23 February 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol.1)

Soooo I'm jumping on the quick takes band wagon ;-)

Some of the blogs I have started following more do this, and I think its kind of a neat idea.  In the past, I did one here and there, its more fun if you keep to it...so here goes :)


--- 1 ---
So I'm kinda excited about this one!  I recently started following Caitlin's blog.  Both of us are newlyweds and in grad school, we chatted a little through e-mail and it was neat to have a new friend in the blogosphere.  I wrote a guest post on her blog here this past week about what to do when marriage get hard.  Not gonna lie.  It made me feel legit in the world o' blogging :)  Thanks again, Caitlin!

--- 2 ---
This past Saturday, I took a group of teens and some young adults on a tour of the local seminary in Detroit.  Every time I take a group down there, it seems that the weather is absolutely bizarre!  The roads were bad and snowy, but we made it safe.  It was great praying evening prayer with the seminarians, hearing their vocation stories, and having a pizza party in the game room.  It also helps that the two seminarians that gave the tour were in our wedding party and some of Jim's closest friends from when he was in seminary...gotta love connections!

On the way home, I got a flat tire.  However, the worse part of it (I'm embarrassed to admit) was when they folks I drove in my car asked me if I had a spare, my response was "Oh no! Are you kidding a spare...I KNOW I don't have one of them things???"  Guess what they found in the trunk.  Yup, a spare tire and a jack.  After confusing the heck out of the poor AAA guy on the phone, and changing the tire, we were soon our way home! 

--- 3 ---
I recently discovered this cool NFP website.  One of the reasons this website struck me is that it is put together by for women, and is the basic meaning/science/understanding stuff for what NFP is really all about in a non-threatening, non-judgmental way.  They have a page on it with catchy slogans and pictures, like this one. 

or this one...

--- 4 ---
Have you seen this video on YouTube???  WOW. Unless you are okay with crying, don't watch this. Actually, watch it anyway:) You won't regret it. SO good.

--- 5 ---
Not to be a complainer, but is anybody else not a fan of Lent??? I know bad, right?  Recently I saw my spiritual director and shared this insight with her: "You know, Advent is only 4 weeks and Lent is 6 weeks.  Couldn't we just chop off the extra two weeks of Lent and slap them onto Advent?"  We both had some good laughs about it.  I know, I know purification of our lives/hearts/minds is the sometimes 'tough stuff' of following Christ.  This Lent is no different.  I mean who likes to be reminded of how we need to change our lives???  But in the end, when I really put myself into it and enter in, God does a good number on me:) 

One particular thing I'm fasting from this Lent is no social media of any kind past 7pm. 

That's around the time Jim comes home from either work/internship, and its a good way for me to be more intentionally present when we are home together in the evenings.  It may not sound like a lot, but let's just say there have been more times than not where we are watching a movie together, and I'm half engaged cause I'm so absorbed in Facebook.    I've caught myself slipping up, but when I really focus on sticking with it, its really helping me 'unplug' from the world and plug into quality us time:)  Hmmm, so maybe this Lent thing is a good idea?? ;-)

--- 6 ---
For those of you who live in the metro-Detroit area, did you hear the exciting news?????  12 Oaks Mall is getting the Cheesecake Factory later this year.  Maybe this isn't quick take worthy, but all I have to say after spending most of the afternoon at the library reading all about Arius, Athanasius, and the Council of Nicea for an upcoming paper at school...this was pleasant news to distract me for a little break from ancient Christian heresies.

--- 7 ---
More of a question here.  Do you know anyone who is good at graphic design stuff???  I currently have free blogger design, but am playing with the idea of 'getting some work done' on my current design and layout if the price is right.  If you have any recommendations, let me know:)
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

11 February 2013

Giving up Pope Benedict for Lent??

WOW. I guess that's what one says when you hear news like we all did this morning. 

After I turned my phone on this morning to see the news on Facebook/Twitter/text messages, Jim and I happened to turn on the news as he tried to revive himself with a morning cup o' coffee.  The Today Show was on and we caught the interview with Cardinal Dolan.  If you missed it check it out HERE.  As I have read other blogs this morning and watched a few things on the news, I'm really struck by this quote of a religious sister from the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (the nuns who were on Oprah): "Pope John Paul II remained in office so that he might show us how to suffer and how to die.  Pope Benedict XVI is leaving the Papal Office so that he might show us how to live in humble honesty."  For me personally, that insight really helped.  As JP2's health continued to decline and as he was dying, his acceptance of suffering showed the world that suffering united to Christ is not a bad thing; that it can even be a fruitful thing.  As he lay in his apartment dying, he showed us what it meant to truly respect all of human life, to unite our suffering to Jesus, and that death is not the end.  JP2 showed us perseverance, and now Pope Benedict is showing/teaching us humility.

And so as Pope Benedict XVI prepares to leave the Papal office, I think one of the lessons we can walk away with is the great humility of the Holy Father and his deep love for the welfare of the Church as he steps away.  The Holy Father's resignation is a selfless and noble act done for the good of the life of the Church that he has loved and served for decades.  Sure, it's a shock for all of us...but it just strikes me that he does with the best interest of the life of the Church in mind.  So let's try to keep that in mind in the coming days, especially as there are attempted spins on the "real" reason the Pope is retiring.

Two days before Lent begins, this announcement is made.  Perhaps this Lent, all the universal Church has greater significance to unite all our Lenten prayers and sacrifices for the cardinals as they head into the conclave...for the next successor of St. Peter.  How amazing would that be if all Catholics around the world band together this Lent for one common purpose?!?!?!? So as we head into Lent, in a special way, let's all work together as prayer warriors for this momentous task ahead of the Church.  Are you with me????  I don't know about you, but it definitely puts a different spin on Lent for me.  What an exciting time to be a Catholic!  Also consider showing Pope Benedict XVI some love and support for all his hard work at his Twitter @Pontifex

Ohhhh NOW I get it. #YearofFaith #PopeBenedictXVI

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