Friday, December 19, 2014

Feeling Blessed

[The following was written last Sunday morning]



After playing I Spy in the living room for 10 minutes looking beneath window curtains and lacrosse sticks, I found my book bag that has my computer in it. I sit here on my couch wedged between a box that has our Nativity scene and an assorted random box that includes a plunger and wrapping paper.  And my thought?  I feel blessed.

Yesterday, Mimi and I moved with the help of many good friends.  This wouldn’t have been possible for not Mike taking apart our kitchen table because it didn’t fit through the door or Beth packing up the cabinets or Doug doing some heavy lifting or my students Sean, Matt, and Derek being the work force coming from UMD or Josh M. helping me finish the job or Josh B. helping move furniture around.  I feel blessed.

I feel blessed coming back from Thanksgiving hosted by an awesome mother-in-law who not only ran dinner but a couple baby showers for Mimi.  I feel blessed for an awesome sister who ran a baby shower supported by my great brother.  I feel blessed to have such supportive parents, and to have fallen lucky to find good relationships with Mimi’s parents.  I feel blessed with the inundation of gifts and support of baby Teresa coming in January from amazing family and friends.  
I look around at this new apartment and there are little things about the place that make us feel rich.  “There’s so much space!” “Look---all of our kitchen stuff fit in the cabinets!” “Hardwood floors for baby crawling!” “Covered radiators for less baby touching!” “A bath tub for baby bathing!”  We do feel rich.

But more evidently, I feel rich because of the priceless family and friends we have surrounded ourselves with.  Yesterday, my buddy and I briefly talked about Roth IRAs, but it has become more and more clear that what’s more important than how we invest money is how we invest in the people in our lives.  Do we take the time to sit down and be present to people giving them undivided attention?  Do we tell our loved ones how much they mean to us?  Are we charitable with our gifts and actions and does it come from a place of genuine care?  


I definitely need to work on these things, but I will say these are some of my favorite actions to do.  What if we saw every one, every conversation as an opportunity to find out something new or to share a common interest or love with someone?  I don’t think I give as much as we’ve been receiving these past several weeks, but I do believe if we invest in people, the gift does come back.  This Christmas, let our presence be greater than our presents.  And its this why I feel most blessed of all.

Amén.



Monday, December 1, 2014

Gem from Joseph's Way by Devin Schadt

Living in a relativism society, we are afraid to say anything offensive.  I read this today, and appreciated that this man isn't afraid to speak.

Gem from Joseph's Way by Devin Schadt:

"As in the technological realm, so too in the realm of morality, modern man, impressed with his own ability to solve problems, often seeks progress without consulting God or obeying the order of creation.  This type of problem solving without the Creator creates a multitude of problems.
For example, a modern man's desire to be inclusive of all religions often renders him incapable of taking seriously any religion at all.  So too, the promotion of female rights has frequently led not only to the diminishment of the rights of men, but also to a reduction of woman herself, pressuring her to assume a pseudo-masculine character rather than experiencing the glory and dignity of her feminine genius."


Friday, November 21, 2014

Why to wait until marriage...

Read this this morning and it's a gem.  I feel compelled to share it, and can no longer be afraid to tell the truth.  Words on why to wait until marriage to have sex...

Essential to preparing for marriage is your vocation to chastity.  I know that young people reject hypocrisy.  You want to be honest with yourselves and others.  A chaste person is honest.  When God created us he gave us more than one way to "speak" to each other.  Besides expressing ourselves through speech, we express ourselves through our bodies.  Gestures are like "words" that tell who we are.  Sexual actions are "words" that reveal our hearts.  The Lord wants us to use our sexuality according to his plan.  He expects us to "speak" truthfully.  Honest sexual "language" requires a commitment to lifelong fidelity.  To give your body to another person symbolizes the total gift of yourself to that person.  But if you are not married, you are admitting that you might change your mind in the future.  Total self-giving would then be absent.  Without the bond of marriage, sexual relations are a lie. . . . Do not be deceived by the empty words of those who ridicule chastity or your capacity of self-control. 
-St. John Paul the Great 




Monday, November 17, 2014

26 Things I'd Like To Remember When Turning 27

My birthday has showed up out of nowhere.  So for the past couple of days, I've tried to reflect on my life on where we've come, and where we want to go.  As a result, the following, in no particular order, have been things I've learned this year that I'd like to keep in mind for this following one.

1.  The thought of being a father excites, intimidates, motivates, and terrifies me all in equal measures.

2. Be present to people one person at a time.

3. I'm called to share the message even if I can't always get my self together.
#4. The tortoise always wins.

4. The tortoise always wins the race.

5.I need to always fight for my bride, even during peace time. 

6. Be love driven.

7. "We're called to be faithful, not successful"
-Mother Teresa

8. Be faithful, and success will come.

9. I'm not perfect, nor can I be.

10. I always have to choose God over my wife.

11. Tithing is awesome.

12. Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University has given me so much power about where our finances are and where it's going.

13. Facebook and YouTube had taken up way too much of my time. Maybe it's time to do away with it. Often I wish I could completely.

14. I love to read, as slow as I am at it. I've read some awesome books this year and hope to read more.

15. At least starting a daily rosary every day has changed my life.
#15. Game changer

16. Striving to get to daily Mass has changed my life

17. Getting to frequent weekly adoration had changed my life 

18. I need to lean on others more.

19. Working with men and their unborn babies has changed my life. 

20. Planning a week ahead of time makes a world of difference.

21. Keeping full communication transparency in a marriage has been an amazing gift.

22. I love how beautiful my wife is, especially when she's pregnant. 

23. I'm so lucky to work with two amazing staffs.

24. I suck at life when I isolate myself. Avoid it.

25. Saying that I'm going to do something, then doing it is one of the best feelings of the world.

26. My spiritual life is like a stock market line graph, it's frequently up and down, but over time it's gone up. I have to find peace in that.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Video on Porn every Parent Needs to Watch

If you have kids, this video on how to understand and protect the harms porn has on children is a must watch.  Highly recommend.  This next 30 minutes will explain the science, theology, and the practicality of porn harm on children.

http://www.covenanteyes.com/prepare-family-world-without-filters/




Friday, October 17, 2014