How's Common Core Working Out for You?

10/28/2014 Comments (32)

Because I have no wish to suffer my Purgatory on earth, I've haven't said much about Common Core. Most of what I heard about it was on Facebook, and, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, "The thing about the internet is that you can just make stuff up and nobody will bother to check facts." So when I heard that Common Core was going to teach my children to hate their country, parents, and apple pie, to worship Baal, and to switch to the metric system, I thought I would wait and see how it actually pans out.

We also met with our school's curriculum coordinator, who explained which things would change, which would stay the same, what were the good effects they expected to see, what were some of...READ MORE

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Other People's Blessings

10/23/2014 Comments (28)

The suffering one-upper! You know who I'm talking about. You say you're scrambling to pay for a new transmission? He says he just wishes he even had a car. You sigh because it's hard to find safe foods for your severely allergic child?  She swats you down with a tale of her triplets who stop breathing in the presence of the color yellow. You tweeted from the hospital, where you are slowly and painfully recovering from your eleventh foot surgery? Behold, the man born without legs is doing just fine, and even plays the mandolin! Now aren't you ashamed?

Cross-comparing -- when we look at someone else's suffering and call it little, nothing, or even something to be envied -- is...READ MORE

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Discernment: What It Does and Doesn't Mean

10/21/2014 Comments (18)

This year, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to give a decision over to God -- how to discern what God wants us to do, when we have a choice before us. It's one of the more widely misunderstood areas of our practical spiritual life, and I'm still figuring out what it means to live this way. Here are a few things I've figured out about what to expect when I pray for guidance in a decision:

 

It doesn't mean: You're no longer responsible for your behavior or your behavior's consequences. Prayer is not divination, where you split open the dove before the battle, and then become enemies with Athena if you lose. When we pray about something, that doesn't absolve us from using our...READ MORE

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Working Moms: What Would Help?

10/16/2014 Comments (34)

Lots of moms work, for lots of different reasons. When we talk about how to improve the work and personal lives of working moms, two responses are all too common.

From the secular world that tends to lean anti-family, anti-child, and frankly anti-woman, we hear, "Ugh, parents. Why should they get special treatment just because they freely made the choice to squeeze out a couple of brats?"

It's hard to know what to say to this argument. I suppose there must be some moms and dads who behave as if their lives are important and no one else's is, but probably those people would act that way anyway, whether they had kids or not. What it comes down to is this: children are where people come...READ MORE

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Don't Bubble-Wrap Your Kids

10/14/2014 Comments (26)

This year, I'm not seeing a lot of hand-wringing over the dangers of the occult during Halloween. Most of the Hallowangst of 2014 seems to be focused on how much cancer we are willing to give our kids via the delicious, delicious GMO toxins in the candy they get. My policy on that score is: I love my children so much, and am willing to sacrifice for them; so rather than exposing them to danger, I think they should give me all their candy.

Back to the occult. On the way to school, we pass a house which gets decorated a little bit more for Halloween each year. There are the typical Halloween decorations, like skeletons, spiders, vampires, and jack-o'-lanterns, all falling into the category...READ MORE

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At Synod, Sex-Obsessed Catholic Church Finally Talks About Sex, Finally

10/09/2014 Comments (53)

Need a good laugh this morning? NBC's Ann Curry delivers. The headline: 

Can They Say That at the Vatican? Pope Francis Promotes Sex Talk 

The gist: Everybody knows that the main thing about the Catholic Church is that it is obsessed with sex, and can't stop meddling with people's sex lives, and thinks it has all the answers about sex, and the Church has no business having all these opinions about sex because Catholics have too many babies and think about sex all the time, and has way way too much to say about gay sex and unmarried sex and married sex, and why can't the Church stop talking about sex all the time, the big pervs? Also, this just in: the Church is finally talking about sex,...READ MORE

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Believe It Or Not, Having Ten Kids Changes You

10/07/2014 Comments (31)

Autumn is a naturally nostaligic time of year, when we think back on the past, take stock of how far we have come and how much has changed. Myself, I'm thinking back a good 16-17 years, when I was pregnant with my first child. And yes indeed, a lot has changed since then. I've gone from a little slip of a premip to a grand (even "great grand" in some places) multipara of (argh) advanced maternal age, and what a long, strange trip it's been. Here are a few differences that leap to mind:
 

Baby #1: Ooh, I can't wait until tomorrow, when I will be 172 days pregnant! I remember back when I was only 163 days pregnant.  Boy, that was a week to remember. So much has changed! 

Baby #10: I must be...READ MORE

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How Welcoming Is Your Parish?

10/02/2014 Comments (76)

Is your church welcoming to outsiders? Or to insiders? The other day, Dom Bettinelli hosted an interesting conversation on Facebook, wondering what lay Catholics would suggest to make their parishes more accessible and inviting.

His original question was about how to make parishes more welcoming for people who aren't familiar with the Faith, but I'm expanding it a bit here, and thinking about things that most people could use, whether they're regular parishioners or someone who just stumbled in to get out of the rain.

The one rule is: it has to be fairly cheap, and cannot cause major upheaval or headaches for the pastor. No "replace everything with marble" or "assign a 24-hour on-call...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.