple years — go big, go blue, go jacks!!

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

–Christi

{7QT} — week 1 (again)

I think once upon a time I linked up with 7QT – a chance to just give seven quick takes or peeks into our lives over the past week. Here goes! I didn’t really plan anything spectacular, but thought I’d just share a photo dump of some things we did this week:

{1}  

 Zachary had to start wearing pajamas again, because it’s getting cooler here in South Dakota. He is pretty stinking cute with those dinosaur feet!

{2}  

 Zachary really wants to see what’s behind this door! It’s the door to the sacristy at our Newman Center, where his best pal, Fr Andrew, gets things ready for Mass. He likes to wait for him and listen to his conversations through this little vent :)

{3}  

 Our sleepy little boy :)

{4} 

 My attempt at Milky Buns, which are ice cream sandwiches using donuts. Unfortunately I started the ice cream too late so it ended up being donuts drizzled in milkshakes!

{5}  

 My two boys, bowling together. Not sure why Andy’s pants are rolled up like that!

{6}  

 Celebrating Hobo Day! More on this to come in tomorrow’s Mission Monday post!

{7}   

  At the Hobo Day parade, Zachary  got a balloon , too cute!
I hope to be more timely in the future with these Quick Takes, but we will just have to wait and see!

-Christi

Mission Monday {1}: back on the bandwagon, just as I am…

Well, hello there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I have decided to jump back on the blogging bandwagon, much like my friend, Brooke, mainly because our other friend, Meghan, started a link-up for FOCUS missionaries (and anyone else living the New Evangelization!) Mission Monday is hopefully going to take off and I wanted to be a part of it! 

I can’t really put a finger on why I stopped blogging. Maybe it was laziness. Maybe it was pregnancy sicknesses and responsibilities which (nine months later) turned into mommy responsibilities. Let’s be real though, a lot of it was laziness. But as I was praying today, another thought came to mind. Maybe it was my desire for perfection and knowing that my blog wasn’t quite perfect, so there was no point in writing until it was just how I wanted it … But who cares? Does my chosen WordPress theme really mean anything in terms of our life as missionaries? No. So there you have it, I’m back. 

And I am back, just as I am. God isn’t calling me to be a picture perfect wife, mother, missionary, blogger, etc. No. He is calling me to be the best I can be, and to strive for Heaven. That’s what He is calling all of us to. 

And really, that is one of my favorite parts of being a missionary family, striving for Heaven and taking whomever we can with us. As a FOCUS family, Andrew and I are pretty real about what a modern day Catholic family looks like. We don’t sugar coat things to the ever watchful students. They know that sometimes our house is messy. They know that sometimes dinner gets burned and pizza gets ordered.  They know that sometimes we argue. They know that we aren’t always the best of communicators. They know that we aren’t perfect. They know that we love each other and are trying to pull one another to become Saints and to raise Saints. 

It is our joy and privilege to serve this mission, even if it isn’t always pretty. We share our life with these students, our real life. What are you sharing?

–Christi 
PS – an update for anyone who doesn’t already know — since my last post almost two years ago, we had a baby! Meet Zachary! More details and photo dumps to come! 

  

#focuislegit

One of the best parts of our mission with FOCUS is definitely the students. It is our joy to watch them grow and run towards Christ and His Church. It is our joy to share with them in this journey. It is our joy to call them our friends.

Today, we had to call upon four of our friends, including our teammate Kathryn. You see, Mother Nature decided to dump seven inches of snow is as many hours even though Spring begins in sixteen days. Not funny, Mother Nature.

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And because there was so much snow in so little time and so late in the day, our car got stuck. We struggled for a half hour on our own, without a shovel, and then called in reinforcements. Thanks the Good Lord for Sandy, Charles, Daniel, and Kathryn :)

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TEXAS

Ah, my favorite state. I know I’m a little biased, as I was born and raised there and just recently moved away..but it is a great state. And to celebrate the Lone Star State’s Independence Day (March 2 – yesterday) … I made these beauties!

Texas, our Texas, all EAT the mighty state!

Texas, our Texas, all EAT the mighty state!

I know, not the prettiest cookie you ever did see, but I’m working on it! It might be also helpful to note that these were made in the wee wee hours of the morn whilst I waited for my sweet husband to return from calf-ing with a friend. Yes, he went to help a friend on a farm who has about 300 preggo steggo cows to tend to.

Hope y’all had a good weekend :)

7in7, about 27 minutes late

I didn’t *totally* forget!

Highlight of the day:

Nicole and Jared got married! You may remember Nicole as my maid of honor. The three of us all went to high school together but didn’t really know it. Then we all went to the same itty bitty Catholic school in the heart of Houston, Texas. It was a place full of knowledge for the spirit and the mind….okay, okay, I’ll stop quoting/singing unofficial song lyrics.

Anyways, they got hitched after dating for about seven years. Unfortunately because we love in South Dakota and ticket prices are super super expensive, we could not go :( BUT! We did celebrate from afar! We drove over and hour through a semi-blizzard to get to Mass in Sioux Falls, only to get re-routed and then stumble upon a different church that was having Mass at the same time…in Spanish.

So we still shared in their joy, just in a different state and in a different language..

So hats off to them, welcome to the club ;)

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7QT

HI! For today’s 7 in 7, I’m linking up with the host of 7 in 7, Conversion Diary. Each week, hundreds of bloggers join her for 7 Quick Takes every Friday. So now I’m joining with that too!

Check it out:

1. Ben came to visit us yesterday. He is one of our best friends. We just love him. He is also the first person to visit us and stay the night, and he can attest, we don’t bite! We love visitors!

2. There are exactly 52 days left of school. The kids aren’t counting down yet, just me.

3. We are making some new friends tonight. Some friends of friends invited us over for dinner and games. She had mentioned how lonely they were when they first moved here and thought we might enjoy a night with them..how sweet! Perhaps an update next week!

4. I sorta kinda maybe feel like I’m getting the hang of this blogging thing..do you feel that too?

5. My desk is a mess. It always has been. But it will NOT always be. I need to get organized..ASAP.

6. Sometimes I think I function a little better with a little chaos. It’s kind of motivating. When things are too perfect, I don’t want to mess with them..

7. I think I might make #7QT a regular installment on the ‘ol blogger..yes. I will.

Hope you have a great weekend! xoxo, christi

#7QT on Conversion Diary

Surprise!

We have a visitor! One of our favorite friends, Ben!

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Ben is a Varisty Catholic missionary (a division of FOCUS. He was also a student disciple of Andrew’s during his time at Mankato. He also plays baseball. He also travelled 20 hours through the night to arrive in Texas (with one hour to spare) for our wedding. He also helped us pack the uhaul truck to move here. He also loves Jesus. That’s the best part about Ben :)

Challenge Accepted

Good morning! 

I have decided to bite the bullet and follow the footsteps of many of my favorite bloggers, including fellow FOCUS missionary, Kelsey, to write seven posts in seven days. Along with many other bloggers, I will write, well, seven posts in seven days. The idea sparked my attention when Kelsey mentioned cutting out perfectionism and simply writing. I want to write more, I just get so controlling and my perfectionist tendencies lead me away from pressing the publish button..

So here goes. Seven posts in seven days. Day One.

Some of you who receive our quarterly newsletters* may have noticed a new feature entitled Christi’s Corner. Cute title, I know.

Anyways, I wrote about my main part of the mission has been through hospitality. I have always had a knack for baking and setting the table correctly, but it’s so much more than that. Most teams of FOCUS missionaries have a weekly team dinner or meal. On teams past, the cooking/hosting has been passed around from missionary to missionary, and sometimes it can start to feel like another thing to add to the to-do list. This summer, after talking to a few other missionary families, Andrew and I decided that we would host the dinner each week, and that I would do all of the shopping/preparing/cooking/baking/cleaning so that our teammates (including Andrew) could rest, relax, and truly enjoy the meal. This is our way to serve them. It has quickly become my favorite night of the week, besides date night, and has even allowed me to improve some skills in the kitchen. 

More importantly, it has allowed me (and Andrew, too) to grow in the areas of hospitality and humility, by God’s grace, of course. Let’s start with hospitality:

And now, the bonus grace: Humility. There have been a number of times that the team has come in the front door to a cloud of smoke or the blare of a smoke detector. There was one night that was so bad that pizza was ordered. There have been nights when I just don’t feel like cooking, but die a little bit to myself and my own laziness. I think these moments are given to us to keep us human. Obviously, I’m not perfect. In growing in humility, I am coming to closer to full revelation that I am nothing compared to Him, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for us. Thanks Jesus :)

 

 

*If you would like to join our support team, learn more about our mission, or begin receiving quarterly newsletters regarding God’s work through us on the campus of SDSU, please click here to learn more information or feel free to email us! andrewandchristi {at} gmail {dot} com

Welcome Home

Welcome home Kalli and Jordan!

These two lovely ladies entered the Church last night! It was a joyous occasion filled with Sacraments, chrism, Jesus…and cake!

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Look at those shiny foreheads!

This is one of the joys of our mission with FOCUS, bringing young people into (or back to) the Church!

PS – on their cards, Andrew wrote a simple note – Eat often. How simple yet wise of him. It is our hope and prayer that each of you would eat often too :)