The Sixth Street Bridge

The Sixth Street Bridge
At the tender age of 17, I walked across this bridge, alone, into Downtown Pittsburgh, with $300 in my pocket that my mother had given me to get an abortion. I went into the Fulton Building (in the picture) and did what I was told to do. I didn't have a choice - if I did, I wouldn't have chosen abortion.

Friday, February 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes

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Can I say how grateful I am for 7 Quick Takes?  The whole concept of it is an awesome idea.  I love the idea of being able to bang out a bunch of stuff that can be complete or incomplete.  Maybe I need to just rant or vent or some things I need to just get out of me to begin to figure them out and I don't know where to go with whatever it is.  Grateful to Jennifer Fulwiler for providing this forum.

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I had an adult formation class this week and it began with the instructor announcing that we'll talk a bit about the Pope, of course.  I piped up and asked, "what happened to the Pope?"  It got a great laugh.  There is so much information and misinformation and innuendo and crap out there surrounding Papa Bene's shock & awe announcement.  I feel like a little lost sheep a bit.  Watching the video of his last public Mass was amazing.  The applause from the people, the tears of the cardinals and of his secretary was so touching.  And then his quiet and grateful, "thank you, now let's return to prayer."  Awesome.  I don't claim to understand it at all and I can't make sense of all the blog reports and commentary and conspiracy.  I think I'll just sit tight, wait it out, and get back to prayer.
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Which brings me to my Lenten project - prayer.  Always on my mind, always in need of improvement, always analyzed seven ways to Sunday.  My Lenten project is to pray - every single day - no matter the format, or word count, or time or place.  If I pray throughout the day - awesome.  If it's only before I fall to sleep exhausted and just remembered that I didn't pray that day - awesome. If I get up the courage to ask hubby or kids to pray with me - double awesome.  I'm just going to try to "just do it" as a much admired Good Priest likes to say.

This morning, I plugged into a contemplative prayer app that I just downloaded a week or so ago.  It's excerpted from a book on Beginning Contemplative Prayer by Pauline Books & Media.  The house was quiet after everyone left for school and work and I had some time before I had to leave.  The voice on the audio is soothing and it's a good guide through a prayer experience.  The one for today was effective because it directed you to picture yourself in some part of nature that you find beautiful. I can do that, I have done that when trying to pray.  In  my mind, I picture the likes of Rivendell from LOTR.  Of course, in reality, if I inhabited Middle Earth, I would most likely live in a Hobbit-ey type house, but I digress.  Tall, elegant trees and waterfalls it is!  ...and Jesus quietly enters the scene and I'm next told that he approaches and asks how I'm doing and says, "I'm worried about you."

A little hobbit house
I wasn't able to pray much after that and sat straight up on my bed.  I started to think a lot about the last time if anyone said those words to me.  I'm not trying to have a pity party here, mostly because most wives and mothers like to put out the perception that all is well and we've got a handle on things.  My parents used to often say, "I don't have to worry about you, you'll be fine."  Well, sometimes I'm not fine, not fine at all.  But, I rarely tell anyone that I'm not fine.  If Jesus were here with me would I tell him, "it's okay, Lord, I'm fine, really."  Obviously pressing stop on my prayer app kind of did just that didn't it?  Why such a strong reaction to this imaginary statement?  More to sort out on this take.

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Later on in the day, I was listening to some talk radio and the discussion was about the Song of Solomon and how so many have such trouble allowing themselves to be loved, present company included.  The discussion went on and the person was reading scripture from the Song of Solomon, some that I had heard before.  But, they continued talking about how the words in part of this scripture express a deep longing for love from Jesus, if I understood correctly, and how some people are okay with a relationship with Jesus Christ and others long for a deeper, more intimate, closer relationship with Him.  Some of what they talked about resonated with me.  The more I've learned and grown throughout this walk, the more I've longed for, wanted, and sought out.  It's never enough - I'm not sure what will be enough. Is it okay for this longing for Him to never be enough?  But then I get tangled up again in how to love Jesus first and my husband second, then the kids, then my neighbor?  Or are they my neighbor?  I don't know.  One day I think I get it, the next day I seem to know nothing.  I can't deny what my heart wants and what I think my soul longs for, I think.  More to sort out on this take too.

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And now for something completely different.  6 year olds are awesome.  I think any kid between 4 and 6 is just perfect.  Sure, they have their issues... but little kids, little problems.  I love this age because they are easy and funny and cute and curious and funny.  I love when she comes home from school with pictures of Bible stories and I have to try to guess the story - which I suck at.  And then she tells me entire story in great dramatic detail.  I love that she's discovering humor and has a knack for making people laugh. She can be sly and witty and is developing an early grasp of sarcasm - all traits I can appreciate.  She's always developing empathy - which she's always had, but now I see it extending outward beyond our family and to the world around her.  I also love that when it's her turn to say grace before meals, she picks the Our Father because it's the longest prayer she knows and it drives her sister crazy.

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If you aren't following the Monks at Unvirtuous Abbey - you should be.  Self described as, "holier than thou, but not by much.  Digital monks praying for first world problems.  From our keyboard to God's ears."  Go follow them on Twitter @UnvirtuousAbbey and remember - it's supposed to be funny. I have yet to get retweeted by the Monks, but I keep trying!
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Finally, a prayer request if anyone is out there, for me as I'm making a couple of changes in my life and I need all the help I can get.  Some of these changes may have some adverse effects, some of which I'm already experiencing, but the plan is to ride them out in hopes of being in a better place soon, probably right about the time Easter gets here.  Lent is about making changes, I've read, and about making more room for God in one's heart and life.  I'm hopeful that the Lord will fill up any empty spaces and help me to break down any last bastions that might be keeping him at arm's length.  I ask too, for prayers, to fight off the thoughts of suicide that cloud my thoughts sometimes.  I'd just like one day that I don't have any at all.  Prayers of gratitude for having many blessings that are bigger than these thoughts.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. I love the 7 Quick Takes, too! I started doing it a few months ago, and it was a great way for me to get back into blogging (my blog used to be just a food blog, but I've expanded quite a bit). So I'm very grateful to Jennifer Fulwiler as well. :)

    Many prayers are being sent your way for the upcoming changes in your life.

  2. for the changes your life has brought to my own, you and grace have been and will be in my prayers each day.