The OPSU freshman are jumping for joy about college life.
The OPSU freshman are jumping for joy about college life.
We pulled out of our drive at Gruver a little after 6 AM this past Sunday. Leigh Anne and I were headed to Austin. We were going to move her out of her apartment, and move her to Raymondville.
Leigh Anne was accepted into the Teach for America program, and she will be teaching English at the Raymondville ISD. I am excited for this new adventure in Leigh Anne’s life, but I am also a little anxious. Raymondville is in the Rio Grande Valley, which is at the opposite end of the state from Gruver, and we all know what a big state Texas is.
After our nine plus hour drive to Austin, we packed Leigh Anne’s stuff in her car and my dad’s pickup. I don’t know how many trips we made up and down the three flights of stairs, but I was feeling my age. Most everything was in boxes, so the packing and cleaning went quicker than I expected.
The next morning we headed out on our four-hour plus drive to the Rio Grande Valley. The vastness and beauty of Texas is a treasure to behold as we drove the entire length of the state from the plains of the Panhandle, through the West Texas ranches, the beauty of the Texas Hill Country, to the Gulf Shores of Padre Island. The grandeur of the creation is something I never get tired of gazing upon.
While Leigh Anne was taking care of business at the school, I decided to take a tour of the town. Leigh Anne needed a place to live, and for my peace of mind, I hoped that we could find her a safe place. I drove the streets and visited with an apartment manager. Finding a place wasn’t going to be easy. She gave me a lead to an apartment in nearby Harlingen, but that would mean a twenty mile commute.
I decided to see if I could find the church in town, so I looked it up on my phone and found the address. I drove up to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. I went into the office and visited with the secretary. She gave me a lead on a house that someone was trying to rent. I then walked over to the grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego, which is front of the church. I sat down on the bench and asked the Blessed Virgin and St. Juan Diego to help Leigh Anne and I find a safe place for her to live.
Shortly, Leigh Anne was out of her meeting, and we started driving around town; calling realtors and the number the church secretary had given us. We went to City Hall to see if they knew of any houses for rent; we struck out there. We then saw a realtor office and pulled in. Leigh Anne walked in the door and told him she needed a place to rent, and that she was a new teacher in town.
He immediately got on the phone and called his friend, and told him that he had a possible renter. The man came to the office to interview Leigh Anne. As I listened to him talk to Leigh Anne, it was reassuring that he cared about who lived in his little house. He took us to look at the place, and it was perfect! He told me that he would treat Leigh Anne like a daughter.
My prayers had been answered.
Papoo told me about this many times, and here it is one YouTube.
Today, the Church celebrates the feast of The Holy Family. Teague and I had the opportunity to celebrate at St. Joseph Parish in Cerrillos, New Mexico. Today’s readings focus on the family and at times spoke to me deeply. They talk of respecting your father, and I have to ask myself, “Have I?” The reading from Colossians warns fathers not to provoke their children. I have to admit that I am often a failure in this area, and it saddens me.
We are here celebrating family in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains outside of the city of Santa Fe. The Winger clan has gathered, and we are all under one roof. Sacrifices have been made by many to be here, and I have to admit there were times that I wasn’t always excited about coming. It’s not easy when you get this many people together, but grace and prayer can do amazing things, and I’ve witnessed it more than once this weekend.
Being a part of a family is not the easiest thing, but it is a great blessing, and I have observed multiple blessings here among the Winger clan. Dad was telling me this morning that he and Mom had a fun laying in bed last night just listening to everyone in the main room laughing as they played games and visited. Voices were recognized and blessings came down.
Family is important. The Church often refers to the family as the domestic church (CCC, 2204), and the family is the very foundation of society. Strong families are the foundation and backbone of society.
I am thankful for my family, and I pray that I will honor my parents, love my wife, and not provoke my children.
These things have been written for a warning for us, for we are living at the end of the ages. (1 Corinthians 10:11)
Where has the time gone? Can you believe that we are already at the end of 2012? When St. Paul wrote the verse above, I suppose that he thought that the Second Coming of Christ would be soon. Many of the early Christians felt the end time was at hand. In our Father’s time, it really hasn’t been that long ago since St. Paul penned this verse after all, “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day.” (2 Peter 3: 8) So, I guess we could say that it’s been about two days since St. Paul proclaimed that we were “living at the end of the ages.”
Aren’t we all in fact living in our own end times? Who knows how many days we have left on this earth? In my Personal Finance class, we take a look at a life expectancy calculator when we discuss life insurance and how premiums are calculated. My life expectancy usually runs from the mid 60’s to the mid 70’s. So, according to the calculator, I could have about twenty years left to live. That doesn’t sound very long to me. But who knows what tomorrow may bring? Will I be alive?
I haven’t written a Mary Mail since August. Where has the time gone? What have I done with it? Have I served God? Have I followed Jesus?
Over the past couple of months, I have had the opportunity to meet weekly with a group of young families. The children age from about 6 months to 10 years old. We come together and eat. The children play and the adults pray and share our faith. I was out of my comfort zone, but I was blessed to witness “a family, a Church in miniature.” (St. John Chrysostom)
I got a call last week. A group of men that I used to meet with on Tuesday mornings wanted to start getting together again. We met last Tuesday, and again I was encouraged and enriched.
We are smack dab in the middle of Advent, a time when we are called to remember the First Coming of Jesus our Lord as a babe in a manger. It is also a time when we are called to reflect on our lives and prepare ourselves for the Second Coming of Jesus our Lord. There is also a Third Coming, which is hidden and lies between the first and the second. “In it only the elect see the Lord within their own selves, and they are saved.” (Saint Bernard, abbot; Sermo 5, In Adventu Domini)
Through life’s journey God has granted me the grace to start over. He has blessed me numerous new beginnings. I pray that as we travel this Advent journey together that we will all accept the grace God has given each of us to begin again.
Publisher: dwinger Volume No. 4 Issue No 23 Date Aug. 16, 05
This past weekend Teague and I experienced Retrouvaille. Retrouvaille, pronounced
Re-tro-vi¢ with long o and long i, is a French word meaning rediscovery. It is clear to me that our marriage has indeed experienced rediscovery. Teague and I decided that we would both try and share our thoughts and feelings about the weekend, and so ladies first…