I was blessed to be able to spend some much needed time at home with family and friends over Christmas break. It felt so good to be greeted by many dear people upon my arrival to Omaha! We enjoyed some sushi, drinks, and good conversation.
My high school invited me to speak to the students about my ministry work with FOCUS and how they can get involved in college. It was such a cool opportunity to share my journey with all of the students and to see their excitement to learn about the New Evangelization!
I was able to meet up with my discipleship chain from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and their new FOCUS discipler, Megan, before everyone went home for Christmas break. It was so encouraging to hear how the Holy Spirit continues to work within the house of Delta Gamma.
My family and I made the trip to Iowa for the wedding of my cousin, Erin. My dad is one of eighteen children so it made for quite the family reunion! There were so many new little German babies to be snuggled, which I loved of course.
Christmas was celebrated as the German tradition always goes: Christmas Eve Mass (my sister played the organ at the children's Mass for the 14th year in a row!!), home cooked dinner, and Christmas gift opening. It was lovely to have the whole family home to celebrate the birth of our Lord.
I was able to catch up with my NHRI (Nebraska Human Resources Institute) mentee, Ashlie, who is doing big things at New York University. Ashlie is on the diving team and has even been named Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Metro Diver of the Week as a freshman! From the west to the east, we were united once again in the heartland.
And of course, much more time with family and friends. :)
My friend, Wyn, was gracious enough to plan a trip for a group of our close friends to ring in the New Year in the mountains of Colorado. We spent some quality time catching up on each other's lives and enjoying good company. My friend, Emily Solo, summed up our trip best:
"I am so blessed to have spent the past almost-week with some awesome friends: the type of beautiful souls who help strangers (with limited English) push a stuck car, make each other breakfast, build an epic snowgirl, dance with little kids in a bowling alley, and will happily kill you in a mafia game by midnight. I am grateful."
My roommate and disciple at Arizona, Lesley, was even able to meet up with us as well! She brought along her best friend, Catherine who had just returned from studying abroad in Florence for a semester. It was so wonderful to see my Arizona and Nebraska worlds collide.
Just hours after my return to Arizona I was on a twenty hour bus ride headed to Dallas, Texas for the FOCUS Student Leadership Summit. ASU brought twenty students to Dallas to explore innovative ways to carry out the New Evangelization on campus and deepen in relationship with Jesus Christ. I loved having the opportunity to be a small group coach. All of the women in my small group were in a sorority so we were able to have productive conversations about how to spread the faith within our sisterhood.
And now that I'm back in Arizona, I am preparing to hit the ground running with outreach to greek students on campus. Elissa, a student who attended the Student Leadership Summit, has been a huge help in taking over all of FOCUS Greek ASU social media. We are ready for 2014!
May the Lord bless you in this New Year!