7 Quick Takes – Vol. 60: On the lighter side

There’s been a lot of serious issues and stories going around lately, so this week I wanted to put together a brief intermission and take a moment to cover less serious happenings. But first!

1. Airing soon will be my first blog series. Get pumped! If all goes well, we will kick off on Monday the 6th. The intention is to create conversation about this highly contentious issue, so please follow my blog via Facebook, Bloglovin’, or email to see the series in real time!

Love Wins A series on gay marriage

 

2. Now on to lighter things! Someone shared this on Facebook, and I found it intriguing. Sometimes it seems like there’s no single word that perfectly describes a feeling or situation, but maybe I just don’t know enough words.

Intriguing

3. Have you ever seen this video? Because you should.

4. Now how about a feel good story? Here’s one coming your way!

5. And here’s a  funny link: 12 Classic love scenes improved by a Chipotle burrito. Chipotle is quite delicious.

6. Did you know Chick-Fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day is coming up? Dress like a cow from head to toe on July 14th and you’ll get a free meal! My family did it last year, and it’s straightforward. Free food for dressing like a cow, yes please! Good thing to know: if you dress up partially, you still get a free entree, just not a complete meal. That’s only for people who go all out :-)

7. And now, back to a quick reminder about this series! After reading so many articles in the last week, I’m excited to elaborate on several topics within the issue. Please join me via Facebook, Bloglovin’, or email to join the conversation.

Love Wins A series on gay marriage

To Life,

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Why I don’t want a woman on a dollar bill

Like many of my fellow human beings, I strongly believe in the equal value of men and women. But I don’t think a woman should be put on a dollar bill just because she’s a woman.

Why I don't want a woman on a dollar bill

There’s nothing wrong with a woman being on a bill. There’s nothing wrong with men being on bills. It makes sense that the historical figures presently on bills are the major figures of their day (ie. men). It would be neat, of course, to recognize the contributions women have made to our history by putting them on a dollar bill, but here’s why I wouldn’t want it to happen by taking men off bills:

I don’t want any sort of benefit given to me just because I’m a woman. And I don’t think any woman deserves special treatment for the sole reason of her being female.

Now don’t get me wrong. My beliefs about the roles of men and women are quite traditional. In fact, I appreciate when guys open the door and act like gentlemen. I’ve come to expect that of guys, because I expect guys to be decent. Please guys, don’t stop that!

What I’m saying is that the motivation matters. If you open the door because you think I am a delicate flower incapable of opening it myself, you’ve got another thing coming. However, if you open it out of respect for another human being in a gentlemen-ly way, thank you. That is awesome, and I congratulate you on being a considerate guy. I consider any guy who opens a door to be a gentlemen until or unless proven otherwise. And I would expect nothing less than a polite response from my fellow ladies. It’s how we return a kind gesture in a considerate way.

Many people think it’s considerate and awesome to replace a guy with a woman on a dollar bill. I think it’s dumb to put a woman there just because she’s a woman. If she did something awesome and deserves recognition, great. If not, there’s no reason to hand the spot to her solely because she’s a woman.

Many people think women are underrepresented in high-profile careers. I think it’s dumb to say a woman should have a certain job just because she’s a woman. If she’s a good candidate who meets the job requirements, great. If not, there’s no reason to hand the job to her solely because she’s a woman.

Many people lament how we need more women serving our country in the military. I think it’s dumb that standards would be lessened to allow more women to serve who are not at the same level as other members of the military. If  she is capable of the physical feats of her fellow soldiers, great. If not, there’s no reason to hand her that position solely because she’s a woman.

I wouldn’t want just a woman put on a dollar bill. Go ahead, put a historical figure, a person who made a contribution to our country. But don’t degrade women by just sticking someone on there for the heck of it because golly gee, we need someone who’s female!

Fulton Sheen said “equality is wrong when it reduces the woman to a poor imitation of a man.”

Women are not poor imitations of men. We are not the next best thing. We are freaking awesome, unique, creatures with complementary but not identical characteristics to men.

You may think we need women in certain positions in the world or on dollar bills, but consider this: do you think women need to be in those places just to prove they can do the same things as men? Or could we just step back and recognize that women don’t have to do the same things as men for us to recognize that we have equal value?

Think about it.

To Life,

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P.P.S. Good to see other people are thinking similarly!

Why do I remain Catholic?

Once upon a time America was a place where mostly Christian values were the norm. But today some would argue that we’re doomed. Just look at our society, and any marginally active Catholic could probably tell you how hopeless the horizon appears.

Some people throw their hands up in frustration. Some avoid the issue altogether. We could complain about a whole lot, that’s for sure. But I’m not here talking about the pitfalls of Catholicism. I’m here to talk about why I remain Catholic.

Being Catholic is part of who I am. It always has been. And unless the apocalypse actually happens and my mind is altered or removed, I plan on it staying that way.

I didn’t always know a whole lot about my faith. Nor have I always cared as much about it as I do now. I think not knowing a lot about your faith helps you to stay in that state of indifference. But once you realize the beauty of Catholicism, the encounter it is with God Himself, there’s no turning back.

From personal testimonies I’ve read, it seems that a lot of people who leave what they think Catholicism is have never experienced true Catholicism. Perhaps they were poorly brought up in the faith. Perhaps they knew a bad Catholic (not like any of us are actually perfect examples) who scarred them. You name it.

But once a person experiences the person of Jesus Christ, your faith becomes more of a love affair than a theory (fist bump to G.K. for that quote).

And that is why I remain Catholic.

It would be “easier” in a way to give in to society, I suppose. I mean, it’s a ton of fun to get drunk on Fridays, wake up hungover, do drugs, sleep around, whatever it is that non-religious people use to fill the God-sized hole in their hearts, right?

Nope! Of course, I can’t speak from experience. But I’m fairly certain that the fun I’ve had in college is way more fulfilling than getting drunk and hooking up.

And it’s not because I am a dainty wee woman who likes being ordered around by old white dudes.

I am Catholic because life doesn’t make sense without God. To say we’re the result of anything else beside a genius of a Creator seems ignorant. And since everything I’ve learned shows me that the fullness of truth about God is found in the Catholic Church, that’s why I’m here.

I am Catholic because there are absolute truths, and I believe this is where they are found in their fullness.

I am Catholic because even though people are imperfect, the Church has and will stand the test of time on the rock it was built on.

I am Catholic because the trials of life don’t make sense without the cross.

I am Catholic because no other expression of faith offers you the opportunity to encounter God in the presence of the Eucharist.

I am Catholic because God loves me, and He loves you too. And he wants to be a part of all of our lives.  Would you like to explore my home?

To Life,

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7 Quick Takes – Vol. 59

There’s been a lot of heavy stuff going around lately, so guess what? I’m not going to talk about any of it right now! Here are 7 Quick Takes that you can breeze through without consulting moral codes or The Catechism.

1. My first internship of the summer is over half way done, which is hard to believe! It’s good experience, and has given me the opportunity to work with amazing people. Even though it’s not ideal to be away from home, it’s nice (but also weird) to have a lot of time to live without the stress of homework.

2. On that same note, what are you supposed to do with yourself when you don’t have homework? I’m reading and writing quite a bit, exercising, working full time, but I need ideas of what to do besides that. What do you suggest?

3. How’s this for a little end of week awesome story? Kudos to this guy for owning his stutter!

4. Are you reading any awesome books right now? I’m working on Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Mission (from Dynamic Catholic), and it’s pretty good. There are many others I have, but if you have suggestions, I’m all ears!

5. Want another feel good story after all the craziness going around this week? Here’s a beautiful video on the adoption story of a beautiful family.

6. I enjoyed this graphic (stolen from The Culture Project) this week.

A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love - Mama T <3

7. Did you hear about this couple welcoming their 100th grandchild? It’s so beautiful to see a loving family that welcomes life!

And so ends my 7 quick takes without talking about serious stuff. If you have any funny articles (like this), please send them my way! Now go do something to enjoy life this weekend!

 Head on over to Kelly’s place for more 7QT :-)

Choosing Awesome

With all this talk about becoming a saint lately, I figured I better actually get started on that. It’s hard to know where to start when you decide to really chuck bad habits out the window and develop better ones.

But the important thing is to just get started.

These last couple weeks I’ve started by taking a few incremental steps to clear my head and get priorities straight. Here’s a taste of what that’s looked like:

1. Silence in the car going to/from work.

This isn’t to take joy out of life by not turning on music, but to give myself time to not be entertained, to actually think or just be. Yes, sometimes I turn into my own radio. But mostly I am quiet and just enjoy the scenery. I am capable of giving up 20 minutes of being distracted each day.

2. No laptop after 9pm.

Right now there are no excuses for not getting enough sleep. I realized that reading articles (or other “constructive” ventures) was a big part of my staying up late, so BAM. Get rid of the cause. I am capable of doing things beside being on the internet late at night.

3. Exercise consistently.

Okay, do you know how awesome it is to be sore? It makes me feel like a boss to know I worked hard. And it’s good for my health, go figure. I don’t work out to get a bikini body because I wouldn’t ever wear one, but I do work out to be healthy and strong. I am capable of devoting 30+ minutes of most days to exercising.

4. Get up earlier.

I was chatting with a few friends, and we all were talking about wanting to get up earlier. So guess what? We decided to get up earlier. Go figure! We text motivational quotes on weekday mornings. And I have a daily meditation book my goal is to whip out every morning. Even though I’ve fallen back asleep while reading it a couple times, I am capable of getting up (and staying up) at a reasonably early hour.

That’s not everything, but enough for now.

What’s made each of these possible is to get over whatever silly excuses and just do it. It’s true, that’s not terribly motivational. Who in the world wants to put in the effort? Who wants to force themselves to do good things instead of what’s easy?

Yeah, not many people.

It’s true for me too. Binge watching a tv show is way easier than flipping on a workout DVD and getting down to business. Lounging on the couch reading Buzzfeed articles and eating cookies is way easier than using internet time intentionally.

But if we’re being honest with ourselves, don’t those things leave us terribly unsatisfied?

I am satisfied at the end of the day when I can look back and know I tried, that I gave my all. And that only happens when I make an intentional effort – when I choose awesome. That is something each of us is capable of doing.

You are the only thing standing between who you are now and who you want to be

So, let’s do it. What are you going to do to take that first step and change things you want to change? Those little things add up, my friend! Tell me, and let’s help each other out!

Today, let’s choose awesome.

To Life,

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Restaurant owner in deep water for discrimination

Shamash’s Delicatessen is a quaint corner hot spot for lunch in Manhattan, but things are about to get ugly for owner Shneur Berkovitz, who objects to a new bill that was recently passed.

Shady Business in New York

Berkovitz, an Orthodox Jew, serves a limited number of traditional Jewish dishes alongside more widely known dishes seen in mainstream American restaurants. The name of his restaurant, the décor, and the Jewish heritage proudly shared on the menu have led Manhattan natives to believe that Berkovitz was running a legitimate Jewish business. They streamed in by the dozens every day for lunch.

That is, until earlier this year.

When Manhattan residents discovered that Berkovitz does not allow pork to be served under any circumstance, they were horrified.

“Without pork on the menu, I am prohibited from exercising my constitutional right to freedom of dinner choice,” said local food blogger Sara Adams. “Frankly, it’s unconstitutional to prohibit diners from choosing from a full range of dinner options.” Sen. Rob McIngle (D, NY) added.

Berkovitz appeared stunned in a local news broadcast as he shook his head. “I’m Jewish. Pork isn’t something we eat. Why would I serve it in my restaurant?” he asked.

Food activists were angry, but they didn’t stop there. They discovered that Shamash’s is not a licensed vendor with Jewish Foods International, which may be another sign that Berkovitz is running a shady business. If his establishment was a true Jewish restaurant, it would be licensed as a Jewish Food Provider, meaning it was qualified to provide a wide range of Jewish dishes. But supporters claim that the limited Jewish dishes available are so easy anybody can make them, so they think being licensed is not important. Opponents beg to differ, and say that Berkovitz is misleading customers. On top of that, he is limiting the choices of his patrons, and should at least refer diners to where they could find the best local pork. Refusing to tell people about their options is manipulative and deceptive, Manhattan regulars are saying.

Locals brought it to the authorities, and have been successful in passing a bill that will affect all restaurants similar to Shamash’s which are unlicensed as Jewish Food Providers. This bill, christened the Pork FACT Act by supporters, requires that Berkovitz now informs diners of his lack of credible food service by posting this statement in the area by the hostess waiting area:

“This facility is not licensed as a Jewish Food Provider facility by the State of New York and has no licensed Jewish food provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of Jewish dishes.”

This statement is required to be on the menu and any marketing materials including, but not limited to, commercials, billboards, brochures, and websites affiliated with this business. In addition, this bill mandates that the hostess greet every patron with these words:

“Hello, and welcome to Shamash’s! Before you sit down to eat, we want you to know that New York has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive pork dishes (including all FDA-approved methods of smoked ham), pulled pork, and pork sausage, for eligible people. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social food services office at 1-800-YAY-PORK.”

Sue Burke, an attorney representing the people of Manhattan, stated that “New York has been a national leader in promoting and protecting equal access to the full range of options for pork products. The Pork FACT Act will ensure that people who eat are empowered to make informed and timely decisions about their health and their bodies.”

Mike Hugo, Director of Logistics for the annual “We

Berkovitz, still dazed at the news of what his restaurant is mandated to do, remains incredulous. “All I want to do is cook food for people who come here. If you want pork, okay. Go somewhere else. But don’t make me help you find something I am against.”

An owner of a local business who wished to remain anonymous said: “It’s about time Berkovitz got into some trouble. People think he’s running an authentic Jewish establishment. I mean, look at the signs! The hostess even looks Jewish! But it’s not licensed, so it’s not legitimate. And he is discriminating against his patrons by refusing to serve them pork. If he shuts down, I’ll be happy. And we’ll have taken a step toward true freedom of dinner choice.”

* In case it’s unclear, this is a satire piece meant to serve as an analogy to the recent passing of AB 775 in California. This bill forces life-affirming pregnancy centers to give statements similar to the ones in this article, referring women to where they can procure abortions. Names and business names are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people or businesses is unintentional.

How to be a saint (but not get eaten by lions)

Not all of us are called to have our heads chopped off or be eaten alive by lions like the saints of old. But all of us are called to be saints in one way or another.

How to be a saint

Lately I’ve been thinking about what that means. To be a saint nowadays might mean martyrdom for a few people, but for most of us, it’s probably not going to come to that. Most of us are going to lead somewhat ordinary lives getting some sort of an education, having some sort of job, probably raising a family, etc. You get the gist of it. Most of our lives are pretty ordinary. But all of us are called to an extraordinary mission.

This mission is to be a saint, to be the salt and light of the world. It’s going to look different for different people, but the common denominator is this: being a saint means giving until it hurts, loving without boundaries, and living with a higher purpose.

Sainthood101

Giving until it hurts means letting go of our plans and giving God the room to lead us where He made us to go – no matter how tough that path may be. This also means giving of ourselves in service to other people and the greater community. Loving without boundaries means reaching beyond our comfort zone into whatever situations we face and meeting people where they are at. And living with a higher purpose does not mean we’re doing this because we’re more awesome than other people. It means doing all this not for ourselves, or to look good, but because it is right. And giving is better than receiving.

But golly gee, that is WAY easier said than done.

It’s easy to watch just one more episode of something or have a second cookie we don’t need. It’s easy to justify not exercising after a long day of work. It’s easy to look up from social media and wonder where two hours went. It’s easy to forget to pray. Overall, it’s just plain easy to get by in life.

But those things are not going to make any of us saints.

I don’t want to just get by. I want to thrive. I want to say “no” to things that don’t help me become a saint. And I want to say “yes” to things that help me become a saint until it becomes a habit. I want to be more purposeful about how I spend my time.

So that’s why I’m creating a personal mission statement.

Yes, it’s somewhat cheesy. But I’m dead serious about wanting to become a saint. It’s what we’re all called to! Because of that, I’m going to use this statement as a guide. If something doesn’t match the guidelines, then too bad. It’s not happening. And if something does match, and does make me a better person, then it’s happening – even if it’s hard.

Failure will happen. But at least I’ll be closer to what I should be doing.

That’s how I’m going to work on becoming a saint: evaluating what I do and saying “yes” and “no” to the right things.

Yes, it’s kind of a duh moment. Shouldn’t I be doing this anyway? Yes, but writing this out forces me to be mindful. For now this is taking a concrete step toward being more intentional about my time on this side of heaven. And that’s what you can do too! Have you ever thought about defining what your mission in life is?

So here you go. You can click here to visit my new personal mission statement page.

What you think? Share your thoughts in the comments, and shoot me an email if you want to chat about what helped me create this.

Cheers to a purposeful life! And who knows? Maybe your life will involve lions. Maybe not. I can’t guarantee it won’t come to that. But maybe it’s something else that’s keeping you from being awesome. Identify it, and make it your mission to overcome it.

Conquer Yourself Augustine

Today my step toward sainthood is reminding myself that we’re created with a purpose. This is mine. What’s yours?

To Life,

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Image via Pius Mahimbi on Flickr.

Letting go of the perfect future

Before this school year, never had I ever laid on a table close to tears lamenting my future.

But then junior year happened.

Starting off year three as a college student, I was excited to be starting the second half of my college experience. Now I had less time in front of me than behind! It’s exciting to be an adult and independent. But it’s also rather terrifying sometimes . . . like when you realize you don’t really want to do what you set out to do.

I came into college without declaring a major. Psychology was in the running. I still find it fascinating, but did not want grad school to become a necessity. For some time in high school, I considered nursing. But I didn’t want to deal with the higher levels of science. I didn’t want to do something like Theology because what in the world would I do with that?

So I chose business management. Then I decided my goal was to run a pregnancy center.

The other day I had to dress in business attire for a presentation. And it just felt wrong. Even Lin our lovely mother away from home at the cafeteria looked me up and down because it’s not like me. I wear skirts and cute dresses and sandals now that it’s getting warmer.

But there I was in my heels and pencil skirt.

It makes me feel powerful, in a way: walking across campus put together like the strong, independent woman society tells me I should be. But the whole time I wanted to rip it off. I don’t want that. I don’t want to look down on people from up high on my heels. I don’t want people to think I have it together all the time, because I really don’t.

I don’t know where my life is going after realizing that I don’t want to work in the corporate business world. Even the non-profit world can leave me feeling a little less human. And I wasn’t made for the coldness of a cubicle.

Which takes us to the whole laying on a table lamenting my life that happened at some point last semester . . .

You might wonder why I would share something like that. It’s somewhat awkward, but 100% real. If I were to sit down for coffee with you, it’s the same story you would hear because it’s the real me. And I share because many classmates speak of the same thing. Many of us have experienced doubt this school year, and questioned our plans for the future.

The path I’m supposed to take still isn’t crystal clear. Sorry, there’s not an easy solution. But what I do know is that no matter what the specifics of my future look like, what I am called to do right now (and at every point in my life) is to give of myself. That’s expressed in different ways at different points in a person’s life, but in the end,

“He will look at our hands to see if they have been scarred from giving, our feet to see the calluses from travel to preach His Gospel, and our side to see if we have loved to a point of sacrifice. Woe to us who come down from Calvary with hands unscarred and white.” (Fulton Sheen)

Are my hands scarred and my feet callused? Are my knees rough from praying for others? Is my heart so bursting with Christ’s love that I never hesitate to share it? Are my eyes sore from watching out for others, my back aching from working for the true, good, and beautiful things of this world?

That’s what I’m supposed to be doing right now: loving people wherever they are and seeking God’s will.

Love without measure - St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales

 

Even though I don’t know what God’s will is all the time, what I do know is that I’m called to give until it hurts. Giving isn’t about how much you give, though. It’s about how much we have left. You know that parable where a poor woman gave all the money she had, even though it was a tiny amount? What she gave wasn’t a lot. A rich person could have given many more dollars.

It was about how much she had left: almost nothing in the world. With trust, she gave almost everything of herself knowing she would ultimately be taken care of.

So today my prayer is for the grace to be able to love until it hurts, to trust with abandon, to give until my hands are scarred, and my skin burned from laboring in the the fields I’m led to. Because it’s there that I’m meant to be: where my passions and talents meet the needs of the world. I don’t know where exactly that is yet, but I know for certain I’m in for an adventure in this year where I’m trying to abandon myself to God’s will.

Let your faith be bigger than your fear

Author Unknown

 

Fear tells me to worry about the future. Faith tells me God knows the plans He has for me. They are plans for me to prosper and thrive. If He could just tell me what the heck the plan is, that would be great. But that’s too easy! So I’m going to keep on working, giving, and serving – trying my best to do what I’m called to do in this moment and leave the worries of the future in the hands of Him who will help me work them out.

To Life,

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When the going gets tough

. . . the tough get going. Right?

Yeah, that’s harder than it sounds.

Until this semester, I have never considered myself a lazy person. Ever. It just wasn’t something that was in my blood. A possibility? Eh, unlikely. I am the do-er of all things, the planner, the one to get up and do something when other people don’t. I still do that. I can’t stand sleeping in (unless it’s desperately needed), and am always busy doing things.

But I’ve realized that what I’m doing is actually kind of stupid sometimes.

For example:

Why do I read people’s blogs? Why do I check Facebook? Why do I read so many articles? Yeah, Buzzfeed. Why do I spend time on there sometimes? Why do I sometimes spend time doing things that aren’t 100% necessary? Why don’t I get up earlier? Why do I go to bed so late? Why don’t I work out and pray more?

Basically: why I am not fully running like a crazy person toward the person I’m capable of being?

That’s not to say I’ve been lounging on the couch eating potato chips and watching all the seasons of Say Yes to the Dress. Nope, I still don’t like tv. I’ve worked out quite a lot and grown in my prayer life. But I’ve procrastinated on projects. I’ve forgotten to respond to people’s communication. I’ve done things later than I should have, even though I knew about them well ahead of time. I’ve just not done my best.

And I really hate that.

I am capable of getting all my homework done more than a day before it’s due. I am capable of responding to all important communication within a reasonable amount of time. I am capable of going without the internet for days on end. I am capable of having a thriving prayer life, and being in good shape.

Even though I’ve thought about it, I haven’t come up with a reason why I haven’t worked harder on these things. I want to be better. It kills me that I haven’t tried harder.

So I’m moving on.

It’s high time to whip myself into gear and show God I’m actually serious about being the person He created me to be. So I’m going to use this summer to challenge myself like never before. It might mean getting up by 6am and pushing myself to do things outside my comfort zone. And what I know it means is working my butt off to unite my life to the life God made me to live. Basically this quote sums it up:

Conquer Yourself Augustine

Who’s ready to put on some warpaint and be a boss at life?!?! Care to join me? There just aren’t excuses at this point in my life for not being better, so I’m going to be karate-chopping the world down and standing on top of it like that guy in Mulan when he’s king of the rock. Except I’m a girl. And I have regular clothes on. Bad analogy.

Anyway.

I’ll be sharing my goals in the next week or so. Want to join me in making this summer count? Start thinking about what you want to do, habits you wan to kick or develop, and let’s bounce our ideas off each other!

To Life

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What Love Really Means

What Love Really Means

Have you ever been good friends with someone you never shared a personal story with?

Is it the people you know and love best who you are comfortable enough with to let your guard down around?

To me it’s challenging to think about what it means to love other people, because I’m not too good at it. I forget to tell people things about my life. I don’t always make enough of an effort to get to know people I meet.

But something I do know is that you get out of something what you put into it. The people and relationships you put effort into – those are the ones that mean the most. And it’s often the case because those are the people we are ourselves around. We let people see who we really are, not our highlight reel on Instagram.

To love others is to be vulnerable and allow ourselves to take risks by sharing some of our deepest stories, fears, and hopes.

This, I’ve been thinking lately, contributes so much to our society.

We’re terrified of being hurt, getting sick, and having our hearts broken. But didn’t you know? Broken bones heal stronger. Sore muscles heal tougher.

FultonSheen-Broken things are precious

Love requires that we allow ourselves to be known for who we truly are, while at the same time seeing the imperfection of others before us and loving them anyway. We are called to love people as God sees them: as creatures made in His image and likeness with an inherent dignity nothing can change.

Over spring break, I was thinking about this quite a bit – being able to love people regardless of what they have or have not done. It was challenging me. I wanted to be able to love people for who they are, not what they have done.

So what did I do?

I asked God to help me be able to see people more like He does.

Which might sound kind of silly. But! I prayed about it. I was thinking about people in my life who are hard to love. One of the other girls on the trip and I really didn’t click, and I had been finding her a bit annoying. Sorry, but it’s true. Not all people are easy to get along with. But wouldn’t you know? That night we ended up next to each other at dinner, and I couldn’t stop thinking about this whole concept. She shared some things about her life which helped me appreciate who she was on a deeper level. And for the first time on that trip, we talked for quite a bit and I could see past what had been annoying me. God is so awesome how he answers prayers.

Love is complicated, and it’s expressed in so many ways. One way we seem to have forgotten about is through sacrifice. I’m fairly convinced that if we could truly appreciate the beauty of sacrifice, a lot of relationships would be healed. Our families would be much better off.

Love and sacrifice call us outside of ourselves. It calls us to see others for who they are, not what they have done. There is something true, beautiful, and good about love which draws us out of ourselves to put the needs of others above our own.

toloveistobevulnerable

Love requires us to be ourselves, to be vulnerable, and to let the ones we want to be able to love take a look inside of us. Golly, that’s hard. But that’s what love seems to come down to. It’s kind of like the “to love another person is to see the face of God” thing. Loving people is like that: working on seeing the value in them not for what they have done, but for who they are.

Each person is valuable and worthy of being loved, even with all their faults. Because let’s face it: we’ve all got ’em.

Lets work together to see each other’s value in a new light, striving to see the dignity we each posses regardless of where we’ve been, what choices we’ve made, or the unique quirks about our personalities. Because in the end, as some famous person said, all that will matter is how much we loved. Challenge: accepted.

To Life,

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P.S. Here’s a song to reflect on this concept!