Archive | December, 2010

7 Quick Takes Vol. 10

31 Dec

Visits home are always bittersweet for me. I am very, very close to my family, and life always falls back into the pre-College pattern pretty quickly. So when I have to snap out of that I never know if the transition is going to be rough and tear-heavy for a week or so afterwards, or if I’m going to kiss my family goodbye and breathe a sweet sigh of relief that my life can resume its routine. I can already tell this trip is going to be a bit of a hard transition, but I have to say I’m excited to get back to Tulsa and get 2011 started.

2011 Brings. . .

1. New beginnings!
No, literally! Two of the most precious people I know have just returned from China with their new son. Please go visit my sponsor and god-parents and congratulate them on their new arrival!

2. New wardrobe!
Well. . .not really new. But new to me! Every year at this time I plan out a new wardrobe. I do this a few times throughout the year, but the beginning of the year is the big one. I lay out every article of clothing I own, check it for fit, damage, modesty, style, etc., and put together outfits. I name the outfit “sets”, write down options for class, work, and weekend, and then obsessively put it together into a document with pretty fonts and pictures of the outfits – it’s kind of OCD, and I usually end up not sticking to it a few months into it, but I am determined to make it work this year.

3. New body!
I was in classical ballet for 15 years, and really, really liked my body. I had a low weight – but I’m also like, ridiculously short, so I still had my curves and didn’t look like a Balanchine skeleton dancer. I’m no longer a dance major, and am only teaching and choreographing part time, so there have been some changes there. I like some of them – for starters, I can actually donate blood if I want to – but it’s been an adjustment not being in 10+ hours of rehearsals every day on top of daily technique classes. I’ve noticed it more in strength and cardiovascular health than size, but I want to get a handle on all of it. I recognize the fact that I will never again have any need to be 98 lbs, but I do want to stay healthy. And I also don’t want to lose most of my wardrobe. So I’ve started running, and am getting back into the whole-foods diet I was raised on.

4. New semester!
I just have two words for this. Thank. God.

5. New Church!
EASTER IS ONLY FOUR MONTHS AWAY! I CAN SO DO THIS!

6. New doors!
I will be starting my full-fledged senior year in the Fall – which means I’m going to have to start making lots of decisions about grad-school, social work fields, etc. It’s been a bumpy road – I would have been graduating this May, but some financial issues came up that prevented that from happening – but I am very, very excited to be able to just GET THIS UNDERGRAD THING DONE.

7. A new era!
I turn 21 this year – which means I will FINALLY get a horizontal drivers license. Seriously. Don’t laugh. I HATE vertical drivers licenses. It drives my OCD absolutely bonkers.

HAPPY NEW YEARS, FRIENDS!

7 Quick Takes Vol. 9 – Hi, my name is _____

16 Dec

7 Quick Takes Friday, hosted at ConversionDiary.com

This blog started as a whim three short months ago. I was just going to see what happened, see if I could stick to consistent updating, run a trial, so to speak. I can’t tell you how therapeutic it’s been for me. Maybe it’s been more of a cause for therapy for you.In which case, I don’t apologize – I’m a social work student, I’ve gotta keep my peers in jobs.

We’ve developed a little bit of a community here, so I thought for this week’s 7 Quick Takes, it’s time I gave all of you readers a chance to introduce yourselves to each other, pull up a chair, and get comfortable.

You can use the following meme* as an example, or just free-form it. Let’s do lunch!
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Yes, fellow Conversion Diary fanatics, I did steal this idea from Jennifer. BUT IT’S AWESOME! WHO WOULDN’T?? Forgive me?

1. Where are you from?


2. What’s your religious background?


3. If the world was facing nuclear disaster and you had to disappear into a bunker for three years, what would you bring with you? (Assuming food, water, and clothing were already prepared for?)


4. In your religious experience, who had the most profound influence on you?


5. If you have one, who is your Confirmation saint?


6. Favorite Christmas tradition?


7. Least favorite Christmas tradition?

 

*These are legitimate questions I always wonder about people as soon as I meet them. I just rarely have an opportunity to frame them in context. But this a blog. Who needs context?

Rosaries!

16 Dec

I FINALLY learned how to make the wire link rosaries. Still working on wire-wrapped rosaries, but I’m mostly happy with my link rosaries.

I made this one for Eli for Christmas.

 

Same rosary, just a close-up of the crucifix.

 

I couldn’t get a great picture of it with my phone, but it’s my “special” rosary. Green riverstone, silver roses, and pearls. All of my favorite things. The stones look so awesome in person that I’m going to buy more, replicate the pattern, and give them as gifts. I don’t know to whom or when. But yeah. They were a GREAT find. I could eat them.

Mary, sweet Mary.

14 Dec

I’ve been Marian in devotion my entire life and didn’t know it.

From the time I was old enough to drag the children’s illustrated Bible off the book shelf and flip through the Christmas story illustrations, I was fascinated with the fact that Mary was a GIRL. She was a REAL, LIVE, HUMAN GIRL. The “Humble Mary” song from the Donut Man Christmas show was one of my all-time favorite Donut Man anthems – and that’s saying a whole lot. I used to pretend to be Mary, I would put this little black dance skirt over my head, stare into this beat-up white-wash mirror that I had leaning against a wall and pretend to be a nun named Maria. In my little pre-school/early-elementary Fundamentalist Protestant mind, Mary was The Bomb. Dot. Com.

I never grew out of that admiration for her, and Marian devotion wasn’t something that was difficult for me to grasp once I started the conversion process. But a few months ago I hit a brick wall. I had a rare day off work, so I was studying the Marian Dogmas, playing The Postal Service on my computer, and enjoying the day when leftover ugly Protestant rebellion raised its obnoxious voice.

I was angry.

Why do I have to believe this?

Never mind the fact that I had believed almost every bit of it for my entire life.

Because the Church DARED to tell me I HAD to believe it, that this woman was somehow more important than any other woman that had been born (“God is no respecter of persons!” the good Fundamentalist screeched in my mind), I was digging in my heels and refusing to budge.

I threw the book down, squeezed my eyes shut, and began to pray.

“Okay, Mary. . .I’m trying to accept this. I really am. I don’t want to pick and choose the things that appeal to me, and leave out the things that just irk me. So. . .you’re going to have to do something. Or tell God to do something. Or however this damned thing works. Because I don’t want to feel this way, and I want to believe.”

Ugly, irreverent, flawed, broken, and raw. I have a long way to go.

Right in the middle of Clark Gable my computer froze. After the whir of my grumpy old Acer died down a beautifully simple and sweet piano intro began to play.

“Mary, sweet Mary, your heart overflows, deep in the night, child, a babe is born.
Sacred and holy, blameless, and pure. . .
Mary, sweet Mary, tonight your child is born.
Mary, sweet Mary, so strong, yet so frail. . .”

All I could do was crawl towards my laptop and stare at the screen. The song’s name was Mary Sweet Mary, by Selah, with guest vocals by Plumb – none of whom are Catholic, I might add. How it got on my computer, I do not know. And why it would begin playing when the Postal Service is neither Christian or Christmas, I also do not know. But the entire song played and while I was already an emotional wreck from a lot of things going on in my life at that point, I definitely lost it then. All I could say was, “Okay, God. I get it. I mean, I don’t get it. But I believe it.”

Did every theological brick wall come tumbling down? No. Do I understand everything about Marian dogma? No. But it doesn’t matter. Because I believe. And that’s enough.

7 Quick Takes Vol. 8 – Link Love Edition

3 Dec

A Priest’s Wife did something similar for 7QT two weeks ago, and I thought it was a fantastic idea. I’ve been a horrible blog follower the last few weeks. I apologize for the sheer creeptacular amount of lurking I’ve been doing. But, I want to share with my readers some of the blogs I’ve stumbled upon over the last few months.

ALSO – my mom and sister are in California competing in the Eukanuba dog show! You know, the giant one that airs on the Animal Planet in January. They have worked super hard to get there, and I am SO PROUD of them – even dogs irritate me. Their dogs are adorable (even I, the family’s sole cat lover thinks so). Go check them out.

1. Barefoot and Pregnant

Have you ever read a blog that made you go OMG-who-is-this-person-and-why-do-they-continually-read-my-mind?

Yeah. That’s this one. Calah is the sole blogger who has managed to make me laugh and cry in a span of two or three posts, and sometimes at the same time. Please, run – don’t walk – to her blog.

2. Fear Not Little Flock

As I’m sure everyone is more than aware by now, my dad was a full-time pastor growing up – and full-time fifty other things at the same time. Dad’s 24 hours run pretty much like Jack Bauer’s, just without the torture and terrorism. I thought that some of these struggles were unique to Protestant families, but little did I know about the Eastern Catholic priesthood! This blog, by a precious anonymous woman, details life in a Byzantine Catholic’s priest’s family. One of the most interesting blogs I’ve ever had the privilege to stumble upon.

3. My Thoughts Along The Way

My wonderful, beautiful, awesome godmother/sponsor’s blog. She and her husband have an amazing heart for adoption and our faith, and they have been a source of support during my conversion that I genuinely COULD NOT have made it without. Her writings are beautiful, fearless, and strong.

4. Political Housewyf

Intelligent commentary on current events, housewyf musings, and adorable children – pretty much the best of all possible worlds. Her articles on Snowflake Babies are favorites of mine. I wish I was rational enough to write about serious issues the way that she does, but I get far too emotional and in the end it just turns into SDGKFHBERG %*$&*$&%@@@ SOAPBOX SOAPBOX SOAPBOX. So, read her blog instead.

5. Modestia

I just found Modestia – as in, an hour ago, and I already LOVE the blog. Fabulous Catholic fashion? What’s not to love?

6. Fumbling Toward Grace

She and her husband are expecting a child in a matter of weeks! Prayers for them and their new baby, please. She somehow manages to continue to write awesome posts. Having never been pregnant I can’t personally attest to the magnitude of AWESOME that entails, but I can make a pretty good guess.

7. Practical Catholic

Did you really think you were going to make it through an entire Quick Takes with NO mention of Eli?? Really?? 😉 He is handsome, intelligent, funny, theological, orthodox Catholic, conservative, pope-loving, catechism spouting. . .and taken. But read his blog anyway.

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