Skip Navigation

Blog

Youth Ministry Corner

The Gray Area

September 17, 2021
By Jessica Lemoine

Hey y’all!

I want to talk about the gray area today. I don’t know about you, but I despise the gray area. It frankly scares me. I much prefer things to be black or white. It’s easier and clearer and safer that way. This has gotten me into some trouble in the past.

This is a silly example, but I was watching The Princess Diaries (amazing movie, by the way) the other day, and a certain character stirred something up in me that was uncomfortable. Her name is Lilly, and she’s the best friend of the main character, Mia. I don’t like her one bit. She’s rude, controlling, egocentric, and an awful friend to Mia. But something happened in the movie that made me rethink my total disdain for the character.

Mia was getting made fun of by the majority of the students in her class, and Lilly spoke up boldly on Mia’s behalf. My initial reaction was “aww, that was nice”, which was promptly followed by “wait, I don’t like her, she can’t be nice”. See the problem there? I was limiting Lilly’s personhood and intricacy based on my judgments about her.

Take this example, and apply it to real life. So many times, we make judgments and decisions about people, things, and experiences and live our lives strictly according to those judgments. We are uncomfortable with the idea that maybe, just maybe, we weren’t entirely correct. I’ve missed out on positive relationships and experiences because of these judgments, and I’m sure you have too. 

Now, there’s even a bit of gray area in this topic. There are certain objective truths that are black and white, and we are called to believe and profess those truths. Many things, however, reside in the gray area. We can’t see everything as gray, but we also can’t see everything as black or white. It’s uncomfortable and difficult sometimes, but I think it’s healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) to accept some gray area in our lives.

The reason this relates to our health is that health is rooted in reality. When we do or say or believe things that aren’t realistic, we become unhealthy to an extent. Take eating for example. When we eat more or less than is realistic on a consistent basis, we aren’t eating in a healthy way. Another example is our beliefs. When we believe things that are contrary to the truth, those beliefs are unhealthy. If we want to be rooted in reality, we have to accept a certain amount of gray area because that is the reality we live in. Another reason it’s unhealthy to completely avoid the gray area is because living in extremes all the time is taxing and tiring. I don’t know about you, but I’m super exhausted from leaping between the black and the white, and I think I’m ready to spend a little time in the gray area. Care to join me?

That’s all for now. Know of my prayers for you and your families, and please keep me and this ministry in your prayers.

Peace of Christ,

Miss Jessica

A.M.D.G.

Rest

September 10, 2021
By Jessica Lemoine

Hey y’all!

Remember to rest. In our nonstop world, rest can seem counterproductive and wasteful. We often feel guilty for taking time for ourselves and God, even when there’s nothing pressing to do. Our society tries to tell us that our worth depends on how much we study or work or produce or give. While all those things are important, they don’t define us.

St. Francis de Sales said, “every one of us needs half an hour of prayer each day, except when we are busy — then we need an hour”. It might seem kind of backwards to spend more time in prayer when we’re busy, but it really isn’t. When you take time to rest in the holy presence of God, two things happen. First, you’re rejuvenated, energized, and empowered to do all that lies before you. Second, you become more productive because you can put things into perspective and get your priorities straight. 

I know I fall into the trap of thinking it’s selfish to rest. The fact of the matter is, it’s selfish not to rest. When we spend time with ourselves and with God, we become the best versions of ourselves. We can put more energy into whatever we are doing because we have that energy. If we work ourselves to the bone on a constant basis, whatever we’re doing will be done poorly. Sooner or later, we’ll get burned out, and we might even break down. Regular rest avoids these things.

Remember, there are two ends to every spectrum, and we also want to avoid the opposite extreme of resting to the point of laziness and procrastination. There is a time for hard work. There is a time to push past exhaustion and negative emotions and get things done. If we give up at the slightest inconvenience, nothing would get done at all. We just have to remember that the time for hard work is not all the time.

We also have to remember what rest really is. It’s not scrolling through TikTok for hours or taking a procrastination nap. It’s doing things and spending time with people that help us to recharge and reset. Above all else, the best way to rest is to pray. Now there’s nothing inherently bad about social media or naps, and nobody expects you to spend all your free time deep in prayer. Self-knowledge is key — we have to know ourselves well enough to know how we truly rest. Take time to think about what makes you feel the most joy and peace. It could be reading, or talking to a friend, or taking a walk. There are many ways to rest, and each person’s rest will look a bit different, but everyone needs to include prayer in their rest. Time with the Lord will rejuvenate and recharge us like nothing else will.

That’s all for now. Know of my prayers for you and your families, and please keep me and this ministry in your prayers.

Peace of Christ,

Miss Jessica

A.M.D.G.

Authenticity

September 03, 2021
By Jessica Lemoine

Hey y’all!

Sorry I skipped a week. I was at a conference all day last Friday.

I want to talk about authenticity today. Authenticity is important to every aspect of our lives — our faith, our relationships, our studies, and our professional lives depend on us being our authentic selves. Why’s that? Well I’m so glad you asked…

We often put up a facade in different areas of our lives. We are one person with our families, another at school, another at work, another with our friends, and another with God. First of all, that’s exhausting. Maintaining all these different personas takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. When we take that time, effort, and energy to do this, we can’t invest it into the areas of our lives that really need it.

Secondly, we’re not being honest with ourselves or with those around us. We are giving a second-rate version of ourselves to people, and that’s not what we’re meant for. We’re meant to be a total self-gift to others. We are supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves, but how can we do that if we don’t know who we really are?

Both of these consequences are detrimental to our wellbeing and our relationships, especially our spiritual wellbeing and relationship with God. The Lord wants to have an intimate, loving relationship with each of us. He can’t accomplish that if we don’t let Him. Even though God knows us better than we know ourselves, we have to invite Him into every facet of our lives and show ourselves to Him. The Lord loves us when we have everything together, and He loves us equally when everything is falling apart. He wants to be a part of it all.

What does being authentic mean? Google defines the word as “of undisputed origin; genuine”. This makes complete sense when we think about what our origin is — God. Everything, including our very selves, comes from Him. When we know that without a doubt, and when our lives reflect that knowledge, we can be truly genuine and authentic. We can be real with ourselves and with each other. 

I invite and challenge you to be more authentic. This can look different for everyone. Maybe it’s being honest with a loved one when they ask “how are you”? Maybe it’s going without makeup for a week. Maybe it's apologizing for something you did wrong. Maybe it’s recognizing that God is our origin and that we need to stay connected to Him to be truly authentic.

That’s all for now. Know of my prayers for you and your families, and please keep me and this ministry in your prayers.

Peace of Christ,

Miss Jessica

A.M.D.G.

Jesus Answers Prayers

August 20, 2021
By Jessica Lemoine

Hey y’all!

Jesus answers prayers.

He really does. He does so in His own way and in His perfect timing. He doesn’t always give us what we want, but He always gives us what we need

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 7, verses 7 and 8, Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Who are we to not do what Jesus says?

We must remember, however, that God sees the big picture, and we only have a tunnel view. We often want things that aren’t actually good for our souls, and what good father would give his children bad gifts? God is a good Father, and He is the Giver of good gifts. He will never give us anything that is bad for our ultimate good, which is our spiritual good. Keep in mind that suffering, when united to the Cross of Christ, is redemptive. For this reason, it can be good for our souls if we put it to use. Just because something hurts does not mean it’s bad for us. 

I encourage you to be bold with God. Share your wishes and dreams and goals with Him. Reach for the stars - the sky's the limit! He wants to hear your desires, and He wants the opportunity to give you some of those things. If God doesn’t give you what you want, I suggest that you ask for two graces. Ask for the grace to understand why, and ask for the grace to be patient in waiting for that understanding. 

Another thing to remember is gratitude, which I talked about a couple of weeks ago. Instead of focusing on what God doesn’t give us, we need to focus on the abundance of blessings He’s showered upon us. Start with the fact that we woke up this morning. That in and of itself is a gift.

That’s all for now. Know of my prayers for you and your families, and please keep me and this ministry in your prayers.

Peace of Christ,

Miss Jessica

A.M.D.G.

Recent Posts

9/17/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
9/10/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
9/3/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
8/20/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
8/13/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
8/6/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
7/30/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
7/23/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
7/16/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
7/9/21 - By Jessica Lemoine
Be Counted!