Category Archives: Memes & Link-ups

Recommended Reads: 19/2017 (in 7 Quick Takes)

pile of books

I was going to publish a regular 7 Quick Takes tonight, but I don’t have enough material! Life has just been rolling along pretty quietly. I have, however, been plowing through articles in Pocket, so it’s time for another installment of Recommended Reads to clear out my backlog. There are 7, so that counts, right?

7 Quick Takes, hosted by This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

Title: Busyness Is Not a Virtue
Source: iDoneThis

I love the first part of this article for its descriptions of why we are so easily primed to say that we’re “busy.” As I like to say, of course you’re busy. Everyone feels busy. When is the last time you said, “Man, I just have nothing to do?” I love the second part for its quotation of Laura Vanderkam and her suggestion for a language shift. I’ve done this in my actual life. It has the effect of making me see my time differently and appreciate it more, but it also makes me extra annoyed when other people say they’re busy. It’s a tough game.

— 2 —

Title: An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media
Source: The Message

I’m never a big fan of the concept that non-white people have to express themselves in non-white ways (whatever that means); I’m too big a fan of code-switching for that. I did appreciate that this writer points out that there’s more to a culture than mere age. One millennial’s opinion is definitely useful, but one person can rarely speak for a group of millions.

— 3 —

Title: God of the Depressed
Source: First Things

More and more writers are offering angles on the tricky space between “God-help,” self-help, and professional help.

— 4 —

Title: I Thought There Was a Simple Solution to an Unwanted Pregnancy, But I Was Wrong
Source: Verily

I’ve never read anything quite like this woman’s personal account of her experience. Abortion, adoption, parenting: it’s one of the few I’ve seen where every option was truly before her. She found that her simple, easy solutions weren’t as easy as they seemed.

— 5 —

Title: How lack of reverence for the Eucharist puts people off Catholicism
Source: The Catholic Herald (UK)

The title says pretty much everything you need to know, but read it anyway. Then reconsider your demeanor in the presence of the Real Presence.

— 6 —

Title: How to Obey Like an Adult
Source: National Catholic Register

I know about what went down between Simcha and the Register, but her posts are still archived there, and they’re still good.

Any time the Church gives us clear guidelines for how we are to behave, it’s an act of mercy: She gives us a chance to put the responsibility on someone else, and just relax and be obedient children again. I don’t have to figure out if I’m personally being called to pray, fast, and give alms. Just do it, because your mother told you to!

— 7 —

Title: Envy—The Adversary of Mercy
Source: Catholic Education Resource Center

I struggle with properly defining mercy and with remembering the difference between envy and jealousy, so this feels like it was written just for me!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Sunday Style: Mother’s Day Makes a Lot of Us Unhappy

Mr. Man and I squeaked into church a tiny bit late this week, but we made it! Mass feels kind of different from the back of the house. I wonder if people who say they don’t get anything out of Mass might find things different if they sat up front.

Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for May 4

No shoe shot; I didn’t do my toes!

All my clothes: Target
Necklace: holy medals
Headband: Goody, but also from Target
Earrings: You can’t see them in these photos, and I don’t remember anyway!

Two Sundays ago, it was unseasonably cold, so this week felt like full-on summer. I guess it’s nice that I now have a closet big enough to hold all my clothes at once; I didn’t have to drag this dress in from my “out of season” storage. On the one hand, it’s interesting to switch seasons from week to week. On the other hand, I don’t want to get used to having a ton of space and thereby accidentally fill up my closet with things I didn’t (and don’t) need.

On to church. We visited Fr. C’s parish again. My only experience of the parish so far is Mass on non-consecutive Sunday evenings, so I can’t decide whether I want to join it. (Mr. Man is already registered elsewhere.) I miss being part of a parish. I want to join one again. I just can’t figure out which one. Mr. Man’s parish is tiny, but Fr. C’s homilies rub me the wrong way. I’ve never been into parish shopping, but is it a bad sign that I’m feeling awkward everywhere so far?

Case in point: Fr. C’s homily was much too short, and he literally used the phrase “hell no.” It’s church! You’re a priest! You shouldn’t be using that kind of language at all, especially in church, and definitely not during the homily!

Fr. C spoke about his preference for smaller parishes to avoid megachurch scenarios, wherein pastors are less likely to be able to take Pope Francis’s advice that pastors, as shepherds, should “smell like their sheep.” He tied that back to the first reading’s description of the early church growing so large that the apostles couldn’t handle everything. He did not, however, make any reference to the existence of deacons to help with community work. That seemed like a missed opportunity.

It was also Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is guaranteed to be a tough day because there’s no way to satisfy everyone. Some women are mothers, but all of their children have died. Some women have many children and feel great about it; some have many children and are struggling. Some women can’t conceive. Some women won’t even try because they don’t believe in sex outside of marriage, and they’re not married despite wanting to be. Some children are in pain because their mothers have died; some never got along with their mothers anyway. Some people don’t want secular holidays anywhere near church. No matter what a church does or doesn’t do, someone will be unhappy.

Fr. C asked us to consider who we might be neglecting this Mother’s Day, whether that is a mother we know or anyone else. I kind of liked that idea, because it connected to the responsibility we all have as Christians to love and nurture the people God sends into our lives.

But I made that connection myself. There wasn’t much to learn, but there was Jesus, and he is always enough.

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

7 Quick Takes Potpourri

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

I can’t remember if potpourri has actually been a category on Jeopardy! since I’ve been watching as of late, but it’s fun when it is, and it seems very appropriate for 7QT, so I’m going with it.

— 1 —

The Apostleship of Prayer publishes a daily two-minute reflection to YouTube (and I think to Catholic radio, but I don’t actually listen to Catholic radio, so I can’t confirm or deny). I don’t watch them every day, but I marathon all the videos in chunks. They’re great for watching on my phone when I’m standing in the kitchen waiting for something to cook.

I thought this recent one on why/how we are supposed to (or not supposed to) judge people was especially good:

— 2 —

As I mentioned the last time I did 7QT, I did revise my life plan. It did not have my grandmother in it, although it now has a reminder to call my grandfather (on the other side). It was useful to do a really big sweep through since so much has changed in my life. It also encouraged me to pick up two daily habits I’d tossed by the wayside: reading through the Bible and practicing my Spanish vocabulary with Duolingo. I feel productive.

— 3 —

There’s a Friday solemnity during the Easter octave every year. Simcha Fisher hilariously called it “Meatster Friday,” and I think I have to call it that from now on.

— 4 —

Before Currently, I did tl;dr. Jenna came up with the latter, short-lived link-up before she mostly stopped blogging. I swing by very occasionally to see if she’s posted anything, and on my most recent pass-through, I noticed a lovely post about short prayers to keep ready at a moment’s notice; she calls them “arrow prayers.”

Somehow, I found a similar set of very short prayers compiled by a priest. He has some great ideas in particular for how to pray for people you don’t like very much and how to seek forgiveness in awkward situations. Even tiny prayers are better than no prayer at all.

— 5 —

I ate kind of a lot of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream this past week. It was Peanut Butter Fudge Core, and I completely underestimated how decadent (and fast-melting) it was going to be. I also ate about half of the pint in one sitting. I should stick to the extra-cheap, simple flavors from now on, and I should eat just a little bit from the pint, like I like to. Feeling too full is never great; feeling too full of ice cream is… ugh.

— 6 —


Whenever someone shows their computer desktop, I always peek at what’s on the periphery: how much phone battery do they have, what apps are running in the background, etc. I can’t help it! Jen Fulwiler did not mean to share that she uses the Wunderlist desktop app on her Mac, but I spotted that cute red star banner immediately. Now I’m sad again. I miss Wunderlist.

— 7 —

Mr. Man and I won trivia last week! There were only about a dozen teams, but we somehow had an amazing run and took first place with just the two of us. It was bewildering and awesome, and it is unlikely to ever happen again… but we’ll try.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Sunday Style: Stay Warm

If you listened to any of the weather chatter around the Kentucky Derby, you’ll know that it was cold and rainy right up until the big race. I was up extra early for non-Derby reasons, and it was even colder before the sun had properly risen. I don’t think I’ve ever had to bundle up in May before!

Sunday Style for May 6

Dress, sweater, and shoes: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Necklace: gift
Earrings: Renaissance festival

This is usually a winter outfit (and I guess it still is), but no one can say that winter in May is “just how the weather is here.” They said that the whole time I lived in Texas; I didn’t buy it there, and I’m not buying it here. I did appreciate the opportunity to leave my A/C off, though.

Fr. J said he would be giving a very short “Derby special” homily. I laughed, but since Ive heard the back story, I wish I hadn’t. Apparently, this parish normally cancels the Saturday vigil Mass entirely on Derby day. That makes no sense. The race is around 6:30 p.m. local time. Mass begins at 4:30. If you’re hosting a Derby party, why on Earth would you also try to go to Mass that day? If you’re going to one, you’ll get there before the race. Or just go to Mass on Sunday!

This rankles me the same way that canceling Mass on Easter Sunday evening does. If that time slot works for enough people all other weeks that you have a separate Mass, why would you cancel Mass at that time on the one day it matters most? Jesus is risen—no Mass for you. Why would you cancel Mass to accommodate a social event? That represents a serious failure to identify the real priority.

Before I got upset, I enjoyed the homily overall. Fr. J mentioned what I’ve heard elsewhere: that sheep are a metaphor for disciples because, left to their/our own devices, they/we are pretty dumb. Sheep are as slow to recognize danger as we are to resist sin. Sheep eat whatever they find, even if it makes them sick; we give in to temptation and do what is bad for us even when we know better.

Most of all, we can’t live eternally without Jesus, just as sheep can’t survive without a good shepherd. What a joy that we have the best shepherd of them all.

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

Sunday Style: Such Good Stories

It was sunny and in the 70s when we went to Mass on Saturday evening. As I type this, it’s in the low 60s and getting colder. Endless summer was much easier to manage. Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for April 29

Dress and shirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: gift
Earrings: Renaissance festival

This week’s Gospel was the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, which is one of my favorite stories. If Holy Thursday is the first Mass, this is the second.

Fr. J started his homily with what was also a good story. He’s from India, where the sport of cricket is extremely popular. When he was first traveling to the U.S., one of the biggest cricket matches of the season was in progress back in India. It was roughly on the level of the Super Bowl. When he landed, he excitedly asked the priest picking him up at the airport if he knew the cricket score. The American priest looked confused and said, “Oh, sure, we can stop on the way.” Imagine the confusion when they pulled up to a Cricket Wireless cell phone shop!

The connection, Fr. J explained, was that he couldn’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t know what was going on with cricket. That would be like an American not knowing what the Super Bowl even is! Similarly, the disciples walking to Emmaus were astonished that Jesus asked why they were sad. Um, because they thought they found the Messiah, but he was crucified. Surely everyone leaving Jerusalem that day would have known about what happened to Jesus, even if they weren’t disciples. It was heartbreaking to think that this “stranger” had missed out on something so important to the disciples’ lives.

Fr. J went on further to say that no one knows where Emmaus was geographically, but the consensus is that it represents a spiritual location, that of walking away from God in a time of crisis. Only Scripture and the Eucharist (which equal the Mass) can open our eyes to see Jesus in our midst. If we ever find ourselves walking away from God, we should start walking towards the Mass.

It reminds me of the advice I’ve heard about how to manage spiritual dryness. Don’t take up anything new or give up anything you were doing. Keep going. When you’re down, you’re inclined to abandon your path because it’s “not working,” but God doesn’t work on our schedules. Those disciples thought their time with Jesus was over. It had really just begun.

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: May 2017

Currently at Lindsay Loves

My April was tough. It started off with the back end of my move to Kentucky and ended with more stress than I would like to dwell upon, so let’s get on with the rest of the post, shall we?

Here’s what I am currently…

Baking: Not a thing. I have yet to even turn on the oven in my apartment. I considered it when I was getting ready to eat leftover pizza (I prefer oven reheating to the microwave for pizza), but then I realized I could eat the pizza much faster if I had it cold. I actually enjoy cold pizza and French fries, but only if they are “in the fridge overnight” cold. “Left out on the counter” cold is not the same thing.

Listening To: Podcasts at home, for a change. I started out my life in Louisville by listening to the radio as I got ready in the morning, as usual. Then I realized that, with no commute, I didn’t have a built-in time to listen to podcasts! So I replaced music with conversations, and now I’m back in business. I’m sad that Modern Manners Guy has ended, but I’m glad that Beyond the To-Do List and the GTD Virtual Study Group are publishing new episodes again.

Loving: Bagels. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. I eat a whole-wheat bagel with butter and drink orange juice every weekday morning. I could eat less expensive or more protein-packed breakfasts, but that’s what I like. In a life where not much is normal anymore, it’s nice that some things don’t change.

Planting: Ha! My grandmother was good with plants (flowers and vegetables), but that skill did not trickle down through the generations. I am from a fake plant family and have no shame about that.

Remembering: Nothing, as usual. I have always had a terrible memory. When I embraced GTD and built the habit of writing things down, I solved that problem! I recently left my beloved Wunderlist when they announced the planned shutdown. They didn’t give a date, but I was already burned when Microsoft bought, ate, and shuttered Sunrise. I’m not letting that happen again; I started using Todoist instead. The transition is still in progress, but I’m mostly back in action. I have some separate posts about that in the works.

Recapping: April

  • Mr. Man and I observed the whole Triduum together.
  • I switched task management apps from Wunderlist to Todoist.
  • Therefore, I published what will probably be the last post in my Wunderlist and GTD series.
  • I attended the Peak Work Performance Summit online, where I heard some of my favorite speakers and some new ones.
  • My refrigerator broke. My landlord replaced it as soon as he could… which was a week later.

So what’s new with you? What are you listening to currently?

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

Sunday Style: Alleluia!

I’m a little late to the party, but it’s always a struggle to celebrate the whole Easter season, so let’s call this my tiny contribution, alleluia! I have a few Easter observances going, but I’ll save those for a future post. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been wearing to church.

Easter Vigil, April 15

Sunday Style for April 15: The outfit

I used to follow a fairly modest fashion blogger who posted her outfits like this.

Sunday Style for April 15: The accessories

Just the accessories.

Top and skirt: Target
Tank/shell: Old Navy
Shoes: Famous Footwear
Flower hair clip: random accessories shop
Cross necklace: gift
Tiny butterfly earrings: Claire’s

This was the first time in years that I completely forgot to take my selfies! I don’t have a trigger reminding me to take photos anymore; it used to be walking past the large mirror just inside my front door. The “left behind” photos above include all the items I wore even though I am not wearing them.

Mr. Man and I attended all the Triduum liturgies together, at his parish. It’s a tiny little parish. I knew the Easter Vigil wouldn’t have any receptions of new Catholics (yes, that was strange!), so it wouldn’t last very long. Therefore, I could wear less foot-friendly shoes. I could work in those, but I don’t usually think about wearing them for Mass. Maybe I will now.

I realize that purple was the liturgical color for Lent. It’s also my favorite color. My skirt still works for liturgical dressing because it’s gold, and gold is liturgically white, and white is the color for Easter.

Fr. T celebrated the Easter Vigil, but Deacon P gave the homily. The deacon has a very large role at this particular parish, so I was surprised and delighted that he also gave the homily. He is a champ!

He spoke about how the vigil’s journey through salvation history (by way of the extra Old Testament readings) emphasizes God’s care and protection for his children since the beginning of time. God promised a redeemer all along, and he finally sent one. Jesus’ resurrection appearances are so astonishing partly because they ask his disciples and us to believe. Mary Magdalene didn’t even recognize Jesus at first, but when he called her by name, she recognized him and believed. The other disciples who see him resurrected are those whose faith was open to the miracle of his return from the dead. Even now, in the Eucharist, the Church calls us to believe that Jesus is just as fully present as he was on that first Easter Sunday. Do we believe that we have been found worthy to see him and be in his Real Presence?

Divine Mercy Sunday, April 23

Sunday Style for April 23

Sweater, tights, and t-shirt: Target
Skirt and shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: I forgot to wear any!

It got cold again here, so I pulled out a sweater again. Mr. Man likes this one. And yes, more purple. I like purple, and my red and white options (for Divine Mercy Sunday) were limited.

This weekend, we went to what is becoming our second parish. It has Mass on Sunday evenings, and that fit our schedule this time. Fr. C did not mention Divine Mercy Sunday at all, which made me sad (especially after so many references to mercy in the readings), but he did offer a practical parallel to Jesus. Among the reasons the disciples struggled to recognize and welcome Jesus in his resurrected body was that he looked so different. He looked similar enough for basic identification, but he still bore the wounds of his crucifixion. He was broken, but beautiful.

Fr. C told a story about visiting a fine china shop in Japan (not China, which was disconcerting) and seeing broken dishes for sale that were more expensive than intact dishes. The shopkeeper explained that the broken dishes were repaired with 14-karat gold, making them more valuable than the others that were never broken. If they hadn’t been broken, they never would have been made great. Similarly, we often have to go through brokenness, like the crucified Jesus, to reach glory, like Jesus resurrected.

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

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