To Someone I Love: “He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not”

In my mind, I see a young girl with a daisy, picking pedals from the flower.  The first pedal is removed, followed by the words, “He loves me”.  The second one is plucked, “He loves me not”.  The third, “He loves me”… and so, and so on, until the last one is plucked.  All to determine whether the boy loves her or not.  Does he love me or doesn’t he?  That’s the question.

The entirety of your outlook on life depends on where you end up on this question.  Not whether the boy loves you, but rather whether God loves you or not.  Everything else follows from this simple question, which you must answer for yourself.  I’ve told you already that I believe that He does, but what I believe doesn’t matter, really.  You have to come to that conclusion yourself.  The answer to this question will determine the trajectory of your life.  It will determine how you respond to your successes, to your gifts, and to the events of your life – the ups and the downs.  It will determine the life you lead.  It will determine what you do in this life.  It will determine what will happen when you die.  Ultimately, there is no more important question for you to answer in this life.  What will I be when I grow up?  What school will I attend?  Will I pass the test I have tomorrow?  Who will I marry?  Will I marry at all?  How will we afford raising these children? Will we have enough money to retire when we reach 65?  Will we have enough to pay next month’s mortgage?  Where and how will we spend our retirement?  Why did she have to die?  Will I have to suffer much before I die?  What happens when I die? All of these questions will be important ones to answer.

Life is full of questions.  Questions occupy every day of your life.  But, none of them compare to this one question.  All of them pale to the question, “Does God love me?”  That is, does He love you personally, really, and intimately.   You with all of your gifts and talents.  You with all of the frailties and insecurities that you alone know about.  YOU!

I beg you to stop asking these other questions until you answer this most important of questions.  This is the fulcrum of all questions – the one that tips the scales one way or another.  It is the question of a lifetime,  It is the question where the rubber meets the road.  You need the answer.

So, does He love you? Or, does He love you not?

Someone Who Loves You

To Someone I Love

There are so many things that I want to say.  I love you.  God loves you more.  He has a great and wonderful plan for your life.  He knows, better than I, that you are unique and unrepeatable.  For that reason, I’m so grateful that you are in my life.  What a gift you are!  I could go on and on, but saying all those things wouldn’t accomplish what I desire to accomplish through these words.  I want you to become who God created you to be.  I want you to become a saint!  That’s who He created you to be.  All my encouragement, praises, and platitudes will not do that unless you really believe them, unless they become part of you, unless your life concretely reflects their truth – that is, unless your life concretely reflects Truth Himself.  That’s why I desire to write these words.  I hope that, with the help of God’s grace, these words will become your words, your thoughts, your desires.  Heck, I hope they become mine.  They are not my own.  Ultimately, I’m not really sure how this will go, but just know that this is for you, through someone who loves you, and from the One who is Love!  I trust that He will lead both you and me through this to a deep personal relationship with Him and with one another.  Pray for me!  I will be praying for you.

Let’s cut to the chase.  God is real.  He exists, and He is a personal God.  He wants a relationship with you.  A relationship more intimate than you have or will have with anyone else in your life – more intimate than with your mother or father, your husband or wife, your brother or sister, your son or daughter, or even your best friend.  Think about the person on this planet that you feel closest to.  Imagine what it would be like not to be able to communicate with them, to laugh with them, to cry with them, to ask for his or her advice.  Just imagine how that would be for you.  Do you feel that emptiness – that pain, just from using your imagination?  That’s how God feels when we do not recognize His desire to communicate with Him, to cry with Him, to receive His advice.  Our relationship can and should be more intimate than all of those other relationships combined.  Unlike any of those persons, He lives inside of you and is always available to you.  He knows all things.  He knows us better than we know ourselves – who we love, what we’re afraid of, our hopes, and our dreams.  He wants to give you the desires of your heart, but first He wants you!

I can understand your questions.  How do I know that he is real and that He loves me?  I’ve never seen Him.  I’ve never touched Him.  I’ve never heard His voice.  That is what I hope the remainder of this writing helps you with.  Because I believe that you have seen Him; you have touched Him; you have heard His voice.   Just like most people, you haven’t recognized Him.  I didn’t recognize Him either, but, in looking back, He was always there, offering Himself to me.  With you, He has always been there too, and He continues to offer Himself to you now.  He is wherever you are right now, longing to become your best friend, your confidant.  My desire lies in helping you to recognize Him, to see Him, to touch Him, to hear His voice.  Please bare with me.  I will keep these entries short.  I want you to know Who I know. I want you to know that He loves you.  I want you to live an extraordinary life.  I want you to be happy.  That’s why I write these words. I pray they hit the mark.  I love you.

Someone Who Loves You

Podcast 38: Approachability and Evangelical Parenthood

Are you an approachable parent?  Will your child come to you with her deepest and most intimate concerns?  You want her to because she will go somewhere for advice.  Make sure you are on her list of confidants.  Listen as Trey and Stephanie discuss ways of cultivating an attitude of approachability.  Become the Evangelical Parent God calls you to be!Mystery of Parenthood Podcast Logo

Podcast – Episode 37 – Pope Francis’s Letter to Families

Listen as Trey and Stephanie discuss the most recent letter to families from Pope Francis.  Why is the Pope addressing families?  What can we learn from his letter?  What does he want from us?

Also, listen as they answer a question from a listener regarding how moms and dads from different families of origin (i.e. strict vs. permissive) can still work together and learn from each other as they raise their children.

Evangelical Parenthood: Readiness for Dialogue Post over at Austin Catholic New Media

Pope Francis has told us that we must be known for having an attitude of readiness for dialogue if we are going to be successful evangelists, if we are going to be Evangelical Parents.  Do your children know you as someone who is ready to talk to them about whatever is important to them, whenever it is important?  Check out our new post over at Austin Catholic New Media to get some ideas on cultivating this attitude in your family.

Podcast – Episode 36 – The Four Attitudes of Evangelical Parenthood

family2Are you an evangelist to your children?  You’re called to be!  Listen as Trey and Stephanie discuss the four attitudes that are necessary to make your children more receptive to the Good News.  Are you approachable?  Will your child come to you with the most intimate of questions?  If not or if you don’t know, listen to the Cashions outline the four attitudes every serious parent needs to cultivate in themselves if they are to fulfill their call to be their children’s first evangelists.

Are You an Evangelical Parent?

Trey was a guest on Relevant Radio’s Morning Air this morning discussing Evangelical Parenthood with Sean Herriott.  Check out the archives for Morning Air. the interview occurred at 6:34 am this morning – Thursday, February 13.

Additionally, we wrote a column over at Austin Catholic New Media regarding the first attitude of Evangelical Parenthood – Approachability.  Do you your children come to you with their most difficult and intimate questions?  Are you approachable?  If not or if you don’t know, read our post at the following link.

Discipline and Being a Disciplinarian

Trey was a guest on Relevant Radio’s Morning Air this morning discussing “discipline”.  You can listen to the interview by going to Relevant Radio and finding the archives for Morning Air.  He was on from 6:30 to 6:50 am CST.  To see an overview of this topic in a written format, check out our new post over at Catholic New Media.  God bless.

Podcast – Episode 35 – ADHD and Parenting: A Catholic Perspective from Dr. Joseph White

Trey and Stephanie discuss ADHD with Catholic Psychologist and ADHD Expert, Dr. Joseph White.  Listen as Dr. White helps us understand how to deal most effectively with children diagnosed with ADHD.  He discusses the frequent misconception that ADHD is a myth.  Together, Dr. White and the Cashions provide practical ways of handling children diagnosed with this disorder.

Podcast – Episode 34 – What Every Kid Should Know Before They Leave Home

Listen as Trey and Stephanie discuss the 5 things that every child should know before they leave home, including teaching your children that God desires them to become themselves.