After a wonderful Roman weekend full of adventuring, I returned to the convent to begin my week with the Sisters on Monday morning. Upon arrival, I was greeted by my boss, Sister Maria Gabriella, who informed me she was very, very happy I had arrived because Monday was a cleaning day and everyone helps deep clean on Mondays. OH THE JOY!!! My most favorite activity, deep cleaning!! If I am being really honest, deep cleaning to me back home means lightly grazing a countertop with a wet cloth, but I learned quite quickly this is most certainly not what deep cleaning means to the Italians (or normal Americas, LOL). I tried not make a face upon hearing what my duties on this day would be, and in all honestly I am not sure if I did make a face or not...if I did, my boss didn't notice (or she didn't care) because she took me by the hands, kissed my face and led me to the kitchen. As I mentioned previously, I knew cleaning would be a top duty at the convent, but I had tried to ignore this fact until I was actually confronted with it ;)
Sister Claire (who was standing in her bare feet on top of the stove scrubbing the fans) and some other volunteers (but not the volunteer who loooovvvvvveeeeesssss me) were all in action scrubbing the kitchen from top to bottom and I immediately joined them. I washed dishes, I washed the sink, I swept the floor, I dried dishes. When the cleaning was done, I peeled and chopped veggies (I politely declined when asked if I wanted to chop onions!) and I cooked more pasta and sautéed the vegetables. As a reward for our hard work, the Sisters brought out a large pan of mini desserts for us to enjoy. I am confident these were store bought and not made by the Sisters as they looked exactly like something you would find at Whole Foods- cute and perfect and delicious. We volunteers were all so excited and the lady next to me ate five!!! Not that I am judging, I had two and a half, but this lady was so cute sampling all of them.
As I was standing in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, I had this overwhelming feeling that God was, in a small way, preparing me to one day be a wife….and I honestly was thinking about this a lot on this shift, and then this conversation happened:
Sister Claire: Say-ah, you have a boyfriend?
Me: No, no boyfriend.
Sister Claire: Really? You graduate from university? How old you are?
Me: Yes, I graduated six years ago, no boyfriend. I am 29.
Sister Claire: You graduate six year ago, you have no boyfriend at 29, you single. There is no hope for you anymore.
BHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA it took everything I had not to start laughing uncontrollably right then and there… I don’t know how I didn’t!! Oh my goodness, I just think this is the cutest thing, never did I imagine a nun telling me that my love life was hopeless! I am not taking offense to this statement at all because I honestly believe it was Sister Claire’s way of recruiting me to come and work for them full time…I know the Sisters are so happy I am there, and it bodes well for me that they just love and adore Kath so much- since I am associated with her, they automatically like me and I think they love that I laugh and smile and am so happy all the time. Katherine told me that Sister Maria Gabriella (my boss) said to her “thank you for the gift” (meaning me) and just this morning another Sister said to me, "oh Say-ah I am so happy you are here, you are so beautiful and you are such a tiny little thing filled with so much love" (probably the nicest compliment I have ever received, I am very humbled by it) so this is all very reassuring and I am taking it as a sign of God’s love for me and a confirmation that I am following His plan for my life, in this current season. Honestly, the Lord has put such incredible and big dreams on my heart and I feel the best way to honor Him is to live these experiences and dreams and help show His love to as many others as I can. In my life, that means laughing and smiling and being kind and encouraging to others and spreading His light through just being the woman He has created me to be.
Mass at Saint Monica’s was great on Sunday, I met Kath at the convent early so I could help walk the women who live in the convent over on the 30 foot journey. They all know I do not speak any Italian, so I just sat with them in the courtyard and we would say “ciao bella!!” to each other and smile and laugh and then sort of stare at each other…they are so sweet to me and I feel so grateful for their presence in my life. Mass only lasted 37 minutes, I was shocked!! Never in my life have I been to a mass on Sunday morning that was this short. I was not able to participate at all (only communion) as it is entirely in Italian (duh, Sarah what did you expect?!) but I enjoyed it none the less.
Finally, I have to tell this story, only because I think it is so adorable. I go to this little cafe right by my apartment every morning and every evening. In the morning I have a latte and
a large chocolate croissant fruit and in the evening a big small glass of white wine. Well, every time I have been there at night, my wine has been paid for. I was appreciative the first few times it happened and shocked when it kept happening! I honestly have zero idea who is doing this, I have not really spoken to anyone (at least not at night) but when I asked the waiter who was purchasing my drinks he simply said “the man who buys your drinks think you very, very nice. He love you.” If any of my exes are reading this right now, they are probably saying, “oh man, she sure has him fooled!” LOL. I really, truly have no idea what is happening, I haven’t met any men in this cafe…. But, I am grateful and naturally I purchased the mystery man’s next drink. We shall see how long this goes on, it is thoughtful and very innocent. I guess I hereby retract my previous statement that I am sick of being hit on ; ) There is hope for me!! Ha
Love, hugs and prayers to all my friends and family back home in Arizona and Seattle!