My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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Domestic Links of the Week

A lot of fuss has been raised about the Duggar girls getting married and sharing their first kisses with their new husbands after saying "I Do!"

Samantha Pugsley wrote that she was a virgin on her wedding night and regretted it.

I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality. If I could go back, I would not wait. I would have sex with my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I wouldn’t go to hell for it. We would have gotten married at a more appropriate age and I would have kept my sexuality to myself.Unfortunately, I can’t go back but I can give you this message as a culmination of my experiences: If you want to wait to have sex until marriage make sure it’s because you want to. It’s your body; it belongs to you, not your church. Your sexuality is nobody’s business but yours.

Esther Rich shares the other side of the coin - I didn't wait and wish I did 
Samantha ends by saying if she could go back she would “have sex with (her) then-boyfriend-now-husband,” implying she sees that as the solution to the problems raised since. From experience, I know that that mindset doesn’t end as blissfully as it sounds, but instead can lead to heartache and regret—particularly if the then-boyfriend doesn’t turn out to be the now-husband. My own choice to pursue purity was made a decade later in life than Samantha’s, after living the life she says she wishes she had lived and realising the flaws in it. It wasn’t a submission to the pressure to be a “perfect-Christian-girl”—as Samantha felt—but rather a humble response to the realisation of the mistakes I’d made, and the overwhelming steadfastness of God’s love and forgiveness through it all.So, to Samantha and all the other girls I cried for and wanted to hug, I want to apologise for the lies that you’ve been told, the guilt you’ve been made to feel over “sins” that haven’t even been committed, and the ways God’s great plan for your sexuality has been hidden from you. I want you to know that the decision to remain chaste is not an enforced one, nor does it stem from guilt and shame. It’s a reflection of your dignity as a human being and your respect for the person God created you to be

Starry Sky Ranch  had this post

One of the most moving visits we made in Rome was to a portion of the Vatican museum which held the earliest Christian artifacts.  The sarcophagi were decorated with biblical symbols from the Old and New Testaments and engraved with prayers beseeching God for the eternal rest of the Christians buried within. Often these were inscribed by visitors to the catacombs as they offered their prayers for the deceased.   

Single Parents overlooked in the Synod

It’s so unbelievably isolating being a single parent in the Church. Where exactly do we fit in? We are not singles eligible for a religious life, we aren’t available to meet during the day for mommies groups, and we’re too divorced for married ministries.
Read more:
We’ve become a church of strangers.
I don't know about that. My mom was estranged from my father when I was going up and she managed to be pretty involved with church and our Catholic school.  I think it's possible - just maybe not easy.

Enjoy a Holiday House Walk via blogs!

I gave my own house tour last Christmas. 

December 2012 045

For the Feast of St. Nicholas on Saturday
St. Nicholas Chapter Books  from Family in Feast and Feria

and a lovely handmade advent calendar!
Lovely Advent Calendar from Sun and Candlelight

Seton Magazine - The Barest of Advents, Mary Ellen Barrett
I had this immense desire to make my home beautiful for both the seasons of Advent and Christmas, as well as a coming baby, but I was surrounded by sheetrock, spackle, large men with tool belts and very little heat. There was no furniture in the house other than air mattresses, a table and three chairs.
The Christmas decorations were in a storage facility a mile away and at nine months pregnant I had no ability to get in there and find them. It was time to change gears, but oh… how I was annoyed.
That Advent has since become one of the most precious in my memory. I bought a new Advent wreath and candles. We bought a tree and lights and made paper ornaments, and my husband dug one Nativity set out of the storage space. Since we could not be distracted by a lot of stuff, we were able to focus solely on the season of Advent and the upcoming arrival of the Savior.

In that sparse and bare Advent not only was I able to really discern what was important to a celebration but I was able to, for the first time, really ponder what Our Lady was going through. I was a pregnant lady in her (ahem) forties without a chair to sit on. She was a young girl on a grueling journey to an unfamiliar city where she had no friends and no home.


10 Things I Wish All Women Knew About Giving Birth

Cesareans are grossly overdone in US hospitals. And they often make recovery and breastfeeding much more challenging. They expose your baby to an antibiotic (all moms having a cesarean are given antibiotics at the time of surgery) before she or he is even born. And most of the ones that are performed turn out to be unnecessary.Also, many more women will have their labor induced or experience some form of obstetric intervention. The downturn in natural birth is so significant that a group of researchers wanting to study the natural course of labor couldn’t find a large enough group of women birthing naturally in any one place to study them!But we can’t let natural birth go extinct because it's way more than just a romantic ideal. Babies born vaginally (and without medication) have many health advantages. For example, just being exposed to mom’s flora on the way out of the birth canal decreases the lifetime likelihood of developing digestive problems, allergies, and even obesity.While we can’t fully control what happens in our births, and of course, sometimes interventions are necessary (though often they aren’t!), you can embrace core beliefs that will increase your chances of having the birth experience that is optimally healthy for you and baby.

C-section as Birth Control
I have talked to dozens of women who limit their family size because of c-sections. Sometimes it is because their c-section was unexpected, scary, and traumatizing. Sometimes it is because they were told that they “had” to have repeat sections and that they should limit their family size to three or fewer children for their own personal safety.

Whatever the reason, we must talk about it

- See more at:

I blogged about this very thing last year.