The truth about uniforms/dress codes is they help us see who we are, they bring out our personality and true character. The unity in uniforms allows the unique dignity of our person to be truly seen. That is what we all desire most – to be seen. If you have ever met a group of religious sisters, you know that they each have a unique personality; each sister is so different from the others. And yet, they all wear the exact same habit, cut their hair the same way, don’t wear make up and follow all these dress code rules with joy. Why?
I talk to teenagers just about every day, and the conversations are often the same. They deal with the Bible and what the Church teaches and how challenging it can be to live a holy life in an unholy culture. I’d say that most teens that I talk to are truly looking for the Lord; some, however, are looking less for the Lord and more for the loopholes.
For instance: “I heard that the Bible doesn’t say drinking alcohol is a sin.”
“Well, no, the Bible does not say that drinking alcohol is a sin,” I respond. I then go on to explain that it does become sinful (very easily), if any of the following happen:
'Well, no, the Bible does not say that drinking alcohol is a sin,' I respond. I then go on to explain that it does become sinful (very easily), if any of the following happen…
It makes me feel sick, the fact that I have mean girl memories. It reminds me of the actual truth – insecurities ruled my life and others suffered at the hands (mouth?) of my pain. I needed other people’s approval to even attempt to like myself and I was pretty willing to hurt others if that meant I was liked.
“All-school Mass today? Sweet, that means no math class first period!”“Pro-Life March? You mean three days off school and a trip to D.C.!”“Would anyone like to say a prayer to start class?” *crickets*Man . . . do any Catholics even go to this school?!I went to Catholic schools my entire life, and I’m not gonna lie: sometimes, I wondered. It often felt like we were Catholic in name only – and even then, it’s not like we wrote it boldly across our t-shirts.
New shoes . . . New school supplies . . . New teachers . . . New classes . . . New grade level . . . New clothes . . . New schedule . . . New locker . . . Sound familiar? The list goes on and on, but the theme is consistent, […]
All righty, kids . . . it’s about that time. Whether you like it or not, it’s time to head back to school. Oh, don’t act so surprised. You knew it was coming. This is much less shocking than Beyonce’s new haircut. Maybe I’m making some unfair assumptions, actually. Maybe you’re ready to head back. […]
Life is stressful, right? Between school and work and relationships, it can be exhausting, and Spring Break is the perfect way to blow off some steam and finally relax. And over the next few weeks, countless teens and young adults will make very, very poor decisions … some that they won't remember, and some they won't be able to forget, because they'll regret them for the rest of their lives … all in the name of freedom.
Well, a lot has happened in those 15 years, and as I prepare to turn the ripe old age of 33 (my Jesus year), I've been reflecting on a lot of hard lessons I've learned along the way. If only there had been older adults giving me advice during my high school years, perhaps I could have been saved from a lot of heartache and bad decisions.
I know the wounds can be deep; trust me, I've been there.
I spent six years of my life terrified to walk into school. I spent six years trying to figure out what to wear, how to act, what to do in order for the bullying to stop. I started hanging out with the 'cool kids,' but it only got worse, so I joined the sport teams and clubs, and that didn't help, so I decided to just give up.
So here is my advice to you . . . be radical! Don't go back to your old ways. It's a sad trend that we go on these awesome retreats, have this amazing experience of God's power, fall deeply in love with Him, but then leave it all behind when we toss our flip flops to the back of the closet.
What if after St. Paul had his conversion experience with God, he went back to his old ways of killing Christians? That would be weird (and tragic). Then why do we think that we can return to our old ways? You don't have to sell yourself short. Be different.
Not going to the party makes a much bolder statement. It doesn't mean you're judgmental. It doesn't mean you're anti-fun or anti-friend. It means you're pro-God. You might think people won't notice or won't care, but you're wrong. No, the entire school might not take notice but some people will. Your courageous example to step away might be exactly what others need to see to do the same. There are others who, if given another option, would rather not be at the party.
One of my favorite things about high school was the last week of school. Sure there were finals, but I knew the school year was about to end, and it was almost time for summer break. Ah… summer break. Oh how I would look forward to it. Oh how I would long for it. Oh how I would plan out all the exciting things I was going to do, only to get trapped in a cycle of boredom within a week. You probably know the drill and have been there before. There's nothing to do. It's too hot, and theme parks are too expensive. So, what can you do? Well, if you're not already going to Life Teen Summer Camp, here are 10 fun things you can do with your summer vacation.
This week I found myself scavenging for loose change under the seats in my car so I could to afford a long anticipated vanilla double-shot latte. It cost me like $5! When did coffee get so expensive? (Okay, that's another story.)
It seems like everything fun or delicious costs money. You might feel like when money is tight or non-existent the only option on a friday night is to sit and stare at the wall.
Breathing doesn't become less important as our physical tasks get more difficult; it becomes more important. It's the same with prayer. It will most likely seem impossible to find time for a lot of prayer during finals week. I urge you to make it work . . .
In choosing what you do to commemorate these final days of school, whether after graduation, prom or band practice, at the forefront of our mind and hearts should be this reality that all is a gift from God, to be used for His glory. This doesn't require walking around yelling, 'hallelujah,' but it demands that our actions be a reflection of who we belong to. We are not our own.
If you asked me what I got in my high school Chemistry class, I would tell you, 'An A and two C's!' Why? Not because I took the class three times, but because I got the A and my two friends, who I let cheat off my homework and tests, got the two C's! Unfortunately, when I was in high school, even though the teachers told us not to cheat, it wasn't a big deal. I didn't understand how my choices in school affected my relationship with Jesus.
As a homeschooler, my prom experience wasn't exactly the kind of thing you see in the movies. Instead of a giant museum hall filled with balloons, streamers, and an amazing DJ, I had a boombox and some microwave taquitos.