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Jill Olickan :
8 article(s)

A proud Texas native, Jill is a marketing director living in New York City. When you can’t find her working, traveling to fabulous places, singing or running in Central Park, you’ll find her spending time with friends and at events that help her grow in her Catholic faith. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
September 30th, 2014
How St. Thérèse of Lisieux answered my prayers

In a time where instant gratification is the rule of the day, do we allow ourselves the opportunity to wait for an answer to a prayer? Most of the time, getting the answer takes a while. On other occasions, prayer affords quicker, clarion moments that provide understanding, enlightenment, and very cool opportunities for growth. This feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux serves as a reminder to me of how modern this wonderful saint is. And, what a blessing it was for her to show me that prayer works.
That blessing began to unfold as I was going about my chores on a particular Sunday, tackling the “excitement” of laundry and more in my apartment. I was listening to a Catholic podcast, and the host happened to be discussing…

March 31st, 2014
Lenten Gratitude: 5x40

So, this past week was nuts. I’m in the process of a pretty significant and incredibly exciting job transition. So, I’ve been traveling, meeting tons of great new people and pondering new opportunities. When you’re thrown into wonderful new things, finding gratitude is easy. But, it’s even cooler to stumble upon amazing things when you least expect it.
At the end of my long work trip, I had to take a plane back to NYC. I’m not a huge fan of the act of traveling. Mind you, I LOVE travel — discovering new cultures, meeting wonderful people, and seeing things that I’ve read about in books or seen in movies. But, I’ve never loved sitting on a plane for infinitely many…

March 20th, 2014
Lenten Gratitude: 5x40

So, as I’ve been writing my daily list of 5 things for which I’m grateful, I’ve come to notice a bit of a mechanism that helps me find gratitude amidst cacophony. Silver Linings.
Let me take a step back. Here are a few of the items I’ve included in my daily gratitude lists over the past few days:

Looking forward to the day that the scaffolding comes down at http://bustedhalo.com/blogs/jill-day-1-ash-wednesday-gratitude
. It feels a bit like Hogwarts at daily mass, in that the entrances and throughways are changing on what seems to be a hourly basis as they reposition the scaffolding. The construction makes getting into and out of the church feel like a bit of a maze! And, I can barely hear the…

March 10th, 2014
Lenten Gratitude: 5x40

So, this gratitude stuff is sometimes easy. Sometimes, not so much. Last Friday, I got a really frustrating call from my apartment management company basically saying that they would not be willing to compromise on a contractual issue that I had raised with them. This means that I’m going to have to spend more out of pocket than I had accounted for. FRUSTRATING. And, instead of coming up with SOME sort of counter proposal, or thinking about the mutually beneficial ideas I came up with, they simply said no and told me where to send my check. Specifically, they chose to be complete unyielding jerks which will now necessitate that I have to either fork over money that I hadn’t planned for or get a lawyer to address…

March 6th, 2014
Lenten Gratitude: 5x40

1. Surprise flowers at the end of a VERY long, hard week. My life is incredibly crazed right now with some upcoming transition and cool opportunities. This sweet gift literally reminded me to take a moment to stop and smell the roses. #blessed
2. For a bible quote that helped me to prevail today in remembering NOT to eat the foods from which I am fasting : “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  It’s from the gospel reading that we will hear this Sunday, where Jesus has to thwart the efforts of the devil’s temptations. Reminds me that what I’m doing is nothing compared to that — if Jesus could fast for as long as he did…with the…

March 5th, 2014
Lenten Gratitude: 5x40

Here we go — 5 things for which I’m grateful on this Ash Wednesday:

Love seeing how many Catholics are in NYC! So many people that think NYC is a faithless place.  That’s definitely not true of the city and about the people who live here. I’ve included a picture to prove it–attached is a quick shot of the LONG line of people waiting to get ashes at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  As you can see, the line for ashes today extended from inside the cathedral, all the way out the door, and down 5th Avenue outside.  Despite all of the scaffolding and restoration, it’s another record Ash Weds crowd this year at the Cathedral, where ashes are distributed all day long.  This is true faith in…

March 3rd, 2014
Lenten Gratitude: 5x40

I always struggle to find a Lenten offering. Sometimes I give up food/drink — adult beverages, chocolate, cheese, meat, sweets, and more. Sometimes I add something to my daily routine: exercise, volunteering with a charity, daily mass, etc.
These are all great things, however, I’m changing up my usual offering for something a little more reflective. As a woman of faith, I often forget the grace that prevails in the day-to-day. Instead, I fixate on the annoying things: The mean-spirited quip someone made about me behind my back (that, of course, I totally found out about), the dirty rainwater from the street that a cab has splashed all over me as I’m at an intersection, the guy that has stopped…

February 13th, 2014
Tales from a pilgrimage to Lourdes

Last fall, needing a break from the regular distractions and hustle of daily life, I jumped on a plane and hightailed it to Paris with a fabulous friend. I was excited about the trip. However, I remembered thinking that I hadn’t been on a religious retreat in more than seven years. I had gone through a lot of transition — multiple cross-country moves, new jobs, earning my graduate degree, and lots of love gained and lost. So, clearly, I was overdue. When I discovered how easy it was to get to Lourdes from Paris, I decided that it would be great to get some QT at a place where the Blessed Mother had been — where she appeared to St. Bernadette and where miracles have officially been recognized by the Catholic…

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