Monday, April 29, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey

For a long time, pretty much ever since I've started the blog, I've wanted to write something about Fifty Shades. Unfortunatly, it has been rather difficult.

Probably mostly because I haven't read it and I won't.

However, I really wanted to get my feelings and opinion on the book out there. In my opinion, there are two kinds of readers in this world-- people who will read Fifty Shades and people who won't. I'm not jugding, so please, don't feel judged whether or not you have read the series.

I came across an article on one of my favorite blogs, LifeTeen ( It is written from a Catholic perspective and it doesn't just apply to Fifty Shades. But whether or not you are a Catholic, and whether or not you are a Fifty Shades fan, I HIGHLY encourage you to read this. There is so much truth in it for both readers and writers.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts=)



A few days ago I was sitting at the pool and noticed five ladies reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I knew the books were popular, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been all that surprised. What surprised me though, was that three of these ladies were teens. I had heard that these books are called “mommy porn,” but it’s not just mommies who are reading them.
Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book in a trilogy which follows the relationship between an innocent virgin, Anastasia Steele, and a powerful, but emotionally damaged business man, Christian Grey. Like most romance novels, the books deal with the ups and downs and ins and outs of their complicated relationship, including his attempts to seduce her into his bed. There’s nothing normal about the seduction, though, as Grey tries throughout the books to convince Ana to join him in sado masochistic bondage sex.
Most romance novels center around an innocent girl who is overwhelmed by a powerful and more experienced man. Her innocence and virginity are lost (usually outside of marriage) and readers cheer them along never realizing that this “love” story misses the mark on who God has created us to be. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy misses the mark as well. Christian Grey is a man who uses women for sex and misses out on the great Divine Love that human relationships were created for.
I decided to ask one of these teens at the pool what she thought of the book, and she turned bright red when I interrupted her. She even admitted to being embarrassed because I interrupted her at “a really naughty part.” When we talked about it, she said that she knew the sex scenes were “a little much” but didn’t see anything wrong with it. “After all,” she said, “It’s not like I’m sitting here at the pool making out with my boyfriend while I read.”
Let’s be honest: There’s only one reason why these books are so popular. It’s because of the steamy, lengthy, and ultra-explicit sex scenes that are found within the pages. It’s because they are scandalous and shocking. But those ultra-explicit and scandalous sex scenes are exactly why we should steer clear of Fifty Shades.


  • Because sex is more than use. Sex – and all the things that physically, emotionally, and mentally lead to sex – was created by God to be shared between a married man and woman. Sex is an expression of love that reflects the Divine Love of God – a Love that is free, total, fruitful, and faithful. Pornography and erotica are a mockery of the intimacy and beauty of Sacramental love. It reduces the mystery of sex to mere use, turning something sacred and Godly into something profane and dark. As Blessed John Paul II said, “The opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is use.” The lust that these books infect us with is all about self-gratification – it’s all about use.
  • Because the Church teaches us it’s not okay. Pope Benedict addressed the issue of pornography and erotic literature saying, “A relationship that does not take into account the fact that a man and a woman have the same dignity represents a serious lack of humanity . . . The moment has come to energetically halt the widespread distribution of material with an erotic and pornographic content, including through the internet in particular.”
  • Because lustful thoughts lead to lustful actions. Pope Benedict and Blessed John Paul II both understood that erotic words and images (like in Fifty Shades of Grey) create lustful thoughts in us. Those lustful thoughts don’t just end there; they cause in us physical reactions which end in lustful actions. Even St. Augustine struggled with this disordered and vicious pattern in his own life. After his conversion he wrote about his struggles with lust saying, “Lust indulged became habit, and habit unresisted became necessity.”
If you want to live a virtuous life, you have to be vigilant about it. Evil only needs to find a tiny little chink in your armor of holiness to begin to work. Don’t let these books crack open your virtue and start you down the vicious cycle of self-gratification and lust. Avoid these books, this author, and authors like her (V.C. Andrews comes to mind).
Pray for the intercession of St. Augustine and Our Blessed Mother in remaining chaste and pure in all of your thoughts and actions.
“Of all inner conflicts the most arduous are concerned with chastity. These battles are of daily occurrence.” – St. Augustine

Editor’s Note: Kristin Bird is a youth minister from Wisconsin. Two things that Kristin loves are teens and books; so it seemed appropriate to ask her to weigh in on this topic and share her wisdom.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Easter Pictures=)

I hope that you all are having a very blessed Easter season!

(Back: Catherine, 10, John Paul, 12, Me, 15 on Wendesday!: Front: Joseph, 13, Dominic, 8 next month, Grace, 9)

(Of course, me=D)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Letter to My Editor

I have the BEST editor in the whole world.

She always gives me honest feedback. She is certainly never shy about telling me when something doesn't flow as nicely as it could or doesn't fit with what I'm trying to say. When I ask her to read a post of mine, she reads it and comments within minutes. Pretty sweet.

She was a teacher before having children. So she is super useful in correcting grammar mistakes! She taught seventh and eighth graders for five years, and before that, substituted at a variety of Catholic schools. Another really cool thing about her-- though she was offered a well-paying position at a public school, she chose to work at a Catholic school because that's where she felt she was called.

I love that she stays home with her kids. I was about to add to the end of that sentence "instead of working," but really, six kids is a lot of work. Good work though, she tells me. Oh and on top of staying home with her crew, she HOMESCHOOLS them. She spends time with her kids and constantly puts their needs above her own.

My editor doesn't just edit my writing. She's been lovingly putting band-aids on my broken skin and broken heart for years. She's always available to hear about my day. She's always ready to laugh or cry with me. She's always listening to my new ideas. She helps me get over my fears, however irrational that they are (like when I had an imaginary bad guy who was named Michael Alvin and lived in my closet). She makes the BEST food EVER (especially salads).

She turns my negative comments into positive ones, but she also understands the need to just be in a bad mood sometimes. She has an INCREDIBLE fashion sense and doesn't shy at telling me when something totally doesn't look good. She's held me when I have a cold or the flu, though she knows that that means she might get sick. She doesn't let me give up, but encourages me to stand strong in my beliefs. She's given me a faith in Jesus and prays with me every day. She tells me that she's proud of me and gives me the strength I need to get through rough days. And she still brushes my hair sometimes even though I'm almost 15=)

And she has the best. Sense. Of. Humor. Ever. Period.

Oh yeah, and she's my mom<3

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Life: Lessons and Ramblings


What comes to mind when you hear this word? Or in this instance, read it?  What does the word "life" mean to you?

Right now, I'd say life as meaning a crazy-wonderful-unexpected-heartbreaking-courage-building-making-me-fearless adventure. 

I'm a stubborn person. In one of my earliest posts, I wrote about a lesson one of the characters I wrote about taught me. A lesson I refused to learn for a time. I'm that way with a lot of things in life, I guess. For example, I constantly think that I know what will happen next. I think that I know what is going on. I think I am in control. 

Well, guess what I constantly have to remind myself? 

Number One: life is unexpected and one usually doesn't know what will happen next. Example? Many of you (if not all of you) know that I am moving to Toledo, Ohio. Well, our house closing was on Friday, April 5th and we didn't have a house to move into. (That's a long story in itself-- we thought we had a house, but it fell through upon the inspection.) So, we are now living with my wonderful grandparents about two hours away from Toledo, where my dad is working.

Number Two: more is usually going on with life than meets the eye. Many of you also may know that I've had a really rough year school-wise. This has been the first year since second grade that I have attended a "brick-and-mortar" school (I was homeschooled for third grade through eighth grade). So, that was a pretty big change in itself; I was learning in a whole new way, dealing with homework, teachers, and kids my age on a daily basis. 

Needless to say, it was hard. It was difficult. It was heartbreaking and left me feeling so worn. At times, I felt  lonely and it took all my strength to get out of bed each morning and plaster a smile on my face. It was so hard to just keep going through the motions, pretending that I was ok with everything, when I totally wasn't. And then add the whole "surprise-we-might-be-moving-to-Toledo!" drama.

But God was at work through all that. On my last day of school before we moved, many people shared stories of how I touched their lives. The story that touched me the most was an email that one girl sent me. She told me how much my openness about my faith encouraged her to be open about her faith. She told me that I encouraged her to have a stronger faith in Jesus.

Of course, I believe it wasn't just me who encouraged her. I believe God used me to encourage her. But this story really struck me because I probably spoke to this girl five times, at most. And our conversations were never at great length, but consisted of a "hey" in the hallways. This stuck me so much though because so many times this year, I have cried out to God in desperation. I have begged Him to show me the purpose of what I was going through. So, although I thought that I was pointlessly at school, "suffering," I was not at all. People were touching me, I was touching them, and God was strengthening my own faith and trust in Him.

Number Three: I am not in control. God is, and His plans are so much greater than mine. God so knows what He is doing. My mom told me once this year that God never allows us to go through anything that we can't handle. I truly believe this. I believe that everything we go through, we go through for a reason. Whether it is a bad year at school, a broken friendship, a death, or a rejection by a publisher, there is a reason. We are growing stronger and learning so much about ourselves.

So what is the sum of my ramblings? I know this isn't really a religious-y blog, if you will, but I really want to share this with you, dear readers. I don't write these things to make you feel bad for me or to pat myself on the back. I simply hope that perhaps my "ramblings" will touch you, with whatever you are going through in life.

Remember: life is unexpected and one usually doesn't know what will happen next, more is usually going on with life than meets the eye, we are not in control. May God bless you, my wonderful blog readers. You all mean more to me than you will ever know. Thank you for giving me the chance to express myself to you=)