Being A Real Person
Thank you all for your prayers during my weekend at Steubenville. It was a great weekend, and I learned a lot. Different from last year, with some unexpected things, but still good. If there was one thing I took away from the experience it was this phrase: “Be a real person.” Why? Let me explain.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 9, verse 22, St. Paul says, “To the weak, I have become weak to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Is this a good thing? Yes. It is good to include all, to want to help all. After all, God does want each and every one of His children to be gathered around the dinner table. Yet, like all good things, this mentality can go wrong.
We can very easily wish to not only include everyone, but to be included ourselves. It’s our human desire for love. We want people to want us. We desire to know that we are worth something. It’s why we check our Facebook to see how many likes we got. It’s why we always try to crack a joke to get laughs among our friends. It’s why we leave friendships behind that are “not cool enough.” It’s human nature, but that doesn’t justify the fact that it is wrong.
We can put up a very good facade. From the same mouth that comes “Hallelujah, Holy Holy” in adoration can quickly turn around and say something spitefully cruel about the person who annoys us. From the same hands that we lift in fun hand motions during praise and worship can come actions that lead us to sin. All for the sake of being considered popular, and for that hole in our heart that won’t go away to be filled.
We cram that hole in our heart with lots of things. We get close to people and then use that “friendship” to feel justified using them and acting out on our lust. We try to be someone else online, so that those who don’t know us in real life will love us. We boast about our high points and hide our faults in effort to seem perfect. We try so hard to be everyone’s friend, so that maybe, just maybe, one friend will stick with us when we crack and the mask falls off. Yet all these things don’t fill the emptiness that we can’t shake. It’s because that hole in our heart is a God-shaped hole that only God can fill.
By being authentic and admitting that we are broken, we can open ourselves up to God working some amazing things in our life. By showing your friends that you are not okay, it can give your real friends the opportunity to help you get through your brokenness and be healed in Christ. By standing up and saying something when your friends start going off on how far they have gone with a girl allows them to see that it’s not okay to brag about how far you have used and abused someone as if it is a contest. Be authentic. There will come a time when the mask that you have tried so hard to maintain finally wears out and falls off. Then you have to show who you really are to those who became friends with a person who doesn’t actually exist.
Even worse, we put so much effort into putting on a good show about how great we are, that we miss opportunities to let God heal us. We’re so concerned about looking holy in adoration that we forget why we should actually be reverent. We’re so worried about looking attractive to the opposite sex that we forget what characteristics are attractive to God. If you have a mask on, take it off. Work on developing the real person that you’ve been trying to hide. It’s amazing the things God can do in your life if you are only working to be the real you. God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you the way you are for a reason. Accept that gift and let Him develop it into something you never imagined possible. Be a real person.
This weekend we are going to be praising
God, adoring Him in adoration and generally having
an amazing time. Where can all of these wonderful
things happen at once? STEUBENVILLE!
After this weekend, I move into a crazy week.
With the combination of the three places that I
work at, about five people are taking vacation
at once…..enter the 45 hour work week.
Prayers are greatly appreciated.
We went on a hike/walk with our youth group
Tuesday night. Full of mishaps, hysterical one-liners
and tons of bug bites, it was so nice to relax and
just walk. Thanks guys!
Whoa. Just looked at the e-mail and saw
that Old Navy is reducing all of their women’s sandals
to $6 for their sidewalk sale. They are also giving
$15 off for $50 spent. This basically means you can buy
eight pairs of $24 sandals for only $4.60 a piece.
If you go there and brave the madhouse,
I wear a size seven. Seriously.
I finished an awesome book this week.
“Arms of Love” by Carmen Marcoux.
couple’s journey to marriage. Does anyone own
the sequel, “Surrender”? If so, what did you think?
On a more serious note, if you do get a chance
to think about those going on the Steubenville trip
this weekend, please send up a prayer for us.
It can be an amazing week, but prayer
back-up from people who know us makes this weekend
Watch for a giveaway! I’m gearing
up for it by purchasing the prize items this weekend.
G. K. Chesterton once said that our lives can be changed if we simply look at everything around us as if it were left over from a shipwreck. How true is this? Think about things that you use everyday. Perhaps you sit at a desk everyday at work and by the time is halfway done, or maybe even an hour into work on a bad day, you are absolutely sick of that desk. Yet what an incredible gift and blessing that desk would be on an island after a shipwreck. You could use it to sit on to get off the ground. You could chop it up and use it for firewood. You could write on it. You could sit under it for shade. So many opportunities to be thankful for a simple thing, but it is impossible to be thankful when you are cussing at that object in your head.
Or perhaps you hate your hair. It’s really curly, out of control, and hard to style. You would give anything to have straight hair. Yet the girl at school with straight hair would kill for your curly hair. Each of you wander around feeling absolutely miserable because neither of you are happy, and your thoughts are occupied by what you don’t have. Instead, why don’t each you embrace the gift God has blessed you with? He gave you the type of hair that you have for a reason – He loves you.
God has give us so many opportunities to be thankful and happy. Be content in God when things are good. Be content when things are bad. God has made you on this earth, and every breath you take is a miracle. Be thankful and content for the simple fact that God. Loves. You.
” When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi,<span class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(T)”> when did you get here?”Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me,<span class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(U)”> not because you saw the signs<span class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(V)”> I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures<span class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(W)”> to eternal life,<span class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(X)”> which the Son of Man<span class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(Y)”> will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal<span class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(Z)”> of approval.” John 6:25-27
Why do you have a relationship with Christ? Is it because He gives you stuff?
God loves YOU.
When we were on vacation, we went into a McDonalds for some ice cream As we sat down, some kids came in who were covered in tattoos and piercings. By kids, I mean 14-16 years old. I saw them and couldn’t help but think what they had already gone though in life to influence them to tattoo and pierce themselves in such an excessive way. Some of them had sat down behind us, and beings that they were talking loudly, I couldn’t help but overhear. What they said both saddened and shocked me.
“I pierce my nose, because sometimes it’s better that people stare at my face rather than ignore me completely.”
“I drew all over my arm in sharpie designs today because I knew my mom would say something. Her being mad at me and yelling is better than her saying nothing to me.”
“I’m pretty sure I don’t even have any self-esteem. I’m pretty mellow. Why would I care what people think about me when I don’t even care about me?”
I sat there and was just overwhelmed with this sense of despair that these kids must be going through. To feel that no one cared about you. To be so deep in despair that the negative attention was what you craved because it was better than being ignored. Can you imagine? Maybe you can, maybe you are going though these exact feelings and you think no one cares.
Someone cares. I care, and more importantly, God cares. Some may scoff at the thought that God cares. They’ll say, “Yeah, but if God cares, why has this happened to me? Why did He think it would be good for me to grow up in a broken home? Why did He think it would be good for me to be yelled at, hit, and blamed for things out of my control?” He didn’t. He doesn’t think what you have suffered is “good” or “okay.” He loves you so much and His heart hurts for what is going on in your life.
He made you in His image. Even more amazing is the fact that He knows what you are going through. He has experienced great pain….and He went through it for you. St. Francis De Sales once said, “The everlasting God has, in His wisdom, foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from his inmost heart. The cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms, and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one once too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and sent it to you from Heaven, a special greeting from God t you, an alms of the all merciful love of God.” And then, after you see the cross you have been given to carry, He offers to help you carry it. His burden is easy, His yoke is light. He wants to help. Open your hands and your heart and let Him in.
God made you. He loves you.
Hello dear readers,
If you’ve been keeping up over at Mady’s blog, you know that we have just returned from a week long (and much needed) vacation in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Arkansas. It was incredibly peaceful and, as most vacations are, very relaxing.
I also have, once again, slacked off my blogging. So, instead of beating myself up over it on here, I’ve decided to give y’all (Texas is rubbing off on me) a quick peek into what is to come in the next months of summer on the blog!
1) A mini series! I’ve been inspired by some fellow bloggers to do a mini series. I’ve selected the title “Catholic on Campus” I’ve been reading a lot lately and brushing up for college classes and have realized that people are going to question my faith in the collegiate world. This mini series will tackle subjects like the inquisition, priest abuse, contraception, science and the Church, and abortion. Basically, what you may be questioned about as a Catholic on Campus. Let me know in the comments if you have a subject that you’d like me to cover!
2) A giveaway! At the end of July, I’ll be having a giveaway for a great Catholic book(s). I don’t know which book it will be for, so I’ll keep you updated on that as well. There will be multiple ways to earn chances for the giveaway – so keep an eye on the blog!
3) Conferences, conferences, conferences! I’ll be headed of to Stubenville soon! This year I’ll attend my last year as a participant. I’ll give you a day by day look into the conference for those of you who have never been and also post some of the talks we listen to. I’ll also be going to TEC this summer, so watch for my thoughts on that weekend as well.
4) More music. I’ve come across some great Catholic/Christ-inspired music lately and can’t wait to share it with you guys.
Like I said, completely open to suggestions, so let me know if there is something you want to see more of or less of!