It Hurts My Heart

     No, I’m not going through a breakup.  (What, that’s what you thought, wasn’t it?).  I logged online today and was informed that Justin and Selena broke up.  Last week.  Yes, I told you that I’m behind.  My first thought was, “Criminy, you guys are only sixteen years old, really?”  Then I was informed that Justin Bieber was eighteen and Selena Gomez is twenty.  I’m more behind than I thought.

     But, seriously now, I am going to bring this around to something deep….or deep-ish.  I’m looking at people I know and they are going through breakups and it hurts my heart to watch them go through that pain.  And more than not, those people who I’m watching are having their hearts stomped on are my age….or younger.   You could chock this up that I am overly compassionate, which is true, but I don’t think kids our age were intended to have our heart ripped out, repaired, ripped out, repaired, and then ripped out again eight times by age eighteen.

     Now I know that I’m “weird.”  I go to Catholic conferences and my peers look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them that I’m seventeen and a half and I have never been kissed and haven’t ever gone on a date with a guy besides my dad.  You would think I had two heads.  Yet isn’t this what we are called to?  Christ has some pretty crazy teachings in the world’s eyes, yet He is completely sane and on top of sanity, He’s completely God.  What seems weird and freakish in the world’s eyes is completely normal and good in God’s eyes.

     I have also observed that the girls who are on their fourth boyfriend in four years have low self worth.  This isn’t always easy to see, girls are pretty good at putting on an appearance of normalcy when inside we’re dying.  These girls put up with guys lying to her parents, throwing her under the bus, abusing her verbally, and just not treating her like she deserves to be treated.  Why?  Because she doesn’t feel worth anything unless she has a guy telling her she is beautiful and his whole world.  Darling, as a sister in Christ, don’t settle for this.  You have a man who is pining for your attention, who loves you more than the world and who died for love of you.  And He’s sitting in the tabernacle waiting for you to come to Him.  Christ loves you so much and He doesn’t want to see you in such pain.

     But we have to look at what we as girls are showing guys.  Are we constantly flirting with them?  Because this doesn’t entice a guy.  For a little while, yes.  But when a guy realizes that he doesn’t have to do anything to get your attention, your attention isn’t special anymore.  Wouldn’t it be more awesome to be pursued by a guy instead of pursing?  Wouldn’t it be liberating and beautiful to know that a guy is thinking about how to get your attention than vice versa?  How can we experience this phenomena? 

Become a woman worth pursuing. 

     We have to, as women, have a sense of allure.  Not being “sexy” but being genuinely Beautiful!  This not only means wearing clothes that fit, not cling, but also translates into the way we talk, the way we walk, the way we act, even the way we dance.  We have to work on being ourselves and work on being attractive not only because of our physical beauty, but also because of our ability to show God’s love to others. 
 
     Our love of Christ should be so deep that a man has to fall in love with God in order to fall in love with us.

     Let’s not settle for breaking up and making up!  Let’s work on falling in love with Christ mainly and then waiting on His divine plan with our love life. 
God bless you all!

Chloe M. 

Today I’m Thankful For….






     So someone mentioned to me the new movement to be thankful for something every day of November in preparation for Thanksgiving.  As you can see, I’m a little bit behind (per usual). 

     I just wanted to take today’s post and thank my youth group.  If any of my anonymous readers are out there and you are in my youth group – you are such a blessing, you have no idea.  The highlight of my week is Bible study and getting to talk to you all for two straight hours.  I have so many awesome memories and inside jokes with all of you I couldn’t even begin to list them.

     We have some fun trips behind us (Winter Jam 2012, March for Life 2011, Rally for Religious Freedom 2012, Stubenville 2012, NCYC 2008)  and so many fun ones ahead.  I can’t wait to see the amazing things God will do with group – and I can tell you it’s going to be BIG things! 

     The dads in our home school group get together for Dad’s meetings on Thursday morning and are able to connect and touch base with each other faith-wise through text through the week.  Yesterday I got a text from a youth group member and we were able to talk about the humanity of Christ (you’ll see more about that in an upcoming post).  I’ll get e-mails from friends through the week and they’ll make my day. 

     Guys, you seriously are such a blessing my life.  Thanks so much for the fun so far and I can’t wait for the adventures ahead!
God Bless each of you!

Chloe M. 

    

Quotes on God’s Plan for Us

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.”


Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

St. John Vianney “I tell you that you have less to suffer in following the cross than in serving the world and its pleasures.” 
 

St. Teresa of Avila “We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can – namely, surrender our will and fulfill God’s will in us.” 
Christopher West “God’s plan remains God’s plan despite our sin.” 

 

Ignite the Fire
Making sure there are words to back up actions

     Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about a reigniting of dynamic Catholicism.  I’ve been saying that with the amazing numbers of Catholics in the United States, issues like pro-death politicians, the HHS Mandate, the constant talk of “free” contraception and general anti-Catholic bias in the media wouldn’t even be issues.  So why are they?

     In the words of Matthew Kelly, “We are part of a Church where ‘business as usual’ is OK.  It’s time to step up and say that it’s not.”  Where are the Catholics on fire for their faith?  Where are the sermons from the pulpit on Sunday mornings that Contraception, Cohabitation, Sterilization, and Homosexual active practices are intrinsically evil?  Aside from the few brave priests who aren’t afraid of the effects that it will have on their parish numbers and finances, we are left with quiet homilies on subjects that although true, are small in comparison to the issues that the parish is going through.

     Where are the John Vianneys?  Where are the Padre Pios?  Where are those who are not afraid to tell their parishioners, as their shepherd, that they need to go to confession and here is the opportunity?  As parishioners, we need to raise the subject, but parish priests are the men who have given their entire lives to God and His people.  It’s time to “Feed my lambs!”

     “Hard to swallow” homilies are what we need.  Catholics in America in general need a swift kick to the pants to wake us up about the issues that are tearing our belief apart!  It’s time to put the beautiful and rich tradition and teachings into tangible action and let the world know  that Catholics aren’t just another easy target.

     Thoughts?  Comment in the box below.
God bless,

Chloe M. 

Family Dynamics NOW
Enjoying the Blessings found in this moment.

        Today’s the day.  After what seems like endless practicing and planning and e-mailing and calling, today is the day of my first college visit.  This is the day that I thought would never come and now that it is here, I’m filled with half-excitement and half-nervousness. 
        Today’s the day.  After what seems like spending every day focusing on grades to impress colleges with a good GPA, and testing, and applications, and essays and recommendations letters, today is the day that I go to see if I am a good perspective student for a Catholic school.

        Today’s the day.  Everything is a chain reaction from now, and before you know, I’ll be filing for scholarships and looking at majors and deciding colleges and possibly moving into a dorm, and being dropped off for my first day of school for the very first time.
        Family dynamics are changing.  They started changing when I picked up a second part-time job and am away from the house everyday.  They’ll continue changing as I work towards college and then eventually move out of the house that I have lived in for almost eighteen years. 

        Enjoy your family dynamics NOW.  Things will never be the same.  It is very slim chances that you will all be living under the same roof again.   You think you’ll be glad to be out of it, but you’ll miss it.  I’ll miss coming home everyday and talking to my mom about work.  I’ll miss bouncing apologetics and politics off my dad for his opinion.  I’ll miss sitting around and talking with my next youngest sisters about clothes and Christmas plans, laughing at my even younger sisters about random memories, and I’ll miss giving little boy’s piggybacks and giving a little girl hugs and kisses everyday. 

        If you think I’m crazy, just wait.  It reminds me of a story that Bran Hansen posted on his blog on www.air1.com

   When you are going to have a baby,
“This is going to be pretty exciting,” you say.

They say, “You just wait.”

“You just wait, because you won’t be getting any sleep anymore, once that baby’s born. It’s all over. It gets harder. It gets worse.”

Your baby is fun. You think it’s hilarious, how he’s amused by one particular stuffed dog above all other toys.

They say, “You just wait.”

“Just wait, because when that kid is toddling around, pulling down the curtains, and getting into stuff, you can’t look away for a second. It gets harder. It gets worse.”

Your toddler is a blast. Everything is new and wonderful to him, from puppies to repeatedly crashing towers of blocks. He laughs every time, and wants you to “Do again!”

They say, “You just wait.”

“Just wait, because when your kid starts really talking, you’ll get tired of that sassy mouth. You’ll wish he was still a year old. It gets harder. It gets worse.”

Your elementary-age kid is an absolute joy. You can play take him swimming, play catch with him, and teach him hilarious end-zone dances to amuse your friends.

They say, “You just wait.”

“Just wait until he’s a teenager, because he’ll learn how much he doesn’t like you and won’t want to have anything to do with you no matter what and he’ll eat everything and you’ll get very tired of him and want him out of the house as soon as possible. It gets worse.”

Your teenager is fascinating. You can’t get enough of him. He makes you laugh, because, well, you saddled him with your exact sense of humor. You get to play video games with him. He beats you at chess, sometimes twenty times in a row. He fills your home with music, first with a screeching sound, that, months later, becomes recognizably melodic, and then the sweetness of Bach on violin. He mows the lawn. Not always happily, but he mows the lawn. You catch him listening to your favorite bands in his room. He says things that you never thought about before. He grows taller than you.

They say, “You just wait.”

“Just wait until he moves away, because your heart will break in two.”

And… for once, the very first time, ever…

They’re right.

Enjoy. Your. Family. Now.  Before you know it things will change.  Don’t spend now worrying about the future.  Spend now enjoying the present.

God bless you all,

Chloe M.         

 Oh There’s No Place Like Confession for the Holidays….
Buckle your seat belts, we’re in for a ride.  Welcome to the holiday season 2012-2013.  It only gets crazier from here.  The countdown to Thanksgiving is nine days and counting.  Then we are on to Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years Eve.  Don’t laugh, it’s all coming and will be here before you know it.

        I know that my schedule gets so hectic.  I get snappy and rude to others, including my family, and that attitude ruins the season, which should be a focus on thankfullness, Christ, and Christ-like actions.  How can I return to grace and appreciation of the season?  Confession! 

     Father Z’s blog had an awesome article on a priest and confession.  He says, “A priest became pastor of a smaller rural parish, of approximately 300 registered families. The first Sunday of Advent, he announced to the parish that he wanted no Christmas presents from the parish that year – no gifts of money, or food, or gift certificates. Instead, the present he wanted from his new parish was for every member of the parish to go to confession during Advent.
        To that end, he would add times for confessions during the week, bring in outside priests, and make the sacrament as available as possible.

He said that, during the four weeks of Advent, he initially tried keeping track of the numbers of penitents, but was only able to keep track of the numbers of those who had not been to confession in more than 20 years – nearly 200, in his small parish!
        Many of the penitents told him that the reason they had been away is because no priest had told them they should go, or even invited them to go. Because of one priest’s invitation, an entire small town grew in grace through the sacrament of confession.”

        It’s a busy time of the year, but let’s make room for confession and returning to God’s grace in the season of Christ’s birth….and hey, let’s make it our gift to our priests, too!
        God bless you all!

Chloe M. 

Putting on a Pretty Face

       When we look beautiful or handsome from the outside but not from the inside, something is off.  Our beauty should come from within, and reflect out, not vice versa.  This quote from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross sums this up beautifully:      
 
        “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”


Cayce Zavaglia Creates Portraits Using Wool in a Style of Renegade Embroidery        There is an artist in St. Louis who is doing phenomenal work right now – she’s making portraits out of people with embroidery thread.  This is incredibly detailed portraits that she creates by sewing different threads together to create just the right coloration to make the portrait appear life-like.  The end result is amazingly breath-taking because of the sheer resemblance to the subject. 
But on the other side of the photos we see a whole different story…but perhaps more akin to reality.
  

     Cayce Zavaglia Creates Portraits Using Wool in a Style of Renegade Embroidery    Cayce Zavaglia Creates Portraits Using Wool in a Style of Renegade Embroidery

     The real question is which of these two above pictures do people see you as?  Do people see you as a beauty, but then your actions portray you as something less then beautiful?  Or do your beautiful actions shine through the exterior, and you are beautiful in your beautiful deeds?  Something to think about on your Sunday afternoon.
God bless!

Chloe M. 

   

Key Word:  Everything





        This weekend in the gospels there is a clear message.  We have to give God everything.  In the first reading, we see Elijah coming to a widow.  She doesn’t have a husband to provide for her, and there is a drought.  When he comes to her, she was just gathering twigs for a fire to cook her last piece of bread on for her and her son’s last meal before they died.  So Elijah tells her to bring him a cup of water and some bread.  Which sounds very arrogant, but Elijah knows what he is doing.  He is asking the widow to give all to get all in return.
        
        There is a story about a little girl and a little boy.  The little boy has a big bag of marbles and the little girl has a big bag of candy.  The little boy is hungry (when are boys NOT hungry?)  so he asks the little girl if she would like to trade bags the next day at school.  That night, the little boy took out the best marbles, the ones he liked the best, and hid them under his pillow.  He knew the little girl would never know.  The next morning, he traded her the remaining marbles for her bag of candy.  When he went to bed that night, he couldn’t go to sleep because he kept wondering , “Did she hide her best candy from me?”

        We have to give God everything to get everything in return.  When we frantically clutch at our life dreams, we miss out on holding our hands open for God to pour graces into them. 

        Our God isn’t like any other god.  Other gods in ancient stories ruled from the Heavens and were feared by all.  They didn’t have any way to know what their mortal subjects were going through.  In the second reading this weekend we see that Christ has come down as our high priest to offer His own blood for sacrifice!   For Him, this sacrifice is personal.  So He knows what we are going through very well.

        Finally, in the Gospel reading there is the story of the rich people giving great amounts to tithe to upkeep the temple.  Then comes a widow who drops in two copper coins, which equaled up to a penny.  That was it.  Christ turns to His Apostles and tells them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.”  Which left the Apostles saying:

  


        It’s a pretty hard concept to understand.  Because in our minds, more is more.  But in Christ’s mind, your giving is only comparable to you – not others.  The time and talent and treasure that you tithe isn’t good because it’s more than so-and-so gives.  It’s good because it’s the first and best fruits of what YOU have…or it should be.

        Christ calls us to a strange path in the world’s eyes.  We give Him everything, and He gives us everything in return.  This week I’ve really been struggling with giving over my vocation ALL the way to God.  I know if I give everything to Him, He’s going to transform my life into things I never could have dreamed of.  But at the same time, in my foolish little mind I think that I have a better idea of what is best for me.  Yea, right.  So keep me in your prayers, if you think about it.

God Bless you all!

Chloe M.   

       


Wishing you were here

Last night, a seventeen year old girl in our town committed suicide.  She jumped off a bridge over our main highway and was struck by a car.  Because of the attention to the trauma instead of the road, there then was a three car accident. 

     I didn’t know this when we were in dead stop traffic for twenty minutes last night because they closed off the highway completly.  But I knew something was wrong.  So I started to pray. 

     When my Dad came home last night, he told my mom about this, but I didn’t hear until this morning.  I have no idea who this girl is, at least so far since no names have been put out.  But I feel empty. 

     If you had watched the movie To Save A Life, you know what I’m talking about.  All I’ve thought about is how this could have not happened.  In the comment section on our newspaper article online, someone said they went to school with her, and she was the friendliest and more popular girl that he knew.  So what happened?  We might never know, but I can assure you that her family, the driver of the car who she hit, her soul, and anyone affected by her death is in my prayers – can you keep them in yours? 

     If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please know that you are not alone.  People love you.  People care about you.  And if you are someone who needs to talk, talk to someone you trust about what you are going through.  It doesn’t have to end like this. 

 
God Bless,
Chloe