Since it has been a while since I last posted, I thought that posting about the election would be appropriate. Don’t worry, I am not here to endorse one candidate or the other or even get into a deep political debate. So you can be rest assured that will not happen. But election day (to those who choose to vote anyway) can be very special. We as a people have followed someone for months lingering on every word and watching every step to ensure that they are the best candidate for us. We as a people of faith must take into account the person who best represents but who is also best for the rest of the country. I do believe it is a God-given right to be able to vote here but there are so many others in different countries who are still denied that right by various forms of governments.
I also think that we must look deep inside ourselves and trust that the person who is leading the country aligns with our morals, value, and basic belief system. After all that person and the rest of congress is going to decide what is best for us politically. It is unfortunate that politics as a whole can separate us as people and at times that separation can become somewhat disturbing. I kindly suggest to take the time to read and research each candidate and then decide who is the best fit; a decision made upon a multitude of ideas and not just one seemingly good quality. But whoever wins, we hope that the elected looks to a higher power for guidance and strength in difficult times especially when those times involve making those tough decisions for others. We must also thank God for our right to vote and also for Him to lead us into the right direction.
This labor day is about celebrating the individuals who work and others who benefit from that work. I am fortunate that I have a job and as I kid, although I took it for granted, I was happy that both of my parents were employed and were able to provide for my sister and I. There are numerous benefits for employment including food, being able to pay bills, and a place to rest your head at night. But in today’s world it just isn’t the employed who need our prayers but it is also the unemployed and underemployed may even need them more. I probably should elaborate on what being underemployed means. To me it means someone who is employed but not being compensated appropriately or someone who is employed at a job that isn’t quite sufficient with their current job skills. And there are others who even work temporary or odd jobs to make ends meet. There are many individuals who work and sometimes even suffer under these categories.
I would like to share an excerpt from a prayer for the hope and employment:
Lord Jesus Christ,…
Help me find a peace -
Even in the midst of my worries and fears
For my financial liabilities are mounting.
Strengthen my determination and let me not despair;
Open my eyes to see life
beyond the rejections and lost opportunities.*
I found comfort even in my own employment in these few lines of this prayer. With all the worries about how we are going to afford bills or even the items we need, it can be very beneficial to take time to ask God for strength and guidance when our own strength is just not enough. I even pray for those who feel despaired in their current situation because one day a change will be made and those feelings will be cast away. So on this Labor Day remember all those from every facet of the earth that they find comfort in their employment and also those who are still looking.
*Prayer written by K. Leith.
Today in mass was a special day for me. It had been a while since I had been because there had been other things that were seemingly getting in the way or I was working (or other times too tired) so I could not make time for mass. But today I did and it was as usual a good experience for me. The priest spoke about who were are as people and how sometimes who we are as people does not always reflect how we are externally. He also spoke about the devil and how he wants to bring who we are on the inside to the outside meaning that he wants to take away the goodness that we have as people and make us all miserable souls.
Who are we really? What really defines who we are? I’d like to think of myself as a care-free individual who has an adventure for like and a deep passion for the world around me. I also have a strong interest in academics and health. But who I am isn’t the same as the next person that I will meet. We all have our differences in our goodness and also our flaws. Although we may do things that do not necessarily reflect who we are as people but that will occasionally happen and it is up to us to rectify that issue. There are also occasions that doing the opposite of who we really are can be beneficial. Ideas and the people who hold them can also change. I do consider myself a care-free person but when the situation arises I can be very serious and focused.
Just be the person who are because what’s on the inside is what really matters to the higher power we serve. He knows our purpose and what we represent. Trust in Him and who we are on the inside will undoubtedly show to the rest of the world.
The Olympics is one of my favorite sports to watch. I enjoy the excitement of competition and also cheering on the incredible athletes that come from around the world to feature their talents on this global stage. I love most sports but my favorite Olympic sport to watch is definitely gymnastics. The high-flying and high-soaring routines that seem to defy gravity leave me in awe and amazement. I have nothing but respect for those gymnasts who essentially risk great injury to perform such daring acts. I was overjoyed to see the U.S women win a gold medal after so many years of coming up short. Tears were hard to hold back when watching those ladies crying themselves when they had secured a gold medal victory. Going for gold has always been a recurring theme in the Olympics games. Who doesn’t want a gold medal? It symbolizes that for one moment in time an athlete was certainly the best in the world at their own sport. What greater feeling can beat that?
I’d like to think that the greater power we serve also wants us to go for gold and be our very best. Our very best can come in our careers, education, and even sports. It’s perfectly fine to be the best in the world but most people will not be so being your very own personal best is all that really matters. I’d like to think that life itself is a competition and there is no shame not coming in first but staying true to yourself and others around you is what is truly important. Although it is a great honor to compete at the Olympics coming in last may be a daunting experience. We all play that role at some point in our lives but unlike the Olympics we can always try again. I truly believe that trying again is truly wanted (or sometimes expected) for us regardless of any circumstance. Persistence may be what keeps us happy! So remember than when you cheer on the athletes at the Olympics games that they are not just going for gold but also going after our hearts.
There has been plenty of talk about the devastating tragedy that recently happened in Aurora, Colorado. The question that seems most pertinent is simply why. Why? What motivated such an individual to carefully calculate and deliberately carry out such a heinous act against so many innocent people. There are many questions left unanswered and will most likely be many more left unanswered. Aside from this horrible event are stories of bravery and courage. I have read many stories of the men who shielded loved ones and even complete strangers from harm’s way hoping that the women they shielded would be saved. For an individual to sacrifice their own life in order for someone else to live is the ultimate act of selflessness! Even in the darkest times of society, God finds a way for people to have hope and come together stronger to better all people.
I remember a while back as I sat in mass and the priest stated something that I will never forget. He said that being Christian doesn’t prevent bad things from happening but it does change how we respond to a situation. This statement holds true for even for the worst of times such as the mass shooting in Colorado. It definitely changes one’s perception by having a deep spiritual connection to help in troubling times. Bad things can happen to any one of us but how we deal with the situation may differ if we do not have a spiritual bond with God. Even in difficult times deeper bonds may form. Life-changing experiences have a tendency to connect with individual’s spiritual side and that can be a very rewarding experience.
I would like to send out prayers and my deepest condolences to the victims and the victim’s families of Aurora, Colorado. Prayers should also be sent to the suspected shooter and his family even though that may seem like a difficult thing to do. But it is important that we not only pray for the ones who were hurt but also the person that inflicted such heartache. The higher power we serve is always watching us and we are forever on His heart. We must remember that there is a plan for us even when it seems that life seems to divert from that plan but here is to hope that our spirits are always lifted.
As some of you may have read a while back I had posted to plan a successful wedding. Well that time has definitely come and getting married in the Catholic church is a wonderful thing but it also takes much time and planning. The church requires some type of counseling whether it is a pre cana class, counseling conducted by a priest, or even counseling with another married couple. Since my wedding planning was rather rushed (somewhat of an understatement but further explanation is really unnecessary) my future husband and I decided on a pre cana class and also a few sessions with a married couple.
I’ve often wondered what it was like to be married for over fifty years. I don’t think I could have asked for a better couple to advise us on our journey into marriage. They were very sweet, easy to talk to, and were just overall very pleasant to be around. Naturally they were an older couple but seemed younger because of perhaps the vibrant lifestyle they lead. They helped us with all types of subjects such as moving away for a career and even financial advice. What I observed from them that although they said they made mistakes they also always found a way to work through problems. Marriage isn’t easy and a good marriage takes a tremendous amount of work for both individuals involved.
Compromise is also a huge factor in a successful marriage. The couple needs to be supportive of one another and not to mention to be each others own best friend. It could be seen in the couple that counseled us that they had a very successful marriage. Fifty plus years together just doesn’t happen on accident. They even told us to this day that they still have a great time with each other. That is one of the beauties of being married, still being able to enjoy each other after a lifetime of being together. I can only hope that my marriage is as strong and successful as the sweet older couple that guided us. Paying heed to the advice from people who made it work is a good start but also doing what is best in my for me and my future husband in our marriage is what will make our marriage last.
A few weeks ago someone very dear to me ran into a problem. Unfortunately this problem happened to be a person and even more unfortunate, this person happened to be his boss. It always seemed like his boss had an issue with him. She often talked with him about the things he had done wrong more so than the things that he was doing exceptionally well. Perception is a mysterious thing. What one person may perceive may be drastically different from another person’s perception. My friend perceived that his boss had something personal against him. And from an outsider’s view he may have been right. After much struggle and even corrective action taken against him my friend he eventually quit in a very abrupt fashion.
What can we do when we feel that certain individuals become the obstacles in our way? This can be especially frustrating when those individuals are in positions of authority such as a boss. I know that is extremely important to pick your battles carefully and battling against someone to where you feel as if there is no hope can be difficult. As for my friend leaving his job came at a very inopportune time (and sometimes there is not a good time to quit a job). But the worry of working for someone who is consciously working to get rid of you pales in comparison to finding a new and perhaps better job. I have often heard individuals say that that getting fired or leaving a job may be the best thing to happen to them and often times they find a job that is a much better fit. You must always try to find the silver lining in every negative situation in hopes of moving on to a better situation.
So when someone is presenting themselves as an obstacle in your way my best suggestion is to move around them. The support from friends, family, and other loved ones may also be useful in these types of situation or maybe just listening ear may give some relief. I told my friend that I was extremely proud of him for leaving and admired his courage for quitting to venture on to something better. Our hopes and dreams don’t always come conveniently wrapped for us in nice little packages. And they don’t always come at the easiest of times or when we expect them. Life gives us many obstacles and people who do not want us to achieve. There is also success beyond these obstacles when we dare to achieve it.
For helpful information:
It was a rather warm day but not too hot. And on this day my classmates and I had collaborated with a church group to set-up games and activities for children in a certain apartment complex. I was a little skeptical at first because I did not know how these children would react or if they would even be welcoming to us. Some but not all of these children were from disadvantaged backgrounds so it was very important to have a type of community involvement in their lives. As we set up our particular stations one by one the children came trickling around us. There were a few that were shy and we observed puzzled looks on their faces. We tried our best to engage them in activity and soon enough more children came to take part in various games.
There were really no strict rules to abide by for the games. Once a child got tired or interested in something else he or she was free to leave and go on the next activity if they desired. It was exciting to see free-spirited children without a care in the world playing, laughing, and even some dancing (with the preacher’s wife I might add). I was proud to make even a speck of difference in their lives because I know how important healthy social interaction was to those kids. I remember one little girl in particular. She was very quiet as we tossed a basketball back and forth never really smiling. It wasn’t until later in the evening she had warmed up to others and even engaged in conversation with me. Not many words were exchanged but you could still notice the joy and happiness on her face. I truly believe that the higher power we serve puts us in positions to be of service to others and particularly to children. Whether it is tossing a basketball, kicking a soccer ball, or even racing the little things we do to help a child speaks volumes for our character. At least this is what I have always believed. I hope that God always keeps us laughing and playing throughout our lives. And the children whose lives we positively impact keep smiling too.
I have been so busy with my hectic schedule that I really meant to dedicate a post to this topic earlier. I just really want to say thank you to all that have read and or commented to this blog. Thank you all for the kind words and even the little helpful criticisms along the way. I am truly humbled that individuals take the time to actually read and my hope is that you will find a little bits in my writing that will help you in your own lives. I often thought about how I would help change the world even if it were just a little. What I discovered was that expressing myself through writing may help even if only slightly. I feel that sharing spiritual and Christian beliefs can really help go a long way and anyone from any spectrum in belief can find some truly find some peace in their world.
Giving thanks was something that was taught to me very early. Whether it was saying thank you for a kind act from a complete stranger or more importantly giving thanks to God. Often times we may forget to give our gratitude to others and it is easy to do when we ourselves feel to prideful to receive a gift or just simply do not know how to say thank you. I believe it is one of the simplest acts that we can do that also makes a huge impact on others. There have been numerous times where a small thank you was all that was needed to make someone feel better and put a bright smile on their face. Gratitude is very special from friends, family, co-workers, bosses, and even others who we wouldn’t imagine receiving gratitude from but it may be a nice surprise nonetheless.
So remember to say thank you and say it often! And with that I would like to say thank you again. I want to give my utmost gratitude to my readers, catholicdaily.com, and to the people in my life that give me never-ending encouragement to keep writing. I hope that the feelings, thoughts, and words I express can make an impact on your life. And with that impact to make the lives better around you. Thank you.
I remember growing up the kind of person my dad was. He was hard-working, educated, and loved almost all sports. At times he was stubborn and very hard to get along with although I think he actually meant well. He was actually a stay-at-home dad and did the cooking, some cleaning, and also took care of my sister and I. There are some qualities that I see in my dad that I saw see in myself and also some flaws. But flaws are fine because they just apart of us. There is plenty of good advice that our fathers gave us. The best bit of advice my dad gave to me was not to let your current situation interfere with your dreams. And he was absolutely right. There is no way why the setbacks and failures in life should always interfere on what we really strive to do. I always keep this little bit of advice in my heart whenever I feel a little down and feel as though the world is against me.
Another part of father’s day that we don’t often think about is honoring our heavenly Father. Of course we as people of faith think about him more often rather than just a special Sunday in June. I remember being in mass one Sunday that just happened to be father’s day. We honored the men who were fathers and they were blessed with a special prayer. The deacon also honored the priest and stated that he was our spiritual father and how he should also be honored in our hearts. It is also important to not only remember our spiritual fathers such as priests but also to the men who have been father figures to us. I know that it takes more than one family to be apart of a child’s life and the men who we see as father figures are also equally as important. So this father’s day remember the men who looked after us, encouraged us, told us to be strong, and even dared us to follow our dreams. Let us also remember our heavenly Father who follows us in everything that we do and whose love is never ending.