Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reflections from my Journal #4: "There is None Else but You"

I don't know if many of you know this, but I journal...I journal aaa lot and I have been for a very long time (almost nonstop since the 6th grade). It's probably one of the reasons why I don't write on my blog very often because I am just so used to hand-writing in my journal and it's hard for me to transition from my years of journaling into electronic blogging. Plus, my journal is so much more personal. It's a place where I can truly spill my soul to the Lord, even very personal details that I could never share on a blog. My journaling is a form of prayer I guess. I don't go there just to write down my experiences so I have something to look back at later in life....I go there to have conversations with God.

But I digress.

So, I was journaling the other day, and I just unexpectedly wrote God a poem...or maybe a better word to describe it would be a psalm. It was definitely inspired by some of the psalms I read when I pray the Liturgy of the Hours (so I am not taking full credit for it!)

Here is my psalm to God. 
Don't judge, I'm no writer, no poet, certainly no psalmist. But it was an honest expression of my love toward the Lord. It also came out during a time when I was feeling very troubled and could do nothing about it but just rest my troubles in the Lord...and trust.



It is titled:

" There is None Else but You "

Jesus: The CENTER of my room and my life.
 My favorite place to pray and write.

Oh God, My God
for You I long. 
My soul hungers for You, 
and my body pines for You. 
Your Word is my bread
And Your Love is my drink
Your Arms are my rest
Your Mercy - my comfort

When my heart is troubled oh Lord, 
I run to You...
And I rest in You, my Great Savior
And You renew my hope, 
Revive my drooping spirit.

None else but You
can bring me comfort and joy, 
even in the darkest hour -
For You, My King, there is no substitute.
Therefore, I dedicate my life 
to  None else but You
You alone shall be 
The purpose and center of my life.

You are the foundation
 Upon which I want to build my house
The ROCK
Upon which I wish to build my whole life
There is None Else but You.

There is None Else but You Lord.
I have tried to find joy and comfort
 In the things and people of this world, 
but the joy I have found was transient and false
And it was accompanied by 
disappointment, emptiness, even despair.
I have been foolish, Lord
But You have been slowly bathing me,
 in Your Wisdom.
You have shown me that 
 There is no real life, no real joy, 
Apart from walking in Your Truth

Oh how much relief, 
oh how much comfort I feel 
When I look toward the heavens 
and call upon Your Name.
And even though You may not give me
all the answers to my questions
I know that You, oh Lord, 
Are THE ONLY ANSWER to my doubts and troubles
You are Amazing Lord
and THERE IS NONE ELSE BUT YOU



Yours truly, Agnes

Friday, February 8, 2013

7 QUICK TAKES #6 - Things I cannot wait for!


This quick takes is literally QUICK! I am in the midst of a very busy day, and I only have a couple of minutes to write this before I head over to a meeting, followed by a 2 hour therapeutics workshop, for which I still have to read 4 10-page articles. The therapeutics workshop is on osteoporosis and I have to recommend the best treatment plan for an elderly patient, based on existing evidence. I also have to address all of her other diseases and make sure the medications I choose are the best options and don't interact with one another, or with one of her other diseases.

But anyways, here are 7 THINGS I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT FOR....Things I have been yearning for, wishing for, dreaming about...


#1 LENT AND LENTEN PRAYER AND FASTING.


This year, I will make some major sacrifices for the 40 years of lent. I will try to really get closer in my relationship with God, to grow in faith, love, sacrifice, and self-discipline. I will be writing about my specific lenten resolutions soon!


#2 End of this crazy, hectic 2nd year of pharmacy school & summer

.... So I can finally step out of my own little world of being lonely and studying for exams non-stop. This school year has been dragging so much and has left me feeling super lonely. Greg has been working nightshifts and working on renovating our first home during the day - in contrast - I've been going to school during the day and studying well into the night. So this past year has been very difficult and lonely for me. I hope that summer comes soon so that I can spend some quality time with my fiance.

#3 AUGUST 17TH, 2013. OUR WEDDING! 

 I wish, I wish.....that I could just fast-forward to August 17th and get married to my Greg already! We have been together for over 6 years (including a 2+ year engagement)...and these last few months have just been draaaaagging waaay too much. I can't wait to be his wife! I think about it, I dream about it, I pray about it. I'm crazy about it!


#4 Moving in with husband into our beautiful house

....and doing all that a wife does! 6 months, 1 week, and 2 days to go!!!
I'm honestly excited about stepping out of my parents' house, where the food was constantly ready on the table, into my own kitchen - into a world of completely new experiences. I can't wait to cook and bake for my hubby, clean for him, prepare his lunch for work..and other little or big chores. My parents always took care of me and catered to my needs, now I cannot wait to do the same for Greg. I will finally be able to love another human being through serving him and sacrificing my time for him.

I'll be dedicating a whole entire post to our first home soon with lots and lots of pictures to come! For now, here are some pictures of some holy/Catholic things I put around my house. I just realized they're all from different countries.

Picture of the Last Supper in our dining room. Got it from Hobby Lobby. Made in the USA


 Picture of my favorite! my hero John Paul II. This was brought from Poland by Greg's sister who was just there over Christmas. I love it! 


Crucifix with "God Bless Our Home" around. This one is from Betlehem, the place of Jesus' birth.

#5 Graduation from pharm school

NO.MORE.EXAMS. I am sick and I am done with having 2 exams every week! Plus countless projects, workshops, assignments etc. Right now, my motivation is at like a 1 on a scale of 10. I've just been daydreaming about our marriage, house, future family...That is why I cannot wait to be done with pharm school!

#6 Becoming a mother and starting my own family

I'm pretty sure I was created to be a wife and a mother. As I stated above, I have increasingly been thinking about it, dreaming about it (literally), and wishing for it all to come soon. God just put this huge, profound desire in my heart to be a wife and a mother, and to teach my children all about the Lord and His indescribable love and awesomeness.


#7 Our Honeymoon

We have not booked it yet because the money has been tight, since we have had huge expenses with the house renovations as well as the various wedding expenses/deposits. We are hoping that when we get our tax returns, we can book our honeymooon. We don't like to put anything on our credit cards if we know that we won't be able to pay for it the same month.


And that's all! Thanks for reading! As I said, soon I'll be posting about my specific plan for Lenten resolutions and also the before and bfter pics of the renovation of our first home.

Love, AGNES

P.S. I'm feeling kind of heavy and bummed b/c just this morning in pharmacology class we talked about abortion-inducing drugs...like literally the drugs used in abortion clinics to induce early and late term abortions. One of the late term abortion drugs is just an injection of a highly concentrated KCL (potassium chloride), which makes the cells of the baby shrink and die. Ouch. And this is used specifically in late term abortions. I cannot even imagine the pain that the baby is feeling as his cells are slowly shrinking and he/she is dying a slow death. They talked about that so matter-of-factly. It makes my heart ache for these poor, innocent babies and the suffering they undergo even before they come into the world.

Friday, February 1, 2013

7 QUICK TAKES #5: Re-cap of Winter 2012 - House Edition


#1 We have done a lot of wedding planning.


Most of the major stuff is booked and taken care of, now we just have to take care of all the details. Some major things that still need to be taken care of is booking a place for my bridal shower, arranging an engagement session with our photographer, and ordering invitations. The rest is pretty minor, but there are looots of those "minor things." It's the details that matter, right? Really, all I care about is OUR EXCHANGING of the vows and God handing him over into my care foreverrr. After that, I could just run off for all I care haha. We're doing this big show-off reception because the family wants it that way..because it's Polish tradition. I have always had this wildest dream of flying to some tropical island, finding a local Catholic priest, and having a secret wedding on the beach. Well, I now know better about the significance of having the marriage ceremony inside a church, in the context of the mass. Still, I could just totally skip out on the reception, but gotta do what you gotta do. I'll sacrifice for the family and friends who want to celebrate with us.
Some more checkmarks on our planning checklist that I made! Yay :-) 


#2 I got some cool Christmas gifts! 


More specifically, on December 26, 2012, I joined the 21st century and got a smart phone for the 1st time! So now you can expect lots of pictures since I always have my phone with me and the camera in it is pretty awesome!

Also, I got these awesome socks from my coworker and fellow pharmacy student. Yes, they have pills on them. It's so funny when I wear them to work. 

They are from Urban Outfitters.
http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=22542526



#3 We finished fixing up our FIRST HOME!



I wrote a post about this wonderful news of purchasing our first house back in June. Read about that here
The house was a fixer upper and it has been a long 9-month process of constant construction, mess, and shopping for sinks, toilets, counters, floors, lamp fixtures, etc etc....(Ahh! I still can't believe we have been homeowners for 9 months now! ...Well, more like my fiance Greg has been a homeowner - my name is nowhere on the house since I have pharmacy school loans under my belt...but he bought the house for US, for our Marriage, for our future family) It took us 9 months because we did most of the work by ourselves (with a little bit of help from Greg's friend). Here are some preview pics of our kitchen, dining room, and my study room. I will be writing a whole separate post of the whole experience with some  BEFORE and AFTER pics of our house.


The VERY FIRST picture I took of the kitchen
THE VERY FIRST TIME Greg brought me to see the house
It doesn't look as bad on the picture. But the cabinets were like permanently sticky with grease and gunk. And the kitchen had PINK carpet, which at this point was BLACK, and there was all kinds of food in it. The sink had all the colors of the rainbow in it...pink, yellow, brown, green....haha

In the midst of the construction mess. Welcome to our kitchen!

When Greg first put in the cabinets...or at least parts of them. Not only did he have to hang the cabinets on the wall, he had to put together each single cabinet, because they came in pieces. We could have gotten them already pre-assembled, but it was much more expensive that way.

And this is when we first got our countertop installed and our appliances delivered. I was so excited that our kitchen was looking better and better.



And this is after a trip to ikea. Greg was working on putting in the hardwood floors in the rest of the house, and so I was on my own in putting this chair together. 

Got all my supplies ready and laid out like a pro



Getting there....

And done!! Ladies have handyman skills too! It's a matter of will.
And a pic of our dining room, which is open to the kitchen. This is after we put in the hardwood floors and painted. And Greg got the fire place going too! I can't even begin to tell you how much trouble we went through with that fireplace! The city inspectors kept finding something wrong with it and wouldn't clear our inspection until it was fixed. It took us 3 separate inspection and corrections to get it right! But it was worth it! At least I know it will be during those cold Chicago winters .

I am so so blessed to have Greg in my life! He has put in so much work into this house, I cannot even begin to tell you. He has been working the nightshift this past year and working on the house during the day. Poor Greggie, barely got sleep. He's sacrificed a lot to "build" this house for us. For this I love him and I thank God for him.


#4. We have been doing lots of shopping for our house!

We bought bedroom furniture, kitchen appliances, bookshelves, couches, a dining table set, our very first christmas tree on clearance for next year + all clearance ornaments (waiting until after the New Year and getting everything for 50-75% rocks! I got a 7ft Christmas tree for $25!). I bought some basic kitchen plates and utensils to get Greg through until the bridal shower. We are hoping to register for more household stuff (maybe at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond) soon. I'm trying not to buy too many things now because I know that we will receive stuff from our family and friends at our housewarming party as well as bridal shower.


#5 I have been doing a lot of cleaning of the mid-construction and post-construction mess. Constantly, repeatedly, non-stop!


I would get so aggravated sometimes because I'd spend half the day cleaning the house to a sparkle, thinking we were all done...and then the next time I came over, everything was covered in white drywall dust or whatever you call it...because Greg drilled a hole here and there or sanded down a spot on a wall. Cleaning has been a lot of fun though. I enjoy cleaning, it really relaxes me and makes me feel satisfied at the end, when I see and smell a nice, clean house. And the ORGANIZING has been awesome! That relaxes me too and I could do it all day long.  I've been trying to set up and organize the house for Greg, since he'll be mostly on his own until the wedding (at least that's my goal. I hope my family and friends don't pressure me into moving in before the wedding. It's very hard to resist and it's very hard to keep defending my beliefs and refusing, because people end up thinking I'm old-school and stubborn. So please Pray for me. Seriously. Please).  

Cleaning and organizing are my 2 favorite things!! I swear! And I hope that cooking and baking joins that list when we finally live together. I can't wait to cook for my hubby!

#6 I got this awesome picture of the Last Supper at Hobby Lobby for $50. 


It's pretty big! I thought it was a good price for such a big, beautiful picture.  It is currently on the wall of our dining room. I love it! It is the first thing you notice when you walk into the dining room, which is also great! And yay for supporting Hobby Lobby for being a brave, Christian company who is refusing the comply with the unjust HHS mandate.


#7 My life story according to my nieces Natalie and Caroline. Go top to bottom, not left to right.


Fell in love --> Will get married --> honeymoon in "tropical paradise" --> Agnes has a baby (but where is daddy in this picture? lol)



Yours in Christ,
Agnes

P.S. If you stumbled upon my blog, please say hi! I'd love to meet new bloggers, Catholic or not!
P.S.S. Earlier this week, I posted my own tweaked recipe of Kolaczki. They are so good they melt in your mouth! Check it out.
P.S.S.S. And last week, I posted about my mistakes of 2012 and resolutions of 2013. Read more here.