Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Vocation Confirmation

I had an Epiphany through Pinterest that had nothing to do with lace doilies, spray paint, low calorie cheese cake, or wedding table runners (per se...).

Last year, Sr. Lisa challenged me to examine my vocation and I did... kind of. Tony called me on my bull you-know-what, correctly so. I spent the next while asking a lot of questions I never wanted to fully explore.

Truth be told, I didn't want to be a nun. I had just celebrated my six-monthaversary with my wonderful beau and I was looking forward to teaching my kids to swim and make perfect rice krispie treats. The best I could do in terms of openness to God's will was, "I want to want to do God's will."

So I wrote this, which almost tore me in half. My beau proved his worth to me and told me he wanted me to follow God's will, too. We've prayed, I've prayed, I've only really discussed it with him and my sisters for fear of over-thinking instead of over-praying.

I knew what I wanted (marriage) and I was 99% positive I knew God was calling me to marriage. I told God, many times (often in frustration), to just confirm it, already.

Continue reading at Ignitum Today.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A favor from YOU, please!

Hello friends! May I beg you for a favor?

A few months ago, I quietly shared that I am going back to school for a masters in elementary education. Woooohoooo!! 

So now for the favor. There is a (funny, but awesome) scholarship out there linked to how POPULAR I am and how COOL my friends are (that's you!). The more clicks, the higher my chances of getting the scholarship and the higher the chances of me sneaking Christian messages into public classrooms. 

Yes, I will have a crucifix and prayer cards on my desk. If they let me.

Please click here and then click "sponsor me" to help me become a grade school teacher! Just by clicking on "sponsor me" you essentially vote for me to get this scholarship. That's all! I appreciate your click!

I also appreciate you pinning this (click to pin), tweeting (click to tweet), Facebook posting, emailing, or ANYTHING you feel willing to do. Again, this costs NOTHING for you or your friends. It's just about clicks!

God bless you!


For more scholarships: I highly recommend Fastweb to anyone who is even *considering* going to school to register and check it out.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Awkwardly Tagging Myself

In my vlog the other day, I promised to get back in the swing of things on my blog. Having been out of the swing of things for so long, I'm playing catch up on things like tag-you're-it blogging catalysts. Here's one from Katie from NFP and Me and I'm hopping on this wagon!

The idea: 
  1. The first rule is to post these rules.
  2. Post a photo of yourself then write 11 things about you/your life. 
  3. Answer the questions for your set in the original post. 
  4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them. 
  5. Go to their blog/twitter to tell them you have tagged them.
I'm the white girl in teal. So serious.
My facts:
  1. Boring, but way too true to skip: I have an extremely close family. My family is a collective best friend body and it freaks out anyone who sees us hold hands even after the Our Father ends.
  2. Yes, I belong to one of those hand holding parishes and I like it! Yes, I know that it's not necessary, but you know what? Sometimes it's nice to feel like a community with those kinds of things figuratively even though we are One Body in Christ literally.
  3. My mushy gushy parish provided the backdrop and method for me to meet my wonderful boyfriend. Before we dated, we had a great friendship wherein I felt a higher level of comfort than I've felt with ANYONE. Nuclear family comfort is different and they will always remain in that best friend spot in my heart, but my beau nuzzled perfectly into this huge heart cave that God made for him. How nice of him to think I'm pretty and to kiss me occasionally, too.
  4. I love IMAX movies. My dad is a teacher, so we got him to ourselves for "Daddy School" during the summers and IMAX movies remind me of fond times escaping the heat waves by dipping into the IMAX Dome for a little learnin'. I can't wait until this IMAX movie on Jerusalem comes out.
  5. I went to Disney World as a 9-year-old and then returned with my family as a 20-year-old. It still felt magical, a decade later. Even though I know it's expensive and probably a huge headache for parents of young kids, I still want to bring my kids to Disney World at some point.
  6. I laugh out loud every single time I watch an episode of Psych. More often than not, I have to pause the episode because I'm laughing so hard I can't see what's going on.
  7. I'm stealing Katie's first point and confessing that I cannot wink. I blink. I don't wink. Those muscles are very confused.
  8. My favorite book of the Old Testament is Esther and has been ever since I randomly opened to and read it as a tween. I suppose it didn't register that she had to sleep with the king when she wasn't married (which probably would have blown my mind since, at that time, I thought it was UNDERSTOOD that thou shalt not have sex before marriage). I just concentrated on how brave she was to stand up for her entire community of people when some mean guy (probably with a warty nose and parrot on his shoulder) was trying to hurt them. I am woman, hear me roar.
  9. I'm addicted to Pinterest. Need I say more?
  10. Two of my favorite TV shows are completely different than anything I have in my daily life: World's Toughest Fixes and Holmes Inspection. Gosh, I love those shows.
  11. I have wanderlust, but I'm extremely frugal. I'm also a compulsive planner without a spontaneous bone in my body. Terrible combination if you ask me, but I think this is one of God's tests.
Questions I must answer: 

  1. Weirdest class you've ever taken? I didn't stray too far from the norm with my classes, so the best I can do is a film studies class. We watched some weirdos in there and one scene from a B movie in particular still haunts my dreams.
  2. If you could only eat 2 foods ever again what would they be? Peanut butter and lasagna. Not together.
  3. What's your go-to belt it out in the car song? "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire
  4. What's the most OCD thing you do? I do a lot of OCD things, but one is that I canNOT deal with a piece of paper folded imperfectly. One little wedge of paper hanging off the end and I'm a loon.
  5. Favorite high school memory? Our class won a big traditional contest as juniors. Go Red and Gold!
  6. Won't you share your opinion on camping? Love it or hate it? Like it! I haven't done it in a long time. My only hang up on it right now would be fear of snakes. Once I'm in the tent, I'm having a great time.
  7. Weirdest thing you've ever eaten? This is relative, but I'm sure I've had some questionable meats at a few Chinese restaurants. 
  8. E-reader or real book reader and why? I prefer real books, but I read most of my books with my e-reader because it's portable and I spent a lot of money on it...
  9. Favorite TV show currently on? I think Holmes Inspection is still on and I just can't get enough of that show. Many of the "dates" I spend with my boyfriend involve that cheeky Canadian handyman.
  10. What's your favorite award you've won? I won a leadership award from my summer swimming league team and the coach who awarded it to me said it was because I "lead by example with [my] quiet confidence." Can't do better than that!
  11. What's your claim to fame? I invented Post-it notes.

Questions YOU must answer:

  1. Dream job? Forget your practical side. What would you really want to do?
  2. Bikini or Biki-no? ;)
  3. What is a secret weird habit you have?
  4. What is your guilty pleasure movie?
  5. What is your guilty pleasure television show?
  6. What's your favorite music genre? Be specific, don't cop out.
  7. If you're a Pinterestaholic, which kinds of things do you pin most of all?
  8. If you could change your middle name, what would you pick?
  9. Have you ever called in to a radio show and gotten through?
  10. Have you ever won a contest or giveaway? What did you win?
  11. What is your number one travel destination?
I laughed when I saw Katie tagged Pope Benedict and I'm looking forward to reading his contribution. For now I'm going to tag Christine (my sister), Hanna, Trista, Julie, Liesl, Melissa, and also the rest of #CathSorority.

Well, that was fun :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bodies and Bikinis

This week, Katie shared with us her post (after passing her big test, YAY!) defending bikinis. I would really love to hear more from the bikini defenders, so if you're willing to add your voice, please email me!

Elizabeth, who blogs with her husband at The Spark and The Flame, has a contribution for the Bikini or Biki-no series. Please enjoy!

At times, when the topic of modesty comes up in discussion, it quickly becomes a debate over which gender bears the most responsibility. Should the most modest women walk around completely covered? Or, should the most honorable men walk around blind-folded? What about modesty for men? Should they be covered too? I think that this “responsibility debate” both dodges and underplays the real issue at hand, which is the intrinsic value of our bodies. 

Our bodies are intrinsically valuable because we are human persons. The value of our bodies does not come from ourselves or from others. The value of our bodies comes from our creator, in whose own image we are made. To deny the dignity of our body is to deny God. Our dignity is directly derived from God, and without God, there is no source for human dignity.

It is appropriate to consider the proper treatment of our bodies in light of this very fact. Because our bodies have such value, Karol Wojtyla tells us, “the role of ... the means to an end determined by a different subject is contrary to the nature of a person.”

This means that the use of one person’s body by another for the purpose of pleasure or gain is contrary to the dignity of the person. We are told in Theology of the Body that the opposite of love is, in fact, not hate, but use. It is our responsibility not to encourage the use of our own body or that of another as a mere object. To do so is a profanation of the human body. Lust is the common name of that act of using the human body as an object.

What does it mean to use the body as an object? “Objectification” is defined (dictionary.com) as “to present as an object, especially of sight, touch, or other physical sense.” In this definition, the first emphasized sense is that of sight. I think one of the easiest and most clear means of presenting one's body as an object occurs in situations in which that body is scantily clad. Scant clothing automatically sexualizes the body, and invites others, people you don't even know, to use your body for pleasure. It makes the body into a tool for a purpose, a means to an end. Use is still use, even if it is visual rather than physical. Our bodies are too inherently dignified to be subjected to such a purpose. 
I love how deliciously cheesy this poster is.

Modesty is not about shame. It is not about being ashamed of our bodies, as if they should not be admirable. Modesty is about dignity and reverence. We are created in the image and likeness of God. Our bodies are so very admirable, that they cannot and should not be reduced to common usage as objects. When we clothe our bodies, we need to take this fact into consideration. Are we presenting our bodies in a way that conveys as well as engenders respect, or are we presenting our bodies as objects for use? 

Modesty is not about whose responsibility it is to cover up or not to look. Modesty is a recognition and a declaration of one's own dignity; the sanctity of one's own body.  The holiest part of the Jewish temple was always veiled, not because of shame, but because of reverence.  Likewise with our bodies, which we cover, not by reason of shame, but by reason of reverence.  Fulton Sheen called it "reverence for the mystery" and lamented its loss in the modern world.  To present the body in a bikini may risk unveiling what should be hidden and inviting for use and profanation that which should be reverenced.  

So what do you think? Has your position changed on the topic of bikinis?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Holmes is Home!

Katie Holmes is a Bright Maiden once again!

Barring any creeping skepticism about who signed her up to her new parish in New York City, her publicist or herself, we Bright Maidens are glad to once again see a sister in Christ return to His Church!

When I posted this article about Katie's return to the Church, a few people spoke up and seemed to focus on the description of St. Francis Xavier in NYC, noting that the article mentioned it is "known for inclusive thinking and its welcoming of many gay and lesbian Catholics."
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, NYC

The folks commenting on the Bright Maidens post had good intentions, I'm sure, as the Church teaches against people practicing gay and lesbian lifestyles. The Church does not, however, teach that same sex attraction is a myth. The Church teaches that there may be people with same sex attraction, but just as single people without same sex attraction should practice celibate, chaste lifestyles, so should those with same sex attraction.

As you can probably tell, I was slightly upset by some of the "too bad she picked the wrong church" comments because another BIG FAT teaching of the Church is to be loving and welcoming. If we look at the mission statement from St. Francis Xavier's website instead of the interpretation from the HuffPo author, we read that the parish “strives to be a prophetic, welcoming community, inclusive witness to the presence of Christ Jesus in our midst.”

Uh, that sounds right to me. Of course, we could choose to read into this and believe the church also affirms same sex attraction-indulging lifestyles, which isn't beneficial to the whole person trying to follow Christ. That would be wrong. However, it is correct to welcome everyone.

And I argue that jumping to the "well, yes, she joined the Church again, but she picked a liberal one," is the exact wrong way to welcome anyone back.

Rant over. Carry on.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Charting for Beginners

Does NFP jargon make your head spin? Are you single and curious about how your body works?

There's a vid for that.

Check out my newest vlog at Ignitum Today!

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