Isaiah 64:4

“No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you
doing such deeds for those who wait for him.”

Today begins the season of Advent. All around the world, Christians begin waiting for Jesus.  Advent is a season of waiting.  It is also a season of stress and busyness and craziness for many people, which make it hard to wait.  Students have finals to study for, parents have Christmas shopping to do, and everyone is so overwhelmed it can be hard to keep our heads on straight.

Every year, I run into the same problem during Advent.  I don’t feel like I’m “doing it right.”  I always feel like I should be doing more to wait for the birth of Jesus.  I try to read the little blue books from our parish, I try to keep up with the Best Advent Ever series from Dynamic Catholic, and I try to take a step back and reflect on the “reason for the season.” But every year I feel as if I don’t keep up on everything I think I have to do in order to wait for Jesus.

I have come to learn there is no “right way” to celebrate Advent.  I will still try and do all the things I say I will do, but if I skip Best Advent Ever one day or if I forget to pick up a blue book, that’s ok.  God knows what’s on my heart and he knows that I am doing my best as I struggle to get through the rest of the semester.  As long as I have good intentions and try my best to wait for Jesus, that’s all that matters to God.  I don’t have to do all these extravagant things to get ready for Christmas.  I can just be me and keep trying my best and that will be enough.

This Advent I encourage you to spend some quiet time with God and wait for Jesus.  Whether you take five minutes to pray, or if you do something more like Best Advent Ever or the little blue book from your parish, God will be happy that you are waiting for Jesus.  Take a break today and reflect on how you will be waiting for Jesus this Advent season.

God Bless!

P.S. If you’re looking for a good article to read about waiting for Jesus as opposed to preparing for him, check this out.

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Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Have you ever been in a season of your life where you can’t seem to trust God?  No matter what you do or how much you pray, God just isn’t giving you what you’re asking for.  You have so much fear and anxiety about the future, you feel drained and unhappy with how life is going, and you feel yourself slowly losing faith in God.  I’m no stranger to these feelings, so when I heard this verse on the radio today, my ears perked up.

I’ve always had trouble with trusting God when I need something or when I’m in a particularly difficult time in my life.  It’s hard to trust someone you cannot see.  But I know in the back of my mind that trusting God is always the good way to go.  When we put our trust in God, our lives will have more peace and joy because he brings that to our lives whether we believe it or not.  The next time you feel yourself losing trust in God, remember this verse.  Take a break tonight and write this verse down and put it somewhere you can see it every day. You won’t regret it.

God Bless!

Friendship With God

“Sometimes loneliness is God’s call for friendship with Him.”

– Unknown

Loneliness can come to us when we least expect it.  It can be really hard to go through life thinking you’re on your own.  The monotony of life can be rough on its own, but doing it without anyone by your side adds to it.  But you never are.  In fact, the loneliness you could be feeling could be a sign from God; He wants a friendship with you.  He desires the best for you and hopes you will come to him for all you need.  If you are feeling lonely, it could be his plea to you that it’s time to answer the call to a friendship with God.  If you’re feeling lonely, take a break tonight and answer God’s call to a friendship with him.

Leave It In God’s Hands

“Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hands in everything.”

Every night when I go to bed, I pray a decade of the rosary.  At the end of praying, I say a little prayer where I give my next day up to God and I trust Him to guide me in the day and whatever happens the next day will be part of His plan for me.  My mom suggested I start doing this when I was going through a hard time at school and I’ve been doing it ever since.  It can be very difficult to trust God to take control of your life, but at the same time it can be very freeing.  I am the type of person that needs to feel in control of everything in my life.  But if I have to give control to someone else, I’m glad it’s God.  God has a plan for your life, and if you trust Him, He can show it to you in time.  When you put your day in God’s hands, you will notice a difference in how you feel.  Take a break tonight and try to give God control of your life.

God Bless!

“We Win” By MercyMe

I don’t, have to know you, just to know you
Have been lied to at some point or place
Well, I can relate
And you’re wondering, if it’s worth it
Heartbroken, feeling worthless
Oh the hurt is too great
Like a punch in the face

But don’t forget
We’ve got something else in common
Bigger than all our pain and all our problems

This goes out to anyone down for the count
It’s not over
Don’t give up, don’t throw in the towel
Just remember, who you belong to
Let Me remind you
How this ends
We win
Woah, we win

With the end of the school year soon to be in my rear view mirror, I have felt like I am losing in many ways.  The end of the year brings a lot of stress and anxiety for me, which affects my life in more ways than one.  The last few days have been particularly difficult. However, this song has given me hope that I will get through the end of the year and that I will win, because with God by my side, I can do it all.

This song has really shown me that with God, we don’t need to give up.  If you feel like life is giving you many reasons to “throw in the towel,” remember we have something bigger than ourselves that can help us win this fight.  You belong to God and He will get you through all the pain and problems you may be facing.  If you need a pick me up or a reminder not to give up, take a break and listen to this song as a reminder to who you belong to and who has your back.

God Bless!

“Identity” by Colton Dixon

We won’t be told who we are
By the nation or the stars
We won’t believe in all the lies
We know the truth inside

Won’t question how we’re made
No, it wasn’t a mistake
And it’s not up for debate

We are the chosen
We are royalty
We are Your children
You set us free
You alone are our identity

I gave up listening to music for lent, so I wasn’t able to hear Colton Dixon’s new album until recently.  After hearing it for the first time this week, I LOVE it.  It has so many great songs that are inspiring and upbeat.  The title track, Identity, is one of my favorites.  We should never question who we are because we are made by the same person that created the stars.  Our identity is found in God.  Sometimes we lose sight of who we are because we are so caught up with trying to be like everyone else.  We want the latest fashion trends, we want to have the perfect picture on Instagram, we want the perfect bikini body, the list goes on and on.  But, the only thing we should want is knowledge that God is our creator and that we are made in His image and likeness.  Take a break tonight and listen to this song (and the rest of the album, because it’s awesome) and remember who your identity is found in.

God Bless!

1 Corinthians 1:10

“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”

If you went to Catholic Mass on Sunday, you will have recognized this verse.  This comes from the second reading and it could not have come at a more crucial time in our country.  All over social media and in overheard conversations among people, all I see and hear is division.  It breaks my heart to see people tear each other down because of different political beliefs.  God calls us to live in harmony with one another and to have no divisions between us.  Division is so present in our world right now.  We keep ripping each other apart on social media and we think it’s ok.  I have chosen to keep my mouth shut for the most part because of a fear of being looked at differently or being yelled at for the beliefs I have.  I shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around people who have different opinions than me, and you shouldn’t either.  Take a break tonight and decide to make a conscious effort to break down the divisions and do your best to spread God’s love instead of further dividing each other.

God Bless!

Who God Wants You To Be

“Life isn’t about finding yourself.  It is about discovering who God wants you to be.”

As college students, we come to school with this idea that we are going to “find ourselves.”  We make friends that we think will bring out the best in us, we partake in activities that will make us better and more well-rounded, and we make sure to get good grades that will make our parents proud.  But all the while, instead of trying to “find ourselves,” we are trying to impress others.  I often think that college students are put on a pedestal from the day we enroll until graduation.  Society has certain rules for a college student and unless you follow them, you aren’t really a college student.  If you don’t stay up late doing homework, overload your schedule, party, drink, and make life-long friends, do you even college?  We have certain expectations for ourselves when we get to college, but sometimes, they don’t work out the way we want them to.  This is where God comes in.

God wants us to be the best version of ourselves.  He created us with the freedom to do as we please, but ultimately, He wants us to do the right thing.  Instead of trying to “find myself” in college, I’m striving to be who God wants me to be.  I am learning more and more about what that looks like every day.  I see Him working in my life and I love the fact that I get to do His work through my life every day.  Take a break tonight and think about ways you can start being who God wants you to be, rather than trying to “find yourself.”

God Bless!

Don’t Say It To Yourself

“If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.”

-Jane Travis

Words are hurtful.  No matter who they come from, they can be painful to hear. But somehow, when we tell them to ourselves, they aren’t as painful as they are believable.  We don’t often treat ourselves the way we would treat other people.  If we treated our friends the same way we treat ourselves, we would not have friends.  Why don’t we treat ourselves as if we were our own friend?  If you think about it, we are own own best friend.  We have been there for ourselves through everything and we know what makes us feel better.  But if we don’t try and support ourselves in the bad times like we would a friend, we aren’t treating ourselves right.  Take a break tonight and think of ways to treat yourself more like a friend.

God Bless!

“Through Your Eyes” by Britt Nicole

Get it together
That’s what I said to me
I put on the pressure
You could do better
Be who you supposed to be

But that’s when you came in
Right when I needed you
Said all of the things that I was believing
Not one of them were true

You’re lifting my head up
I was keeping my head down
I didn’t know love
But I do now

Cause You stood right there
And then You broke apart the lies
You told me I had something beautiful inside
You brought to life the part of me I thought had died
Cause You stood right there until I saw me
I saw me through Your eyes (Saw me)
I saw me through Your eyes (Saw me)
I saw me through Your eyes

Britt Nicole recently came out with a new album and this was the first single off it.  I cannot express to you how much I enjoy this song in just written words.  The message of this song is so poignant to many people today.  We often compare ourselves to other people and put ourselves down because we aren’t skinny enough or we are too skinny or we have freckles or zits or whatever else society doesn’t say is acceptable to be pretty.  But if we see ourselves through God’s eyes, we know that we are made in His image and likeness and are beautiful inside and out.  God makes no mistakes, and he sees your worth.  So if you start to doubt yourself and your abilities, remember who you and are how God sees you.  Take a break tonight and listen to this song and reflect on how you think God sees you.

God Bless!

1 John 3:1-3

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.

I have always tried to make sure that when people look at me, they see God.  I want to live my life the way God intends it to be.  God’s plan for me is perfect and only he knows it.  A lot of college kids (me included) are questioning what to do with the rest of their lives.  I heard this reading today at mass and I immediately applied it to my life and all the uncertainties that lie ahead.  I may not know what I’ll be doing when I graduate, but I know that God’s plan for me will be revealed in time.  We are all children of God and he made us in his image and likeness to fulfill his plan for us.  Fear not, for his plan will be revealed to you at the right time.  Take a break tonight and pray to God to ask him for his help in remembering that he has a great plan for your life.

God Bless!

“Battles” by The Afters

This current is trying to wreck me
Like castles of sand
My fear, like an enemy army
Is marching again
But I’m making a stand

You surround me on every side
Your love is my armor, I fear no evil
Darkness runs from Your light
So I won’t be afraid

You’re going before me and oceans are parting
You’re fighting my battles
When my feet are failing and my heart is shaking
You’re fighting my battles
Fighting my battles

We have many battles we face in our lives every day.  Some battles are harder to fight than others.  But one thing that is always certain in our battles is the fact that God is fighting them for us.  We may not understand why we have certain battles to fight, but we can have faith that God will surround us in His love and give us the armor we need to fight the battles.  If you are going through a hard battle right now, it will get better, trust me.  I’ve had my fair share of battles in my life so far, and every single one of them have worked out.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Take a break tonight, listen to this song, and pray to ask God to surround you with his armor of love to help you fight your battles.

God Bless!

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Having faith is very important in life.  I would not be the same person if I did not have my faith.  My faith in God and His plan for me has given me the strength I need when times get tough.  Having faith in God’s plan can be hard to do sometimes.  God’s plan for us is unknown and that can be scary.  But having trust in God and His promises will help.  We hope that God’s plan for us is what we want for ourselves, but sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way, and that’s OK.  God’s plan is always better for us because He knows us better than we know ourselves.  I have learned a lot the past few months about putting my faith in God and trusting that He will work everything out.  It has helped me in many ways.  Take a break tonight and think of how you could strengthen your faith or improve your relationship with God.

God Bless!

Luke 11:9

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I’ve been getting signs recently relating to prayer. God always provides for us what we ask of Him in prayer.  It may not always be the right answer we are looking for, but He never fails to answer our prayers. Recently I have decided that when I pray my decade of the Rosary every night, I will pray to give the next day to God. I know that when I give God my day, He will be in control and whatever happens it is in God’s hands and He will take care of me.  My prayer life has become much stronger since doing so.  Prayer has always been a powerful tool for me.  As long as you ask for it in prayer, God will answer it.  Take a break tonight and reflect on what you can do to improve your prayer life.

God Bless!

Colossians 1:15-20

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

God is so great.  The idea that someone created all things in the world and made everything work together so perfectly has always blown my mind.  The fact that the world just fits together so well and everything has its purpose and is so intricate has always fascinated me.  God sent Jesus to see that we are building His kingdom.  God is higher than anything and has power over all our lives; not in a demanding or dominating way, but in a loving and kind way.  Take a break tonight and take in the wonder that is God and be grateful that He takes a hold of your life.

God Bless!

“Fix My Eyes” by for King and Country

Hit rewind
Click delete
Stand face to face with the younger me
All of the mistakes
All of her heartbreak
Here’s what I’d do differently
I’d love like I’m not scared
Give when it’s not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on you, on you
Have you ever looked back on your life and wished you had done something differently or acted in a different way in certain situations?  I think this song reminds us that if we were to look back at everything we have done so far, we would have wanted to do things differently, whether we should have loved more or shown more mercy to someone else.  We will always have regrets in our lives, but if we started acting the way that God wants us to act by showing love and spreading God’s message to others, then we will look back at our actions and feel happy about them.  Take a break and listen to this song and reflect what you can do differently.
God Bless!

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Have you ever been in the midst of a tough time in your life and you wondered why God was putting you through that hard time?  I know I’ve been there.  But the best moment is when He shows you why He put you through what He did. I like to think that God’s plan for us always comes full circle eventually, whether it’s immediate or it comes later when you least expect it.  Those moments show us that all that trouble was worth it because God wanted it to work out in your favor.  This bible verse teaches me that I need to thank God for giving me the hard times I have faced because I know that one day He will show me why He put me through those hard times. It may be difficult to see it in the moment, but when it happens, it’s a great relief.  Take a break tonight and thank God for your current circumstance in life, whether it be hard or not, happy or sad; God will soon show you what He is doing in your life.

God Bless!

“Imagine” by John Lennon

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You,..

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

If you were to turn on the news right now, you would most likely hear things like “mass shooting” and “rape” and “singer shot at meet and greet.”  Today’s world is falling apart.  There is so much sadness and frustration going on lately.  It is hard to remember what the world was like when it was peaceful and everyone was good to one another.  Come to think of it, there was most likely never a time when everyone was at peace.  This song always comes to my mind whenever I hear about another tragic event that has happened in the world.  It breaks my heart to hear that innocent people were shot for no reason.  I don’t like to watch the news anymore because it is filled with sadness and hatred.  God calls us to be better people than this.  He calls us to love one another, despite differences we may have.  He calls us to lead people to Him and to show them His love.  If more people knew God’s love and knew how much He truly cared for them, I believe the world would be a much better place.  Take a break today and listen to this song and reflect on how you can spread God’s love in such a sad-filled world.

God Bless!

Don’t Take Things for Granted

“The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.”

-Marlan Rico Lee

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you would do anything to get it? Did you pray to God that He would give it to you?  There are many times when we feel that we need to do this.  But there are also many things that we as humans often take for granted.  For example, you have a roof over your head.  Someone out there on the street is praying tonight for one.  You also have a computer or a phone that you are reading this from.  Someone out there is praying for one of those so they can have access to the internet and communication with friends.  There are many things in life that we are not always grateful for.  Be sure to remember how blessed you are and to pray for those people that are less fortunate than you are.  They may not even have anyone to pray for them.

God Bless!

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I take great comfort in this verse.  I know that even when I feel afraid or alone, I am in good hands because God is right there with me.  I can be strong and courageous because God will never leave me.  He knows when I need Him the most and He is there to comfort me in times of need.  There have been many times when I have felt alone or afraid, but when I look back at those moments, I can see that God was looking out for me and He saw that I was lonely or afraid.  It can bring peace knowing this for when I become afraid or alone in the future.  Take a break today and remind yourself that if you ever feel lonely or afraid that God is always there, so there is no need to be lonely or afraid.

God Bless!

“Sparrows” by Jason Gray

You can’t add a single day by worrying
You’ll worry your life away
Oh don’t worry your life away
You can’t change a single thing by freaking out
It’s just gonna close you in
Oh don’t let the trouble win

You may feel alone
But you’re not on your own

(chorus)
(Lalala) if He can hold the world He can hold this moment
(Lalala) not a field nor flower escapes His notice
Oh even the sparrow
Knows He holds tomorrow

Everyone worries, it is simply a part of life.  I have worried all my life.  It is a huge part of my life and it is hard to deal with most days. These lyrics speak to me in such a strong way because of this.  This song shows me that God is there and that He holds my life and knows what tomorrow will bring.  I can worry all I want, but it will not do anything to help the situation, only hurt it.  I love the imagery of the sparrow in this song. He knows that God will hold tomorrow and that everything that the sparrow worries about for tomorrow is already in God’s hands.  If even a simple little sparrow can believe that God will handle its life, then so can we.  Some days it is hard to do this, but at the end of the day I know that God holds tomorrow and that everything will work out the way it is meant to; worrying about it won’t do me any good.  Take a break tonight and if you have a lot of worry in your life, try and remember that God holds tomorrow and He has it under control, so there is no need to worry.

God Bless!

Be Brave Through the Struggle

“Struggle isn’t fun, but it’s an opportunity to be brave.”

-Rae Smith

Everyone struggles with something in life.  Maybe it’s insecurities, maybe it’s mental illness, maybe it’s financial struggles or family issues.  Whatever it may be, know that something good can come out of it.  Whatever it is, know that you can be strong and brave through it all.  Struggles can teach us a lot about ourselves.  I recently chose to be brave in talking about a personal struggle with mental illness and even though it is scary, it also shows me that good things can come out of having struggles.  I chose to be brave and share my story so I can inspire other people.  It helps me get through my struggle knowing that I can use it to help others.  Take a break tonight and think of how you can use your current struggle to make you braver, then try and do that thing that makes you brave, despite your struggle.

God Bless!

John 21:15-18

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
Jesus said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

Jesus asks Peter a very important question in today’s Gospel.  “Do you love me?”  But notice he doesn’t just ask it once, but three times.  Peter also denies Jesus three times… Coincidence? Yes, Peter denied Jesus, but he still loves him.  He was just afraid, as many of Jesus’ followers were when he died.  Tonight during the homily, the priest mentioned that each time Peter said “yes,” he was referencing three of the words for love in the Greek language.  He referenced storge, phileo, and agape.  Each time Peter said yes, his love for Jesus grew to each stage.  Imagine yourself in Peter’s position.  How would you answer this question?  Take a break tonight and think of how you would answer.

“Silence You” by Haley Orrantia

“You’re not everybody’s expectations You’re not just the cards you’re dealt. You aren’t a product of your generation You are what you make yourself Take all that you’re afraid to say. Post it up and put it on display You don’t have to play nice now.  Stay held down Shut up and keep your quiet. Don’t have to take the easy way out. Follow the in-crowd Stand up and make a riot Nothing’s gonna change if you won’t. No, nothing’s gonna change if you don’t It’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do But don’t let them silence you.”

I came across this song on Facebook a little bit ago and I fell in love with it instantly.  This song is in the end credits of the new movie “God’s Not Dead 2.”  I haven’t had the chance to see it yet, but I’ve heard good things about it!  The message of the song, and of the movie, is simple.  Never be afraid to speak about your faith, no matter the consequences.  Show the world that you are proud to be a person of such a strong faith.  It can be hard to be open about it, but it is what God calls us to do.  Recently I have felt more and more called to try and do something about this sort of “mass exodus” from the Catholic Church. I feel as if God wants me to be part of the change and to show people that being part of a faith and having that knowledge that someone more greater than you is watching over you is the greatest thing in the world.  I learned earlier today that the only constant in life is God, and that is definitely true.  I want to show people that constant person and show them that He is great and all knowing and loving.  Take a break today, listen to this song, and decide how you will share the Good News and not let the world “silence you.”

God Bless!

Psalm 18:32-34

“It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”

God gives us everything we will ever need.  He gives us the strength to get through our daily struggles.  He gives us the courage to be ready for what comes our way, no matter what.  He is always there for us no matter what, and this psalm is a perfect reminder of that.  I love those moments when I can look back to hard times and see that God was with me the whole time.  It may not have been as easy to see at first, but just know that God will give you the tools you need to get through anything you are going through.  Take a break today and think of how God has helped you in your time of need and thank Him for being there for you when you need Him the most.

God Bless!

“Here’s My Heart” by I AM THEY

Here’s my heart, Lord
Here’s my heart, Lord
Here’s my heart, Lord
Speak what is true

Cause I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through

I came across this song recently and it is simple yet wonderful.  I enjoy simple; it makes things easier to understand.  And what I love about the simplicity of this song is the message of it.  This song is saying that all we need to do is give God our hearts.  Our heart has our deepest longings, our hopes, joys, sorrows.  Even if we have a broken heart, if we give it to God, He will know what to do with it.  If we give God our heart, He will tell us what we need to hear.  It may not be what we want to hear, but if we trust that God will give us what we need, we can be safe knowing he has our heart.  This song reminds me of the picture seen below.  Our heart may be broken, ripped apart, or maybe its perfectly whole.  No matter the condition our heart is in, God will take it. Take a break today and listen to this song while you picture yourself as the person giving your heart to God in this picture and watch how your life will change.

heart to God

God Bless!

Psalm 56:3

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”

This phrase may only be nine words long, but it is nine words of truth.  It is nine words of faith.  It is nine words of trust.  This simple phrase has the power to show us that God is there for us even when we are afraid.  Fear is a tricky thing.  Sometimes it can creep up on us.  Sometimes it feels as if we can never overcome our fears.  But how wonderful is it that there is a God out there that will be there for us when we are afraid.  He is like that security blanket we all had when we were kids that we hid under during a thunderstorm.  We feel safe knowing that God is there to protect us.  We just need to trust God and know that He will be there for us when we are afraid.  We need to remember that when we are afraid, all we need to do is trust in God and He will protect us.  Take a break tonight and surrender your fears to God and trust that He will protect you from them and free you from your fears.

God Bless!

Notice What’s Around You

“You hear, but are you listening? You exist, but are you living? You look, but do you see?”

Life moves pretty fast.  We often are moving too fast to notice things that are really important. This quote definitely speaks to that.  There are plenty of times that we are having a conversation with someone, but in our minds are never actually listening to what they are saying; we are busy thinking about what we have to do later that day or even what we are going to say in response to what they are saying.  We also often go through life without doing anything worth while.  We just go through the motions of our everyday activities that we don’t stop to do things for us.  We aren’t really living life.  It’s so easy to do in this day and age.  We often never notice things that are right in front of us.  We go through life so fast that we don’t look around at what is right in front of us and take in what we see.  I do all these things all the time.  Being a busy college student can have that affect on me.  Take a break sometime in the next day or two and decide how you can slow life down a little and appreciate more of what is going on around you.

God Bless!

“Loyal” by Lauren Daigle

I could never earn Your heart
I could never reach that far
But You have pulled me close
You’ve never let me go
I’m safe forever in Your arms
Your promises I can not break
And I know You will never change

Your love is, Your love is
Your love is loyal
Your love is, Your love is
Your love is loyal
More faithful than the rising sun
This grace for me I can’t outrun
Your love is, Your love is
Your love is loyal

I am always amazed at the amount of love that God has for us.  I often have to remind myself that no matter what happens in life, no matter what I may do to move away from God,  He will still love me and His love for me is never-ending.  One word that I never thought of when describing God’s love is the word loyal.  But it makes perfect sense!  God will still love us no matter what we do in life.  Think of a friend you have that is loyal to you.  Are they the type of friend that is always there for you no matter what you may have said or done to hurt your relationship with them?  This is the the same thing.  I love the phrase, “your love is loyal, more faithful than the rising sun.”  That seems so difficult to fathom, but then again, there are a lot of things about God that are hard to understand.  As long as we put our faith in Him, we can trust that even though we don’t understand what God does, it is for a reason and He will never leave us or forsake us.  Take a break tonight and listen to this song and reflect on how you have seen the loyalty of God’s love for you.

God Bless!

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

I have known this psalm for a long time.  When I first started cantoring, it was the first psalm I ever cantored at Mass.  Someone I have been confiding in recently told me about this psalm and to pray with it when I pray.  I wrote it on a notecard and put it somewhere I could see it every day.  This psalm is all about trust and putting trust in God.  This psalm also says that there is nothing to be afraid of because God will always be there for us no matter what.  Take a break tonight and read the whole psalm 27 and pray over it to find trust in God and to know that there is nothing to be afraid of.

God Bless!

“The Dawn” by Julianna Zobrist

I hear you
I see you, I know you, I am you
You wonder if you’ve lost it all
Wonder if you’ve hit the wall

Your dream has been broken
Your heart is wide open
You wonder if you still believe
If you’ll ever find some peace

You are never ruined
Never too far gone
As long as you’re still breathing
You can carry on
Hold onto God’s promise
Let hope become your song
The night is almost over
Keep watching for the dawn

I haven’t been listening to this song for very long. I recently heard it on my “Discover Weekly” playlist on Spotify.  I love the message of this song.  When I listen to this song I imagine someone telling me that God will be by my side and that He hears everything I have been praying about.  I have been praying about a lot recently and this song just reminds me to keep praying and to know that God will provide for me.  He will always hear me.  I may not always like his timing but God’s timing is always perfect.  Also, dawn is the beginning of the day, so that means that at the dawn, there is a chance to start over.  So no matter your past relationship of you and God, every day is a chance to start over and make amends with Him.  He will always be by your side no matter what.  Take a break tonight and listen to this song and pray to God to get you through what you’re going through.

You’ll Never Be…

“You’ll never be brave if you don’t get hurt. You’ll never learn if you don’t make mistakes. You’ll never be successful if you don’t encounter failure.”

This quote reminds me of something that I consider a mantra of mine: everything happens for a reason.  We have to get through the bad times in order to have good times.  Everything you experience in your life has purpose.  Going through it may be difficult, but know that it is part of God’s plan for you.  It will be hard to see at first but when we remember that what we go through has a reason, it makes it easier to bear.  Take a break and thank God for what you are going through right now, no matter how easy or difficult it is.

God Bless!

The World Needs You Too

“How cool is it that the same God that created mountains and oceans and galaxies thought that the world needed one of you too.”

Every person has a purpose.  God has created us for a specific purpose on this earth.  This idea that the same God that created everything we see in the world knew that the world would need us too, as if we were so important that the world would be different without us, is such an amazing concept.  That is absolutely true.  God made everyone for a reason.  He wanted you to be on this earth just as much as He wanted the oceans and flowers and everything else in creation.  You may not think you are worthy enough, but God knows your worth and knows how important you are to Him.  He knew He was creating something wonderful when He made you.  Take a break tonight and just think about how wonderful it is that God would want you to be part of this great world.

God Bless!

“Trust In You” by Lauren Daigle

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Trust is very important in any relationship we have.  Our relationship with God isn’t any different.  I first heard this song a few weeks ago and fell in love with it.  Lately I’ve been working on putting my trust in God to do His will in my life and that whatever he has planned is what’s best for me.  He may not always do something that I think is best, but only He knows what’s best for me.  This song is a great reminder that when I put my trust in God, my life will be better for it.  If you are having trouble trusting God, pick a line from this song and write it on a sticky note and put it somewhere that you will see it every day and learn to trust Him.  Take a break and listen to this wonderful song and learn to trust in Him.

God Bless!

“Grown Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant

Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee.
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies.
Well, I’m all grown up now,
But still need help somehow.
I’m not a child but my heart still can dream.

So here’s my lifelong wish,
My grown-up Christmas list,
Not for myself, but for a world in need:

No more lives torn apart,
Then wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts.
And every one would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list.

I have always enjoyed this song ever since I was a little girl and we would play Amy Grant’s Christmas album this time of year.  As I get older, I find it harder to tell people what I want for Christmas.  I have all I need and I don’t want much.  This year has been particularly hard to express what I want waiting for me under the tree.  As I listen to this song, I have been reflecting on what I would want that wasn’t material.  Seeing everything that has been happening, I would want more peace in the world, as well as in my own life.  I would want people to be able to learn to love each other, despite differences they may have.  I would want people less fortunate to be able to have the Christmas they deserve.  This song makes me wish that the world was a better place than it currently is.  But I also have hope that the world will be a better place some day.  We need to do our part to make this world a better place.  Take a break and listen to this song and think of what you would put on your “grown up ” Christmas list.

God Bless!

A Prayer for When I am Stressed

Dear Father,

The wind  of the world is blowing strong and the whirling stress it ushers in overwhelms me.  Whether coming up short in dollars and cents or falling short of being good enough, the swirl of the burden presses my soul.  In spite of heightened senses, I have lost the sense I need the most- the sense of your presence.  Will you help me remember that you are here?  Will you help me relax and rest in your love?  May the tension release and melt into peace that only you can provide.

Amen.

The holidays can be a stressful time for many people.  Students are wrapping up the semester; parents are trying to prepare for Christmas.  It can be difficult if we let the stress get to us.  Take a break the next time you are stressed this holiday season and say this prayer and ask God to give you peace of mind in the midst of all the chaos.

God Bless!

Obstacles Don’t Have to Stop You

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you.  If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up.  Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

We all face obstacles in our lives; it’s part of living.  Obstacles shouldn’t have to stop you from doing something, however.  Sure, it may seem impossible to figure out and you may never think you’ll be able to work through it, but you can and you will.  If there is an obstacle in your way, don’t run from it.  Learn to work up the courage to face it and work around it.  We shouldn’t let our obstacles define us.  We need to be able to look our obstacles in the eye and say “I will defeat you.” Don’t forget to call on God to help you face the obstacle, especially if it seems too hard to tackle.  He will always help us.  Take a break today and think about how you can work around any obstacle you may be facing.

God Bless!

“Christmas Is” by Francesca Batisttelli

Christmas is rooftops covered in lights
It’s away in a manger, it’s a wonderful life
Christmas is caring for those who got nothing
It’s dropping your change in the bell ringer’s bucket

Christmas is coming, Christmas is near
I’ve been counting down the days all year
Christmas is almost here

Christmas is all of these fun things for sure
But, Christmas is really, oh so much more
It’s good news of hope for the whole world because
Christmas is Jesus!

When I first heard this song, I knew I was going to enjoy it.  Not only because it’s sung by one of my favorite artists, but also the message that is shown through the song.  There is so much I love about this time of the year.  I love all the decorations and the love that seems to fill the air.  I love baking cookies and fudge with my family.  I love giving gifts that I know my family and friends will cherish forever.  But Christmas is more than all that.  It’s about Jesus.  Jesus came into this world to save us and be a light in the dark.  Christmas is the time to celebrate that and all that God has given to us.  Take a break today and listen to this song and reflect on how you will prepare to bring Jesus into this world this season.

God Bless!

“Cast My Cares” by Finding Favour

When fear feels bigger than my faith
And struggles steals my breath away
When my back pressed up against the wall
With the weight of my worries stacked up tall
You’re strong enough to hold it all

I will cast my cares on you
You’re the anchor of my hope
The only one who’s in control
I will cast my cares on you
I’ll trade the troubles of this world
For your peace inside my soul

I really enjoy this song.  It reminds me of the verse from 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.”  Giving all your worries to God may be really hard to do, but there is something I have learned to do as a visual that makes it easier.  When I go to 4 p.m. on campus, Father B. always begins Mass by asking us to close our eyes and picture that we are sitting in front of Jesus.  We are to tell him what’s in our hearts and what is bothering us.  This is such a calming and wonderful visual that it makes it a lot easier to give our worries up to the one who can take care of them.  No matter what we are going through, whether big or small, God will take care of it.  So having a conversation with Jesus, God’s Son, will help make it easier to “cast your cares” on Him.  Take a break and listen to this song, then sit in silence, eyes closed, and give all your cares to Jesus as if he were right there in front of you.

Perspective

“It’s all about perspective.  The sinking of the Titanic was a miracle to the lobsters in the ship’s kitchen.”

Everyone looks at situations in different ways.  What may be helpful in a situation for some people may not be helpful for others in the same situation.  it’s all about the perspective taken to see the situation.  Take your life, for example.  You may think that what you are going through is horrible and you’re angry at God and you wish things were better, but that may not be how God sees it.  He sees this part of your life as part of the whole plan He has for you.  God sees the whole picture.  He is looking down at us and sees our lives as they unfold every day.  Some days may be good and some may be bad, but they are all part of that bigger plan.  It’s like a rug.  The top part (what God can see) is beautifully crafted and wonderful to look at.  The bottom part (what we see) may not be as beautiful, but when we finally reach heaven, we can see why certain things happened to us in our lives.  It’s all about the perspective we have in life.  Take a break and think about how to start seeing your life the way God sees it, beautifully crafted and all part of the big plan.

God Bless!

Having Faith

“Having faith does not mean having no difficulties, but having the strength to face them knowing we are not alone.”

-Pope Francis

Pope Francis has it right.  Having faith not only means that we believe in God and believe He is real, but also knowing that He will be there for us in times of need.  Our faith may be shaken during these times, but if we remember to keep it strong, we will have the strength to make it through knowing that we aren’t going through it by ourselves.  God will always be there during the hard times, no matter how difficult.  Take a break today and pray to God to help give you the strength to make it through whatever it is that you’re going through.

God Bless!

Your Road

“It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”

Your life is what you make it.  It is completely yours to control.  What you decide to do can only be decided by you and no one else.  Sometimes, we let people control us and tell us what to do because they think they know what’s best for us.  Only you know what’s best for you.  Don’t try to let someone else control you.  You do you.  Be your own self.  You know your strengths; you know your weaknesses.  Use them to your advantage and never let anyone tell you what to do with your life.  Take a break today and decide to let no one control your life but yourself.

God Bless!

“Priceless” by for King and Country

Mirror mirror, mirror on the wall
Tellin’ those lies, pointing out your flaws
That isn’t who you are
That isn’t who you are

It might be hard to hear, but let me tell you dear
If you could see what I can see, I know you would believe
That isn’t who you are
There’s more to who you are

So when it’s late, you’re wide awake
To much to take
Don’t you dare forget that in the pain
You can be brave, you’re safe

I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you (oh so priceless)
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
I see it all in you (oh so priceless)

This song is officially my favorite song in the world.  For King and Country have done it again!  They have written a song full of real emotion that other people can relate to.  So many people struggle to see what God sees in them, but I think this song is the perfect reminder for what God sees in us.  He sees us as priceless and as perfect in every way.  They also have a movie with the same title coming out in the near future.  I am so excited to see it.  They have had this message that everyone is priceless from the beginning and I love this idea!    Take a break and listen to this song and remember to come back to it when your self esteem isn’t very high.

Mark 11:24

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Praying is one of the central parts of our faith.  When we pray, we have a conversation with God about what it is we may need, to praise and thank Him for what He has given us, or to pray for someone or something else.  I pray throughout the day as I need God’s guidance, and I also pray a decade of the Rosary every night with a Rosary ring that is very special to me.  One way I think of praying is that God already knows what you need or want to ask Him, but He still loves when you come to Him for what you need.  But something He loves even more is when you thank Him for what He has given you.  Sometimes, His timing in answering your prayers isn’t what you would expect, but God’s timing is perfect; never early, never late.  Trust that God will answer your prayers at the time you need it most.  Take a break right now and say a prayer to God about anything important that comes to mind, and don’t forget to thank Him too!

God Bless!

“Name” by Nichole Nordeman

You woke up one day in a bad way,
With a dark heart in a small cave,
And decided to hide
For the long bitter night.
But one day someone loved you,
Let the light in, made the old new,
From the water and mud wrote you new name in love,
Now something about it just doesn’t seem real,
Sometimes that’s just how it feels.

You are still a promise,
Heartbeat of god,
You may have for gotten,
But he has not,
You are not your ashes
You are a flame,
Do not ask the shadows
The light of the world knows,
Knows your name.

I recently stumbled upon this song when I was listening to a Christian playlist on spotify and fell in love with it.  There may be days when you wake up not feeling like yourself, and you may even forget that God is on your side.  Everyone has been through a rough time in life and wondered where God was.  This song is a great reminder that no matter what you are going through and no matter what you may feel, God knows the real you and knows how important and special you are to Him.  Never forget that God knows the real you and loves the real you just the way you are.  Take a break today and listen to this song to remind you that God knows the real you and will never stop loving you.

God Bless!

Strength is Overcoming

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do.  It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”

Everyone has had to be strong at some point in their lives.  It takes a lot to be strong, but being able to overcome what you did not think you could overcome shows a lot of strength.  We all know what we can do, but if we get through what we didn’t think we could get through takes a special kind of strength.  I have learned this lesson many times in my life, and I have seen others overcome things they did not think they could overcome.  It inspires me to see people use the strength God gave them to get through tough times in their lives.  If you are going through a tough time right now, just know that you are strong enough and you will get through it.  Just remember to call on God and pray about what you’re going through.  Take a break today and pray to get through whatever trials you’re going through, or pray for someone who you know that is struggling right now.

God Bless!

“Just Be Held” By Casting Crowns

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

I heard this song the other day for the first time and I was drawn to it immediately.  I’ve always loved Casting Crowns; their one of the first Christian bands I ever listened to.  I remember stealing my mom’s album and listening to it on repeat.  The message of this song is what draws me the most.  No matter what is going on in your life, and if you’re tired of going through it, just know that God is holding you through it all.  You need not be afraid because God has you in the palm of His hand and He’ll never let you go.  You need to go to Him in times of trouble and know that He will be there for you.  Take a break today and picture God holding you and give Him all your worries.  Then listen to this song.

God Bless!

1 John 4:18

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Everyone has fears; it’s hard to not be afraid of something.  But according to God, there should be no fear because perfect love, which is God, drives out fear.  God doesn’t want us to be afraid.  He wants us to give all our fears to Him so He may get rid of them.  If we love God, then we know He will take care of us.  It may seem hard to give all our fears to Him, but if we trust God, we will be confident in knowing He will help us overcome them.  Take a break today and think of something you’ve recently been afraid of and give it to God.

God Bless!

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Many of you may recognize the first sentence of this verse.  It is said every week at mass during the consecration.  After hearing it week after week for many years, we can begin to tune it out.  But the message of this verse should be remembered daily.  God can give us more than any earthly possession ever will.  He will provide for us as we need Him to.  We should not turn to the things of this world to satisfy us; we should turn to God.  We should also not be afraid and become worried because we should know that God will watch over us and He will take care of everything.  As I start to get back into the school mode this week, I will remember this verse and call it to mind when things begin to get rough.  Take a break today and write down this verse and put it somewhere that you can read it as a daily reminder that God will provide for us.

God Bless!

“Feel It” by TobyMac

When I sit back and imagine
Life without You, I can’t fathom
How I ever thought I’d make it on my own
And there’s at least a million reasons
I’m still standing here believin’
You’re my comfort, You’re my healin’
This I know (this I know)

Well, you can’t see the wind, but it moves the leaves
From the bottom to the top of the tallest trees
You are everything I will ever need
And they can’t take that from me

Oh, I feel it in my heart
I feel it in my soul
That’s how I know
You take our brokenness and make us beautiful
Yeah, that’s how I know

TobyMac recently came out with a new album, This Is Not a Test.  It features many great songs, including this one.  This song was a single he released before the album came out, so I heard it before the rest of the album came out.  I love this song a lot!  TobyMac always has good, upbeat songs, and this is no exception.  Aside from the fact that this song sounds good, I think the message of the song has made an impact to the listeners.  I have always known that there is a God because I have felt his presence in my life.  This song is a testament to that.  Sometimes when people ask me how I can believe in something I can’t see, I tell them it’s because I can feel Him.  Just like you can’t see the wind, but you can feel it, so shall we feel the presence of God in our lives.  Take a break and listen to this song; and don’t be afraid to get up and dance too.

God Bless!