Thursday, August 28, 2008

well hello again

Remember my blog "the case for settling" about the article "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough" by Lori Gottleib? Well, I was reading an article called "The Vindication of Humanae Vitae" by Mary Eberstadt and the article was mentioned again.

Eberstadt's article is a very good one about the impact contraception has made in our society. I would recommend it! I just thought it was interesting that Gottleib's article showed up in it as well!

Perhaps the most compelling case made for traditional marriage lately was not on the cover of, say, Catholic World Report but in the devoutly secular Atlantic. The 2008 article “Marry Him!” by Lori Gottlieb—a single mother who conceived her only child with donor sperm rather than miss out on motherhood as she has on marriage—is a frank and excruciatingly personal look into some of the sexual revolution’s lonelier venues, including the creation of children by anonymous or absent sperm donors, the utter corrosiveness of taking a consumerist approach to romance, and the miserable effects of advancing age on one’s sexual marketability.

Gottlieb writes as one who played by all the feminist rules, only to realize too late that she’d been had. Beneath the zippy language, the article runs on an engine of mourning. Admitting how much she covets the husbands of her friends, if only for the wistful relief of having someone else help with the childcare, Gottlieb advises: “Those of us who choose not to settle in hopes of finding a soul mate later are almost like teenagers who believe they’re invulnerable to dying in a drunk-driving accident. We lose sight of our mortality. We forget that we, too, will age and become less alluring. And even if some men do find us engaging, and they’re ready to have a family, they’ll likely decide to marry someone younger with whom they can have their own biological children. Which is all the more reason to settle before settling is no longer an option.”

Eberstadt makes the point that younger Catholics are the generally ones who are more orthodox, wanting to follow the Church's teaching on contraception. She called us the "generation to grow up under divorce, widespread contraception, fatherless households, and all the other emancipatory fallout".

We have grown up with the effects of contraception. We have seen the hurt and pain caused in the lives of family and friends because of it. Unfortunately, because using contraception has been the norm, people my age also expect that it is good to use it. I have been asked more times than I care to remember if I am going to move in with Ryan or if we have sex. People are shocked when I say no. To use Christopher West's analogy, it is as if we have been driving around on flat tires, thinking that this is normal. Yet, when we realize the beautiful plan God has for us and begin to live life on full tires, we can't imagine how we ever thought flat tires were good and normal. Only in retrospect can we see the pain and damage caused by flat tires.

People that I have shared NFP with are generally very receptive. Of course I usually only talk about it when I hear people complain about how messed up the pill is making them. I thought that people would not want to hear about alternatives, but they do. Maybe deep down we realize that contraception is not the way God intended things to be.

It is a problem that we've really worked ourselves into. God is the only one who can change our hardened hearts.

God bless America! Show us the way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a useful woman

The previous blog is a quote from Pride and Prejudice, one of my favorite books/movies. I often remember this quote in my quest to become what I have termed a "useful woman."

Far from only painting tables or covering screens, a useful woman has many enviable skills and talents. She is warm and winsome (to quote Kimbery Hahn's Chosen and Cherished), she can cook, sew, clean, host parties, make friends easily, and adds a creative touch to everything she does.

There are several different types of women. You have the career woman, of which my sister is an excellent example. Then there is the studious woman, who is a lifelong learner. And the all-famous high maintenance woman cannot be forgotten. Being a useful woman is much like Austen's accomplished woman.

Having just finished the RN-BSN program I was bored and began to solidify my idea of what it means to be a useful woman. The first weekend that I didn't have school I made some delicious banana bread muffins. Then I decided to learn to cook Indian food. I did that twice. After that I cleaned my entire house, including scrubbing the bathroom floor on my hands and knees. Then I organized the spare room of my apartment as well as the storage unit.

I am trying. Still haven't mastered anything yet. Maybe I'll be bored with it tomorrow...who knows. But at least I'm tyring.

God bless the useful woman!

an accomplished woman

An exerpt from Pride and Prejudice Chapter 8

"It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are."

"All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles, what do you mean?"

"Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens, and net purses. I scarcely know anyone who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished."

"Your list of the common extent of accomplishments," said Darcy, "has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half-a-dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished."

"Nor I, I am sure," said Miss Bingley.

"Then," observed Elizabeth, "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman."

"Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it."

"Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved."

"All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."

"I am no longer surprised at your knowing ONLY six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing ANY."

"Are you so severe upon your own sex as to doubt the possibility of all this?"

"I never saw such a woman. I never saw such capacity, and taste, and application, and elegance, as you describe united."

Friday, August 22, 2008

booster seats

I just saw a commercial for child booster seats. Apparently 4'9" is the magic number. Our Iowa native Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson is somewhere between 4'8" and 4'9". I wonder if she's allowed to ride without a booster...

Points to ponder.

never fail novena

On June 29th, the amazing Michelle Hillaker came up to me and asked me how things were going with Ryan. I said everything was great and she asked if we were going to get married, to which I gave an enthusiastic "Yes!"

She said she knew it and asked how he felt. When I replied that he was a bit more hesitant, she said that she would begin her "never fail novena" for me that day. 54 days of praying the rosary for your intention. I decided I would pray it as well. Michelle, I'm sure was praying that Ryan would feel more confident. I decided to pray for discernment for Ryan and I, especially for courage for him and patients for me.

Michelle even came up to Ryan once and announced that he had 27 more days to get his act together!

So I've been praying the rosary daily for quite some time, not really sure how long. Tonight I decided to count and today was day 54! Good timing! It is amazing because, although we are not engaged, or really close to it, I feel much more confident and comfortable with where things are. I am more patient and happy to take things at our current pace, and I feel as if Ryan is feeling more confident that our relationship will indeed end in marriage.

God is faithful!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

stop to smell the flowers

Today Ryan and I were on our way to Thai Kitchen for a delicious lunch when he suddenly stopped and got so excited about a lily blooming nearby. It was super cute.

God bless my boyfriend! Thank you for the spontaneous moments of joy and appreciation throughout each day!

i'm a bsn!

Yesterday I finally finished at Grand View! After a year and a half I can't believe it's all done! The last thing our instructor had us do on Tuesday was to write our names on the board with our new credentials! So fun!

I had gotten my Associate Degree in Nursing from DMACC, which was a 5 semester program. I took state boards, the NCLEX, and became an RN, working at Blank Children's Hospital. Then I decided to get my Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree from Grand View. There's no pay difference or anything (in Des Moines, at least), but I wanted to continue my education. Perhaps someday I'll return to get my Master's of Science in Nursing. I would like to teach eventually and you need your MSN to do so.

I am pretty proud of myself. I had been working full-time and going to school mostly full-time. Classes were busy and fast-paced as the program was for working adults. I went to school every Tuesday for 18 months from 12:30pm to 10:25pm and had at least one paper due every week the entire time! Classes were eight weeks long, so I really had to be on top of all of my work!

But now I'm done! I thought I would take a little break, but apparently I changed my mind because I now find myself signed up for a French class! Let the learning continue!

Jesus, thank You for the Grace and perseverance to continue to the and and get my BSN!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

let's be real

Apparently my mind only remembers the fun things about events. This past weekend there was a lot of drama that went on and I remember everyone being in a strange mood on Saturday night.

I feel as if I have gotten far from God recently and the group members I've talked to have been feeling the same recently. I used to go to Confession weekly and Adoration and Mass daily. Now it's been at least two months for confession and probably even longer for adoration. Luckily Mass is a weekly obligation!

Thankfully Christina and Monica are less willing to sit in complacency than some of us. I just had a long talk with Chrissy about the past weekend and agree that we need to get back on track. So we're going to Adoration as a group tonight.

All I want in life is to be good and holy and totally wrapped up in love for God. Yet I find myself being petty and easily distracted from Him. I know that my friends want to live in Him as well. Of course Satan is going to attack a group of people who love God and want to do his will.

Jesus...we need You. Help us to remember that and seek You at each moment!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

babbitt campout

I have now officially been to a Babbitt campout! The past few years I've had to work when Adam and Ryan invited everyone up to their parent's house to sleep in tents in their yard. I didn't really take priority then for some reason. :)

This year, however, I was able to go! It was great. There were three baby kitties there that I got to play with. We had a bonfire and played bocce ball and went swimming at the lake. We also got to see a meteor shower! Even the rain on Saturday night couldn't spoil the fun! Such a great weekend!

Jesus thank you for the Babbitts and for their generosity to let so many people stay at their house!

iowa state fair

I went to the Iowa State Fair with Ryan and Monica this past Friday. Apparently, Iowa natives though they are, neither of them had been to the fair before. That would not do.

Although I've been to the fair every year, I don't know much more to do there than eat and try to find the biggest animals. We were going to ride some rides at the midway until I discovered that they were at least $5 each! Crazy.

My parents must have spent a fortune on my sister and I when we went to the fair as children! (Although things were cheaper back in my day.)

We ate several foods on sticks; saw the biggest bull, boar, and sheep; watched baby pigs being born; and waited in line a lot. Ryan wasn't too happy about that fact, especially on the drive to the fair. It took us at least 20 minutes to go 2 blocks. Just part of the delights of the fair!

All in all, a very good day. Although I don't know how impressed Ryan and Monica were. I guess you just would have had to have grown up going. Plus they are both rather hard to impress. I remember taking my friend Chris for the first time. He had just moved from Texas and was running around like a small child because he was so excited. Apparently after Las Vegas, the Iowa State Fair is the #2 thing to do in the country.

God bless the fair!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

the office

We had an Office party in celebration of Ruth Ann and Monica's birthdays. It was so fun! Everyone had to dress up as a character from NBC's The Office and act like them. We spent the night watching, quoting, and laughing at the office for several hours. Sarah and Chris couldn't make it, so as promised, here are the pictures!

Adam as Michael Scott

Kimberley as Pam Beasley

Roman as Jim-Dwight

Sarah as Katy

Monica as Angela Martin

Chrissy and Jon as Phyllis and Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration

Kathleen as Kelly Kapoor

Mary as Meredith Palmer

Ryan as Toby Flenderson

Ruth Ann as Jan Levinson