I'll Always Appreciate Growing Up Catholic

I'll Always Appreciate Growing Up Catholic

Peace be with you!


I was baptized into the Catholic church before I turned 1-year-old so for as long as I can remember I have been a part of the church. Throughout my life, I have gotten a lot of questions and judgment for my faith but it has always stayed strong. I've learned a lot of things by growing up Catholic, things that still stick with me today. I am very appreciative that not only did I learn about how to worship and about Jesus's love, being Catholic has also taught me skills that I can use while at school, work, or in any type of social situation.

One of the major things that were instilled in me growing up in the Church is reading comprehension skills. I can remember being young, probably five or six, and being put in Sunday school. At the time, I hate having to go to school early in the morning on Sundays but during my time in Sunday school, we learned about Jesus and we wrote and drew pictures of things we were learning about. I believe this class helped me better my literacy especially because I was getting extra practice and some of the other kids in my class weren't getting.

Also, during mass, we sing hymns and songs from sheets that they hand out before the service starts. I can remember being next to my dad while he pointed at the words on the paper helped me follow along with the lyrics. This both helped me to be able to read music and to learn new words.

Another thing that I learned growing up in the Church was not to judge others. One of the major things that I was taught through the scriptures and homilies was that Jesus loves everyone, no matter the vices they may have. I was taught at a young age that one of the most important values that one can have is to respect and love others, especially if they don't have the same beliefs as you.

One unexpected thing I learned growing up Catholic was that people can be cruel towards you if they don't like what you believe in. For the most part, people are very respecting of me and my beliefs however, there have been times where people have been very rude to me because of my faith. One time in high school I was having a very innocent conversation with my neighbor, who was one of my closest friends and was also Mormon, about the differences in practices between our two faiths when a girl sitting in front of us (who was not part of the conversation) turned around and started to argue with me about the way in which Catholics practice religion and whether or not it was right.

To say I was angry would be an understatement, but I calmly explained to her my views and experience in the Church. Eventually, one of my other close friends, who was sitting next to her, yelled at her to stop being insensitive towards me.

Not only did this experience help me to stand up for myself and my beliefs, but it also showed me who would be in my corner if I needed them to be. I was extremely grateful for my two friends who stood up for me, they still are two of my closest friends to this day.

Overall, it hasn't been easy to be Catholic, especially with all the abuse of power within the hierarchy of the Church but it is my honest opinion that those men do not define what it means to be Catholic. There are so much love and respect that goes on behind the scenes that many people don't see and I wouldn't change that for the world.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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It's Okay To Be A Shattered Temple, God Doesn't Need You To Be A Perfect House

God wants to restore you because the scariest place for the enemy is the transformation from broken to healed.


So right now it's 6:09 a.m., the house is so quiet I can hear it breathing. The wind slightly knocking against the walls like an unwelcome guest. The heat running through the pipes bringing warmth to each section of the house. The rain from the skies kissing the roofs and windows. I just thought how intricate and specific each role plays. How on its own it must feel inconsequential, but together completes its purpose.

In the Bible, a house/temple is referred to as a body often. We sing songs, "Lord, make me a house of prayer." But in some seasons, we doubt the very thing we asked God for as if it wasn't already designed for us.

Sometimes in our walks, we question our purpose. We don't see the grand scheme. On why we went through what we did, or why we currently are. We want explanations for everything because if our human minds can't comprehend it that means it was in vain. I have wrestled with this concept, the "Why me?" the "I didn't/don't deserve this" and lastly, "I just want the pain to end."

See, what they don't tell you when you sign up for this is that salvation is free but sanctification costs your life. They don't tell you that you have to change your words from "Why me?" to "Count it all joy." They don't put a disclaimer saying that the walk is free but the path is narrow. They don't tell you that you are a house.

A house can have broken parts but still be used. You can be broken and still be used by God. Because God isn't looking for perfect he's looking for posture. He's looking for an open house not foreclosed one. When something is broken within your house, you call someone with that specific training in that area. The very thing that you think qualifies you as broken can be the same that qualifies you as a healer! You looked at your situation as a test but God is trying to use you as a tool.

You don't call a plumber to fix a light. You don't call a perfect person to help an addict. You want someone who doesn't look down on you but says, "I can help, I know because I've been there and I know the pain, I know how you feel. Let's tackle this together." It's okay to be a broken house, a shattered temple — I have some creaks and leaks, too. God wants to restore you because the scariest place for the enemy is the transformation from broken to healed. Why? Because then you'll start setting others free. People don't care what you say, they care about what you do.

What you thought counted you out, God is counting on to help someone for their breakthrough.

They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Let your house be open for not only God, but others. You may see yourself as a broken mirror, but others see a reflection. Your life is a testimony of not shame or embarrassment but of strength and grace. Your house may be missing things — a father, joy gone, love absent, peace may be missing — but God doesn't intend to keep you in lack, he is all-sufficient.

But he needed to withhold things from your house because one, you needed to know who really supplied it, and two, so you can show others how you overcame. But he is faithful He will fill those broken places and mend the broken hearts. He will be the light in your house. So that you may project your light to the world.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can not be hidden. Neither a man lights a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on the stand — and it shines unto all that are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; they may see your good works and Glorify your Father who is in heaven.


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