November 19, 2010

7 Quick Takes (vol. 2)

1. Maybe it's because my yard is finally covered with a thick blanket of snow or maybe it's due to the fact the children and I have been listening to Christmas songs for almost a week now (!), but I am finally in the holiday spirit! It was tough letting go of my love of the warm, sunny weather, but I am definitely ready to cozy up in front of a fire and sip some steamy, rich hot chocolate.

2. I am making many of my Christmas gifts by hand this year. This summer I taught myself how to sew, so my children will be receiving some really cute crayon rolls (thanks to Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy) among their gifts. I am also making a small ruffled purse for my 3.5 yo daughter, similar in idea to Susie Harris' ruffled purse tutorial. I am going to slip a child's wooden rosary inside, which I bought here. I know she will be delighted!

3. Peruse one of my newest discoveries in blog land: Wildflowers and Marbles. I found Jen via her post regarding the Morning Basket. She is a homeschooling mother of four and provides her readers with a real wealth of information regarding practical methods of educating at home as well as incorporating the faith into daily life.

4. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz was elected Vice-President of the USCCB this week. Speaking on the first day of the bishops’ annual fall meeting, he said, "If you had seen Roe v. Wade coming three years out, what would you have done differently? In our Nation we find ourselves at a moment of great opportunity but also great consequence ...In a sense, today is like 1970 for marriage."

The Archbishop was directing his comments to the U.S. bishops, but his question is one that I believe every Christian should think seriously about. What can each of us as baptized children of God, who are called to be light and salt to the world, do in order to illuminate and preserve our society? Particularly now, at this crucial point where the gay marriage movement has been growing in momentum and yet 4 in 10 Americans now believe marriage is obsolete?

5. Did you catch the video of Handel's Messiah sung in a Macy's in Philadelphia? It seems like most people were delighted with the surprise performance by the incognito opera singers. As Steve Ray said in his blog, people in their heart love beauty, spirituality and God:

6. At the library's used book sale last week I was fortunate to come across an inexpensive yet perfect copy of St. Louis de Monfort's True Devotion to Mary. As a fundamentalist Protestant I feared Mary in that I believed more than a passing mention of her was to put me in danger of idolatry. It is with some embarrassment now that I admit I said my first 'Hail Mary' with a fervent plea that God didn't strike me down with lightning! It took me some time to realize that those who have true devotion to the Blessed Virgin understand that to honor and love (not worship) her is a beautiful and sure means to honoring and loving her Son, Our Lord and King Jesus Christ. Anyhow, I eagerly await a quiet moment where I can sit down and begin reading Monfort's highly acclaimed work!

 7. I am super excited about my new (volunteer) role as Newsletter Editor for a local Pregnancy Clinic and Resource Center. It is a both a full-fledged medical clinic that serves men, women, and children at low or no cost, as well as a pro-life resource center for girls and women who are facing an unexpected pregnancy. The best part about it is that it is 100% Catholic, which means that they refuse to give prescriptions or referrals for birth control and the medical director is NFP certified. The staff are all active and orthodox members in the local Catholic parish and they pray openly with all their patients (who desire it). It is a beautiful and Spirit-filled place, and I could not be happier with the opportunity to help them out!

More Quick Takes @ Conversion Diary.


  1. you have come so far. i feel so lucky that i have witnessed it.

    i'm also super jealous of your book find. grumblegrumble. =P

    Hannah's purse sounds great! perfect gift!

  2. I love your gift ideas! I want to make a crayon roll too. :)

    So happy to hear about your role at the pregnancy clinic. Our clinic is not openly Catholic (we are "non-denominational"), but we do not prescribe or refer for birth control of any kind - other than abstinence of course!

  3. this is a jam packed post! I lovelove the video. thanks for sharing. amazing that such a secular entity (Macy's) who in its Wash.D.C. store windows advertised same sex marriages would permit such a religious performance. I love Wildflowers and Marbles too. I'm embarking on the St. Louis de Monfort book as well, with the plan to consecration to Jesus through Mary.

  4. Your gifts sound great!! I hope to do some jewelry next year. I have some gifts I am not making,but painting. I love doing hand made gifts!

    That is really cool about the pregnancy center! You'll have to write more about that later!