Wednesday, December 30, 2015

V A G A B O N D || a photo story

I'm reviving this blog for like 10 minutes.....

My friend, Olivia, is a fantastic photographer so we go out all the time and take dance pictures. About a year ago I got the idea for a photo shoot which in my head I titled, "The Vagabond Shoot". I basically wanted to juxtapose a "street rat" and an upperclass woman - there wasn't really a story behind it. But after going to California this summer and walking down Hollywood Boulevard my eyes were opened to the apathy we as a society have for the marginalized. Homeless people line the sidewalk right outside of Jimmy Kimmel's studio and people just walk by and try to avoid eye contact. 
One man had a sign that read: All I'm asking for is a smile. 
I walked past one man and heard him say, "None of you can buy me a hamburger!?"

I typed out a whole spiel on generosity and such and I outlined the story of these pictures but I think this quote from Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati does it all more justice than I can. 
"Each of you knows that the foundation of our faith is charity... We will never be truly Catholic unless we conform our entire lives to the two commandments that are the essence of the Catholic faith: to love the Lord, our God, with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves... With charity, we sow the seeds of that true peace which only our faith in Jesus Christ can give us by making us all brothers and sisters. I know that this way is steep, and difficult, and strewn with thorns, while at first glance the other path seems easier, more pleasant, and more satisfying. But the fact is, if we could look into the hearts of those who follow the perverse paths of this world, we would see that they lack the serenity that comes to those who have faced a thousand difficulties and who have renounced material pleasure to follow God's law."

|| So we shot some stuff then a lady on the street saw us taking pictures and pointed us toward a super cool alley thing so don't mind the fact that there are multiple locations and plot holes <3 ||


Thanks to Faith & Olivia for everything! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Bestest Friend, Reyaan

this post is about my biggest fan, Rey. he is a great friend I made freshma year. We've traveled to London and Paris togther. He has good music taste. Rey is funny and reads ,y blog. So the post I am writing now is about him,

A poem Rey

Rey by day
Rey by day by day by day
Rey by day each and every way
Rey by jimmy
Rey by Sandrine
Rey by that day, the ghosts of 9/11
Rey by play
Rey by May
Rey by slay
Rey by sleigh
Rey by nay
Rey by neigh
Rey by Shea
Rey by clay
Rey by day by day by day

In His Name,


Friday, October 31, 2014

bye bye bucket list

You have probably heard about Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old cancer patient who is planning on utilizing Oregon's Death With Dignity Act to commit physician assisted suicide... tomorrow (November 1, for all you readers from the future). The first I heard of this was when a friend shared this touching letter on Facebook. This was the first time I had ever heard of physician assisted suicide and Death With Dignity laws. I was so confused as to why it is even a thing, how could we just allow people to kill themselves? I spent the rest of my night researching assisted suicide laws and it became the topic of my researched argument paper for my english class. However it quickly became difficult for me to find concrete, non-religous arguments against Death With Dignity. To me there was no research needed because I know that our suffering is not in vain. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) It is in our suffering that we come closest to knowing the pain Jesus suffered for us, allowing us to build a stronger relationship with Him. There is beauty in suffering! It is in our need that we experience the true compassion of those who help us. It pains me that people see their suffering and loss of autonomy as a loss of dignity. We are dignified just because we are God's creations! No life is unworthy of being lived to the fullest! That is what I think saddens me most about Brittany Maynard's story - she says she will be ready to die when she crosses all of the places she wants to visit off her bucket list. The idea that your life is fulfilled by reaching goals cuts off so much potential for God's work! Psalm 84:10 says, better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere. I can promise you that the sense of fulfillment you get when crossing something off of your bucket list will NEVER amount to the fulfillment of eternal life in Heaven!!! One second in heaven will make all of those earthly accomplishments crumble in shame. 
All of the Death With Dignity research never hit me personally, I was hesitant to make an unfair comparison to all of the other terminally ill who do not have access to these laws and how if they can tough it out until the end, so can Brittany Maynard. But then during second period on Monday morning I got an email from high school ministry with the subject "With Heavy Hearts" My mind immediately went to Tommy Gantt, a boy in my grade who has cancer. When I opened the email, I could not believe what I was reading. It said that my youth minister, Joey's sixteen day old daughter has passed away the night before. I was confused, shocked even because we had heard nothing about her having health issues - but neither had her parents. 
Today I attended the funeral of a sixteen day old baby. I witnessed the sorrow of parents who would do anything to be able to have one more day with their precious daughter. Yet they are grateful for the short time they had with her on earth and are looking forward to the day they will meet their daughter again and live together eternally. And somehow Brittany Maynard wants to cut her time short so she does not have to lose control of her bodily functions? She has less than six months which seems short, however it is years compared to the sixteen days baby Chiara got. She is okay with leaving her family who loves her so much, while Joey, his wife and his son had no time, no warning. Maynard feels that her life has been full because she has gotten to travel to the Grand Canyon, and now that she's crossed it off of her bucket list, her life no longer has meaning enough to continue. My heart breaks for her. 

I believe in the power of prayer.

Please join me in praying for Brittany Maynard tonight and in days to come. I pray that she will come to know that her life on earth is preparing her for eternal glory and it has no reason to be cut short. I pray that she realizes that losing her bodily autonomy will not take away her dignity, but handling death in an immature manner might. I pray that she is relieved of her fears and anxieties concerning her death. I pray that she comes to lean on the Lord. I pray that the pressure of having such a public ordeal will not make her do anything she will regret. I pray that tomorrow she will not only not take those lethal pills, but that she will toss them into the depths of the sea. I pray that she knows that she is loved. 

Psalm 84:10 Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere. I have confidence that Chiara is living these better days. I can hear The Lord say, "She is safe with Me". I pray that one day, Brittany Maynard will live the better days. And that one day we all will join them. 

In His Name, 


questions, comments or prayer requests? Feel free to email me: 

I know I gave little background on the Death With Dignity Act and Brittany Maynard's full story, here are some links to more information. 

The Scancella family as they grieve the loss of their precious daughter, Chiara Marie Scancella. Joey has changed our high school community and now in his family's time of need we must be ministers to them, as he has been for us. Also, Tommy Gantt, his family and their battle with cancer.
Romans 8:28 
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."


Rest in Peace beautiful Chiara. I cannot wait to meet you one day in heaven. 

In loving memory of Chiara Marie Scancella
October 10, 2014 - October 26, 2014 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How is God like a canoe???

A while ago at a church retreat my friend, Kassidy and I went canoeing despite the fact that it was extremely windy. We got stuck by the boat house for a good ten minutes, then once we got out onto the lake we thought we would never get back to the dock because the wind was pushing so hard against us. It was a struggle, but we finally made it back and decided that our canoeing experience would make a great witness one day. So I am now here to explain to you just how God is like a canoe. Well okay not a canoe, but like the story I just summed up...

He will never let you stray too far from Him. We all have our Jesus highs and lows, but no low is ever too low to rise up from. I personally, have never hit an extreme low. Whenever I start to stray from God's path, He puts something in my way that brings me right back to Him and I am soooo thankful! 

Recently, God spoke to me and told me about my future. I am very much a plan ahead-er so naturally I was so excited to hear Him tell me how much bigger and better His plans for me are. But then the exhilarating roller coaster ride I felt like I was on screeched to a halt. I'm not giving spoilers, mostly because I'm not ready to share exactly what He told me, but I will say that I burst into tears, and not the happy kind. I kept telling myself "Don't go astray! Distancing yourself from Him won't work, and won't change His ultimate plan!" I stayed close for a long time, asking God for more understanding of the ambiguous (SAT WORD ALERT) thing He had just told me, but as the answer's became just as ambiguous as His announcement, I started to lose hope. I only went to Church so I didn't have to go to reconciliation before my next EMHC day, I cracked and binge watched Orange is the New Black and I stopped listening to Christian music. You might be reading this saying, "Hah, that's what you call a low?" but, you're only as pure as the things you put into your mind, so yeah it was!!!! Luckily, it was only a matter of time before I got this message via Jesus Calling....

July 29th

"COME TO ME CONTINUALLY. I am meant to be the Center of your consciousness, the Anchor of your soul. Your mind will wander from Me, but the question is how far you allow it to wander. An anchor on a short rope lets a boat drift only slightly before the taut line tugs the boat back toward the center. Similarly, as you drift away from Me, My Spirit within you gives a tug, prompting you to return to Me. As you become increasingly attuned to My Presence, the length of rope on your soul's Anchor is shortened. You wander only a short distance before feeling that inner tug--telling you to return to your true Center in Me."

Hebrews 6:19; 1 John 2:28; Matthew 22:37

Before I allowed my mind and my being to wander too far from Him, God sent me that passage. He sent me to the Gateway Student Conference. He sent me Wacky Week Round 2, Hillsong's Zion Acoustic Sessions and MKCYC - all to show me how much better life is when it is centered around Him! THANK YOU JESUS! 

So in conclusion, God is like a canoe because no matter how strong the wind (temptation, sin etc.) is pushing against you, He will help you fight against it and bring you back to the dock (home/ Heaven!) 

lost at sea
finally home!
crazy wind blow hair + fishing (we didn't catch anything)

Okay, so I wrote this post about a week ago and since then I have found a couple more things to add....

Like, I said up there, I've been praying for understanding. Well, on August 7th, the Jesus Calling passage begins with this: "Understanding will never give you peace." I read those words and panicked a little because I want/wanted nothing more than to understand and find peace. BUT then it goes on to say...

That’s why I have instructed you to trust in Me, not in your understanding.  Human beings have a voracious appetite for trying to figure things out, in order to gain a sense of mastery over their lives.  But the world presents you with an endless series of problems.  As soon as you master one set, another pops up to challenge you.  The relief you had anticipated is short-lived.  Soon your mind is gearing up again: searching for understanding (mastery), instead of seeking Me (your Master).
The wisest of all men, Solomon, could never think his way through to Peace.  His vast understanding resulted in feelings of futility, rather than in fulfillment.  Finally, he lost his way and succumbed to the will of his wives by worshiping idols.
My Peace is not an elusive goal, hidden at the center of some complicated maze.  Actually, you are always enveloped in Peace, which is inherent in My Presence.  As you look to Me, you gain awareness of this precious Peace.

Jesus, You've done it again! Also, today's Gospel was the story of Jesus allowing Peter to walk on water through trusting in Him. I realized that's what I need - more trust in God. Faith is one thing we could always use more of. 
In His Name, 


questions, comments or prayer requests? Feel free to email me: 

My blog is sooooo close to hitting 2,000 views! That may not seem like much but it is a milestone none the less! If you could share this post with your friends and family, it would mean soooo much to me! 

Also, check out my new page, where I have put some of my favorite bible verses!  

Teachers preparing for the start of the school year
3 year old, Jessica Birrittieri, who is currently at Cooke Children's hospital recovering from brain swelling due to a pool accident. She is making a lot of progress, keep the prayers coming. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

#MKCYC14 & 1 year blogaversary & i love being an EMHC

Hello all, I am so excited to say that I am writing this post from my new desk which is one of the many products of this weekend! I am also excited to say that this is roughly the year anniversary of this blog!!! Granted, I took about four or five months off but it still counts okay... I said this in my last post (which can be found here) but my weekend at the Dallas Catholic Youth Conference was what made me decide to start blogging. I also mentioned that my parish cancelled our trip to DCYC this year. My friend, Kassidy, and I have been looking forward to DCYC all year so we decided to throw our own conference to substitute for DCYC. We called it "Meredith & Kassidy's Catholic Youth Conference" here's a little recap for ya....


  • Dinner at Canes 
  • Jamba Juice aka my second home
  • Michael's to get supplies to make shirts 
  • Designing and making MKCYC shirts (took about 3 hours, but they look great)
  • Watching the Missoula Children's Theater production of The Jungle Book  we did probably 7 or 8 years ago. The DVD started skipping on our scene together but it was hilarious none the less. PS Kassi played young Mowgli because she looks like him & I played a cobra. 
  • Deep Jesus talks 
  • Watching Miranda Sings videos until we fell asleep. This is also the year anniversary of when we fell in love (not lebanese) with Miranda
  • Impromptu trip to Ikea with my parents 
  • Getting Ikea's "twine for your convenience" and each holding an end so that we wouldn't get separated
  • Smash Burger 
  • Assembling my desk, but eventually getting frustrated 
  • Mass! I EMHC-ed today so we were really early
  • Signed up for the St. Ann Carnival (September 5-7 btw) come see us in Kiddy Land on Friday the 5th!!!

Although we both would have been thrilled to go to DCYC, MKCYC was the only other way I would have wanted to spend this weekend! I am so incredibly blessed to have a friend like Kassidy. 

We decided the verse for the weekend was 1 Thessalonians 5:18, which says "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" Basically, even though we weren't happy with not going to DCYC, we made the best of our circumstance and are both so thankful for the weekend God gave us instead. 

As the title says, I love being an EMHC which by the way, stands for Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. So I get to give communion at Mass. I've been pretty blessed with the masses I've gotten to serve at this far. I served on the Solemnity of Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ or, the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is an entire mass celebrating the Eucharist. All of the readings were about it and the homily too so I was pumped to get to give the Eucharist to a group of people who were so in awe of it already. Again today, the Gospel told the story of when Jesus multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish to feed a ton of people and had 12 baskets left over and the readings talked about being fed by the Bread of Life. Today I actually started shaking during communion, knowing that I was holding Jesus in my hand and allowing so many people to receive Him! 

Here are some pictures from MKCYC...
post Churchidy Church

low quality pic of us miranding with our shirts

jamba juice

Pope Francis made an appearance!!!!

our tweets made it to DCYC even though we didn't!!! #famus

my new desk!!! one day there will be MacBook there... hint hint parents

I love you all dearly and am so grateful that you take the time to read my ramblings. Happy one year! 

 In His N


questions, comments or prayer requests? Feel free to email me: 


Those who did attend DCYC this weekend!
Kassidy & her classmates as they start school this week!


Sunday, July 6, 2014


I don't know if anybody has been reading this blog since the start, but if you have you may remember my first couple of posts, recapping the Dallas Catholic Youth Conference. If not, please have mercy when you read them - they are not the most well written posts I have. It was actually the thing that made me decide to start blogging. ANYWAYS.......

I never really finished my recaps, I don't plan on giving a full play by play now, but rather explain WHY it was such an amazing weekend.

First off, I got much closer to one of my best friends, Kassidy. We go waaayyyyy back to the VBS days and have danced together for a while but after we shared a bed and stayed up watching Miranda Sings videos all night at DCYC we now have a pretty unbreakable bond. I got to serve as her confirmation sponsor this year, which was an honor and an incredible journey in my own faith as well as hers. If we had never gone to DCYC, who knows if we would be the Miranda Sings loving-dumb roller coaster picture taking - church boy stalking girls we are today?
DCYC pretty much confirmed my dream of becoming an evangelist/ youth minister when I grow up. I was so touched by the stories the speakers shared. I still hold the words "His will and my will are the same" close every day of my life. I will always remember that it was Mike Hoffman who spoke those words, and Naomi Lehew's talk on Blessed Chiara Badano that made them true to me. I probably say this in every single post but... I want to be somebody who can do that for other people - give them truths, help them understand God just a little bit more.
Lastly, and most importantly, I'm gonna be cliche and say that it was an inspiring weekend. The whole conference emphasized how you don't have to be an adult to make a difference. Blessed Chiara was only 18 years old when she died, and that was only 23 years ago, and she was beatified in 2010. The time is now! Now is the time to be holy, not tomorrow not in 30 years - Jesus doesn't care if you're 13 or 83, you are part of His family and it is your responsibility to be active in it. So pray! Volunteer! Go to church! There's no point in waiting on something that is available to you this instant. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, I have big dreams and DCYC made me believe that they are achievable, not in ten years but in the near future. Now here I am, almost a year later, a part of the first ever Epi-Pro dance company, being blessed with the incredible opportunity to give Him glory and to bring people from all over the country closer to Him through dance! And I know that this is only the beginning of what God has in store for me!

Dallas Catholic Youth Conference gave me a retreat high that I don't ever plan on getting off of but now I bear bad news.........
This past week I recieved an e-mail from my youth minister saying that we had to cancel our DCYC trip this summer because of low registration. First of all, I think it is ridiculous that one of the largest Catholic youth groups in the nation had to pull out because not enough people signed up, and it saddens me that so many teens from my parish don't know what they're missing out on. Seeing as Kassidy and I have been counting down the days until DCYC all summer, devastated is an understatement. PLEASE pray that we can work out a way to still get to go!!!

Sorry for being a downer in the last paragraph but it is what it is. You might be thinking, "Didn't you say 'His will and my will are the same?'" Well yes, but I highly doubt that God's will is to keep a group of teens away from a place where they can grow deeper in their faith with Him. I'm praying for the best but unfortunately, preparing for the worst.

                                                                      In His Name, 

questions, comments or prayer requests? Feel free to email me: 


The kids at SAY Summer, VBS & all of the volunteers this coming week @ St. Ann
My friend, Evana and her mom that got in a car accident the other day

Here's the DCYC promo... I make an appearance around 50 seconds :-)

DCYC Promo from Dallas DCYC on Vimeo.

"The decisions we make, and how we respond to The Lord's invitation, can affect the entire direction of our future, can affect people we do not yet know, can affect entire generations after us" - Naomi Lehew

"The future of the Church depends on you, well let me tell you all - that future is here now and you're required, not in a couple years' time but right now, you must be filled with The Holy Spirit" - Bishop Kevin Ferrell.

"Live in a way that those who know you but don't know God, will come to know God because they know you" - wooden plaque thingy in my house

Thursday, June 26, 2014

wacky week

I feel like I start every single post with an apology for not posting in a while... Sooooo um sorry I haven't posted in a while, I guess I just haven't done anything interesting enough to talk about BUT this week I did!!!

This past week I had the privilege of dancing in Gateway Church's "Wacky Week", which can be best described as vacation bible school on crack. It's insane, in the best way possible and I am so incredibly thankful to have been a part of it. I danced in the opener, day 1 & day 2 closers and got to be a dance-worship leader. (Seeing as I often feel my calling in life is to be a worship hand motion choreographer, the last one was especially fun) Today I want to share a couple of things that made this week so special to me...

I'm not a member at Gateway so I was pretty nervous that Olivia & I would be excluded because we were outsiders. But everybody there was SOOOO nice, it wasn't hard at all to see Jesus in each and every person I met. I made tons of new friends and was welcomed by everybody, by the end of the week I felt like part of their huge family. What I admire the most is that status didn't matter. The dancers shared a dressing room with the actors and singers and nobody was more important than another. The people who on a TV show would be portrayed as the diva or the condescending genius, were the sweetest of them all. The female lead singer, Anna, especially warmed my heart. She is an amazing singer, yet she is incredibly humble and is a ton of fun to hang around with. She constantly praised us dancers and was enthusiastic about taking weird pictures of Olivia and me backstage. It was also surreal getting to hang out with/dance with so many members of Ingredients dance company, which I wrote about in a previous post (read it here). It was crazy getting to dance alongside so many people that I look up to. 

I'm gonna try not to get too sappy here but a month ago today, my dance teacher, Connie, had a preventative double mastectomy (meaning she had it to lower her once very high chances of getting cancer - NOT because she had it!). On the way to our first Wacky Week rehearsal, Olivia and I went and visited her in the hospital and yesterday I was dancing with her onstage! God does amazing things for amazing people! One of my new friends said the other day, "Connie, you are literally my inspiration" She laughed off the comment but its so true, and if you know her I think you'd agree. She's inspiring in the simplest ways, and in big ones too. For me, she inspired me to want more from my dancing, showing me that there is more to dance than just steps. Throughout this week Connie has thanked  us immensely for helping her out and I always feel like I'm the one that owes her thanks. Most of the other dancers come from Christian studios and companies, so it may not have been that big of a deal to them  but this was the first time I had gotten to do dances created specifically to glorify Our Lord! IT WAS AMAZING!!! And now that I know how it feels, I never want to go back! So Connie, if you're reading this I love you, thank you so much for allowing me to dance & worship this week, you're seriously the coolest person I have ever met. 

During sound-check one day, Pastor Ken, told us about how every generation seems to say that the generation below them is the "generation that turned their backs on God". He said that it's people like us, people who use their talents to glorify Our Creator, not worldly things and imitation love, who can change that and I truly believe he's right. I wish you all could have seen the kids  attending Wacky Week when we danced and led worship - even the boys in the back row were jumping around and lifting their hands in praise. Knowing that I contributed to kids encountering Christ is the most gratifying thing in the world. This week, though for the children, was a retreat for me as well. 

When I was little and went to VBS, I always had a "favorite" big kid. There was always one person I watched and looked up to and wanted to be just like. They never knew how much of an impact they made on me and now that I'm a big kid and there's probably a little girl who looks up to me. It sounds so silly, but what made this week so special to me is that idea. I'll never know her name, but I have touched her heart and that fills me with enough joy to last a lifetime. 

Once again I'm really thankful for this week, making new friends, growing closer to my already friends and growing closer to God! I'm also excited because I get to do it all again in July!!!
In His Name, 

questions, comments or prayer requests? Feel free to email me: 

All of the kids who went to Wacky Week
Connie in her recovery, her caretakers and doctors

Here are links to some short videos from WW...

Alive (my arm is on the big screen haha!):

I'm the one in the center-ish, wearing pink pants and a blue jacket.

we waited all week to take a picture smashing our faces against the glass of the drum cage haha

okay this is in SL town square but I've always wanted to open a dance studio in this building and the store is closing so my chance is now (lol I'm not opening a studio any time soon though)

this fantastic portrait of a horse is in the green room, so I had to do some snap chat story-ing with it...

in a box

pretending i'm in the noize

these guys & girls were amazing in the skits all week

Olivia, Connie & me - purple version

Rudy & me trying to be hardcore... except I did the "I love you" sign instead of "rock on" oops

most of the dancers

Me, Tressa & Olivia