A Rare Treasure

When I was in high school, my best friend’s dad used to tell the boys, “There are girls you date and there are girls you marry. Never get the two confused.” It’s a pretty funny statement that rings very true. The woman worthy of marriage is hard to find, she is a rare treasure. The girls you date, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen. There are plenty of those fish in the sea. I don’t think most of us think like this in our relationships. A woman of worth does not sleep with her boyfriends. A woman of worth dresses with modesty. A woman of worth, finds that worth in Jesus, not her dad, the culture, or her boyfriend. Do you see your worth through the eyes of God?

We, as women of faith desiring marriage, should conduct ourselves accordingly. Later we will see this woman who has worth beyond jewels is wise, compassionate, and steadfast. During this blessed time of singleness we should grow in virtue, diligence, and develop in our relationship with the Lord. To Christ, your worth is already beyond jewels, so throughout the next few weeks, let’s start viewing ourselves the same way. When we can see how Jesus sees we will live in a way that honors him and the people around us.

  1. Are you a diamond in the rough?
  2. Are you the kind of girl to date or marry?
  3. How can you grow in your relationship with Jesus and in virtue to prepare yourself for marriage?

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The Glue

During the consecration at Mass this morning, the Lord sparked a thought in my head: He is the glue in a marriage. I’ve seen pictures and posts online about godly marriages having Christ at the center. I knew this was a good thing, what should be the goal of all marriages. If Jesus is supposed to be the center of our lives, then of course he should be the center of the marriage. But today he spoke to my heart. He isn’t supposed to just be the center, he’s the glue.

It is through Christ that our relationships are successful. We are incapable of the true, deep, authentic love that is required in marriage while we are in our fallen state. But Jesus shares his love with us and through us. It is only in him that spouses are capable of the complete self-sacrifice that he displayed for us on the cross. The example is a vital component for teaching us to love, but the fullness of that love is found in Eucharist.

Jesus didn’t just die on the cross 2,000 years ago. He makes present for us that sacrifice at every Mass. I wonder how often couples who receive communion regularly get divorced. The Blessed Sacrament is the glue in our marriages. It is in it that we see love, sacrifice, joy, and peace. Frequent reception of Holy Communion should be at the heart of our relationships. We receive the graces necessary to live like Jesus when we receive him sacramentally.

I have noticed that some couples put other things between them. A lot put the kids in the middle. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The trouble is, eventually the kids grow up  and if the only thing Mom and Dad have connected on over the past 20 years is the children, then they’re going to have some trouble when the birds fly the nest. Some put TV, work, or the house in the center of their marriages but this probably leads to a lot of strife. Jesus is the only thing that should be between a husband and his wife. Only Jesus can pull them closer to one another rather than drive a wedge. Jesus will help couples move past their struggles while everything else will cover up, at best. Eucharist is like spiritual medicine, not just for our souls, but also for our relationships.

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The Sins of My Mother

I found this verse spoke to my heart very strongly recently and I’ve been rolling it over in my head for awhile. One of my greatest challenges is trust. Trusting God, trusting family, trusting friends–trusting everyone. I live in pretty constant anxiety because I can’t trust. Living one’s life with the fear of someone hurting you or taking advantage of you can have a devastating impact on quality of life. I find myself incapable of sharing my heart fully with anyone, causing me to feel alone, isolated, and misunderstood. And since I have a tough time trusting God, it makes it hard to have hope.

My mother is the one that taught me not to trust anyone. My dad a little bit, but mostly my mom. She watches far too much Law and Order and Lifetime Movie Network. I remember her coming into my room at night when I was young to tell me all the awful things people do to other people on he shows: mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse. She often told me never to trust a police officer, a fireman, a religious leader, a teacher, a doctor. No one can be trusted. A couple months ago my brother asked her if there was anyone in the world she trusts and she said no. My parents have been married for 30 years, my aunt and uncle are around, and my grandmother is still alive. But even with all that family and childhood friends, there is no one in the world she trusts.

One of the greatest challenges with this is my mom doesn’t even care. I’ve tried talking to her about it and she says, “I didn’t want you to be afraid, I want you to be aware,” “Well you know you have a problem, you fix it,” “I managed to get married and live a normal life, if you want it bad enough, you’ll figure it out.” But I have found it to be very difficult trying to sort out my loneliness alone. I really do want to have friends and relationships, but I’m afraid and insecure.

I often like to finish my blog posts with a  bow of completion, but that’s inauthentic. I haven’t figured out this problem yet. If you have any recommendations on how to move forward in my life, please let me know.

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Making Your House a Home: Prayer

Well this has been fun several weeks. It’s sad that we are at an end for this journey of creating a sanctuary for our families. I felt it was only fitting to complete this series with prayer.

This was a major project we have embarked on together and it is wise to speak with Our Captain about it. Christ should be the center of our lives, therefore he must be the center four homes. We cannot change anything without the grace of God so pray with him often about your home and your family. He is true rest and peace therefore he only way for your family to experience the peace we have been working on the past couple days, is by drawing closer to Jesus. Make family prayer a daily part of your routine.

It your family isn’t strong in faith, make praying for them a daily part of your routine. Ask Jesus, Mary, and St. Monica for help in turning the hearts of your loved ones to the one that is peace.

The goal of this series to create a place of refreshment for our loved ones and to encourage families to be together. My prayer is that I can achieve these things in my own household and encourage all of you while you do the same in your household. I hope you felt challenged to change how aspects of you home ran and that we will all make the necessary changes for the good of the family.

May the Lord bless your home.

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Making Your a House a Home: Smell

I read once that scent memories are the strongest memories we have. We associate people, places, and situations with scent more often than any other sense. I find that interesting and a little troubling. I have very distinct memories of the scent in my great-grandmother’s house, or the smell of the first apple pie I ever made, and the stench of the car after picking up my brother from football practice. All these memories are triggered when I smell something similar now. We should work on creating good memories to associate with good smells.

I have also done some reading on the benefits of aroma therapy. It may be mumbo jumbo, but I like sweet smelling things and I’m sure they can have a positive impact on the moods of my loved ones. Apparently, things that smell nice can improve one’s mental health when it comes to things like depression, anxiety, and stress. I’m willing to guess that most of us experience these things regularly to some degree. If these are feelings or imbalances our loved ones are suffering with, then science my be able to help.

A few things to help you get sweet aromas into your home are:
1. Candles: My dad and I don’t really like candles. he says they’re dangerous so he doesn’t mind the jar ones. I think they’re a waste of money.
2. Air diffusers: I bought a cute little pink one when I was like 16 and I liked it a lot. I just put a few drops of oil on a little pad and turned on the fan. Then my room smelled like apple pie. Of course, this made me hungry.
3. Nature: Forget the artificial stuff! Crack some windows and have flowers around your home to create natural smells in your home. Nothing can beat open windows and flowers, plus it’s better for the air inside your home. Open windows can remove interior pollutants and plants can purify the air in your home.

I don’t know much about aroma therapy or how the brain associates memories with scents but I do know I like things that smell nice. My only caution to you would be to keep the artificial scents to a minimum. I prefer for things to be as close to God made as possible so I tend to embrace essential oils rather than room spritzers.

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Make Your House a Home: Sound

What our brains receive through sounds can impact our mood tremendously. Studies have been done on plants and babies to determine how classical music can affect development and growth. Apparently classical music is very good for the cells. Because of this, we need to pay attention to the sounds we are subjecting our families to.

One day I heard a story about a small family and their bedtime routine. After playtime, Mom and Dad would tell the children to get themselves ready for bed and meet in the living room. In the meantime, Mom would turn on slow, quiet music that would help them become drowsy, while Dad turned the lights down in the house. Once teeth were brushed and jammies were on, the family would sit in the living room together and review the day. They would praise one another, apologize for tier transgressions, then read scripture together. But the time they did all of this, the little ones were sleepy.

I often like to go for walks outside and listen to the sounds of nature. I love the sound of river water on a dam, birds chirping, and the whisper of the wind. These sounds bring me comfort and joy because they pull me closer to the Creator.

What we hear in our homes can draw us closer to one another and closer to God. I don’t want to raise children around foul language, and raised voices so it is best to keep things like that out of the home. Try filling your household with classical music, smooth jazz, and the sounds of nature. Let these things fill your mind and the minds of your loved ones. Many know the importance of sound, which is why spas use sound machines with nature music on them.

My challenge for today is to remove negative sounds from your home and replace them with sounds that foster growth and development.

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Making Your House a Home: Taste

This one is my favorite because I like to cook and I love treats. My dad used to say to make a delicious meal, you have to cook with love. The food your family eats is very important to their physical, mental, and emotional health. Studies are done on children to find the correlation between the junk food they eat and their performance in the classroom. Taste is probably the most important of the five senses because it impacts the rest of one’s life.

To start with, use great ingredients. Overly processed food is cheap but it’s junk. If there is anything you should be spending extra money on, it’s food. I’m not saying you have to only shop at Whole Foods if you love your family but you should know that you are putting in their bodes. Be an educated consumer by reading labels and researching the ingredients. You should also try using the know materials wherever possible. Fresh ingredients will always be better than processed. Plus, fresh, locally grown organic fruits and veggies taste so much better. You can also try growing some things on your own and learning to preserve from your own kitchen. Using fresh ingredients that are healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune but you may have to look for the best deals.

You also should enjoy cooking. When you enjoy doing something, it shows in your work. Many don’t like to cook, but when you are only cooking because you have to, it shows in the food. Slow down, take your tie, and develop your craft. If dinner is at 6:00, don’t start thinking about what you’re going to make at 5:30pm. Look through your cookbooks and find a recipe you’d like to try. Better yet, have your family look through the cookbook and allow each one to choose a different recipe for you to try. Cooking should be fun so do it with your loved ones.

The most important thing I want you to know is that what you are feeding your family matters. Food is one of the most fundamental aspects of life. Take your job as a head chef seriously. Once you have created a great meal, enjoy it tougher as a family. There is no better way to connect at the end of the day than over a fabulous meal. This can set the tone for your home. For many, the kitchen is the central nervous system so keep your pantry stocked with healthy food for a healthy family.

Subscribe to find out how to make your house a home by the sound.

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