Great Expectations,

I love the feeling Advent brings, and this joyful season of hope hasn’t even started yet! I’m back home in Maryland for Thanksgiving and that has allowed me to retreat and reflect on my life, what I’m thankful for, and what’s to come.

I can’t believe how incredibly fast time is flying by. It’s already Thanksgiving week and as soon as we know it, Christmas will be right around the corner. It has been four months since I dove right into this journey and there has been, without a doubt, a multitude of blessings, and struggles. If you’ve been keeping up with me (via email, Facebook, Twitter), you’re aware of the many blessings the Lord has poured on me, but there were many times where I struggled and was tested by the Lord. There were phases where I would question my year of service at ODU and my ability to minister to students, spiritually and musically. Yet, in the thick of it, messages of hope and trust soon followed, and I would be reminded that God doesn’t call the equipped – He equips the called.

As the wonderful season of Advent approaches, we call upon the Lord to come and we are called to prepare ourselves for His coming. Whether or not we call or prepare ourselves, He’ll come. We can choose to dwell on our misfortunes, doubts, and fears or we can choose to move forward in hope.  We can choose to live a life swayed by the temporary happiness the world will give or we can trust in His Will that will provide eternal happiness, [if not on earth than] in Heaven. Hope in His mercy. Hope for forgiveness and new life. If we allow the Lord to steer, He will equip. But regardless of what we choose, He’ll come. And that truth gives me great peace. <cue  “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”>

Now, a few updates:

1. I finally met with my spiritual director this past Wednesday. I’ve been seeking one since September, and man, the process was difficult. After about three rescheduled meeting times (I was about to give up), we finally met and we both thought it went well. We’ll see how the next few months go!

2. One thing that has been heavily on my heart (but really, one thing God has been constantly teaching me) is loving those who are difficult to love. I’ve been challenged and humiliated a few times, but there’s no need to get into that. The lesson here: humility and love. (Prayers please!)

3. What else is on my heart? My Vocation and vocation. I’m almost midway through this year of service, finished with college, and I don’t go a day without contemplating on what’s to come. I don’t necessarily think about the future by trying to envision what I would like to happen. It’s more of meditating on what and where God may be leading me to based on what’s He has been revealing to me up to this point. Hope that makes sense.

4. God continues to bless CCM abundantly as the days go by! We had about 50 people who came out to brave the cold for our Praise and Worship Night at the Beach, our weekly Soul Food events and daily Mass attendances have been rock-solid, and there are still new students that drop by the CCM House just to go to the Chapel to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Yep, He never ceases to amaze me.

All in all, I expect great things. I’m also looking forward to this Sunday when the new Liturgical year begins! :)

Praying for you,

By Fatima

wife + mom. sustainability strategist, interior designer, writer. sharing faith and our growing domestic church. creating a slow, sustainable, low waste home.


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