Friday, October 5, 2012

7 Quick Takes, Volume 5

{story of a soul, condensed}

Seven pieces of my life, as of the last two weeks.  Visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

farmer's market, pumpkin carving, pumpkin spice, latte, squash, radish, potatoes, miraculous medal, anchor, catholic pumpkin, anchor pumpkin, nautical pumpkin, Catholic wedding, Catholic marriage prep, Catholic bride, Catholic wedding blog
via Instagram

1. We spent last Sunday (and I do mean the entire day--I don't remember it taking this long when I was a kid!) carving pumpkins with our friends!  Andrew and I brought home three pumpkins bedecked with an anchor, our initials, and a Miraculous Medal.  I'd say our carving speed ratio was 2:1--cutting out the M for mine took hours!  We've spent plenty of time reveling in Fall lately--the pumpkins were accompanied by a visit to the farmer's market and homemade pumpkin lattes!

2. I'm bursting to tell you: I'll soon have a new column at Ignitum Today!  If you've never read the honest, thoughtful articles on this blog written by young Catholic adults, go do it now.  Relationships, politics, the media...whatever you're most interested in, I'm sure you'll find something awesome.  I admire the way a lot of Ignitum's writers engage the culture in a way that's boldly out in the world, not just timidly in their pews, and am so excited to join them!  My first piece will be published later this month.


3. T.S. Eliot's poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is so special to Andrew and I.  So imagine how unbelievingly delighted I was to find this print with one of the exact lines that means the most to us!  I do think it would look perfect in our living room.

4. Back in college, a philosophy class called Love and Friendship opened my eyes to Catholic teaching on authentic love, as well as the wounds the culture has inflicted on our generation, for the first time.  I knew I wanted to tell my peers that there's something so much better out there, and it's what inspired me to pursue a year as a chastity speaker.  I was reminded of that time in my junior year, feeling simultaneously shocked, saddened, and hopeful, when I read this article this week about hookup culture and a few responses to it here and here.  It's provocative reading, but I think it's so important not to shy away from the reality we live in, the better to humbly confront it with truth and love.  I'd love to know what you think!

Let's colour project, Rio de Janeiro, green buildings, painted buildings, lapa stairs, brazil, Catholic wedding blog, Catholic wedding, Catholic marriage prep, Catholic bride

5. Confession time: I am totally materialistic sometimes.  Give me a little too much time on Pinterest or lifestyle blogs, and I'll find myself making long lists of things I'm suddenly convinced I need for my apartment and my closet.  Do you ever fall into this, too?  How do you drag yourself out of a coveting mindset?  I've been trying to remind myself that I need way less than I think I do (I need none of it, in fact!), and that if I moderate my window shopping and wishlisting, it'll be easier.  One thing that helps me, though, is perusing pretty, non-shopping related images that give my heart a lift.  I just found out about this oh-so-charming project, Let's Colour: painting the town, literally, in little corners all over the world that can use a lift!  It's the beautiful things...

6. Confession time, part two: until last Sunday, I had not been to confession since Ash Wednesday.  I know the Church only requires two trips to reconciliation a year, but after getting into the habit of going every two or three weeks during college (my campus was shared with a seminary, so lucky for all of us students, the sacraments were constantly available) and needing to go all the time during my first year out of school, even a few months feels like a long time to me now.  We're blessed to have daily Mass and confession opportunities at our parish, right within walking distance.  Back in the spring, I started a new job that doesn't make it possible for me to get to Mass during the week anymore, and it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I really started feeling the weight of not receiving the Eucharist as often.  I was constantly grumpy, easily frustrated, and felt quite a few attacks on my self-worth.  My soul was tired.  It finally came to me that I felt all this heaviness because it had been so long since it had been lightened by God's mercy in the confessional.  I couldn't wait to receive it.  So, Andrew and I went on a little confession date this past weekend, and I really do feel so free.  I never want to wait that long again.  Working ladies, teach me your ways!  How do you maintain your spiritual life with a 9 to 5 schedule?

7. And lastly, for your listening pleasure, a song I can't stop listening to (scroll to the bottom!). 

Enjoy the weekend!  What are you up to?


15 comments:

  1. That is so exciting that you're going to be writing for Ignitum! Please let us know when your first post goes up!

    I absolutely fall into the trap of materialism sometimes. I think we all do - it's hard not to at times when society is constantly telling us more, more, more. When I do, I realize I need to spend more time with God and I need to think about all the things I am grateful for. I also like remembering this verse from Matthew - "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and decay destroys, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroy nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." - Matthew 6:19-20

    Have a good weekend, Stephanie! :)

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    1. Mm, such wisdom in that passage; you're absolutely right! I think you're spot on that when I spend less time in prayer, I spend more time wanting, so thank you for that, too, and for your congrats, Caitlin!

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  2. Yay you'll be on Ignitum! I always hope I can write for them someday once I'm Catholic. Pinterest is bad for being materialistic I think sometimes. Sometimes I'm just like, do I reallly need that? Plus, we're saving for our wedding and a house so that makes it easier to not want to buy everything I see there.

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    1. Seriously! Maybe if a future house was more of a reality for me, I'd have a better perspective. For now, I'll settle for future babies =) And yes, I'd love to read more of your writing someday!

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  3. Perhaps a good anti-dote to the materialism that's still fun would be to periodically look around your home thinking "what can I get rid of (and not replace) that will make this room better?" A.k.a: declutter

    I'm a working man, not a working lady, and my job is 8:30-5:30, not 9-5 (I wish!). It is hard to maintain the spiritual life without frequent and easy access to the sacraments throughout the week. I just designated a prayer chair in my home very recently, and since I cannot go to Holy Mass in the morning, I am at least going to try to get up and go to my chair and pray. I'm hoping it will help to have a separated time and space for prayer. The root iea of holiness is to be "separated unto God."

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    1. Oh, I really like that idea, Thomas! "Separated unto God..." that's beautiful. My old roommate had spent a few months as a postulant and was so good at creating a prayer space and routine in her room. I always admired her consistency and her ability to not be distracted by all of the objects and surroundings of everyday life--I'll have to try your idea of setting a specific space aside. And thanks for the decluttering advice!

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  4. #5 - I struggle with that too. When it gets bad I'll usually stop reading those types of blogs. Some just seem to affect me more then others, and deleting them from my feed reader definitely helps.

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    1. Yeah, I need to remind myself that they'll all still be out there some other time, and I don't have to gobble everything up at once, you know?

      I'm glad you found my blog so I could find yours =)

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  5. I have not been to confession since before Easter, too. I tell myself it's because I'm so busy with the kids, but I've definitely made time to do other things like go out for dinner, etc...so I just need to make it a priority. So hard sometimes, though! Thanks for the reminder!

    As for #5, I just moved to an area that is SO fixated on status that the pressure is unbelievable. It got so bad after a few months that I had to make up a little exercise in contentment for myself. It was very simple and helped me significantly, and I still use it from time to time when I'm slipping into an "I need that SO badly!" craze! If you're interested you can check out The Contentment Project Here: http://www.positivelyimperfect.com/2012/07/the-contentment-project-part-i-want-vs.html

    I read those articles, too, and couldn't agree more. Also congrats on the speaking! What a gift, just so awesome. I'll have to book you stat for our Lifeteen group if ever someday you head out to the Denver :) Blessings!

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    1. Hi Megan! I LOVE your contentment project--thank you! So glad I found your blog!

      I'm actually no longer a speaker (officially, at least--I still love helping with our youth group and doing little talks on the side, and I have been to Denver and wouldl ove to go back!), but if you want to bring in someone amazing, get in touch with the folks at http://generationlife.org. It's the organization I worked for, and I can't say enough good things about their approach to evangelization and about how amazingly my year of service formed my heart and my knowledge!

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  6. I was just catching up on some of your recent blog posts and had to say congratulations on your new column at Ignitum Today! Has it posted yet? I browsed over the website but didn't see it if it was...

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    1. Thanks so much, Stef! Yes, my first column posted last Monday. You can read it here:

      http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2012/10/22/the-allure-of-the-crunchy-catholic/

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