Be Here Long

I haven’t written in a while, well actually, I have written things, but I couldn’t get the words I wanted to say out. So those thoughts are currently just sitting around in mind trying to be finished and put into words somehow. I wish I could have gotten the complete thoughts written out, but that clearly wasn’t God’s plan for this time, but maybe later. I really haven’t been busy at all this month, and I’m this down time, I have thought of so many things I want to share. Now this one may be more of several different ideas, but since it’s been so long, I have had some quality thinking time.

Prayer and Action

Four Sundays ago, I left with 9 other high schoolers, one of our youth ministers, and our deacon for a mission trip in KCK known as Prayer and Action. Going into it, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew several people who had been before though and they all loved it so I was convinced I would too.

When the signup time came I was a little hesitant in signing up because none of my friends would go due to other conflicts they had. It made me worried that I would be the only one my age or I wouldn’t know anyone.

But when I take a look back now, I don’t know why I was so worried. I know a good amount of the people that are in our youth group, but something worried me. Ask me now and I will not have an answer because I simply don’t know but anyways…

I asked so many people then I finally got one to come, and so was so glad that she came too. It turned out that four girls including me were going, which was actually really great because I was well acquainted with the three of them before this mission trip.

Arriving at Prayer and Action, we got all settled into our room, and we were surprised to see that we had a room all to ourselves with another church that only had 3 girls. It was super cool because one of the girls from the other church was my friend from camp that I haven’t talked to since last summer. So it was really good to get to talk to her again and strengthen our friendship.

One of the many cool things, I think, about Prayer and Action is that you literally are always doing what the name says, plus some fun in between. 🙂 I mean, we wake up and one of the first things we do is say a rosary then go to mass. Doing that 5 days in a row was super cool and something I have never done before. It was honestly something I wish I could do everyday. After mass, we would soon head out to our worksites where the Action took place.

Our work crew was Captain America/Mowing Town, and we spent our week doing various yard work that needed to be done, painted a basement, and cleared a big patch of weeds. We had a great team and we had a blast doing everything from scraping paint for a few hours, playing mofia, trying to figure out those riddle games, and having authentic talks. I was very blessed to be with the team I was put on. I met some really awesome people that are going to the same school as me, and connected with them on the weirdest of things.

Also, I met some other really awesome people. One day, me and about 8 other girls all came together in our room and just talked about our faith which was a really cool thing. It was really interesting to hear other people’s perspectives and all together get to know them better. We probably sat there for an hour and a half or so, and ended up having to be called down to dinner because we were late, but the conversation we had was worth every second. I also spent many other times during the week with these people playing cards, praying, making notes, and just chatting which was super cool because we are now all great friends.

Every night, we had a different activity. We played some type of game like Gaga ball, noodle ball, and participated in Zumba. But every night we had this really cool time called Collatio, meaning “come together.” At this time, we saw and performed skits, listened to many talks, shared God moments and funny stories, had a P.O.P, and through it all worshipped the Lord. We always did praise and worship, and night prayer. Night prayer was such a beautiful time. Sitting in the church looking at His beauty was incredible. And also being surrounded with some amazing new faithful led friends too made it so much more powerful. Collatio was by far my favorite part beside being at our worksite.

Prayer and Action was such an enriching experience. Being surrounded by an incredible group of people all praising Him was a super cool thing to see. It was so cool seeing people’s lives be changed this week. For many, this is “that experience” they need. That experience that changes their life and sets them into a new mindset letting them see the glorious life He has in store. I met a few people who during this week, exactly that happened to them. That was an incredible thing to watch happen because I can relate to that fully after my experience last summer that did just that. I left with many new ways and ideas to spread His love to all, and to ultimately build His Kingdom. I loved Prayer and Action this summer, and I would be so blessed as to have the opportunity to experience it again.

We did so many things at Prayer and Action, and I would love to tell you everything but that would take ages 🙂

Be Here Long

Life is short.

Enough said.

But is it really enough to just leave it at that? I don’t think so.

Life can be described so much more than short, but if it is so short then what are we doing everyday? Are we making the most of every moment we have?

Living in the moment is such an important thing to do. I wasn’t really that aware of what this even meant until the beginning of my 7th grade year, but since then it has truly made the difference. When we are living in the moment, we are soaking up every second and making the most of what we are taking part in. I cannot even begin to stress how important that is. We can never get memories back no matter how much we want to experience them again. It’s not always about remembering everything from that particular moment. What it is about though is that you made the most of something you will never get back. Time is precious and what you choose to do with it is too. The only thing that is certain is what is happening now. Things of tomorrow and the next day are uncertain, and wasting time worrying about what’s to come takes away from the moment we should be living in.

We have this beautiful canvas art from my aunt, Sara Frankl, who I have written about before, stating, “so many people miss the silver lining because they are expecting gold.” It’s so true though. Sometimes we are expecting something so much that we miss all the things right in front of us. We basically become blind to things right in front of us because our focus is with something else. That’s exactly how life is. We can be expecting happiness from clothing or a new pair of shoes, but He who brings true joy and authentic love to us is right in front of us and is closer than we know. He is the one you could say is missed by many, but He is constantly popping up in everyone’s daily life, but it’s their choice as to except His presence or not.

Life is also about choices. Each day we are faced with countless temptations. Friends, media, and so much more can try and turn the choices we make away from the focus. I know I’m not the only one who can relate to this, but I’ll say from many experiences that it isn’t easy and I’ve learned that in many ways. Even in the tough times making decisions He is still present and is always ever so present in every second of our life. In saying, He is always there and if we EVER need some to go to He is always there. Sure we have those good friends, role models, and family we can go to as well, but He is the constant one. He will never leave us and is always right by our sides walking every step of the way with us.

Life is so fragile. Our life can be taken away at the blink of an eye, and the fact is that we will never know when that time will come. With that being said, it makes the meaning of living in the moment so evident. And with me saying that we ultimately don’t get to be here long, what are we doing in our lives currently to live this life up to our fullest potential?

“Set your minds on things above, not on Earthly things,” sums it up. In order to truly live our life to it’s fullest, we need to hand our life fully to Him. It is in His mercy, truth, beauty, goodness, love, and so much more we find true joy and the purpose of this life. If we live our life without the Lord, there’s no point at all. And when I take a minute to think about it, I don’t know how I would be where I am today without Christ. Actually, I know I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today if it weren’t for Him and His great love for me. It has been life changing as I have grown older to go deeper and completely dive into all His teachings and what He calls us to be.

One of my favorite quotes has come to be “Become who you are called to be and set the world on fire.” That one is from the wonderful St. Catherine of Siena and it perfectly depicts the plan God has in store for us. When we live in the moment, and seek God in our daily life, we will ultimately find our true self. Now, that’s such a beautiful thing and deep inside we know who we truly are. Don’t change who you truly are inside for those around you. Never ever let that happen. Be 100% you because remember, everyone else is already taken but there’s only one of you. So live YOU to the fullest.

As I said earlier, the busiest month for me has just begun. Even though it’s so busy, I am taking part in my favorite things. It’s one thing to be busy with things I don’t like, but if you looked at what I have this month you would see who I truly am and what is important to me. With all the amazing things I have coming up, I will definitely be striving to live in the moment every chance I get to. I know understand why it’s so important to live each day like it’s our last and truly make the most of every second. And I pray that you do as well. I will remember, and I hope you do too, that each moment is so priceless in it’s time and truly beautiful so I will do the best I can to live it up and spread His love in return.

Dear Lord,

Help us to live each precious second you have blessed us with to it’s fullest. Guide us into becoming our true selves and lead us to a deeper knowledge of faith. You are so beautiful and we thank you for the gift of life and the gift of you. In your name we pray, Amen.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Pray for Us.

-Anna Zacharias

As you probably know, I absolutely love Christian music. I personally prefer to listen to the longer songs that aren’t hype up songs. Yes, I do like to listen to TobyMac, MercyMe, and for King and Country every once in a while too. For me, it’s the longer songs that make a difference, but the song that inspired me to write this tonight actually isn’t long at all. The song is called Be Here Long by NEEDTOBREATHE. It’s pretty much about what I have been talking about on our life and I really encourage you to go check it out.

Also, go check out joy. By: for King and Country! 🙂 it’s a great follow up to one of my past entries on choosing joy 🙂

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