Am I Motivated by God or by Other Things?

Am I motivated by God or by other things? Am I really doing this for God’s glory or for my own? Is this something that God wants me to do? How can I do God’s will with a willing heart? How do I focus my intention back to God?

These are questions I ask myself a lot. I think it is something a lot of us struggle with at some point or another. We want our hearts to be focused on God alone, but with so much of society pushing us to be self-centered and to focus only on our earthly things, it is easy to lose sight of what we are doing everything for.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Mother Teresa

We should strive to do everything with great love for our Lord. The easy stuff, the hard stuff, and everything in the middle!

Something I try to remind myself to say everyday and before I start tasks is – All For! (which stands for, all for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph. I also love the saying – Doing it all for the glory of God!

I also like to wear or keep something close to me that reminds me of God’s presence throughout my day. I normally wear a cross bracelet or my rosary bracelet, and I love attaching Miraculous Medals to my necklaces. Just keeping things close to you to remind you God is there waiting for you to talk to Him can really make a difference.

And when I do lose sight, I try to just remember that God knows my heart. He knows I am trying even though I mess up all the time. The important thing is that I just keep trying harder and harder everyday and give it all to God!

Don’t be Afraid to Thank God for the Little Things

When I was little I used to think you could only talk to God about important things. I know it sounds silly, but it’s true. Of course I did pray about a lot of things that weren’t all super important… But I thought that asking Him for things like 5 more minutes at a play date or thanking Him for things like a small happy accident wasn’t worthy of a prayer.

Then for a while I didn’t know what I should ask God about or thank Him for. I would start to ask or thank him for something small but then I would stop myself because I didn’t think it was important enough. But I did finally realize how valuable it is to thank God for those small thing that give us a smile. And how much He loves when we talk to Him.

“Don’t wait to pray until you need something. Pray and thank God everyday for the small blessings” via Curiano.com

Prayer isn’t about asking God for what we think we really need right now. It’s about loving God and giving Him everything. He wants us to give him our heart, but how can we do that if we just talk about what we need and not what we have, our struggles, our joys, and our hope.

I challenge you to give your day to God. You don’t have to shut yourself up in your room and pray the entire day, but thank God for every time you smile, ask for strength when the day gets tough, offer up the tasks you would rather not do, and live joyfully for our Lord!

5 Tips for Sticking to Goals and Going the Extra Mile

First off…

I have to apologize for my absence of posts lately. Keeping up with school, band, pit orchestra, skating practice, blog posts, and everything else that has to be done in life is a little harder than I anticipated. I have been using my busy schedule as an excuse to slack on the things I don’t HAVE to do.

I have fallen into this trap before too. And I’m writing this to help anyone else who may also run into the same “hopeless” trap. (And also to get back into the groove of writing again)  (;  So here goes!

Sticking to new goals and going the extra mile is hard when you have to keep up with school, do chores, and other extra curricular things. But it is something we all need to do to become better everyday. To be the person God wants us to be, we need to create goals that make us better. So here are a few tips that help (and are helping) me.

5 Ways to Stick to Goals and Go the Extra Mile

  1. Slim your to do list!

I know this seems like the exact opposite of what you should do, but if your list is crazy long with, homework, sports practice, work, chores, clean room, shower, practice music, service project, exercise, stretch, paint, write, organize desk, read, go outside, make crafts, and EVERYTHING you want and need to do, your not going to get very far and you won’t feel like you accomplished ANYTHING (that is if you are like me) (:   When I have a long list of all the things I have to get done I often spend more time thinking about how I’m going to get it all done, more than actually getting things done.

You also don’t want to start cutting out random things or you really won’t get the important stuff done. One way I slim my list effectively is to only write the most important things down like homework, chores, work, and practice to make it less intimidating, then once that list is finished you can do other things without feeling pressured. Another way to do this that helps me is making the short have-to-do-list each day, but then also making a want-to-do-list for the week, that way I can do however many I want to do a day from the want-to-do-list without the stress of not getting everything done.

2. Create good habits

This is one I struggle with more but once you create good habits, it makes everything a whole lot easier. Everyone makes habits differently, but some things that help me are:

  • Setting an alarm for a certain time of day everyday until it becomes easy to do. Just make sure you set it when you have plenty of free time.
  • Not worrying if you are doing it perfectly and just doing it. I read a quote the other day that said “An imperfect workout done today is better than the perfect workout delayed indefinitely” But it doesn’t just apply to workouts, it could apply to anything in your life!
  • Making sure you have everything you need ahead of time so you don’t have any excuses
  • And finally, making it enjoyable. Whether you play music or reward yourself with some free time afterwards or whatever YOU like. And once it’s a habit it becomes so much less stressful and much more enjoyable.
3. Keep yourself motivated

I have discovered I can do so much more when I feel motivated. I have a lot of trouble doing things that don’t seem important to me. There are some things you can cut out if you do not enjoy doing them, but there are others you just have to get through. For things like school that you just have to do, this might help.

  • First and most importantly – offer it up to God and do it for His glory and not your own, and then maybe plan something fun or fulfilling to do after you are finished.
  • Also if you are doing something extra everyday that you don’t enjoy isn’t benefiting others, don’t do it! It may be hard, but if you don’t like it there are many more important things you could be doing for yourself and others in that time.
4. Keep yourself inspired

This one is a lot like the last tip, but it is also different and very important. To fully blossom and live an amazing life you have to keep trying to do better everyday and it REALLY helps to be inspired. Inspiration can be more than a little feeling you get every once in a while too! One thing I am working on to help myself get inspired is putting quotes in my room. So when I wake up I have something to help me start my day. I also love listening to music to stay inspired. I recently came across a playlist I love on an amazing blog called Desiring Heaven and I thought I would share a link to a playlist she made… https://desiringheaven.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/school-morning-playlist/

And one last thing to keep yourself inspired… make sure you do the things you love! Whether it’s art, music, dance, sports, baking, cooking, crafting, or anything else… make time to do it!

5. Most importantly… keep praying.

Pray for strength, motivation, and inspiration to do God’s will through everything you do. Even if it’s just a few minutes, sit down, breathe, and give thanks! It will make your day go so much better.

One thing you need remember is there is absolutely no right or wrong.

That’s why it’s called “5 tips” not “5 rules”. If something does’t work for you don’t do it. You can also take these tips and make them your own. The sky is the limit!

Keep blossoming and stay radiant!

Decent Exposure – Book Review!

My sisters and I got a book for Christmas (yay!) called Decent Exposure by Jessica Rey and Leah Darrow. Jessica Rey and Leah Darrow are two absolutely AMAZING Christian women.

Jessica Rey is an actress and Catholic speaker. She is also the founder of Jessica Rey swimwear. If you have never seen her swimwear you should definitely check it out! Even if you have seen it you should still check it out! (https://www.jessicarey.com/) All her swimsuits are super cute and modest and inspired by Audrey Hepburn!

Leah Darrow is also a Catholic speaker and author. She is a former model on America’s Top Model. She talks about her spiritual journey and her ideas of beauty as she went through that part of her life and how much those ideas changed as she found out what true beauty was. We listened to one of her talks called “From Top Model to Role Model” and it is really great!

So… back to the book!

These two women teamed up to make this beautiful book! They talk about being yourself, how men and women are equal but different, social media, modesty, what clothing says about you, respect, fashion tips, dating and more. It is almost more of a magazine type format than a book. It is very fun to read and I highly suggest it to any teen/tween. It is full of great tips, inspiration, quotes and fun information. At the end of each chapter is a call to action.

The only thing I don’t like about this book is that it is too short! But it is a good one to read more than once, which I will probably do many times! I hope you read it and enjoy it as much as I did!

Here is a link to buy it – https://www.jessicarey.com/products/decent-exposure-book

Please comment if you have read it or are going to and share what you like about it!

“Decent Exposure was written with the simple idea that women need positive, uplifting guidance. It is not about shame; it is about empowerment. Each and every one of you is beautiful. It is not a cliche-it’s true. This book is a celebration of beauty. Jessica and Leah have used their personal stories, experience and research to help you bring your best self to the party. It wasn’t just the two of them either-a team of dedicated women worked many long hours to put this together for you”

– Note from the Editor of Decent Exposure

 

 

 

What My Blog Name Means

I started thinking about a blog name almost as soon as I was inspired to create a blog. During multiple brain storming sessions, I came up with the names, Thoughts of a Teenage Catholic, Walking in His Footsteps, River of Grace, Blooming Grace, Blooming Faith, Blossoming Faith, Radiant Grace, Radiant Faith, Blooming Radiance… and more… but then it finally clicked. Blossoming Radiance. As soon as I put that name on paper I didn’t really try to think of any more names. It just kinda felt right.

Why my blog name fits my blog so well, and how I came up with it, really have the same answer. I wanted to inspire people to be bold, courageous, joyful, loving, peaceful, generous, and amazing people in faith. The word “radiance” fit just right.

The actual definition for radiant is ~

  1. emitting rays of light; shining; bright:

  2. bright with joy, hope, etc.

The best way to share our faith, our little light, our hope, is to show these things through our actions and our attitude. To emit our own little rays of joy, hope, and peace. To give others a smile or a helping hand. Making small sacrifices every day. To hold a door open for someone. To include everyone you can, even when it isn’t easy. To Comfort a friend, family member, class mate, co-worker, or anyone else when they are sad or going through a tough time. Giving a hug, a word, or a smile might be enough to give them strength. To do the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy. These are all things we can do to show others God’s love shining through us. For some people, you may be the closest they come to God. If we have an attitude of love, joy, peace, and faith, those people may ask what makes us different and may find peace with God themselves.

The radiant girl who makes everyone else’s day and always leaves others better than they were before is who I aspire to be. I want to be the selfless girl who helps everyone without a thought for herself. I want to make the world a better place for as many people as I can reach. I want to be radiant.

However, I am not perfect, or even close to perfect. I am still growing, but I am making a bigger effort to become a better me, and to grow my relationship with God every day. That is why I picked the word “blossoming“. When a flower is blossoming it is not done growing yet, but it has begun, and it is doing everything it can to become a beautiful flower. That is who I am right now, a bud who has begun to blossom into who God made me to be.

The truth is, we will not be done growing our relationship with God until we are in Heaven with Him. That is why we need to keep trying our hardest every day to become better than yesterday. We are meant to be a beautiful flower in His garden, each helping the other blossom more fully.

That is how I chose the name Blossoming Radiance.

It is just the same in the world of souls — which is the garden of Jesus. He has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but He has also created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice His eyes whenever He glances down. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He wants us to be. – St.Therese the Little Flower

An Awakening

Happy New Year!

This new year has already brought new things into my life. I have been wanting to start a blog for a long time now, but as the new year was coming closer, I decided to put my idea into reality! For a while before I finally got this blog started, I had a strong feeling that this was something God wanted me to do and after time that feeling was only getting stronger. A few days ago I decided if I didn’t start getting to work on my blog, it would never happen. I got straight to work that same day.

I feel like this is how a lot of us approach our new year’s resolutions. With a desire to change, but without the means or plans to start. This is why I always struggle making new year’s resolutions and following through with them. I list things I want to do or change, but I don’t make a plan. If this pattern continues year after year, we will spend our whole lives wishing and wanting, but never doing.

This year my family and I have been challenging ourselves to not only make goals, but to make plans to get there. (In my opinion, that is a resolution itself!) I highly encourage you to do the same!

yesterday-tomorrow-and-today-cropDo not be content to live a
mediocre Christian
life: Walk with determination along the path
of holiness”

– Pope Francis

Put your ideas, dreams, and wishes to action this new year and don’t let anything keep you from doing your (very important) part in Gods’s plan. Do not be mediocre, be radiant!