Straws and Crosswalks

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Bold in Faith, Bold in Life, Bold in Work

A few years ago, I bought a reusable straw in a valiant attempt to save the sea turtles I was probably killing with my abundant plastic straw use. My straw (and its cute little carrying case) came everywhere with me, and I used it in my iced coffee, my sparkly waters, and my smoothies. I also don’t think I ever cleaned it quite well enough (whoops).

Almost as soon as I started using the straw, I saw how my perspective began to shift. I couldn’t help but notice how many disposable items I used each day: iced coffee cups, takeout boxes, plastic grocery bags, and on and on. I began carrying a thermos and reusable shopping bags regularly. That one little habit change (a reusable straw) had a ripple effect across my consumption as a whole.

Why are we talking about straws? Well because, as I learned a few years ago in this instance, sometimes the most powerful shifts we make in our lives are the simplest. So this Lent, I’m giving up jaywalking. It sounds silly, but frankly, I haven’t waited for a crosswalk light in years. When the idea was proposed to me in prayer, I knew it would be a good challenge, but I was absolutely not ready for the ripple effects that would occur.

Waiting at a red light requires patience. When you push the crosswalk buttons in DC, the machines even scream “WAIT!” to remind you. And so, as I stand on the corner for 45 seconds waiting for my turn (while hundreds of people stream past me because who waits for lights anymore), I am learning to fight my desire for efficiency and forward movement and simply wait.

This new challenge has opened my eyes to all of the other ways I prioritize efficiency: using mobile orders at Starbucks, picking the shortest aisle at the store or TSA, and running through self-checkout at CVS, to name a few. But this Lent, I’ve found myself desiring to make all of these things a little harder, a little less efficient. Spoiler alert: I have already come face to face with my embarrassing lack of patience in new and uncomfy ways, and it’s been SIX DAYS.

Lent is a time to grow closer to Jesus, and I’ve had more than a few people say to me, “What does not jaywalking have to do with God?” But as I’m learning right now, and as I’ve seen throughout my life, with a supernatural perspective, everything has everything to do with God. The Lord is inviting me to rest, to pause, to release my desire to move faster and avoid any sort of discomfort that comes from having to let Him lead me.

Here’s the question we could pray on this week: Which virtue am I struggling with right now, and is there a simple challenge or fast that I could take on this Lent to grow in it?

Please know of my prayers for you all during this season of Lent!! (And send me your intentions because I have a lot of time to pray these days while I’m waiting to cross the street 😉).

In Christ,

Jane


What I’m loving lately….

Emma by Jane Austen

I’ve been on a bit of an Anglophile kick with my reading this year… and I’m loving this book! It truly makes me cackle – on the metro, on my couch, on a plane. Jane Austen is hilarious and the romantic drama of country life in England is such a delight to dive into. I cannot wait to finish it and watch the movie (I have friends who are die-hard for Gwyneth’s version or Anya Taylor-Joy’s version and many who just love Clueless, so I’m not sure yet where I’ll start!)

The Way of the Cross

This Lent, I’m doing my best to attend the Stations of the Cross on Fridays! Most of the churches in DC offer communal stations, but this past week I ended up praying them by myself, using my absolute favorite new guide, The Way of the Cross. That link has everything in it but I do have the booklet version which I enjoy praying with as well. It’s wild how relatable and personal these stations are, and I hope they impact your prayer in the same way they’ve deepened mine!

I love living in DC (plus a top-notch bolognese recipe)

On Sunday night, the Fiat90 and Exodus90 groups at my church came together for dinner, and I decided to make a big pot of bolognese. While shopping for ingredients at Trader Joe’s, I ran right into Pete Buttigieg and Chasten and their children, who were also making bolognese for dinner! We compared recipes and discussed the proper pasta to use, and then went on our way wishing the others good luck! It was such a delightful little DC moment. Also, the five hours of simmering this bolognese were for sure worth it… yum. I added pancetta, too!

I love being Catholic

Last week I took a quick 24-hour trip to Champaign, Illinois, and had the chance to stop into their campus church, and WOW. I love getting to attend mass or even just pray in the churches I encounter, whether in DC or out of town! It’s always such a gift and makes me so grateful to be Catholic.

Quote of the week: St. Josemaria on abandonment

“As soon as you truly abandon yourself in the Lord, you will know how to be content with whatever happens. You will not lose your peace if your undertakings do not turn out the way you hoped, even if you have put everything into them, and used all the means necessary. For they will have “turned out” the way God wants them to.”


Prayer requests

  • My friend’s grandma who just received a late-stage cancer diagnosis
  • Julia who is in the hospital
  • For everyone in a pruning season

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    Jane Kennedy

    Jane Kennedy

    Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.

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