Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Entering the Desert

As my readers know, I am a Catholic Christian.  As you may also know, yesterday was Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, as many know it. You may also know that today is Ash Wednesday. It may or may not mean anything to many of you. But, all my Christian brothers and sisters should know a bit about it.

I have not been writing lately as I was distracted by, well, the World. Ok. That and by writers block.

I have wasted time, literally, becoming hooked on games like Sugar Crush and Farm Hero Saga and Mahjongg Dimensions. I have wasted time watching television reruns of sit-coms to make myself feel better in the face of some sorrows.  I have wasted time on Facebook, checking it every hour. I have wasted TIME.

Time is precious. It cannot be like sand in our hands. It should not be something we take for granted. It shouldn't be since we know we have no control over how much we have or when it ends.

During my absence from this blog, I have been praying, which I do not consider a waste of time.  Events have occurred to which I should have given my full attention, such as sick family members and friends, my husband, my home, myself, and, yes, my God.

The Lenten Season is not one in which you have to "give up" something only.  There are children who say they are giving up homework for Lent. Adults who say they are giving up chocolate. Nice try! It is a time of reflection, of devotion, of quiet time in the desert with Jesus before He enters His Passion and Death.  It's what I believe and not what I am say you MUST believe. This is an information page. But for me, and over a billion Catholics, we are with Him right now and will be for 40 days.

In this time, hopefully, we are abstaining from what has distracted us from being with Him at other times, giving alms (charity and time) and giving Him the time He deserves for giving US time to live and love by additional reading of the Bible and/or other religious readings, prayers, and quiet time with Him so He isn't alone and so we can experience His presence in our lives and experience time away from the World and all it's distractions. And, hopefully, what we do will continue after Lent, as well.

This is how "I" understand and practice.

Now, I am in the middle of training to become a volunteer Child Advocate for the Courts.  I am trying to help children who need to have a voice after going through abuse or neglect. There are just too many children in Foster Care or who need to be placed in Foster Care or reunified with their families who have no one to speak for them, to advocate for them. I'm going to be a GAL (guardian at litem). I like that. No one's called me a gal in a while.

I'm going to need some prayers to get through this and to be able to do a good job once I'm certified. With the MS, it will definitely be a challenge. It, fortunately, does not take many direct man-hours, only a minimum visit of once per month and attending hearings once or twice per year.  I have to build a trusting relationship with whoever I am placed with and be their voice with all the adults who are managing their cases. That part I know I can do but want to do to the best of my ability. I will make sure everyone is on the same page so this child is not disappointed or hurt by any adult ever again. I realize there is no guarantee of that, but one can try, right?

Funny but the hardest part is the learning.  I haven't been in a classroom setting in a LOOOOONG while but would be a permanent student if I could afford it. The more you learn, the more you see you need to know.

These volunteers have been doing this for a very long time so that is encouraging.  There must be some reward to it or they'd have dropped out.  The reward I seek is seeing a child placed permanently in a home and loved and cared for always. 

I'll do my best.  With Lent.  And with my latest endeavor.

Pray for me!

2015 UPDATE:  Good news! I have been a volunteer for the past year and if anyone is interested in helping  in their communities, check out Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) at , Guardian Ad Litem Programs, or Voices for Children in your area. It is SO worth it for you and for the children!  Be blessed!!

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