Monday, June 30, 2008

Quotable Monday

"The church that marries the spirit of an age becomes a widow in the next generation."

-Dean William Inge, English author, academic 1860-1954

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Note to self

My husband and I have been butting heads over disciplining big bear lately, and I've been trying to remind myself of something I've learned since we got married: I am right far less than I think I am.

There have been so many times since my husband and I have been married that I have been convinced the way he wanted to go about accomplishing a specific task or goal was wrong and would turn out disastrously. But then I've "let" him have his way, and what do you know, everything works out just fine. It's actually a bit reassuring to know that I don't have to have the world figured out, that it' s not solely up to me to master the art of getting things done well.

It's hard to be gracious in those situations when I'm sure I know what is best, especially when my husband's method entails doing something I really, really don't want to do. It helps to remind myself that when I said 'I do', I let go of much of my independence. A good thing, too, because being independent just doesn't work very well in marriage. Two people cannot go about building a common life independently-- there has to be give and take, there has to be compromise, and hopefully understanding. I think my idea of 'compromise' before marriage was finding middle ground. But often, there is no middle ground to be found, things have to get done one way or the other way with no mixing of the two. But, like I said: I am right far less than I think I am. Choosing to do things his way is not a watering down of my rightness with his wrongness, because, I repeat: I am right far less than I think I am.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Quotable Monday

GG: Do you believe in sin?


GG:What is sin?

OBAMA:Being out of alignment with my values.

-Barack Obama, from 2004 interview by Cathleen Falsani "God Girl" (GG), then-religion reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times

(via Food Fight in the Cafeteria (or is it the Cafeteria is Closed?)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Slathering on the carcinogens

My neighbor mentioned today that she's started to buy soaps and lotions that don't have any potentially toxic or carcinogenic ingredients. This prompted me to read an article I had set aside on the same subject, and let's just say we did NOT use our normal baby wash in tonight's bath. I found a great website with a mega data base of all sorts of personal care products and their ingredients, Skin Deep, (from the Environmental Working Group) that informed me the baby wash I use every day on big bear has ingredients linked to:
  • Cancer
  • Developmental/reproductive toxicity
  • Violations, Restrictions & Warnings
  • Allergies/Immunotoxicity
  • Contamination concerns
Great. I also found out from the FDA's website that"Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives." and that "Cosmetic firms are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products and ingredients before marketing." Well of course. Everyone knows that the best policing of industry is done by industry itself. (No one else regulates cosmetics, either.)

After reading the ingredients list of my 'hair & body baby wash' I happened to notice the manufacturer's own safety tip: Keep this product out of the reach of children.

I think I might actually follow through with that one.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Quotable Monday

"I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

-William Blake, "A Poison Tree", 1757-1827, English poet, printmaker, artist

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sticky Afternoon

Is it possible to permanently engrave a picture of a moment on the brain? I know I've tried to do it before, and always the image fades. But if I could fix a moment in time forever of how I want to remember my big bear as a newly two-year old boy, I'd choose yesterday afternoon. It was one of the first hot and sticky days of the year and I decided we should cool off by eating Popsicles outside in the shade. I dragged two chairs together and we sat down, barefoot, with a full watering can to pour on our feet. I took off big bear's t-shirt and he happily attempted to eat his very first Popsicle. Afterwards, his chest was a sticky red mess, so I poured the rest of the watering can over him, which of course he found immensely funny. He stood there on the walkway, laughing with his perfect teeth so white against his red-smeared mouth, slapping his wet skin, and then he started to pull on the baby belly fat peeking over his soaked shorts and the blue band of his Thomas Train underwear . He stood there looking at me, grabbing and pulling, grabbing and pulling, laughing, laughing, laughing at this new-found body part. I laughed too. Leaned back in my chair and laughed towards the sky, happy that this napless afternoon hadn't turned out so bad after all, happy that this boy and this moment we were sharing were mine, just mine.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Budding Eucharistic adorer

A few months ago I started getting into the habit of spending time in Eucharistic adoration. Meaning, I was going to the church once a week outside of Mass specifically to spend time with Jesus, present under the appearance of a blessed communion wafer displayed throughout the day at our parish. But I haven't gone the last few weeks, and I miss it. I've come to notice that since I became Catholic, I've mostly dropped an old habit of seeking time to pray outside in a quiet, natural place in favor of praying before the blessed sacrament. Now, I'd really rather spend time in prayer inside a church for adoration rather than outside in God's creation. This is a little shocking to me, just because a natural setting (or as close as possible to natural) has always been a place where I most connected with God and could pray unhindered. I love beautiful scenery; I love mountains, the smell of the woods, the way sunlight and cloud change a landscape, or set to glowing even just a tree outside my door. Even as a child, being outside set something loose in me that made me better able to marvel at God.

I don't believe this aspect of my 'hard wiring' has completely changed since I became Catholic, but rather it has been superseded by something greater. Now, I am much more overwhelmed by God's presence when I'm sitting in front of him in the blessed sacrament than when I'm sitting outside enjoying a sunset. I think this is as it should be for any Catholic; Jesus didn't leave earth saying 'here, I give you this mountain range to look upon and ponder me', instead he left us his actual presence by giving us the Eucharist. How lost the disciples must have felt when Jesus ascended into heaven, but how comforting those first Eucharistic meals must have been. What a gift to physically be with Christ in the event of the Eucharist. And for me today, though I'm still working on learning the doctrinal development of adoration, I've experienced this truth: what a gift it is to sit with Christ in Eucharistic adoration.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Quotable Monday

"Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to."

-J.R.R. Tolkien, English writer, professor 1892-1973