Saturday, February 5, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (Take 8)

ONE) For the second week in a row, I am writing “7 Quick Takes Saturday” instead of “7 Quick Takes Friday”.  I think that is very telling about the way my life is currently going, I am always a step behind.  I shouldn’t be because I had two snow days this week to catch up, but for some reason that seemed to make it all the worse.

TWO) A large Saturday morning breakfast is the perfect way to break a Friday fast.  Yesterday was the second time my husband and I fasted on a Friday (last week we were both sick) and I already feel like it has been spiritually rewarding.  I think that fasting is not nearly as common as it used to be, and that’s such a shame, because it is a wonderful way to humble yourself before God.  Once I have more experience with fasting, I would love to write a post all about it’s benefits.

THREE) When I moved here, I had every intention of keeping in close contact with my friends and family in Colorado.  But the only people I’ve talked to regularly are my parents and my best friend.  My best friend and I have never really lived in the same place, so we are already accustomed to frequent phone calls.  And I talked to or saw my mom everyday before I moved, so that just naturally carried over.  But my other friend and my grandparents, I’ve already let the ball drop.  I feel awful about it.  I blame the lack of communication in large part on the accessibility of information.  I don’t talk to my friends because I can still find out what they are up to through facebook.  But I need to remind myself that keeping up with their going-ons is not the same as personal connection.  It’s strange that an increase in ways to connect and ease of doing so results in a poverty of actual human connection.  I’m thinking of devoting twenty or thirty minutes a day to “social contact” - phone calls, writing letters (or personal emails), sending birthday cards, etc.  I don’t find myself with a lot of extra time at the end of the day (it’s around seven before I get home from work) after cooking dinner and doing household chores, but I think finding twenty minutes is possible.  Maybe.

FOUR) When the weather is bad, my husband drives me to work - those are my favorite work days because it means more time spent together.  (I drive him to work on other days.)  He’ll come to pick me up for my lunch hour and we often end up going to Barnes and Noble to look at books.  Yesterday, we each found a book to read and sat to read them in armchairs sitting side by side.  We spend forty-five minutes just sitting there, reading different books, not talking but enjoying each other’s company all the same.  (My science nerd husband was reading The Math Book, my history nerd self was reading 1776. I think that scene perfectly exemplified the best of married life - being able to enjoy separate things together.  Before we were married, we lived in two separate states for two years, so every moment we were together, we were actively engaged in activities together.  That would have been impossible to maintain now that we are married and together every day (at least not without getting on each other’s nerves) and I’m amazed that we have been able to fall into comfortable silence together so quickly. 

FIVE) I taught myself to crochet using some online directions, but as of yet, my skills are very rudimentary.  Any ideas of books or online resources that I can use to improve?

SIX) In last week’s “7 Quick Takes Friday Saturday”, I wrote about how I try to encourage my brother to be faithful through fun, light reminders.  I sent him a card for his Patron Saint’s Feast Day and on the bottom I wrote, “P.S. You should start going to Mass”.  I wasn’t even sure I should write this, because I didn’t know how he would take it (he’s a typical 18-year-old who doesn’t like to be told what to do), but I felt it needed to be said.  Well, my mom called a couple days ago and told me that he was really touched by the card and when he read it, he told my mom, “Sis is right, I should go to Mass”.  She was shocked.  I was shocked.  And I am SO glad I wrote it.  Wow, I really feel like the Holy Spirit was working through me.  A huge number of my prayers are for my brother, and it makes me feel great to know that God used me to help answer my own prayers.  My mom takes my grandparents to church on Sunday and they’ve discussed starting to go on Saturday night so my brother can join them. 

SEVEN) My brother can’t go to Mass on Sundays because he works two jobs and is usually scheduled at both jobs every Sunday.  I’m sure there are other people that have to choose between a job they need and going to Mass.  David and I try not to shop on Sundays because that’s the only way that we can personally work to change this.  Think about it.  If all faithful Christians decided not to shop on Sundays, many places may decide to close on Sundays due to lack of business or at least reduce the number of employees needed.  Then more people could devote that day to God and family.  I also like to frequent businesses like Hobby Lobby that are closed every Sunday for just that reason (and have Christian business goals to boot!).  Of course, every once in a while, I go to open the refrigerator and cabinets on a Sunday and realize we have NOTHING for dinner.  So I go to the store.  I just do my best.  I know that for some families, for various reasons, Sunday is the best shopping day.  That’s ok.  I’m not saying you have to change, but I do think that Americans need to spend more time thinking about how, where, and when they spend their money because it does reflect your values and shape your community. 

Ok, now go check out all the other great “7 Quick Takes”, graciously hosted by Jen at ConversionDiary.

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