Friday, October 18, 2013

Seven Quick Takes vol 63.

Joining the Seven Quick Takes Greatness as usual!


Another week has flown by. I swear sometimes I blink and a week is over. Or maybe it feels like blinking because I'm getting little sleep?? Possibly. I know other weeks can drag and drag but this one has flown. I was busy with sick kids, the regular amount of school, and just trying to keep things afloat. I'm getting used to this keeping things afloat stage, but its making it almost impossible to even imagine having more time to do different/other things. Not really a complaint, it just feels as if sometimes 100% of my energy goes into just keeping things afloat. I guess I want more spectacular outcomes from such large amounts of output. I mean, keeping five kids alive is no small feat, so really I should count it successful. 


Turning to more important matters, I was touched by reading Mandi's post this week about the recent loss of her baby in a miscarriage. It seems as if many of my friends and family have expereinced this type of loss this year and it is such a difficult part of life that to deal with. I know there is nothing I can say to help that pain, but I wish I could help them even a little in their time of grief. I've been praying daily for these intentions for a while now, actually every time I'm pregnant the immense importance of life in the womb always hits me a little deeper. With every pregnancy I think I've added different ways to pray for different mothers, pregnant mothers in difficult circumstances, mother's who've lost children, mother's who struggle to conceive, mother's of sick children, the list goes on. I think that as I gain more experience as a mother I hope my heart is growing to understand other mothers better. I hope its teaching me to pray more. It goes to show that motherhood requires bravery and strength. 


Its the Feast of St. Luke today! Since its his name day Luke gets to decide what special treat he would like me to make for him and his request was "chocolate cupcakes with green icing". It's been his request for anything special for about the last two years. I can't convince him that anything else will do. 

It's funny that after we named Luke I realized that I've always really liked this saint. I have always appreciated the Gospel of Luke a little more than the others. Which shouldn't be something you admit should it? But I've always like the Marian slant of his Gospel, the Magnificat, the little details of the life of a woman and mother in such a momentous time in history. I also really like imagining St. Luke painting an icon of Our Lady. 


I made the mistake of starting Simcha's The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning last night at around 10. I stayed up and finished the whole thing. It was so great! As someone who carries the cross of NFP daily, it was so comforting to read from someone who so perfectly understood; who wrote understanding the myriad difficulties, who didn't diminish the sacrifice and mistakes involved, who spoke to the good things that are born from sacrifice even when we don't see them.

It's exactly the type of book on NFP that is needed. It doesn't get bogged down in logistics or theological nit-picking or pointing fingers or method slogging or trying to convert the uninitiated. It speaks to the beauty of sex, relationship, marriage, sin, family, and our relationship with God. Even if you don't practice NFP right now, this book is such a well stated and intelligent discussion on sex and marriage that it's more than worth the read. Of course, Simcha writes with her usual amount of brilliance, insight, and humour which is perfect for the subject matter as it makes for an enjoyable and engaging read of what has been uncomfortable or dreary in the past. 

I really think any married Catholic should read this. This book is an important one in that it is probably the only book the deals with this subject matter with right Catholic thinking in an approachable way. I also think this would be a nice read for any priest as well. The more priests who are familiar with the practices and pitfalls of NFP the more they can help us in the trenches.

I know I'm one of Simcha's biggest fans, but I loved this book. I cried, I laughed, it made me think. 


So I just thought I'd throw my two cents into the ring, because I just read Kendra's thought's on that Matt Walsh stay at home mom post. I'm sure everyone's read it, and while I liked the post because it was such a strong proponent of a mother's value in staying at home with children, I also don't know if that post really spoke to anyone other than the choir. Which is pretty much his style of writing, I don't think he reaches out and changes minds, which is fine, but I think that's why it also spurs the gut reaction from working moms.

First off, every working mom I know is wonderful, loving, hardworking, and caring. Their kids are great too. So I understand, sorta, how they don't want all this lauding of the stay at home mom. But the thing is, and I haven't reread his article so maybe he does compare more, but I thought his main point wasn't in comparing the two but in simply pointing out that a stay at home mom really works hard. He's saying it not because working moms are slackers, because that's obviously not true, but because somehow there are still people out there who have the bonkers idea that stay at home moms lounge around all day and are bored idiots. Its not about comparison its about educating people who are somehow completely ignorant. 

Workings moms don't face quite the same thing because as soon as they say their job position they convey the idea that they spend their time in a profitable activity. In other words people assume they work. When a stay at home mom says she's a stay at home mom some people look at you and say "Well, that must be nice to have so much time to spend with your children," as if you're on vacation at Club Med all day. It also can just illicit a plain rude and patronizing disrespect from strangers because we somehow are lazy and unproductive with our time. That's why stay at home mom's are excited when people defend the work they put in at home. Not that they think working mothers don't feel the same way about their kids, or don't do as much work at home, or spend quality time with their children, it's because of the general disrespect of the idea of staying at home must involve no work somehow. It's obviously an absurd proposition, but it exists somehow.

And this all happens because we live in a society that doesn't value motherhood. When abortion happens in the millions each year, there is no proper value on motherhood period. Not stay at home or working mothers, but mothers in general. We reduce motherhood to some kind of production or commodity or hobby. Not a vocation that is inherently respected, protected, and lauded. That's just the world we live in and that's why this misunderstanding happens again and again and again. 


Ok, lets go in a completely opposite direction now!

There's still no snow on the ground! Which for Canada is kinda a big deal. Last year at this time there was already snow and it was not to depart till say, April, so I'm thankful for each snow-free day from here on in. I think this winter may be the toughest yet for me. I'll have five house-bound babies. Most of which are so very loud. I'm thinking we should just build a soundproof room I could put them all in for a break once in a while. I'm going to need perseverance to make it to Spring. And maybe a trip to Mexico.

Every day there's no snow on the ground I'm still insisting the babes go out and play. They're already getting bundled and its already ridiculous amount of work making sure everyone has proper headwear and coats. But I'm still doing it dammit!

The kids all got to enjoy watching my dad load cattle on Monday, which led to big excitement for the boys. They were bundled up watching them, but the sun shone so I even took Nora out and she grumpily watched from the sidelines as Max even sat still while the calves galloped onto cattle liners. So at least we're taking some small advantage of these last snow-free days.


Well, its good to be making a blogging contribution this week. It makes me feel a touch more productive and little less like I'm living under a rock. Thanks for your precious time in reading, I still marvel at the idea that people read my ramblings. Its a beautiful thing. 

Happy weekend everyone! I'm off to make some chocolate cupcakes with green icing...

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  1. In the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, it mentions that St. Luke likely "interviewed" the Blessed Mother when he was writing the Gospel, as evidenced by his inclusion of the Annunciation, Visitation, and even her own reflections about keeping these things "in her heart," a detail no one but she would know. I've always thought that was so neat! If memory serves me correctly, the image of Our Lady that is attributed to St. Luke hangs in St. Mary Major in Rome - very cool as well!

  2. I totally agree with #5. Thanks for expressing it so well! And what Mary said above me is awesome! I'll have to look into that.

    Hooray for no snow!!

  3. What a beautiful bunch of quick takes! I especially loved #2 and as for #5: amen!!! I agree with your take 100% :)

  4. Christy, you make a great point in 5. I think my perspective is colored by running in an uber-Catholic circle where people who don't/can't homeschool or stay home with their kids always seem embarrassed and apologetic about it. It's hard to find that medium between acknowledging the work of stay at home moms without shaming moms who work.

  5. I found your thoughts and Kendra's thoughts to be very insightful about that Matt Walsh piece. Thanks!

  6. Excellent Takes this weeks, Christy!
    First off, why should be ashamed of having a preference to a certain Gospel? It seems not different to me than being drawn to a particular saint. I have always loved the Gospel of John, even though it's kind of weird and so very different from the other three. I think it's because his Easter narrative is my favourite -- the one where Mary Magadalene sees Christ but doesn't realize it's Him until He says her name. That makes me cry, every time.
    As for the Matt Walsh piece, I loved it, but again, it might be because I am a SAHM and like a like rah-rah-rah about my life, which even though I believe to be philosophically beautiful, often feels a bit boring and hum-drum. But I can see how working moms would be angered by it, especially when he says that children are at their best when they get the most time possible with their moms. Some moms work because they truly can't find another way to make ends meet, and hearing a point like that must cut them to the quick.
    Also HALLELUJAH for no snow yet. I am in utter denial that I will be house-bound during WINTER with a newborn and two rangy kids this year. Enjoy the relatively nice weather!

  7. These are really great takes, Christy. I'm so glad you made a blogging contribution :) Really though, you hit the nail on the head with all of these takes I particularly liked your assessment of Matt Walsh's writing style. Nailed. It. I hope the snow stays away for a few more weeks. Seriously? I know you have electricity and internet and all that fun stuff but you're totally like a modern day pioneer to me!

  8. Thhannks for your prayers, Christy. It means a lot to me and a lot of other moms, I'm sure.


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