Over Drunk at 21

  I didn’t care if it was illegal. In high school I loved to drink and party. A few years ago I was tailgating in the parking lot of the concert venue waiting to see Lady Antebellum open for Rascal Flatts. The opening band didn’t start for another three hours and I had already had […]

Yes, I’m Single. And Yes, I Celebrate Valentine’s Day.

As I got older, I think it was around 6th grade, when I started really anticipating Valentine’s Day. Why? Maybe because it was the first time I had a huge crush on a guy. I still remember the feeling, the butterflies in my stomach when I saw him… Of course this boy didn’t know I existed… (surprise, surprise). But I would close my eyes and imagine that he was my valentine and I was his. Gross I know, right? Anyway, needless to say I didn’t receive any Valentine’s that year from any boys, except the ones from my daddy and little brothers.

Every year I found myself somewhat disappointed in my Valentine’s Day. I’ve never had a boyfriend or any guy in a position to be my Valentine. But I guess I always thought well maybe this Valentine’s Day will be different. Maybe i’ll have a secret admirer, or a boyfriend (yeah right), etc…

Moving Toward Heaven Together: The Role of Lay Movements in the Church

When I was in college I decided that I wanted to do more than just go to Church on Sunday. But what should I do? My local youth group was lackluster, and I didn’t want to go to church meetings with elderly ladies who knew me when I was a toddler. My short attention span meant that I wasn’t going to join anything that required me to spend hours at home praying.

I was stuck… so I prayed.

A Second Start: Making New Semester Resolutions

But there were definitely things I could have done better.

I procrastinated worse than I ever have — pulling all-nighters at some points and sleeping in class the next day because I was so tired. I didn’t get off my campus as much as I wanted to and explore my new city (Boston), mainly because I was too lazy or stuck inside with homework. One of the biggest disappointments for me last semester was that I only went to adoration twice.

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

Afterall, I was born in the 80’s. That pretty much makes me ancient. (I was around the first time slap bracelets were a thing.) And as an ancient, blog-writing, birthday girl, my gift to you is 25 pieces of advice that I’ve learned in my 25 years.

I’m Sorry I Walked By: An Open Letter to Peter

I don’t know how many thousands of people walked by you, never looking at you, even turning their eyes away from you. I don’t know how many people insulted you to your face and behind your back. I don’t know your past, where you had been, or what brought you to that corner on that day.

All I know is that I was one of those thousands of people who just walked by.

Confessions of a (Reformed) Catholic Hipster

I loved (and still love) being Catholic. I loved belonging to my parish, to my youth group, to the choir, and to the picnic committee. I wanted to be involved in anything that allowed me to express my faith. However, I now realize that sometimes my zeal for my faith made me act like I was part of an exclusive club — not the Body of Christ on earth, commissioned to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

I Have to be Perfect: My Struggle with Bulimia

I never thought I’d be able to admit this out loud… let alone on the internet… but after talking with some friends and praying with 2 Corinthians 12:9, I’m finally ready to say it. I have struggled with an eating disorder. I was pretty athletic when I was growing up. I wasn’t a superstar or […]

A College Student’s Prayer for Finals

Feeling overwhelmed with finals? Don’t forget to take time to pray. Keeping your focus on God is one of the best ways to deal with stress.

Here’s a prayer just for you. Bookmark it, screen-shot it, print it off… whatever will help you remember to pray it and make that important connection with God that will transform this time of anxiety into a time of peaceful perseverance.

A Beautiful Offering: Choosing to Glorify God in Our Suffering

“Just get over it.” Sadly we hear phrases such as these from our friends in answer to our suffering. I don’t think these are the words anyone wants to hear when they are suffering, having a bad day, or feeling down. I love a lot of things about the Catholic Church, but one thing I […]

You Better Work: The Importance and Dignity of Work

If you’re living with your parents you may not have to work to get the things you want. Maybe they buy all your video games. There are still some great reasons to work though. For one thing, spending a few hours freezing your fingers off at the Drive-Thru window makes you appreciate all the hard work your parents do to put a roof over your head.

It also gives you experience in a workplace — like how to get along with others and follow your manager’s orders. You may even get a reference for college, or your next job. And lastly, it’s never too early to start saving money. Trust me.

What Are You Living For?: A Letter from Heaven

What if I told you that your life was halfway over? I’m guessing you’re 15 or 16, maybe 17 years old. What if I told you that your life expectancy was to live until you were 32 years old? I know what you’re thinking – “dude, most people live past 32. You’re being way over-dramatic.” […]

3 Promises That Will Change Your Life

These promises changed my life. Don’t rationalize or make excuses for yourself. Push yourself a bit, work a little longer, sacrifice something else, persist, and persevere! Following through on these promises will not only bring you joy, but freedom to live the life God is calling you to!

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall… Make Me the Prettiest Girl of All

But there is one more thing. It’s the most important part. We won’t be successful in this if we don’t recognize that we are noticed by God.

A lot of our desires to be the best, and the most beautiful come from the desire to be affirmed. We have to first live in the knowledge that we have a God who loves us, cares for us and sees us as his unique daughters. Only with this knowledge can we live out healthy relationships with other women and ourselves.

Easier said than done, right? Be patient with yourself. This is something we need to remind ourselves of daily.

Forming Your Team: Advice for Finding Friends in College

I knew a grand total of zero people going into college, a fact which was slightly daunting. I was going to a college 3,000 miles away from home with no friends – I have to say I was a little worried. Then during orientation week I must have shook hands with at least 1,000 people […]

The Sidewalk Missionary: My Divine Appointment from Finland

It was a scorching hot summer day. We left the shade of the high Barcelona city buildings and crossed over a plaza on our way to the pier. It was while we were joking around, probably complaining about the heat and our naive decision not to bring water bottles that God provided a divine appointment.

He Keeps Me Safe

All I’ve ever wanted out of my relationships is to feel safe.

I’m always worried that I’ll make someone so angry that they won’t want to have anything to do with me. I want to know that I’m worth someone’s time and effort; that they’ll stick around when things get rough.

But people always fall short. We’re imperfect and broken and there’s no escaping that. Show me someone who’s got it together all the time and I’ll show you someone who’s wearing a mask. People are unpredictable and it’s scary.

An Open Letter to Brent: On the Power of Words

Dear Brent, My first year at Life Teen I was the awkward freshman in the corner of the room, trying to go unnoticed, so I understand if you didn’t see me. I saw you, though. You were a confident senior and the center of attention. It seemed like everyone admired you, and with good reason. […]

You Can’t Sit With Us: The Secret of Being a Mean Girl

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.

In Name Only?: When Your Catholic School Isn’t Very Catholic

“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.