Monday, September 1, 2008

Transitioning and Re-orientating Myself

Well I've survived a bit more than a week of novitiate. Some people say, "Well yeah Jenn, you're in California! Tough life, huh?" But actually, it does take a lot of getting used to. First of all, the pace is different. I haven't lived with people my age for 4 years. After a while you get used to living with sisters that are 40 years or so older than you. It's different because usually I have so much energy but there's no one around me to expend that energy. Now there's an abundance. It's not a bad thing on either side, just something else to get used to.

It feels quite different being in California also because normally I would be beginning a new school year and would have my classroom set up by now. I knew that it was time to move on and I think that God's got me in the right spot internally for this new beginning.

There's been a lot of orientation this week. Last Sunday, Kathy and I flew in and I think I was the 4th person here. There was a choice of bedroom to pick from and I picked the street side so I could get the morning sun. The folks on the other side of the hall get evening sun but they're enjoying a balcony as well. The at-home directors stayed with us until Wednesday and it was good to meet everyone and see who they've been working with. The Orange sisters here are all so supportive of us and welcome us all the time, its a great energy around here. After the at-home directors left on Wednesday morning, we were able to have house meetings and get acquainted with each other a bit more. So far, I've been to Target a few times in order to make my room my own. If it's going to feel like home, it's got to have some "Jenn" in it even if I'm not sitting in here. It's funny because during the short time that I was in Chicago, I was trying to make that space mine and trying to find a place for all my belongings. Here, I've got TONS of storage space and nothing to put in it. Wake up call about simplicity but I think I finally got rid of the echoing sound... boy was that a lonely sound!

This weekend there's a street fair just down the road. We went there on Saturday and found that they have food and are selling things originating from every place that you could possibly imagine: Greece, Denmark, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, etc. It was a great time!

Also visited Seal beach for an afternoon. What a different setting! I've spent most of my "big water" days on Lake Michigan and also was at Cape May last summer. This beach is so different, the beach itself is about a quarter mile between the houses and the water. The sand is practically black with gold flecks all in it. Really different but it's a very reflective place that I think I will frequently occupy.

Thuy, the novice from right here in Orange, made us Vietnamese Spring Rolls this week for dinner. Really good!

This week we'll be visiting the different ministry sites that are available. They include:
- one-on-one visits or sacramental preparation at Juvenile Hall
- 2nd grade aide in a Hispanic area school called St. Joseph
- working at Mary's Kitchen which is a place that provides food and shower facilities to the homeless
- working at Thomas House, a homeless shelter for families
- helping out a the Regina Residence which is a building attached to the Orange motherhouse for the retired and assisted living sisters
- volunteering at L'Arche Wavecrest, a facility which people with disabilities and their assistants choose to live and work together.

So I think it will be a full week. I hope to be as attentive as possible to the Spirit's movement this week as I decided which ministry I will participate in for my 8 month stay in Orange.
Will write soon but feel free to comment or browse at pictures between now and then!
Pictures of all the novices are on the right side for your perusal. In a short time, the Federation website will have these pictures will accompanied by biographies that we wrote this week. If you don't know the Federation website, a like to it is on the right.


barb kupchak said...

I don't know looks too good to be true...I could reallly pray in that setting!!!

Seriously, I'm glad you're there and enjoying your novice all are in my prayers and the way if you all sent a little sand back each week, maybe we could make a beach on this end...enjoy the days and each other and get the recipe for those spring rolls...might come in handy sometime.

Its great to have pics and names of the other novices...thanks for that

Sharon Hektor said...

Good evening, Jenn. Thanks for all the news and pictures. It sounds like you are having a great time getting to know your new friends (sisters). I am happy that you are getting experience of living with Sisters your own age. Continue to keep us informed about your experiences. Enjoy California for the rest of us. May God continue to bless you with much love and happiness. Looking forward to hearing more about California and your experiences. Love, Sharon Hektor

Karen Salsbery said...

Great job, Jenn--this lets us join you on the journey in some way!

Joyce DeShano said...

Hi Jenn. THis is great. You look both happy and overwhelmed. Orange is very beautiful but it also is a LONG way from the familiar. Thanks for the pictures and sharing. I am glad to see faces of your companions on the journey. Count on my continuing love and care. Will write soon.

Tami Schab said...

Hi Jenn,

It is wonderful to see what is going on in Cal. It looks great! I will be jealous when it is Jan. and Feb.!!!



Joellen Sbrissa said...

I love your website. Thanks for letting us share your story. I hope all is well with you. You are gift and don't forget it.


veronica baumgartner said...

I love your Blog and have it on my favorites. I especially appreciate how you've introduced us all to the people with you in California. What a youthful group!
Wish I had some of that energy!
I continue prayer for you, and have you in my heart these days.
I know you will listen to the Spirit and choose the right ministry for you. Thanks for doing this.

Nicolle said...

Hi Jenn!
Its nice to read about whats happening w/ you. I'm glad that you will be enjoying the black beaches. I"m sure you will remain many shades darker than me. :)
I'll be thinkin of ya- I hope u are directed in what volunteer experience that you'll do. "Pray for me, and I'll pray for you... ." -remember that song I sang at h.s. graduation? I just thought of it now. HUGS Take care,

Novitiate Community said...

Wish I could be there sharing that energy and fun with you all. Sending prayers and support your way always.

Jeanne Gamache said...

Just checking in to say what a great job you're doing with your blog to keep us informed and journeying with you. Will be anxious to hear of your choice of ministry. I love the fact that our blogs are connected. This community just keeps on growing and deepening and touching many. We're blessed to be integral members, no?? Be patient with transition. It takes time! I know!!
Love 'ya, your sister, Jeanne
P.S. Saludos y bendiciones a todas las novicias y tus directoras.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for keeping your journey current. You are all in the thoughts and prayers of your many 'cousins' in the Federation.

Special blessings,

Sally said...

Jann it is great to hear from you and see the other Sisters that are with you.

You are in our prayers and thoughts. Just think of all the stories you will be able to tell when you get back to Michigan.

Take one day at a time. don't rush the months ahead.

Love and prayers.

bgazda said...

Hi Jenn,

Thank you for taking us with words and pictures. What a great opportunity for you! Please give my love to Julie. I experienced some of her high energy in Concordia. Love, Bernie Gazda

Christine said...

Well, I wrote a lengthy note earlier, but apparently didn't do 'something' right when I tried to send it, as it hasn't appeared in the comment list (undoubtedly floating somewhere in cyberspace). Sooo, here's a quick (and shorter)greeting, just to say "hi!"

Love your blog, words and photo's. Brings back memories of my time there in Feb. Have some Cape May photo's to share when we are together sometime.

Holding you close in heart and prayer......Christine

Marie Hogan said...

Hi Jenn,
It's fun seeing some of the pictures of you and the other novices. I just spent a couple days at the Lake Michigan Beach in Muskegon. That means I don't have to be too jealous of you and the ocean.

I hope you have a great year. My thoughts and prayers are with you.