Tired Pride

Friday, January 20, 2012 11:07 AM Comments (47)

It’s a pretty swell age, if there’s something wrong with you.  You name it, and there’s a support group ready to encourage you to wear your infirmity with pride.  Some of this is downright horrible (and, after searching for quite some time for a link that was both sufficiently horrible and appropriate for the Register, I gave up), some vaguely depressing (I’m wearing, for instance, jeans with the brand name that cheerily boasts, “Just My Size!” because the company apparently didn’t realize that, when you suggest that it’s a real accomplishment to sufficiently cover my entire hindquarters, THAT DOESN’T HELP), and some are probably onto something

Now, there’s not really anything wrong...READ MORE

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To the Mother With Only One Child

Thursday, January 19, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (688)

Dear Mother of Only One Child,

Don’t say it.  Before the words can even pass your lips, let me beg you:  don’t say, “Wow, you have nine kids?  I thought it was hard with just my one!”

My dear, it is hard.  You’re not being a wuss or a whiner when you feel like your life is hard.  I know, because I remember having “only one child.”  You may not even believe how many times I stop and reflect on how much easier my life is, now that I have nine children.

All right, so there is a lot more laundry.  Keeping up with each child’s needs, and making sure they all get enough attention, is a constant worry.  And a stomach bug is pretty much the end of the world, when nine digestive tracts are...READ MORE

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Why Should I Listen To You?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (21)

I want to improve my life.  I want to be more open to the will of God, more ready to hear His voice.  Like the child Samuel in the temple, I’m not expecting to hear God speaking to me directly—so I try to be alert to other voices which have some authority, and to answer when they call.

Easier said than done.  There are many worthy voices out there saying many worthy things, but here’s the catch:  not all of them are talking to me.  When I hear a good idea, a criticism, a suggestion, a plan, a description of a lifestyle, I often think, “Oooh, that’s absolutely right!  I ought to be doing, thinking, or being that way!  I’LL START RIGHT NOW!”  Every day, I thread my poor conscience onto a...READ MORE

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Just Call Me Corrie ten Boom.

Friday, January 13, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (12)

I’ve read a few religious blogs in my time, which is why I’m such a good person.  It’s also why I know the routine: You’re doing some unpleasant task, and you hates it, you just hates it. It’s hard, it’s boring, if only you had some money you could hire someone, and why did you go to college if you were just going to end up thisaway, and you bet Julia Roberts doesn’t have to do it, and she’s not even very talented! And so on.

You go on, you go on, you’re pouting and grousing and making the whole world dark and angry, when suddenly . . .  LIGHT DAWNS.  Right in the middle of your lousy attitude, the sun comes out and suffuses the workaday haze with a glow straight out of Zeffirelli.  Or...READ MORE

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How Far Have We Come?

Thursday, January 12, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (38)

North Carolina is likely to become the first state to compensate victims of forced sterilization programs.  According to National Public Radio:

From 1929 to 1974, more than 7,600 people in North Carolina were surgically rendered unable to reproduce under state laws and practices that singled out epileptics and others considered mentally defective. Many were poor, black women deemed unfit to be parents.

Other victims of the program were sterilized for reasons that are unthinkable today:

People as young as 10 were sterilized, in some cases for not getting along with schoolmates or for being promiscuous. Although officials obtained consent from patients or their guardians, many did not...READ MORE

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Eights Things to Cheer You Up On This Terrible, Terrible Day

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 10:00 AM Comments (20)

I voted today.  It felt kind of like giving blood, except without the sensation that I just helped somebody.  The wooziness and that dejected sensation that comes from lying down and letting someone take some of your blood away from you—that part was familiar.  They really ought to give out oatmeal cookies at the polls.  In an election like this, no matter who wins, an oatmeal cookie is as good as it’s going to get.

In lieu of cookies, here are eight things to be happy about, despite the election:

Target and Nordstrom have begun using a cute kid named Ryan in their ads.  Oh, and he has Down Syndrome.  But, says Time, “there were no self-congratulatory press releases or pats on the back,...READ MORE

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What Is This Thing Called Love?

Friday, January 06, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (41)

My teenage daughter is very interested in the question, “What is love?”

Well, aren’t we all?  She’s heard that love isn’t just a feeling, but then what is it—what kind of thing?  I first floundered around with some disastrously hippie-dippie-sounding definitions:  love is a force, an energy, a power.  Then I overcompensated for that vagueness by making it sound like all love is tough love:  love is a decision, love is doing the right thing even when it feels bad.  True, but woefully incomplete.

Finally I gave up trying to tell her what kind of thing love is.  Instead, I said, let’s focus on what love does.

Love moves outward.  Love overflows.  Love refreshes.  And love is creative—it...READ MORE

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Here Comes Fr. Everyone

Thursday, January 05, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (39)

When I say “Mormon Elder,” an image pops into your head, right?  Or if I say “Lutheran pastor” or “Orthodox rabbi” or “womynpriest of a Unitarian faith community fellowship co-op”—you know who we’re talking about.  Fair or not, you can picture the type right away, down to the tone of their voice and the cut and color of their hair.  There may be some exceptions, but there is definitely a type. 

But what about when I say “Catholic priest?”

I recently had the opportunity to edit the short autobiographies of twenty seminarians.  It was a strange job, and I felt a little monstrous as I cut the stories down drastically to fit the required word count:  “Hm, best friend in a coma?  Sorry, no...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.