Archive | August, 2013

Our Herd of Eleven

26 Aug

Genesis says that God made the world in seven days. On the seventh day, He looked around at His creation, stating that it was good. 


Seven days ago, I moved to Pittsburgh.


Generally speaking, I’m a fairly adventurous person. I like to dive right into things and hope I start swimming before my head crashes into the bottom of the pool. Last Sunday was no different. When my dad dropped me off at the Mother House of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, I was ready to jump in head first into this year of service. But what I didn’t think about was the fact that I’m doing more than just serving this year. This is a lifestyle, not a job. 

The last seven days have been a crash course in what it means to be part of a community. Between Milly and Eddie (our two houses, six blocks apart) there are 11 of us in the Change a Heart community this year. Six girls at Eddie, and three boys and two girls at Milly (I’m one of them). Together we are challenged to lead lives of service and simplicity, spirituality and community, not to mention navigation of buses and rationing of stipends. 11 strangers, 2 houses, 1 year. 

We span from Minnesota to Montana, Boston to Florida, and we dominate the Midwest. We’re nurses and chefs, ’90s music fanatics and Disney music fiends. We are vegetarians and bacon lovers, introverts and extroverts, small town and big city. But we have one thing in common: we signed up for this, and this is where we belong.

I’m not much of a High School Musical fan, but “We’re All in This Together” sure has a nice ring to it. And I certainly felt that way yesterday when we all attempted to walk to get out fingerprints taken before we start service tomorrow.. As we hiked across the Bloomfield Bridge towards what we thought was Oakland, we found ourselves marching single file alone the side of the highway, not sure how we ended up there but sure that it was better we were there together. Crossing an exit ramp on foot somehow isn’t quite as scary when you do it as a herd of eleven.


The Children’s Hospital in the background is one block from Milly, and the bridge in the forefront is the one we thought we were taking to get to Oakland 🙂 

It’s amazing how protective one can feel towards another in just one week. On Friday one of our own had to traverse to her service site, and two of us made sure we were there so she didn’t have to go it alone. This evening three of us made dinner for the rest of us, each person making sure everyone had enough to eat. We went to Church together and drank together, and tonight good luck texts have been bountiful as we prepare for our first days at our placement sites.

We have one year of this. One year of adventures in community, service, spirituality, and simplicity. We don’t know what’s in store for our future, but we’ve made it through our first seven days. And as I lay to rest tonight and look back at the week, all I can say is

it was good.