Ten Reasons I'm Doomed This Summer

Thursday, May 17, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (69)

When you think about it, we’d have to be crazy not to take all nine kids and a possible husky camping in a rented yurt this summer.  I mean, think of all the points in favor of this “plan,” by which I mean we were supposed to be researching replacement dryer parts, and it was a lot more fun to look at rental yurts.

POINT A:  I have been camping exactly once, and my husband has been camping exactly never.  The one uplifting outdoor experience he remembers is one time, when he was a teenager, he was being mad about being at the beach, and then suddenly he actually saw a school of dolphins!  Playful, majestic creatures they were, sleek and muscular, yet strangely heedless of gravity as...READ MORE

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Easy and Light

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:17 AM Comments (65)

28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt 11: 28-30)

What quotable verses.   They've made their way into the scriptural rosary our family uses, and we regularly sing them at Mass as part of a hymn.  You can tell from the tune that it's meant to be a comforting and reassuring idea:  take a load off, you'll feel better.

But is that true?  Is this what the verse means?  For once I'm not asking rhetorically -- I really don't know.  I do know that this is the kind of...READ MORE

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Holy Cow, My Mother Was Right

Friday, May 11, 2012 11:30 AM Comments (31)

About the following, for starters:

Reading is what people do, like breathing or blinking.  Read to yourself, read out loud to your kids (any age), read with your spouse at night.  Every time you turn off the TV, you've won back a little bit of your life.

Not everything that's good is explicitly Catholic, and not everything that calls itself  Catholic is good.  True for art, music, ideas, lives.

But sooner or later, you have to decide which side you're on.  I think she said this to me when she saw the trashy cover of a CD I was listening to as a teenager.  You can make excuses and give yourself passes, but your spiritual life is made up of these choices:  there's no such thing as (a)...READ MORE

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I Can't Believe You Haven't Read KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER

Thursday, May 10, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (74)

No matter how late it is, I have to read for at least a few minutes or else I can't go to sleep.  It turns out Kristin Lavransdatter:  The Bridal Wreath by Sigrid Undset was the wrong book to keep beside my bed, because I couldn't read for just a few minutes.  I devoured this book, stopping only to check the title page several times, unable to believe that it hadn't been written in English.

That's the first marvel of this trilogy, written in the 1920's and set in Catholic medieval Norway:  the incredibly fluid and evocative language.  I'm reading the translation by Charles Archer and J. S. Scott, which preserves enough of the formal language of medieval times to give it flavor, without...READ MORE

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Meddling In the Lives Of Middle Schoolers

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 6:23 AM Comments (60)

We home schooled for seven years.  Now six of our kids are in charter or public school -- the oldest in 7th and 8th grades.  We're thrilled with 99% of what goes on in the school we're so fortunate to have.   But on the other hand, oy-oy-oy-oy-oy.  It is a tricky age. 

It's our job to meddle in our children's lives.  You don't have to be an obnoxious helicopter parent to realize that kids in their early teens are not yet adults.  We're not done raising them yet!  And kids in home school or Catholic school face many of the same challenges our public school kids do.

The first area of concern is the other kids.  We've never had to flat-out forbid our kids to hang around with a particular...READ MORE

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Snappy Peppy

Thursday, May 03, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (28)

Because it's Friday, and I'm about as peppy as a piece of eggplant skin that went through the dishwasher, let's play a game.  I'm calling it "Catholic SEO Mad Libs," because I couldn't decide which joke I wanted to go with.

This is my gift to you, the person who needs to come up with something that is both relevant and edgy, and has words in it.  You remember Mad Libs, right?  One person supplies the required parts of speech, without knowing the context, and the other person fills the words in.  Then they read the completed story aloud.  Hilarity ensues.

Here's the template, which you can use for just about any occasion.  Heck, you can leave it as it is, with the blanks blank, and...READ MORE

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Is It Really Okay To Laugh About Sex?

Thursday, May 03, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (86)

The other day, someone quoted Ephesians 5 at me:

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

If I understand her properly, she took this to mean that it is wrong to use coarse language in general, and she's probably right about this.  Mea culpa.  (I'm working on it:  just the other day, I heard myself using "Sam-I-am" as an expletive, as in, "Sam-I-am, this chili is spicy!" This strikes me as more weird than virtuous, but I guess it's an improvement.)

I...READ MORE

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How To Ruin Your Marriage With NFP

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (343)

Couples who use NFP have an incredibly low rate of divorce, and many couples have reported that using NFP to space pregnancies has led to an increase of grace, happiness, and intimacy in their marriage.

Sound too good to be true?  It sure is!  Oh, using NFP can strengthen your marriage, but that doesn't happen automatically.  In fact, there are tons of easy and excellent ways to ruin your marriage while using NFP to postpone pregnancy.  If you're interested in sharing many miserable years with your spouse, here's your action plan:

1.  Men, make you wife feel either "useful" or "useless," depending on her current fertility.  For instance, if you agree to postpone a pregnancy, launch a...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.