Tag Archives: Faith

Find Your Church

You know the phrase: Don’t talk about religion or politics are the dinner table. Well, I enjoy challenging rules and this technically isn’t 1) a dinner table or 2) a post solely about religion.

I’m sure most of us have experienced how the word religion and the word church can be triggers for people. I know when I say I’m Catholic and attend Mass regularly, I get a range of interesting reactions. Shock, amazement, admiration and disgust are a few I’ve seen on people’s faces recently. It’s a personal topic for sure, but if we don’t talk to each other about it, how will we really know what we each believe? I’d argue that organized religion is one form of church.

In the last three years or so, I’ve reconnected with my Catholic faith. The catalyst for this was my sister’s Confirmation as I was her sponsor. I’m grateful that opportunity arose so I could examine my belief system. Yes, I go to church most Sundays, I don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent and I get ashes on Ash Wednesday. Does it mean I believe everything the Catholic Church preaches? Nope, not one bit.

One size does not fit all when it comes to church. I got to Mass on Sundays as a form of meditation and to express gratitude for the beautiful life I’ve been given. It’s not the only form of church I participate in. Listening to Jen Hatmaker earlier in the Fall and similarly, listening to Michelle Obama last night, I felt connected to something bigger than myself. That, to me, is going to church. It’s about connecting to a higher power and having your faith restored in some capacity.

Becoming

Faith, hope, love and peace are somewhat abstract concepts. Yet, when I go to church, whichever kind it is, I can feel and even embody those words. I am repented, I am renewed and I am ready. It’s a part of my spiritual well-being that must be replenished so I can show up each day at 100%. It also helps to build my resilience muscle so when things do go wrong, I have a place where I can draw strength from. It’s powerful and necessary in my life.

No one should tell you what or who to believe in. AND there is something powerful and almost magically about faith. It gets you through the toughest situations and brings peace. Faith, much like church, can be found anywhere within anyone at anytime. You just need to be paying attention and open to receiving it as a gift.

Regardless of how you were raised, I encourage you to pause and reflect on your spiritual well-being. How do you renew in that space? What does going to church look like to you? It only matters what you think and where you find faith, hope, love and peace. Remember, there’s no right answer and it can be a combination of places, people or things.

Motivation Mondays: Faith > Fear

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in the words he preached. He was a man of faith, of passion and stood firmly behind his ideals. He was a visionary who changed a nation and impacted millions even after his death.

faithIn the spirit of MLK Day and the 57th Inauguration, I am dedicating today’s post to a mission of making my faith bigger than my fear; a concept I believe both Dr. King and President Obama embody.

Many think faith has a religious connotation but in reality, it is more of a personal belief. Everyone defines faith differently. For me, it is believing in something you cannot see; walking head first into the darkness without knowing what to expect. With every new opportunity, there is a level of risk and a level of faith you must have in yourself and in the process. Faith can help you get through the day or can completely wreck your expectations. You are the only one that can decide.

I often find it hard to have faith that things will change. When you are so used to a certain way of life, how could things get better? What could possibly be done to fix an exceptional amount of damage? I bet you’re thinking how can she be so negative and I agree with you. When you read the statement above, said by a man who faced an uphill battle his entire life, you must change your mindset.

Add this to my 2013 goals: Let me faith be bigger than my fear. I want to take more risks, be more spontaneous and live life to the fullest everyday. I need to realize that life will always present its challenges but everyone must have faith in the future.

While I am not trilled to be working today, I know that this is part of growing up. I do plan on volunteering within the next few weeks, but today I will volunteer to change my attitude to be more positive in honor of Dr. King.

MLK

Motivation Mondays: Love Never Fails

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

I am nowhere near religious, but I did grown up Catholic. From 7-12th grade, I went to Catholic school, attended church regularly and made all of my sacraments. While I should absolutely go to church more, I do believe in a higher power who has a plan for each of us. Recently, I was in church to witness my good friend’s wedding. It was not only beautiful but a moving experience.

Tori and I have been friends for three years now and I was honored to be a part of her special day. I was excited to help plan the wedding andeven more trilled to watch her marry her best friend. I have been to weddings before but for some reason, I felt completely different when this wedding was over. It moved me to tears and restored my faith in love and marriage.

Tori & I with another friend

Tori & I with another friend

I will be the first to admit that I’m a guarded person when it comes to relationships. It’s just my nature; I know I have to work on it. Having divorced parents also does not help the cause. Please note, I do not blame my parents in any way, shape or form. They have done a great job raising us and I would not have my life any other way. That being said, there are tons of psychological studies that show people with divorced parents are just wired differently. I must admit, it makes sense to me. When you don’t have a living, breathing example of marriage in front of you as a child, what are you supposed to think or feel?

Happy couple

Happy couple

However, watching two young adults profess their love for one another and promise to spend their lives together suddenly made a light bulb go off in my head. It should not matter what your circumstances were growing up. The fact is everyone is an adult and should make more of their situation, good or bad. One day, I’ll know when it will be right to get married and will have faith that it will last.

I am not going to say love never fails. People change, circumstances become different and life gets in the way. Everyone must give it their best shot. That’s the whole point of getting married anyway: to commit yourself to one person forever no matter what. That’s a pretty big deal. I am so lucky that I got to be a part of Tori and Byron’s wedding and know it made an impact on me. Sometimes with a little faith, one event can totally change your perspective. Let it!

 

Motivation Mondays: Thank God Even Crazy Dreams Come True

I apologize for the lack of posts last week. But, I promise I have a good reason! For the last week, I was in California working a program for my job. It was six days of awesomeness and I still can’t believe that I got to be a part of something so inspiring. The location was breath-taking and the sessions really made you think. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people from different places and backgrounds. It really was one for the books.

In the month I’ve been working, I’ve gotten to participate in some great programs and work with some insanely talented people. The amount of experience and exposure I’ve gained in the last month is unbelievable. Everyone I’ve met has the patience of a saint and is so willing to help. To think, just a few short months ago, I thought all hope was lost and that a job would never be found. Lesson learned.

Two weeks ago, I attended the Carrie Underwood concert. She put on a fantastic show and reminded me how lucky I was. Her song, Crazy Dreams, really sums up the whirlwind last month of my life. Maybe having a satisfying job and being happy isn’t a crazy dream, but after 400 applications and a handful of rejection letters, it really feels like one. While in California for the week, I kept sharing my story of finding a job with many and received tons of congratulations and words of encouragement. My response was always how lucky I am to have such a great job with a supportive team.

While having a job is not the only aspect of life, it certainly plays a large role. I’d like to remind anyone looking for a job or struggling with their current employment to keep the faith. Everything truly does happen for a reason and I am a living example of that. Hard work and continued faith will ultimately lead you to your end goal, whatever that may be.

Below is Carrie Underwood’s song Crazy Dreams. Listen to the lyrics and remember all of your crazy dreams. You are the only one that can make them a reality.

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