Tag Archives: modesty

Recommended Reads: 28/2016

I have been reading up a storm! I just discovered that Pocket has a bulk edit feature, so I can delete archived-but-not-favorited articles in big chunks instead of one at a time. I had one chunk of 73 items! Today, for you, I will share only seven.

pile of books

— 1 —

Title: 4 Questions People Will Be More Excited to Answer Than “What Do You Do?”
Source: The Muse

I really do try hard not to ask that early in a conversation. My go-to since I’ve lived in Austin has been, “Are you a native Texan?” There is so much Texas pride here! Living here has actually made me significantly more proud to be from Maryland. I want to play the state pride game, too!

— 2 —

Title: Why I Love My Invisible Friend
Source: Word on Fire via CERC

One of the favorite taunts of atheists is that religious people believe in an “invisible friend.” They are implying, of course, that religion is little more than a pathetic exercise in wishful thinking, a reversion to childish patterns of projection and self-protection. It is well past time, they say, for believers to grow up, leave their cherished fantasies behind, and face the real world. In offering this characterization, the New Atheists are showing themselves to be disciples of the old atheists such as Feuerbach, Marx, Comte, and Freud, all of whom made more or less similar observations.

Well, I’m writing here to let atheists know that I think they’re right, at least about God being an invisible friend. Where they’re wrong is in supposing that surrendering to this unseen reality is de-humanizing or infantilizing.

I love Bishop Barron. God is invisible, and he is our friend, and both of those are actually beneficial.

— 3 —

Title: How to Overcome Bad Habits
Source: The Catholic Gentleman

Introspection is necessary in order that we shall isolate the habit and see it clearly as a sin. The surprise we feel when others criticize some fault in us proves that we have not practiced introspection sufficiently to know ourselves. Some people are afraid ever to look into their consciences, for fear of what they might find; they are like the other cowards who dare not open telegrams because they dread bad news.
But introspection is to the soul what diagnosis is to the body—the first necessary step toward health.

More gold from Venerable Fulton Sheen—and it’s more than just avoiding the near occasion of sin (although that is one of his tips).

— 4 —

Title: 10 Clever Time-Saving Hacks (So You Can Spend More Time Doing What You Love)
Source: Verily

This is a listicle worth reading (or at least skimming). I do 3, 7, and as much of 8 and 9 as I can.

— 5 —

Title: Brian Nosek’s Reproducibility Project Finds Many Psychology Studies Unreliable
Source: The Atlantic

Well, that’s not what you want. This isn’t to say that psychology (or any science) isn’t trustworthy, but it sure puts a damper on the rallying cry of people who won’t believe anything unless it appears in a peer-reviewed journal. Blind trust of journals is no better than blind trust of any other authority.

— 6 —

Title: The Cognitive Biases That Lead to Bad Money Decisions
Source: Two Cents at Lifehacker

Two Cents is a great personal finance (sub-)blog. I don’t read everything, but I watch the headlines in Feedly. I was stuck under the status quo bias for my old cell phone carrier for longer than I’d like to admit. My only comfort is that it’s such a common situation that Kristin used it as one of her examples! And because I zero-balance budget, I’m now capturing that 50% cost reduction to use for other purposes.

— 7 —

Title: Kids and Modesty or, How I Got My Kids to Quit Getting Naked in the Yard
Source: Catholic All Year

I don’t think it’s particularly helpful to emphasize to children the idea that our bodies are for our future spouses. While I think that that is partially true, I think that it is MORE true that our bodies are for God whether He intends us to have a spouse or not. And I think that it’s more appropriate to understand that spouses become one rather than that they take ownership of one another’s bodies. So I think it’s more useful to emphasize God’s claim on our bodies rather than a spouse’s.

Kendra is the best. I’ve always found that “ownership” angle a little too close to slavery for my comfort.


For up-to-the minute recommendations from what I read, follow me on Pocket.

What I Wore Sunday, Vol. 12

I haven’t been to work in so long that I’m starting to forget what day of the week it is. This is a good problem to have, especially since it meant I got to have some fun this evening. Most weeks, I work on Sunday, so I go to Mass by myself at work. This week, I got to meet up with my friends. We prayed the rosary, sat together, one was the extraordinary minister of the Precious Blood, we counted the collection, and then we staged a small takeover of Chipotle. It was delightful.

Setting my own Mass schedule also meant that I got to pick an outfit for today that was mostly cute and not nearly as functional as my work clothes usually have to be. It was a great day to start participating in a new meme that is also my newest meme, What I Wore Sunday.

What I Wore Sunday

I didn’t do anything special to celebrate Epiphany. I don’t have a nativity scene (I know!) to have kept wise men out of until today. I do still have my tree up, though, and I will until the Christmas season ends next Sunday.

Blouse, sweater, and corduroy skirt from Old Navy. Tights from Target. Shoes from American Eagle brand at Payless. Click for full size.

Blouse, sweater, and corduroy skirt from Old Navy. Tights from Target. Shoes from American Eagle brand at Payless. Click for full size.

I hope this will encourage me to put more effort into being the beautiful woman I know I am every day, especially on Sundays!

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 180

— 1 —

It is amazing the difference half an hour makes! I’ve been using my Fridays off from work as a lazy day, leading me to not really get moving until well after noon. Today, I made an effort to get moving just before noon, and it made my whole day run more smoothly. Sure, I had to take out my first load of laundry just as it started to rain, but it could have been worse.

— 2 —

I found myself involved in two arguments online today. Thankfully, both of them were conducted via private messages as opposed to my friend’s Facebook wall and a LinkedIn group’s discussion board. I appreciated the change of venue because it kept the focus on just the two of us (in each conversation), without the contributions of other people prolonging or derailing our discussion. In both cases, we didn’t come to an agreement, but we ended amicably and definitively. We didn’t have to call names, drop that ridiculous “agree to disagree” line, or “give up.” I tried to keep my social media manners in mind, and it turned out well.

— 3 —

I’m so proud of the CSC being featured in the National Catholic Register! I’ll confess to being envious that other universities get featured in “what’s going right with the Church/the world/campus ministry” stories (some multiple times, like Franciscan University of Steubenville), but now I can rest easy. It’s a good time to be a Catholic Terp!

— 4 —

Smart, Pretty, and Awkward had a coupon for Shabby Apple today, which was delightful because now someone other than Hallie recommends them. I still can’t afford any of those dresses, but they have some great ones. If you like pink, this would be a fantastic bridesmaid dress, and I wish I could afford this for my friend’s black-and-white themed wedding. I also discovered that Shabby Apple is on Instagram. So much fantastic modest fashion!

— 5 —

At my Monday night holy hour, I got to give a talk about the Liturgy of the Hours and lead Evening Prayer. I suggested that we might pray the LOTH during the summer, and the leaders asked if I would give the talk. See, kids, that’s what happens when you have an idea. I loved it, though! I said at least one thing I later realized was definitely inaccurate, but I had a great time sharing and hearing from other people. Most of all, I have missed praying in community. It’s the way the LOTH was meant to be.

— 6 —

I am still loving my summer Bible study. I remembered to review before this week’s session (just barely, but before is before), so I was ready for the review prizes, and I won one!

It’s a wind-up walking Earth. I would have gone for the stuffed lambs in the second round of prizes, too, but I didn’t want to be greedy.

— 7 —

I got to take a tour of the John Paul II Life Center and the Vitae Clinic this week. I’m not sure how much we’ll be able to be connected with them at work, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have any personal time left, but it’s a great organization. I was really pleased with what I saw. If you’re in the Austin area, you should consider reaching out and getting involved. We even got to chat with Dr. Kalamarides and have him show us a 3-D ultrasound himself. Good times.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 177

— 1 —

I am going to volunteer with Pure Fashion in Austin this coming school year! I’m not into modeling, but i am into character education and spreading the positive message of modesty, and this seems like a great way to do it. Don’t tell any of my former students, but I kind of miss working with high schoolers.

On a vaguely related note, Ive been seeing the ad for Trendy Top all the time lately, and I kind of want one. It seems like a great solution to the low-rise waistline, and it doesn’t encourage you to switch back to immodest like the Cami Secret.

— 2 —

Can I please have this tote bag? We’ve already got “Baby Got Back” adapted for the Bible-lover (“Baby Got Book”), so why not for book lovers in general?

— 3 —

Did you catch the USCCB’s announcement of a new online-adapted Catechism of the Catholic Church? It’s pretty sweet. I love the look, and I especially like that the footnotes and cross-references are pop-ups so they don’t take you away from the section you’re on. Who says the Church can’t get with the times (when appropriate, because some things are timeless)?

— 4 —

I started a new Bible study program this week. When I was in college, I started a Bible study on salvation history. Our leader left at the end of the school year, leading me to decry (as a joke) that I’d never know how it ended. I’ve been looking for a good opportunity to join another salvation history study then, and I stumbled across The Great Adventure Quick Journey Through the Bible just in time to register (3 days before it started). It’s at a church one town away, so my commute is super long, but I’m very excited for this study, and at least driving is a productive way to spend those thirty minutes.

— 5 —

This 7QT is posted late because Sarah is visiting me, and Getting Things Done before her arrival was much more important that typing this. But now it’s Saturday morning, which sounded like a good designated computer time to me.

— 6 —

I stumbled across a National Catholic Register article lamenting the transfer of the Ascension to Sunday across the U.S. I have been complaining about that since I started paying attention to it. The Pentecost Novena is still the only official one in the Church, and it starts on Thursday. Thursday is supposed to be the Ascension so it makes sense to start praying that day! It’s not even like asking people to go to Mass two days in a row (which will actually happen with the Immaculate Conception in 2012; that day never gets transferred or loses its obligation). Can we be that surprised that people don’t know what a novena is or when Church holidays are if we don’t even do them on the correct day? </end rant>

— 7 —

In other NCR news, Steven Greydanus cautions against reading any reviews of Brave. I tend not to read reviews precisely because they are spoilery (and I tend not to loathe what reviewers often do). I had such a tough time with my ACNM series on the Hunger Games books because I wanted to preview each book without revealing too much, but I’d read all three before I started writing. This leads into a bigger discussion of media discernment (again! It’s important!), but I’m glad I got the warning. I knew Mandy Moore’s character was going to marry Shane West’s in A Walk to Remember, but I didn’t know she was going to die, so perhaps that’s why I still love that movie. Among other reasons.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes Friday: Vol. 171

Aha! I knew that last one was incorrectly numbered. A victory with numbers? For me? Inconceivable!

— 1 —

I have a skin condition that makes modesty not only desirable but also necessary. Although it is convenient that the arrival of this condition dovetailed with my modest conversion, it is inconvenient that it makes my pursuit of modesty much more troublesome.

Enter the world of shells. How did I not know there’s a small but mighty market for exactly the style of undershirt I’ve been seeking? I enjoy wearing cap sleeves as a happy medium between Jewish-style tzniut modesty and the bare shoulders I don’t feel comfortable with at church (which is almost every day of my life). The tricky part is that a lot of my undershirts have cap sleeves, so the layering looks ridiculous, and trying to safety-pin short or cap sleeves into submission is so uncomfortable.

Click for product page.

Earlier this week, I ordered three sleeveless shells from Funky Frum, like the one pictured above. I just got them yesterday, and I’m reasonably sure I’ve never been so excited to try on clothes before, especially not ones I had to order online. They’re exactly what I’ve been looking for: a crew neck without sleeves. If only I’d known sooner that I just needed to dress like an observant Jew.

— 2 —

I think I mentioned that I’m preparing to work with marriage preparation at work. I read a new book about marriage preparation last week and reviewed it here. I think I’ve just been single for so long that I’m getting jaded. I don’t know if I would want me as a FOCCUS facilitator if I were getting married. People have enough trouble with celibate priests for marriage prep. At least they have experience with successful discernment and commitment. I don’t.

— 3 —

I found another good Catholic tumblr series, Catholic Problems!

I'm pretty sure I did this one at work on Thursday.

— 4 —

I seem to struggle with finding all seven Quick Takes from week to week, so I’m going to post another Catholic problem and call it two.

Sometimes I wear heels to work. I'm already 5'8" without them.

— 5 —

I am always late for my holy hour. This week, however, I managed not to try to get up in the middle of a REM cycle, so I was relatively alert throughout the hour. It’s amazing what a bit of energy directed at getting up on time and going to bed on time can do. I’ve been putting in the effort since Holy Week, and I feel better overall. Imagine that.

— 6 —

I plan to have a new template up for my blog at least by my tenth blogging anniversary (I know!) this August. In my quest for design tips, I stumbled across a link to Cupcake Ipsum, and my day was frosted with a little extra joy. (See what I did there?)

For those of you who aren’t into design, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet” are the first few Latin-sounding words of dummy text that designers sometimes use. The words don’t mean anything, so you couldn’t read them if you tried. Since you can’t read the words, you have to focus on their shape, their typeface, their size—everything but their meaning. Cupcake Ipsum generates dummy text that includes delicious filler words like “cookie” and “lemon drops” and “gingerbread.” I don’t remember who tipped me off, but thanks, whoever you are!

— 7 —

In the course of catching up on my life since Lent, I skimmed the last month or so of posts at Land of Broken Hearts and realized that Switchfoot released Vice Re-Verses already! So that’ll be a good music review coming soon, along with my reviews of October Baby and The Hunger Games movie. I still suffer from “I Should Blog about That” syndrome. My summer freedom should be a good treatment for that.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Lindsay’s Labors Laxed

I had most of last week off from work, so despite spending more time in front of my screens at home than anyone probably should, I find myself with less to blog about than I would like.

I met a potential new coworker on Monday morning and finally got to see more of campus, including the turtle pond. The turtles reminded me of Testudo. I miss Maryland.

On Wednesday, I was able to meet up in person with the people from Austin Catholic New Media and signed on as one of their featured bloggers! It is so flattering to be asked to join the community. Even if you’re nowhere near Austin, I encourage you to check out the site. The discussions there definitely apply across diocesan boundaries.

On Thursday, I hung out with some great people from a diocese-wide Catholic young adults group I’ve joined. I’ve only been to a few events so far, but the people are really friendly. It’s good for me to be among Catholic people roughly my age who are only coincidentally connected to my work. I miss being part of an intentional Christian community, so I find a particularly sweet joy in building up that community again here in Austin.

On Friday, I recovered from being rained out the previous Friday and went to see Love’s Labour’s Lost in Zilker Park. The parks commission sponsors a free Shakespeare play and a free musical in the park’s theater every summer, and the weather has usually started to cool into the 80’s by then, so it’s a great way to spend an evening. I even ran into people I knew (on both trips), so I had buddies. However, I should admit that I have a theory that going with people to movies or theater is just this side of pointless. You can’t talk for most of the experience. It is nice to have someone to chat with during the sanctioned breaks, though.

Austin Shakespeare decided to give the canonical Love’s Labour’s Lost text a beach blanket bingo twist by setting it on the California coast in 1963. It was definitely different, but I loved it. The scenery fit perfectly with the open-air summer theater. The costumes must have been uncharacteristically comfortable; when the actors came out for their talkback, they were still in costume. I have never read this play, but my familiarity with and love for Shakespeare (and having read a synopsis ages ago) made it easily accessible. I’m not sure how others took it. I noticed considerable audience melt at intermission, but part of that may have been because people didn’t realize how long Shakespeare plays run and partly because there were a lot of small children present. I was in it for the long haul, though, and we got to move down to a more comfortable patch of grass because the people in front of us vacated.

Two aspects of this production stood out to me. First, I was enchanted by the use of 60’s songs and motifs. All of the songs in the play (there are several) plus a few sonnets were sung to the tune of Vegas big band standards, the Beach Boys, and even Bob Dylan. Mote, the page, appeared in various little-kid costumes from a cowboy to a spaceman to James Bond. The princess and her attendants had their chaperone, of course, but he could have easily doubled as Sinatra. Even the parson came with a guitar and a hint of grooviness. (Oh, Vatican II.) Second, I loved the women’s swimsuits, which they wore for the last two acts. They were colorful, fun, and so very modest. I realize that is just a sign of the times, but those styles should definitely make a comeback. Overall, it was a fantastic show, and I’m excited for Footloose in July, Hamlet in the fall, and next summer’s Bollywood Twelfth Night.

I ended the week last night by playing Apples to Apples and Mafia (the latter of which got very complicated very quickly) with another new group of friends. It was the best night I’ve had in a very long time, and it capped off a great week. I do love my job, but it’s so good to finally have time to just live.

Tailored to Tame

My brother is almost ten years younger than I am. Spending as much time as he did with the three women in the family, he was on track to be an excellent husband candidate. (These days, I’m not home much, so I’m less sure about that.) Whenever he would see my mother, my sister, or me dressed up to the slightest degree, he would instantly say, “You look beautiful.” I realized after the first few times that it was a reflex, but it was still nice to hear.

Enter this post from Modestly Yours (blogging home of the inimitable Wendy Shalit), in which the power of clothing to affect behavior is berated by many commenters. I agree that women (and men!) should be treated with respect by everyone regardless of what they are wearing, but I definitely believe in the power of modest, classy clothing to affect behavior. A woman who is comfortable with accentuating her curves without baring skin is confident, and that makes her more attractive. Wearing skirts that hit the knees takes guts these days!

So, yes, women deserve respect all the time, but if it takes a nice tailored dress to coax that respect out of men, then I say bring it on.

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