Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Perfect Friendship

Do you ever get so caught up in life that when you stop to take a look at where you are, you realize that you're more than a few steps behind in keeping up with your friendships? I know that sometimes I have gotten so lost in the busy aspects of day to day life and myself that I have lost track of strong friendships. Sometimes, friendships are able to bounce back from this. All it takes sometimes is the realization that you're losing what you once had in order to hold onto it tightly again. In other cases, it means losing good friends. I know that there have been a few times where I watched friendships slip away, but it seemed like it was too late to grab ahold of them again. There are a few of these friendships that I look back on and wonder if I would have done something differently, if we would still be close today.

If only it were as easy as clicking "Confirm"...
I hate that feeling - that feeling of losing the friendship of a person with whom I shared almost everything, whom I looked to for advice, with whom I shared countless laughs and tears. It is an awful feeling, to feel that slipping away and not knowing what to do.

So, it got me thinking. If my insides twist and turn and boil and churn from losing a human friendship, which is based on two imperfect people trying to make an imperfect friendship stand the test of time, then why don't I feel sick to my stomach when I find myself drifting away from God's perfect friendship? Furthermore, how does God feel when we start to slip away from His friendship? He doesn't just sit back and watch His friendships slip away until they're gone. Instead, He does everything He can - without interfering with our free will - to show each one of us how much He loves us and how much our friendship means to Him. So why don't I get a visceral reaction from even slightly slipping away from His love? We should be spiritually vomiting all over the floor when we even get a little too caught up in ourselves and forget to keep up with His unconditional friendship.

If only we could all be this at peace when we talk with Jesus!
We've been talking a lot in our Bible study recently about the Lenten Mass readings and how they consistently show that God meets us where we are. I'm not just talking in the sense of lowering Himself to taking on a human nature, but even more of seeking us out where we will be able to hear Him and understand Him the best. We encountered that with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:5-42) and we will read it again in the blind man's life changing encounter with Christ this coming Sunday (John 9:1-41). In both cases, Jesus came to meet these broken people exactly where they were. These two were both at a dark place in life - rock bottom, in a sense - but still Christ went there with them to bring them out of the darkness into light. Both the woman and the blind man were cured of their spiritual blindness - a blindness to God's infinite love and friendship that they had been carrying their whole lives! They encountered Christ not only in the flesh, but deep within their hearts - and they had this conversion not because they were out seeking God, but because God came to them, seeking to deepen that friendship with each of them. This is exactly what He does with each of us. The placement of these readings in the Lenten season is not by accident. Lent is not just about penance, sacrifice, and preparation, but it's about remembering or rediscovering Christ as a friend. I hope that I can use the rest of this Lent to try to put my friendship with God first in my life and open my eyes to Christ when he comes to meet me, wherever I am.

Edit: Right after I clicked to publish this post, I went over to read the latest post on the Our Father at Conversion Diary... and it is so fitting! Go check it out!

"I no longer call you servants... Instead, I have called you friends." (John 15:15)

Friday, March 25, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (#22)

Head over to Conversion Diary!

Long time no update! Life has been pretty busy lately, and I have a lot of catching up to do! I'll work on updating you all on my awesome spring break trip, big decisions, and DC adventures once life slows back down a bit! Until then, enjoy my 7 Quick Takes Friday Playlist!

**I just used WAAAAAAY too many exclamation points...**

  1. I always say it's not a Liesl mix without some Yellowcard... so I'll just start out that way! Yellowcard is one of my favorite bands - the violin is really what sets them apart, but their lyrics are amazing too! They just came out with a new album I have yet to get my hands on, but here is one of my favorite songs... Miles Apart! This song reminds me that even though I am far from home, I still carry all those that I love with me! Recently, I've also become a fan of finding a way to apply a secular song to God, and this one makes me think that even though we are miles apart from God, He still is with us in our hearts!
  2. It's also true that it's not a Liesl mix without at least one Relient K song. In my opinion, they are one of the best Christian bands out there - they keep it fresh and a little bit more musically interesting than a lot of other artists out there. Check out one of my favorites by them... The Best Thing! This song reminds me of packed car rides from my senior year of college, and I listen to it especially when I miss those times and friends. I also love this song because it can be applied to any kind of relationship - a strong friendship, a good relationship, and of course, your relationship with God!
  3. I often make mix CDs for myself to listen to in the car, and I think this song is currently on 3 or 4 different CDs... it just never gets old! Speaking from the perspective of a single young Catholic woman, I like to think that if God is calling me to marriage, that I just haven't met the one He is preparing for me quite yet. So this song goes out to him, wherever he is!
  4. Michael Bublé Havent met you yet - www... by luisanawebtube
  5. Switchfoot is another Christian band that I love, and this song really gets me dancing in the car. I think I must like it because it mentions entropy in a scientifically accurate way (Bonus points if you know what entropy means without googling it!).
  6. In case anyone needs a reminder... you are amazing, just the way you are!
  7. Just to slow things down for a minute, here's a great song from Jason Mraz. It's long, but it's worth it to wait it out until the end!
  8. This song is a shout out to a major spring break dance party! So go ahead... turn up the volume, get out of your seat, and do a little dance!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (#21)

Check out Conversion Diary for more!
  1. I feel so absent from blog-world lately... but life has been very busy! I wish it would slow down a bit for Lent, but it doesn't seem like that will happen. The good news is that I am still going to make extra time for extra spiritual workouts this Lenten season, including keeping up on all the good Lent posts all over the internet!
  2. Have you seen this series of posts by three young Catholic women? If you haven't, you should go read them now. 
  3. Have you left to read them yet?!? Good.
  4. I leave tomorrow morning for my alternative spring break trip to Mount Pleasant, SC! Our Newman Center is taking a small group of students to help rebuild homes in the area... as well as explore Charleston and the beach! Should be a fun and humbling week! If you think about it, say some prayers for our group!
  5. Have you ever read any of John Donne's poetry? He was a metaphysical poet around the time of Shakespeare, and in addition, he was also insanely in love with his wife (they had 12 children!) and he was a super secret Catholic! Actually, it wasn't so super secret, but because he had an "in" with the king, he managed to keep his head. However, his poetry is laced with Catholicism, love for his wife, and commentary on the amount of power given to the king. He even has a series of Divine Poems and Holy Sonnets, all of which are beautiful. He is one of my favorite poets, and if you are looking for something new to check out, head to his poetry! Some of my personal favorites - The CanonizationA Valediction Forbidding Mourning, and Holy Sonnet X: Death, Be Not Proud.
  6. What are you giving up for Lent? I gave up juice... and I'm on Day 3 and already have struggled. Let's be clear: I drink juice like a toddler with a sippy cup. Juice has it's wonderfulness, such as lots of vitamins and minerals... but it also has lots and lots of sugar. Mmmmm, sugar. Mmmmm, juice.
  7. In addition to giving something up, I also try to add extra spiritual workouts to my routine. This Lent, I am reading Pope Benedict XVI's new book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, or as I like to call it, Jesus the Sequel. I really enjoyed his first one, although it often went way over my head, it still blew my mind! I am really looking forward to it. Are you adding any reading to your Lenten season?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Boys vs. Girls

Ever wonder why God created boys and girls so... well... different?

Unfortunately, this is not a post about John Paul II's Theology of the Body... at least, not purposely. I recently came across a situation through two discussions - between two girls and between a girl and a boy - that made me think about the God's purpose of creating us male and female, of creating us to be different. This idea - and the necessity of it - is often lost in secular culture with talks of extreme equality and tolerance. Good thing we have daily reminders such as these to help us remember.


Girl Version

Girl 1: How did your thing the other day go?

Girl 2: *forlorn sigh* It was... *interesting*

Girl 1: What happened?

Girl 2: It was fun but very stressful and confusing...

Conversation continues for about 20 minutes, where the two ladies talk about their feelings and advice is passed along for the good of all. Tears are most likely shed, and reassuring words are said to let Girl 2 know that God has a plan, even if it remains unknown for the time being. In a perfect world, the conversation would end with the eating of chocolate and a shopping spree.

Boy Version

Boy: Oh hey, how was your thing the other day?

Girl: *exasperated sigh* It was... *interesting* [said with a sad, exasperated, and probably scary-looking (to a boy) face]

Boy: Oh. Sorry.

Boy runs away.

20 minutes later...

Girl: Sorry about earlier. It was a confusing day and...

Boy: (interrupting) No problem, don't worry about it. I totally understand, been there.

Boy changes subject. In a perfect world, this subject would include discussing the latest bargains found at TJMaxx, but in reality, it is probably about sports, TV shows, or asking when dinner will be ready.


From these observations, I have been able to conclude the following:
  1. God has a sense of humor - Imagine God at creation: "What can I do to make things more entertaining... Aha! I know!"* If anything, God gets a good chuckle out of all of this.
  2. Boys do not like to talk about emotions - They do, however, like to run away. That must be how they stay so lean and muscular.
  3. Girls like to talk... about anything - They also can be easily sidetracked by shoe shopping and choco... Pardon the interruption. The blog author has apparently left the room in search of chocolate.
  4. 20 minutes or 20 seconds, both conversations are exactly what needs to be heard - These differences between boys and girls are each reassuring in their own unique way:
    • It took 20 minutes to discuss those pesky emotions, analyze every corner of the situation, hear advice based on past experiences, and share in a mutual understanding - while also (hopefully) sharing a delicious bar of chocolate - all of which makes everyone feel more clarity.
    • In 20 seconds, the boy was able to convey to the girl that he understood what she was going through. Even though it wasn't discussed in detail and (unfortunately) there wasn't any chocolate, those words of "I understand, been there" passed on a similar feeling of mutual understanding - without having to deal with an awkward discussion of those pesky emotions. Crisis averted!, thinks the boy. Surprisingly, I feel better..., thinks the girl.

Ah, the never-ending battle of boys vs. girls. But maybe that's all part of God's master plan...

*Thank goodness this isn't the way creation panned out... or is it?!?! Will we ever know? Perhaps this will be the next Creation vs. Evolution debate...

If this were Miami hockey... I'd totally be there with the guys... except I wouldn't have been created yet.
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