Five Favorites

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Joining Hallie again this week for Five Favorites, this week my theme (I’m better with themes for the moment) is favorite animated movies Dreamworks edition:

1. How to Train Your Dragon

2. Shark Tale

3. Madagascar

4. Monsters vs Aliens

5. Shrek

Light in Darkness

Joining Maria for her weekly Meme Light in Darkness

 

This interview and and the book that inspired it (which is on my reading wish list). I’ve been a huge fan of Rod Dreher’s common sense conservatism and although he left the Church of Rome for the Church of the East, I still greatly value his religious insights as well. Rod Dreher’s The Little Way of Ruthie Leming tells the story of the hometown he left behind and the sister who stayed there and her eventual battle with cancer and death and Rod’s eventual move back and realizing the value of the life he left behind.

Ruthie’s life, Rod has mentioned several times on his blog, even after ending its earthly run, has changed others for the better. And Ruthie is indeed a light in our world, shining now through her brother, her hometown, and her story.

The interview/feature ends with this quote from Ruthie’s friend Ronnie Morgan, “…When I’m gone? The only thing that’s going to show up to say I was here is the people I left behind.” Followed by reporter Debbie Elliot’s addition, “… And the way they carry on in your absence. In the book, Dreher quotes Leming’s husband Mike telling a friend, ‘we’re leaning, but we’re leaning on each other.'”

May God give you someone to lean on today and always, may God teach us all the value of community either that we are born into or create ourselves.

Five Favorites

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1. Bacon. Why? Uh, hello…it’s BACON!

2. Pro-lifers…

seriously y’all, it was incredibly awesome to be a part of ending the media black-out on Gosnell on Friday. And I saw so many amazing pro-lifers unite despite doctrinal differences and it was powerful. Just think what might happen if we all work together all the time.

3. Blue Bell Ice Cream

If you can get it and haven’t tried it, no excuses, yes it’s a bit pricey but you get a whole half gallon for that price. And if you live somewhere where you can’t get it, my condolences.

4. Recipes on facebook like this one.  Wow we have some great stuff coming up in our house in the coming weeks thanks to friends sharing so many great recipes.

5. My New York Yankees

Because life comes before baseball on Tuesday night they are observed a moment of silence in honor of Boston and after the third inning they played Sweet Caroline.

They make me proud to be a fan of their team and Major League Baseball.

Don’t Believe in Satan?

Then how do you explain a man like Kermit Gosnell? How do you explain in the unspeakable horror in which he perpetrated and how do you explain no media coverage of the event?

This is NOT the time to sit back and be the pro-life advocate who avoids the topic.

If the media can’t do their job, it’s up to the rest of us.

So, I’m gonna give a shout out to one journalist who could very well be risking his career to share an article on twitter.

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Luke Russert may not be in a position to do much, but he is doing all he can. And instead of criticize we need to applaud him.

So take to social media and spread the word. Because if we cannot do even this…I fear for the future of the pro-life movement.

Seven Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

First off, if you haven’t started already, you need to be praying for Jen and Joe and baby Joseph. Joseph was born Monday and was put in the NICU at a different hospital from the one Jen delivered in for some breathing issues TOTALLY unrelated to the pulmonary embolisms Jen suffered in this pregnancy. Jen has been discharged but the hospital is 30 minutes from her home. His little lungs are having some trouble stabilizing so he REALLY needs some prayers. As do Mama, Daddy and the five eager siblings at home. And Jen has been unable to update her blog because of some kind of issues there too. Obviously that is not a priority, but it’s an annoyance when she doesn’t need it. You can keep up with her on twitter @conversiondiary if you want updates on baby Joseph.

— 2 —

Holy Cow, summer decided to show up here. We went from temps in the 30 last week to the 80s this week. So far my Joseph’s lungs seem to be tolerating the change as well as the pollen. Oh the pollen. Nothing like good ol yellow pine pollen to make one’s eyes swell and nasal passages close. Yeah, at least the azaleas will be out on time for the Azalea festival this weekend. First time in years they aren’t early.

— 3 —

So, I complained all about google reader and bloglovin’ and Randi, in the comments, gently nudged me toward trying feedly again. Well, it worked in the Chrome store this time and THANK YOU GOD IN HEAVEN I do not have to click on every link to open a new window anymore and no more crashing after five posts and real time updates. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

— 4 —

I was super good this week. I cleaned out  my dresser, chest of drawers and closet and THEN I switched out all the kids’ clothes from winter to summer. Like I said, SUPER GOOD.

— 5 —

And in my cleaning I tried on some dresses that said medium or large. I am an XL. Not in height but, shape. I wear XL tops and 18 pants, shorts, skirts. So I figured these dresses were not going to make the cut. WRONG. THEY ALL FIT. I am sure this is part of the “we don’t tell you real sizes thing” but hey, I got to keep cute dresses, I’m good!

— 6 —

In I’m-a-great -parent- (NOT) news, after the wasp incident on Sunday, I forced a certain insect-phobic child to watch Bee Movie on Wednesday. Twice. I think it’s a cute movie that shows that good intentions can have very negative consequences. Which is something a lot of people need to remember in this crazy mixed up world we live in today.

— 7 —

Finally, because Nick Flynn taught a couple of workshops at my alma mater (they were grad school workshops and I was an undergrad phooey) and I’m just a nerd like this, an arty nerd, read this.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Hatefulness in the name of God is still hatefulness and is not “of God”

God does not hate. He doesn’t. God only loves us. All his actions are out of love.

Hatred, no that’s human.

Christ loved those who crucified and mocked him. Those who spat on him and scourged him.

A friend of my husband’s sent me a message a while back on facebook about a person who had been a mutual friend of hers and my husband. I say “had” because she no longer chose to associate with him. And that was what she was messaging me about. She was upset and frustrated and then felt like a terrible person because she just could not deal with one more moment of his hatred which he cleverly chose to disguise in his evangelical Christianity.

And from the status updates and messages I got from him in the brief time we were acquainted, I’m not sure he loved anything but boy he surely did hate quite a bit. Let’s see there were gays and lesbians (their very existence, let’s not even wade into the current cases before the SCOTUS), foreigners–even those here legally (ironic because he married one, brought her to the US and then moved to her country because she couldn’t get work here), the poor, and Catholics (I’m leaving a lot out, quite a lot btw). Oh how he hates some Catholics. And he would try to be nice and friendly to me while sliding in some barb about, “It sure would be nice if I could talk to you like this in heaven.” (Oh his wife and in-laws are Catholic and he lives in a predominantly Catholic country now. There’s some irony for you.)

I live in the South, you see, so this kind of thing is not at all unusual to me. This is the land of the “Bless Your Heart” passive-aggression. If you’ve never heard of that southern novelist Lee Smith says it means you can say any ugly thing you like as long as you follow it up with, “Bless Your Heart!” Her favorite example, “Oh she’s SO overweight, bless her heart.” I dislike it, yes, but it’s not unusual, particularly when you consider the places my husband grew up and the people he grew up around, well, it’s downright commonplace.

This guy can quote you a Bible verse, any verse, in his sleep. But memorization doesn’t count for actually reading the good book. It doesn’t mean he learned that God is merciful. And God gives us His mercy and forgiveness if we ask even though we so do not deserve any of it. I’m pretty sure he memorized without reading the entire Gospel of Matthew. Particularly Jesus talking about the end times and how we are supposed to minister to those who are poor, hungry, sick and inprisoned…and not just the ones we like or the ones we know or the ones who are “good.”

What I told the woman who contacted me is that she should not feel guilty about no longer associating with him as numerous attempts by herself, myself and others had shown me his heart is simply not open to truth. I cannot tell you how many times I attempted to gently educate him on Mary, the saints and the power of intercessory prayer that resulted in him plugging his ears and merely singing loudly, “LA, LA, LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” No longer speaking or facebooking with someone does not mean you don’t still think about and pray for this person. And prayer means loving them. Sometimes we have to do as Elizabeth Esther’s priest suggested to her in Confession when she was complaining about a fight she and her husband had about Catholicism“You’re trying to do the Holy Spirit’s work…This is not your job.” The only one who can teach this person that God is love (also in the Bible 1 John 4:8) and not hatred is God himself. The Holy Spirit has to move his heart to realize that He never preached or taught hatred but rather commands us to love (John 13:34). Hatred is not of God at all. And to hate another in God’s name is to turn one’s back on Christ crucified in a most shameful manner. And to ignore the fact that He rose for ALL our sins. Because God is not fair, God is merciful and we could learn quite a bit about love when we stop to consider that.

It’s All Fine and Dandy…

to write a blog post confessing your true feelings until someone gets offended by your personal feelings.

I follow a mom-blog that many of you know based out of Chicago where the mom in question lost a very young child to brain cancer and has another child and is trying to adopt a child. I have followed this blog for a while now because the loss of her child obviously tears at my heart but also seeing how she is channeling the loss into activism and helping others and how she and her husband are pursuing adoption are wonderfully motivating.

So, she had a post up recently talking about facebook and how sometimes it is an occasion for pain. When you see friends or family enjoying something that you have longed for and cannot have. At least not now because for whatever reason, God has decided now is not your time. And you feel awful for feeling longing and maybe some jealousy and you KNOW they are not trying to shove it in your face and you want them to share their good news, but you need a moment to process and work through those valid emotions. Because you want to be happy and better. And you are happy for your friends but that doesn’t mean everything else fades away. And it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

I have a friend now who wants nothing more in life than to be married, to be a wife. But she just can’t meet a decent guy. And hasn’t had any kind of boyfriend in about five years. So logging into facebook to see wedding anniversaries, engagements, wedding photos, it can be rough. And she’s honest about it in a very kind way. Just let’s people know she’s going to take a break for a bit til she’s in a better emotional place and come back.

That was the kind of post this blogger put up. She mentioned one situation she came across in her feed that inadvertantly caused pain (well, she mentioned a couple, but there was this one) and the person who came up in her feed shot back in the comments about how the situation she posted about was in fact not all that great, it was actually scary and sad  because of some circumstances surrounding it and “not everyone’s life is perfect.”

Now, I know that person is speaking from a place of fear and hurt from her own situation, but I do think her comment was a little out of line because she basically told the blogger, “you’re feelings are invalid because they are not happy to me.” She is right, no one’s life is perfect but just as she gets to mourn that her happy situation is not perfect and comes with risk, shouldn’t this blogger get the chance to mourn that there is something missing in her life? She never accused this person of bragging or forcing the situation on her. In fact, she blamed the medium, facebook, for making these moments more difficult then they might have been otherwise and admitted that she took breaks when things got too heavy.

And the other thing that bothered me about the way the person responded was that she noted she was “alerted to the post because (she) (was) the person who…” which means she never would have known if someone hadn’t been in a scandalous gossipy mood and shared. Kind of an “ooooh, guuuuurl, she writing about you. oh no she di’int!” And that means there’s not just one person who is trying to invalidate this blogger’s feelings.

I don’t know the blogger in real life, so I don’t know if she moans about her problems to everyone who will listen, but her blog is not like this normally. No, normally she talks about her charity work and current events and pop culture and how it relates to her and the child she lost. She is not someone who fishes for sympathy. It’s what makes her kick-butt blogger with a tremendous following.

And even if she was that kind of person, I don’t think it’s fair for people to be offended by anyone’s true feelings if they are stated kindly and respectfully.

Five Favorites

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Joining the lovely Hallie who just became a mama for the fifth time five days ago! Go check the pics at her blog. That baby boy is scrumptious!

1. So this is going to sound stupid, but they are putting a major interchange highway right in front of our subdivision and I am uber-super-excited because starting tomorrow, we can turn right to exit our neighborhood again. Not subjecting my children to the dangerous nonsense we have become familiar with the last month: definitely a fan.

2. My ipod…lately I can’t sleep or there is a little too much noise clouding my brain and can’t function. The music has focused or relaxed me.

3. And while we’re on the subject: 80’s music. Granted I cut my teeth on the stuff but nothing like some good Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode to make me feel just youthful, energetic and happy.

4. Wreck It Ralph

Seriously, we’ve watched it so many times and it just gets better and better. Probably the best thing, I have one boy who loves Ralph, one who loves Felix and a girl who is all about some Vanellope.

5. The Chrome Store…seriously the plug-ins I’m getting for free now on it are awesome. And finally I got feedly to work and that has taken a huge load off because bloglovin left me with no lovin’.

Life With Small Children

Today I joined in some joyful commiseration about young children with a much better blogger than myself. I recounted how in 28 days we will have a four-year-old in this house and the injustices he suffers when a word he spells is not a word at all or when his feelings are hurt because his older brother gave him a funny look bring on the tears and the “Litany of Every Wrong Ever Done  Him” in his short life.

And that older brother, the one who just turned 5 AND A HALF is the one who dissolves into tears when little brother doesn’t want to play Super Smash Bros Brawl with him after hours of play and who after months of fighting me about going to school has  gone willingly and happily two days in a row now.

I was told that it was better I had two boys because girls are NOTHING but drama. At least Shelby’s drama is not of her own creating. But small children do not like boxes and categories when it comes to behavior and personality. And so my little boys BRING THE DRAMA.

This weekend I worked an insane amount. I was scheduled for six and a half hours Saturday during the day, which I worked. But half way through my shift, my boss asked me if I could come back and work another five hours in the evening for a co-worker who had a family emergency. I said yes without hesitation. That kindness had been done for me once before. I scooted home for a couple of hours and told Jeff and the kids. Will was heartbroken. He cried and I heard the Litany. I held him and stroked his hair listening as I always do and told him how when he was very sick and had to ride in a helicopter to the hospital someone I worked with took my shift and I was doing that for someone else now. He asked if he could pray for my co-worker, her family and her situation and I agreed it was a good idea so we said a prayer together. Jeff threw dinner into full force and a couple of hours later I was back at work. I got home close to 11 and went to sleep.

The next day I had a seven hour shift plus Mass. I planned to brown bag my lunch and was all ready to go when Jeff announced he wanted to take all 3 kids to a new park that just opened. Which meant I had to load the kids into his car and dress and change Shelby because she never got out of her pajamas. I left lunch sitting on the counter.

When I got home that evening, tired and happy. Jeff informed me the park was a total bust. It is mostly walking trails and the kids were not impressed. That’s the thing about small children. They are often not easy to please and when they are not pleased, they have no qualms about letting you know about it.

Then Jeff told me about the day’s high, er, lowlight. A wasp got into our house. Insects get into homes, it happens. But when a certain five-AND-A-HALF-year-old boy has been trained since infancy to hate and fear the said insect because his father does, well, what ensues is pure chaos and hilarity if you didn’t have to endure it.

Apparently Joey screamed. Then he ran into his room then he screamed again. Then he was shaking and crying all the while Jeff is chasing the wasp through the house and cursing (honesty here people) and trying to kill it. Will is a witness chasing Jeff. And Shelby is outside in her sensory swing happily oblivious to the fact that her father is effectively tearing the house from its foundation to kill a wasp while her younger brother is losing his ever-loving mind.

Finally the wasp is killed and disposed of, however, Joey is now refusing to play outside. Will, although traumatized, is not as severe as Joey and agrees to go out with Jeff as he checks the oil and color with sidewalk chalk. Shelby remains oblivious.

So, I fail at trying not to laugh when Jeff tells me all this when I get home from work. I’m sorry, but it didn’t happen to me, so it’s hilarious. Jeff is obviously very grateful to see me and has new found respect for “she-who-stays-home-with-small-children-all-day.”

Fast forward to yesterday. I’m an idiot sometimes and  yesterday afternoon was one of those times. I locked my house keys in the house (long story but my car key was off the key ring and I forgot to grab the rest of my keys on the way out). So I left the boys on the front porch and went through the fence to get the spare key, but lucky me, I left the sliding glass door unlocked so I just walked right in the back and let them in. And I left the sliding glass door open. It wasn’t a conscious thing, I just didn’t shut it.

Joey and Will walk in and immediately Joey  yells, “WHY IS THAT DOOR OPEN! YOU COULD LET A WASP IN THE HOUSE!!!” Because small children have memories like it’s nobody’s business because they aren’t old enough to have learned yet that sometimes that biochemical reaction of forgetting can be a good and merciful thing.

I casually told him I left it open and that, “I saw a  bumblebee pollinating the Lady Banks Roses!”

He was livid and closed the door.

Now today, I left the door open when I let the dog out because holy crackerjacks we hopscotched over spring and right into summer and it’s 80 degrees out. And I’m too cheap to turn on the AC in April and it helps to have air flow with the door open.

Joey is at school. Will, however, is, per his usual schedule, at home with me. And upon seeing the door open calmly goes and shuts it and says to me very sternly, “We do not want to have a wasp in the house again. That is a VERY BAD THING for Joe.” Then smiles and goes to play with cards.

Small children like to show off when they’ve learned something new.

Today’s post was brought to you by the letters: N, F, and A. As in “not from autism” was this most recent small child induced insect-anity.