Week 6: List the Ways You Love To Have Fun.

This prompt was surprisingly hard because I feel like I find fun in everything and it’s hard to put it into an activity but these are something I try and do to fill myself up with fun.

  • Dancing
  • Painting
  • Singing
  • Netflix
  • Board Games
  • Watch my favorite tv shows
  • Getting in the car and just driving
  • Going to the beach
  • Laying in the pool
  • Laughing at nothing until I wheeze
  • Exploring new places
  • Talking with my best friends
  • Being spontaneous

Fun is such an important priority to have in your life. Our souls ache for laughter and feeling good. Pure fun is something so rare and beautiful. In a world overflowing with impurity, finding ways to have wholesome fun that is good for your soul and pleasing to God is a great thing to do. I challenge you, readers, to make your list for rainy days. Look at it and fulfill it! Remember that there are ways to fill your Friday night blues. Enjoy this life, we only get so many trips around the sun. – Lex

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Week 5: List What You Want Your Life to Look Like In 10 Years.

This is so far my favorite prompt solely because I thoroughly enjoy planning out my entire life. So with that being said, let’s dive in.

  • I want to be married to my best friend
  • I want two kids (preferably a boy and a girl)
  • I hope to have two dogs
  • I want to have my own house (preferably custom built) with a pool
  • I hope to be working my dream job as a therapist working with juvenile offenders
  • I hope to be playing a huge role in my church and being able to lead people to Christ
  • In ten years I want to be living somewhere that isn’t Massachusetts
  • I hope to be completely and 100% financially stable
  • I hope to be driving a brand new Honda Accord
  • I want to live somewhere close to the beach.
  • I want to be a University of New Haven Alumni
  • I want to be the best Aunt / Godmother
  • I want to be closer to Jesus
  • I want a pet Bunny
  • I hope to be an established blogger
  • I hope to have my photography license

I obviously have no idea where this life or God will take me but I always get a sense of security having a ten-year plan. I pray for these things daily and just have to trust that God knows my heart . . . and what is best for me. I encourage you, readers, to make your own ten-year plan. . . to open your mind and heart and pray that what’s on your heart will be answered by God. Live in the moment but let your mind wander a little. – Lex

What It Means to be Pro-Life.

The Pro-life vs Pro-choice argument is something that has been going on for generations and will continue to grow. As a Christian, it is typical to believe I have the same views on Abortion as the rest of my fellow believers, but that is not the case. I am Pro-life. I am anti-abortion but I am not anti-women. That seems to be the new perspective you are either pro-baby or pro-women and can’t be both but I am here to tell you that you can. My views on this issue are very unorthodox but I am proud of them.

First of all, Pro-Life is not limited to just babies. Pro-life also qualifies as being anti-death penalty, anti-euthanasia, and fighting against anything else that takes away life or diminishes the quality of one’s life. There is nothing that irks me more than the hypocrisy in many Republicans ideas that include “fighting for life” for the sole purpose of putting on a good face but then fighting to keep the death penalty alive in states all across our nation.  These conservative politicians have no issue promoting a cause like Pro-life because it prohibits killing babies in the womb but have no problem killing a full grown human? Give me a break. Politicians will never overturn Roe v Wade because it gets them votes, it get’s those deep blooded right wings fired up at the idea but if that law got abolished what else would there be to vote for a conservative, their 2nd amendment views? Their trickle-down-economy tactics? I don’t think so. Conservatives want to push this pro-life movement but then somehow be anti-social programs. Hmmm. How do you expect these women to take care of babies without help? We want to tell women “Hey you made a mistake and now this baby is the consequence so have fun with that.” That is inhuman and completely unethical. Conservatives are only pro-life when the baby is inside the womb, once it is born it suddenly seems like an abuse of the system. If they actually cared about the life being carried inside the mother’s womb, they’d be fighting for more sex education, birth control access, and programs to help sustain a good life for the mother and the baby, NOT abandoning the cause as soon as the baby takes its first breath.

I do not like abortion, I never have and I never will but if I want to sit here and preach about being Pro-life, I need to do just that. Making Abortion illegal is not going to solve the issue. Women will get desperate and try to do these procedures on their own or through back-alley, unqualified, “doctors”. This will lead to the killing of babies AND the harm of the mother,  with potential death from botched abortions. Now, we are taking two lives instead of one so abolishing this law is not the answer to this equation. We need to make birth control more accessible, we need to better educate kids AND adults on sex, and add some restrictions to Roe v Wade. Here’s where it get’s tricky.

Roe v Wade has no limit to when an abortion can be performed. So hypothetically speaking, you could have an abortion a week before your due date. A baby can easily survive outside the womb at that stage so I feel sick to my stomach knowing that. Women typically know they are pregnant after the first month and up until the first month the fetus is literally still a clump of cells. The real question is “When does it actually become life?” Well, no one is really sure when a baby receives its soul but what we do know are the stages of development. I am not going to take the time to list out the week by week growth of the human fetus but a quick search on google will clarify all of that information. This is a situation where everyone feels compelled to state why it should and shouldn’t be legal. All these “What if” scenarios but the reality is that the largest percent all abortions (27%) are because women weren’t ready or it was poor timing and while I do not think we should completely criminalize abortion, there needs to be some accountability on the women’s (and men’s) end. We need to start accepting the fact that having unsafe sex is the mistake, not the baby. We need to stop shaming the women for getting pregnant. We need to start making the Fathers a more prominent aspect of whether or not that baby will make it to full term or have it’s life cut short because the truth is, the baby is 50% his DNA and he has just as many rights to keep it as the women do.

Abortion is taking the life from the innocent, taking a child from the safest place it will ever be. The way to end this is to support the women in need not making them feel as if they are less regardless of the choice they make. Do I hope that abortion will one day be something of the past? Yes, but not in a way that is going to cause more harm than good. I think this will be a slow process, one that may take generations but in a situation where you want the quality of life and the quantity to multiply it is difficult to just let it take its course. All I want is for the babies and their mothers to have fulfilling, healthy, and sustainable lives and for that to be true abortion cannot be the solution but it can’t be a crime either.

Thank You.- Lex.

 

My 2017 Bucketlist

Two thousand seventeen is going to be the year of experiences and here is my to-do list before December 31st, 2017!

  • Attend a Celtics Game
  • Attend a Revolution Game
  • Go to The Big E
  • Visit the Ben and Jerry’s flagship store in Burlington VT
  • Visit the Mark Twain House ( Hartford CT)
  • Visit Niagra Falls (NY)
  • Make the trip to Canada
  • Visit the Statue of Liberty
  • Visit Atlantic City (NJ)
  • Visit Hershey Park (PA)
  • Visit Hampton Beach (NH)
  • Attend Soul Fest (NH)
  • Eat at Wahlburgers
  • Go Horse Back Riding
  • Go Zip Lining
  • Go Kayaking
  • Go indoor rock climbing
  • Attend NY Comic Con
  • See Aladdin on broadway
  • Get a new job in New Haven
  • Start my youtube channel
  • Go on a mission trip
  • Read the entire Bible
  • Go to bartending school
  • Go to at least one concert
  • Join the Psychology and Criminal Justice Club
  • Celebrate my 19th birthday
  • Become a sophomore in college.
  • Take summer classes at STCC
  • Write a blog post daily
  • Start up photography again
  • Baptize someone I know
  • Get my first tattoo
  • Pierce my triple forward helix
  • Become a vegetarian
  • Grow closer to God.
  • Attend a painting class
  • Visit the PEZ factory.
  • Get a matching tattoo with my best friend
  • Rejoin the Ushering team at church

I am sure so many more things will happen over the course of the next year and some of these things may not actually become a reality, but I have goals and I cannot wait to start checking off things once this year gets rolling. Grateful to have the ability to pursue my dreams and goals and blessed to have God along side be through all of it.

Love is. . .

Love is something most people can’t give a definition to. It’s complex and multi-dimensional. It is something that is perceived differently by every single person on this planet but God tells us exactly what Love is. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 it states. . .

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away”

I think is is so amazing that God gives us a break down of what love really is. I really want to go deep with a few of the main points in this scripture. Love is so amazing and wonderful and something that needs to be understood in depth.

  1. Love is patient: Being patient with your significant other and with God. Trying to be patient as to when God wants to give you a person to love. Being patient to your significant other no matter how difficult that can be. Showing them your full attention and support no matter the place or time. Patience is a virtue especially when it comes to Love.
  2. Love is kind: Being kind when it comes to your partner and God. Remembering to not get angry with God when relationships do not work out or when they are just are not happening at all. Being kind is something we should practice every day but especially within relationships. Being kind is something that goes a long way especially when you least expect it to.
  3. It keeps no record of wrong: This is such an important thing, I can not emphasize it enough. Forgive and Forget is such a significant part of relationships. Bringing up faults from weeks ago does not benefit anyone. It’s about realizing your wrongs, fixing them, and moving on. Forgive like Jesus did and Forget like Jesus did. Remembering to focus on the greatness of your significant other or anyone for that matter, and just forgive them unconditionally.
  4. It always trusts: A generation plagued by social media trust becomes such a weak part of a relationship. You have to trust that God will allow that person to be honest and you need to be able to trust that person wholeheartedly. Trust is something that starts at one hundred percent and somehow gets damaged but a relationship that is pure and centered on God can stay at one hundred for the entirety of it.
  5. Love never fails: Living in a country where the divorce rate is 50% , this is a hard concept to wrap our brain around. True love does not fail. Imagine an infallible love.It looks like Jesus on the cross. That’s the kind of love we should be investing into everyone. Love perseveres and is everlasting. It stays true forever.

 

This scripture could be broken down so many times and into so many pieces but I think it so important to learn about love, especially the way Jesus loved. I encourage all of you to pray on this scripture and ask God to help open your eyes to a new way of loving. This is not just limited to committed relationships either. This applies to family, friends, and even just random people you meet at the mall. There are so many ways to express love and I pray you all really read into this scripture. Go on and spread the love. – Lex.

Aloha.

It has been on my heart to go on a mission trip for a very long time. I have found an opportunity to do mission work in Hawaii. I love traveling, serving, and meeting new people and this trip will provide me all of that. I am writing this to ask for your help! This trip cost money, money that a broke college student does not have. I need this trip and the people of Hawaii need this trip! I will be building homes, creating sustainable agriculture, and mentoring the homeless youth of Hawaii for ten days. I am not only asking for money but for prayers, support, love, and encouragement. This trip has the potential to be life changing and I want to be a part of it. I would love for this opportunity to become a reality and I need you to help me. Thank You! – Lex.

Here is my gofundme page! :       https://www.gofundme.com/qd-my-mission-tripgive-generously-to-them-and-do-so-without-a-grudging-heart-then-because-of-this-the-lord-your-god-will-bless-you-in-all-your-work-and-in-everything-you-put-your-hand-to

G.A.D

Do you know what those letters stand for? They stand for  “Generalized Anxiety Disorder.”  The textbook definition is “Severe, ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities (Mayo Clinic).” Before we get more in depth, what exactly is just “anxiety”? Well, Anxiety is A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities (Mayo Clinic). This disorder is studied by psychologist and proven to be a disorder. The symptoms include

  • Pain areas: in the back
  • Whole body: fatigue, lightheadedness, restlessness, or sweating
  • Psychological: severe anxiety, fear, or repeatedly going over thoughts
  • Behavioral: hyper-vigilance or irritability
  • Cognitive: lack of concentration or unwanted thoughts
  • Also common: emotional distress, excessive worry, difficulty falling asleep, headache, nausea, sensation of an abnormal heartbeat, or trembling
Some may be asking why I am writing about this and it’s simply because I, unfortunately, suffer from it. Every minuet of everyday I am suffering.  This mental illness is not something people can always see or witness so they can easily write it off as not existing. Iv been told its “all in your head”. . . and yes it is. That’s exactly the problem. I can’t get a new brain or nervous system. I have what God gave me and I have to push through it every single day and it is not easy at all. I have anxiety attacks in my sleep, I get overwhelmed by the simplest stuff, I can’t enjoy things like everyone else because my brain always goes to worse case scenario. Having to turn down birthday parties and team bonding events because social anxiety gets in the way. Having to hide in the bathroom at work and cry and hyperventilate for 3o minuets because I can’t handle the atmosphere. Even presenting in class seems like torture. I am hardly ever at peace with myself. Constant nail biting, hair twirling, readjusting, making sure I look okay because God Forbid someone says something about the way I look.  I can be having a great day until someone doesn’t open a text message and my brain immediately tells me that person doesn’t like.. that I am not good enough.. that Im worthless. Anxiety is not just nervousness. It is so much more. It’s crying, trouble breathing, stomach pains, shaking, and begging God to take this disorder away from me.
I know that there are going to be ignorant people in this world who do not understand and refuse to believe this disorder is real but let me tell you it is. Please do the world a favor if you do not have a psych degree or suffer from mental health issues… watch what you say. It is hurtful and makes us anxiety people, feel beneath you. I want nothing more than to live in a world where my anxiety is considered a valid excuse to not show up for work or school. I want treatment to not be seen like it is only meant for “crazy” people. Mental disorders are very very real and just because we can’t see them does not mean we can brush them off. Anxiety Disorder is something that I ask all of you to take the time and research and educate yourselves on.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and be understanding. I hope by that opening myself up to people, we can learn something or two about mental illness and take a stance together to end the stigma. Lots of love – Lex.

Saturdays

It has been about a month and some days since I’ve been a disciple and a college student. Doing what college kids do, the studying (Bible and for tests), the sharing, ( The Word and homework help), and the participating (Church and . . . wait). Participating is where I hit my wall. How am I , an 18 year old college student , not participating ? I struggle with participating in college life while still holding to my Christian morals. Can I sit in a room with a ton of girls who are gossiping? Can I go out on the weekends but not drink? Can I be the “typical” college student while still being a Disciple.  No. The simple answer is that I can’t because I’m not “typical” I’m a child of God but this does not mean I need to be tucked into bed at 6 pm on a Saturday night either. God wants us to enjoy life and rejoice in it but just not in those stereotypical college ways. I can be so easy (too easy) to fall into the trap of “It’s college, this is what you are supposed to be doing” mindset.

I use Saturday because Saturday is my worst day. The day I sit in my misery of loneliness and fear. Saturday is the night everyone goes out and embodies college. Me? I’m in my dorm room questioning why as a Christian I have to miss out, which is so dangerous. In the Bible, Saturday holds a significance too. Jesus died on Friday and rose on Sunday but what was everyone doing on Saturday? You guessed it.. waiting. Just waiting and questioning and praying and struggling, some more than others. Those Disciples had the same struggles that I do. That is something I find comforting and humbling.

My Church ministry does a phenomenal job of keeping us occupied a majority of the time, keeping us away from the temptations of college life but Saturday is up to me, so with that being said I need to make a promise to myself and God to utilize Saturday for something better. Use my alone time to pray, to connect with my fellow brothers and sisters, and to just reflect on the other activities I could be doing that do not involve temptations (board games, Disney movie marathon, catching up on homework). So, starting this Saturday, I am choosing to flourish in Saturday and to no longer sulk in the fear and doubts that Satan throughs at me. – AC

Little Letter

I came home today from school a little late and as I usually do, I grabbed the mail. It was a small load today. Just two things. One was a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon and one was a little pink envelop with my handwriting on the address label. I open it with confusion and soon realize it was a letter someone had written to me at NCYC ( National Catholic Youth Conference). It was so nice to read something talking about how my “holiness” reflected on other people. It was also bittersweet.Ever since leaving Catholicism I have felt this “missing” feeling. This little letter was from my past. My catholic past. While I do feel this missing feeling , I also have gained so much since leaving. My prayer life is more active, I have a real and healthy relationship with God and I have an amazing community of people that focus on my “do’s” instead of the “don’ts”. Being christian is hard in a predominantly “catholic” area. I quote catholic because no one is really practicing their faith, they say they are out of tradition and the purpose of labeling. I am grateful for that little pink letter, it warmed my heart today but I am also grateful for my new spiritual life in plain ole Christianity. Jeremiah-29

Is blood really thicker than water?

I remember growing up, my mother would always say that “Blood is thicker than water.” By this she meant that blood relatives are better than friends. Blood is such an odd way to describe relationships but we do it all the time. I mean Jesus shed his blood for us and he is not biologically related to any of us. He is also the Son of our Holy Father so technically He is family. Jesus also washes our sins away with water. Blood and Water. Two totally separate substances that give us so much. Blood is in our veins and water in in our body. These two things are invested into us equally and we need both to survive. Physically and Spiritually. If Jesus did not wash away our sins with water, we would forever remain guilty. If Jesus did not shed his blood for us. We would never know the love and peace God gives us. Blood naturally is without a doubt thicker than water but spiritually, blood and water share the same depth… Redemption.