Posts Tagged With: family

Hannah and Eli

When I was a kid, we had a book on tape (complete with finger puppets) about the story of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-3), starting with Hannah’s prayer and ending with his calling. We listened to it many, many, many times, and I can still hear the narrator’s soothing voice, the deep call of “Samuel! Samuel!” It’s always been one of my favorite stories, in part because it is a story, a narrative with dialogue and everything, and in it we hear very human reactions to the trials of life and to God’s call in the midst of them. And we hear people answering that call, making that choice and understanding it means both joy and sorrow, humility and greatness.
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Categories: family, Scripture | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

It has been not quite a month since my last post, but oh, what a month. It’s funny to think I started this blog off posting about moving things and people, as we’ve just undergone another move in which I tried to be more relaxed about my things and have been rewarded by having some of them go missing. As for people, well, we made good good-byes of it, I think, but my personal tally of people I needed to say goodbye to was…generously, seven or eight. Which is strange, because so much happened while we were at our last post, and yet very little of it happened at that post.
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Categories: life happenings | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Motherhood (Impending)

I stopped updating this blog, and I stopped updating because in September I came down with something called “the first trimester of pregnancy,” which affects women in various ways and me in particular by giving me a severe case of “incapable of leaving the couch.”

It was, in a word, pathetic. And by that I clearly mean “full of pathos,” because what is more moving than the sight of a woman furiously in the throes of setting up her internal baby-growing infrastructure? What could inspire a greater sense of the commonality of the human race than witnessing a woman as she participates in its propagation?
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Categories: family, marriage, random thoughts, theology | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Perambulation

That Mr. Shaw keeps a lifted head and a contemptuous face before the colossal panorama of empires and civilizations, this does not in itself convince one that he sees things as they are. I should be most effectively convinced that he did if I found him staring with religious astonishment at his own feet. “What are those two beautiful and industrious beings,” I can imagine him murmuring to himself, “whom I see everywhere, serving me I know not why? What fairy godmother bade them come trotting out of elfland when I was born? What god of the borderland, what barbaric god of legs, must I propitiate with fire and wine, lest they run away with me?”

–G.K. Chesterton, “Mr. Bernard Shaw,” Heretics.

I thought about this quote several times last week, which I spent helping take care of my paternal grandparents in little ol’ Thomasville, North Carolina. My grandma is still (much to her chagrin) recovering from a triple-whammy of triple bypass surgery, a heart attack, and stents, and she came down with pneumonia while I was there (much to her disgust). Grandpa has late-onset Parkinson’s (he’s been diagnosed for…gosh, three years now? maybe a couple more?), and his symptoms are the classic ones: constantly running nose, tremors/shakes, and overall motor difficulty.
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NFP Awareness Week: Common Misperceptions

Here’s the thing. I’m having trouble figuring out where to begin with this because on the one hand I came to NFP because I’m Catholic but on the other hand it’s something I feel so incredibly passionate about above and beyond the calling of my faith, and that’s what I want to communicate. So let’s skip the conversation about the morality of hormonal birth control and talk about why NFP (and the women [and men!] who use it) deserves consideration and respect. So maybe let’s start with some misconceptions? Yeah. Let’s start there.

1. NFP doesn’t work.
There’s a statistic that’s been quoted to me that non-hormonal contraceptive methods are less than 75% effective (worse than condoms!). My understanding is that there are several reasons for this:

  • Many studies on the subject don’t provide responders with the opportunity to specify that they use NFP; instead, they’re just given an “other” option.
  • In that vein, the “other” option often includes those who do nothing to either prevent or encourage pregnancy, a state of affairs that generally leads to yup you guessed it pregnancy.
  • Also in that vein, there’s no room for distinction between the various NFP methods OR between NFP and the “rhythm” method (more on that in a moment).

Obvious anti-non-hormonal-contraceptive-methods bias aside, if you go to any of the NFP methods you’ll see that they’re all 99% effective, just like hormonal birth control (and way better than condoms). And beyond statistics, I can offer you hundreds of examples of women (and men!) who have used NFP with that 99% effectiveness not just on a monthly basis, but on a yearly or even decadely basis.

“Oh sure,” people will say airily, “but that’s perfect use, and nobody could possibly use an NFP method perfectly.”

Well, all of those 99% effective statistics rely on perfect use. If you forget to take a pill you lose that 99% effectiveness just as surely as if you decide to have sex when you are clearly ovulating out the wazoo. Furthermore, you’re insulting the intelligence and self-control of a whole heck of a lot of people with that statement, which leads me to…
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Categories: feminism, NFP | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Army: Macro vs. Micro

Back from a Memorial Day holiday, I was going to make a different post about the military, but then I realized I hadn’t made this one, which is a bit more foundational.

One of my aims with this blog is to discuss military life, mostly because as has been observed the military really only makes up about 1% of the United States population (a percentage that increases when you include family members, but still isn’t that great) and because until three and a half years ago I was part of the 99%. My great-grandfather was a West Point graduate who served in the Army Air Corps until he was medically discharged, and his son, my closest experience of the military, was drafted during the Korean War and ended up serving on the front lines as part of a mechanized artillery unit in the 3rd Infantry Division. (My grandpa on the other side was also in the Army for three years, but he spent it Stateside as an instructor.) Granddaddy’s relationship with the military is thus, I think, understandably complex, and mine was mostly nonexistent.
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Categories: army life | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Potato Skins, a brief sequel

My mother-in-law taught me her omi’s recipe for potato balls last night, and as she was peeling potatoes with a knife she said, “Now, you can do this the more economical way,” and demonstrated how the skins of steamed/boiled potatoes can be peeled right off the potato without any loss of the starchy goodness itself.  “But that takes more time, and…you know,” she said, continuing on with her knife and a wry shake of her head, “my father is probably rolling over in his grave right now.  ‘That’s perfectly good potato!’ he’d say –grew up during the Depression, you know–this was one of his pet peeves.”

And of course he wasn’t talking about the peels themselves, but the extra flesh you lose when you don’t painstakingly strip the potato.  And you certainly wouldn’t want potato skins in potato balls–the potato makes a dough, and the skins would change the consistency.  But I still laughed to myself at how terribly apropos the comment was.

“I won’t tell if you won’t,” I said, and she chuckled.  “Whichever one of us gets to heaven first won’t tell Grandfather.”

“Agreed,” she said, and we left it at that.

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