Name Your Addiction

+ JMJ +

What’s the most addictive substance on earth? Yeah you know. If not before, you know now because of the feature image.

I didn’t know how addictive sugar was until I fasted from it to overcome a habitual sin. I felt like I was dying. Yes. Sugar has withdrawal effects. It effected my clarity of thinking and how I felt physically…

But. My reason here is not to give a post on the crazy amount of people who are sugar addicts. I’m wanting to speak to the invisible addictions in our lives.

Like…

TV shows. Video/computer games. Smart phone. Social media.

There are more… but I’m choosing these, as I’ve been the victim.

TV Shows

spidermancartoon

When I was a kid, I had a friend invite me over to pray the rosary (Christine H. B.). I refused, because Spiderman was on then… It opened my eyes, because that wasn’t the first time I turned someone down due to the TV. (I was probably… 11/12) I realized that I was placing the importance of a cartoon over a friend–and of course the Lord.

Video/Computer Games

Sims_Social_LogoY’all remember when Sims came out? Yeah; I do. Oh boy! I played it so much it infiltrated reality. I went to a party and was like this is getting droll. They need music. They need more food. They need… It was like I saw the meters over everyone’s heads and the tips scrolling in front of me. When I left, I was like alright… I’d rather live in reality and be with people–real people; not simulations of people. I canned the game.

Smart Phone

Yeah… I get lost in my phone. So much so, I am checked out when it comes to my Liturgy of the Hours, even though I have to make my Mary Poppins bag (my purse) heavier.* Is it because I like being old school? I do, but that is not it. It’s because when I open my phone there’s a million other things to do on it. On top of that, it’ll push me to make sure I know there are a million other things to do on it…

What happened to putting the phone in your purse when you go out to eat with your friend? Wait. What? I need to take a picture of the food I’m eating and a selfie with my friend!

What did we do before cell phones? Uh, we survived. If you go out and forget your phone, I bet people are not going to automatically think you up and died… well with my response rate, I know some people think I die. I have read many, “Are you alive?” texts.

I took a video on my phone of a friend’s album release party… part of it I’m glad, but at the same time I missed the experience of “being” and listening. It was in May. I have watched the videos once. Yeah. It wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t focused. Plus, if I really want to see it again, I can pest them to give me access to their professional video sometime, which I think will knock my tremored-iPhone video out of the park. My pictures with His Own would have been extremely satisfactory negating the videos.

Social Media

social-media-mobile-icons-snapchat-facebook-instagram-ss-800x450-3-800x450.jpg

If we talk social media, there’s no argument that it is addictive. People have the whole compare and contrast issue. Me… It is a time drain. I mean y’all know all I really post is stuff about my homeboy Jesus and the marvelous models of how to live the Christian life, the saints. Sure, but the time I’ve wasted finding out what my name means in a non-existent language, what JTT look like now, what was the most wanted toy the year I was born…

Are those articles bad? No. But… Everything needs to be done in moderation. There is a lot of time that these consume my life.

Well, It’s Not Alcohol or Drugs…

whats_going_to_be_different_this_time-_kate_reynolds_phoebe_greenberg_june_2017.jpg

No; but we are all asked to keep everything in moderation.

Are you A2J?

I get asked this every time I see my friend, Rocky. Are YOU? It stands for “Addicted to Jesus”. I get asked, “Are you A2J? Every day? All the way?” Yeah. haha. I am. I don’t mind being a Jesus freak. People think I’m crazy, but I’m high on the Holy Ghost. My side effects of being addicted to Jesus are joy, kindness, compassion, smiles, hugs, encouragement, support, generosity…

Still, with every addiction there is withdrawal effects. Don’t withdrawal from Jesus. The symptoms are loneliness, despair, despondency, hopelessness, darkness, hurt, restlessness…

Be A2J. All the way. Every day.

+ Pax

Kristen Elizabeth Thérèse von Clef, OFS, A2J

*my purse weighs enough to need a seatbelt… (passenger seatbelt light goes off)

One Man Can Change the World

+ JMJ +

Yeah; we all look at the title and go, “Yeah. Yeah. We know.” But do we really?

The gentleman circled above is my Godfather. If not for him, I would guarantee none of you reading this would know me.* Why? Because, 27 years ago “Uncle” Bob approached my dad asking if he would be interested in opening a medical practice here in the Greater Knoxville Area.

Come on! Bug your eyes out.

Image result for eyes bugging out gif

I looked through my photos on facebook… I would have known no one in the pictures.* My younger siblings would have never been placed in my family. I would have never met my big “sis” Lenore. I would have never had my “Godsisters”. I just said to myself scrolling through my pictures, “This is crazy.” None of these pictures would have been taken…

There would have been no Saint John Nuemann hangouts with our Lord. Sure I may have found a chapel somewhere else… but would I?

I most likely would not have been a Franciscan… maybe? I became one, because of my best friend in kindergarten’s grandmother…

No Nashville friends…

Image result for rotary phone

This is crazy, right?

One man’s request set a path for my entire life.

See! Every decision you make has a purpose! Every single one. Look at what wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t pick up the phone and ask.

Was it Uncle Bob? No; I know he wouldn’t take the credit for it either.

God used him in a cray cray way.

So, audience out there.

Image result for world

Look at this. You can help God change the world. Just you. Yeah; you in your little meekness.

Image result for handshakeIt was just a business transaction… nope. It was allowing God to change the world through Uncle Bob.

Just a job, right? Job is just something you work at. I moved to Nashville for a job; yes. However, when I made that decision to go, I knew it wasn’t just for a job. I told people that back in 2014 (a year before I actually moved…God’s timing.). I was going to be interacting with people and they’d be interacting with me. There would be a difference in the new city that wouldn’t be confined within a high-rise downtown office building.

11393203_10153089293447779_7416879443307649470_n.jpg

Image result for butterflyIt goes back to the butterfly effect…God’s effect. One choice we make can do what that one request from my Godfather did.

Are we seeing the magnitude of this?

The Holy Spirit! Wow.

I’m so grateful for the gift of you. Yes; you. You reading this. Even if you are just a random reader, I’m grateful that I’m here in front of my computer in Knoxville, TN typing to you the experiences I’ve had that have placed this words on the screen that you may read. That’s a mouth full. 🙂

Seriously, people.

Every minute in every hour of every day–every person that you meet–has a purpose.

EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

Make those minutes/hours/days/encounters count!

Image result for rolodexThat is a big ripple in the water that is never going to calm.

Now, my Godfather most likely was not just scrolling through his Rolodex trying to go iniminiminimo… My Godfather is a very prayerful man.

So, my closing remarks:

With great power comes great responsibility. HA. (I used to be addicted to that cartoon…no that is not said lightly. I may do a post on addictions.)

But, seriously. That was a question that changed time from 1990 to eternity. I’d say it was for the positive. You see how that all resulted? It was big… yet, not everything we do has good consequences.

So, we must be prayerful. VERY. God will lead you. Follow His commandments. Stay close to His mother. She wants nothing more than for you to have love for Him.

Wow.

One meeting…

…where my Godfather’s daughters were stealing my barbie dolls and I, a very crabby 5yo, didn’t like them, Rebecca and Rachael, at all. I was very disgruntled. I remember peeking around the door frame from the other room sneering at them. Never did I know those beautiful souls would be two of the closest people in my life.

Everything guys. Everything. Everything.

“Life is choices” as Annie always said. Let’s make good ones.

If you hear God calling!! Answer!

Image result for rotary phone gif

I pray the Lord blesses you and that this holiday season brings you and your family close together.

+ Pax

Kris

*aside from people I’m related to.

Butterfly Effect (Suicide Effect)

+ JMJ +

Below is a story I just told a counselor, who said it is a perspective she’s never heard on this topic. She said people need to hear this…so here I am.

Recently, I had a dear loved one reach out to me for prayers for her daughter, who was just texted by a friend planning on taking her life the upcoming weekend. The daughter, let’s call Faith, was struggling because she knew her friend, lets call June, and schoolmates would be upset with her for getting June into trouble.

I said to my loved one, “Put her on the phone with me right now.”

I told Faith she was doing what is right…

Then I did something I’d never done before… I walked through my life from the time I sat down to suicide when I was about June’s age, 13, until now.

This is for everyone.

If I had taken my life then, my siblings, ages 1 and 2,  would have only known me from goofy pictures and silly stories. I would have never shown my bro how to do some of the best card tricks. I would have never showed my sister how to play softball. I would have never hit a home run myself. I would have never thrown a runner out at home from center field. I would have never jumped over the fence the outfield fence to catch a ball desperately trying to win a game. I would have never met the majority of the people I know now. I would have never met my nieces. I would have never met my sister-in-law. I would have never been a bridesmaid in 6 weddings nor a maid of honor in one of them. I would have never been a sister/friend to many women in my life. I would have never become a Franciscan. I would have never made Kris’ Chicken Veggie soup. There would have been no Christmas After Parties. My Goddaughters would have never had me as their Godmother. I would have never worked for HGTV/DIY/Food Network/Cooking Channel/GAC/Travel Channel or L’Oreal, Garnier, Essie, Maybelline… Those names don’t matter though. I would have never met the co-workers I have worked with in any of my jobs–that would be the thing I missed. Many people would never have received a “Kristen” hug. Many people would never have received spontaneous gifts in the mail for no reason. Many people would not have received little notes on their windshields saying “Smile. Jesus loves you.” or “I’m praying for you.”

Yes; lots of prayers would have been lost. Lots of prayers that were answered. Many people would have never been seen by me, a girl who always sees the good in people. Many people who were lost would have never experienced the love I have to give. They would have never seen the compassion in my eyes and the heartfelt glance of my empathy for what they have been through. People wouldn’t have someone endlessly knocking at their door to get them out of bed, stop isolating themselves, and getting out of depression. Many would not have random voice mails of me singing, “I just called to say I love you. I just called to say how much I care. I just called to say I love you and I mean it from the bottom of my heart.” Many dogs would not have the privilege of meeting me. 😀 Many wouldn’t have received random bouquets of flowers. Many wouldn’t have received my crazy Snapchats. Many wouldn’t have heard my monkey/ape noises. No one would have known I would have had curly hair (changed from straight to curls at 17). Many would not of seen my contagious smile. Many people would not have seen me at Mass everyday. Many would still feel lost. There are people that might not be here right now. This heart would not have reached over 1,000 people. There are people I know I have made a positive effect in their lives and that effect would have never been made. I would have never been Christ’s light in many many others life. I would have never known Faith. Yes; I told her that–that’s when she gasped.

I wasn’t saying this to pump my ego. It’s just the truth and I wanted her to see it. If she had turned me in, I would be sitting her down right now and telling her how grateful I am for having saved my life. It may be a bit before she hears it from June, but even if she doesn’t I know the people in June’s life will be forever grateful.

Yes. Suicide doesn’t have one victim. It goes through the years–throughout all the lives of people that have missed out on the life of the one who chose to take their own. Like the butterfly effect–driven by God.

11149479_10152951456917779_4409362666066708605_n
this picture would never have been seen

If you are here in the moment seeing no purpose in your life, just talk to your family and friends. They have love for you and would miss you in every day that you are gone.

Friends,

Every minute in every hour of every day–every person that you meet–has a purpose. If not for yesterday, there would be no today. If not for today, there would be no…

HEAVEN!

+ Pax

Kristen von Clef