Thursday, April 30, 2015
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
◄ 1 Timothy 4:12: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."
Today's youth has a lot of problems. Some of us don't care enough about school. Some of us drink and do drugs. Some of us think all there is to life is being rich and having as much fun as possible. We've been called the worst generation yet. We've been told we're stupid. People have said that the world is doomed, because what will happen when we start to run the world? Many adults have lost faith in humanity because of us. They look down on us, and treat us like babies. And they're right: there are some teenagers who skip school and drink and do drugs and party every night. But I want to tell those adults that there are other, different teens out there. There are still some who care. There are smart ones. There are some who strive to make a difference. There are some who only want to love. Have a little bit of hope.
Don't ever let anyone look down on you because you're young; don't ever let anyone tell you your dreams and goals will never be reality. Let's set an example in our speech, our conduct, and our love. Let's prove them wrong, and be the generation that changes the world for the better.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Jesus told us to love one another, and by staying quiet, I thought that was what I was doing. But the truth is, love isn't just making people happy. Love is willing the greatest good for someone, and the "greatest good" is heaven. So if you go along letting people commit any sins they want, that's not loving them. Sure, we're not supposed to be haughty and pushy and "holier than thou," but we're also not supposed to be passive.
Christians are supposed to be Jesus' warriors here on earth; we are supposed to be fighting evil, not standing by and letting it happen.
Instead of falling for sin, let's pray to God and ask Him to grant us the strength to stand for goodness, purity, and real love.
Monday, April 27, 2015
(So sorry for posting two days late! I had a crazy weekend full of babysitting, dance, a 5k, and dodgeball. Now I'm finally back to celebrate the last week of the A-Z Challenge!)
Today I was watching a Jason Evert talk on YouTube, because that's what Catholic girls really do when they're supposed to be doing school, and something he said really hit me. He said that women were the crescendo of God's Creation. Think about it: God created light and land and the seas and giraffes and fish and elephants and bears and all kinds of crazy animals; then he created man, and finally the woman. We were the climax, the final touch.
Jason continued talking about how women are God's most beautiful creation. After all, guys don't get addicted to looking at pictures of rainbows and sunsets on the internet. It's the beauty of a woman that (sadly) can get addicting.
Satan will try to whisper in our ears and feed us terrible lies, saying that we're "irrelevant" or "unimportant" or "worthless", but quite frankly, that's total BS. God Himself has proven that every woman has incredible beauty and value.
Remember: your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth. God always sees it, and He wants you to see it too.
Friday, April 24, 2015
For as long as I can remember, human beings have fascinated me. We're all unique, and yet completely the same; so similar, yet absolutely different. There is something so beautiful about the different personalities and skin colors and languages and cultures of the human beings of this world, and I want to share that beauty with you.
I know this is a blog for writing, but sometimes pictures really are worth a thousand words.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
When it comes to Christianity and deepening their relationship with Jesus, many people feel like they need to do it alone. They think, Well if I can just get over this sin, if I can just do better at this, maybe talking to Jesus will be easier; maybe I'll finally have a relationship with Him. But I'm going to be honest with you: you can't do it alone.
We are the Church. We are the body of Christ. We are a family, and we're in this together. So why do we think we need to do it alone, when there are so many people willing to help us?
St. Thomas Aquinas once said, "There is nothing on earth more prized than true friendship," and I know this to be true. You see, for a friendship to be true, it must have love. And if love is not just a feeling, but is also willing the greatest good for someone, then we should be working to bring our friends to heaven. After all, heaven is the greatest good there will ever be.
This is why we must choose our friendships carefully. We might be having so much fun with someone that we don't realize they're taking us down a path we never meant to go down. If we're truly to be good friends, we must fight for one another's souls.
I've been extremely blessed in having amazing friends. I even have two small groups of girlfriends that get together and study the bible or a Christian book, and I can't tell you how much they've helped me. Having people joyfully carry their crosses right along side you will make it so much easier.
Tonight I challenge you to take a good long look at all of your friendships. If there is anyone who has pressured you into sinning in any way, it's time to let them go. In the end, the amount of fun you had won't make up for the sadness you'll feel when you can't be with God. And make sure you cherish the friendships that are bringing you closer to Jesus, because they will help you reach the eternal happiness that we're all searching for.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
(Not exactly sure what this is. I just sort of wrote it...haha!)
Just when it seemed like the darkness
Had taken over everything,
And nothing in his life could ever
Be beautiful again,
In walked the girl.
She had eyes like the sky
And a smile of sunshine,
She looked at him and saw.
And then she loved the pain away.
With her laughter and dancing,
Singing and smiling,
She made it known;
She helped him understand
that he still deserved a beautiful life.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
(So sorry I didn't post yesterday. I was insainly busy, and didn't have time to even think about blogging until 11 o'clock at night. Needless to say, I didn't want to do it then. So here I am, posting a day late.)
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Friday, April 17, 2015
I loved the new mindset that everyone seemed to have, so what did I do? I decided to be myself.
Then the world said, "No, not that self. That self is too normal. Normal is boring. Being weird is so much better. Go dye your hair a crazy color or something. Stop being so quiet. You don't need to be shy. You don't need to be prim and proper. Go wild. What do you mean, you aren't comfortable with that? Just do whatever makes you happy. Be a jerk if you need to. Stop being so tame. Stop. Stop. You're so boring. Stop. Just be yourself!!!"
Because of all of this, I started hating myself. You see, I absolutely love quirky people. And the world that is so obsessed with "originality" made me feel like I wasn't quirky enough. Because I wasn't crazy, I was boring. I bought into the "fake kind of perfect" game that never really did go away, just took a different name.
I guess all I want to say is this: being yourself means actually being yourself, not being who the world tells you to be.
So here's to the shy, quiet girls who don't always want to be crazy and wild. Guess what? You're still beautiful.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
There are many rules that come to mind when you think of being a Christian. You have to be loving. You have to give to the poor. You have to go to church. You have to be "nice." While none of these things are bad, and they certainly are important for Christians, many people are focusing too much on the rules and are forgetting what Christianity really is.
It's not just about being a nice person. It's about completely abandoning yourself to Christ. It's about recognizing that He is your Savior. It's about allowing Him to become your best friend. It's about doing His will always, because you know it's what is going to lead to eternal happiness. When you stop stressing about the "rules" and focus more on falling in love, being a nice person is going to come a lot easier.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Monday, April 13, 2015
- Send someone a hand written note of thanks.
- Make a card at home and send it to a friend for no reason.
- Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.
- Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter.
- Buy a coffee for the man on the street selling magazines.
- Cut your neighbour’s hedge.
- Walk your friend’s dog.
- Give a compliment about your waiter / waitress to his / her manager.
- Send someone a small gift anonymously.
- Stop and help someone replace their flat tire.
- Let someone cut in front of you in line.
- Pay for the drinks on the next table at a café.
- Treat a friend to the movies for no reason.
- Give a huge tip to someone when they least expect it.
- Hold the train door open for someone rushing to get in.
- Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
- Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.
- Talk to a homeless person and have a “normal” conversation.
- Pick up some trash in the road which would otherwise be lying around.
- Compliment a work colleague for their excellence.
- Recommend a competitor to a potential client.
- Give another driver your parking spot.
- Offer coffee to a delivery person.
- Help an elderly neighbor carry the trash cans out.
- Tell all your family members how much your appreciate them.
- Leave a copy of an interesting book on a train / bus.
- Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
- Send a thank you note to a person who has helped you in the past.
- Smile a lot.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
It's times like these that we have a choice: we can choose sadness and pain, or we can choose trust and joy. We can choose to put our faith in our Father in heaven, who loves us so very much. We can choose to trust that He has a plan for us, that there truly is wonderful joy ahead. We can choose to view life as the blessing it is. We can choose to believe that even our struggles are shaping who we're supposed to become.
How will you choose joy today?
Friday, April 10, 2015
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Did you know that gratitude not only improves your happiness, but also raises your self-esteem, improves your immune system, helps you overcome trauma, lowers depression, aggression, and anxiety, and improves your heart health.
Even with all of its benefits, people still refuse to practice gratitude. You know who I'm talking about. The people who never seem to stop complaining about the tiniest things, the people who constantly talk bad about others, the people you try to avoid because of the bad vibes they're giving off. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be one of those people. I want to be so full of gratitude that people walk away from me feeling happier. I know that in an imperfect world, there are many things that can make you want to wallow in negativity. But it's so worth it to focus on the good in your life, rather than the bad.
How exactly does one practice gratitude? There are many different ways, but I will share some of my favorites.
1. Saying thank you for the simple things. Your parents taught you manners, right? Say thank you when someone holds the door for you, when you order food, when someone compliments you. Not only are you building your gratitude skills, but you could also be making someone else's day.
2. Keep a gratitude journal. List 5, 10, or 20 things, moments or people that you are thankful for today. Ending your night in gratitude can actually help you sleep better.
3. Thanking God. One of my favorite quotes is, "What if you woke up today with only the things that you thanked God for yesterday?" Wow. What if that actually happened? I would start thanking God a lot more. After all, everything good in our lives comes from Him.
Dear Lord, thank You for waking me up today. Thank You for my beating heart, my breathing lungs. Thank You for my health. Thank You for my beautiful home, my safe neighborhood, my wonderful family and friends. Thank You also for my burdens and crosses, because I know they are leading me to You. Thank You for giving me another opportunity to show others Your love today. Amen.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
But there is one very special group of people, called the Fireworks. Though all Firework People are different from one another, they all have one thing in common: they are world changers.
Firework People have earth-shattering plans. They have mind-blowing ideas. They don't settle for okay, and they won't be satisfied until they make a difference. Like the real fireworks that you see in the night sky on July fourth, Firework People are beautiful. They explode into magical colors and take your breath away. They turn your head, and make you smile. They make lots of noise, and are impossible to ignore. They stir things up. Even after they leave, you can still see their smoke in the sky; you can still see their lights burn underneath your eyelids. And, like real fireworks, they work a lot better together.
Monday, April 6, 2015
Many girls so desperately want to be loved that they go from one catastrophic relationship to the next, always eventually being abandoned, broken and empty, wondering if there are any good guys left. After a while, when no prince charming comes to sweep them off their feet, they may lose hope and write all men off as being jerks (or other words that I would get yelled at by my mom for saying).
Here's the thing: my favorite (fictional) English teacher once said, "We accept the love we think we deserve." Girls, you have to know your worth. You are radiant daughters of God! You are royal; you are princesses who deserve your prince. Often when we forget to whom we belong, we forget how precious we are.
Every girl deserves a gentleman, but in order to attract a gentleman, you must first be a lady.
Whatever happened to class? Sophistication? Elegance? Where are the Audrey Hepburns and Grace Kellys of this generation? I know that it's not realistic to ask teenage girls to wear shin-length dresses and have tea parties everyday, but that's not all that elegance is.
According to Google, elegance is
the quality of being graceful and stylish in both appearance and manner. Dressing nicely and looking your best is important, but none of that matters if your attitude isn't ladylike.
Girls, throwing yourselves at guys in the hopes of being fulfilled isn't elegant.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Friday, April 3, 2015
I know a man who perfectly lived out the truths professed in this quote. He is the most wonderful person I've ever known. He is kind, loving, generous, intelligent, perfect, and beautiful in every way that word can be used. But I have treated him terribly, and because of many things I've done, he was unjustly punished.
He was terrified when he learned he would be the one to pay for my wrongdoings. He was full of fear and anxiety and dread. He fell to his knees, and wept, and prayed, but in the end he fully understood that the difficult way was the only way.
This man was brutally tortured and killed because of me, and he was afraid the whole time. But he understood that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. He conquered his fear through radical love, and because of his courage, I am now victorious.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Cosmo, Teen Vogue, and Seventeen will tell us that the definition of "beautiful" is having a Kim Kardashian body, an Angelina Jolie face, Blake Lively hair, and a Miley Cyrus "I-don't-care-what-you-think" attitude. They'll teach us how to achieve those thigh gaps, plump up our lips, and how to keep guys interested, while at the same time insisting that we should never change ourselves for a man.
The double standard that society has been professing is confusing and frustrating, and has many women wondering what beauty really is. Instead of letting flawed human beings define beauty for us, we should turn to our Maker, who is beauty incarnate.
Song of Solomon says, "You are altogether beautiful my love; there is no flaw in you." Though of course all human beings are flawed, God (speaking through Solomon) is telling us we were all perfectly made. The God of the Universe does not make mistakes, and that means that you are not a mistake.
Though the longing for physical beauty is not only natural, but given to us by God, we must not let it take control of our desires. Imagine how different the world would be if women spent as much time doing random acts of kindness as they did doing their makeup in the morning.
Ladies, and gents too, I'm going to challenge you. Look in the mirror right now. Tell yourself, sincerely, three things that you see in the mirror that you love. Say it. Repeat it. Believe it. Now that that's out of the way, go change the world. Smile at strangers. Buy someone flowers. Offer to pray for someone. Clean your house without looking for a reward. Write a love letter. Pay for someone's parking. Play with your siblings. Just make a difference. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. And guess what? Kindness is freaking beautiful.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
Hi, I'm Anna. I'm 16. I love writing. But for some reason I spend more time Pinning pictures of Tom Hiddleston than I actually spend writing. I've loved reading ever since I learned the alphabet. Fantasy is my favorite genre. Harry Potter was the first series I read by myself, and it is what inspired me to write. I'm homeschooled, and, yes, I wear pajamas all day. I have a brother and five sisters (plus one sister-in-law to be). I love music, probably because I don't have a musically-talented bone in my body. As I type this, I'm listening to a Spotify playlist entitled Upbeat/Happy Indie. Those three words actually describe me pretty well. I'm a ballet dancer. I have a passion for classy clothing, but I spend most of my time in sweatpants. I spend too much of my time worrying about fictional people. I have the best friends in the world. I want to be in Ireland right now. I like snowy days that allow me to sit by the fireplace and read. I like rainy days that allow me to curl up by the window and read. I like sunny days that allow me to climb up into my tree and read. I already have my wedding planned. I love hugs and laughing until my stomach hurts. Jesus is the most important part of my life. He is my best friend. I love Him a lot.