Connecting Point: January 24, 2021

Freshman year of undergrad at O.U., I was planning to major in Communications/Pre-Law curriculum, but God had other plans for me. Although music had always been a part of my life, I did not consider music work (or even remotely connected to the minimum salary). As a lifelong Catholic and still attending church into college, I was still journeying towards spirituality where I was regularly checking in with God on how I was doing with my life. The 20 year old academic, focused on what I thought I wanted to do to create a successful life. Fortunately, God was laying plans out for me through mentors and moments guiding me along the path with periodic and quite notable experiences of great inspiration and motivation.

During sophomore year of “nodding off” in my dry political science class, I could not wait to get to my music history elective where Prof. Nordstrom would literally run into the classroom breathless and throw his arms up in the air with excitement as he shared the overview of what we would study that day. His enthusiasm for his subject and the vocation of teaching was infectious to say the least. Not only did he inspire me to change my major, but he also helped me to realize the best in the mentor teachers I had throughout my life and how they had helped to form and inspire me along the way….too many to name here!

Needless to say, I changed my major to Music Education and cherished teaching High School students in Choir and English for 10 years. Another change in course after marriage; God led me to the vocation of stay-at-home Mom (like my own Mom) and gradually opened up, or should I say “guided me” into opportunities via my background and experience into my current vocation with the church.

Looking back, I remember many times along the way when I really felt God’s presence influencing my discernment and decisions. Most of those deepest realizations came in the moments of quiet thought following a deeply inspirational or memorable experience. Best reflection times with God for me: while running outdoors or windsurfing on a lake.

Recently, I heard great advice from Dr. John Cavadini, theology professor at Notre Dame who said, “Your vocation does not have to be your 1st, 2nd or even 3rd choice. God knows His plans for you.” And yes, sometimes this involves navigating changes along the way.

Quiet contemplation can help us sort out experiences and feelings. Adding prayer to the equation, we more fully open ourselves to the Lord’s accompaniment and the manifestation of His plan for our lives.

Take a moment on a regular basis just to step away from the world/ worries to give thanks to the One who formed you uniquely and so designed you for specific work in the world. Even when we think we have “arrived” we can still take the time to check in with our Creator and ask how we are doing with painting the canvass of our lives.

Prayer: Dear Lord, let me continue to follow the special plan you have for me. Keep me motivated, inspired, grounded in your truth and on course to do your work of inspiration in the world. Amen.

Connecting Point: January 31, 2021