Marriage and Manhood

1 month ago I saw my bride through my tear-filled eyes.

Our wedding did not go as we planned. Our guest list was cut down from 200+ to 22. We did not have the big venue we envisioned. We did not have a DJ. We did not have a beautiful honeymoon on an island.

It sure did not go as we planned. But it went as God planned. And because of that is was everything we could have hoped for.

We had an intimate ceremony. Thanks to technology our family and friends were able to watch us live. We had an amazing backyard reception. We had a nice big speaker and spotify. We ate great food. We road tripped back to our new apartment. Everyone was safe. We felt the Holy Spirit every minute of that day.

In this 1 month of marriage, I have learned a lot about what it means to be husband.

1 month and you know so much? I am definitely no expert, but day by day I am learning about what it means to be a husband.

  1. SACRIFCE

It’s easy to envision what sacrifice means to any man. Usually it is a picture of taking a bullet to the chest. It means pushing someone out of the way and sacrificing your life for them. In marriage however, sacrifice seems to me to be about dirty dishes. As the priest mentioned in our wedding day homily, “lifting the seat” is a large part of marriage. Sacrifice is making the morning coffee when exhausted. It is listening before speaking. To be a man, a husband, is to die to self. To let go of how one believes things should be done, listen, and respond as a team.

2. GROWTH

Never stop growing personally and together as a couple. I noticed myself not pursuing growth the first month of our marriage. To me it seemed like now that we were married, I did not need to keep striving to be a better person. This is far from the truth. I know now that the pursuit of personal growth is the spark for growth as husband and wife. In order to be the best husband, it requires a constant look inward. A constant reflection: How can I be a better man? Am I living a life of virtue? Where am I slipping up?

3. JOY

There is so much joy in being with someone that makes you a better person! In this 1 month of marriage I have witnessed the pure fun that is doing life with someone who helps you grow closer to Christ. I have learned that it is okay to take moments to just rest in the joy of matrimony.

Overall, manhood to me means love. Being a husband means living a life of love for another. It means sacrificing in small ways everyday.

It means walking with your bride towards Heaven.

Girl’s Don’t Deserve Roses

I repost this every year because it is important. 

Valentine’s day means cards, chocolate, teddy bears, and especially roses. Pink and red is splattered all over grocey stores, doctor’s offices, and schools.

The first couple years of college, I thought about how special this day was for a lot of women on campus (some do not care much for it). I knew the feeling of being noticed and getting flowers meant so much to certain girls that did not have a special someone in their life. Even as a guy I can empathize. To be given gifts and to be noticed is a special feeling.

Therefore, for the last couple of Valentine’s Days, I decided to give many of the girls in my life flowers. Cause why not right? Not all in a romantic way, but just to show them that someone cares. I loved letting them know someone was thinking about them on Valentine’s Day.

However, my attitude has changed this year.

This year I will not be buying flowers.

This year I have developed a new motto,

“Girls Don’t Deserve Roses.”

Before anyone gets angry…let me explain.

I am not anti-rose. I think flowers make a beautiful gift.

As I sit with friends and joke about the Bachelor, every once in a while a sadness strikes me. I observe all of these beautiful women stare at a single rose that some guy is holding. The way in which they stare is as if the rose is the last antidote and they are ill. When they do not receive the rose I can see their hearts and self-worth shatter.

They feel rejected.

They feel lonely.

They feel like they messed up.

As I reflect on this, it is very much like on Valentines Day. Some women in my life will feel hurt because they did not receive a flower or gift from a man in their life. Others may not care at all. However, to the one’s that do care, this may impact their self worth. They may feel like something is wrong with them. They may even feel like they did something to deserve this type of loneliness.

I am here to tell you today that girls do not deserve roses:

Girls deserve much more.

As we see in the Beauty and the Beast roses die. Roses and other gifts are a great way to show appreciation but to me…that is too easy.

I hope all men want to live in such a way to show all the women in our lives that they deserve so much not just on Valentine’s day but every.single.day.

To all my women readers.

You are worth more than a few petals and a stem.

You are worth more than a few chocolates.

You are worth more than a nicely written card and a fancy dinner. 

I encourage you to wait for a man who gives you precious gifts daily. Men who this Valentine’s day and more give you…

The gift of treating you like a best friend. 

The gift of listening to you.

The gift of having deep conversations with you.

The gift of cheering you up.

The gift of walking with you through the pain.

The gift of being there for you, praying with you, praying for you…

Girls. You do not deserve roses.

You do not even deserve a bouquet.

You deserve gifts that won’t wilt.

Girls Don’t Deserve Roses

I repost this every year because it is important. 

 

Valentine’s day cards, chocolate, teddy bears, and especially roses.

Lots of pink and red everywhere.

The first couple years of college, I thought about how special this day was for a lot of girls all over campus (some do not care much for it). I knew the feeling of being noticed and getting flowers meant so much to certain girls that did not have a special someone in their life. Even as a guy I can empathize. To be given gifts and to be noticed feels good.

Gifts demonstrate acknowledgement. 

Gifts illustrate that someone cares.

Gifts make us smile. 

Therefore, for the last couple of Valentine’s Days, I decided to give many of the girls in my life flowers. Cause why not right? Not necessarily in a romantic way (well, maybe a few) but just to show them that someone cared on this day. I loved seeing them smile. I loved making it a surprise. I loved letting them know someone was thinking about them on Valentine’s Day.

However, my attitude has changed this year.

This year I will not be buying flowers.

This year I have developed a new motto,

“Girls Don’t Deserve Roses.”

Before anyone gets angry at me…let me explain.

I am not anti-rose. I think flowers make a beautiful gift.

As I sit with friends and joke about the Bachelor, every once in a while a sadness strikes me. I observe all of these beautiful women stare at a single rose that some guy is holding. The way in which they stare is as if the rose is the last antidote and they are ill. When they do not receive the rose I can see their hearts shatter.

They feel rejected.

They feel lonely.

They feel like they messed up.

As I reflect on this, it is very much like Valentines Day. Some women in my life will feel hurt because they did not receive a flower or gift from a man in their life. Others may not care at all. However, to the one’s that it does impact they may feel as though they are not attractive. They may feel like something is wrong with them. They may even feel like they did something to deserve loneliness.

I am here to tell you today that girls do not deserve roses:

Girls deserve much much more.

As we see in the Beauty and the Beast roses die. Roses and other gifts are a great way to show appreciation but to me….that is too easy.

I want to and I hope all men want to live in such a way to show all the women in our lives that they deserve so much….every.single.day.

To all my women readers.

You are worth more than a few petals and a stem.

You are worth more than a few chocolates.

You are worth more than a nicely written card.

I encourage you to wait for a man who keeps on giving gifts. Each and every day.

The gift of treating you like a best friend. 

The gift of listening to you.

The gift of having deep conversations with you.

The gift of cheering you up.

The gift of being there for you, praying with you, praying for you, etc. 

 

Girls. You do not deserve roses. You do not even deserve a bouquet.

You deserve gifts that won’t wilt.

Why I Love Her

Relationships teach you a lot about yourself.

The good one’s teach you about where you fall short and what to do about it.

A solid relationship is built on growth.

Not on personal growth, but on helping the other to be the best version of themselves.

A year and a half ago I was blessed to start dating someone who would do just that for me. Someone who has killed off my vices day after day.

Most of all, she has brought me closer to my King.

Reminding me of His goodness, in every single moment.

Here are 3 reasons why I love her.

Hopefully, you have found or will find someone that can love you in this way.

1.Christ in everything

I had a tendency. To get uncomfortable when Jesus is brought up in conversation’s that are not really about religion. Give me a beer or a coffee and a table and I can talk theology all day and night. However, when asked about my day I never seem to bring up what God has done for me. It was uncomfortable for me to recognize Christ in the littlest of moments. Why? Because I was hiding from the reality. The reality that my prayer life needed changing. The reality that my focus needed shifting. The reality that life was not all about me. She reminds me daily that the words of the mouth, come from the heart.

2. Smile Through the Pain

Life is hard. Most days I have fishing weights attached to either side of my lips, preventing my smile. She taught me to smile in all circumstances. To be even more grateful in the pain. To be transformed by the joy that is God. We are called to rejoice always. Always. In all circumstances. It is a skill as well as a virtue. One must foster the gift of gratitude.

3. Unconditional Acceptance

I have a lot of flaws. I might need a whole room of people to count on their fingers and toes. I am human flaws and all. However, the feeling of inadequacy runs deep in my core. She reminds me daily that no matter how much I mess up I am stilled loved. This unites me with the message spoken through the Gospel that I always neglect to hear. God loves me unconditionally. He cares for me. He always accepts me as I am.

If you are just starting a relationship or looking for someone I encourage you to seek an individual with these qualities. Someone who makes everything about God, proclaims gratitude, and accepts you unconditionally.

Now, it is your turn.

To do the same.

Happy 1.5 B

Girls Don’t Deserve Roses

To all my women readers,

In a few hours it will be Valentine’s Day. Ever since childhood, we have engrained images in our our minds about this special day.

Valentine’s day cards, chocolate, teddy bears, and especially roses.

Lots of pink and red everywhere.

The first couple years of college, I thought about how special this day was for a lot of girls all over campus (some do not care much for it). I knew the feeling of being noticed and getting flowers meant so much to certain girls that did not have a special someone in their life. Even as a guy I can empathize. To be given gifts and to be noticed feels good.

Gifts demonstrate acknowledgement. 

Gifts illustrate that someone cares.

Gifts make us smile. 

Therefore, for the last couple of Valentine’s Days, I decided to give many of the girls in my life flowers. Cause why not right? Not necessarily in a romantic way (well, maybe a few) but just to show them that someone cared on this day. I loved seeing them smile. I loved making it a surprise. I loved letting them know someone was thinking about them on Valentine’s Day.

However, my attitude has changed this year.

This year I will not be buying flowers.

This year I have developed a new motto,

“Girls Don’t Deserve Roses.”

Before anyone gets angry at me…let me explain.

I am not anti-rose. I think flowers make a beautiful gift.

As I sit with friends and joke about the Bachelor, every once in a while a sadness strikes me. I observe all of these beautiful women stare at a single rose that some guy is holding. The way in which they stare is as if the rose is the last antidote and they are ill. When they do not receive the rose I can see their hearts shatter.

They feel rejected.

They feel lonely.

They feel like they messed up.


As I reflect on this, it is very much like Valentines Day. Some women in my life will feel hurt tomorrow because they did not receive a flower or gift from a man in their life. Others may not care at all. However, to the one’s that it does impact they may feel as though they are not attractive. They may feel like something is wrong with them. They may even feel like they did something to deserve loneliness.

I am here to tell you today that girls do not deserve roses:

Girls deserve much much more.

As we see in the Beauty and the Beast roses die. Roses and other gifts are a great way to show appreciation but to me….that is too easy.

I want to and I hope all men want to live in such a way to show all the women in our lives that they deserve so much….every.single.day.

To all my women readers.

You are worth more than a few petals and a stem.

You are worth more than a few chocolates.

You are worth more than a nicely written card.

I encourage you to wait for a man who keeps on giving gifts. Each and every day.

The gift of treating you like a best friend. 

The gift of listening to you.

The gift of having deep conversations with you.

The gift of cheering you up.

The gift of being there for you, praying with you, praying for you, etc. 

 

Girls. You do not deserve roses. You do not even deserve a bouquet.

You deserve gifts that won’t wilt.

I Can’t Be With You Yet

 

Dear Future Bride,                                                                                                                

You see, I have been pretty patient; at least I think I have for the past 21 years. Patience is definitely not my best quality. My Mom always told my siblings to pray for our future spouses (I think she’s been praying I find you for a while lol). I think today is a day where I really start doing that. I don’t believe that you need to know someone to pray for them. I pray that God gives me the courage to pursue you. I pray that God protects you until we meet and makes your days bright. Whatever choices you are making, I pray you are kept safe from all the evil of this world.

I wonder what color hair you will have? Blonde, brunette, black, or maybe even red? But does that stuff really matter anyway? I care more about how many adventures we will go on. I care more about how many times we will stay up until the sun rises just having deep conversations. I care more about having someone by my side to watch the stars at night.

I think my fascination with outer space all started when my Dad showed me a meteor shower when I was very young. I remember he got me up in the middle of the night. I threw my big puffy jacket on and waddled out the front door. I stood in the middle of our front yard. My eyes were glued to the sky as each meteor passed overhead.

I counted 44 meteors that night. How do I remember a number like 44 when this was 14 years ago?

No clue.

I imagine that when you see something so beautiful you cannot get it out of your head.

You will be my meteor shower.

There are many things I do not know about you.

I do not know what you will look like. I do not know what your laugh will sound like. I do not know when or where I will meet you. I do not know if I have already met you. I do not know if I will ever meet you.

There are some things I know about you already.

I know you are smart. I know you are curious. I know you care about serving the poor. I know you are adventurous. I know you are trustworthy. I know you love others. I know you put God first.

I do not know what the future holds, but I do know that I will hold you in the future.

 

With all my love,

Your Future Husband.

___________________________

 

Dear Future Husband,                                                                                                                   

            You see, it hasn’t always been easy for me in the relationship world but when I met you, it made all the tears, the heart break, the awkward breakup conversations go away. Because if I hadn’t gone through those, I wouldn’t be in the position I am with you now. I know that God has handpicked you for me and I, for you. I thank Him for giving me that courage to say yes when you asked me on that first date, just because my heart has been scarred one too many times. I pray that you continue growing into the man God has created you to be and I pray that you will continue to pursue and grow in your relationship with him for the rest of your life as I have already seen you do.

            You are handsome, funny, witty, but do those things actually matter in the grand scheme of things? No, I’m more excited about the things we will pursue together when we are married. The numerous adventures around the world, the many movies we will watch in our little home, especially snuggling on the couch after coming home from long day of work. Most importantly, I care about the support and love we will feed into each other for the rest of our lives. Something we will vow to do before we embark on this chapter of our lives.

            I remember when I was young, around the age of 12, and my parents were yelling at each other downstairs. I was frightened, scared, that something was wrong with their relationship; that it was going to end in the worst-case scenario. I emerged from my room when the fighting seemed to have ceased. I walked downstairs expecting to only see one of them but instead found my parents lovingly sitting together at the kitchen table talking and laughing. They had said their apologies and realized they were both wrong, for yelling at the other and overreacting over some little issue. It was this moment that taught me the resilient power of love.

            Sure, they may fight but one thing is for sure:

            They never and will never stop loving each other.

           

            I pray that when we too have our lows, because life isn’t perfect and neither are we, that we stay irrepressible; that we grow from the tough moments and not fall apart because when I say my vows it means that I never and will never stop loving you.

      

            There are many things I know about you.

            I know what you will look like. I know what your laugh sounds like. I know when and where I met you. I know that I am lucky to have met you and lucky to have you by my side.

            We learned that it wasn’t easy, that love gets tough sometimes but one thing is for sure. We are steady, we are here, and this love is here to stay.

            I pray for our future together. I pray for our future family. I pray for you, because sometimes I still can’t believe that God has actually put you in my life.

            With infinite years of love,

 

        Your Future Wife

 

In collaboration with @itisnosecret@wordpress.com

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I Am In Love.

Love.

Such a powerful word.

#Romantic

A few months ago I was listening to a talk on love. I am pretty sure it was a sermon from Francis Chan. Anyway, throughout the talk Francis Chan said something along the lines of:

“When we are in love we do crazy things for others. Girlfriends, family, friends, etc. So, what about for God? If we love Him, would we do crazy things for Him. Would we give up our current comfortable lives?”

Then I felt the punch in the gut feeling coming…

I thought:

“What radical things do I do for God?”

“If He called me to do things that appear crazy to the world…would I do it? Has He already…and I haven’t listened?”

 

I consider myself a pretty adventurous person. I like taking risks. I like showing my affection for others by helping them in times of need. I like doing acts big or small to show my appreciation.

What would I do if someone I loved/admired/cared about needed me now?

If one of my siblings called me and said they needed me. I would drive two hours to the airport. Get on a plane. And be home for them. I’d skip class. I’d miss tests. 

If my upset friend needed to talk to me at 3:00 in the morning…and I was dead asleep. I would get up, drive to their apartment, and we would talk. 

If a girl I had a crush on lived a few hours away, I would drive those 2.5 hours just to see her for a few hours. (true story by the way). 

 

So....what radical things are you doing now because you love God? 

As I reflected on this question I was not really sure. I felt as though God was calling me to love him deeply.

But how? What does radical love look like?

I think it is really interesting that when we do radical things out of love it is considered romantic, selfless, and pure awesomeness. For example, think about all those crazy marriage proposal videos. Guys go out of their way and put so much time and effort in order to make it perfect. Why? Because they love their soon to be bride so much. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Quite frankly, I plan on being one of those guys one day. Get ready future Mrs. Bellacicco.

Furthermore…

We need to remember that as a Christian sometimes doing things because we love God appears crazy. Loving God does not look romantic at all.

Calling on him in prayer, helping someone that the world has said don’t go near, talking with strangers, maybe even going across the world to help the poor.

Loving God radically is through vulnerability.

 

Loving God radically is by sacrifice.

 

Loving God radically is by prayer.

 

Loving God radically is by service.

 

Loving God radically is by listening. 

 

We need to remember, that unlike marriage proposals loving God can be viewed under a negative light in the world.

So, how do I do radical things to show my love for God. Well, radical does not necessarily mean big acts. Each time we do something for our neighbor we are loving God radically. Friends, today I encourage you to do something a little radical to show your love for your neighbor and the Big Man Upstairs.

Write a note of appreciation to a friend, coworker, stranger.

Call someone and tell them how much they mean to you.

Hug a friend who has been down lately.

Send a small gift of appreciation to a parent.

Listen with an open heart to the story of a hurting stranger.

Smile at a stranger.

Pray for a friend.

Pray with a friend.

As St. Mother Theresa said,

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

So, yes. Today, I shout from the rooftops. I am in love with God. 

Will you shout it with me?

If so….

Now it is time to show the world you are on fire with His love. 

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