Weekend Links

Straightforward advice for relationships and marriage. Behold, the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse and how to replace them.

This article, sent to me by fellow blogger and friend, MamaCodes, reinforced the warning regarding social media use and distracted thinking/mental clutter.

As an update, I started checking Facebook only once a day. I really only use Pinterest for specific ideas and do not use other platforms. It has gone well. I can already see how Facebook produces a lot of mental noise and it feels better not checking it throughout the day. I think I have to stay connected through email though.

This review of a new comedy show about motherhood highlights the issues I addressed in A Comedienne’s Way of being in the World. The world of professional comedy is inhospitable for a theoretically feminine style of humor, thus the descent into vulgarity.

News to me. Melatonin can disrupt hormones related to fertility. Melatonin was recommended to me to aid sleep, because of stress. After waking suddenly several hours after taking it and my thoughts racing just as fast as before, I thought I would love to resolve the underlying issue (rather than the immediate issue).

People are pretty upset about this interview. Better to skip the sound bytes and interpretations and read the transcript for yourself.

I think he speaks fairly clearly here, although I think it would have been better had he defined “feminized” and “manly.” He almost defines “manly” but leaves “feminized” undefined. If he says men perceived the mass as “feminized” and the only near definition is: the priest is the only man on the altar, the rest of the people are women, then the reader is left to think feminized means women are present. If women are present and the men want no part, why is that? Flesh it out. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I have no idea what he means by feminized.

Additionally I really really hate when people try to make marketing words like “emangelization” or “mom-preneur” to try to capture a statement “evangelizing men”/”mothers who are also entrepreneurs.” N. M. Gwynne points out that this language has been entrusted to us, not just to do what we want with it, but to respect its usage and preserve it for the future. This crap doesn’t fly.

This more reflective piece by Emily P. Freeman was the perfect post for me to read today. A new friend asked me about Peter if things will change in the future. I told her, “I tell myself they won’t.” She accepted my answer and the conversation was distracted before we could talk about the actual possibilities. “We may be waiting for something and moving toward something that may never come to be, even while we hope.” I live in a world of this awareness…” moving toward something that may never come to be.”

This week, I practicing being rather than doing. Taking a break from the memoir, I wrote some shorter pieces for submission. There is still room for improvement in find time in the daily schedule to write in order to fulfill my commitments.

My husband and I celebrated 8 years together by being apart. It was actually the first celebration missed due to hospitalization since this all started and I missed Regina’s birthday. Fortunately, my birthday plans directly involve San Francisco.

I was crestfallen to discover I left one of Peter’s homemade, labor-intensive vests in San Francisco and it was pitched. No one’s fault but my own. It is awful to think of all that work in the garbage. Especially since I never wanted to make them again!

I ordered a five-year journal because of I see now how helpful it is to record the mundane events along with the big events. A new friend and I spent time together, saw our children got on well together and have many, many things in common.

This week I learned the big vent in the house sucks air in and pushes it through to the little vents for air conditioning. That is why you need a filter. If you do not have a filter, the thing stops working. I am glad I did not learn the lesson by personal experience.

What did you learn this week?

Review of Simply Tuesday

In A Million Little Ways, Emily P. Freeman encourages the reader not to fear if someone has the same message because you have a different way to say it. That way of saying it might be just the right way from some recipient, who would not otherwise be heard or been penetrated by the core message. Freeman’s book, Simply Tuesday, does just this with St. Therese of Lisieux doctrine of the Little Way. Does Freeman know about St. Therese or the little way? I do not know, and it does not matter. The message is beautifully put in her lovely writing style which takes a scene or a moment or an object from her personal life and holding that image in mind, she reflects on its meaning and its application to our life.

Not only is Freeman’s prose impeccable, it is filled with a gentle rhythm that makes her work a proper meditation on maintaining peace in a chaotic life, and quieting ambition in our typically hectic work. She allows her words and images to build organically. Her tactic of returning to images from previous chapters as she includes new ones connects each of the concepts of the book, going ever deeper in reflection.

Rev. Francois Jamart, O.C.D., summarizes the little way as this:

  1. We must fully recognize our spiritual poverty, our incapacity, and accept this condition.
  2. We must have recourse to God with blind and filial confidence, in order that He may accomplish in us what we cannot do by our own powers; for God is our Father; he is Love infinitely merciful.
  3. We must believe in Love and apply ourselves to the practice of love.

Spiritual poverty, described as smallness by Freeman is considered at length between the smallness of humiliation and the smallness of wonder. She invites the reader to embrace the smallness of wonder and the ordinary moments of our lives, which she encapsulated in the concept of Tuesday.

There is a bit of the lady bug philosophy, that when we learn to sit still is when ladybugs will come to us, that grace will come to us. God has called us to these moments, so let us sit and reflect and calm the rush of daily life.

In the third point of the little way, the practice of love, Therese emphasizes the importance of practicing love in the mundane tasks (because in our spiritual poverty or smallness, this is all we can do). You will find the same message throughout in Freeman’s work.

Does this cheapen Freeman’s reflections as something copied? Most definitely not. The message may be the same but the telling is wholly original. Therese wrote her little way as pieces of her autobiography and as a response to the direct request to write out this belief and practice. In that, it is not more ornate or poetically written than came natural to Therese to explain her ideas.

Freeman’s book is a verbal painting of the little way. This little way is at the heart of scriptures, wholly original and wholly tradition, and Freeman, by engaging the scriptures, with the help of others in her life, describes herself as being on this path.

This is the second book by this author that I have made my daily companion, an event of each day when I stop what I am doing and meditate on the chapter where a business card marks.

Reading her work, I have become more reflective and more appreciative of the small moments. It has helps me to act more intentionally and to move a little but further on the path of regaining peace and balance in my life. I heartily recommend Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman.

What I learned this Spring


As a matter of reflection, today I am participating in What We Learned with Emily P. Freeman. To read what Emily and others learned this Spring, click here.

1. I learned what is on the other side of the death of my child.

She was born and died on March 2nd. Leading up to her birth, I wondered what it would be like on the other side, what I would be like. I think the world is a different place. I am more afraid. I am seeking healing. I need art and beauty in my life like never before.

2. I learned PTSD symptoms can accompany stillbirth.

I chose not to read too much about things leading up to her birth. There have been some very personal triggers that take me back to when she was born. I am working on rewriting her story, to remember how beautiful and grace-filled some of those moments were.

3. I learned my son’s stomach will always feel hard when he cries because all the muscles are engaged.

Thought I knew everything, but I don’t.

4. I learned box cushions are hard to sew!

My goodness! This was not a quick and easy project. It was worth it though, for emotional healing through a project and the beauty of sitting outside on a comfortable couch.

5. I learned colorful elastic works better than ribbon for covering the handle of an Easter basket.

It grips as no ribbon can.

6. I learned the art glass vases I like are from the 1960’s, often made by Viking.

And they are so beautiful! I finally bought one, a flaming bright orange vase.

7. I learned I can not become a therapist in California because my degree does not meet California’s requirements.

Learning this set me free from the burden of wondering and launched me in a new direction that brings me so much joy.

8. I learned outdoor furniture should be put away in wet weather or it could mold.

Learned the hard way…

9. I learned my son is not stable enough for me to work outside the home.

A blessing in disguise.

10. I learned I can be successful as a writer.

Articles sold! Joy experienced.

11. I learned the meaning of Shabbat.

I love the people I meet at UCSF.