Friday, June 3, 2016

7QT: Seven Quick Takes (Volume XXXVII)

I'm linking up with This Ain't the Lyceum to bring you seven quick takes from my world this week.


Motherhood is on my mind lately, ever since Mother's Day.  And ever since two of my closest friends (bridesmaids at my wedding) have announced their first pregnancies.  Here are two articles about it - one that's from a more "worldly" perspective - you never know why someone has the number of children they do or the struggles they're going through.  Another one from Meg that acknowledges the crosses that come with blessings. 

Is "tidying up" actually magic?

I finished reading the Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Gretchen Rubin posts here about her take on it.  Overall, Rubin's point is that TLCMOTU tends to give a one-size-fits-all approach, whereas Rubin's research on habits reveals that there is no such thing.  You have to "hack" habits (including tidying up) in a way that works with your nature so that the effect is long term.  I agree with Rubin, having read her book on habits, which was not my favorite, but definitely seemed like it would apply to many more people.  

I enjoyed the book, but I won't say it changed my life.  Honestly, I think the novelty of someone from a different culture proposing a drastic approach must be very appealing in its exoticism and claims of success.  I read it as a way to gear up mentally for some summer cleaning.  What I got from it is "when in doubt, throw it out."  Also, be grateful for your stuff.  If you're getting rid of something, be grateful for the purpose it served during that time.  (Kondo injects this with some animism, but it's easy to translate into gratitude.)  My beef with the book was that it barely addressed the kitchen, which contains a LOT of stuff for most Americans, I'd guess.  The other issue I had was that she clearly saw one best way to do things, and only one.  One best way to fold your socks, one best way to deal with your purse, one best way to clean the shower, etc.  While it does present a comprehensive approach, it just didn't seem like it would work in reality for many people.  What Kondo calls "tidying up" I would call minimalism.  In that sense, you do it once, you're done for life, as she claims.  If you read the book in that paradigm, I can see how her claims are believable or would work.

Bottom line, Americans overall have way too much stuff.  The questions - is it necessary? is it beautiful? - are much more helpful to me as I go through my stuff.  The thought of just purging once (Kondo's version of "tidying up") and being done for life strikes me as completely unrealistic.  If you're going completely minimalistic and have family buy-in, it might work that way.  My guess is, like laundry, tidying up seems to be an unfortunate part of life's drudgery that is never done.  

Currently Reading.

Someone very close to me suffers from short-term memory loss, whereas I have a very good memory. The role of memory in holiness has fascinated me.  Dawn Eden explores this really well in her book Remembering God's Mercy (my favorite book this year) as it relates to the line about memory in the Suscipe prayer: 

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

I have loved that prayer, ever since I heard it.  The part about memory stuck out to me, as I could vividly remember abuse from my past.  I remember one day asking God about that.  The next day, I had a clear dream or word of knowledge that it wasn't the fact that I remembered something that was significant, it was how I remembered it.  Did I remember it in context of God's love?  Could I re-frame it in a healthy way?  The memories weren't going anywhere, but my understanding of them could change.

Here's a really interesting (somewhat related) article about why we should memorize, even though the classical approach of memorization in learning has somewhat gone out of fashion.

Suffering and Aging.

There were a few articles this week about suffering, dealing with aging loved ones, and loss.  I think our culture is in a time that disregards suffering and wants to do away with the dying.  Follow these links if interested.


There has been a lot of disaster-level, emergency-inducing weather where I live lately.  We are okay, aside from the inconvenience of road closures and roads flash-flooding, but many are displaced.  Pray for them!

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

Before I was Catholic, I visited the Sacre Coeur basilica in Paris.  I loved it and brought a cross home from there.  A few years later, at my confirmation, my dear friend gave me a necklace with the Sacred Heart of Jesus on it.  I was always drawn to it, but still am learning so much about it.  We recently watched Fr. Gaitley's Divine Mercy series via Formed dot org.  I learned the connection between the Sacred Heart, the Little Way of Therese (also one of my favorites), and Divine Mercy (another of my favorites).  

Today is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, depicted as on fire with love for you.  You can run to that heart, hide in that heart, hear that heart beating with love for you and for the whole world. There is no fear when our God has a heart like this.  Let his heart heal your heart.    

Ezekial 36:26
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."


  1. I never personally read the Marie Kondo book, but I heard so much about it I felt like I did. I just never quite got the concept of getting rid of everything that didn't spark joy. Somehow I don't think throwing out all my cleaning supplies would go so well...


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