What is in your alabaster box?
How to lay our dreams at God’s feet

The Beautiful Tradition

     I was reading the book Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones, when I ran across this beautiful tradition.  

     In Jewish Tradition, when the young girl was ready for marriage, her family would purchase an alabaster box and fill it full of expensive ointments and oils.  How big the box was and how much it weighed was a symbol of how big the dowry would be for the marriage of the daughter.  When a man came and asked for the girl’s hand in marriage, she would then take out the alabaster box and break it at his feet, anointing them with the oil, a sign of her honoring his request.
     We see this happening in Luke 7, when a woman, who was known in the city  a sinner, came into the place where Christ was eating and broke her alabaster jar and anointed Christ with it.  

Your Alabaster Box
 

     Whether we know it or not, we all have an alabaster box, too.  It may be full of our hopes and dreams, what we think our perfect wedding and marriage would be, everything we want in Mr. or Mrs. Right.  We clutch this box very tightly until we find the right guy or girl who we think could fulfill all our hopes and dreams.  So we break our alabaster box at his/her feet, hoping for the best.  And sometimes good things happen, but sometimes this person scoffs at our dreams and tramples them, and crushes our alabaster box.
     So we try to gather up the shattered remains of our box, pull it together and super-glue it.  It doesn’t look the same.  It doesn’t have the same dreams in it, as the originals have been shattered.  It doesn’t even look like the same box.  But now we clutch it even tighter, because we know what happens when it breaks.
     How do we end the cycle of breaking our alabaster boxes in front of those who will never be able to fulfill and complete us?  We break our box at the feet of Jesus. 
     Why would we want to break our box at the feet of the Lord?  Because He loves us.  Because He wants the best for us, and His plans are so much better than we can ever imagine.  
     Because it shows that we trust Him with everything in our life, even our love life.  Is it hard?  You bet!  It is always hard to admit your ways are not the best, and someone else’s plan is superior.  But oh the rewards if we do break this box for Jesus to have and do with what God wills!

Complete in Him
     Often you will hear people saying such things as this: “I am just looking for someon to complete me.”  Or, once that one person is supposidly found, “Oh, he/she completes me!” 
     By saying that you are looking for someone to complete you, you are in for a long journey.  This indicates that you are incomplete, not even a whole person. Wrong! 
     One is not ready to look into a relationship until he/she find his/her contement in God.  You are a whole person as a child of God.  God doesn’t make incomplete people because He doesn’t make mistakes.  You are His creation, He loves you!
     When two “incomplete” people marry each other, they do not become one complete person, they instead become two incomplete people in a marriage. 
     Find your completeness in the Lord, and you will be content!

What is in your alabaster box?  Have you laid it at the feet of the Lord?  Let me know in the comments below!

God Bless you all,

Chloe M.

     

The Best Big Brother Ever


To Those with Big Brothers:

     I’m jealous.  Really I am.  I am the oldest in a family of eight kids, and one of the things I have always wanted is a big brother.  I have seen how the big brothers of my friends are protective over their little sisters, and I’m green with envy.  I don’t have someone who is there to protect me against mean comments, other guys, and encourages me when I need someone to listen to me.  
     What is crazy is that the girls who I talk to who have big brothers wish they didn’t have them.  “They are so annoying! They pick on me and are just weird and rude.”  I guess that big brothers are the kind of thing that you don’t want when you have them, and you want them when you don’t have them.




What I want in a big brother
   
 I would love a guy who loved me because of who I was, not who I looked like.  I would love a guy who was protective and was always looking out for my best interests.  I would love a guy who  I could turn to for advice on what he had already gone through.  
     I know that this might be a highly romanticized version of a big brother, but this is what I’ve always dreamed of.  I’ve shared this with my Mom, (who grew up always wanting a big brother, too), and she said I do have a big brother.  Jesus.  


The Ultimate Big Brother
     
Looking at my list of what I would want my big brother to be, I find a lot of similarities.  

   

     1)  I would love a guy who would love me for who I am, not what I look like:
 Well, Christ has seen me through thick and thin, beautiful and not so great looking,  and still loves me.  He loves me when I have walked away from Him, and He loves me when I come running back to Him.  Unconditionally, He is always there.     



     

     2)  I would love a guy who is protective of me and always looks out for my best interests:  Christ protects me from a lot of things that I cannot see.  He sends His protection in forms of the sacraments and graces that strengthen me against the enemy – Satan.  He never has anything but my best interests in mind and always wants me to succeed in my spiritual life so I can be with Him in Heaven one day.  



     3)  I would love a guy who could give me advice on what He’d already been through:  This is the beauty of Christianity.  We believe that Christ came down to earth, took the form and nature of a human, while still retaining His divine nature, and went through everything we go through (except sin.).  He can give me advice on what I’m going through.  He knows what it is liked to not be popular, to have someone like you for what you can do for them, to have to stand for the truth, and to sacrifice everything for God.  And He leaves all His advice in a convenient location – The Bible – so that I can turn to Him in prayer and in the Word whenever I need help.  




In Conclusion….
     So, I have a great big brother – the best big brother! He loves me, looks out for me, and is always there for me to talk to Him.  I can even go to adoration and hear Him whisper that He loves me.  

Do you have a big brother? Are you a big brother?  Do you look to Christ as a big brother?  Let me know in the comments below!

God Bless you all,

Chloe M.  

God is AMAZING
My belief in creation










Evolution v. Creation

     I have a wonderful friend who believes in the theory of evolution.  I love this friend to death, but I have to disagree with her, and I support the biblical belief of creationism.
     Now I know that even if evolution was proved to be a fact (instead of just a theory), the Church would never have been wrong.  Archbishop Sheehan said, “But even if the proof were forthcoming tomorrow, that the body of hte fist man was evolved from lower animals, it would not be found to contradict any solemn, ordinary, or official teaching of the Church.”
     Yet I wanted to explain my thoughts on creation and the origin of man.
 




Here’s a monkey…I think I’ll name him Adam.

   One of the main beliefs held by my friend is that, at one point during creation, God breathed a soul into a primate and that soul made the monkey the first man.  This is a belief I cannot support and here is why:
     “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” – Gen. 2:7.
     Some thoughts.  First part of the verse: “…formed the man from the dust of the ground.”  Looking at this closely, it doesn’t really “jive” with the belief that the first man was evolved from a monkey.  God clearly made man from the dust of the earth, a fact we acknowledge on Ash Wednesday when we are told that we are dust and to dust we shall return.  We are not told that God decided it was time for man to make an appearance, picked up a monkey and breathed him a soul.  He made man from the dust, not some random monkey. 
     Second part of the verse: “…and the man became a living being.”  This would mean that the materials used to make man had never been alive until this point.  Now, if this was a monkey that had been used to now have a soul, the verse would have read: “…and the man became existent, no longer an ape, but a man in the image of God.”
 



Cross this line to de-evolve
    
Believing that Adam and Eve were the first on the earth, we believe that they existed very happily, even walking with God, in the garden of Eden.  Then came original sin, and due to their blame game, Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden, but with the promise of a savior that would come and rescue them from their sin as to open the gates of Heaven.
     Here is where my next thought comes in.  Adam and Eve were obviously advanced in knowledge enough to converse with God, name animals, and function as human beings.  So when they crossed the threshold of the garden of Eden, did they de-evolve?  Did they become reduced to grunting “cave men,” hunched over, uncivilized, and animalistic?  This would actually go against this bible verse:
     “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image
, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” – Gen. 1:26
     Man was created to have dominion over animals, not to be reduced to being animalistic himself. as this would be de-evolution,
     Also, one thing you have to love about God is that He is a God of order.  For man to be created in God’s image, then to be reduced to what we have learned as  the “cave man,” would go against God’s beautiful plan of order in the universe He has created.

Just some thoughts on the amazing love of God.  Studied some of this in religion class tonight, had to share some of my thoughts!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!
God Bless you all,

Chloe M. 

Meet Matt Maher

     I have to introduce you to one of my favorite Catholic contemporary music artists, Matt Maher.  Find out a little bit about him below and enjoy the music!


His Story
     Matt Maher is a Catholic contemporary singer.  You may have heard some of his music, most commonly known for pieces like: Turn Around, Christ is Risen, Litany, and Hold Us Together.

     He writes much of his own music, and has also co-wrote songs with the likes of Christ Tomlin, Michael W. Smith, Matt Redman, Audrey Assad, and Jars of  Clay. 

     A Canadian, (eh? Sorry, couldn’t resist) Matt started out taking piano at a young age and quickly broadened his horizons in everything from choir to a garage band.  And get this, he payed for his first three years of college by playing piano in a hotel.

     In 2001, he started releasing his music, his first CD being The End and the Beginning.  He just released his big single, Rise Up, from his new album, The Love In between.

     He has been nominated for the dove award six times and has performed in front of over three million people in the past five years. 

     I had the wonderful experience of seeing him play at NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) in 2008 – and am getting to hear him against next month at a concert. 

His Music

    


Are you a Matt Maher Fan?  Headed to any of his concerts this year?  Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.

God Bless all of you,

Chloe M.

Control: A fight I cannot win

Have to share this video that goes with what I was talking about in the post “Letting Go of the Life I planned for me.” 
The song is by JJ Heller, a Christian artist on my local Christian radio.  She’s very good – and I love the message of the song.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Letting go of the life I planned for me.

Control.

     I have this problem.  Actually, if you hadn’t noticed yet, I have a lot of problems.  But we’re going to focus on just one of them today, for time’s sake.
     Today’s problem is control.  Being the oldest, I like certain situations.  The situations in which I succeed are the situations in which I have some control in. Even if it’s just a little bit.   
     For instance, in a school class that I take, I succeed if I have the knowledge of what chapters we will be studying in the semester.  This allows me to read ahead and gain some knowledge before the lecture, letting me have some control.

    




2013
      Some believe the world will end in 2012.  This is will solve a lot of problems for me, because my world of control ends in 2013.  
     In 2013, I graduate from high school.  I also graduated from home school.    In April, I have to find out what field I am going into for my career, and decide my college of choice.  I may be moving out on my own for the first time ever, and my mother will be experiencing what she has put off since Kindergarten, dropping me off at school for the very first time.
     Lots of changes. Loss of control.   

Surprise!
     As above stated, I hate situations like these because I hate surprises – and please forgive me if that sounds totally cynical.
     When a friend stops in without telling me before, I freak out because I haven’t gotten the chance to clean and get the house ready for them.  Not that I don’t love the friend stopping by, it’s just that I also like control.
     When Christmas comes around, and I don’t know what I am getting, I freak because I’m going to coincidentally buy what someone has gotten me as a gift.
     When I don’t know what major I am going to declare, or what school I’m going to, or how I’m going to pay for school, or how I’m going to do out on my own, or how I am going to make any friends, I freak out.  Because I hate surprises.
     And at the root of all this freaking out is the fact that I’m afraid I cannot do a successful job of what I have been handed.  I’m not really freaking about what major I’m deciding – I’m freaking out about choosing the wrong one.  And I’m not scared of what school I’m going to, I scared about picking a different one that God had in His plans for me to pick.  I’m not nervous about how I’m going to do on my own,  I’m nervous about leaving behind everything I have known for the past 17 years.  And I’m not stressed about making friends,  I’m stressed about not making friends.  

 Let Go…Let God

    So what is the solution to me freaking out and hating surprises? God.  (Isn’t He always the solution?)
     This year is going to be rough.  But there will be nothing I cannot handle…with God’s help.  I have to let go of all shreds of control that I am still clutching desperately and let God handle it.  
     Why?  Because He’s God.  And He can handle it so much better than I could even imagine it.  
     But let me tell you, it’s going to be tough.  It’s already involved some tears and (although not literal yet) banging my head against the wall in frustration.  Letting Go, Letting God.  
      So, if you have the time, please keep me (and my sanity) in your prayers.

Do you like control, too?  Are you letting go and letting God?  Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks and God Bless you all,

Chloe M. 
     

   


Modesty – a labor of love


Modesty is Tough
    
  If you are a young woman who is concerned with modesty, you know what a challenge modesty can be in today’s world.  
     You know the seemingly endless time at the store, searching for something that actually resembles clothing.
     Modesty to us brings about thoughts of closets full of camisoles for layering, leggings, and endless cardigans.  So after we pull our hair out on how to layer and lengths of skirts, we have to realize that modesty. is. worth. it.

     Here’s why:

Modesty shows who you are, not what you look like
      Modesty shows that a woman is not an object.  She is a child of God!  You are God’s daughter, and you have dignity that deserves to be honored as such.

Modesty isn’t as “unfashionable” as you think it is.
      Perhaps modesty is avoided because you may think that it is impossible to be fashionable and modest.  Not true!  With adjustments, even trends can be modified to become modest.  It is always worth the time to find a modest outfit than to settle for anything less.
   

Modesty attracts the RIGHT kind of guy
       Some girls dress to impress guys….but if you have to dress immodestly to catch a guy’s eye, what kind of guy are you attracting?

The Blessed Mother is Modest
 
   There is no better form of flattery than imitation.  Mary is the most beautiful woman that has ever walked this earth, where can we find a better role model?

It is respectful to our Brothers in Christ
     
After picking the brain of my Dad (who I use as my “filter” for my closet) I can claim only a small grasp on a guys mind.  But I do know this – men are visual, and modesty guards our hearts and their eyes.  

One doesn’t need to show your body to show your beauty
     
You are beautiful because you are a child of God, and made in His image.  You are beautiful because you possess human dignity.  Your clothes should reflect that beauty!

What are your thoughts on modesty? I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject! Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks and God Bless,

Chloe M.

True Love Waits

     I was reading an article on LifeTeen a couple days ago and ran into the above song by Mumford and Sons.  What a refreshing melody!  In response to the hit song of the summer,  Call Me Maybe, here is a song about waiting for the one who God wants you to be with and saving yourself for marriage!

     My favorite lyrics have to be:  Now I’ll be bold As well as strong, and use my head alongside my heart. 

     I can’t wait to get married (if that will be my vocation) and walk up to the altar in a white wedding dress and look at my beloved and give him my purity ring, and say, “This is everything.  I have saved everything for you.  I have prayed for you everyday and stayed strong for you.”  What an amazing wedding gift!!

     I will wait for my beloved.  I will treat all with respect and honor, and as children of God, and be a city on a hill against a culture of darkness.  Will you join me in a quest for a sweeter song?

     Do you wear a purity ring?  Have you heard the new Mumford and Son’s song?  Let me know in the comments below!

God Bless,

Chloe M. 
     

    

Movie Review:

“Come What May”
When does life really begin?

What is the movie about?

    Caleb Hogan, whose mother is a lawyer and father a professor, knows how to win a case.  You know the facts, and you do what’s right.  And then come what may.  You know you have chosen God’s path.
     Now a member of the best moot court team in the nation at Patrick Henry College, will these standards still guide Caleb’s decisions?  When his team is given the debate challenge of overturning Roe V. Wade, Caleb has to decide.  Yet if he stays strong in his pro-life beliefs, he runs the risk of losing the most important debate of his life, and the support (financial and emotional) of his mother.  And if he lowers his standards and argues only for an exception to the law, he could lose the heart of Rachel, his debate teammate.
     Rachel knows what is right and knows the only right choice is overturning Roe V. Wade.  Her firm belief that God is the author of life also plays out through her personal life.  Can Caleb learn from Rachel, and win her heart? Or is compromise the only solution that will win him what he thinks he needs?  

What I loved about this movie


     This movie is made by a collection of home school students and Patrick Henry College students and teachers.  The message is loud and clear:  Life begins at conception, and God is the author of life.  It was so refreshing to see a movie that supported this belief.
     It was also refreshing to see how Caleb and Rachel’s relationship blossom.  Rachel has promised herself and God that she will only spend time in a relationship with a young man who commits to her and her standards, and be pursued in a courtship relationship.  It was great to see her defend her standards with Caleb.
     Caleb’s parents also are going through marriage problems, and seeing them work on their marriage and remaining faithful to their vows was inspirational, and something you don’t normally see in the average movie.
     Also, this movie has an incredible soundtrack, and being a music lover, this was a real plus!

     
     Have you seen “Come What May”?  What did you think? Let me know in your comments below!

Thanks and God Bless,

Chloe M.
     

     
     

Learning from Loneliness
Three lessons from Genesis, Adam and Eve


“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’  So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.  The man gave names to all the cattle, and the birds of the air, and ever beast of the field; but for the man there was not a helper fit for him.”
– Genesis 2: 18-20

*Most thoughts have been inspired by David Hajduk’s book, “God’s Plan for You” from the Theology of hte Body for Young People Series.*

Sometimes I feel alone
  My new favorite song has become “Never Let You Go” by a band called Manafest.  The lyrics that really stuck out to me are these:  When the parade goes by and you feel alone, never lose hope to sorrow.  You’re closer than you know.” 
     Sometimes I feel alone.  This doesn’t occur just in being alone from human relationships, but also from a lack of emotional connection to God.  A “dry spell” in my faith usually leaves me feeling like God isn’t there. 

It’s not good to be alone

     So I turn to Genesis for comfort – yes, I’m weird that way.  But I really can sympathize with Adam.  Here is is, alone in the world, and God sees this (because He sees everything).  So God gives him…a cow.  And a bird.  And Adam sees these new creatures and begins to name them all.  But even though he names and knows all these animals, there was not one who was like him.  This brings us to lesson number one.

Lesson 1:  Besides God, there is no other.

    
God should always be number one in our life.  He is our creator, and we owe Him, as His creatures, complete love over all things. 
      Adam missed this.  So God, by not giving Adam what he wanted right away, showed him that besides God, there is nothing else that matters. 
      If Adam wanted everything in his life to go smoothly, God had to be number one.

Lesson 2:  Love requires knowing what is good
     What is good and evil?  This was the second lesson Adam had to learn.  Enter the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  God tells Adam he should not eat of the tree.  By telling Adam this, God is basically saying that eating from the tree would be putting God last because the action would be disobedience to Him. 
     Our world is full of relative truth. “You do what you want to do, I’ll do what I want to do.”  “You know, everyone has their own version of truth.”  “Well, this is what I believe, but I really don’t want to impose my belief on you.”
      What happened to good, old-fashioned morality?  Absolute truth has taken a back seat to moral relativism, and choosing our own way. 
     To do good, we have to know what is good.  So, God was telling Adam that if he wanted to love Him, he had to obey what He tells him.

Lesson 3: People are different than animals
     Adam had to realize why he had been put on the earth.  So God puts many animals on the earth to surround him to show Adam that he was the only creation able to give and receive love.
     “So,” you think, “give him a girl!”  But God shakes his head, smiles and creates a cow.  A cow!  Adam must have thought, “Gee, that’s great.  A cow.  I was thinking something different, you know, someone like me?” 
     Do you think God looks pretty bad here?  It’s is like He is ignoring Adam’s wish.  But when God looks dumb, He’s playing dumb. 
     What is the best teacher you’ve ever had?  The one that didn’t just give you the answer, but let you work towards the answer yourself.  So God puts many creatures around Adam to prove that point that Adam is not just an animal. 
     Adam gets it.  The more animals he named, the more he realized that he was different. 
     Funny thing about God – just when Adam was at his deepest valley of despair, and was feeling absolutely alone, God met his deepest desire, and it was so much better than Adam could have ever planned.
 

Even when you think you are alone….your not

    
Elisabeth Elliot talks about a time when she felt alone and seperated both from her relationship with Jim (her future husband) and from God.  Her hint was this:  Remember you aren’t alone. 
     This seems so simple – yet it is a thought we often forget.  We aren’t alone.  Deuteronomy 31:8 says. “The Lord, He it is that doth go with thee.  He will not fail thee neither forsake thee.  Be strong and of good courage.” 
     It doesn’t matter if you can’t feel God by you.  He is there with and will never leave you alone.  Ever. 

     Have you hever felt alone?  What do you do when you are in a dry spell in your life and you feel that God isn’t there?  Let me know in the comments!

God Bless,

Chloe M.