Living With The Gift

Living With The Gift

I live with The Gift and every single day can be described as a constant blessed battle.


Life, in its barest sense, could be described as a march through a war zone with birthday cake and job promotions around random corners (just to keep you moving forward.) The simplicity of childhood fades into the chaos that is adulthood and young adults are charged with understanding, not only who they are, but how they fit into the great wide world. Gifts and our abilities to use them play a key role in our development as young, useful people.

Useful could be perceived as a negative item but I assure you that there is nothing more valuable than being a useful adult. Such a term can transcend the workforce where it is so commonly associated. Usefulness can be implemented in personal and spiritual relationships as well as at the workplace. So where do we, as young adults, cultivate this "usefulness?"

I think a large part of understanding our personal worth lies in implementing our God-given gifts. You know what I'm talking about. What makes you, well, you? What ignites a fire within you and makes you burn from the inside out? Hopefully, we all have something, anything, that gives our life meaning and substance.

There's something daunting about harnessing our gifts, however. We are offered talents, skills, etc by our Creator as a means of glorifying him in any way possible. A person blessed with the beauty of artistic craftsmanship may be charged with creating a masterpiece of God's countryside. A person blessed with the beauty of song may be charged with communicating God's glory through songs and devotion. I use the word "charge" because we face challenges every day in regards to our talents.

The secular world in which we live constantly dangles morsels of temptation before us to drag us from Christ with the promise of something better. It seems redundant just writing that. The promise of fame and fortune seems to be on equal footing with Christ and Salvation. I wonder why we allow ourselves to be so easily cowed and dominated by the sins of this world when we have the strength of the universe's Creator on our side. It's not a simple equation to attempt to balance.

I was listening to a podcast a couple of days ago where a concert pianist recalled an experience he'd had with God and his talent. He had recognized the fact that his raw talent at playing the piano was building a barrier between him and God and he "permitted" God to remove the ability from him if it was to be his downfall. The next morning he awoke without the use of one of his arms, no injury, no nerve damage. I was disturbed and mystified. I was relieved to learn the pianist regained the use of his arm--probably through dedicated study and partnership with God. God takes the gifts he awards us very seriously and I think our misuse of those gifts breaks his heart.

It made me wonder what I would be without my gift. The gift of crafting and fitting words together. It made me uncomfortable but, even more so, I wondered how I use my talent. I'll admit I don't always use it to the glory of my Creator. Sometimes I proverbially "doodle" and just enjoy my talent. I like to think that God is alright with that, however.

I constantly try to keep God in the cross-hairs of my life, including in my ability to write. It doesn't always work but, thankfully, God still loves me and chooses to bless me further. I live with His gift of life and promise within me every second of every day. I do my best to live His gift to the best of my ability.

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48 Of The Best Catholic Mass Songs

Check out this list of some of my favorites!

I love to sing.

But, I am very bad at singing. One thing I love about Mass is that I get to sing as loud and as terrible as I want, and that is a beautiful thing. I've compiled a list of what was originally going to be 10 of my favorite songs to sing at Mass, but as you can see, my list quickly became 5 times longer. Enjoy!

1. "All are Welcome"

A great reminder that we are to love our neighbors, no matter how different we are.

2. "All is Well With My Soul"

A refreshing reminder that God forgives our sins, and we are in good hands.

3."Amazing Grace"

A classic, powerful song that shows just how much grace means to us.

4. "Ave Maria"

A beautiful song honoring the Virgin Mary, a role model for all women.

5. "Be Not Afraid"

A reminder that no matter what we're going through, God is with us through it all.

6. "Blest Are They"

A guide on how to live out the Beatitudes.

7. "Canticle of the Sun"

A joyful tribute to God's Creation.

8. "Center of My Life"

A reminder to put God first, a reminder which is always necessary in this materialistic and egocentric world.

9. "Change Our Hearts"

An uplifting song reminding us that God saves even the most disobedient of his people if they give their hearts to Him.

10. "Christ Be Our Light"

A classic song that reminds us even in our darkest of days, Christ will light the path.

11. "City of God"

A song inspiring the building of God's Kingdom- something we should strive to do as Christians.

12. "Come Back to Me"

A song all about repentance and forgiveness- God is waiting for us with open arms every time we fail him.

13. "Companions on the Journey"

A reminder that we are not alone in our journey to spread the Good News, and we can work together to spread His Word.

14. "Eye Has Not Seen"

A reminder of the joy and happiness that awaits us in Heaven.

15. "Fly Like a Bird"

A comforting song reminding us that we will always be in God's care.

16. "For the Beauty of the Earth"

A song that captures the essence of how wondrous Creation is.

17. "Glory and Praise to Our God"

A song full of thanksgiving and praise to God who showers us with blessings every day.

18. "Go Out Go Out"

One of the favorites at my school- essentially a "pump up" song to go spread the Gospel.

19. "Here I am Lord"

A encouraging song, inspiring us to serve the Lord with all the talents we have.

20. "Here I am to Worship"

One of my all time favorite gathering songs that inspire me to give all the glory to God.

21. "How Can I Keep From Singing"

A reminder that God's works are wondrous and He is deserving of all our praise.

22. "How Great Thou Art"

A classic song inspiring us to look around and see God in everything and everyone.

23. "I Am the Bread of Life"

A comforting song telling us that if we live our lives in Christ, we will be reunited with God when death comes.

24. "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"

A song that tells us Jesus is alive, and He has redeemed us by his death.

25. "I Will Choose Christ"

A song inspiring us to recommit ourselves to Christ each and every day.

26. "In Every Age"

A reminder of the timelessness of God- He has always been there, and He will always be there for us.

27. "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today"

An Easter song which joyfully celebrates the Resurrection and the defeat of death.

28. "Lead Me Lord"

A reminder that if we seek God, He will lead us.

29. "Let There Be Peace On Earth"

Always a song that inspires us to act for justice and peace among all people.

30. "Like a Shepherd"

A reminder that God cares for us as his own because we are his own.

31. "Litany of Saints"

A beautiful song, often sang on Easter, in which we ask the Saints to intercede for us.

32. "Lord of All Hopefulness"

A prayer asking God for the strength to get through the day.

33. "Loving and Forgiving"

A reminder that God is always wanting to forgive us of our wrongdoing and heal our pain.

34. "Only a Shadow"

A reminder that we have seen just a glimpse of the love God has for us, and there is much more in store for us.

35. "On Eagle's Wings"

One of the saddest, yet happiest songs of all time- although we die, we will be raised up and be with Him forever.

36. "Our God is Here"

A reminder of the true presence of God in all things.

37. "Prayer of St. Francis"

A beautiful song that makes the prayer feel even more powerful.

38. "Rain Down"

A reminder of the endless love of God.

39. "Roll Away the Stone"

My favorite Easter song of all time. HE IS RISEN!

40. "Shepherd Me O God"

A popular song serving as a reminder to put our wants aside and follow God's will.

41. "Sing to the Mountains"

A song of thanksgiving to God for the abounding gifts he has bestowed on us.

42. "The Summons"

A great song for those who are discerning their calling.

43. "Ubi Caritas"

A song all about the love of Christ.

44. "Unless a Grain of Wheat"

A reminder that without God we have no life.

44. "We Are Called"

A call to service and justice.

45. "We Are Many Parts"

A reminder that although we are many people, we are all part of the Body of Christ, and we all need to work toward peace together.

46. "You Alone"

A reminder of how although we are undeserving, God still loves us and should be praised.

47. "You Are Mine"

God has called us each by name- He knows YOUR name, and you belong to Him.

48. "Your Grace Is Enough"

A necessary reminder that God IS more than enough for us! We don't need to be consumed with this world because we have HIM, and an eternity of happiness awaits.

Singing, although I am terrible at it, has really improved my prayer life. It could do the same for you!

Cover Image Credit: Allie Daniel

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10 Bible Verses To Raise Your Spirits No Matter What You're Going Through

Look to Jesus and you will find all the answers you need.


God never left anyone in the Bible. The Word is a love story to us to show us that He will never forsake us. We may go through troubles due to this world, but He always has a plan to bring us through it. He will part the Red seas and walk across oceans for you. Just remember to keep going and keep having faith.

1. "And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" 1 Peter 5:10


2. "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" Isaiah 40:31


3. "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Philippians 1:6

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4. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" Romans 15:13


5. "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently" Romans 8:24-25


6. "Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to Him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied. Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you" Luke 18:40-43


7. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land" 2 Chronicles 7:14

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8. "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles" Psalm 34:17

Bible Verses To Go

9. "One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to Him in His temple" Psalm 27:4

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10. "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily tangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" Hebrews 12:1


Never lose faith in God, and never stop growing to be a better person. As long as you have these two things, you will get through anything that comes your way. And when things get difficult, go to the Word and listen to Jesus speak.

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