'I Would Never Buy That For Myself,' The Seven Words That Changed How I Live My Life

'I Would Never Buy That For Myself,' The Seven Words That Changed How I Live My Life

Wants, needs, and what we should be doing instead.
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I went on my first mission trip in May, with the Catholic Campus Ministry group that I am a part of at my college. It was by far the best, most joyful week of my life. To spend a week constantly in the presence of the Lord and my best friends, doing nothing but serving God, separated from the stress of home life and the distraction of my cell phone, I was just beyond happy. My group became very close with the Sister and other worker who run the facility, and have kept in close contact with them for the past year.

Because we are so fond of them, we invited sister to come stay for a few days, to attend our weekly event, Faith Share, and to speak at another event for us the following night.

I was sitting in the campus ministry office when sister arrived to speak for our event that night. I was so excited to see her and we had a great conversation catching up about our lives and where we had seen God working in the past year. She then realized that there were sour patch kids sitting on the table beside her, where we keep all of our snacks. There was hardly half of a mason jar of them, leftover from our Christmas party, and probably a little stale. But Sister was beyond excited. "SOUR BEARS!" she yelled, and took a handful. It was something so simple, yet she was thrilled. When she went back home the next morning, she was given the rest of the bag of "sour bears" to take with her. When handed the bag, she again was ecstatic, she lit up, graciously thanked our campus minister, and in pure thanksgiving said "I would never buy this for myself".

Sour patch kids. She would never buy sour patch kids for herself. When I heard about this it hit me hard, and it stuck.

How much money do I waste on myself, on things that I absolutely do not need? I don't NEED the dark chocolate bar, I don't NEED the new dress, I don't NEED so much of what I ALREADY HAVE, yet I want and I buy so often. There are people who need, and need bad, yet I fulfill so many of my own wants. To make things worse, I often let things go to waste and don't even use them.

"I would never buy this for myself."

Hearing of this conversation changed me. I am so much more conscious of everything that I buy now, and so much more careful not to waste. I rarely need. I often want. There is a huge difference and I have to recognize it. It is okay to treat yourself from time to time; God obviously wants us to be happy and taken care of. But He calls us to be giving, to not overindulge in the things of this world, and to care for the poor in every way that we can. I can settle for the off brand food, fight through the chocolate cravings once in awhile, and for goodness sake wear the same dress to mass a few times a year because God doesn't care that I wore that dress already this spring, just that I am there. Then I can put the money I save somewhere better, like with a charity, or sponsoring a child and her family in poverty. I can put that time I would have spent focused on earthly possessions and the materialistic world in service to others, in prayer for those who need it most. I absolutely should, and I absolutely can. I should be mindful that God provides for me first, and that getting so absorbed in earthly possessions is not at all what He is asking of me. Living a simple life full of service is the life I want to live, but its up to me to get there.

17 If we are rich and see others in need, yet close our hearts against them, how can we claim that we love God? -1 John 3:17 (GNT)

So be mindful of what you are buying. Ask yourself these questions each time.

Do you want it?

Will you use it?

Do you need it?

Does someone else need it?

Does someone else need the money more?

Would Sister buy that for herself?

My life is transforming before my eyes. I still make poor decisions at times, but I, like everyone else, am a work in progress, striving to live perfectly for the Lord. Everyday I see God more clearly and see less of the materialistic earth I have grown so sadly attached to. I could not be happier about it. I pray that you may find yourself saying, "I wont buy this for myself", as I am learning to.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

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I Have No Label

Labels aren't for everyone, and I'm one of them.

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There's a huge pressure from society for people to know things about themselves—what they want to do with their life, what career they want to be tethered to, where they plan on being five years from now—that we really shouldn't add more pressure by requiring people to know their sexual orientation and gender identity.

I've always been pretty comfortable with my gender, but my sexuality? I'm still figuring that one out. I grew up in a fairly conservative home, so I was never exposed to the LGBT+ community or anything similar to it. Straight was the only way to go, and I grew up completely fine with that. It's only now that I know I'm not, that I'm realizing some of the things I did, probably should have told me I wasn't sooner.

Thankfully, it was never a huge source of stress for me because I was OK with being straight. I was fine with the idea of only being into men because I mostly still am. It's just that "mostly" bit that has me thrown off.

If I'm not fully into just guys, does that make me bisexual? What's the full difference between them, anyway? What does "bi" really imply, anyway? Two? Which two? Does the "bi" aspect of the word "bisexual" even really matter?

Do people identify as "pansexual" because the distinction of "bi" is misleading since there are more than just two genders?

Speaking of genders, would I date someone whose gender identity doesn't conform to the binary? How about a transgender person? How can I really know this for a fact without dating someone like that?

All of these thoughts gave me countless headaches, and they still do if I think too hard about it. Since I'm still discovering myself, I'm not fully comfortable labeling my sexuality as anything other than "not straight."

That should be totally fine.

If anything, I think this should be encouraged. It puts way less stress on people who are already stressed beyond belief. It shouldn't be something that a person has to know immediately, and they shouldn't have to ever label themselves if they aren't comfortable with it.

Let people explore their sexuality and gender. If they find a label early, let them. They may change it later. They may not. As long as they're happy with it, what does it matter? Why tell them "no?" Even if you're their parent or caregiver, you should at least be fine with them exploring their own identity and figuring their life out.

It's healthy, and ultimately, it will make them a happier person to know they had support for the whole wild ride.

Respect people if they find nothing and choose to stay label-less.

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