Hi! Linking up with Kelly for my second ever 7 quick takes! Let’s see…
>>one<< podcasts 4ever
This past year I’ve been immersing myself in the world of podcasting. Of course, I’m an avid listener of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast (how could I not be? I know instinctively that they’re kindred spirits. That’s an Anne quote. ;)) I’m also listening to The Simple Show, Among the Lilies, and (yes, I am a total nerd) Rob Has a Podcast (a Survivor recap/analysis/exit interview show. I looooove it, and I’m not ashamed!). However the one I have been absolutely devouring lately has been the Word on Fire Show with Bishop Robert Barron.
The thought of putting on a podcast of his actually motivates me to clean the kitchen/our bedroom/the bathrooms…you name it. The man’s a miracle worker! His latest podcast “On the Spirituality of Marriage” was full of some real soul food. Sean also listened to it this week on his train to work, and when he got home we had a long discussion on what stood out to us. It was awesome!
I started to write down notes from the podcast – the idea was to just jot down the occasional point, but I realized I was writing down pretty much everything he was saying. It was like I was in a university class again. So I won’t write out his talk for everyone, but I will say the one thing that really stood out to me, and I’ll link the episode for anyone who’d like to hear the full goodness! (Here it is.)
Bishop Barron talks about the necessity transcendent third within a marriage. Basically what he’s saying is that a couple needs more than just an “I like you, you like me” mentality to have a healthy marriage. (This idea actually goes way back to Aristotle!) He gives examples of loving a sports team, or striving toward a certain ideal. He’s saying that there has to be something more, otherwise it’s just mutual egotism. I really like that phrase – it’s haunting. Well in a Catholic marriage, the transcendent third should be God. God brought the two of us together to fall in love with God together and lead each other to heaven. Then the marriage will be stronger. The couple that prays together stays together! 😉 A simple cliche, but a great reminder and really nice encouragement. I could go on! But I will leave you to listen. He’s much more eloquent than I.
My friend Amanda lent me a really great book recently called Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler. In it, Jennifer outlines her childhood and young adult life as a passionate atheist who was eventually drawn to Catholicism. She speaks about all the roadblocks that came up and how she and her husband overcame them in a practical and real way. I think that’s really why I was drawn to the book – it was so down to earth.
One thing she spoke about in the book was how, if she really believed in God, then she should ask for things and trust that He will provide for her. She goes on to tell a whole bunch of stories of small (and big!) ways God really came through for her. It was a bit of a wake up call for me. I am a suuuuper stressor about…well, everything. But then I thought to myself, why don’t I ever ask God?? What is wrong with me? Lol.
Anyways, soon after I read the book Sean and I were flying with Joe to Ottawa. I was so stressed about the flight because I was unsure of how Joe would do. I just didn’t want to be “that family” with the screaming baby, and most of all I didn’t want Joe to be totally uncomfortable and in pain the whole time because of the altitude changes. I kept thinking to myself, “If only we had a row to ourselves, then I would feel more comfortable. Joe could move around, and I wouldn’t have to be nervous about breastfeeding. ” I said a quick little prayer asking the Lord for the trip to go well, and if there was any way for us to have a row to ourselves (barring paying an extra $300 for a bump in class!) that He would provide it for us.
Anyways, the day for the flight came and we boarded the plane. When we first boarded, there was no one in our row! Great, I thought. This is perfect. But then, eventually another gentleman boarded the plane and made a bee line for our row. I was kind of disappointed but thought hey, we can do this! We settled in for the flight.
But then! Just before we were about to take off, one of the flight attendants approached us and said, “Hi! Now don’t feel any pressure, but we have an empty row farther up the plane. We thought, since you have a baby, that you might like to have the extra room. It’s available now, if you’d like to take it.”
It seems so small and insignificant, but it felt for me a tangible way that God was showing He would provide for us. I’m trying to remember this in all areas of my life. God is good.
>>three<< sahm vibes
So Sean got a new job for the summer (this past year he was a full time student). He’s working downtown for an electrical company in their communications department. It’s such a great opportunity and I’m so proud of him. He’s working so hard for our family! For Joe and I, though, it’s such a different time! During the school year, Sean will leave around 9 or 10 AM, and sometimes be home around 3 PM. When he’s home, he’s usually working on homework or whatever, but at least he’s around, you know? There’s someone else in the house. With his new job, he leaves at 7AM and doesn’t get home until 6PM! That’s a lot of alone time for Joe and I! I’m not complaining. I love being at home with Joe and I’m so proud and happy for Sean. But it’s just a new norm. We are trying to find our new routines. We go for a lot of walks, but mostly Joe follows me from room to room and plays with toys as I go about my day. He’s so sweet. But I’m trying to find other things to fill our days with. Am I the only one who thinks that sometimes staying at home all the time is lonely? Between naps and laundry and supper prep, it’s hard to get out and see people. If you combine that with my personality of being super intimidated by asking someone over or to go for coffee, you are left with one antisocial mama. I need to get better at that!
Also, now that Joe’s a one year old (cry cry cry) things feel different. Maybe it’s that people keep asking me if I’m going back to work (I’m not!) or maybe it’s that I’ve been having some baby fever. There! I said it. I can’t wait to have a new baby to snuggle. I want to give Joe a little sibling. We have real and serious reasons to wait, but it doesn’t stop me from imagining life with another sweet baby! Which brings me to…
>>four<< baby names
I’ve been dreaming about baby names. All the time!! (I’m not pregnant.) But I keep thinking about what names will match with Joe’s, if I could imagine a little baby name ______ or ________. So the names I’m loving lately (mostly girls names):
Blythe, Cecily, Amy, Nora
I love Blythe. I could never have an Anne. Primarily because of my affinity for Anne of Green Gables – I couldn’t handle the teasing. I’m sensitive like Anne. 😉 Secondly because it rhymes to well with Milan. Anne Milan. I can’t. Buuuuut Blythe. (Gilbert Blythe!) Sean even said he likes it. So there’s hope!
>>five<< thoughts on thoughts
I had this thought the other day – I have had no original thoughts in a long time. (Unless that was an original thought? Original thought inception.) But do you know what I mean? I spend so much of my day listening to podcasts, reading books, watching shows, thinking about Joe and Sean – I have no time for just quiet thinking. How is the Lord speaking to me personally? I don’t know! Of course, God can speak to me through all of the things that fill my ears and mind. But am I giving Him an avenue – my full attention at any point in the day? I have all these opinions and I’ll try to tell Sean about some thing that has got me convicted. But I know they’re not true convictions or true thoughts because I can’t get through them without lots of stumbling, or saying “Yah. I’m not making sense.” Because I don’t actually know what I’m talking about!! I’m really wanting to make my focus for the next while (while as in….years…) on carefully forming opinions – not just jumping on a bandwagon because so and so said this, or I saw a random Instagram post. Or at least testing things out before I say out loud that “this way works best…” or whatever. If I agree with someone, I want to know why what they’re saying resonates with me. I want to be grounded in who I am. Ya know???
So we have to be out of our home in 4 months. Ah! I can’t believe it. It’s just a year-lease rental, and it’s been so incredible. It’s a great big house in a really old neighbourhood. I love it here. I’ve been petitioning God like crazy to help us find a new place!
A couple weeks ago I bumped into an elderly lady who lives across the street while I was out for a walk with Joe. I asked her how she was doing and she told me,
“I am a wreck. My husband died two years ago and I just can’t keep up with the house all on my own. I’m moving into a retirement home on Monday.”
My heart broke for her! She seemed so sad. She had lived in this neighbourhood for 49 years. She raised her kids here, lived out her marriage here! Life goes by so fast. It reminded me to cherish my days with my husband and baby around each day.
I always find it really hard to come up with seven things. Tell me I’m not alone!