Editor’s Note: On this eleventh day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Lauren Barry reflects on how living in community at Casa San Salvador (FMS’ house of hospitality) during her year of service is helping her appreciate the present moment. 


I have lived in Casa San Salvador for about four months now, but the connections I have made with my housemates are deep ones. We have gone through a lot together. We have cooked together, cleaned together, laughed together, and tackled our days together. I have truly gained a second family. The Overseas Lay Missioners left for their next adventure, so we went from a house of thirteen to a house of nine. These past few months have gone by fast, and while I am sad to see some of our family leave, their departure has reminded me to be present every day and enjoy what and who I have in my life.

Casa living is teaching me to shift my focus from the future to the present. To me, being present means acknowledging what I have right now. Sometimes life is chaotic, but we might not have tomorrow, so it’s important to regularly center myself and think about today.

Reflection: What does it mean for you to be present in the moment?