We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God isn´t content with using the same mold to create all of us. In fact, i like to think in order to paint this big canvas we call “world”, God uses a different color to create each one of us.
Unfortunately, we as humans tend to think our color isn´t as bright, delicate, beautiful or important as those around us, and in doing so we stop ourselves from pouring out the unique color we have inside. It´s true that our color may be different from the other ones, but that´s exactly what God planned. In order to turn this world into a masterpiece He needs the exact tone only YOU can give. So don´t get frustrated if you can’t add the same colors others add; instead be proud that you can add your own essence… a special color no one else can.
Just imagine if blue felt jealous of green; so upset cause he can´t paint the trees and the grass that he would forget to paint the sea and the sky. Or if yellow was so focused on becoming pink that would forget to make the sun shine. If all colors wanted to be the same our world would lose so much beauty in the act.
Now think how every color is needed to make a painting work. In the canvas, colors don´t compete; each one has a purpose and together they bring harmony to it. 🎨
So next time you are doubting of your beauty or your worth, just remember about this. God was creative enough to give you a unique color, a specific purpose that only you can fill. Don´t underestimate it. What you have to offer is greater than you believe. Your color is precious. The world would not look the same without your hue. Please make sure to paint it as only you can do.
There is something about sunflowers that always make my soul sigh. I love their yellow tones and the way they grow, so tall and strong as if they wanted to touch the sky. They are my favorite flowers, not only because they are inordinately beautiful but also because i can learn a lot from them.
In spanish they are named “girasol” (turn to the sun) cause they literally need to turn towards the sun, otherwise they cant grow. And i think the same happens to us; we also need “rays” to grow, and those rays come from God. But, when we stop seeking God, when we focus on our problems, our past, our mistakes or what we dont have we cant grow. It is when we keep our gaze towards Him that we remember how blessed we are and we start to grow.
When sunflowers feel they arent getting enough rays of sun they need to turn around. They continually move cause they trust the sun. So just like sunflowers, we need to trust in the “Son” and turn back to God when we arent receiving enough light.
Of course sometimes it´s easier to stay in our place, sometimes we feel afraid from the things that happen in our lives and we paralyze. But the truth is, when we choose to stay in our comfort zone we get far away from our “sun rays” and we dont grow.
We need to let ourselves be led by God; sometimes it will require difficult moves but we need to trust the purpose of the direction He is leading us to. Cause it is through it that we will be strengthened, that He will make us develop into something as majestic as sunflowers. For me, they are nature´s poetical way to express adoration and faith. And i love that in fact, they look themselves like the sun, with each of its petals resembling the rays. So just like them, i also want to resemble the Son, i want to be firmly planted and in constant search of the light.
Today marks a month since i came back from Poland, where i attended the World Youth Day!! My friends and family have been asking if i´ll make a post about my time there, but to be honest i´ve been avoiding writing this down. Not because i didn´t want to share it with you, but because i feel there´s nothing i could ever say that would make justice for what i experienced those days.
I don´t know if you ever felt that way about something…but somehow i feel scared of reducing such a wonderful, deep and spiritual experience into simple words. But now i have come to realize that even if i can only share a bit of it with you, it is worth it. It doesn´t have to be perfect or complete, it just needs to be honest. So i will speak out of my heart and share with you some impressions from my WYD time.
I must start saying the trip was absolutely perfect in every way. The fact that it involved things like waiting one hour in line for simply taking a shower, using a backpack as pillow and sleeping on the floor, walking miles and miles for getting breakfast, waking up early and sleeping very late, collide with massive crowds and doing a big effort to fit inside the bus or tram, sweating a lot and constantly looking like a mess don´t change this statement at all.
I know it could sound as if it was a tough or uncomfortable experience, but let me tell you one thing…while i was there i didn´t think about this at all. God was so evidently present during this time that those little things were completely blurred.
Beyond that, the trip consisted of all i could dream of and more… things as meeting wonderful people from all around the world, attending a multitude of masses, eating insane amounts of chocolate, ice cream, apples and bread (and more bread), visiting breathtaking places, watching sunrises and sunsets, learning about history, kayaking, renewing my baptism vows, singing and dancing without control, showing up on TV, trying the most delicious food, visiting museums, listening to local legends, speaking out my heart, living in different homes, going to the sea, learning new songs, taking photographs, visiting historical places and cities, seeing the Pope, going to concerts, enjoying the sun and the rain, praying in the most sincere way, visiting our Lady of Czestochowa, meeting a talented “catholic illusionist” and watching his show, having the most wonderful polish “parents” and “grandma” in the world, learning words in different languages, meeting a dear friend i haven´t seen for so long, laughing deeply and encountering with God…..just to mention some.
In fact, i could write a whole book about it, but if i had to sum up my trip i would define it using one simple word: FAMILY!!!! The trip made me feel i belong to something larger and greater than i will ever know, and trust me, there´s nothing as powerful as being part of a family brought together by God.
One of the most special moments for me was during the last mass (with at least two million people standing by my side) when the WYD hymn started. I was singing in spanish (and the bit of “polish” i learned) while some people next to me were singing the same song in english, german, french, portuguese and other languages i couldn´t even recognize.
As the hymn went on i closed my eyes listening to the people around, and i thought to myself “this is how heaven must be like”… people from every race and tongue united as one, singing and worshiping God. It was the most beautiful melody i ever heard, because it was created by a family which, despite all the different languages, was singing with the heart.
I think for an instant in my life i knew exactly what 2 million people were thinking about, what 2 million people wanted. I became one with them and realized we were seeking the same thing: we all wanted to encounter with Christ!! Words will never describe the love, peace and faith that i experienced there… it was sublime!
The trip constantly reminded me that even though we may have different cultures or languages we all belong to the same family. It reminded me how easy it is to break the ice with just a simple smile; how singing, cheering, dancing and high-fiving are universal ways to bring people together; how any place can turn into a party (especially if there are mexicans in the act); how every meeting is a “spark of friendship”!!!!!
But what amazed me the most, is that i´ve been reminded how alive is our Church and how many young people have the same desires that i have. It reminded me the joy that being a catholic brings, that even though some people may see religion as something “boring”, “cold”, “rigid” or “old”, there is nothing true about that. World Youth Day reminded me how alive we are and how faith should be a celebration all the time. When i was there i could see young people everywhere and the streets were filled with excitement, music, colors and waving flags all the time. Every single place was swirling joy. You cant imagine how awesome it was.
That´s something i miss a lot now that i am again at home. The first days back at university were a bit strange… I was walking in the aisle, wondering when will somebody come to give me a pin, a prayer card, friendly words or a high-five… but there was nothing like that. I must say it was hard, most people didn´t even look to the eyes; people seemed uninterested about their own “brothers and sisters” around.
World Youth Day atmosphere is what i dream the world would always be like; people going out there smiling to “strangers”, cheering each other and seeing friends in everyone. For me, that is exactly the spirit of catholicism, the spirit i dream we would always outshine. But the truth is that our attitude is not always reflecting that. The joyful testament of faith we all manifested in the WYD is not always what we share in our own place, where we constantly let individualism reign.
I know we are immersed in a world that can easily vanish this cheerful faith, but we can´t let that happen. We can´t let our routines make us forget the call that Pope Francis made to all of us. We can´t “vegetate”. Not anymore!!!!
What we are called to do as a Church is to make everyone experience this supreme joy we experienced in the World Youth Day. We need to be friendly and merciful, live our faith with enthusiasm, keep our hearts young and make everyone know they are loved; not only during this “big events” but in our daily lives.
So, after a month of coming back i feel confident to say World Youth Day didn´t end for me yet. Actually, it has just begun!!!! Now, more than ever i am convinced that together, as a family, we can be the change we wish for the world. I´ve been encouraged by the Pope to bring love and hope to the world. I´ve been blessed to live this experience so now i am called to share it with the world, to spread God´s message just like the apostles did 2000 years ago.
So, to all of those who were there too, and also those who weren´t there but share the same wish, i pray you experience the WYD spirit in your heart for the rest of your life, that you wont let it die. I pray that this wont be just a trip that forms part of our memories, but a constant way of living our lives. I pray that we stay firm in faith and don´t let the world take away our enthusiasm.
Cause the truth is, we will never change the world just by going to the WYD or to the church, in order to change it we have to BE the Church. I pray that we all exemplify and let the world know that our Church is not old. That we remember our Church is young and alive, and that it needs our joy!!!!!!
My trip to Poland taught me a lot about the power of community, and it is safe to say that I left a piece of my heart in this country that i call now “home”. I’m amazed, inspired, and incredibly grateful for the people God placed around me.
So to all my new “family” members…Dziękuję!! THANKS!!! I honestly can´t think of anything better than exploring the world, celebrating my faith and spending intentional time with people as amazing as you are. You have impacted my life more than words can dare to explain. Thank you for teaching me so much. I pray with all my heart that our family will be evidence of GOD´S MERCIFUL LOVE.
Note: I want to make a big shout out to Sergio Platonoff, my wonderful and talented friend who took most of the pictures posted here and captured the adventures of the trip. Thank you for letting us keep these memories!!!
When i was a child and learned about God i pictured Him on Heaven, high above the sky. That´s probably the reason why i constantly find myself looking up there when i´m praying or talking with Him. Doing this brings me such a sense of calm. The infinity of the sky reminds me of the vastness of His love; it makes me feel like He is up there watching and protecting me from above. It makes me feel that He is in control.
But the truth is our God is much more than that. He is not a distant God which we need to picture in a far away site. Instead, He is a God that wants to be right where we are. But, if we only turn our heads up when we think about Him, we are losing the chance to see God down here. And trust me, He really is here. That´s what we can experience when we stop looking up all the time, when we give Him the chance to manifest His presence on the place where we stand.
My prayer today is to start looking down, to seek Him all around. To stop thinking of this far away God and remember to also turn our faces left, right, down!!!! God is above. God is below. GOD IS EVERYWHERE!! Let´s rejoice on the fact that He wants to show up and encounter with us in our every day lives.
Thank you God, for gifting me with places like this, where i can see you so clear.
I dont wanna be this world´s kind of beauty; for beauty is not perfect denture, thin body and long hair. Beauty is a light in the heart, is the reflection of positive thoughts. Beauty is the caring that we lovingly give, is sincerity in all that we do. Beauty is our determination to make the world a better place, is uncontrollable laughter. Real beauty is the kind that appears in broken places and yet gives genuine smiles. Beauty is the glow that outshines when we love, is a pure heart. Beauty is the marks and scars of time, the ones that show we have lived fully our lives.
To be honest, i totally dislike how i look on this picture, but i love it because it is a constant reminder to forget my ego and this world´s definition of beauty. It is a reminder of the kind of beautiful i want to be. 💛
Good morning yellow friends! There´s a special message for you today. I dont know how your morning is looking like, you may be excited or worried or tired or upset for the day you will start. But no matter how you feel you need to know this: you have been gifted with another day. You have a new beginning, how exciting this is!!!!
Maybe you cant see it like that today. Perhaps you are feeling sick, have to face something difficult or simply feel like you don´t really matter today. I know it could be scaring or overwhelming, but just take a moment to think about this: You are alive!!! You are here, not by coincidence but because there is a purpose for that.
Because the world needs your presence today. Because you have a role to play. God is excited for it. He simply couldn´t wait for you to open your eyes and start this new day He lovingly made exactly for you, His child! So please don´t give up. Maybe today you will finally take that decision you have been wondering about these last days, maybe you will find the courage to forgive or ask for forgiveness, maybe you will meet a special person or will take the first step towards your dream. Maybe all the problems you had yesterday will find a new sunrise today.
Just think of all the wonderful moments, lessons and discoveries that may be hidden in this day. And remember you are meant to be here. You have dreams worth fighting for and stories worth telling. You have the chance to make all things bright and new. Don´t ever doubt of your purpose here. You cant imagine all the blessings you can give to the world today; blessings that no one else could give but you.
It makes me so incredibly happy to know that you are here!!!!
I guess you all know how much i love yellow, but hey, sometimes i feel like i need a bit of pink on my day!!!
Today was one of those days, so i baked pink donuts and drank pink milkshake. It was so simple and superficial but it really made me feel great!!
Then i thought… how many people around me is also needing to add some “pink” to their day, and what can i do to help?
I guess sometimes we think helping others is such a difficult task. We constantly fear we are completely unprepared to help others cause we think nothing we can do could take away their pain or change the situation in any way.
Sometimes we think help looks like going on a mission trip at the other side of the world, giving away all your things to the needy, volunteering or donating big amounts of money.
But after savouring this donut today, i realized we may be wrong in our idea of help. Help doesnt have to be something extraordinary, sometimes it just takes a little act and apparently nonsense thing. It may look stupid, but today something as simple as a milkshake and a donut helped to add joy to my day.
So the truth is, help is something we ALL can do from the place where we are at. Please DONT think that what you can give or do has no sense. It is better to try and do that simple thing than doing nothing at all (and who knows, it may be exactly what someone needed in that moment).
Maybe we cant change other one´s situation, but we surely can add a little pink sparkle to their lives. It doesnt have to be that hard. Perhaps, today help can come in the form of an encouraging word, an unexpected call, a flower, a hug, a breakfast in bed, a compliment or (hopefully) a donut. It can be as simple as that. And maybe, just maybe, those simple things can make a difference throughout someone´s day. So why not give it a try?
I want to remember myself to look around. To see if there is anyone who needs a bit of pink on their day. Maybe that person is you, maybe it is a stranger or a really close friend. But every single day we have the choice to add pink to this world. How can we do it today?