Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Getting used to rural life

I am learning that there isn't really a time-frame for homesickness. While my homesickness significantly decreased within the first week, it still hits me every now and then. Like when I am driving/riding around Manitowoc, noticing how starkly different it is from Grand Rapids. Today I not only did that, but I also spent some time looking across Lake Michigan, noticing more than ever how one cannot see the other side of the lake.

What do I miss? Everything. Even the things I took forgranted: car horns, people yelling in the street, protesters of the war downtown, people praying on street corners, sirens, hearing the train, buildings, overpopulated squirrels who eat human food, etc. Yet, life in the country has it's perks as well. It's actually dark at night. Truly dark. There's no streetlights that make me want to close my blinds, and I am sure that if I thought to do it, I could go outside and look at the stars. Wow, I need to do that! I also can open a window at night without worrying about who might use it as an entryway. The country comes with it's own sounds, it just takes longer to notice them. Most of the time I just hear silence, but when I stop and pay attention, I hear birds singing, I hear the leaves on the trees, I hear Sisters laughing together in the distance. Some day this will become my new "familiar."

One of the nice things about being Catholic is that the mass is the same wherever you go. The nice thing about believing in God is that you know that as many things change in our lives, God remains constant. I have been hearing that so many times while I have been here, and it's very comforting. I don't know if I've been hearing it at the Liturgy of the Hours or at Mass or what, but it always gives me peace. Probably Liturgy of the Hours. Wow, I did not know I would love the Liturgy of the Hours this much. Before coming to the convent, I hadn't paid much attention to the book of Psalm. Now I look forward to praying with them! It's my new favorite book in the Bible. I just love how honest the writer(s) of the Psalms are. They express the full range of human emotions, and are very frank and real with God. It's incredible.


  1. Kara, I enjoy reading your blog very much! You are truly a gifted writer. I hope you are saving these journal entries for a book someday. I mailed you a small photo album about your trip to Manitowoc today. Keep praying for us at home! Love, Aunt Judy

  2. I'm impressed. Only someone who truly loves people and places and is freely aware of all the feelings, etc. that that means can embrace her/his unique vocation from God or any newness for that matter. Kara, you do well in articulating the heart stuff that is down deep and is so real and human in each of us. Thank you.

  3. Well, Kara, I am still learning about these internet things. I didn't realize my "letter" would be posted on your blog - the one about our trip back to Michigan on the ferry after we took you to that beautiful convent! Anyway, I love reading your thoughts. You are a great writer. And you inspire me.
    Mom XO

  4. Shalom Kara. Enjoy your new-found silence!
    Blessings to you from Jerusalem.

  5. What an interesting blog. It reminds me so much of my entry into religous life. Everything is new and exciting and interesting. It is people like you who renew my initial desire... now that I have been a sisters for 39 years.

    I hope you always have that "fresh approach" so dear to the heart of Francis.

    Sister Anne Marie Lom

  6. Dear Kara,
    I am a former member of the Community. I will forever be grateful for the many years I was with the Community, and continue to keep in prayer the option of possibly returning. I keep the Community and especiallly those in formation in my daily prayers. I agree that both of you look nice in the new Postulant habits. May God richly bless you in this new journey. In Prayer, Kelly Christine