I'm linking up with This Ain't the Lyceum to bring you seven quick takes from my world this week.
This is quick take number 25 for me, since Kelly asked for a count.
There is a job I was really interested in applying for last week. I might still apply, but I asked for more details over email last week.
The pros? I could work a much more flexible schedule, which means 10-15 hours less commuting each week, less money toward commuting, and less stress overall. I could see myself actually having and raising children with that schedule. The cons? Well, the salary is about $10,000/year less than I make now. And I would spend more time away from my husband on weekends/we couldn't go to church together because this is a church job (and he also has a church job on weekends).
As much as I would love this job, I think...there's probably no way to make it work. I have less than $10 in my bank account right now, and I don't get paid again until a week from now. (I blog semi-anonymously, so I'm okay with sharing this information.) I don't think I can swing a $10,000/year pay cut...sadly. I will likely be the primary breadwinner for the foreseeable future. My husband has a disability, and also is in a line of work that pays much less, no matter what. Also, I love our church, and I wouldn't be able to go to the young adult group or attend mass with my husband...which is really important to us. I guess we could attend a daily mass together during the week, but that's not quite the same.
As much as I got my hopes up about this job, I think it reveals to me a greater truth - that I am unsatisfied in my current position for a multitude of reasons, and I'm open to change. However, it has to be the right situation. And, until then, I need to be grateful and do the best I can.
I find myself desperate for Catholic community. I have tried with the other couples in our young adult group, and it is slow-going but I guess making progress. I also am trying with the local "Blessed Is She" affiliates, and it may develop into something...also a bit slow going but with potential. I wonder if others feel the same way. As the culture wars continue around us, Christ is the only thing that makes sense. And increasingly, I know I need to cling to His Church.
I have written before of my concern for my gay friends. Just this week, a dear friend of my husband's and someone who participated in our wedding "came out." He is Christian, though not Catholic. And, I never ever would have guessed he was gay (not that it matters.) Both my husband and I feel a deep concern for him, and will be praying for him. Apparently, some of his Christian friends have abandoned him. We definitely do not want to do that. On the other hand, we want to give him hope, but present that chastity is the answer. I feel my husband is in a unique position - he will not reject this friend, like other "Christians" might; but, he also is Catholic and has a differing view of the human person than the secular, gay community does. We watched the movie Desire of the Everlasting Hills as a result of this coming out of our friend. (You can watch it for free online.) I had seen it before, but my husband hadn't. I highly recommend it for anyone, it's very well done, and spoke deeply to me, even though I'm not gay. I have struggled with other sexual sins, and this movie presents people with deep wounds, who all found healing in the Church.
I was up until almost 1 AM earlier this week, helping my husband prepare for his upcoming concert. I'm so old, I can't bounce back like I used to from lack of sleep.
Love. Truth. Healing.
I came across a quote from St. Edith Stein earlier this week,
"Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie."
This may just sound nicey-nicey to some people, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I was raised in an abusive household, there's no other way to put it. My parents constantly criticized us and put us down for how we looked, what we wore, our life choices, etc. They still do. And, there was truth to some of it... That's what made/makes it so hard to reject, even if it hurts your feelings deeply. But, I read this quote this week, and it gave me pause. So, you mean...it's okay to reject something even if it's true, if the statement lacks love?! There is so much freedom in that.
I talked to my husband about this, ever the sage. He agreed. He said that the love part (desiring the good of the other) is what puts the "constructive" part in "constructive criticism." And, you have to develop a filter for only receiving what could be constructive from a criticism. If it's not said with your greater good in mind, out of love, feel free to reject.
This is easier said than done. I think I have a long way to go before I can only receive loving truths, and before I can only speak loving truths. But, I feel like I have a whole new understanding of truth now. I've heard it explained this way before...Truth without love is brutality. Love without truth is sentimentality.
If Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life...if God is Love...how does it all fit together? Truth in Love? That's where the question lies for me. I feel like this quote from St. Edith Stein gives me some direction.
I love hearing people's stories, what makes them who they are. I love conversion stories and stories of those who overcome abuse (see Elizabeth Esther's book and Jenna Miscavige Hill's book and Holly Madison's book as three recent examples I have read.)
It always perplexes me that I can come from the same exact upbringing as my sister did, and yet, we have completely different reactions to that upbringing and completely different "life stories." My brother-in-law is the same way. He is so different from my husband. I don't understand how they came from the same home, and ended up so different. But, when I found out more of his story this week, I understood more.
It's easier to have compassion and empathy for someone when you know a little bit about where they are coming from. It's easier to pray for their needs and understand a little bit of why those needs exist when you know the story that put them in that situation. That was the case for my brother-in-law this week. There is so much hurting in this world. We are all wounded.
...O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me...
Within Thy wounds hide me...