So... now what?
That was my exact thought as I sat down to write a blog tonight because I spent the week before last consumed with taking pictures. And I spent last week writing about them at length to show you people every detail of my daily existence.
So I'm just going to tell you a ridiculous story about myself to kick off the week. What could be better than you laughing at my idiocy???
When I went to college at UNI, my Aunt Janella worked at St. Stephen's, the Catholic Student Center on campus. My brother Hoody (Steve) also went to UNI and so I had family around, but also the freedom to make my own way. Having them there also made it very easy for me to feel like I belonged at church on Sundays since Janella was always there and Hoody went with me as well.
(Just as I'm writing this I'm wondering if Hoody always went to church before I came to college or if he did it for my sake... scratch that -- Mom, I'm sure Hoody always went to church.)
So anyway, it took all of three seconds for me to get involved at St. Stephen's. Over the years I was a cantor, I helped plan liturgies, a lector, a greeter, I participated and led retreats... basically they couldn't get rid of me. It was a new building that housed the chapel but also had a great lounge, classrooms, a kitchen and dining hall... really anything you can think of, which means even my friends on campus that didn't really care about church often hung out if for no other reason than it was a great place to study.
While I was in college the community was really growing and membership was up to the point where they decided to form a Discipleship Council. There were twelve student members who helped the staff in shaping the vision for the Center, as well as working on outreach and fundraising. It was a great way to not only give the students a voice, but also give us hands-on experience in preparing us for knowing what it would be like to be on parish councils or other such things when we were out of college and in the real world.
Never one to turn down the chance to be involved (can you tell I never liked having down time?) I was a member of the Discipleship Council and served on it for a few years. My last year as a member I was already in quite a bit of pain, trying to work and finish up classes to graduate. We were in the middle of a fundraising effort that included a raffle with some pretty great prizes. First prize was $5000, second was 2 airline tickets, and I have no recollection of third prize, but I'm sure it was spectacular.
The reason the first two stick out in my head is that I was supposed to draw for the second prize. There was a big dinner before the drawing and I was in a lot of pain so I went to lay down in the lounge during the dinner and was waiting to do my job at the raffle. My friend Tom came and got me when it was time, so we went into the main dining hall and stepped in front of everyone to kick it off.
Tom was at the microphone, drew for the $5000 winner, announced the name and everyone cheered. The person came to the front and got the big check and their photo taken... it was all quite exciting. So then I went up to the microphone... and remember I was really tired and in pain. Which means I kind of lose that filter from my brain to my mouth.
They spin the big cylinder of tickets and I reach in and take out a stub. I flip it over to reveal the winner and say,
"Holy Shit! I drew my own name!"
In the microphone. At church. In front of the whole congregation.
I am quite sure I have never turned more red in my life and louder laughter has never been heard in that hall. My first thought, I never win anything. Second thought, I didn't want anyone to think I cheated. Third thought, I really wanted those tickets. Finally my brain got to the point where I realized I SWORE IN THE MICROPHONE.
God bless Len, the deacon at the church. He took the mic from me and said, "It's ok, Sara, I've heard you say worse during Mass."
I guess there really is something to say for being loved and accepted for who you really are.