Fight the New Drug

Fight the New Drug Video: My porn recovery story

***To see my featured talk "How Love Defeats Porn" given at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. click here. ***

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I think with the combination of pictures, what I write about in my blog and e-mails, it can seem to a lot of people that everything thing about being here is amazing and going great.  While that may be mostly true, there are thorns to the rose (thanks Jordan.)  Every day there are "fml" moments with language in Babel-city, San Jose and Moravia isn't all that pretty, it rains more than the sun is out, and we can get on each others' nerves in the house (especially when Jelly is talking, wait what?). But the same reason we don't take pictures of potholes in the sidewalks, I'm not going to write about the momentitos malos.  If there's one lesson I've learned in life is that we should hold on to the good, not the bad.  And there was a lot of good this week.  Thence, here is my list:

Tom with a knife.  Hide.
 1. House life has been pura vida.  I love three things about our routine at night.  1. Someone cooks (with sous chefs who help with anything), and we eat.  The food we've been eating has been great. Casserole, chicken salad, bake potatoes, Jordan's meat dish.  Last night I made my mom's fried chicken for the first time in my life and it turned out pretty darn good.  What's cool is that even though we cook American dishes, we have to use Costa Rican ingredients.  Like instead of bacon on our baked potato, we had Tico chorizos (sausages).  I always think that the formula for happiness is a.) quality of food plus b.) quality of your company.  Life is filled with both.  2. I love that after dinner, everyone helps out to clean up.  Someone's washing dishes, another drying, another sweeping, another taking out the trash, another wiping the table/counters.  None of it is assigned but the dishwasher each night.  It's the most efficient house I've ever been apart of, and I love how our kitchen is clean every night.  I keep telling them and myself that I want to raise a family like the one we have here.  And last, 3. Every night we pray.  I mean, it's part of our expectation from FrancisCorps to pray every day, and it's been a blessing.  Every one has a different night and they're all so different.  Eat. Pray. Love.  Take that Julia Roberts.

Mi familia at our dinner table
2.For prayer one night, we prayed a full rosary in Spanish.  My mom would be proud, I put the statue of Santo Niño that she mailed me on the table.  It was cool to memorize a little bit of the Our Father, Hail Mary (especially the last part of it) and Glory Be in Español.  Not to mention prayer is like my sixth love language, praying with these guys makes me "te quiero" them even more.

3. Jordan, Tom, and I went over to the colegio to play some pickup basketball with the Costa Rican male teachers/dads.  Jordan and Tom can both ball, and I literally played the game of my life.  In the first two games I shot 4 for 6, including the game-winning three for the second game.  I remember thinking before that shot, "OK, it's 9-8, we only need one more point, don't take the last shot, Matt unless you know it's going in. Especially a three, it's unnecessary."  That possession I was camped on the three-point line and it came to me, and I think, "OK, this is going in."  And bam, game winner.  I thought about that play for probably the next 24 hours.  The Ticos wanted to play more and proceeded to crush us in the next 4 games.

La Capilla at the friary.
4. Every day this week I've gotten to pray in la capilla (chapel) at the friary before school.  It's a nice, pretty little private chapel with stain glass windows of saints on the left wall.  I always sit on the right side of the room so I can see the sun shining through them.  Those first 10-15 minutes in silence in there balances the whole rest of my day, no joke.  I honest to God will attribute all the goodness that has come in my days to that chapel time I get to have.

5. So I've been keeping an on going list of "Blessings" this week, and Thursday night I told myself, "I want to list 5, I have four, something will happen tomorrow."  What happen was probably one of the more beautiful moments that has happen so far in Costa Rica for me.  So after my field trip to the zoo with the freshmen Friday (another story), I came back to the Jenny's office.  There was about half an hour left in the day, and I had time to kill.  I happen to bring in my guitar that day for after school youth group, and I asked Jenny if I could play some.  Por supuesto.  I took it out and started playing.  And then she told me that SHE could play.  What?  So she started playing and singing this song and it was sooo good.  Who knew of all people in Costa Rica, I was going to have this connection with my boss?  But it gets better.  She gave it back to me and told her to play and sing a song for her.  Well after her performance, I couldn't turn her down, that'd be rude.  So I take out my praise and worship binder, and told her I play songs for my iglesia at home.  For some reason, I turned to "This is the air I breathe" and played and sang it as she looked on at the words.  She loved it.  She told me, "Otra vez!", so I played it again, and this time she sang.  And there we were, in Jenny's small office at the end of a Friday afternoon school day in the high school in Costa Rica, singing and playing praise and worship together song after song after song.  You know it's funny, being really passionate about praise and worship music, I've been kind of starved since I got here, kind of looking for an outlet somewhere.  It was the first time I took out a song to sing, and it happen to be with Jenny in her office.  God, you are funny. Good funny.

Every day I try to figure out why I'm here and what's the best way I can offer myself to the people here.  Until and while I figure that out, I have these moments to be thankful for.  Moments that I will take away for the better.  Moments that will change my life forever.

Gracias a Dios.


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