We are More.

So I’m no longer the only person I know who hasn’t read John Green’s best seller The Fault in Our Stars.

The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of two cancer-ridden teenagers, Augustus and Hazel, and their relationship. Something that really stood out to me in the story was the difficulty that some characters had separating themselves from their illness, their flaw. This idea is first brought up in the second chapter when Augustus asks Hazel to tell her “story”

     “So what’s your story?” he asked, sitting down next to me at a safe distance.
     “I already told you my story. I was diagnosed when—”
     “No, not your cancer story. Your story. Interests, hobbies, passions, weird fetishes, etcetera.”
     “Um,” I said.
     “Don’t tell me you’re one of those people who becomes their disease. I know so many people like that. It’s disheartening. Like, cancer is in the growth business, right? The taking-people-over business. But surely you haven’t let it succeed prematurely.”

Whenever someone asks me about myself, I tend to blank, like they’re asking me about a complete stranger. Sure, things come to mind, like my depression, the fact I’m overweight, but I don’t really want to tell a friend, “Hi I’m Katie and I’m a fat and depressed girl. Wanna see a movie on Tuesday?”

We always seem to see the worst in ourselves, our insecurities and flaws become our most prominent features. John Green, through Augustus, makes it clear in The Fault in our Stars that we are so much more than whatever we are at our worst.

What is your story? It’s not your biggest mistake, or your inabilities. It’s not your illness, your loneliness, or low body image. As Christians, our story is the story of Christ’s death and resurrection, the death that He endured so that we may have life, and tell our story.

One of my alltime favorite songs is You Are More by Tenth Avenue North. The chorus says:

“You are more than the choices you have made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade.”

God sees us as beautiful, beautiful creatures that He made in His image. He sees past our failures and sees into our souls, seeing the potential for the ultimate greatness: sainthood.

How hard is it for us to see ourselves, or our peers, as God sees them?

At times, it can seem impossible. I know it feels like people don’t see us the way that God does, but if we want others to look at us and see Christ, see our real story, we must adopt the ability to see ourselves the way that God sees us: destined for the most beautiful greatness of all.

 

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46 Things to do for Lent!

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“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

‘Twas the night before Lent… and we don’t know what to do!

If that is you, I hope you find this post helpful!

For Advent, I came up with 40 different things we could do to prepare for the birth of Christ, and decided to do something similar for the upcoming Lenten season.

If you’re anything like me, you have a really tough time coming up with what to do for Lent. I’ve been doing research for the past week or so, and decided to put my favorite ideas into one blog post (while giving credit to the original authors, of course!) as a resource for myself and for others.

  1. 40 Bags in 40 Days
  2. Choose 40 specific people (or 46, if you want to include Sundays) to pray for, one for each day of Lent.
  3. Read about the saints whose feast days fall in Lent. Pray to them and ask for their intercession. 
  4. Image  (from here)
  5. Do the CRAK Instagram challenge!
  6. Don’t eat the last bite of your food (From Lifeteen)
  7. Watch The Mission (from Here)
  8. Fast from Facebook
  9. Pray for those who will enter the Church at the Easter Vigil.
  10. Do the Lenten Photo a Day Journey
  11. Give up all drinks except water
  12. Park at the very back of the parking lot (From Lifeteen)
  13. Watch The Way (From Here)
  14. Do a liquid fast 1x a week (From Domestic Fashionista)
  15. Make your bed every day (From Catholic All Year) – – my bed is lofted, so this is actually a big challenge I will be taking up for Lent!
  16. Do an audio retreat
  17. Do the Lenten Boot Camp (or parts of it!)
  18. Give up apps on your smartphone (From Lifeteen)
  19. Watch Bella (From Here)
  20. Fast from listening to music in the car (From Domestic Fashionista)
  21. Go to mass one more time than you usually do (or even more!)
  22. Read Pope Francis’ The Light of Faith
  23. Don’t eat out (From Catholic All Year)
  24. Read Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium
  25. Give up your bed and sleep on the floor or the couch (From Lifeteen)
  26. Give up texting and call whomever you need to talk to (From Lifeteen)
  27. Watch The Song of Bernadette (From Here)
  28. Give up TV and movies (or one of the others)
  29. Do a daily Examination of Conscience. (I use Mea Culpa, an app from Apple)
  30. Pray the Divine Office Daily (There are some great apps out there you can use on a smart phone or tablet… I love Laudate! It’s also F R E E!)
  31. Fast on more than just the required days
  32. Give away 10 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and a pair of shoes (From Lifeteen)
  33. Read Pope Francis’ Message for Lent 2014
  34. Pray Lectio Divina
  35. Make a list of forty people who have impacted your life, and write each one a letter (From Lifeteen)
  36. When you wake up, jump out of bed, kiss the floor, and learn humility (From Lifeteen)
  37. Wake up at a specific time every morning (From Catholic All Year)
  38. Do Bob Rice’s Forty Day Spiritual Workout. I use the iPhone app, but you can also sign up to receive daily devotions sent to your email right here!
  39. Give up using the facebook and twitter apps on your phone or iPad and only check when you are at a computer.
  40. Wear the same 4 outfits for all of lent (From Lifeteen)
  41. Fast from wearing any stretchy pants (From Catholic All Year)
  42. Everyday do 20 (or 100) pushups and offer it up for someone who’s sick (From Lifeteen)
  43. Clean your house (or dorm, or bedroom, or bathroom!) every week (From Catholic All Year)
  44. Leave a post-it with a positive message on it wherever you go (From Lifeteen) (Also… check out Operation Beautiful!)
  45. Drink tea instead of coffee (From Catholic All Year)
  46. Cut out all screen-time (phone, TV, computer) after dinner (From Lifeteen)

I hope that this is of some use to you! What are you giving up? Let me know in the comments! I’m genuinely curious and want to do a little project with the data I get 🙂

Daily Smash Book: 9.20.13

Listening – Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons

Eating – cherry coke, fries and a chicken wrap.

Wearing – skinny jeans and a striped purple henley

Feeling – content.

Weather – 76 degrees and sunny

Wanting – it to be 8pm

Thinking – meh

Enjoying – Dinner

Mass? – no

Gym – no

Favorite part of today so far – I’m excited for tonight.

Daily Smash Book – 9.8.13

Listening – to Poor Unfortunate Souls from The Little Mermaid

Eating – nothing

Wearing – jean shorts and my ‘Treat Yo Self’ shirt

Feeling – determined

Weather – 81 degrees and mostly cloudy

Wanting – to watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Tangled

Thinking – that I need to finish my Philosophy essay.

Enjoying – that my music is spot on

Mass? – no

Gym – no

Favorite part of today so far – Eating brunch with Bridget and co.