Stylish and romantic:
Pretty in pale pink:
A spark of color and hearts:
Love the shoes and purse to brighten a plain outfit:
Do you remember a sibling of yours that would always get under your nerves? The one who you were always arguing with and trying to show you were better? Your mom always said to just ignore them, but you never listened. It was always just a little too much of a temptation to let sleeping dogs lie.
We often think that when we are adults we don't play this game any more.
But we do.
That friend that is always too pushy, that person who gets the credit of your idea, that family member that grates on your nerves with petty remarks. Yep, still the same game, just on a more socially acceptable level.
But we can't play that game anymore. That time of childhood is over. We need to act wiser, more mature, larger than that ridiculous fight.
Be the bigger person. Even if you don't want to.
If we play that game we bring ourselves down to their level. Petty, immature, insignificant, senseless.
I don't think that's who we want to be. We want to be wise, intelligent, upright, righteous, strong.
So start today with one person that can't help but annoy you. Be helpful, calm, focused, and don't let yourself get carried away in worthless pursuit of being right. And most of all, pray for them.
If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly.
Powerful words there. There is a famous quote that says “you will be most like the 5 people you spend the most time with.” (Moms- don't worry, I don't think toddlers count. :) )
Which five people do you spend the most time with?
Are they people who inspire you? Help you grow? Give you wisdom?
If not, why are you wasting your time? Life's short, and our legacy is left in the choices we make.
So make the right ones.
Folks, we have a national problem. Marriage. Now this is not going to be a blog post with titles like:
Dating: The road to Hell
The Rate of Divorce: Climbing Mt. Everest or Swimming down the Mariana Trench?
Ditch the High School Boyfriend. Chasing Him with an Ax Works Just as Well.
Dads: Time to get some Target Practice in.
Nope. I'll let the rest of blogging world deal with that for right now. There is another matter that I have noticed through the years that bothers me even more than elementary school dating and the climbing rate of divorce.
And as Catholic's, it's right in our faces.
I know that there are many problems with guys and the whole courtship/dating thing, but this particular post is directed at those young women who know that God has purposed them for marriage but have not found "him" yet, otherwise known as the "waiting period".
"Waiting period." Wow. Even the name sounds discouraging.
During this period, there are two extremes girls can fall into.
1. Excessive dating. She is either afraid to wait for God's time or she does not care to wait. She feels she has to be in a relationship at all times, regardless of whether the guys she hangs out with are ready for marriage or not. It is a need within her- a need to be fulfilled. She goes into a relationship with only a faint idea of marriage, there is no purpose and little commitment involved. For, you see, she is afraid of commitment. The commitment to stay true to herself and find purpose. She is afraid of marriage, but she is also afraid of being alone.
2. The other extreme is Excessive Courtship. She too is afraid of commitment. However, instead of thrusting herself on society she waits at home. Yes, perhaps she has a job, helps her mother at home, or even aspires to do other things, but never does, because she is afraid. She waits for "him" to come knocking on her door.
The first girl is often seen in our society because she is always out there, living in the moment. There are many of the second type of girl too, especially I find, in Latin Mass communities, though we do not see them as much because they remain hidden to our eyes. Though miricles do happen, it is unlikely that either of these girls will turn out with a happy marriage. The first type of girl, as we often see, will end up in a bad situation with a boyfriend or enter an unhappy marriage that ends with a divorce. The second girl will suffer much; she will probably have to wait many years until someone is brave enough to discover her. Men may see her at church or a few socialities, but because she does not step outside her comfort zone, she will often never go further that that. If a man does discover her, the girl may marry him only because she thinks no one else will find her, or if no one does, she will give up hope and remain single. Or maybe many men do find her, but she is quite picky in looking for only the 100% perfect man.
These are both very sad cases, and it is crucial for parents to recognize these extremes. Our culture encourages parents to let their daughter date whomever she wants whenever she wants, while other parents fall into the other extreme because they are so repulsed with society. Both of these can place high amounts of stress upon the girl and her family. I think it is important for parents to lay out their "dating/courtship" rules on the early end, before there are emotional attachments. I can't tell you how important this communication is between parents and their children. I have seen many young people who date behind their parent's backs because there have never been clear rules and communications set, and these young people believe their parents are too strict and don't listen. Every family will have different rules, but it is important to keep both of these extremes in mind when laying out the rules/guidelines.
So, that being said, what should a young woman do during this waiting period?
This waiting period can be a great time of growth for a girl. This is often a time of independence. Girl's have finished high school and are looking at career/ job opportunities. God can use this time to ready you for your future; He is constantly pushing us to grow, simply waiting or partying are not wise ways to use this time. Use the tools God has given you. Get actively involved in the world and the people around you. Live in the world, but not of it. It is a beautiful thing when a girl has an innocent confidence about her and can be in the world without letting it change her.
Here are some ideas of things to promote growth and ready yourself for marriage:
-Make time for volunteering. Prolife, food banks, helping the poor, misson trips. Maybe there is a certain talent you have that could help someone else. I can't tell you how many stories I have heard of couples who have met through volunteering. Volunteer your talents.
-Not judgemental. It is so easy to judge other people. One person doesn't dress modestly, another is too stuck up. Remember, love is the greatest virtue.
-Pray for your future husband.
-Make a list of things you would like in him. That way when you find someone, you can see if he is what you are looking for. Sure, he may be handsome, but is he kind, generous, thoughtful?
-Do not obsess about finding him. Sometimes we look so close we miss it.
-Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Everybody has dreams. That's what makes you stand out as an individual. It can actually be attractive to guys if they see a girl who is willing to do things she's never done before and chasing her dreams. And it can be empowering to you too.
-Learn. The world is full of information and amazing things. Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut. The same job, the same stuff every week. Learning something new gives you a new perspective on things. It doesn't have to be a college class. Maybe you've always wanted to learn a few chords on the guitar or raise bees or something.
-Surround yourself with people who inspire you and have wisdom. These people can be great mentors when you don't know what to do.
-Be open to all things God puts in your path. Sometimes we hold back, thinking we aren't ready for marriage. Tell God you are ready for whatever comes next. Sometimes being ready is a state of mind, rather than a physical aspect.
This post is more geared toward young women who are just out of high school or early college. I know there is also an issue with young women who are finished with their education who are still looking for "him" and becoming hopeless. Because the truth is, the world does change you; it has an affect on you, whether you like it or not. Are you one of those young women or do you know someone who is dealing with that? If so, what advice would you give them? Post in the comments!
Are you afraid?
Are you frightened when you hear of murder or a rare disease that has made its appearance again and killed 50 people this week? Are you fearful for your children, that they will will make unwise decisions and not follow God's Will? Are you scared when you hear of economic failure, nuclear weapons, and the apocalypse? Terrified at the thought of loosing your job? Panicked at the thought of failure? Afraid to love? Of death?
That is Fear. It's voice is like a whisper, it's venom dark and poisonous like a snake. It roots itself within the heart, spreading throughout the body like a disease.
It's a mistake to think that Catholics should never feel fear. The days before Christ's death were sorrowful and distressing to Him. He was afraid. He experienced a fear that few of us will ever feel. In spite of the fear that Christ felt, He didn't let fear posses Him. He prayed for God's peace and followed His will even through fear.
The phrase “do not be afraid” is written in the Bible 365 times. That's a daily reminder from God to live every day being fearless. To trust in Him. To follow Him even when you don't know if you are doing it right but just doing the best you can.
One way to confront your fears is to expose them to the light. Fear thrives on darkness and shadow. Expose it and it will shrivel. Write down your fears on a piece of paper. Confront each fear and deal with each one at a time. Maybe you fear of failing an exam. The way to confront that fear would be to study and prepare. Some fears will be easy to confront and others will take time. Maybe talk to a trusted friend about a certain fear and pray about it. A month or two later, when you go back to look at your fears, you will see that they frighten you less.
As Catholics, we are called to be beacons of light for the world. How will we inspire others to search out the faith if we remain hidden in fear? Fear does not draw people toward us. It shuts them out.
Fearlessness shines and snaps like a fire. It is catching.
“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you.” Isaiah 41:10
We are called to be Fearless. So live this day doing that!
An incident transpired when Muhammad Ali’s daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were quite revealing.
Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:
“When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.
My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to.
Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected.
Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell.
Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to them.”
He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”
Modesty is beautiful.
It doesn't have to be frumpy...
It can be Preppy...
Even on the Red Carpet...
Or in the Limelight...
Some days you will feel like this...
Keep these home remedies on hand so that when the cold hits your home, you can get over it quick!
1. Whenever one of us would get sick as kids, my mom would break out the honey and garlic, and give it to all the rest of us (who were still well!) as an easy flu prevention. Though we would all pretend to gag, it actually wasn't that bad, and really did work! Because garlic is a natural antibiotic, it works wonderfully to prevent all those nasty flu and cold bugs out there, and the honey is soothing and makes it taste tolerable. :)
To make, simply mince up a clove of garlic, add a bit of honey, mix, and eat a spoonful. It is probably a good idea to do twice daily.
2. Ginger Tea! There is nothing more soothing to an upset stomach than Ginger Tea.
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 c. boiling water
Brew for 3 minutes, strain out ginger, then sip. Yum!
3. Remember Grandma saying to have some chicken soup when you were sick? Nowadays the sick diet is bananas, rice, applesauce, toast. This may be all very well and good, but it is very important to have some good quality protein when you are sick, as protein keeps your immune system healthy and will help you get over the flu/cold sooner.
4. About a year ago, I discovered the benefits of Epsom salt baths. Because of their high magnesium content, epsom salt baths are the perfect way to detox from colds and flues. You can buy a huge bag of it at Walmart for $10 I think? Then add about a cup to you tub for a soothing bath.
5. Do you crave lemons and grapefruit? Odds are, you're craving Vitamin C. Sometimes when you feel ill, plain water can be nauseating. By adding a slice of lemon or grapefruit, your stomach may be able to handle it better and it will help quench your thirst. You can also supplement with a teaspoon of powdered ascorbic acid. I like NutriBiotic, but other brands work too. Just make sure it is 100% pure Vitamin C powder. Because Vitamin C needs Vitamin E to be absorbed into your system, it is wise to supplement with a little bit of Vitamin E as well, so that your own body's stores are not depleted!
6. I have just started using homeopathic remedies and wow are they amazing! (A post on that later!) Aconite is a fabulous remedy for when you feel that cold coming on and say "tomorrow I am going to be miserable!" It works best in the first 24 hours of your cold/flu. Start with taking three, five minutes apart, letting them dissolve under the tongue before taking the next one. After those first three, take one every hour, until you start to feel better. You can usually find homeopathic remedies at your local health food store. NOTE: I am not sure why, but homeopathic remedies will not work if taken around the same time as anything minty (i.e. toothpaste). A good rule of thumb is to keep away from mint an hour before and after taking the remedy.
7. When recovering from a cold or flu, my family loves to make yogurt smoothies. Yogurt is fantastic for boosting the immune system and is full of yumminess to boost your mood! Here is our favorite smoothie recipe (it tastes like a Sonic smoothie!):
1 c. plain yogurt
1 c. frozen strawberries (chopped if you don't have a Vitamix)
stevia to taste
And... at 12:20 AM November 15, 2013 my blog is up! I am super excited to introduce myself and can't wait to start blogging! Yes, dear reader, I have lots of ideas planned for you... but I am not a night owl... (yawn)... and must go to bed here soon. :) Sweet dreams!