Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I admit that I have never actually sat down and written a list of New Years resolutions. I might think about them or talk about them with someone, but I have never written them down before. Perhaps it's because I'm afraid of breaking them, which always seems to happen anyways. Maybe it's because I'm just too lazy. I mean, January 1 is just another day, right? What's so special about it?

Last Sunday at church the service really made me start to think about resolutions. Traditionally, January 1 is a day where we can dedicate ourselves to starting fresh. We can do that pretty much every day anyways, but New Years resolutions seem a bit more final, a bit of a bigger commitment. My biggest problem is the fact that I've never written mine down. See, if we do not actually write out what our goals are, who can we trust to keep us accountable besides ourselves and God? Not that we cannot trust God to keep us accountable. He's really good at that. The problem lies in when God whispers to us "Hey, I thought you were going to cut down on eating sweets" and we choose to ignore Him, which unfortunately happens a lot.

So, I am posting my resolutions up here for all to see, should anyone care to pass by and read them. That way, not only will I know that there are other people out there who know what I am trying to accomplish, but I also will be able to look at them myself when I go to blog. I think I'll even print out the page so I can stick them in my room somewhere to remind myself.
  1. I resolve to improve my relationship with God even more than in this past year by dedicating more of my time to prayer and conversation with Him.
  2. I resolve to improve my relationship with God even more than in this past year by reading at least eight chapters in the Bible each week. SOAP has helped me with this, and sometimes I have even done 14 chapters in a week, but I have been slacking off horribly lately and not reading at all. Therefore, I dedicate myself to reading His word!
  3. I resolve to be the temple God wants me to be by improving my diet after the new year and to prevent myself from gaining the freshman 15 when I enter college by exercising and eating healthier.
  4. I resolve to shine as a light of God by improving my relationships with my family before entering college, a task that God set upon me a couple of days ago when He asked me to write letters to them as part of my 30 day challenge at Impact.
  5. I resolve to shine as a light of God by going out of my way to do something nice for someone as often as possible (i.e. holding open doors, picking up something that someone dropped, etc.).
  6. I resolve to bend to God's will and complete the story that He asked me to write for Him this year that I never actually completed.

If I come up with more, I will definitely list them. Now that I look at this list, I realize that all of these resolutions are possible. I didn't think so at first as I was writing them, but nothing is impossible with God.

Happy New Year! See you in 2010!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The first time it snowed this year, I stood outside at home after school and danced around in the flakes as they gently fell, not caring that I was without a jacket or that my hair would soon be drenched or that I may have looked a little strange if someone driving past my house had caught a glace of me. I had been hoping for snow for the longest time, and here it was, and I felt just like a snow princess or snow fairy or an angel or something, spinning around in circles with flakes dotting my hair as I tried to catch the larger ones on my tongue.

I love winter, even though it can be cold and even though cleaning off my car can be a pain. Maybe it's because I was born in a winter month (February), or maybe it's because I'm a figure skater, or maybe it's simply because that's how God created me. Actually, looking on it now, I know God made me to be this way: to be His little snow princess. I remember as I stood outside that day and looked up to the sky, raising my snow-covered lashes, I smiled and laughed giddily at the idea that Daddy God loves to see me pink-cheeked and bright-eyed from playing around in the snow.

This leads me to believe that we girls are princess of all sorts in God's eyes. If I'm a winter princess, then maybe you, reader, are a summer princess who loves to splash around in water and bask in the sun's warmth all day and frolic outside in the midst of the summer heat. Or maybe you're a spring princess who's crazy in love with brilliant blooms of flowers and the gentle spring breezes and the knowledge that winter's icy chill is finally melting away and the sounds of baby animals chattering to each other. Or maybe you're an autumn princess who adores the glorious color-changes of the leaves on trees, who loves skipping through piles of leaves and enjoying the not-too-hot yet not-too-cold fall air, whose breath catches at the sight of autumn's finest sunsets.

And we are more than seasonal princesses! We can be princesses of nighttime, who love the sight of a clear night full of stars and a bright full moon. Or princesses of animals, or princesses of plant life, or princesses of butterflies and fireflies. I could be a princess year-round, and so can you! (Or, I suppose, if you are male and you are reading this and you actually didn't stop reading this upon seeing the word "princess" in one of the earlier paragraphs, then I shall include you here too: You could be a prince of these things, and you can be one year-round!)

And guess what. We, as God's children, are to inherit His kingdom. Does that not make us princesses and princes automatically? He has adopted us freely out of love; in His eyes, we were made to rule! We really are princesses and princes! We are royalty!

One final, somewhat unrelated note: One day soon, this blog is going to have a baby! (Sorry, that just popped into my head and it made me laugh so I typed it there.) I don't know exactly when as of right now; perhaps I will create it this weekend or next week. It's going to be called His Unfailing Love, and in it I'm going to blog specifically to girls about some awesome stuff. Thanks Tara & Kelly & Lisa for talking to me about doing something like this!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bombardment by God

So, let's see how quickly I can type all of this up in just under 15 minutes. Part of me thinks I won't do as nearly as good of a job as I want to. Then again, there's really no way to completely explain what happened to me last night, so I'll just go for it!

Last night, after dress rehersal for the Promiseland Christmas production over at church, I went to one of the rooms next door to join in Amped, which is pretty much an all-worship experience for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and young adults, and I guess pretty much anyone else who wanted to show up. Though I entered late, I knew I had made the right decision (rather than staying behind after rehersal to do miscellaneous stuff) because my heart leaped as soon as I entered the room and I couldn't help but raise my hands in joy as the music flooded the air around me while I walked in. I slipped my shoes off and walked over to the opposite side of the room, almost in the corner, so that I had plenty of room and was not standing next to anyone in any of the rows of chairs. I just completely let go and praised and worshipped the God who loves me any everyone else, dancing and singing with all my heart.

And then, sometime during one of the songs (I can't believe I cannot remember which one right now), I got this vision and I completely broke down and started crying as the picture played in my head. It was Jesus stopping in front of me and saying, "This is for you," as he was led away beaten and bleeding to the cross. Flash forward. He was taken down from the cross, and instead of being placed in Mary's arms, he was placed in my arms: my beautiful, broken Savior. The weight of him in my arms knocked the breath out of me and caused me to sob uncontrollably where I was now sitting on the floor of the room. Flash forward again. I was kneeling in Heaven at the feet of Jesus and he was saying, "I love you. This is where you belong, here with me in Heaven, beautiful love." And he gave me a hug just before dissolving away and I was left with tears of awe and sadness and wonder and love streaming down my face.

Then, my friend Katie helped me gather the courage to talk to three of the most wonderful, influential women in my life about my story and how God wants me to share my story somehow with young women. In our discussion in her office, Tara brought up how she thought it would be a good idea to think about speaking for Girlie Night, which is held at our church for middle and high school girls. Then Lisa, Kelly, and Tara prayed over Katie and me; I am so thankful for them and now I am so excited at the prospect of writing everything out and finally presenting it in a couple months!

And later that night, God suddenly struck me with what He wanted me to do for the 30-day challenge in Impact (which I am so thankful for because during small group, when we were supposed to be discussing this, I couldn't come up with anything, and instead preferred to talk about Veronica's giant black stretchy body bag thing that I was running around in earlier). He told me to take what we were talking about in Promiseland (compassion), mix it with what KLOVE is doing (writing letters, "the things you would say" if given the chance), and make it a 30-day challenge (Impact challenge). So now I'm writing one letter to a different person each day for thirty days about how much I love that person and how much he/she means to me in order to spread love and compassion and be more of an embodiement of God's love!

I just couldn't believe how much God worked in those couple of hours last night. It was so amazing and all of this has brought me so much closer to Him and I feel a sense of renewal and am so excited to begin all that He wants me to do!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Speechless and awestruck

Sometimes God does things, and I have no clue why He's doing them, or why He's using me to do them, and even though He gives me the answers, I'm still left in wonder because of His ways.

Take, for example, this past Sunday. See, God had been trying to get me to talk to a friend for a couple of weeks about Him. He just stopped me in the middle of my homework and told me that He wanted me to give this guy, a friend of mine, a message. His message made me smile, and I knew that that was something that this guy needed to hear. But I had no clue how to tell it to him, especially because it always seems like he doesn't want anything to do with God. So I procrastinated. But God kept nudging and nudging and finally I pulled him aside at Impact on Sunday after small groups and I opened myself directly to God and gave my friend the message, God's words through me:

"I love you, and I miss you. I know you're not sure about me at all. But if you ever need to talk, I'm here, waiting to have a relationship with you. I know there's things you're going through, and I know it's hard for you to open and believe. It's okay. I just wanted you to know that I am here, and I hope you come to me. Love, God."

Of course, the answer I get back from my friend: "Couldn't you have told me this over Facebook?"

So I bow my head slightly in embarrassment because I probably could have told him over Facebook, but I felt that it was something that needed to be said in person. But I heard God telling me in my heart that saying this in person was better and that He was glad that I listened to Him. I felt so completely comforted and at peace. Later that evening when I went over to this friend's house to watch a movie, he never once mentioned the message I delivered to him earlier. I don't know what's going on in his head. I just pray that God works in his heart and that he opens up to His amazing love.

And another example of God's ability to leave me speechless:

Last night, I was driving to get gas before meeting up with some friends to study at a bookstore. For the first time, I heard on the radio Steven Curtis Chapman's story behind his song "Heaven is the Face," how his son accidentally ran over and killed his daughter with the car. It shook me, especially thinking about how awful the son must feel about the accident and how the parents feel about the whole situation. And then KLOVE played the song. I heard it in a completely different light as I pulled into the Sam's Club parking lot, from the perspective of a father who has lost his daughter in this accident. I started crying a little bit when he sung "Heaven is a sweet maple syrup kiss/And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone," and eventually I pulled into a parking stall because I couldn't concentrate on driving to the station a short distance away. I just wept, without having a pure reason behind my tears, just listening to the emotion of a father who loved his daughter so much and was now singing about her after her death.

But today, I heard the same song on my drive home from school, and God reached out and touched my heart in a completely different way. I felt like God was singing through Steven Curtis Chapman's lyrics to me: "Heaven is the face of a little girl/With dark brown eyes that disappear when she smiles/Heaven is the place where she calls my name/Says 'Daddy please come play with me for awhile...'/Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep/Lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing/And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms/Being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams." I felt so much like God's little girl that I was left at the stoplight between Rt. 31 and Crystal Lake Ave. with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

I'm His messenger, His daughter, His beloved. And I'm left speechless every time He embraces me and kisses me with sweet words of comfort and of grace and of hope and of love.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Last night, I watched The Passion of the Christ. If you have not seen it, let me first say that it is rated R with good reason: it is filled with violence because of all the persecution that Jesus suffered. There's no way to avoid it and still tell the story of Jesus's sacrifice to the extent that it should be told. If you have seen it, then you know what I am talking about.

Long story short, I cried. Hard. And for a long period of time, too. I was mostly in shock the whole movie until he was up on the cross and the criminals started talking to him, especially when Jesus told the nicer criminal that "today you will be with me in paradise." Tears streamed down my face as he suffered on the cross and as he gave up his spirit and as he was stabbed to make sure he was dead and as Mary held him broken in her arms. I cried to see him whole and new at the end of the movie. I went up into my room and cried for forty minutes after the movie was over, sobbing about how awfully they treated my Savior and how they persecuted my Jesus. I am so in love with him and it hurts me to see how much he was hurt, even though I know and he knew that he had to suffer and die in order to save us all from our sins. It felt like my heart was ripped open, to see my Savior lying beaten and broken in his mother's arms.

Before I watched the movie, I knew Jesus suffered to save us. I knew he went through a lot of pain. I even cried for that reason during Sandblast. But this was different. This was indescribable and unbelievable. It has changed the way I percieve Jesus's death. It's more real to me now.

This brings me to the word "passion." describes it a couple of ways:
  1. The sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion, as related in the New Testament.
  2. Ardent love
  3. Boundless enthusiasm
  4. An overwhelming emotion

We call Jesus's sufferings the Passion. In this Passion, Jesus had passion for us. He so ardently loved us that he was willing to give up his life to persecution and crucifixion. He was passionate for us, passionate that we would be able to spend eternity in Heaven, passionate that we would be given the chance to live.

Are we going through our lives with passion, like Jesus? Are we willing to stake everything for our faith in him? Or are we just going through the motions?

Monday, September 7, 2009

An awesome day at Woodstock Square

So yesterday, my friends Henry and Emily, my sister Brittany, and I all went to Woodstock Square because we were going to try to spread the word about Student Impact and try to get some new people to come. We had absolutely no clue what we were doing; all we knew was that we were near the park with a bunch of Impact cards in our hands.

We tried handing the cards out to kids in the gazebo, but it turned out extremely awkward, made worse by some things that I said that sounded really strange. Like, "So we were watching you and thought that you guys might like to come to Impact." We were watching you? Um, that doesn't sound creeperish at all...

So we walked through the park, not knowing what to do, feeling pretty down. But then, we came across a woman sitting on a park bench. She had a bunch of Sharpie markers and was writing phrases on rocks, like "Love" and "Pray" and "Faith" and "Kindness" and "Believe." We slowed down and she invited us over to look at them. She explained that she was doing this for a kind of ministry and she also talked about how she was homeless at one point, but what struck us the most was that she said that people need to just be bolder with their faith and keep planting seeds of faith; even though we may not do much, we'll at least plant seeds of faith, and God will take care of the rest.

That was exactly what we needed to hear, and we told her so and explained why we were in the park. She talked to us some more and let each of us close our eyes and pull out a rock from a bag she had. I pulled out one that says "Faith." Later, Henry and Emily paid for a Starbucks gift card for the woman and we gave it to her. After that whole string of events, we had much more success going up to teens and inviting them to Impact.

I just can't believe how awesome God is! I mean, what are the chances that we would cross paths with that woman? God is the one who brought us together; what an amazing day!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Awesomeness and other thoughts

While at the test session for figure skating on Tuesday, I saw something pretty cool that I wanted to comment about. I was waiting for my turn to skate and finally try to test out with the senior freeskate, when I look over my shoulder in the lobby and see a boy sitting with a book open in his lap, his left hand clasped with his mother's right hand beside him, both of their eyes closed. Half a second later I realize that the book is a Bible, and the boy (who looked like he was about twelve or fourteen years old) and his mom were praying about something. I just found it so awesome that they were doing this in such a public place, because you rarely see people just drop everything wherever they are and talk to God without worrying about what everyone else is thinking of them. I wanted to say something to them, but they were deep in prayer, and the next time I looked over at them they were gone. I will always remember that moment, though, more than the feeling of exhilaration when I saw that God helped me pass the test His way (not mine; I would have skated clean but God needed me to fall so that I could retry the two elements I missed and land them with His help and sheer determination).

I had also been thinking about how some people, mainly some guys, say that they absolutely refuse to cry because they see it as a sign of weakness. In fact, one guy I used to be friends with specifically told me that he did not want to appear weak to others, and thus trained himself so that he wouldn't cry at all. I was thinking about that today, and thinking about how strong and mighty God is, and I came to this conclusion: Even though we may try to make ourselves stronger, and even if we succeed in making ourselves stronger and eliminating some of our weakness, we will never be completely rid of our weakness. We will always have some weakness, because compared to God's strength, we are nothing. He is way more powerful than anything, and for that I am not ashamed if I appear weak to others when I cry if He has revealed something to me. In His presence, we can all be completely free.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some people need to find something better to do

So today I was looking on Youtube for the song "Oh Praise Him" by David Crowder Band, and I clicked one of the first links I came across. Lo and behold, what do I see in the comments but a bunch of people arguing about God and the song itself. People who aren't Christians were invading the comment board and posting comments like (I swear this is a real comment, go look for yourself if Youtube hasn't already removed it): "God does not exist you dumb fucks. Religion is made by authorities for short brain faggots to have control of them. Oh Satan, give me thumbs up!!! Shit song btw, sounds like an elephant is taking crap in the woods..." This comment earned 6 thumbs up by other jerks (5 after I clicked on the little thumbs down). These same jerks went around and gave thumbs down to anyone who posted comments praising God or giving evidence of His existence.

Come on. It's a Christian song. What are you even doing listening to the song anyways if you don't believe in God? Stop badmouthing people who do realize that God exists and maybe you'll look a little less like an ignorant idiot. As Proverbs 17:28 says, "Even a fool seems wise when he keeps his mouth shut."

It's so sad how many people are ignorant of God's wonderful grace and mercy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bits of laughter

So I was reading a magazine I got in the mail today and I ended up reading a few things that were particularly humorous that I figured I might as well share with whoever reads this. After all, everyone could always use a laugh. Laughing is good for you!

"'We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.'" -W.H. Auden

"'I can't understand why people don't think God has a sense of humor, given 1 Samuel 5:9, where the Lord strikes all the Philistines with hemorrhoids.'" -Susan Sparks

"'Read the Bible. It will scare the Hell out of you.'" -Random sign in front of a church

"[Azhar] Usman tells the story of a friend who said he wasn't interested in organized religion: 'So I said, great, become a Muslim; we're the most disorganized people on Earth.'"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oh praise Him!!!

I recently came back from Sandblast 2009, which (if you're reading this and don't know) is pretty much a Christian camp that my church holds every year. There were so many things that happened there that I can only possibly sum up the whole experience in one short sentence: God was there. I could feel Him so clearly and so convincingly, especially during worship. I decided to discipline myself, obey only Him, and sacrifice my self so that I can serve Him with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength. There were so many emotional moments over at that camp, some of which I shared with some of the other girls who were there with me. I know it's going to be difficult for me to let go of some things, but I am slowly giving up my control and letting God take over my life. It's liberating and scary at the same time. I can feel myself becoming more Christ-centered than ever before, and I am so glad that so many of my friends are going through the same thing I am so that I can look to them for support and support them at the same time.

During one of the sessions, we learned that everyone has defining moments in their lives. I can definitely say that I had quite a few at Sandblast. In fact, here is a list of my defining moments. Notice how these all began with my acceptance of Christ:
  1. Feeling the Holy Spirit stir inside me when I accepted Christ late at night while I was doing part of a Bible Study book in my bedroom.
  2. Feeling an overwhelming sense of joy when I was baptized.
  3. Embracing my newfound freedom with a couple of the other girls after the Friday session by crying and laughing at the same time before we ran across the field outside of the auditorium and dancing and spinning and falling beneath the stars.
  4. Crying my heart out when I finally realized the severity of Christ's sacrifice for the first time during the Saturday session and decided to sacrifice my life to God.

I find myself talking to Him and praising Him constantly, even while I am on the ice trying to practice! I was never able to do that before without becoming distracted, but now I find myself embracing Him completely and knowing that with God, anything is possible and nothing is impossible.

At Sandblast, we also learned how to read the Bible using the SOAP method (Scripture, Observations, Application, Prayer). It has definitely improved my concentration while reading the Bible, and God has spoken to me so much while I have used my SOAP journal. I just want to get up and praise Him right now with everything I have!!! He is God of the universe!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Overcoming adversity

I was reading a magazing when I came across an article on a woman named Aimee Mullins. She was born without fibula bones in her legs, so she had her legs amputated below her knees when she was an infant. Some people look on Mullins's condition as a disadvantage; I even saw it as a disadvantage when I first read the article. But by obtaining a few sets of prosthetic legs, Mullins's went on to become a world-record-breaking athlete (she is a runner), an actress, a fashion model, an intelligence analyst at the Pentagon, and a motivational speaker!

Intrigued by her success, I searched a video of one of her speeches online. She was talking about how the doctor who delivered her had told her parents that she would never be able to walk, let alone run like she does. That man found her in a supermarket a couple of decades later and told Mullins how she had proved him a liar over and over for accomplishing so much after he gave that awful prognosis to her parents.

I just found it amazing and inspirational how Mullins was able to overcome so much adversity in her life in order to accomplish the things she wanted to accomplish. This just shows how between your willpower and God's willpower, anything can be done! Everyone's life is full of setbacks, but we can overcome them!

~Mark 10:27--For all things are possible with God~

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Small epiphanies

A while ago, I finished reading a book I got from the library called Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch with mixed feelings. I agreed with some of the answers to certain questions that the book brought up, but I felt extremely uncomfortable and unsure about the answers to other questions. I felt like they did not match up with my beliefs and how I see God. That feeling would not go away for the next couple of weeks or so after I had finished reading all 300 or so pages of the book. That feeling was accompanied by the feeling that I needed to go back through the book again, because I really liked some parts of it and I want to respond to them. So I renewed the book the day before it was due and I spent all of yesterday skimming back over the book and marking certain pages with post-its, all so that I can write about them here, even though there's a good chance that nobody reads this blog and/or nobody will have anything to say about what I have to say. I just feel compelled to write about it now, so here we go. Be prepared for a very long blog post.
  • "These are The Changers. It's just the way they are. It's just who they are. Everything changes the moment they walk into a room. Everything gets lighter, feels different. Suddenly, it's all good. And the world, if only for that moment, becomes a nicer place" (23).
Before this quote, the book was talking about certain people who make real differences on this planet, not necessarily by doing huge things that eventually make their names known, but by moving quietly, largely unseen but affecting the lives of everyone they touch. These Changers change the world not by acting different simply to be different, but by acting different to make a difference. When other people say that it doesn't matter if a small change is made because the rest of the world is still an awful place, Changers say that it truly does matter because individual consciousnesses can change. Making a difference in one person's life can help change the world.

Whoever is reading this right now, I believe that you can be a Changer, if you are not one already. If you are already a Changer, you probably feel a strong compulsion and desire to help as many people as you can, to change the lives of people in your community and across the globe, to leave this world a little better than you found it. If you are already a Changer, know that some people might look at you differenly because you are different. It's a good kind of different, one that changes lives for the better. And I can't express my gratitude and appreciation enough for you and people like you. Never give up your hope and your ideals. If you are not a Changer, I believe that you can easily become one. It's simple: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" (if I may quote Gandhi). Do you want to see the world become a better place, a nicer place? Be a better and a nicer person. Help out anyone who needs help. Be kind and generous. Even being there for a friend who is down in the dumps makes a huge impact. Anyone can be a Changer if they choose to make an impact.
  • "People believe that there is not enough money, not enough food, not enough clothing or shelter to go around. They believe, in fact, that there is not enough of any of the 'stuff of life' to allow everyone to survive and be happy... All of this is insane, given that there is enough of everything for everyone. But most members of the human race don't know this, and so they compete ruthlessly" (44-45).
All I have to say about this is that it is unbelievably true, and this book puts it quite bluntly. We humans have so much more than we need, yet we think it's not enough. We have so much to give! The book goes on to say that if we all try to give something away to someone who has less than us, we will realize that we have more than we thought and that there's always "more where that came from." If only entire countries realized that we need to share, this world would be able to provide for the homeless and starving.
  • "There is no such thing as 'bland normalcy.' There are only people who settle for that. Everyone is special, everyone is extraordinary, everyone is talented and skilled and has abilities unique to their purpose for coming here" (65).
This pretty much goes along with my last blog post, the one that I also posted on Facebook. If you want some explanation on this quote, then just read my last blog post from two days ago, because I don't want to go too in depth on something that I already pretty much covered.
  • "Love is not measured by how many times you touch each other, but by how many times you reach each other" (114).

  • "Most people think that love is a response... I do not love you for what you do for me. I love you because you are. Simply because you ARE... Does ice cream need to 'earn' your love? Ice cream does nothing to earn your love. It just is. Ice cream is what it is, and you love it. Think of things this way: You are God's dessert" (188).

  • "When you love people because of who you are, you demonstrate that you need nothing from them, that your love is not based on what you can get from them" (189).

How true these quotes are! We don't have to be in a boyfriend-girlfriend sort of relationship with another person in order to love them. We don't have to be family members in order to love each other. We can love each other upon first seeing each other because we just do! We can love each other because we are the kind of person who loves people. We don't need anything in return.

How sad would it be if we just loved people if we expected to be loved in return? That's like me saying that the only reason I love my friends are because they love me. That sounds an awful lot like a bargain: "I'll give you some love if you give me some love!" But I love my friends because they just are! I love them because I do and because they are.

  • "At a papal audience in Rome on July 28, 1999, the Pope declared: 'Eternal damnation is never the initiative of God, it is the self-imposed punishment of those who choose to refuse God's love'" (128).

I just thought that this quote was interesting, especially since the Pope was the one who said it. If you have accepted God's love, you're pretty much set! It's extremely comforting.

  • "The dictionary defines 'prophet' as 'one who utters divinely inspired revelations,' and 'one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight.' There are thousands of such people all over the world. You do not have to wait for one to come; you merely have to recognize them when they do. You also have the option...of simply being that yourself" (145).

Me, a prophet? How cool is that! And you can be a prophet too if you so choose! All it takes is the decision to speak the Truth and the choice to see yourself as a prophet. It's kind of strange to think that I could be a prophet, but really cool at the same time.

  • "...there are other measures of success. Such as? Such as doing something that makes your heart sing! Something that you can get 'lost' in for hours. Something that you would do for nothing, without every worrying about how much you're getting paid. It's like, 'Just give me a chance to do that.' My father would say, 'You can't make a living doing that.' Well, you're invited to be one of the courageous ones. Someone who has chosen to make a life, rather than a living...Profit comes in many forms" (161).

  • "Living happily is about being something, doing something, and having something that makes your soul dance and your heart sing and your mind blow" (205).

If you are reading this and you have often wanted to do something just to have someone else criticize you about it, here are my words to you: Do not give up your dreams. Profit truly does come in many forms. I believe I wrote something similar to this in my first entry in December. Being prosperous doesn't always mean having lots of money. Being prosperous can mean being satisfied in the work you do and in your happiness. If you want to be a photographer, don't let anyone hold you back! If you want to serve other people without demanding payment of any sort, then do it! And if you do want to be a lawyer and make money, do it! Do what makes your heart cry out in joy, no matter if your relatives feel like you won't be able to survive on whatever income you would get. You WILL be able to survive. You will find a way, because you will be doing what it is you truly love.

  • "You do not demonstrate your faith by wearing a crucifix, any more than you do so by going to church...every week. You demonstrate your faith by every word that you utter. By every thought that you hold. By everything that you do" (302).

This quote speaks for itself. It doesn't matter what we wear or how many times we go to church. Those are things that we decide for ourselves because they are beneficial for us. They are not measurements of our devotion to God, but things that we decide to do for ourselves because we feel that we would benefit from them. Maybe you wear a crucifix because it brings comfort to you. And that's okay! And maybe you do, in fact, go to church every Sunday because you learn something every week and want to learn more. That's okay too! But that's not how we demonstrate our faith to others.

We demonstrate our faith by speaking it, thinking it, and doing it. It's as simple as that. I am not saying that it's an easy thing to do, merely that it is simple.

If you have actually read the whole thing, I thank you so much for taking your time to read my thoughts. I know that the odds are that nobody has actually read this, which is okay because writing is a sort of therapy for me. But if you have read this (which I'm assuming you have since you're reading this part right here right now...this could lead to an interesting paradox), I would like to know what you think. Post a comment if you have something to add to what I have said or if you have questions or opinions or anything else.

~Acts 17:28--For in Him we live and move and have our being...We are His offspring~

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A quote I wanted to share

(I posted this on Facebook and figured I should post it here as well since I haven't posted anything in a very very very long while)

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children we do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

--Marianne Williamson

I wanted to share this quote with you all as soon as I found it. It really struck a chord with me.

We need to stop feeling like we need to pretend to be less than we are and less than we can become just so that we can fit in with the people around us. We're so special and God sees this! He sees our potential to be ridiculously amazing at different things; He made us that way so that we can serve Him to the fullest extent possible. What use is it if we try to hide these talents and stuff just so that we don't make other people around us feel insecure about themselves? By stretching ourselves to our fullest instead of shrinking ourselves to fit into the mold of society, we give others the freedom to do the same. Imagine if everyone put aside their fear to use their God-given gifts to their fullest extent! How cool would that be!

I admit that I sometimes shrink myself to fit into the "normal" mold that society pretty much created. But I don't want to do that anymore. I'm going to try even harder not to dumb my abilities down in order to make people feel better about themselves. Honestly, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." So if the people I talk to feel insecure because I'm using my God-given talents to the fullest, then they need to look seriously at themselves and ask themselves why they feel so inferior. Nobody is better than anyone else, but everyone has different abilities. Those people need to find their abilities and explore them and use them to the fullest extent possible. And if certain people don't accept me because I am smart or because I am a figure skater or because I love to write or because I enjoy music or because I love to dance with abandon or because I like to serve in tech booths or because I love God with all my heart...if certain people can't accept me for what God has given me, then how can I be a true friend to those people? True friends accept each other for the way they are.

I pray that God may help us open our eyes to the fact that He made us a certain way for a reason. He gave us certain abilities so that we can use them to serve Him better. I pray that we all, myself included, rid ourselves of the idea that we need to act a certain way in order to fit into what everyone tells us to fit in to. Only God can tell us where we belong. I'm not saying that this is an easy thing to do, because it's not. Sometimes we feel like we're penned into a year that's too small and we want to break free, break out of that fenced yard in order to fully use ourselves to the highest extent possible. Sometimes those walls seem to high to climb over and they seem too sturdy to break down. But if we're patient and we stretch as far as we can go, eventually those walls will break down and we'll find a way to do what it is we were meant to do.

End of rant ;) Feel free to share this with anyone else if I forgot to tag someone you think sould read it. Let me know what you think about the quote! Love you all. <3

(Well, that's it. Whoever is reading this right now, if you have something to say about it, then by all means say it!)