Mad for…Lee Ann

Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see. It is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly, “You got this. Keep going.”

Day 80 of 365.

Do you see these two glorious sisters basking in sunshine? On the left is one of my dearest friends on the planet, Lisa Houze. On the right is her gorgeous sister, Lee Ann Zwiebel. Today is Lee Ann’s birthday, so I wanted to post a little shout out to her awesomeness as a little gift!

Lee Ann and I are acquainted just a bit. I’ve spent a few stolen moments with her over the years as our lives have intersected now and then. Lee Ann is a fiery and competitive sports lover, and her game is volleyball– a sport she’s poured herself into over many years. Often, she posts inspiring quotes on her social media and sometimes I write them down. Always, they speak to me about strength, attitude, and being an encourager to those around us. I find her obvious fierceness and positivity to be inspiring.

Lee Ann is a bright and articulate wife and mother of two. Her daughters, Anna and Lara, are simply some of the very best young people around. It takes a special and devoted mom to raise daughters who are as integrity-filled as these two. She’s supportive and loving, and her children reflect her in their kindness and stunning compassion for others. As women go, Lee Ann is not hard on the eyes. She’s stunningly beautiful. However, what makes her truly gorgeous is her integrity and the quality of her character.

Do you know what else is pretty fantastic about Lee Ann? She’s joyful and very funny! Her sense of humor is immediately apparent upon meeting her and people who make me laugh are among my very favorite, because laughing is my favorite thing!!

Lee Ann, I hope your birthday is a fantastic one, because your life is just SO WORTH CELEBRATING in a BIG WAY! Thank you for the sunshine and giggles! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Mad for…Sr. Josemaria

To be happy what you need is not an easy life, but a heart which is in love. -St. Josemaria Escriva

The Carmel Deanery is chock full of stunningly gorgeous souls that I affectionately called “Jesus girls”. I took an unofficial headcount and I am pretty sure almost all of them were at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church this afternoon to hear a talk by Sr. Josemaria Pence at the AWAKEN event! Sister a Nashville Dominican.

For those who have been humoring me on my little journey, you already know that each day in 2019, I am endeavoring to point out an fantastic human that I spot around me and write a few words about why I think he or she makes a positive difference in the world. I try to take cues from my day and let the Lord do the choosing. Today, our good and gracious God yelled a little louder than usual.

What I already knew from my own observations over the past 4 years or so was that Sr. Josemaria is a sunny, joyful woman. Neither of my recent Guerin Catholic graduates had her as a teacher during their time as “Golden Eagles” but I have a fondness for religious men and women, so I’d been paying more attention to her than she might suspect. I know, I know….that’s a little creepy? The truth is, I’m drawn to the joy I have noticed in all the women I’ve encountered who are Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, just like Sr. Josemaria. Who doesn’t want to bask in the warmth a little? When I heard that she was speaking, I offered my rosary for her efforts today to be fruitful, which they certainly were.

It turns out, while she’s on loan to us here in central Indiana, Sr. Josemaria actually hails from Minnesota. She shared with us today about her family and her vocation story, and It’s one I won’t even attempt to retell in a few words here, but in her generosity, I found myself feeling filled by Christ as I listened. She’s genuine, and her smile is infectious. She’s the owner of a hilarious, self-deprecating sense of humor. She’s a devoted daughter of the Church who is clearly filled with zeal, enthusiasm and love of the Lord. Her laugh and her smile are kind. In short, my time in her presence today left me feeling refreshed, renewed, and incredibly grateful.

Thank you, Sr. Josemaria, for the courage it must have taken to say YES in such a powerful way to Jesus with your life. Your cannonball into the deep end of the pool, it turns out, has allowed Him to splash all over your beautiful life and the rest of us nearby are a little drenched too. How great is that?? The beautiful way you love Christ is inspiring, and I know that your students experience God’s infinite love for them through your efforts each day! I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU!

*NOTE: If you would like to know more about the Nashville Dominicans, please visit their website at http://www.nashvilledominican.org.http://nashvilledominican.org