*This is a Special Post!*

Written by our generous guest blogger: Theresa C. (photo below):

T is on the far right!

I, like many of you, are at that age when things are uncertain and even when we have goals and desires and inspirations, we find ourselves asking “how is this plausible?” We find ourselves being limited by a force that we can’t even see, though it is tangible.We see time through watching the sun rise and set, through seeing the numbers on a clock move throughout the day, and seeing our bodies change and age. The truth is, time for many of us, truly dictates what we think we can and can’t do. We are constantly told to be worried about time; for example, when we should and shouldn’t be eating. We are told that there is certain time when we should be children, students, spouses, parents, workers, friends, Catholics, men, women, what have you, there is supposedly a time for us to be these things.

I disagree.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do think that is important to aware of time so that you can be realistic and have at least some order in your life. It really wouldn’t be appropriate if we let 5 year olds drive, or let 95 year olds take children’s art classes. It also wouldn’t be appropriate to show up 3 months late to an event or arrive 3 months early. These things are just vague examples of how, yes, time is very important, but that does not mean we need it to dictate our lives.

In this day and age, we are constantly worried about when is the right time to make career choices, when is the right time to meet someone, when is it the right time to start training for that marathon? Here’s the thing…


We just need to be aware and acknowledge that, yes, time is happening. Always. It helps us measure things, like seasons and days and age. These things, especially age, are inevitable and we have to learn how to cope with that. We have to become comfortable with age and its role in our lives. We are going to get older. We are going to change. Those two things do not define or limit us. We are perpetually curious beings that always strive to learn something new, explore foreign spaces, try untasted foods, and feel different sensations. We are in a constant state of change and we are constantly adapting. This is a good thing. This makes us more versatile and experienced people. With these changes come different goals and different desires, which is totally natural and completely normal; too often than not, we let let age and time stand in our way of accomplishing or experiencing something great. We say to ourselves, “I’m too young for _____” or “I’m too old for _____” or “I just really don’t have time for ____”. Don’t lie, we’ve all been there. We’ve all done this.

And that is okay.

I want to challenge you to take this time to say, “It’s okay. I’ve done this.”. Now, I want you to take that mindset, and completely throw it out the door. Get rid of it. It’s gone. It’s done. Now you are timeless. I mean that in, time no longer dictates you with your goals and your desires. Who is someone else or a societal norm to tell you that you’re too old to start dancing, or that you’re too young to fall in love, or that you can’t go somewhere or be someone you want to be based on the year you were born.

(c) JKBrown. Door County, Wisconsin, 2009

You are free. You are free to be whoever you want to be at whatever age. You are free to do whatever you want to do (within reason of course!) at whatever age. You are free to go wherever you want to go at whatever age. You are free to love, and feel whatever at whatever age you want to.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 says

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


God acknowledges that yes, there is a time, but does not let this force of time dictate who we are. God does not want us to be limited by time nor to not fulfill our potential and purposes by time. God created time so that we have something to help us measure many different parts of our lives and our world, not to prevent us from accomplishing things nor to prevent us from living our lives to the fullest. We need to use God’s gift of time to live our Their incredible love and to not waste our one precious life on worrying that we could be limited by age. We are not. Like God, goals and desires and the ability to love are timeless. We need to look at these in such a way that we too strive to be ageless and timeless and do all the great things that we were put on this Earth to do.

Good luck. I know you will do great things. I love you. God loves you.

-T. Conley 2.4.16

(c) JKBrown. Madison, Wisconsin, 2013.

This post was inspired by Youtuber, Connor Franta and his video “I’M TOO OLD FOR THIS!!”.



My Most Inspiring Friend

I have the blessing of knowing friendship in this life, only (and fully) by the grace of God. Each friendship points to the redemptive refuge that God allows me to thrive in every day…and through His blessings, friendships thrive.

Camino a la Virgen de la Chapi, Peru 2015

One friendship has brought many more blessings (some in the form of friendships), however.

One friendship brought me back to my faith through her example…and through this, gave meaning to my life.

One friendship has evolved since we were 12 years old, until now, at 23 (and 22) years old, and will continue to change with time.

Only one friendship can demonstrate who I already recognize to be my maid of honor, and I don’t even have the slightest idea who my future husband is (funny how God’s plans are put into place…but I can’t complain, I stand in awe and often, in joy as well).

One friendship has involved quite a list of shared experiences:

Summer camps (attending together and leading together in recent years), basketball camps, attempting to cook exquisite meals for both our families, COUNTLESS sleepovers, being student theater managers together, her setting me up with my first date *ever*– for a high school dance, going on camping trips with our families, movie nights with our families, her bailing me out of the most ridiculous situations that childhood could allow, countless masses shared together, lots of skiing together, meeting some of the most genuine, good-hearted people I have the honor to know through her, receiving (and taking) the advice of a lifetime,  which turned into all my greatest adventures of this lifetime (Camp Foley, UST, Peru, certain faith groups, a community to adore/share so much with me in Minneapolis…the list continues for ages, I promise you).

I hope that the following ‘open letter to my best friend’ addresses many of the questions I receive regarding her vocation; I hope that it clarifies this: where there is great sacrifice for something Greater, that is where there is also the purest Love a human could know.


Dear Han,

On our way to Camp Foley. August 2007

As I look back at our many years supporting each other, I now am able to notice one thing: you have put faith into our friendship every step of the way. Thank you so much for doing this, especially when it was difficult. During the times of my life when I didn’t believe in much at all, you found a way to put that light in my life that faith really always has been, whether I was able to recognize this or not at the time. Today, you took your first serious step in the religious life! You became a Carmelite today, and I was so thrilled to see you smiling so much this morning. I know you’ve had many people not understand this huge step in your life. I was one of them for quite a bit of your journey. As you may sense, I still can’t pretend that I understand every detail of your calling, but it’s not my job to understand. It’s my job to have faith in God and support you, my sister in Christ, along every part of your path toward Heaven. I pray that I did well in supporting you today. I pray that I will continue to improve in my support for you every following day of my life. You’ve been such a constant, dependable presence in my life. You’ve been a greater source of strength and wisdom for me than you could ever realize! I know why, just as you do- You know Him so well! You are giving your life to praise and serve Him. It takes someone very invested and certain of His greatness to do such a great act, yet seeing you today as though it was any other day of our friendship– this was just one more example of your great confidence in Him, by His grace. Hannah, thank you so much for everything  you are to me, today and always. This bold, counter-cultural decision to follow your vocation is the most important step in our friendship. Be most assured of my prayers as I get to see you further fulfilling God’s great plans for you to reach your spot in Heaven. I hope to be right there with you, so always pray for me to listen to the Holy Spirit’s unique, bold inspirations just as you have, please.

Until I can visit you in 2017, I leave you with all Christ’s love I can send your way!

Your best-friend-for-always,



God bless everyone reading, and keep Hannah and her family in your prayers! I’ll give you an update about other events concerning my return to the U.S. soon-ish, hehe! Much love to all.

St. Paul, Fall 2015