Crunchy= natural, green, environmental, granola.
Cradle= birth, baby, breastfeeding, pregnancy.
Catholic= One, Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church

Friday, July 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

I am in the process of making the Total Consecration according to St. Louis De Montfort and it is rocking my spiritual world!  I made the consecration when I was in college 10+ years ago, but I don't remember it having such an impact on me.  I highly encourage anyone who wants to deepen their spiritual life to consider it.

College was 10 years ago??!!  In the last 10 years so much has happened....I graduated college, got my first job, got married, moved halfway across the country and then back, had 5  babies (plus 1 in heaven), worked 4 different nursing jobs, got a dog, became a doula, AND I'm still paying off my college loans, whew!

Oh, and I started homeschooling my children.  We will be starting our 3rd year of homeschooling this fall. My oldest 3 will be doing school.  We have been doing school part time over the summer, which has been great for keeping their math skills sharp, and I have to say, is great for when they get bored and start fighting.....just the threat of "Ok, let's get out our schools books...." solves any misunderstanding or lack of sharing that was happening. 

Summer!  We have been making a trail through our woods this summer.  It has been a great adventure with our boys helping out.  They love any opportunity to get dirty, so playing in the woods, catching toads and finding cool rocks has been perfect!  I can't wait until we have it finished and have a nice quiet place to go for walks and bike rides.

Quiet.  Where do you find your quiet time?  It sometimes seems as though, even just 2 minutes of quiet, with no interruptions is just a dream.  My husband just started teaching a class on Friday nights, so although I dislike getting dinner and putting the kids to bed without his help, after they are in bed, I finally get an hour of quiet (hence most of my blog posts happen on Friday night).

It's still Friday, 11:00pm, so this still counts for Quick Takes Friday, right?

My new favorite adult beverage, Saranac Shandy.  I never would have thought to mix beer and lemonade, but it is great!  I think I'll enjoy one now, in my quiet time :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Awesome new Website

I recently came across the website: www.iusenfp.com

It is a great site about NFP (Natural Family Planning).  The site is fresh and appealing. I love their graphics!  I have been following the development of 1flesh.org and came across a link for iusenfp.com.

Check out these sites!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Good Old Catholic Guilt


the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability: He admitted his guilt.
a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined."
I was thinking about guilt recently because a friend accused me of making her feel guilty.  Is guilt something that you can impose on another person?  According to the definition above, it doesn't seem like it.   Guilt is a feeling of responsibility for having committed a wrong.  If you are feeling guilty, then you feel responsible for the wrong.  I didn't give it to you.  Maybe I reminded you that it was wrong, but I didn't make up the rules.
I also notice that many people get angry about things, the same things that they often feel guilty about. It's hard to escape your conscience, especially since God's law is written on your heart.  If something wasn't truly wrong, would you get so angry about it?
Here's the example of what I am referring to:  My friend and I were having a discussion about contraception.  I told her that I didn't use contraception for many reasons, but one being that it is against Church teaching.  She got very defensive and told me to stop pushing my Catholic nonsense on her (in some not quite as nice words).   My friend was raised Catholic, but now doesn't practice any formal religion, but has her own spirituality, her own relationship with God, outside of "religion".  
Now, if she wasn't feeling guilty, if her conscience wasn't nagging at her, why would she have gotten so angry?  Couldn't we have had a discussion about the risks and benefits of contraception?  Agree to disagree? 
Perhaps Catholic Guilt isn't so bad after all.  It seems to me that it is just your conscience nagging at your heart, trying to tell you that perhaps something you are doing or the way you are living isn't in accord with God's way. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pro-Woman, Pro-Life

A few months ago I was talking with some fellow birth educators and doulas, when one of the women started talking about some legislation that was  "anti-women".  I didn't know what in particular she was referring to (and I still don't), but initially I was concerned about what this legislation could be.  Since this was a group of birth professionals, I thought she was talking about something to limit a woman's birth choices or choice of care provider (ie. midwives).  As the conversation unfolded, I realized that she was referring to abortion.  She referred to the legislation as "Anti-women", and referred to a cultural "War against women".  I was so confused, weren't we a group of childbirth educators and labor doulas?  Why were we discussing abortion?  (It seems bad for business if we are supporting abortion.)

This raises a question, can one be both pro-woman and pro-life?

The Catholic Church often gets unfairly judged as being sexist, old-fashioned, and patriarchal.  Yet, Jesus and the Church were (and are) way ahead of their time.  Jesus, not only talked to women, but was friends with women.  He repeated shows respect to women in the Bible.  He, God of the universe, was obedient to his mother at the Wedding at Cana. He stopped to console the women of Jerusalem while carrying the cross.  And upon the Cross, it was not insignificant that He gave us His own mother to also be our mother.  After Jesus' death, who was the first to discover he had risen from the dead?  Not the beloved disciple, John, not Peter, no...the women!  This is not an accident that it was the women who arrived at the tomb first.

The Catholic Church holds Mary in high esteem.  We honor, her, a woman, as our Queen and our Mother.  The Church recognizes the beauty and the uniqueness of women and of motherhood.  It was Jesus who chose his 12 apostles to be men.  Jesus wasn't afraid to choose women to be his followers because of the culture of his time, he was purposeful.  Jesus shows us the unique qualities that each man and woman possess.

It is not sexist to acknowledge that men and women are different.  Even our basic biology, our sex organs are different, yet complimentary.  Men and women have different hormones, these facts cannot be denied.  Yet, we as a culture act as though men and women are exactly the same.  Should women be treated fairly?  Of course!  Have they always been treated with the dignity that is given them by God?  No.  Men and women are equal, but different.  Apples and oranges are different, but both are still fruit, and both are still good.  We can appreciate an apple or an orange for the unique qualities that it possesses, it doesn't mean that one is superior to the other.

The Church today follows in Jesus' example, and ordains men to the priesthood.  Women do hold a special place in the Church, just as Mary does, it is not better or worse than men, just different.  As a Catholic woman, I do not feel suppressed or oppressed by men or by the Church.  I feel honored to belong to a Church that recognizes my dignity, that I was created in the image and likeness of God.  I am thankful to belong to a Church that recognizes fertility as a gift and not a disease or something to be gotten rid of.

Birth control and abortions do not liberate women, but rather enslave them to their sexuality.  Our culture sends a message to women, that  they are inadequate, they must take medication or have surgery in order to control their body, and get rid of their fertility.  True freedom comes from an understanding of how my body works, the natural cycle of hormones, fertility and infertility.  I appreciate the gift of my body so much more because I understand how wonderfully and fearfully made I am.  I don't need to take artificial hormones in order to be "free".  Our Mother the Church, understood this even before the sexual revolution (see Humanae Vitae).  Thank you, Catholic Church, for truly honoring women, both born and unborn.

I am pro-woman and pro-life!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Birth Choices and Morality

This is a post that I have been considering writing for quite some time.  I just haven't been quite sure of how to tackle it.

I am a birth fanatic....I love to read about birth, watch videos of women giving birth, go to births, birth children of my own...you get the picture.  I even teach classes on how to give birth.

As a Catholic I bring important decisions to prayer, and pray for God's will.  In my prayer about the births of my own children, I began to reflect on the ways in which women give birth and care for their babies.  My conclusions, and where I think God has led me through prayer, is contrary to the main stream (popular) thought of how women are supposed to birth their babies and how they're supposed to care for them.

God made a woman's body to be able to birth a baby.  Even before there were doctors and hospitals, women got pregnant, labored and birthed well enough to populate the earth.  Women and babies have died during childbirth, (we no longer live in the Garden of Eden) but we have discovered ways to monitor them and to prevent some things from going wrong.  But, in the name of technology and in order to try to escape the pain of birthing, we have interfered with God's design.  For example,  the majority of women in the United States chose an epidural for pain relief during labor. There are many hormones that orchestrate the birthing process.  When a woman has an epidural we change the amount and the way these hormones are released in the body.  (www.sarahbuckley.com).  When we interfere with hormones, we interfere with bonding and breastfeeding, and "mothering".  I would go so far as to say that we can interfere with the potential relationship and parenting of that mother and child.  Is it a sin to get an epidural during labor?  I would say no, but perhaps there is a better way. 

(I often hear to argument that you wouldn't have a root canal done without anesthesia, so why would you want to have a baby without an epidural?  These things are so different that they cannot compare.  Birth is a normal body process that involves many normal hormones.  Having a root canal is a remedy for a sick or dying tooth, birth is just the opposite, it is the transition to new life).

The reason the devil is to be greatly feared, is not so much that evil is always obvious, but because he is sneaky, the "father of lies", things often appear good on the outside, but underneath the fruit is rotten.  What if getting an epidural during labor (numbing the pain seems good, right?) is really an attempt to interfere with God's design for mothers, babies, and families?

The next step would be to interfere with Breastfeeding.  It's no secret that most mother's in the United States use formula or use bottles to feed breastmilk to their babies.  Breastfeeding is the way God made a woman's body to be able to care for her child.  It is so much more than just food.  Breastfeeding, is about bonding, parenting, and loving your child.  Again, there are so many intricate hormones that are at play in both the mother's and the baby's body.  Why do we think that we can do it better than the way God made it?  Is it a sin to give your baby a bottle?  No, but perhaps there is a best way (God's way) and an other way that Satan tries to make popular, in order to create yet another division in the family.

It's no secret that our culture is hurting,  Families are hurting.  Families are broken and many children in our country are hurting.  Divorce isn't the only thing that is tearing our families apart, I would dare to go back even farther, to birth.  Satan attacks the unborn in the womb, of course he tries everything he can to tear these precious ones from their parents even at birth and during infancy.

Parenting is difficult, I am learning everyday how to be a better parent, but I do believe that I have given my children the very best start to life that they could get!

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