It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It is that time of year again.. Lent. As a Catholic, I have spent my Wednesday waiting for my one (meatless) meal of the day, proudly walking around with my ashes on my forehead, and attempting to get into the swing of my various Lenten sacrifices. I would love to fully explain Lent and Ash Wednesday and all this awesome Catholic mumbo jumbo in future posts, but this post is going to simply be focused on what I am “giving up” for Lent.

“Giving up” might be the normal thing to see when describing Lenten practices, but in reality, Lent isn’t only about giving stuff up, but also doing more stuff in the process. Why do we even do these things in Lent? Well, Lent is basically a season of conversion and recognizing the ways we have turned away from God. Lent is about fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. In a way, even the silliest things we give up are a form of fasting. No matter what it is you give up, or do in additional to your regular routine, you are turning away from things that are distracting and refocusing yourself on God. It can be confusing to think about at first, but let’s just say Lent is a great, meaningful season leading up to Easter.

This year, I decided to give up 1.) my pillows and 2.) Eating after 7 in the evening. Why, you may ask? First of all, I like to have one Lenten sacrifice that is kind out of the box and fun, yet meaningful. That is where the pillow idea came from. Sleeping without my pillows is definitely going to be a sacrifice. Maybe the first five minutes in bed tonight, it will even be kind of fun. But I can tell you, in a week or two, it won’t be so fun anymore. It will probably be miserable, but in a good way. Not only does is readjust my thinking away from comfort, it puts my mind in a better place to think of the sacrifices of Jesus. Okay, sleeping without a pillow and death by a cross are two totally different things. But even the silliest reminders can make a huge impact. Also, I notice that sometimes I let sleeping an extra hour take precedence over having an hour of quiet time instead. If I can’t sleep, might as well crack open the bible, right? :) As far as my second sacrifice, eating after a specific time, this goes along with the sacrifice idea as well, but also health. A bowl of cereal before bed can be the best tasting food in the world sometimes. However, is it necessary? The short answer is no. I only do it because I’m bored or I’m tired of doing homework or something along those lines. It is simply for pleasure, and honestly, finding pleasure in food isn’t too Godly. Healthwise, I want to treat the body God has given me as good as possible. Feeding it sugary cereal before it goes to lie down for 8 hours and do nothing? Again, not the best idea. Giving up this late night snacking will not only be a reminder of the Lenten season, but also give my body some better treatment.

Now, moving on to the things I am adding this Lenten season. First, I am going to do the sign of the cross before and after I pray every single time. The sign of the cross has multiple purposes, but one is identifying oneself as a Catholic. I realize if I am in public or I am not around other Catholics, I won’t do the sign of the cross, and honestly, that worries me. I love my faith. I am proud of my faith. I don’t want to hide my faith. I want to do the sign of cross with honor and proudly identify myself as a Catholic. No more worrying what other people think. Second, I am going to pray before meals. In case you didn’t get the idea before, I like food. I mean, who doesn’t!? I tend to get a wee bit too excited to eat and forget to pray. However, I really do want to thank God for the gifts and sustenance he has placed in front of me. I am beyond lucky and grateful to have food to eat at every meal, as others aren’t that lucky. Long story short, I am going to try my darndest to pray before every meal. Third, I am going to put my social media to good use and tweet one thing everyday in regards to my faith. This kind of goes along with the idea of being proud of my faith, but also, I think it could make a great impact. Recently, I have been seeing more and more brokenness and negativity in the people who follow me on Twitter. Most of my followers I have never met, we simply share a common interest. I know you shouldn’t judge someone by what they tweet, but I can tell some of these people need something. Who knows what one tweet a day for 40 days could do? God works in incredible ways, and maybe my tweets can be one way!

Phew! This sums up what these next 40 days have in store for me. I get so excited about Lent. Although a dramatic and intense season, it ends with joy and happiness and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what this season has in store for me and those around me! No matter if you are Catholic or not, I pray this Lenten season can be a great one for you as well and one of growth and renewal, even if you don’t do anything special for Lent! God Bless!

Jessica <3

What is your Most Valuable Possession?

I am doing a “Bible in A Year” reading plan, and the theme of the other day’s readings was “Our Most Valuable Possession.” Before reading, a few thoughts crossed my mind. If I had to pick one thing as my most valuable possession, what would I choose? Would it be my beloved hockey jersey I got for Christmas or my signed picture of one of my favorite players? Or maybe it would it be a drawing my niece gave to me or my grandmother’s Rosary? I could name a whole list of these concrete things in my life that I treasured and loved. But once I opened that Bible, the truth poured out.

You see, our world revolves around “things.” I don’t think anyone can deny it. Money, cars, houses, clothes, and other possessions seem to be how we define our happiness, accomplishments, and fulfillment. It is so hard to focus on things we cannot physically touch, hold in our hands, or post pictures of on social media. Therefore, we too often define ourselves by the things we can. These are our “prized possessions,” the things we are proud of. We feel as though they make us who we are, they influence the way others see us, and without them, we would be heartbroken, and maybe even lost.

Of course, anyone who has opened the Bible knows exactly what it says in regards to material possessions. The verses that discuss material possessions are everywhere. You can’t serve both God and money, your material possessions will not follow you into heaven, money is the root of all evil, and so on and so forth. Bottom line: our material possessions are earthly. They don’t make us better people. They cause greed and jealousy. Yes, it is nice to have them. Yes, you are allowed to go out and buy a new car or a new house or a beautiful hockey jersey :). However, if those things are your most valuable possessions, there miiiiight be an issue.

It is hard to think of possessions as something we cannot touch or hold or see. I think that is why we so easily put all our attention and focus on the material things in our life. We can see them everyday, hold them, touch them, show them to others. But what about the possession’s we cannot see? The possessions we have been abundantly blessed with by God? We possess His love, His grace, His open ears to hear our prayers, and so on. We get to know Him. We get to know His son. We experience His presence. We experience all his blessings. Who am I to look at my possessions and place a piece of clothing or a house or money above God? As I think of this, I have to look at my life. Am I treating God’s blessings as my most valuable possessions or am I treating my things are more valuable? Which am I giving my attention to? Which am I “showing off” to others, my material things or my spiritual blessings? Showing one of my friends the new computer I got isn’t beneficial. But showing one of my friends the pure joy I have found in the presence of God could be life-changing to that person.

Where we place our attention and our value reflects our heart. When we can stop and recognize God and his blessings as our most valuable possessions, we can grow even closer to God and find a whole new love, admiration, and appreciation for the incredible blessings we have been given.

<3 Jessica

Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright!

I don’t know about you, but I am definitely one who is constantly asking God to send me a sign, some kind of indication whether I am doing something right, something to push me in the right direction, or a gentle reminder of some sort. I don’t always get the immediate moment of realization like I would hope, but with patience, I usually get my answer. However, today was different. I didn’t ask for a sign or anything today, but I saw something in church that absolutely blew me away. Yes, in church. What other place for God to reveal something to me, right!? I was sitting in the far back in a room where the families sit, and although I was spacing out during the homily, I looked up and saw this sign staring back at me:


I think in this world, we get so caught up in the idea that with God as our Father, everything is going to be alright. But when things start changing, we question Him and what He is doing. Everything will be alright doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to have to go through some struggles. Everything will be alright doesn’t mean that some people aren’t going to stick around in your life. Everything will be alright doesn’t mean everything is going to be alright immediately. Life is an ongoing process. God works everyday so everything will be alright for us, but we must open our hands and give our lives to Him, trusting that He knows what He is doing, and in His time.

This idea really relates back to my last post. Everything will be alright doesn’t mean I get to stay in my comfort zone while God straightens out everything in my life. Just because God has got it under control doesn’t mean I just get to mosey around while He does everything. Spoiler alert: sometimes God calls us to action to fulfill His plan. Shocking, I know. He can’t do everything without us listening to His command. I have come to the realization that if I want everything in my life to be alright, I have to cooperate with God’s will for me. I might have to step outside my comfort zone, as scary as that is, but in the end, it will all be worth it.

Rather than seeing change in our lives as scary and overwhelming, we should start realizing that the pieces are coming together. This crazy puzzle of life requires some moving around of pieces, trying this, trying that, turning this piece upside down. How can we expect a beautiful picture to come together without some change in the placement of the pieces? God is the pretty much the best puzzle solver in the world. He can take the messiest of lives (yours and mine) and turn them into something beautiful. You know how little kids try to do puzzles and literally put every ounce of their strength forcing two pieces together that just do not fit? That’s what we do when we try to control our own lives. However, once we stop trying to force them together, God comes along, rearranges things, and reveals to us what we could not see before. God has all the pieces of our lives in His mighty hands. Let us let Him do His work, knowing in the end, the most incredible finished product will be formed, but not without some shifting and change.

On this beautiful fall day, I can’t help but to just look outside and admire the beauty God has placed all around us. The trees are changing colors, losing their leaves, and getting prepared for the winter season quickly approaching. Everything will be alright with these trees. Summer will come again, their leaves will return, and new life be breathed into them. But in the meantime, things cannot stay the same, their leaves cannot stay green forever. There must be change. We are in the same situation. We can always look forward with assurance that everything will be alright, praise God, but not without the change we must be willing to accept. When we can be thankful and excited for that change, knowing its outcome, just imagine the joy we can feel.

God Bless!

Jessica <3

Comfort Zone

You know when you are so busy that you just go and go and go and when you finally sit down, your exhaustion hits you like a wall of bricks? Yes? That feeling is descriptive of this semester of school so far. Sure, between the schoolwork seven days a week, bible study twice a week, trying to squeeze in time to actually sit back and relax, trying to plan next semester’s classes already, and wanting to spend time with family and friends, I have a bit going on. But these things aren’t the main sources of exhaustion.

I think my main source of exhaustion is coming from myself and solely myself. If the title of this blog told you anything, you could probably guess I am going to talk about comfort zones. No brainer, right!? That is exactly where my exhaustion is coming from: trying to cement my feet in my comfort zone and not move an inch. In fact, I have been trying to stay inside my “circle of comfort” for as long as I can remember. Lately, however, I have been feeling a tug on my arm. At first, the tug was gentle and soft, but the more I resist and try to ignore the tug, the stronger and stronger it has become. I am spending increasingly more energy fighting back from the pull, using all my will and strength to be still as a rock and not move. I know, eventually, I will be fighting back so hard, the pull will stop and I will go falling backward onto the cold, hard ground with a loud and heavy thud. I should just give in, right!?

Okay, maybe that was a complicated analogy. Long story short, I am stuck in my comfort zone. God is trying to take my hand and gently lead me where I need to go, but little old Jessica who likes her comfort zone is fighting back. As God starts to pull harder and harder at my heart and hand, I spend more and more energy trying to stay where I am. That is where my exhaustion is coming from, my continuous fight against God. Thinking of it in this way really puts it into perspective for me. I don’t know where He wants to lead me, and what lies ahead, so I try to resist the pull. But, there is a reason He is pulling me that way. He is leading me somewhere bigger and better. Somewhere I can better do His will. He doesn’t want me left behind on the cold, hard ground as much as I don’t like the idea of falling down on the cold, hard ground. But, yet, I resist His pull.

I think it is human nature to have some fear and doubt when it comes to new situations. Sure, we like adventure and fun every once in a while, but going into those things completely blind isn’t as exciting and invigorating. Obviously, as I have just revealed, this is something I struggle with. The thing is, the Bible is literally filled to the brim with verses encouraging us to trust God and to trust that where He is leading us, there is only great things ahead.

“I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear or be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

“It s the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8

These are two of my favorites among all the verses on comfort zones the Bible has to offer. Imagine this: You are a little kid at a huge carnival with hundreds of people and things going on all around you. If you try to explore by yourself, you will get distracted by the cotton candy over that way, the games this way, the inflatables the other way. You will turn the other direction when a scary clown comes into view. The large moving crowd will push you and send you in all different directions. You will get lost so easily.

Of course, another analogy, but hear me out. Us, the small children, can be so distracted by our own wants and desires. We can be scared away by issues popping up in our lives. We can get lost in this crazy hectic life. That’s where God comes in. As the loving Father He is, He takes our hand in His and tries to lead us where we need to go. Away from our selfish distractions, away from danger, away from the craziness, and toward the place we need to be. Sometimes this won’t be easy on us. It will test us and challenge us and force us outside of our comfort zone. But, in the end, we will be better for it. We will never be lost when we hold on to our incredible Father’s hand and follow Him wherever He leads.

Sometimes, especially now, I need that encouragement to stop wasting energy telling God “no” and start saying yes. It is scary, it is new, is is something I am not used to, but it is God’s will, and He will never fail us or forsake us. I may not be sure what I am saying “yes” to at the moment, but only time will tell. God’s mighty hand is holding mine, the path is unclear, but I can trust that God knows what He is doing and knows where He is leading me.

God’s got dis.




I find it so interesting that every time I face a difficulty in my day or week, my first instinct is to blog. It’s not like blogging makes me escape the issue, but rather, it brings me hope and kind of snaps me back into reality. However, this time, I am actually writing about the little “bump” in my day. Mixin’ it up. :) You see, I am the type of person who gets lost in their own mind. Maybe it is my love for psychology, maybe it is just my personality, but I could literally sit in silence and just let my mind run wild. Tonight, I was thinking about how in about a month, I will be headed back to school. My summer is almost over. I cannot believe it! As I was thinking about this, I realized that my summer has been, how do I put this, boring. I didn’t get a summer job to bring home some extra bacon, I didn’t go on any crazy trips or vacations, I didn’t really do anything extraordinary. Everyone dreams of having the best summer of their lives and having all these incredible memories, but honestly, this summer is kind of low on my list of “best summers.” It’s not fair, right? I am not the only one dealing with this, right!? Watching other people have the summers of their lives while I sit at home watching Food Network trying to beat 2048? It’s not a news flash, but we don’t always get what we want in life. Sometimes we get thrown some curve balls. Life. is. not. fair.

If that isn’t a Debbie downer, I don’t know what is. What do I do when I am feeling down (besides praying about it, of course)? I get on Pinterest. Yep, you guessed it, the quotes section. There is usually always one quote that gets stuck in my head for the rest of my day. Tonight’s quote: The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for. Wow, eye opening, especially after my complaining about a boring summer. I am lucky for my health this summer, even if I didn’t go on an incredible vacation. I am blessed with parents who support me, despite the fact that I didn’t get a job. I was able to spend a whole summer with my family, the people who mean the most to me. These are things I am taking for granted, yet other people are praying for. But, you know what? This quote led me to the same conclusion that my earlier thought did. Life. is. not. fair. The fact that some people are better off than others? Not fair. The fact that not everyone gets to be equal in what they have? Not fair.

The fact of the matter is yes, life is not fair. There will be incredible high moments we will never forget and heartbreaking low moments that will stick out in our minds just as much. We will never all be equal in this life, and yes, that is discouraging. We must look for the good in our lives and not take it for granted; always focus on the highs and be grateful for all we have. I am starting to sound like a walking motivational speaker, but you get the idea. Once you can accept that life isn’t fair, you can then accept that God is the only way to cope with this unfairness. He has our backs, and although we may struggle, we can pour our hearts out to Him and know that He will bless us incredibly in this life. His grace is enough. God can sustain us through this unfair life, and once we put our faith in that, we can look at life in a whole new way.

And you know what is the best part? This life is only temporary. This life may be unfair, but I can guarantee that an eternal life with God will make up for it. The only thing we can do in this temporary life is to live it to the fullest, following God faithfully, and falling in love with our lives along the way. Seek out positivity and God, and life becomes that much more bearable. Just because life isn’t fair, doesn’t mean we can’t do something incredible. Life is a complicated, crazy thing. But, it is beautiful at the same time. It just all depends how you face it.

God Bless!
<3 Jessica

The Impossible

I was looking for some inspiration for a new blog post, so I decided to use one of my favorite websites, Pinterest. It always amazes me how much time I can spend on Pinterest scrolling through the quotes section! Seriously, if you ever feel overwhelmed/sad/angry/whatever, go on Pinterest. Well, after you open your bible, of course!

Anywhoos! As I was scrolling through Pinterest, I found the perfect quote to blog about.

Don’t just pray about what seems logical and possible. Pray HARD about the impossible; God will show you that NOTHING, nothing, nothing, nothing, is impossible with Him. Ever. Period. End of Story.”

I remember being told this a lot when I was growing up; to pray for the impossible, because you never know. I miss the childhood innocence I had when I was first told this. I remember never understanding “the impossible.” At that age, I thought praying for the impossible was something along the lines of praying to be able to fly or praying that dinosaurs still existed. To me, these things were the closest things I could think of that were impossible. But, as I grew up, that innocence dissipated. My list of “impossible” things grew and grew and started to include things like being good at a sport or being accepted by a certain group of people, and so on. It seemed new things were always being added as I faced new challenges. Even now, my “impossible” list keeps expanding.

A few years back I saw on a website somewhere the suggestion to make something called an impossible list. It is exactly what it sounds like, a list of the things you think are impossible. After you make the list, you are to put it somewhere and look at it again one year later, two years later, and so on. I made the list, but of course I have no idea where it is. :P However, I remember a few of the things. One was as simple as being fit. We all have had our chubby stage, but when your chubby stage is in junior high, it’s rough. At that time, I felt that I would never be able to live a healthy, fit life. But now, I am running 5ks four to five times a week and have gotten rid of a lot of the bad habits I used to have. I remember my list containing so many little things like that, which today are no longer impossible. The major one that was probably number one on my list? Being worry-free. I used to be so stressed that I would literally give myself stomach ulcers. I thought it would never end. But, you know what? It did. I haven’t had stress that bad in over a year now. That thing that seemed so impossible, well, it turned out to be possible. You know how that worry eventually faded? You guessed it. Prayer. Even at the beginning of the school year, I was praying everyday for God to take away my nerves about college and classes and meeting people, and He did just that. He made the impossible possible.

That is just one example of so many. The thing with prayer is that you gotta ask for it! If you aren’t praying about it, how do expect anything to happen? Yes, God is all-knowing, but when we don’t put it in His hands, we are showing doubt in His power or saying that “thing” we aren’t praying for isn’t that important anyways. How do you know it is impossible if you have never asked? Sure, praying that God will clean your room for you may be “impossible” but hey, He just might give you the motivation to clean it yourself! Silly example, I know, but you get the point. When we pray about something that seems so unlikely and far-fetched, God can find a way. It may not be exactly the way we were thinking, but He will find a way. Never limit God.The second you limit God, He will find a way to blow your mind in a whole new way. He is God for Pete’s sake, give the Man some credit.

You want something? Pray about it. It seems impossible? Pray harder. The only way to find out if something is truly impossible is to ask God. You probably won’t be ready for His incredible answer. You wanna push it even further? Make an impossible list. Give it to a friend to give you in a year or put it in your winter clothes storage (these are the things I think of..) Everything on your list won’t be checked off in a few months time or even a few years time, but trust me, slowly but surely, that list will diminish. Once you realize that anything is possible, you can view life in a whole new, positive way.

God Bless!

<3 Jessica




I probably have written a similar blog post before, but I can never help to share what is on my mind. I remember in high school, I had a terrible toothache. I seriously think toothaches are the worst pain in the world (I told my sister this and she confirmed that she thinks toothaches are worse than childbirth, so there is that). I like to think I handle pain well, but in all reality, I compain. A lot. So, of course, all my friends were hearing about my toothache all day, and I was walking through the halls begging anyone and everyone for some ibuprofen. Anyways, I walked into this cool room we had at my school, plopped down on a couch, and groaned. Our priest was in there, and being the nice guy he is, asked me what was wrong. I blabbed on forever about this agonizing toothache as he just nodded with a concerning look. I will always remember him looking at me with such a quizzical look and asking me “Well, why don’t you offer it up?” I had never even heard of this idea before, offering up pain to God. It happened to be the week my school had all kinds of pro-life activities, so he suggested offering up my pain to God for all the unborn babies who had been victims of abortion. He told me for the rest of the day, anytime I wanted to complain, to just remember that the pain was being used in a form of prayer for those babies.

The pain didn’t get any better just because I began to use it as a prayer, but I did notice a lot more happiness in my attitude just from “offering it up.” Anytime I get a headache or toothache or anything now, I think of what he told me, and it really is a great mentality to have in those moments. However, just recently I read more about this idea in a book. It is all about a transformation of our mentality, and it can go far beyond just pain. It can be with anything.

One of my biggest pet peeves is negativity. I just can never understand how negativity helps anything. So, when I get on Facebook to see people complaining about jobs or school or anything, I get quite annoyed, I admit. I mean, I am in the position where I am looking for a job with no luck, so it bugs me to see someone else complaining about having a job! Although I get so annoyed by the negative mentality of others, my mentality of being so annoyed by them is no good either. That is why this transformation of mentality I read about stuck out to me so much, so I will try to sum it up as well as possible. :)

I think everyone has this natural tendency to have a mentality of “what’s in it for me?” When it comes to a job, it is money. When it comes to school, it is a degree. When it comes to just everyday tasks, we constantly think of the long-term, the fruits of our labor, what we will get. However, this mentality causes us to lose the value and purpose of the things we are doing. When we only focus on the fruits, we get stuck in this dead-end, dull routine. However, once we transform the things we are doing into prayer, our mentality shifts into something so much healthier.

For example, for me, it was the simply transformation of pain into prayer. In the book, it mentions offering up one hour of whatever job you do to someone or something that needs prayers, the next hour offered up as a way to thank God for family, the next for friends, and so on. I know for me, I sometimes limit my communication with God to my prayer times and other moments where I feel his presence, not every single moment and every single thing I do. God can be in every single second of our lives, whether it be using the chore of taking out the trash to pray for those who have no food containers to throw away or using a workout as a reminder of how truly healthy and fortunate you are to be able to do this exercise. This simple shift takes everyday, normal activities and transforms them into acts that cause you to grow spiritually and become closer to God.

As the author, Matthew Kelly, mentions in his book Rediscover Catholicism, “Whether your work in this life is as a street cleaner or as a senator, remember that the interior effect that the work we do has on our soul is infinitely more important than the exterior fruits of out work.” Such a simple shift from focusing outward to focusing inward may make all the difference, who knows! :) In a period of my life where I can feel that some of the things I am doing have no purpose, this is an incredible reminder of how everything and anything is purposeful and important.


God Bless!


What Kind of Christian Am I?

Good afternoon all! I am actually writing a blog post in the middle of the day for once, what a surprise! :P Today’s topic actually came to me through a Catholic book that I was reading last night, but applies to Christianity in general. I felt so convicted as I was falling asleep and I knew I had to write a post about it. It may be a short post, but hopefully it ends up being a good one!

Growing up, I have always been taught to spread the Good News, shout from the mountains the glory of God and how Jesus is my savior. However, I never really knew how to do this. How do I spread this? Do I just walk up to random people and start spewing off Bible verses? How is all of this supposed to work? As I have grown, I can honestly admit that I have become pretty passionate on my beliefs and opinions, whether they are religion or not. When it come to abortion, gun rights, feminism, and so on, I have strong feelings, and when approached, would gladly have a friendly discussion about them. Even more honestly, I can say that I do a lot of tweeting and posting on social media about my opinions as well, whether I am asked for my opinion or not. I love having my voice heard, from spreading how God has blessed me to how I feel about the most recent tragedy in the news. On the other hand, it is hard not to become that person who starts shoving their beliefs down other peoples throats. It is hard for me to see or talk to someone who thinks differently than me and not start throwing Bible verses at them or trying to convince them they are wrong.

Like I said, I love having my voice heard. I love talking to people about how I became the Christian/Catholic I am today, I love sharing my new favorite song from Tenth Avenue North or this awesome article I read online, and so on. I love trying to show people my faith in these ways, especially if they are questioning their faith. Although I don’t exactly just walk up to strangers and ask them if they are interested in talking about God as I grew up believing I needed to do, I still try to spread the message as best as I can.

But, I have to ask myself, how is that working for you? How is this working for everyone who is out spreading the Gospel in whatever way they choose to do it? The answer is: it’s not. The book I am reading, “Rediscovering Catholicism,” really opened up this tough answer to me. People are tired of hearing the same messages over and over again. Yes, sharing your testimony is great, Christian books are great, all these amazing preachers and evangelists are great, but the people we want to speak to don’t want to hear these things, they want to see them. They want to see us live out Christianity, not spew it out in our words. They need the example, they need to see it for themselves. It reminds me of a church hymn sung all the time, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.” Not by our incredible testimony, not by our memorization of bible verses, but by our love, by the way we live, by the example we set.

Am I this person? Am I this example? Reading this (and the book puts it in such better words) really got me thinking. I deeply and truly want to be this Christian leading this authentic life that others can look up to. I want to respond to the cry of help these people are sending out, a cry in search of a living example, not just words being spoken. I know I need to follow this longing and make it a reality. I get so easily caught up in whether or not I know the Bible cover to cover or if I know all the greatest Christian artists or if I have seen the latest popular sermon, but do I get caught up in how I am living, the example I am setting, whether or not people see God living in me, outside of the words I speak?

“Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.”

I know some people may disagree with me on this, and that is totally okay! Just my personal opinion and thoughts I wanted to share!

God Bless!

Jessica <3

Pleasing Others.

I know my posts so far this summer are quite random in timing and in topic, and trust me I am working on it, but at the same time here I am writing another random post. My “strategy” for this post is just to start typing and see where I go, because honestly, there has been a lot racing through my mind lately. One thing I love about summer is the time I have completely by myself, but also with the Lord. I learn so much about myself, both the good and the bad. This post is just about one thing I have learned about myself lately, and about one change I have already decided to make within myself. (I will try to not get too rant-y in this post, but bear with me).

As a psychology major, I really do enjoy analyzing pretty much everything. The downside to this, however, is the fact that I analyze myself, sometimes waaaaay too harshly. On the upside, when I am upset about something, I find it pretty easy to find the root of the issue. I guess I have been feeling a little off lately, and by lately, this has been the past few months. There have been no huge, significant changes in my life, so I have been quite confused about what has been making me feel so strange. It hasn’t been a huge change, but something that just seems a little off, like when you leave the house and you know that you are forgetting something but you don’t quite know what. However, these past few days, God has truly blessed me with a few different situations where He has really spoken to me to allow me to see the issue.

To cut straight to the point, the issue I have been dealing with is pleasing others. Although this is something I have only been struggling with these past few months, I recognize that this has pretty much always been an issue for me. Like I said before, I am very hard on myself, so often times, I seek approval from others, rather than being truly happy with myself. All throughout junior high and high school, I really became the person that other people wanted me to be or the person I knew other people would accept. Last summer, however, I really had this whole new experience of breaking out of my shell and “finding myself.” The idea of finding yourself may be so cliche, but in all reality, it was an incredible experience for me. Last summer was incredible and I truly felt free and closer to God than ever before. I felt as though I had discovered who I really wanted to be, and that was an optimistic, joyful, confident, daughter of the Lord. But, of course, all things come to an end, including summer, and I was off to this whole new experience, college. I was nervous, yet hopeful in the new experience. Looking back on my first year of college, it was an absolute blast! But trying to hold your own identity on a campus of whatever-thousand is quite the feat. God put me in a challenging sink-or-swim situation, and to be honest, I doggie paddled. I had good days and bad days, and often times, that depended on the people I was with and the situations I was in. That confident, happy girl peeked through every now and then, but there were always those times where I felt I was sinking under the pressure, the fear of acceptance, and the confusion of what would please others.

Whoa, Jessica, getting deep here, are we!? Well, yeah, but a girl has got to vent every once in a while! So yeah, there is the issue. But hey! You know what the best thing about finding issues is!? Figuring out a solution. No more Mr. Nice Girl (that didn’t make sense, but you get the idea). My happiest moments in college were when I was surrounded by the people who accepted me as I truly am (You know who you are :) ), those moments where that girl who I found last summer was shining through, laughing and smiling. In those moments, I felt closest to God and the most alive. I want my entire life to be made up of those moments. And who is stopping me? Only myself. We are not here on this earth to please others, and I have no room in my life for pleasing others. No one has the right to tell me who I am, what I ought to be doing, what I should be wearing, how I should be acting, and so on. No one has the right to influence anything I do, say, believe, and so on. Well, except God, but we will touch on that later. We can’t allow people to walk all over us and think they are bigger and better than us. This may seem like kind of a depressing post, and I am sorry, but trust me, I am jumping for joy. Jessica, the real Jessica, is here to stay and no one is standing in my way.

Self-empowerment, YEAH! :P So pretty much, so far this post has been a ramble about me, blah blah blah, but honestly, it is a realization I made that I felt needed to be shared. God constantly amazes me with how He speaks to us through others, but He amazes me even more in how He is always within us, in our thoughts. I feel so loved for God guiding me through this strange funk I have been in and for bringing me to a solution which has already brought me peace and happiness. Sure, there are some changes I will need to make in my life, some easy and others hard, and I will have to keep adjusting to be sure I stay on track. However, I know God is beside me, and He knows what is is best for me every step of the way.

The story doesn’t end here. Just from having this seemingly simple realization, I have felt so much more empowered. I may only be one tiny person on this Earth, but I am a part of God’s plan and will. He is working through me. In the past, I have been quiet about my faith and beliefs, but after this crazy journey of empowerment, I realize my power. Who cares if someone else doesn’t agree with what I think, faith-related or not? I am not here to please others. (Even if it just about my favorite hockey team!). To be serious, God has blessed me with a voice to be heard, a heart that is open to others, and the platforms to spread both my thoughts and His word. I cannot, and will not, be silenced or put down anymore.

So yeah, this post has been all about me. But, I am hoping the few people who read it can take something, anything from it. This may be all over the place and crazy, but hey, hopefully something speaks to you. :) Once you take the vow to not conform, not be pressured, and not allow anything or anyone besides God to define you, trust me, you will be free. 

God Bless!

Jessica <3


“Your Body is a Temple.”

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” -1 Corinthians 3: 16-17

Those last four words have been on my mind lately. “You are that temple.”

Just imagine it. God has this beautiful temple. He loves this temple. The temple has the Holy Spirit dwelling among it, it is a holy temple. God loves this temple so much. If anyone were to destroy it, He will destroy that person, that is how protective He is of this temple. The thing is, this isn’t talking about some large, stone, temple. You are that temple. We are these temples.

Well, gosh, if that kind of love doesn’t make you blush, you may be incapable of blushing, because that is just straight up amazing. Sometimes it absolutely awes me how much God loves, protects, and cares for us. We are His temple. The Holy Spirit dwells in us. God treasures and protects us, and no one is to harm us. Let’s emphasize that last part. No one is to harm us. You know who that includes? Ourselves. We can be the worst enemy to God’s treasured temple that He loves and protects so strongly. Are we living in a way that glorifies this temple, or in a way that is destroying this temple?

I think of this in a few different aspects. First, we can think of how we treat this temple emotionally. Do we look at ourselves in the mirror and love ourselves? Do we speak of ourselves with respect? Are we thankful for this body God has placed us in? God didn’t create us for us to trash talk ourselves. He didn’t make us so that we could say how much uglier, dumber, fatter, whatever-er than everyone else. He didn’t make us so that we could look in the mirror and sigh. He didn’t make us so we could expect perfection in our looks, personality, actions, and so on. When we are hard on ourselves, that is pretty much an insult to God. He created us in His perfect image, breathed his own breath into us, and carefully made us. I can only imagine how sad we make Him feel when we start trash talking and disrespecting this precious creation of His. 

We can look at this temple from the physical perspective as well. Are we treating our bodies as temples? Are we doing everything in our power to glorify God in our bodies? The common discussion is all about modesty. Especially for teenagers, modesty can be a touchy issue. Long story short, in the way we dress, act, walk, whatever, we should be treating our bodies as God’s temples. Rather than blabbing on about modesty, I think we should also look at the other ways we destroy God’s temple; through eating disorders, self-harm, and so on. Just as we discussed earlier, I can only imagine the way God feels when He sees His beautiful temples tearing ourselves down. He worked so hard and carefully to build us up, and then we go tearing ourselves down because we are not “good enough.” It is a tough topic to address, but in the end, I don’t think anyone would protect and love a temple as much as God loves us if that temple was not “good enough.” We are enough, end of story. Read that opening verse again. We are enough.

After reading this verse, my heart felt so challenged by it. I have never been the most confident girl. I have my struggles and insecurities, my little things I always point out in the mirror, and those things I always compare to others. I have my bouts of going on crazy ab-workout, all lettuce diet fads, and my bouts of eating everything in sight because God will love me no matter what. I go from wearing no makeup one day, to a face full the next day. I go from extreme to extreme. Truly, it is exhausting. However, I am working to find balance. I want to treat my body as a temple. I want to eat healthy, go on long runs, but indulge in a brownie now and then. I want to feel beautiful in my own skin, but still get dressed up every once in a while, in a modest way of course. In the end, I want to do whatever it takes to make my body a temple. I am blessed with one body, one that is beautiful, and I want to treat it that way. Sure, it will take a shift in my mindset. I want to rid myself of those negative, controlling thoughts and fill myself with the words of God reminding me I am a temple. I am holy. I am enough.

This post may have seemed more like a rant than anything, but hey, it is my blog and these are my thoughts, the things running through my mind late at night. :) I think we all need a reminder every now again of the beautiful temples we are. I mean, you can look out a window in a big city and see so many beautiful buildings. Some are older, some are newer, some have Gothic architecture, some are super modern. some are tall, some are short, some are odd shaped, some are colorful, I think you get the idea. These buildings all have their purpose, their reason to be standing there. They were planned and built with care, so they could withstand this world and show off their beauty. Maybe you are the Empire State Building, heck, you could even be the Statue of Liberty. No matter what, your builder is proud of you and is so happy with the way you turned out.

God Bless!

Jessica <3