Is THIS What Abstinence-Only Education Looks Like?

Thursday, May 24, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (334)

Here is a lovely and honest post called "The Wait Was Well Worth It."  The writer and her husband were virgins until their wedding night, and she describes the freedom and security, along with the pain and awkwardness, that she experienced in having her first sexual encounter with her new husband.

It's no easy feat to remain a virgin until marriage.  An abstinence-only education seems like the obvious solution if we don't want our kids to suffer the effects of sexual sin, which include getting pregnant, getting STDs, and suffering the heartache that comes of behaving like you're committed to someone when you're not.

We don't want to just shove condoms at kids and hope for the best,...READ MORE

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But Can You Walk In It?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 7:43 AM Comments (88)

In my daily wanderings, I pass through the center of a college town at least four times.  Morning, noon, and night, the main street is a parade of pretty girls in pretty clothes, and I have to stop the van constantly to let them flutter across the street.  It's like one of those safari theme parks:  safely behind tempered glass, I get a close-up view of creatures who are very, very unlike myself.

They do look lovely, you understand:  silky, burnished hair parted impossibly far to the side (how do they do that?), flouncy floral dresses with a heart-stopping combination of girlish innocence and womanly allure, and miraculously sculpted torsos, exquisitely poured into skin-tight tube tops...READ MORE

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LOL Books

Friday, May 18, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (67)

Gosh, I'm ready for some light reading.  The books stacked up on the baby bed (why not?  The baby doesn't sleep there.  The baby doesn't sleep at all!) are all great, but they are not exactly a laugh riot.  I finished Kristin Lavransdatter, and then Love in the Ruins, and am still muscling my way through The Brothers Karamazov (and I'll be darned if Ivan hasn't grown on me tremendously since last time!).  Okay, Love in the Ruins was breathtakingly funny, but in a way that makes you want to go live in a cave in Tennessee.  Oh, I also read some dumb thing I picked up at the library.  Everybody died, the women were all tragically misunderstood and abused, and all the men realized what brutes...READ MORE

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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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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.