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Julia Shappert | Official Blog

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June 2015

I Don’t Support Same-Sex Marriage. Here’s Why.

I am not one to voice my opinion politically or religiously, but due to the exceptional occurrences recently, I feel obliged to share my part. Friday, June 26, 2015 marked a significant moment in history for the LGBT community. As a Christian and decent human being, I look to all my friends, family, and anyone I meet with love regardless of race, sexual orientation, and the like. This is to stick with God’s commandment to love one another as He loves us (John 15:12). I don’t HATE anyone – except the devil and sin. GOD doesn’t hate anyone – except the devil and sin. God is for us – not sin.

“Love” also does not necessarily equate to “support”. In fact, God tells us to “love” our enemies (Matthew 5:44). So, I’ll be kind and respectful to all but that doesn’t mean I’ll agree with everyone’s beliefs or practices. However, beliefs won’t make me love you any less as a person – only that I know my opinions and beliefs are different. I will still look out for you and treat you as a good friend and human being. This post is not meant to start arguments. I realize that my beliefs are SO against supporters of same-sex marriage. Many will look at me as a “bigot” and “homophobic”. My beliefs are outrageous according to several people. I get that.

Several will roll their eyes when I say that a strong conviction in the very roots of God’s Word expressed through the Catholic faith is the reason why I’m not for gay marriage. As a Roman Catholic, I believe the purpose of marriage is a loving bond between one man and one woman who are fully opened and accepting to the procreation of children. There, I said it. Simply put, God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28). I find that the most fundamental reason for marriage is to create and nurture new life. The outward sign of marriage is children. It’s all about sacrifice – just like Jesus sacrificed for us. Same-sex marriage does not in any way promote this lifestyle.

I put God’s authority over man-made decisions. Love the sinner but dislike the sin. Again, I’m just one person with one opinion. But, what I believe is important to me. I’m entitled to my opinion and you are entitled to yours. I’ll still love you and treat you as a person, but that doesn’t mean we’ll support everything together.

Everyone deserves to be loved. However, being romantically involved with the same sex is another story. Attraction isn’t a sin. It’s when we apply those feelings towards lustful, fruitless actions that makes this attitude sinful. Find love through Jesus Christ.

Julia

What I Ate Today (1800 Calories)

Today had to have been the most “balanced” I’ve eaten in a long time. One of the problems I’m trying to stop is my sorting out “good” vs. “forbidden” foods. Yes, some are more nutritiously-dense than others and are less-risky to eat, in my opinion. However, keeping myself from treats will only set me up to binge in the future. I thought I would share what I ate today to hold myself accountable for future meals.

Breakfast – 1/2 cup rolled oats; 1 1/4 cup purple seedless grapes

Lunch – Cracker Barrel: Sweet whole baby carrots, cheesy grits, green beans, and 1 biscuit

Snack – 1 large banana

Dinner –  Subway: 9-Grain Honey Oat 6 in. w/ turkey, provolone, lettuce, spinach, tomato, and sweet onion dressing; 1 individual bag of Lays Baked Original Chips

Snack – 8 oz. frozen yogurt (peanut butter and cake batter flavors)

I only ate when I was hungry and drank water in between meals. This all calculated to just shy of 1800 calories. I also incorporated 15 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes aerobic DVD.  I’m proud of how far I have come. I still have a long way to go, but I’ll just keep pushing forward!

Julia

Eating Disorder: Road to Recovery

I’ve been to counseling for about a month for my anorexia/binge eating tendencies. It has not been an easy path for me, to say the least. However, I am starting to notice significant changes mentally and emotionally towards my relationship with food.

As general rules, I’ve been “prescribed” by my counselor to eat more (1800 calories/day), exercise less (45 minutes or less), and not weigh myself on the scale until I head back to college in the fall. This is all suppose to help me regulate my metabolism and keep me from depriving my body of nutrients.

During my anorexic stage, I never consumed more than 1200-1400 calories per day…sometimes as low as 1000. So, eating the extra calories has not been exciting. Sometimes, I can’t help but picture myself gaining pounds by the bite. Over the past couple weeks, though, I’ve felt like I can eat a wider assortment of food without deep shame. So far, this summer has brought a number of special occasions where food was present (Who could have guessed?). However, intend of telling myself “NO” to these once-forbidden foods,  I’ve learned to treat myself to small portions. By putting this concept into practice, I don’t feel the urge to eat the whole bowl of chips or the entire plate of cookies. This is definitely progress! 🙂

I was also told to exercise for no more than 45 minutes per day. Before that, I thought I could trick the “1800-calorie ” plan by burning off 800-1000 calories per day via the treadmill and workout DVDs. However, my counselor told me that this is counterproductive since overexercising is like another method of “purging” for a bulimic.

Not being able to weigh myself felt horrific for the first couple days. All I dreamed about doing over this summer was to lose weight and get back into shape. Now, my progress must be judged by how my clothes fit, which is far less satisfying when I could be seeing immediate changes from the scale. My counselor will weigh me weekly, so maybe I can convince her to let me sneak a peek. We’ll see how this goes.

Not having full control of the choices I make for my body is one of the most frustrating feelings. Breaking my binge requires intervention from another person since my original efforts to end it were useless. But, I know that good must come from this eventually…even if I’m in denial now.

The main problem I’m dealing with now is body image. I can’t stop replaying the progression from being fit to too thin to overweight. Now, I’m afraid I’ll never be a healthy, HAPPY, and confident weight again. I am extremely uncomfortable having full-length pictures taken, trying on clothes, or being around people I know. Even looking at myself in the mirror has made me feel miserable. This will be my next topic of conversation with my counselor when I meet with her next.

This is the only picture that has made me feel “pretty” in a long time. I’ve learned that good health isn’t just physical. It’s  mental and emotional. Once I’m in a solid state of mind and spirit, I can channel that positivity to a greater appreciation of my body and treat it wholesomely. I will continue to update!

June 21, 2015: Me and my lovely dad on Father’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julia

Overcoming Homesickness

If there is anything sadder in college than tuition costs, it’s saying goodbye to your loving  family for months on end. Homesickness seemed to be a talent of mine for several years. I was never one to be excited about leaving my parents and sisters for camp or college. Somehow, though, I managed to wipe away the tears and turn my frown upside-down during these tearful farewells.

Leaving loved ones for an extended period of time is never easy, but there are a number of ways to make the living transition manageable. All of these tips helped me overcome homesickness at camps, college, and other prolonged experiences away from home.

1.) Stay busy. You’ll be prone to feeling down in the dumps if you are moping around with nothing to do. Keep your mind and body energized. Give 100% effort and enthusiasm in all your activities.

2.) Meet new friends. An unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people can make anyone feel uncomfortable. These new surroundings can leave us feeling like we’re lost on a foreign planet away from the comfort of our homes. This means it’s time to extend your hand and introduce yourself to other people. I’m sure there are students or campers experiencing the same anxiety and sadness that you’re feeling. Meeting new people can be very rewarding because once you have friends, you have new family. 

3.) Get involved on campus. If you are at college, you can’t expect to spend four years of your life on campus without doing something productive (besides getting an education, of course). Go Greek. Play a sport. Sing in the choir. Try out for cheerleading or work for the school newspaper. I have three reasons right off the top of my head why involvement is crucial. 1) Meet people with similar interests. 2) Develop your leadership skills. 3) Stand out on your resumes. BOOM.

4.) Talk with a friend or counselor. If your are feeling blue, talk with someone! Share how you are feeling. Releasing your immediate emotions can clear your mind and heavy heart. Whether it’s another camper, close friend, or counselor, all of these people will be there to listen.

5.) Bring a few special keepsakes from home along with you. This might sound silly, but I literally made a crayon drawing of the outside of my house and took it with me to 4-H camp when I was nine years old. Even to this day, I’ll bring some stuffed animals and photo albums to college to help me make it through the first couple weeks of classes. These all made home feeling closer to me and calmed my nerves down.

5.) Communicate with loved ones back at home. Hearing my family’s voices over the phone or Skype hits the soft spot of my heart. I can’t tell you how many times I tear up when I hear or see them. Daily communication with them seems to dissolve the physical distance between us when I’m at school.

6.) Kindly ask for care packages or mail. Goodies mailed with love and delivered from loving people is just lovely. I felt like a little child at Christmastime when I received one from my parents! Letters, comfort food, and little odds and ends to get you by the semester are all awesome. Even more awesome are the people who sent them to you. It’s all awesomeness. All the more to feel connected to your folks.

All of these methods of madness have helped me cope with missing my Ohio home. Hopefully, they work for you, too!

Julia

Book Review: “Life’s Greatest Lesson” by Allen R. Hunt

I just wrapped up another great summer read!  Life’s Greatest Lesson by Allen R. Hunt is about encountering happiness in our lives through the acronym L.E.G.S. After finishing this book, I feel more complete as a person and have a totally different perspective on how I should be utilizing and viewing money.

Simply put, God gives us each special talents to use in this world – singing, leading, managing, public speaking, entertaining, etc. When we actively use our God-given skills at work, any money that is given to us is really the Lord’s. We should be generous with our money. Matthew 6:24 states”No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”  This story really captures the message of giving.

To give a little background on the plot, a young boy is deeply saddened by the death of his grandmother. Right before she left the world, she gave her grandson Christopher her “L.E.G.S.” bracelet. As you move along the chapters, Christopher discovers through his grandfather’s stories why Grandma Lavish was so beloved by all people as well as the meaning behind that special bracelet. It’s truly a heartfelt, make-you-feel-happy-kind-of book. I was able to read it in a matter of days. L.E.G.S. (in case you are dying to know) stands for the following:

  • Love all you can.
  • Earn all you can.
  • Give all you can.
  • Save all you can.

If you want to be inspired, I would definitely check this book out!

Happy reading,

Julia

Book Review: “The Truth About Money Lies” by Russ Crosson

One Wednesday afternoon, the Accounting Club on my campus welcomed a certified financial planner to speak  with us about different job opportunities in the areas of accounting, business, and finance. It’s always a pleasure to have professionals in the field share their advice with us aspiring businessmen and women.

One of the books that I’ve recently finished reading was actually a generous handout that the CFP gave to all the accounting club students concluding his talk. The title is called The Truth About Money Lies by Russ Crosson with Kelly Talamo. Dang, it’s a darn good read.

To give my personal summary, this personal finance book uses biblical roots and Scripture to back up how we should wisely spend, save, and invest our money. Each chapter gives a real-world financial scenario that focuses on a different money lie  modern culture believes to be true. Of course, each falsity is disproved using God’s Word combined with some personal guidance from Crosson and Talamo. I highly recommend this book for college students who will be making hard-hitting financial decisions in their young adult lives. It’s a quick, captivating, and straightforward read…and that’s saying a lot from someone (me) who gets impatient with novels!

 

There are 15 chapters in under 250 pages. I don’t want to spoil too much information, but a few lies that are covered in detail include the following:

  • “I can’t afford to give.”
  • “I can get rich quick.”
  • “Retirement is the ultimate goal of working hard.”
  • “Money and the things it buys are a measure of my self-worth.”

Whether you are retired, working towards your first major job, or simply looking for ways to manage your finances better, this book touches on several monetary topics and addresses them from a well-educated, Christian viewpoint. It’s worth a read and a good reference to keep around. It costs between $4 – $15 depending where you look online.

Happy reading!

Julia

 

 

 

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