This past weekend I had the opportunity to connect with some new and old friends. On Friday after work, me and my new friend (and co-worker) Lili went for a drink at a small bar near the job. This was the second time we went to this place and again we were pressed for time because we had plans afterwards. However, even if it was for just about 45 minutes, we sat to unwind from work with good spirits and a really good looking bartender. I am really grateful to have met someone like Lili and I truly appreciate our talks at work and our seamless laughter at the little things to appreciate about life.
That same night I was scheduled to meet up with some old friends. My roommate Hil and I took the 1 train out to Washington Heights to meet up with my friend Christian and Christine for some dinner and dancing. We were running late, however, Christian and Christine arrived on time. They actually did not know each other but they found one another and by the time we arrived they seemed like old friends catching up. Before we were done with dinner, my friend Cesar showed up to join us for a little dancing. I know Christian and Cesar from Chicago, we all went to University of Illinois at Chicago for undergrad. What a blessing it has been that moving to NY has allowed me to still reconnect with my old friends. Here we all are doing big things and taking the time to celebrate with one another. Speaking of celebration, we were celebrating my friend Christine's new job she landed last week. I met Christine at my last job at a law firm in Manhattan. We became close at work sending each other motivational and spiritual messages to help each other get through our days in the corporate world. She shared with me that she recently found a spiritual message about employment I had sent to her a few years ago and that reading it again inspired her. I am grateful we continue to remain close and be supportive of one another in our journey through life. Boy, did we have a great time dancing and celebrating! I'm so happy for Christine...Praise God!
On Saturday morning I met up with Julissa who used to be my supervisor at a hospital in Queens. She is no longer my supervisor, she is my friend and like a big sister to me. She has a beautiful daughter Julianna who is so smart and sweet. She has the cutest curly hair and smile ever! There is nothing like being around children with their innocence and curiosity about everything. I had such an amazing time with them. We had brunch and then shared dessert at Martha's Bakery..YUM! I'm so grateful that God placed Julissa in my path, I have learned so much from her in the work but also about being a mom in the short time that I've known her. I know that much of who I will become as a social worker will be because of my rich experience at the hospital under her supervision.
Mid-Saturday afternoon I spent some quality time with my aunt (Titi Monin). We did one of the things that we both LOVE to do. I took her to this little thrift shop in Astoria where they have a huge collection of books for sale at a very cheap rate. We spent at least an hour scanning all the books. We were both able to find some that we really liked (see pic below for my books). Afterwards we drove over to Best Buy to pick up the movie Star Trek she wanted to get for my uncle. While there I saw that "The Bible" DVD series was on sale for $30. I had to get it! It's a 4 disc movie series about the stories of the bible from Genesis to Revelation. I decided that if I would purchase it then I would also share it with others. I think it is a great way to have conversations about the bible and about Christ. I am looking forward to watching it and sharing it with others. After Best Buy I took my aunt back home, watched some Star Trek and had dinner with her and my uncle and rushed home. I truly cherish the quality time I spend with my family in New York.
When I got home I chatted with my roommate for a while and then my new friend and co-worker Samantha came to pick me up with her husband. She invited me to see the Mayweather boxing fight with her husband's family at the Rosedale projects (n/k/a Sonia Sotomayor projects) in the Bronx. I had a really great time with everyone. I felt like I was back at home watching the fight surrounded by my brother and cousins. Samantha and I also got a chance to share some psalms and proverbs. I am truly grateful for my new found friend of which we can talk about Christ all day and never get tired or bored!
On Sunday I went to mass and had to announce an event to kick off my ministry at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I am blessed to have the support of Monsignor Ogle and the rest of the young adult leaders at the parish. We will be doing a "meet and greet" with coffee and donuts to see if we can build a solid foundation for a consistent group. I pray that God can make it all work out for the good. I was a bit nervous making the announcement and didn't quite say everything I wanted to say but nevertheless I got through it. I sure hope it reached some folks and they show up next week. I have to say that lately I haven't been too motivated about the ministry. I had been contemplating if I went through the process of choosing too fast but perhaps that is not coming from a good place. So I claim in the name of Jesus that this ministry will flourish and become a community of young adults that Jesus will be pleased with! I have this part of me that always wants to plan things ahead of time and the uncertainty of the structure of the ministry can consume me at times. But I know that God will make it all work out for the good..like He always does.
Sunday evening I watched the movie "Life of Pi" with my roommate Hil and our friend David. It was interesting for me to watch the movie since I had read the book a few years ago. It's amazing what movie makers can do. The animation and graphics were amazing, I imagine it had to be a difficult movie to make. Besides the animals and the beautiful scenery in the movie, I loved the storyline about how Pi, the Hindu boy, also became Muslim and Christian. His innocent curiosity as a boy and his family's ability to allow him to decide for himself was really inspiring. As he explored all three religions, he ultimately sought to just love God and his faith was reflected throughout the movie.
And that, my friends, was my fun and blessed weekend. Here are some pics:
|Dinner in Washington Heights!|
|Mini UIC undergrad reunion!|
|She only ate the M&M's! So Sweet!|
|My curly sweety...I love her!|
|My weekend treasures...religion, social justice, and magical realism!|