Not Alone Series: Sacrifice for Singles


We hear all the time about the call of married people to sacrifice for the sake of their spouses, and we all know parents make sacrifices for their children. Religious sisters sacrifice just by taking vows! But if you don’t have a spouse, a child, a community, or even a pet, how do you build a spirit of sacrifice? How do you determine the difference between selfishness and supporting yourself? What are some ways that you offer sacrifices for the people in your life? (Thanks to co-host Laura and to Katie for the suggestion!)

I struggle with this topic.

At this point, most of my friends have moved on to the very states in life listed in the prompt. Their sacrifices are clear. I would imagine they don’t even have this worry: wondering whether they are sacrificing enough. Some have already finished their religious formation and become priests or taken final vows as sisters. Others are married with kids; they have literally moved on, to houses in the suburbs that they hope to fill with more children.

I’m ready for that life. I want it. But I don’t have it. I even put in all the work to build up great communities because of and in spite of my single state, in-person and online. Then, well, they moved on without me, and I got left behind.

I’m still in transition. It’s not just a single-lady thing, and I’m not so young anymore. More and more of my single friends (male and female) have purchased homes and established careers. They’re making permanent decisions. But not me. I still have to do all of the work with no certainty of getting results. I’m spending my life and making uncertain investments.

Is that selfishness? No. God has called me to sacrifice for my family, my boyfriend (after many, many years without dating at all despite desiring to), and my friends. He is still asking me to sacrifice everything I thought I would have by now: a permanent home, a husband, children, a career, money, contentedness. My sacrifice is to wait and not to wait, to be patient and to get things done. My sacrifices are the dreams I once had for my life.

So I’m not being selfish in my single life. I’m living the only way I can right now, and I’m waiting for God to show me where to go next.

Next topic, on November 1: Sharing Spirituality (link up here at Lindsay Loves)

How would you describe your personal, individual spiritual life? How do you want to share your personal spirituality with your future husband? How important is it to you to share a religion with your husband? If you want to join a religious order or movement (or already belong to one) as a lay member, do you want him to join, too? What aspects of your spiritual life are you hoping to share or do together? Is anything non-negotiable?

View past and upcoming topics here or like our Facebook Page for regular alerts.

Link up by clicking the blue button below!

Sunday Style: Happy Day!

Aww, yeah. I’m posting during the appropriate week and everything.


I’ve been hearing some signs from various voices that I need to set priorities, find some margin, and say “no” to the good so I can say “yes” to the great. My Sunday Style posts actually count as “great” in my worldview. They encourage me to look my best for Jesus and to pay attention during the homily. I should have been doing those on my own, but I wasn’t, so I’m sticking with what works. And you, dear readers, can also benefit. Everyone wins!

Here’s what I wore to church this week:

Sunday Style for October 9

Blouse: Target
Skirt: Random mall store so long ago that I don’t even remember
Shell: Funky Frum (out of business)
Shoes: Fergie for Famous Footwear

We’ve had some cold mornings (59, compared to midafternoon 85), and Halloween is coming, so I’m preparing for the end of feels-like-summer. This will probably be my last week for white shoes. I’ve been prioritizing clothing items that I can’t transition to fall, like this skirt. I’m also getting that “I wear the same clothes all the time” feeling, which means I’m ready for layers. We’re supposed to have a heat wave this weekend, though, so I guess I’ll take it one day at a time, like always.

I have to start my recap with the end of Mass, because I got the sweetest treat! Fr. AP forgot to mangle the end of Mass, so it went exactly like it was supposed to. Happy day! The choir and servers’ facial expressions clearly indicated that they were thinking, “Hey, you forgot you were supposed to ruin the end!” (Or something like that.) My smile was genuine joy, and I was able to sing “Now Thank We All Our God” with a happy heart. I also like that song in general. I’d been praying for the grace to be thankful for Mass, since I definitely haven’t been thankful since the change. Thanks be to God for answered prayers!

Backing up. Deacon G gave the homily. He spoke about how gratitude requires the humility to acknowledge gifts that have been given to us. When we’re prideful, we forget to be thankful even for small, routine acts. When we’re humble, we are thankful across the board. One of my favorite things to do is to thank my friends for their friendship, which I usually do by writing that in their birthday cards. I don’t give cards to everyone, but I am thankful for all of my friends. Once you lose the convenient peer groups formed by school, making friends takes work.

Deacon G also pointed out that the scene with the tenth leper is one of the few instances when someone specifically thanks Jesus for his healing, rather than God in general. The other lepers were healed only physically, but the tenth was also healed with the gift of faith in Jesus.

I feel much better about my parish at the moment. Before the Mass change, I was a perfectly content supporter. I don’t want to leave. But I will.

For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

“GTD with Wunderlist – Part I” Is Available Here!

The Internet is a vast and fleeting resource. As I often say, “the Internet never forgets.” That is, until it does.

If you’re just here for the plain-text archive of “GTD with Wunderlist – Part I,” click here! Otherwise, read on for the story.

As I keep mentioning in my ad-hoc WL + GTD series, I love the Getting Things Done productivity methodology (GTD) and Wunderlist (WL). I think Wunderlist is a great tool for GTD. With very few up-to-date resources, I built a GTD implementation in Wunderlist that works for me. I hear praise for GTD all the time and for various apps to use for GTD, but no one ever mentioned WL. I couldn’t be the only one. On a whim, I searched the Wunderlist Support Center to see if there were other aficionados hiding in a space not indexed by Google.

Lo and behold, I found my people! So many of the other threads are full of angry Internet personas (nothing makes people complain quite like not getting as much free stuff as they want), but we were actually cordial.

Our original thread's header in the Wunderlist Support Center.

Sadly, we had such a long and lively discussion that we discovered the Community Forum’s technical limits the hard way. After we had contributed the maximum 100 posts to our thread, I found myself mysteriously unable to post to it. The posts aren’t numbered, so there was no real way we could even know how many we’d made. I had to contact WL Support myself to find out there was a limit in the first place. There were no other references to that limit, so that was an unpleasant surprise.

I was, however, encouraged when a Support staffer created a new thread and added a (non-clickable, as usual) link to the old one in its first post. Hooray! Problem solved.

Until it wasn’t. After “a period of inactivity,” the thread was automatically deleted and unrecoverable. It only went inactive because we reached a limit we hadn’t even known about! That was extremely upsetting. After WL’s three-day sync debacle, I started seriously considering changing apps.

Happily, our original poster, Youssef E.B., saved us! Like a good GTD-er (and a good Internet researcher, really), he kept a PDF of the entire thread for Part I. He sent it to me, I extracted the text, and I am posting it here at Lindsay Loves.

Click here for the archived, plain-text version of the Wunderlist Community Forum thread “GTD with Wunderlist – Part I.”

I have the original PDF, but the file is too huge for me to host publicly. The Support Center only allows plain-text posts anyway, so that plain-text version is as close to mint as possible. The text is completely unedited. I copied, pasted, removed the upvote/downvote text, and did nothing else.

If you’re interested in Wunderlist and GTD, come join us on the Part II thread. No registration required. Also feel free to leave comments here or use my contact form; I’m just an ordinary user, but I do like to help people. Enjoy!

Your Weapons Are Scripture and Tradition (Review: “Dual Wielding”)

I’ve discovered a new kind of Catholic nerdery! I like books and learning and grammar and trivia, so I’ve long considered myself a nerd with personality. When I came back to the Church just over a decade ago, I found it only natural to become a Catholic nerd, too.

There are, however, limits to my nerdery. I don’t play Settlers of Catan, I don’t dress up in character costumes, and I don’t play video games. Nevertheless, when I heard Mike “Gomer” Gormley and Luke Who-Shall-Not-Be-Last-Named on the Catching Foxes podcast mention a book by a college friend of theirs, it piqued my interest. I watch enough fantasy movie battles to know that using two weapons at once is super cool and also super difficult. It turns out there’s a word for that: dual wielding. So when Luke and Gomer talked about “dual wielding” the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I knew I had to investigate. Edmund Mitchell explains the steps and importance of this style of prayer in his e-book Dual Wielding: A Guide to Praying with the Catechism and Scripture.

A review of "Dual Wielding," at ATX

As a book, Dual Wielding does more than simply teach the method. It begins with a compelling explanation of how dual wielding can be useful for evangelization. Mitchell has the experience that so many evangelization trainers preach about—a chance encounter that leads to a discussion of life’s deeper questions, when he can share the story of Jesus—and he has it twice. That’s rare.

At the same time, you might be wondering what the Catechism is really good for….

Read the rest at ATX Catholic.

Sunday Style: Three-fer

Yikes, it’s been a while! I did not mean to turn this into a three-fer. I will try to be brief, but brevity is the one aspect of writing I’ve never quite mastered. That and symbolism. I struggle with literary symbolism. I love Mass, though, so to the church I go, dressed as shown below.

September 18

Sunday Style for September 18

Shirt and tank top: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: Maryland Renaissance Festival
Necklace: holy medals

I don’t remember much about putting this outfit together except that I was eager to wear this skirt again before the weather cools off. A lot of my favorite pieces can be made cold-friendly, but not this one. Same with the shoes. I miss these guys when it’s not summer! In retrospect, I really like this one.

I liked this homily a lot because Fr. Associate Pastor referred to all three readings. I love it when they do that.

However, Fr. AP called Amos the “well-known prophet of social justice.” I’m pretty sure there are plenty of Christians who couldn’t tell you that there is a Book of Amos or that he was a prophet, so the “well-known” part is debatable. He wasn’t even in [the prophets bible study I did at the beginning of the year]. I also don’t like the historicism of calling his prophecy “social justice.” He was definitely looking out for the poor, though.

The responsorial psalm was pretty obviously about the poor. My homily notes, taken on my phone as usual, even auto-corrected to “responsibility psalm.” The hard thing about singing the word “poor” is that it is very difficult to make out if you don’t already know what is being said/sung. That’s a good plug for pre-reading all of the readings, including the psalm.

I don’t remember anything in particular from the reading from St. Paul, but I know Fr. AP said something.

I have always been kind of confused by the Parable of the Dishonest Steward. I can never figure out who’s honest, who’s dishonest, and how any of it is just. Fr. AP gave a nice reading from St. Teresa of Calcutta about how she got started with her first house for the poor and dying. That didn’t help me understand the gospel, but it fit his theme of the poor. Bishop Barron’s homily did a better job of helping me understand that the steward is dishonest yet community-focused and spurred to action instead of mourning. It’s still not my favorite parable.

September 25

Sunday Style for September 25

You said you like these mirror selfie full-lengths *extra* blurry, right?

Top: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: Kohl’s
Earrings: same as last week; I like them a lot!

I also wanted to wear this skirt again before the end of summer. I don’t think I’ve ever worn it with this top. The tag describes the top as “coastal green,” and I hang it in the green part of my closet, but it seems relatively blue, too. I have been experimenting with non-black-and-khaki neutrals, so I wore my navy blue ballet flats. I think they work. At least they don’t look terrible.

We had a guest priest this week. I think he is the pastor at one of the parishes near where I live. It was not such a great week for a sub due to the [end-of-Mass change] plus a new sanctuary arrangement.

The new arrangement is super awkward. Apparently Fr. Pastor explained it all at Mass in the morning, but we didn’t even have our associate at 5 p.m., so we got nothing. The new altar is lower, which makes sense because the old one was pretty high. It’s so far back in the sanctuary, though, that there are literally 10 feet of empty space between the altar and the steps. I can definitely see how that helps with a casket for funerals. But we don’t build for funerals any more than we build for Christmas and Easter crowds. The altar is so far back that I can’t see a lot of what happens there, because the ambo was also moved to the side of the altar where I usually sit. It’s right in my line of sight toward the altar. That also meant the servers were kneeling on the sanctuary steps facing each other, whereas the altar used to be between them. It was not helpful to worship, to movement, or to help me grow in faith or discipleship.

Fr. Visitor’s homily was nice, although instead of ending when it felt like he was done, he continued on into kind of a long batch of stories. He said that when he was young, he wondered if the gospel meant that rich people go to hell and poor people go to heaven. Later, he realized that Lazarus’s poverty led to him rely on God alone, so he was rich in faith. The rich man was only concerned with having a good time, ignoring the opportunity for service and spiritual growth that was literally on his doorstep. We don’t need to worry about how to solve worldwide crises. We just need to serve in the opportunities we are given.

He also told us about his mother who worked as a factory supervisor all day, cared for the home and kids in the evening, and took everyone to visit their hospitalized father every night. She helped her factory workers by giving them time to care for sick children without getting fired (good, I thought) and helping someone buy a house instead of needing a salary advance to pay rent. That one’s not so great. Renting is not “throwing away money” (which he actually said) any more than a hotel is. If you need somewhere to live temporarily, you don’t buy. Buying would be the foolish move.

October 2

Sunday Style for October 2

Dress: Old Navy
Shirt: Target
Shoes: same Fergie ones again
Necklace: gift
Earrings: also a gift (and not the same ones as the other two weeks!)

I’m pretty sure I wore this dress the exact same way earlier in the summer, but I don’t care. The weather has gone so mild in recent years that I don’t get as tired of my summer clothes. I am getting as much mileage out of the summer stuff as possible!

On a less cheerful note, I might need to find a new parish. I have never left Mass so sad and upset as I have these last few weeks since the Order of Mass changed. My parish has been working on a pastoral plan and claims to be making disciples. In me, they are definitely losing a disciple.

Fr. AP was back this week. He shared examples of faith throughout salvation history: Abraham even to the point of sacrificing his son (although he didn’t actually have to do it, which is part of the point, I thought), Moses to lead the people against “King Pharaoh,” and then a big time jump to Mary’s fiat. His homily came to an obvious end, which I appreciated. Even in a short speech, you should never have to announce that you’re done or surprise listeners when you stop talking. The listeners should always be able to feel it.

There was an additional long announcement about the pastoral plan between the regular announcements, the priest’s welcome (why is he welcoming people when we’ve been there for 30 minutes already?), and the beginning of the offertory. It feels like a boring intermission, and since the end of Mass has changed, it doesn’t feel like a unified Mass anymore. It goes: Liturgy of the Word, additional speeches, Liturgy of the Eucharist, allegedly unifying song, blessing.

My heart is broken.

For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Currently: October 2016

Currently at Lindsay Loves

No one in my life died in September. On that basis alone, it was a much better month than August. Other than that, it was pretty neutral.

Here’s what I am currently…

Cheers-ing: I’m glad “toasting” a couple of months ago really did mean “putting in a toaster.” That’s how I answered it. It could have meant this kind, though. I don’t really have anything specific to celebrate at the moment. I have a local wedding towards the end of the month, so there should be some bubbly festivity there.

Organizing: My calendar and task list, as usual. I have a very full schedule until the end of the calendar year. My saving grace is that I’ve been using GTD for over two years now, so I don’t have emergencies so much as new Projects. As long as I write everything down, minimize my inboxes, and review my calendar and task list every day, I’ll be fine. And yes, saying “I am not going to do any of those things on my list because I need a break” is a perfectly acceptable approach to task management. As David Allen says, you have to know what you’re not doing in order to feel comfortable about not doing it.

Dreaming: Of a life with adequate sleep. I have been trying extra-hard since I made it through August to go to bed on time and get up on time. I feel less exhausted than I used to, but I’m struggling with the flip side: I’m not getting as much done as I used to. It is very hard to close up shop and go to bed, especially because I have no human help with getting anything done. (Technology is great. I make the machines work for me as much as possible.) So I’m dealing with the chronological and physical aspects of sleep, but I need help with the emotional part.

Buying: A birthday present for my godson. He lives far away, so I basically never get to see him, but I send presents. He might be the closest thing I ever have to a child of my own. He’s still little, so we can’t write to each other, but presents are a language all kids understand. I try to find a balance among fun gifts, religious gifts, and educational gifts. I would like to think those adjectives also describe my personality. Maybe add “extremely organized” (see item 2 above).

Listening: To a lot of podcasts, as usual. Fr. Mike Schmitz is back at school, so he’s doing a new series, and it is a gem, as usual. I marathoned Catholic Bytes a few weeks ago and got hit between the eyes once or twice. I don’t always agree with Catching Foxes, but I always laugh, and that’s worth something. I also slipped in archived episodes of Productivity Book Group for The 12 Week Year and Making It All Work. I have a long commute.

Recapping: September

  • I didn’t blog much. Something had to give.
  • Mr. Man and I have a tiny two-person book club. Our selections lately have been pretty solid. I reviewed one for ATX Catholic.
  • The heat finally broke, weather-wise. It’s still 87 degrees at 9 p.m., but the mornings have been almost chilly.

So what’s new with you? What are you organizing currently?

Currently is hosted on the first Wednesday of each month by Anne of In Residence. This month’s guest co-host is Jacqui of Drink the Day. Won’t you join us?

Not Alone Series: Love Songs


If God is love, then every love song is a song about God. What are your favorite love songs? They can be about romantic relationships, family relationships, or the love of God. What is your favorite hymn or Christian pop song about love? What secular love songs are your favorite? Have you ever heard a song that didn’t seem like it was about love on the surface, but after further listens, you heard the truth? If you’re married, what was your first dance song?

Welcome back, ladies! I’m excited to have NAS back in my life. Laura of A Single Drop in the Ocean, our new co-host, will be running the show on Instagram and in our Facebook Group.

This week’s link-up prompt was inspired by brainstorming (which I did for NAS even though I detest brainstorming) and by one of my most popular posts. Its popularity is mostly due to my linking up very early—I think I was poster #2 or 3!—but I’d like to think that it’s also popular because love is a language everyone can understand. I still enjoy all of the songs on that list, but I have a few original twists to add for this take.

My favorite “love song” that is definitely not a love song: “Love Song,” by Sara Bareilles

This also wins for “most misleading title.” Scuttlebutt says that Bareilles was asked to write a contemporary pop love song when she was first signed to her label. She refused and wrote this song instead, which has as a lyric, “I’m not gonna write you a love song ’cause you asked for it.” And she got famous anyway. (I also like this one for karaoke.)

My favorite song about loving God: “Love Song for a Savior,” by Jars of Clay

My actual theme song is “Vow to Vowels,” but a good friend once told me this Jars of Clay song reminded him of me. It was such a lovely compliment. And don’t we all just want to fall in love with God? This video is a remix I greatly enjoy.

My favorite song about searching singles: “Hide Away,” by Daya

This was my jam for a while. It’s a question every single lady asks: “Where do the good boys go to hide away?” In my case, they are mostly already married to my friends. I’m very grateful for Mr. Man, as is every woman who has found a good man a little later in life. Don’t you sometimes wish butterfly nets were an effective man-catching device, though?

My favorite song about family love: “A Song for Mama,” by Boyz II Men

Throwback! I do not recommend the movie this song was associated with, but the song is lovely. I wanted to go with the Backstreet Boys, but I can’t remember how their mom song goes, so this one wins. This is not the best rendition, but its the least sketchy-looking video. (Why aren’t there any sweet ballads about dads? Do dads not like songs? Recommend one for me. A song, not a dad.)

What are your favorite love songs? Do you hate sappy love songs, or were you suddenly cutting onions right as you clicked the play button? Share your thoughts this week!

Next topic, on October 18: Sacrifice for Singles (link up here at Lindsay Loves)

We hear all the time about the call of married people to sacrifice for the sake of their spouses, and we all know parents make sacrifices for their children. Religious sisters sacrifice just by taking vows! But if you don’t have a spouse, a child, a community, or even a pet, how do you build a spirit of sacrifice? How do you determine the difference between selfishness and supporting yourself? What are some ways that you offer sacrifices for the people in your life? (Thanks to Laura and Katie for the suggestion!)

View past and upcoming topics here or like our Facebook Page for regular alerts.

Link up by clicking the blue button below!

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