Simple Joy Of GIVING: FOCUS Missions

Hey yall!

It’s time again to launch The Simple Joy Of Giving! This is the second month of t-shirts & charity donations, and I’m so excited to see what we can accomplish this month!

Order your shirt here!

The Simple Joy Of Giving is a not-for-profit campaign that directly benefits the less fortunate worldwide and in local communities. Every few months, I will be selling newly-designed t-shirts to raise money for a different cause or organization! One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to that month’s selected cause. In April, my readers raised over $200 for a soup kitchen in my hometown!

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I started The Simple Joy Of Giving as a way to give back to my local community. My initial thought was to just raise money to fund a future mission trip, but then I realized that I could do so much more with this project! I came to the realization that, since I have this platform of my blog, I could expand this campaign into an ongoing fundraiser for my local community, and will hopefully one day grow to spread the Word of God and to help struggling communities worldwide. I also hope to one day go on a mission trip, and hopefully, this little project can help me reach that goal!

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In my hometown alone, 18.2% of the population lives in poverty. That’s almost a fifth of the population of Huntsville, Alabama, but it’s a small percentage compared to the worldwide statistics: approximately 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day. Nearly 50% of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.   1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. Researching these statistics and seeing the widespread, but little known, disaster of poverty in this world has helped me realize that people are in need everywhere, every day. I have volunteered at this local soup kitchen many times, and it filled me with so much joy that so many people were willing to help me raise money to purchase meals for the less fortunate in my hometown. 

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Before I started this campaign, I prayed that the Lord would fill me with compassion and patience and wisdom to help me with the whole process of this campaign. after the first month passed, I finally realized that so many prayers had been answered! Not only my prayers but maybe even other people’s prayers that I don’t know about. It has definitely shown me that prayers DO get answered, even if not the ways we initially imagine them. 

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This Month’s Cause

For the month of August, the proceeds will be donated to a FOCUS mission trip. FOCUS, The Fellowship of Catholic University Students, is a group of people passionate about changing the world and helping college students live a life of purpose through Christ. FOCUS Missions believes that we have a unique opportunity to reach the world and be forces of good, both in uncharted territory and in our own familiar homelands. I’m so excited to help fund someone’s mission trip through focus, and I hope that others are as excited about this as I am! Click here to order your shirt and make a difference in this world!

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And to the person who wants to start something similar for the glory of God:

GO FOR IT! It’s definitely a long process of waiting, praying, and waiting some more, but the results can be so beautiful. Even if you don’t raise as much money as you wanted, or if it doesn’t go quite as planned, Trust in God’s timing and in His will and everything will go the way He planned it to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the people around you, and don’t be afraid of any problems/struggles you may encounter. You are doing good for the world and your community and spreading the Love of God; that is such a beautiful thing! 

Order your shirt here!

Much love,

Chloe

Our deepest hungers are not for food and drink, not for amusements and recreations, not for property and wardrobes, not for notoriety and gossip. We hunger for truth, we thirst to drink beauty, we yearn to celebrate, we stretch out to love and be loved. This is why anything less than everything is not enough.

– Father Thomas Dubay

 

I Choose The Sky

Hey yall!

I have collaborated with one of the sweetest bloggers I know to bring you a few books that have influenced our faith as Catholic women. Read about more books and check out Maddy’s blog here! I am so blessed to be able to collaborate with such a faith-filled young woman and I hope you all take the time to go check out her blog! 

The book that I chose to write about is a small but impactful devotional by Emily Wilson. In this post I’m going to be telling y’all a little about how this book has influenced my faith journey, and I invite you all to go read the full post (linked at the end of this post) on No Greater Love!

I Choose The Sky by Emily Wilson has immensely influenced my faith journey,  and I cannot stress enough how much I believe each and every young woman should read this book! This book focuses on 17 women mentioned in the Bible who chose to lift their eyes towards heaven by living lives of great faith. Reflecting on women such as Tabitha, the crippled woman, Mary, and Martha has shown me that no matter what situation I may be in, Jesus still has an immense love for me. This book can help women of all ages to grow their faith and has changed the way I look at myself and the world. It was so powerful to re-read the stories of those women. Emily’s reflections on who these women are and what we as Catholic women can learn from them truly touched my heart. This book really helped to deepen my understanding of my identity in Christ as a woman, and I hope everyone who reads it can find a new light and a new understanding of these often-overlooked women in the Bible. e1ff6e80-a404-4296-9956-face80be0062Something that stood out to me the most in this book is Emily’s reflection on the story of the crippled woman in the Bible. After reading the story of the crippled woman, the book reflects on our perspectives in life, and how we can choose our perspective. I found this part of the book to be so inspirational; I, too, can often be like the crippled woman, constantly looking down and not having the spiritual strength to raise my eyes to heaven. Choosing to focus on the sky, not just physically, but spiritually, has opened up my world in a new light. Although I still find it hard to “choose the sky” sometimes, I have that conscious effort pushing me to focus on the good. Here’s an excerpt from this section of Emily’s book that I love:

“Our perspective and our outlook have an amazing impact on our day-to-day lives. Our perspective dictates how our days seem to go, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, and how we see the world. We have the power to choose whether we approach life with positivity or negativity. We make the decision to be cheerful, loving, and kind, even when life is challenging…or to give in to envy, self-loathing, or despair when we just wish things were different, or better, or easier. We get to decide which outlook we have: Are you looking at the ground, or are you looking up at the sky?

“If given the choice between the ground and the sky, I choose the sky”

-Emily Wilson

I hope you all are inspired to “choose the sky”, and I hope you all have the opportunity to read this book. I’ll link Emily Wilson’s website below so you can take a look! 

Much love,

Chloe♥

Emily Wilson: http://emwilsonmusic.com 

No Greater Love Blog: nogreaterloveblog.com

Read about more books that have inspired our faith: Books Of Greatness

“God indeed is my salvation, I am confident and unafraid. For the Lord is my strength and my might and he has been my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

Blueberry Coconut Overnight Oats

Hey y’all! 

This semester, my goal is to make more healthy breakfasts and to not just settle for cereal and almond milk. Not only do overnight oats have WAY more nutrients than most cereal, they are packed with protein to keep you full all day (perfect for a long day of classes)! Here I’ll be giving yall one of my  favorite overnight oat recipes These overnight oats are rich, creamy, and filled with fresh fruit. It’s truly like eating dessert for breakfast! And, better yet, there’s no prep time! Just mix them up the night before (this takes 5 minutes) and store them in easy grab-n-go airtight containers for easy breakfasts throughout the week. You can eat these cold & straight from the jar, or heat them up for a nice warm breakfast. Enjoy!

Blueberry Coconut Overnight Oats

Serves 1
  • 1/2 cuprolled oats
  • 1/4 cupcoconut milk
  • 1/4 cupalmond milk
  • tablespoonmaple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1teaspoonvanilla extract
  • pinchof salt
  • 1/2cupfresh blueberries
Additional Toppings (optional)
  • fresh blueberries
  • chia seeds
  • shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Combine oats, milk, chia seeds, vanilla extract, salt and maple syrup in a large bowl. Stir together until well combined.
  2. Fold in fresh blueberries.
  3. Transfer to two 8 ounce mason jars, cover, and the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. When ready, top with desired toppings and enjoy!

3 Ways I Stay Rooted In My Faith As A Catholic College Student

Hey y’all! Just realized I’ve talked about two pretty deep subjects in the past week. New year, new me? Or maybe my brain just isn’t dead from homework/finals/essays? Anyway, I want to talk with y’all about some ways that help me stay rooted in my faith as a Catholic college student, which, I admit, can be pretty stinking hard sometimes. I saw this picture on Blessed Is She‘s Instagram, and the words in the photo really inspired me to write this.  I hope this inspires and helps not only Catholic college students but people of all ages and all religions that want to become closer to God.  

Sometimes I find it hard to reflect His light in the darkness of this world. It can be so tempting, especially as a college student, to brush aside our faith in order to appear more like others you know who may not care as deeply about their faith. It can be hard to be strong in your faith at all times and to be the light.  It’s so easy to get caught up trying to live in the lives of others rather than trying to live as we are called to as followers of Christ. As Catholics, we are called to be a light to the world and to shine the light of God upon others who may not now His everlasting love. 

ONE.

If there’s a Catholic campus ministry at your college, go check it out! I have met some of the most amazing people I know at my college’s campus ministry, who are college students just like me who also want to grow deeper in their faith. The meetings we have every week make me think deeper into the words of God and inspire me to be a better Catholic. 

TWO. 

I know, it sounds cliche, but get a bible that you love. I recently received the Catholic Journaling Bible from Blessed Is She, which is absolutely beautiful and includes wide margins with lines for note taking, endnotes, and footnotes, an easy to read one column format and hand-lettered verses for each book. It’s SO PRETTY♥ This is helpful for me because I can write down any thoughts I have while reading, and I also just love flipping through and reading the hand-lettered verses in each book. 

THREE. 

Another cliche, but I’m serious about this. Go. To. Mass. And not just on Sundays, either. Look up your church’s mass schedule, find a time that works for you, add it to your schedule (Write it down!), and stick to that schedule. On the other hand, look up mass times for the different Catholic Churches in your area, because they might have different mass times! Go when it works for you to go. Most daily masses are usually about 30-45 minutes long at most! I like to go in the morning before my 9:30 am class because my parish has 6:15 mass on Tuesday.  I love starting my day with mass because it sets such a good foundation for that day. 

I hope this inspires and helps not only Catholic college students but people of all ages and all religions that want to become closer to God.  

Much love,

Chloe♥

I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me. Psalm 120:1

Want to read more about my two favorite Catholic Blogs? Click here!

New Years Resolutions + Being More

Hey yall!

Today’s post is going to be a little more real. I want to let my guard down and talk about my new year’s resolutions, which tie a little into the name of this blog. I wanted my new year’s resolutions this year to not be about the usual “new years resolutions”, such as working out more, losing weight, saving money, or about other physical things. Yes, those are good goals and I applaud anyone who has goals such as those, but I wanted this year for me to be deeper than surface level goals. 

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I started this blog to keep me on track with the things that matter most to me, and I chose this name for my blog because that is what I want to focus on. I want to simply focus on the joy of being, the joy of existing, and finding joy in whatever comes my way. This is what I like to think of as the simple joy of being. 

I want to tell y’all about my main resolution for 2018, which is to simply be more. Be more kind. Be more patient. Be more present, be more welcoming, be more thankful. I want to really be who I am meant to be and who God intended me to be, which is more than I am now. I want to be more driven, be more determined, be more honest with myself. I want to be more excited about the small moments, be more loving towards people I may not agree with, and be more helpful to the people around me. Focusing on being more lets us focus on what really matters in life and keeps us from being too caught up in the distractions of daily life. 

I want to find joy in small moments not become caught up in the tangible things of daily life. I want to experience the joy that comes from God and the joy of simply being. or, as the name of this blog puts it, the simple joy of being. I encourage you all to join this journey with me and to live in the simple joy of being. ♥