7 Not-So-Quick Takes

Let’s just re-name this one “Seven separate blogs in one” because that would be more honest.  Joining Jen and the masses (<—unintentional pun that most people won’t get but I still think is funny.)

  1. Wherrrrrrrre tooooo beginnnnn…… Ah. Let’s talk about the “Cups” song. You know that song “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone” which is actually called Cups? When I first saw Pitch Perfect I Googled the song for my Dad and came up with the original-ish version by LuLu and the Lampshades and felt all cool and indie because I Facebook-followed some UK band no one ever heard of. (Holy run-on sentence.) And then whatshername from Twilight did her own too-fast and too-much version and it became a huge hit. But lu-HONG before the song or even before I knew anything about Full House my sister and I and our sister-best-friends were doing the cup thing in a round while singing Knick Knack Paddy Whack Give a Dog a Bone. All that to say that I can now sing and perform “Cups” and I feel awesome but really my most enraptured audience is my son who likes to smack and throw a cup around with me while I sing. And for the record, this is by far the coolest version I’ve stumbled across:

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  2. Let’s talk pre-school. My worstest fears came true and Malachi cried for over an hour straight on his first day before the nice teachers finally just called me to come get him. The second day I stayed for an hour and then left. He bawled his eyeballs out for about five minutes and then did fine. The third day I stayed for five minutes and he was calm by the time I left the room. The fourth day he got mad at me because I put his juice in the wrong place and he kept asking if his friend “Jalkdjl” (best translation I can muster) could come with us. He’s only gone four days so far and he already says “yewo” instead of “ye-yee” and has started stringing words. He’s also much more cuddly with me than before because I think he misses me. Heart = mush.
    ImageIt’s also been really nice to have some time with just Naomi.  She sleeps most of the time he is gone but when she’s awake I realize what a HUGE difference it makes to have a baby to yourself with no one else around.  I forget how easily distracted I can be just by having Malachi around, even if he is behaving. It’s nice to be able to make her giggle or play with her without constantly answering questions or checking to make sure Malachi hasn’t gotten into anything he’s not supposed to.
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  3. A while ago I wrote a post about finding unity between Catholicism and Evangelicalism and this past week Jen (who hosts 7 quick takes every week so you know you love her!) commented on my post and told me it was great food for thought. I was so excited on the more serious side because the post was all about building bridges and it felt like maybe God had used my post to build one. And I was so excited on the less serious side because OH MY WORD JEN FROM CONVERSION DIARY COMMENTED ON MY BLOG!!!!!!
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  4. I am an avid couponer and I have saved us tons of money on our grocery/toiletry/medicine/diaper bill over the last couple years but the truth is that money saved does not always equal money in hand. This month I’ve successfully sold something on Craig’s List and participated in a local consignment sale that’s made us a little extra money as well.  I have to say that it’s really rewarding to feel like I’m contributing something to the budget again, small though it may be.
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  5. Labor Day weekend we went to visit one of my closest friends and her family. We had so much fun – it really made me realize how much I miss having her here. Our kids are really close in age and they love each other. She and I stayed up waaaay too late talking and really could have kept on. Our husbands are friends, too. It was great. We even got our kids to pose really well for some group shots:
    crouteausOne thing I noticed while were there was A) how ADORABLE their cottage-style house is and B) how uncluttered and simple it was. Erin had just enough decorations in just the right places to feel homey and welcoming but not like you had just walked into the middle of a hobby shop like someone else I know’s house….ahem. Anyways, we came home and I immediately started weeding. I took stuff off my kitchen walls and counters, spread stuff out, and put things in a yard sale pile but now the problem is the laundry basket of decorations that I DO want to keep but don’t have anywhere to put. I did decide to hang one picture in the laundry room but other than that I don’t know how to use my stuff without going back to my clutterful ways. So I’m kind of stuck.
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  6. Naomi continues to eat like a 20-year-old college boy home on break. This morning for breakfast after nursing she ate an ENTIRE pear. The other night for dinner she had half an avocado AND half a mango. Malachi has an uncanny and definitely NOT genetic sense of rhythm so it wouldn’t surprise me if he becomes a dancer or drummer or something but I’m wondering if Naomi’s first extracurricular activity should be competitive eating. That or competitive pooping because…..for real.

    Poop, there it is.
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  7. Well, I think I’ve succeeded once again in stunting my readership growth rate by discussing super-exciting things like de-cluttering and poop. I think I’ve done my duty for the day. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as I delve into the entrancing subject of the best dish soap ever or maybe I’ll go hard core and tell you what I dreamed about the night before. It’s gonna be epic.

I decided to get on a Catholic soap-box instead of cleaning my house.

This might be a weird subject to rocket-launch right into out of nowhere but lately I’ve been reading a lot of blogs written by Catholics.  Not necessarily blogs about Catholicism or faith, but still.  And I guess the whole point of this post is summed up right there in my introductory sentence: “This might be a weird subject…”  

In case you are wondering, these are my two faves: Camp Patton and Conversion Diary.  Grace Patton makes me laugh every single day and it’s possible I obsessively check for new posts on her blog more than once a day instead of just waiting for it to show up in my reader.  Jen at Conversion Diary is a converted atheist who started asking really honest questions and eventually embraced the Catholic faith.  So, so cool.

I’ve been in the evangelical church my entire life and I plan to stay here.  Let’s just get the awkwardness out of the way and say, Yes. There are some big theological differences between the standard evangelical belief system and the standard Catholic belief system.  Some of them are pretty serious.  What bothers me, though, is how quickly and completely many of my evangelical brothers and sisters dismiss Catholicism.  This is what I mean:

“Don’t Catholic people worship Mary?”

“Is she a Christian?”
“Well, she’s Catholic, so…”

And so on.

I get it.  I do.  I understand some of the misconceptions.  I know that most evangelicals who grew up in the South were surrounded by this mentality most of their lives.  I know that many Catholics seem to be only nominal in their faith (just going to church and confession but not living anything out).  I know that many Catholics curse and drink.  I know that many Catholics are northern and many northerners are liberal and many evangelicals are conservative and therefore…well, therefore I don’t really know what.

But here’s the thing: many evangelicals are nominal in their faith (just going to church and reading their Bible but not really living it out).  Many evangelicals curse and drink.  Many evangelicals are southern and many southerners are conservative and somewhere in the Bible it says that you have to be a republican to be a Christian but I digress.

Those statements above?  I’ve made them.  Thankfully the worshiping Mary thing hasn’t come out of my mouth since I was a child, but the other one has more than once.  And while I do still have some serious questions about the theology of the Catholic church, here’s what I know to be true: You don’t have to be an evangelical to be a Christ-follower.  It’s just not necessary.

As evangelicals it is so, so easy and common to fall back on the “getting saved” thing to mean you are now set for life and can live out your faith like a roller-coaster and it’s all the same in the end.  The truth is, Jesus doesn’t give us that excuse.  He calls us to radical obedience all the time.  People are supposed to know we follow Him by our life, not by the labels we stick on ourselves.

Here’s the thing: I am passionately, passionately pro-life.  I’m about as conservative as you can be on the abortion issue, and unlike most evangelicals I know I also don’t support the death penalty.  And the further I delve into the issue, the more I try to figure out what to do and how to promote life in our culture, the more I discover that the people doing the most. amazing. things. are usually Catholic.  

I also am a big believer in family.  I’m not going to tell you that I think contraception is wrong (I’m way undecided on that), but I am going to tell you that I think the family is supposed to represent Christ to the world.  That family is essential.  That children are a gift from the Lord.  And while I’m not here to tell you how many children you should have I will say that I think many in the evangelical church have made family all about themselves instead of God.  How many children they want, how many they can handle, how many is affordable.  All of these are big, important questions but our God is a big, important God and He can be trusted.  I fear that sometimes we are so focused on the size and planning of our family that we forget to just focus on the ministry of our family.  We worry too much about how many will work for us instead of letting God make it work with however many we have.  When you take away the ability to control your family’s size you are forced to change your focus to how to honor God with however many family members you have.  Again, I’m not saying it’s wrong to set limits and make decisions.  Every situation is different.  Every situation is personal.  I’m just saying that I think the Catholic church, in some ways, seems to trust in God’s providence a bit more than what I’ve seen in the evangelical church.

ALL that (and yeah, wow, that was a lot) to say that it makes me sad to go to Jen’s awesome, awesome link-up and find myself to be one of the only evangelicals joining the party.  To feel the weight of surprise and a bit of judgment when I tell people in my church that we plan to have 4 or more children.  To get 20 comments in less than a minute on some funny video I post on Facebook but maybe 2 or 3 on something pro-life.  To still find people surprised when I tell them about my mom’s best friend who knows the Lord and has been Catholic her entire life.

I mean honestly.  We have tons of theological differences within the evangelical church as well.  There is a ton of hypocrisy.  There is a ton of nominalism.  And I just think it’s ridiculous that there is often more unity among completely different faiths than there is among two sets of people who claim to be following the same Savior.  Are there differences to overcome?  Yes.  Are there always going to be big disagreements?  Probably.  Will it get a little awkward at times?  Definitely.  But please, let’s try to build some bridges.  Because we have so much to learn from each other, and so much we could do to honor God together.