and O! Your flesh and blood

“Jesus, I am not worthy. I am a broken (wo)man. But only say the word and I shall be healed again”!

I cannot WAIT to show this to my Confirmation students tomorrow morning.

What beauty there is in the Eucharist! What joy, what strength! For in the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ therein lies the beginning and the end of every human creature.

Every bit of his precious flesh, every drop of his precious blood– all of this man-made-God Jesus’s soul– given up for me on Calvary AND simultaneously forever in the Eucharistic sacrifice!

This is the food that will heal my generation.

This is is the drink that will create a revolution of peace, of love in the world.

He is our answer.

#EucharisticGeneration

Amen.

faithful friends

My husband and I love the Book of Sirach in the Sacred Scripture so much that we call Sirach “our man Sirach”! Recently, I felt led by the Holy Spirit to meditate upon this verse from Sirach– which was my favorite Bible verse in my middle school days:

“Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter;
whoever finds one finds a treasure.

Faithful friends are beyond price,
no amount can balance their worth.

Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
those who fear God will find them.

Those who fear the Lord enjoy stable friendship,
for as they are, so will their neighbors be”

–Sirach 6:14-17

Fast forward to now, when I’ve lived the length of that middle school life-span two times over, and I still value friendship as a gift of infinite worth.

Friends shape you and they help you to become the “best version of yourself” (a la Matthew Kelly).  As Christians, we are made to sharpen one another like “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17). So often, spiritual growth is not solitary, but together, in fellowship. In my life, this means that spiritual growth occurs largely with my spouse or friends and alongside friends old and new. Deeper than that, we are made by God to be shelters to one another, in good times and in bad (Sirach 6:14).

As friends, we are called to sharpen one another into saints– and so often, this means being figurative “homes” to our friends: to hold their hearts, to value their lives and their dignity, to remind them of their worth, and vice versa. To “tell them like it is” (whether they like it or not) and to just hold them and to be gentle with them (if that need that). 

Friendship, in essence, is a shared sacred space, a shared duty, to honor and to love the other with their best interest at heart.

So may we journey together. May we run in this life side by side, towards our singular destination: Heaven.

confessions of a new mom

“Today… was officially… the WORST day EVER!” I exclaimed after a long day of what seemed like hour upon hour of a fussy, overactive, nap-fighting, teething baby.

I knew I was exaggerating. I knew I was being a drama queen.

But sometimes, that’s the best therapy (for me, at least): to speak in fourth grade level hyperbole. To let that frustration out like a bang.

“And guess what? It was also the BEST day EVER… because we have HIM [our son]!” Matt chimed in.

I smiled. He spoke truth.

“You’re right… you’re SO right.” I agreed.

Recently, I have found myself an ungrateful mother. I may be a saint in the making, but I am no living saint now! (Ha, ha, ha!)

“God, you say you know how many hairs I have on my head? Well, I want to pull out ALL of them right now!” I kept thinking today.

It’s amazing how much of “my life” I have felt that I have “lost” since giving birth to my son. Career plans? What career? Hobbies? What hobbies? Free time? Ha! Ha, ha, ha!

But my husband is right.  When we got married, we vowed that our marriage would be ,”free, total, faithful, and FRUITFUL.” And God sure did deliver (fast!) on that fourth “f” (when he blessed us with the FRUIT of our LOVE: our dear son)!

We said “yes” to being free, total, faithful, and fruitful… we said “yes” to LIFE. Which is actually quite funny. Because while that YES meant gaining the CUTEST, most LIFE-filled baby in our arms, it also meant LOSING *our* lives as we knew them! It is our dear son’s life over ours now. We are called to LOVE by laying down our LIFE for his.

Yet in the end, it’s like a 1,000,000,000^infinity return on LIFE– just a different kind of life. One that is full of suffering, sacrifice, and selflessness. Yet it is precisely that life, I’ve found, that grows… that grows me and my husband as a woman and a man, respectively– and that, hopefully, will make the world a better place one day: via passing on that spirit of sacrificial Jesus-like love to our dear son.

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He ended up tryin’ to eat my Confirmation teaching materials today! This boy’s on the move, and boy is he fast now!

a lesson in the cry room

Honestly, I used to be “on the fence” about church “cry rooms.” But since I’ve become a mama, I’ve definitely come to appreciate them. Especially since we have such a loud and active infant. 

We recently visited my hubby’s home parish in the ‘burbs. It had a tiny cry room, and it was jam packed.

One family particularly struck me: a mother, father, and four small kids. The father and one of the children was away for a very long while (potty break?). When he was gone, the mother was trying her best to corral her other three very active kids. Her youngest even kept crawling head-on towards the actively opening and closing door. Yikes! 

All the while, this same young mother’s head was also submerged in her missal for all other moments BETWEEN her re-directing her children.  I admired how this mother still tried to follow along with the Mass in her missal. 

I also noticed a married couple to our left who had three tiny kids. One of their little girls was a wee little infant who LOVED screaming– er, SCREECHING. The parents took turns herding their little ones so that the other respective spouse could be more engaged in the Mass. Such a good display of teamwork so that they could both participate better at Mass! I admired how they both kneeled so reverrently too.

Lastly, I noticed a family with a couple teens, a pre-teen, and an infant. The infant was being quiet fidgety. One of their teenage children also seemed not in the least interested in Mass. Yet I could see– rather, hear– the two parents in this family really lifting up their voices to God, and particularly the father doing so. His soul seemed to emanate from his vocals. He was singing with his whole body; he was almost swaying to the music! 

All of these parents shared one look: that of being TIRED. Yet they also shared another look: that of being ENGAGED IN MASS ANYWAY. What INSPIRATION to be found in that jam-packed cry room.

Yes, we parents were tired, we were treading on that fine line between exhausted and crazy, yet we were participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass together. What better gift could we have from God than the gift to be there? Screaming babies and all.

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the human experience

The last few days I’ve been pondering the fragility of the human experience.

…My husband and I have dealt with a very fussy baby recently. In the learning process, we found that our son falls right asleep quickly when he is placed between his two parents in bed. So precious! Such a simple solution that we stumbled upon in serendipity! He rolls to his left, sees Daddy, rolls to his right, sees Mommy, and drifts off to dream.

In this little moment, I realized just how precious the order of marriage and family is, even to the tiniest and youngest of children.
…I also visited my workplace this last Friday. As I have been on maternity leave, many feelings were evoked upon my return: of my work there, of my overall life mission, of my dear friend co-workers, of my former clients. As a counselor, I work with “the human experience” in the raw, in real time, at its worst and at its best.I realized just how much my coworkers and I truly care for our clients, and moreover, just how much we care for one another as a team, as a family.

…This week, I was also jolted in shock by the report of two newscasters and their interviewee being shot point-blank by their former co-worker. Both the newscaster and the cameraman were killed instantly.  Both were about my age. Both were in similar life situations that I have just gone through myself: finding true love, getting engaged, living passionately in newly started careers.
Perhaps to my regret, I even saw the video of the newscaster’s last moments. That look of terror on her face will forever be etched in my memory.
I realized just how ephemeral, how fleeting life is. Every day, every moment, every opportunity to love and to serve… truly is a gift. We cannot count on tomorrow.
…I’ve also felt so utterly disgusted (and betrayed by the government) regarding the heinous crimes against children, women, and humanity itself by Planned Parenthood. These crimes recently surfaced via undercover work at Planned Parenthood. The main man behind the undercover work is a friend of many of my close friends.
Doctors at Planned Parenthood have been selling baby body parts and intact fetuses. Worse yet, doctors and other employees at Planned Parenthood have been harvesting baby body parts, such as brains, while those babies are still alive.
Who has the gut to stomach this and to say that it is permissible on any level? Why do my tax dollars fund this evil? My human heart is grieving.
I realized just how vulnerable life is, especially life that does not have the strength to defend itself.
I realized just how ugly life can get and just how evil and greedy (if not for money, for pride) we as humans can be. And no, I am not exempt from those temptations.
The only thing my heart can conclude is that at the intersection of all of these realizations is the ultimate reality that this LIFE is not our own and that as humans we are not meant merely to do as we please. Instead, God has given us a plan for love and for life, and we are to live accordingly for our good, the good of others, and the good of LIFE itself.
This beautiful LIFE given to us by our Creator is meant to be cherished, to be treasured, not taken for granted, and worse yet, destroyed.
(And hey, I’m not just writing this post because I want to point fingers. I too take life for granted. I too destroy the LIFE in me and in others when I sin.)

Little ol’ me…. just one in a trillion humans of all of humanity.

But my MISSION remains and I DO have the power to change.

I am called to protect LIFE and to wholeheartedly to live out God’s plan for life and love. Come what may.

They call it the human experience. Yes, at its very finest.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”John 10:10-11

I met Saint GIanna’s daughter, also Gianna! Saint Gianna Beretta Molla was a true testament to someone whose mission was to protect life, to live according to God’s plans for love and life.

priorities: live and die tryin’

World Youth Day Mass 2013 at Rio de Janeiro... millions of youth yearning for God to fill their hearts-- for the Eucharist to feed their bodies and souls!

World Youth Day Mass 2013 at Rio de Janeiro… millions of youth yearning for God to fill their hearts– for the Eucharist to feed their bodies and souls!

Those days. I remember those days. When I would lay in bed at night and think and pray that if I only had a boyfriend (hopefully, a very potential husband), I would be happy.

Those mornings when I would wake up in the morning, look at the light hitting my pillows and sheets, and dream about cuddling with a baby, or maybe even five kids (LOL– typical devout Catholic girl dream?), and a hubby, too.

Well, guess what? Those days and mornings are here. Marriage. Family life. And yes, life is beautiful. And I am happy in many ways. All thanks be to the Providence and the goodness of God the Creator. AMEN.

Yet… surprise! (No, not really– knew it was coming!!) I still have this deep longing in my heart, this restlessness that I cannot explain. I still have that “God hole” that nothing and NO ONE (not even my husband or son) can fill… but God.

As Saint Augustine stated so eloquently: “You have made us for Yourself, O LORD, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” (Happy feast day today, St. Auggie!)

I also still dream. I dream of saving souls. Not so much in a “preach-y till they all convert” way, but in an “indirect, let the Holy Spirit use me somehow” way. Call it the spirit of the New Evangelization teeming from within. It’s what gets me up in the morning!

Yet tonight during prayer, my husband reminded me of something very important: Prioritization.

While we were praying, I prayed to the LORD that my husband would excel in one of his life’s ambitions.

Then my husband did something funny. He smiled. He laughed. He looked at me. And he changed that prayer. He quipped, gently, “And LORD, that I might be the BEST DADDY in the world!”

Oh so true. This is why I married this man. Because before being an engineer, he is a father and a husband. And before being those roles, he is a son of God. A soldier of Christ.

The same goes for me. First, a daughter of God, a disciple of Christ. (That “God hole” will always feel wanting, and that’s a good thing.) Second, a wife and a mother. Third, a __________ (fill in other roles pertaining to my unique vocation or “calling” here).

My primary goal: to get myself and my hubby and my son to Heaven.

All other goals are secondary.

Priorities…

Just tryin’ to get ’em straight. I do fail sometimes, ’tis true. But…

Hope I live and I die tryin’.

Satan and his sly affair

My greatest enemy… is myself.

One may say Satan is our greatest enemy, but really, (most of us) have free will to do what we want. We can *personally* choose to listen to Satan, to worldly desires… to that voice inside our heads that is tainted by “the Fall” (of mankind via Adam and Eve). That tainted voice tells us that it is OK to do something that we know is bad for us or others. Conversely, we can  *personally* choose to listen to God, and to live our lives pointed towards Heaven. It is our choice. We are responsible for saying yes to the voice of the Enemy, consequently becoming our own enemies– or for saying yes to Christ Our King.

Am I listening to God? Moreover, am I DOING something about what I hear: am I clinging to His every word?

In Matthew 4:4, Jesus tells Satan: “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Am I listening to Satan, who in subtle AND not-so-subtle ways tempts me, daily? I am but a fool if I fail to see how hard Satan is working to gain my soul. Bit by bit, day by day, little by little… it’s a sly affair. 

Even the greatest of saints were tempted. In big ways AND in little ways. All the time. Tempted to make choices that would lead them to be less alive… less alive in Christ.

I am a saint in the making, and I need to be aware. That’s step one. Step two? To take courage! To pick up my cross and to follow JESUS: the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

It is Christ Our Lord’s grace that helps me to flee temptation and to fly towards Heaven!

As Saint Josemaria put it:

“Don’t forget, my son, that for you on earth there is but one evil, which you must fear and avoid with the grace of God: sin.” The Way, 386

Some youth chillin' with Papa Francesco and taking a "selfie." May God bless them on their quest for HOLINESS... holiness: striving to turn from sin and to run towards Jesus... by listening to Him and living a life built around His word!

Youth chillin’ with Papa Francesco. Hopefully, they left this inspiring pope with a thirst for holiness: to turn from sin, run towards Jesus, and live in Him by clinging to His every word!

2 friends, 2 vocations: sisterhood & married life

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One of my best friends, Melissa, is an “aspirant” in a religious order, meaning she is preparing to become a fully-vowed religious sister one day (there are a series of vows over many years). Similarly, I am engaged, preparing to become a Christian wife this upcoming April. 

Recently, I was looking at pics of Melissa, who now lives in a convent (and has an apostolate chockfull of various duties, such as teaching). I saw her radiant smile shining the love of Jesus! JESUS: her all-in-all, her MAN… the Son of God made man! There she was, in her beautiful uniform. Radiant. In every picture.

The pictures had me thinking… I feel like I was sorta a “wannabe” religious sister before I met my fiancé. Simply put, the entirety of my days revolved around Our Lord. Much of my time was devoted to Him. Because I was single, it was easier to have a more singular focus on my spiritual walk with and worship of Jesus.

When I was 25, dating for the first time had me feeling very odd at first. I was jolted into another way of existing: loving Jesus, but also loving a human man like I love Jesus.

Dating meant making time for daily Mass, holy hours, and morning/noon/evening/night prayer and as well as for daily significant-other conversation, date nights, and relationship building.

So much was new to me: talking out misunderstandings like there was no tomorrow, making surprise brownies like it was a sacred duty, entrusting to this young man my vulnerabilities when I had never laid them out to anyone.

I began to see that Matt deserved my attention, adoration, and sacrifice as Jesus did, albeit in different ways. My new mission was not just to love my perfect Jesus, but also to love an imperfect man in His name. And to be trusting enough to let Matt love an even-more-imperfect me.

Gazing at the radiant smile of my “sister-in-training” friend, Melissa, the presence of the Son of God Made Man could not be more apparent with her. And, after reflecting, I can see how Jesus is present in my relationship with my purely human man as well. I have not left Jesus. In loving Matt, I am loving Jesus in new ways that I have not loved Him before.

In dating / courtship and engagement, my love for Jesus been put to the test! In the past two and a half years, I have tasted the decisive love of the Cross in unforeseen ways. Ultimately, I have learned that with grace, with the life of Jesus within, selfless love is possible to give as well as to receive.

My attention?

To decrease on myself, and to increase on Matt. My Ultimate Question: “How can I serve him better?” In serving Matt, I serve Our Lord!

John 3:30 reads: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

My adoration?

On Matt’s personhood, his manhood: on his being made in the image and likeness of God. And as the man in our future marriage, on his being our image of Christ: my spiritual “head” to whom I am to “submit” or to “be subject.” On respecting and adoring Matt as a son of God, I am respecting and adoring Our Lord!

Ephesians 5:22-23 reads: “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.”

My sacrifice?

To lay my life down for Matt. Every. Single. Moment.

John 15:13 reads: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

The two biggest differences between my friend who is in the convent and me?

FIRST. Jesus will be my friend’s “head” while Matt will be mine. He will be my head, I will be his body. Matt and I will be an indivisible team, united by God as “one flesh”! In the ups and he downs, the joys and the sorrows. Together, we will reflect the entirety of Jesus; we will also reflect Jesus the Groom with His Bride, the Church.

SECOND. My friend will have Christ as her “husband” to sanctify her and lead her to Heaven. On the contrary, Matt’s and my shared mission as husband and wife is to sanctify one another via loving one another with the unconditional love of Jesus. And, get this: it is only when we are BOTH alive in Jesus that He will be able to lead us as “one flesh” into Heaven. I am accountable for Matt’s soul and Christian discipleship as well as my for own. And as for our possible future children: we will also be accountable for them so long as they are in our care. These duties are not to be taken lightly!

It is always so fun to receive a letter from Melissa, or to call her, or to meet up with her. Girl talk abounds; but the funny thing is, we could just as easily call it “vocation talk”!

“Vocation” comes from the Latin word “vocare,” meaning “to call.” As Melissa and I follow the Lord’s call in our respective vocational journeys, it is a sight to behold the parallels in our shared calling to Christian discipleship. Although we have two very different vocations, we have more similarities than we can imagine! For at the root of both of our vocations is the Cross, on which hung our sweet and powerful King, Jesus.

What an adventure life has been for both of us, and what more adventure awaits!

A.M.D.G.

WHERE ARE ALL THE REAL MEN?: what a WOMAN wants

ImageOK, so recently my girl friends and I… I mean my women friends and I… have been discussing the aspects and characteristics in men that we desire.

Some common aspects (NOTE: by no means is this an exhaustive list) are the following – just thought it’d be fun to write out.

REAL MEN that women HOPE to be PURSUED BY…

Have intention, intention, intention – all rooted in respect! The key foundational words behind real men are “intention” and “respect.” Yes, real men open doors for you. But, they do so much more as well!

COURAGEOUS & BRAVE

FIRST OF ALL, they have the courage to contact you personally (step one), without the help of anyone else, to show you that THEY want to pursue YOU.

They have the guts to fearlessly approach you, taking the chance to be rejected by you, but also taking the greater chance to get to know your GREAT MYSTERY within!

And, if you acquiesce…

They call you up and tell you about where they would like to take you.

When that will happen.

And how it will all go down.

(Ladies, you don’t have to keep looking at your phone wondering, “When will he call / text?” If you’re doing this number, he’s probably not worth your time.)

GOOD DATE-PLANNERS: QUALITY TIME

Real men will take you out on dates that they think you will enjoy.

Moreover, they will have you meet people that they may think will be important to know or have you engage in activities that are personally meaningful. It won’t just be one-on-one mushy time all the time. It will be getting to know their friends and family, your friends and family, and you in all of your various “settings” and “activities”!

Real men plan activities that you can serve others through as well as get to know one another through.

Real men plan activities that you can bond, laugh, smile, and play through – but also seriously see one another’s true colors through.

EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY

Real men will ask and answer questions that they believe will lead you two to become closer.

Real men will be open in conversations, and not want to play games by hiding things, being manipulative, etc. They are healthily assertive, and are not domineering, passive, nor passive aggressive (watch out for all of these!).

Real men will be careful with their words, i.e. the first time they say “I love you” (is it too soon? that could be a red flag!).

Real men will also be careful about thinking about the first time they broach the subject of marriage and babies, as this can REALLY play mind tricks on a young woman.

(Think: oxytocin. Real men respect the oxytocin levels of women!)

Intention… Ah, what an attractive quality for a young man to have! Truly, intention can woo and whisk a young woman away. And respect in that intention is what makes it so golden!

– Get to really know you and have a long term objective in courting you. As illustrated above, real men have gotten to know you well before courting you. Yes – courting, not dating – read on for the difference. Real men become a friend first.

This “friends first” mentality and carefully thought-out courtship, versus spur-of-the-moment dating, helps protect the woman’s heart.

COURTING VS. DATING

Women are emotional beings. When men haphazardly date a woman, emotions usually end up mired and hurt. But when men intentionally court a woman, emotions are better protected and the woman usually feels truly cherished and cared for.

Now, I know this “dating” versus “courting” is a toughie, because a lot of men meet women and are just *taken* by them right away (who can blame them?). Thus, most men start chasing right away.

However, is this really being prudent about his heart or the woman’s heart? How often does this blind “chase” ever end up in a lasting marriage?

Rather, real men woo women by spending quality time with them – and especially in friend and family settings – to really get to know the woman.

What is her character? Her interests? Her hopes? Her dreams? The way she operates? Real men study.

ATTENTIVE NERDS, STUDYING THE ELUSIVE WOMAN

YES, real men are NERDS: they study the woman they love like it’s their job! Yes, even though women seem like all-too complicated, elusive mysteries to men.

The most important questions in her mystery”to be explored may be: “What are her beliefs, values, and morals? In what is her faith? What gets her up in the morning?”

Sharing the answers to these questions, and really growing in sharing those convictions and living them out, together, proves for a sturdy foundation that will last.

AIMING FOR A PHD

AND, when real men want to “go in for the PhD” in their woman – that is, when they have really gotten to know her, prayed for and thought about her, and believe she is marriage material – then and only then do they begin to pursue!

Mere “dates” actually turn into a relationship. An already-close friendship is taken to the next level. And that next level is not just a relationship; it’s courtship!

Know how to provide financially. Real men save the courting for when they actually have a steady source of income and/or a career.

Why? Yes, because they want to make sure that they can pay for all those activities and dates. But moreover, because they yearn to support that “long term objective” of marrying the woman they are pursuing!

ACTION PLANS

Real men have action plans about turning a relationship into a courtship and into a marriage.

A steady income, a house, health insurance, a car, car insurance, grocery bills, Internet and phone bills, electric and water bills… the cold hard realities of LIFE are endless.

Real men take these necessities into consideration because they want to make sure their princesses can eventually feel like queens who are well taken care of.

[NOTE: Of course, women often work and pitch in (or are even the main breadwinners), but real men don’t want that to be the case unless the woman has consented and agreed to do so.]

Know how to provide emotionally. I am not saying that a real man always has to “be in touch with his feminine side” or talk about his feelings 24/7.

All I am saying is that women have emotional needs and ups and downs, and sometimes emotional times make a relationship seem like the craziest new roller coaster at the local Six Flags.

Real men know how to ride the roller coaster.

RESPECT, WONDER, & AWE FOR GENDER DIFFERENCES

Instead of just “dealing” with the emotions, and going along for the ride with a groan in his voice, a frown on his face, or a flaring temper – a real man appreciates that a woman is wired differently than he is: including her emotional workings.

Emotions are part of her beautiful design.

Instead of making her feel guilty or inadequate – or like she just needs to “man up” – a real man bears with his woman in patience, fidelity, and love, especially in her most emotional times.

Yes, sometimes she may ask very silly-sounding questions that just beg for some affirmation from her man. But her real man answers promptly and lovingly.

No mind games. No joking. No manipulation. Just love.

– Know how to lead spiritually. Real men are loyal – not only to their woman, but moreover, to their LORD Jesus Christ. [NOTE: Or, to their faith value system of choice. But do bear in mind that this is a Catholic/Christian blog :-).]

There is nothing more attractive than a man who says, “OK, we should start morning prayer!” or “Let’s pray night prayer before we’re too sleepy.”

PEACE OF SOUL

A man who has a close relationship with God has peace of soul.

And a man who has peace of soul is not just a “man.”

He is a man of God.

He is a soldier – a warrior – fighting for Truth and Beauty.

And what is Truth? His Faith.

And Who is Beauty? Our LORD Jesus Christ, but also… his beloved beauty: his girlfriend, fiance, or wife!

There is nothing more attractive than a real man who wants to bring his woman to God – to present her, holy, pure, unblemished! A real man wants to carry his woman to the gates of Heaven, and in the end be able to say:

“Here she is, LORD. I’ve loved her to the best of my ability every day of my life. I’ve tried to place her above me every day of my life. I’ve tried to die to myself for her every day of my life.” What, oh what, is more romantic than that?!

YES, a real man wants to help his woman to be as fruitful as her Creator has designed
her to become.

A real man wants to help his woman to be FULLY ALIVE in Our LORD Jesus Christ.

– Knows how to protect. Especially in terms of chastity. There is no questioning and there is no joking about chastity or “chastity rules”, respectively, for it and they are no laughing matter.

Who cares if the world thinks you two are prudes, or “not in with the times”?

Real men know they have a battle worth fighting for: true love.

Real men know who they are fighting for in this battle: their souls, and the soul of their woman. All for the glory of God: for Love Himself.

NO “FLIPPY-FLOPPY” OR SNEAKY “CONVINCING”

Chastity-wise, in times of passionate encounter (which in any healthy relationship there will be!), real men ask no questions like, “Can I do this?” or “What about that?” re: obviously unchaste acts.

Real men do not finagle their way around their woman’s moral code regarding her physical boundaries.

In the heat of the moment, a real man does not get her to “change her mind.”

BOTTOM LINE: A real man does not want his woman to feel used at any cost!

RATHER, real men know what their physical boundaries are, and they establish them by discussing them with their woman at the beginning of the relationship and all along the way.

MASTERY OF DISCPLINE & SELF-CONTROL

Turn a woman on, and you’re playing with her heart.

Real men understand this and remain gentlemen by not intentionally igniting their woman’s passions in a very tempting way.

Real men always strive to protect their woman’s purity. And when they mess up, a quite human thing to do, they step it up a notch. Pretty simple.

In conclusion…

Real men DO NOT just immediately say (or text, Facebook message, and/or e-mail) empty words of affection to the woman to whom they are merely attracted. Instead, they save that for when they really have decided to love the woman.

Real men DO build up to the point of “I love you” and “Will you marry me?,” so that when they finally do say those words, they mean it.

Real men DO NOT lay around with their woman’s minds or hearts, emotionally or physically. (Kind of a no-brainer.)

Real men DO make sure that they are not careless with their woman’s mind or heart, emotionally and physically. Real men DO truly cherish their beloved woman by saying, “You’re worth the wait.” Real men save passionate sexual expression and sex for marriage for they ardently believe that…

Only a forever vow from a real man can earn a woman 100% body and soul.

Yes, a real man courts a sought-after woman like a real gentleman!

“SHE’S GOD’S DAUGHTER FIRST & MY SIGNIFICANT OTHER SECOND”

And a real man does not think “she’s mine,” but rather: “I am going to pursue this daughter of God in order to earn her. Then, and only then, after my pursuit and my fight for her, do I have the right to call her mine as well as God’s.”

DEVOTED & VALIANT WARRIOR: “MY WOMAN IS WORTH THE FIGHT”

Real men protect their woman, provide for their woman, and love their woman.by devotedly and valiantly chasing their woman as if she is standing at the top of a castle turret! Yes, real men know that they are standing at the bottom, professing their love for her, but moreover, climbing, tooth and nail, to the very top!

[Think: a man literally using his front teeth to climb that stone wall! YES. THAT IS A REAL MAN.]

Real men heroically love their woman by showing her that she is worth being fought for, and earned, via virtue and strength.

Well, I may have missed many things, but…

Real women, I know that you know what your FEMININE HEART wants. Do not be afraid to look for that courageous man who will be gentle with you, respect you, pursue you, and fight for you, every day!

Do not be afraid to look for a man who will be selfless enough to know that love is sacrifice.

In a world of boys, it’s hard to find real men, but it’s worth waiting for that real man. Your dignity and true love are calling.

AMEN.

#TheEnd

I found the secret!! yes, I did!

By God (literally), I think I have found it!

The secret to my faith as a daughter, both a “princess” and a “handmaiden,” of Our LORD.

The secret to my life as a pilgrim on this earth. (I have a restless soul, always wandering, even when standing still.)

The secret to my love, for my boyfriend, for my family, for my friends, for strangers, for my LORD.

And what is that secret?

To always remember this key: less of me, more of JESUS… and more of any other person before me made in His Image and Likeness!

And less, less… less of me.

John 3:30 reads: “He [Jesus Christ] must increase, but I must decrease.”

We’ve all heard it before, but just to reiterate: J-esus, o-thers, y-ourself… in that order… now that’s real “joy” for the journey. 🙂

ImageIf I am truly to become a saint one day, yes, I must let “God be the author” of my life.

Yet I must also remember that my life is a love story with JESUS. And, as per the image above, my love story with my LORD and my God will not start with “once upon a time” and end with “happily ever after” without  adversity in the great big middle!

Yet in adversity, with Jesus as our hope, we have Joy personified…

Less of ourselves, more of Him. 😉