Love in Action: Shoes that Grow

05/07/2015 Comments (13)

Every parent knows how hard it is to keep a kid in shoes. They grow so fast, it seems like you're buying a new pair every few months. 

But what if you can't buy a new pair? What if your child must go barefoot, or cut the toes out of shoes that are too small? And what if your child walks miles every day to get to school, and what if he is constantly picking up diseases and parasites through the inevitable cuts and scrapes on his feet?

Charity worker-turned-social entrepreneur Kenton Lee found it intolerable that so many third world children were going shoeless, so he invented a pair of sturdy, adjustable shoes that grow with their owners' feet -- up to five sizes. Durable enough to last...READ MORE

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But It's Not My Job!

05/05/2015 Comments (26)

Some lessons are just too tidy to ignore. If, that is, you can call a pile of poop a tidy lesson. Here's what happened:

I was feeling accomplished. I had just finished a writing project and sent it off before the deadline, and then written a topical blog post and most of a devotional one. I had done a short workout and taken a quick shower without losing my cool at the howling baby who hates it when I take a shower. I had fed the toddler lunch, changed and fed the baby about forty-six times, sent out party invitations, mailed out applications, planned dinner, found a sun hat for the baby, dug up an old beach umbrella so our pasty New England wouldn't get burned, and headed outside to...READ MORE

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Carve Out Time for These Few Essentials

04/30/2015 Comments (36)

Got a new baby? Along with all the joy and fun that comes with welcoming a new child into your home, you will notice some other, unwelcome arrivals: tons and tons of unsolicited advice about how to run your life. Everyone has an opinion about what is really important, and much of this advice conflicts with or contradicts other advice, leaving a new mother feeling confused and overwhelmed.

Be at peace, new mama. There are really only a few essentials to keep in mind, in order to live your life in a happy, healthy, even joyful way.

First of all, remember that self-care is essential. Mothers are expected to care for everyone around them, but how can they do this if they are falling apart...READ MORE

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We've Tried Nothing, Lord

04/28/2015 Comments (19)

 Ludwig Bemelmans said, "It's always wonderful when something altogether wrong ends right, without the help of either religion or the police." I suppose by "religion" he meant what most people mean: pompous, hypocritical, out-of-touch, glory-seeking blowhards who rake in the dollars of the gullible without ever lifting a finger to offer real help.

He didn't mean what we saw yesterday, when something like 150 members of local clergy of various faiths linked arms and processed down the street in downtown Baltimore, past burning cars and over rubble, calling for an end to violence. Reporter Deborath Weiner was with them, and described how they knelt down in the street, praying for peace. This...READ MORE

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Archbishop Joseph Naumann Replaces Finn, Signalling Change in Missouri Diocese

04/23/2015 Comments (18)

On Tuesday, the beleaguered Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph got a new interim leader, Archbishop Joseph Naumann. Naumann is stepping in to replace Bishop Finn, whose resignation was accepted by the Vatican two days ago. Finn has been at the center of a fierce debate about how he dealt with Fr. Ratigan, a priest in his diocese who took hundreds of pornographic images of children.

In 2011, Finn pled guilty to a misdemeanor of failure to report suspected abuse, becoming the first American bishop to be found criminally liable for abuse that occurred under his watch.

Finn's critics say that he deliberately ignored clear signs that Ratigan was a sexual predator, and that the Vatican was...READ MORE

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Worth Another Look: Joe Versus the Volcano

04/21/2015 Comments (8)

It's always perilous to revisit movies you loved as a kid. Last weekend, we took a chance with  Joe Versus the Volcano (1990). My husband can't stand this movie, and not only because it is so chock full of Meg Ryan, who plays three roles. He says that it's a playwright's movie, which really does explain a lot. He complains that the characters are sloppy and ill-defined, and that many of the lines are delivered on a silver tray labelled "Significant and Memorable!" ("What's with the shoe?" someone asks Joe, who has stumbled and torn the sole on a sharp edge. "I'm losing my soul," he moans.  Womp womp!) And for a movie with "volcano" in the title, you sure had to wade through a lot of movie...READ MORE

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Love Isn't Supposed to Be Efficient

04/16/2015 Comments (14)

As a mother of lots of kids, I think a lot about treating them fairly. They make sure I think about it a lot:  "Hey, she got more pudding than I did!" "Hey, you never let us watch Jaws when we were that age!" "No fair, he got an extra ten minutes on Minecraft, but I didn't even get to save my chickens!"

It's enough to make you crazy, or crazier. But in a big family, especially, it really is necessary to keep track of things and try to keep them just and fair and evenly distributed. If you don't keep track, you're likely to find out that one especially squeaky kid has gotten all the grease, while a more reserved child gets unintentionally gypped. So I do constantly assess how fair I'm...READ MORE

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Ten Pleasures Gwyneth Paltrow Will Never Know

04/14/2015 Comments (65)

"We felt very nice and snug," says Ishmael in chapter 11 of Moby Dick,

The more so since it was so chilly out of doors; indeed out of bed-clothes too, seeing that there was no fire in the room. The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrastIf you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. But if, like Queequeg and me in the bed, the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly chilled, why then, indeed, in the general consciousness you feel most delightfully and...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.