Quick Takes and More

— 1 —

I usually schedule my posts and write them the day before. I’ve been doing this for a while (except for daybooks), but yesterday I was a bit distracted, so I didn’t. You’re getting this in “real time.”

— 2 —

My distraction came from three things converging on me at once.

One, I submitted my pregnancy book manuscript. (Can I hear a HURRAH?)

Two, my two older kids (ages 6 and 4) have been sick. As in laying-on-the-couch-moaning sick. No details, but I’ve felt badly for them. Yesterday, we found out it’s been a particularly bad round of strep.

Three, I decided I had to do something about our finances. This is probably worthy of its own post, but I’ve been uncomfortable, unhappy, and unsure for quite a while now, because the way I’ve been managing things has been all me. Thanks to Jeff Miler and Jared Dees‘s recommendation on Google +, I checked out Mint.

I’m still very much learning about Mint and getting it to work, but I see here an opportunity for my husband and I to communicate about money with both of us having the tools and balances and such. I also love that there’s an app for my iPad…no more having to drag the laptop out (sometimes to my peril) or, more likely of late, put off financially-related things because of having to drag out my laptop.

— 3 —

Oh, you guys. I know I’m waaaay behind the curve here, but in the last two weeks I have been reading everything over at Bad Catholic. Wow. Good stuff.

I tweeted, a few mornings ago, his awesome post (the first, as it turns out, in a series of posts) titled “The Best Porn in the World,” and my brother replied and said he nearly spit out his coffee when he saw that. I hope he clicked through and read it, because…WOW.

Blessed John Paul II – a boss in all respects – when asked for a solution to the crisis of pornography, did something fantastic: He commissioned artists to create and display more art of the Virgin Mary, especially of the Virgin breastfeeding. His answer to the problem of porn was not the lack of nudity – it was nudity. It was not to simply avoid pornography, to tiptoe around it and run whenever it reared its head (though for many of us men, this is the best response) – it was to crush “writing about harlots” by “writing about virgins.” To check vice with virtue, yes, but even more than that. Pornography is to be destroyed by beauty.

He followed it with another post with more explanation and discussion about why nudity isn’t the same as pornography and then most recently with a detailed explanation, “Nude Beauty for Porn Addicts.” This last post really resonated with me, because I don’t have an art background and don’t really know much about art. Except that my mom used to take us to a museum a lot and I always felt at peace there, and intrigued.

This, this, is Theology of the Body applied. I salute Marc Barnes for his work and I jump up and down with uncontrolled excitement to see this sort of candid discussion.

And you know what? I just like his writing. How about “How to Pray Badly,” an examination of how the saints are a model for us, not because they were perfect, but because they were seeking and kept at it?

Or “Why Facebook is the Devil,” which considers how much we stand to gain by putting our social media sharing inclinations aside, for however long we can, and really enjoy the moment in front of us?

Or…well, I’ll stop. That’s a lot of linking, but…really, REALLY good stuff.

— 4 —

Also on the subject of good reading, I just started Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith, by Fr. Robert Barron.

Am I saying WOW too much in this post? Because after only the first chapter, that’s what I have on this book. It’s been highly acclaimed for a reason!

— 5 —

I’m preparing to write about NFP apps in my Tech Talk column at CatholicMom.com soon. I downloaded nine apps the other day–all of them free.

Do you use an app for NFP charting and keeping track? I’d love to know if any of them are worth purchasing. Share your recs! PLEASE!

— 6 —

Yesterday, for this week’s Faith & Family Livecast, I got to talk to two of my favorite Catholic moms: Danielle Bean and Rebecca Teti. We talked about books and Advent. Welcome Baby Jesus was the feature product and I did a bang-up (as in not-so-impressive) job of explaining what it was about. It was tons of fun to talk with them, and I hope you enjoy listening!

— 7 —

And with that, my six-year-old just bounced into the room. Apparently she’s gung-ho to go to school…though my plan was to keep her home to rest today. Let the adventure begin!

Be sure to stop by and see Jen at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

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  • http://hereisthechurch.wordpress.com/ Allie

    I can’t recommend Mint highly enough! I don’t do my budgeting on there (too variable each month – a spreadsheet is easier). But, for tracking all my accounts, it’s great! The only downfall I’ve heard is that some people have accounts that stop working, and if this is something important like checking, it can be a problem.

    • Anonymous

      Allie, I almost emailed you for help with Mint. I feel like I am not quite “getting” it…but I’ll give it some time before I pester you. :)

  • http://idealista-ontheroadtojerusalem.blogspot.com Antonella

    I want to thank you for all the interesting links that you provide to us. This week I posted on my blog about the Theology of the Body. Title: The Body according to St. Augustine, John Paul II and…my dreams!

    • Anonymous

      You are very welcome, Antonella. I got behind in my blog reading earlier this week, but I hope to check out your blog posts! :)