Salvation in the I-Formation

“The body should be trained to be able to obey the counsel of wisdom and reason, whether it be a matter of work to be done or trials to be borne.” -Cicero

At some point in our recent history, we became spectators instead of active players. We have given a prominent place to watching sports and the mind-numbing drivel of the latest and greatest advertising hooks of the corporate world. Hey, it’s much easier to watch football than to actually go out and play it!

But is it really more edifying to God to sit slack jawed in rapt attention as Third and Eight plays out, or to go outside and throw the football around with your sons?

Winter is a banquet table of NFL and college football, hockey, pro and college basketball and countless other dishes for our consumption. Anyone who has played any kind of sport understands the exhilaration of competition. The gut feel of pitting your skills and heart against an opponent is something that is very difficult to duplicate, unless you’re engaged in real battle. We can fully appreciate what it takes for the athletes on TV to be successful, to be winners. We can project ourselves into the action. And that is both the allure and accompanying potential trap. (More…)

Sports and the Battlefield of Life

Most women can’t understand the attraction men have to sports—but some women want to be right in there playing with (and defeating) the men. What kind of role should sports play in our families’ lives?

I grew up in the Title IX era, when team sports became more available—and almost required—for girls to play. I didn’t really want to, but because I was nearly 6 feet tall I succumbed to peer pressure and joined the basketball and volleyball teams.

To offer some balance (or maybe due to the masculine walk I was developing), my father held the tennis player Chris Evert up for me as an example. A gifted athlete, Chrissy tried to maintain her femininity on and off the court…especially if you compared her to Martina Navritilova! (More…)

The Screen: How Acceptable is It?

Almost any parent alive will agree that violence on television will easily translate into violence in children. Scene after scene of murders, fights, and shootouts has a negative effect on kids—and adults! [i] They see others acting violently and it gives them a model with which to work. And what an evil model.

But when Dennis and I heard that television viewing itself—no matter what the content—also encouraged violence, we resisted. After all, we’ve been known to watch religious movies and an occasional educational DVD or two. (Okay, maybe three.)

Even more startling is that any screen time—be it the television, video games, or computer—drastically decreases academic achievement in children. And we’re not talking about four, six, or eight hours a day in front of the screen. It can be as little as one hour a day.[ii]

Uh-oh. (More…)

[i] American Psychological Association, 2000. “Psychiatric Effects of Media Violence.” APA Factsheet Series.

[ii] US Dept. of Education. “Strong Families, Strong Schools, Building Community Partnerships for Learning.” 1994.

Book Review: The Valiant Woman

“It’s complicated being a woman. Maybe it’s all of our hormones. But the feminist propaganda constantly swarming around us hasn’t helped, either!

. . .

The past couple of generations have lost touch with the beauty, nobility, and privilege of womanhood. Now, instead of learning about womanhood from the women around us, we need a book to help us dig into our soul to develop our God given gifts.” (More…)

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee!

Ian was planning on receiving his First Holy Communion at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. That joyful event was exactly one week away.

We were in Dallas Children’s Hospital that morning having a CT Scan done on our seven-year-old First Communicant’s head. When my untrained eye saw the horrifyingly large tumor on the screen, I whistled under my breath. The technician glanced at me with a grim and knowing look, then quickly back at his equipment. (More…)

Short, Sweet, and To The Point

“Dennis had a bagel clenched between his teeth, steam wafted out of the hole in the insulated coffee cup in his left hand, and his black laptop case and car keys dangled from his right fingertips. Now was not a good time to ask him to empty the trash by the back door.

“Have a good day, and God bless!” I smiled, giggling to myself. A few years ago, I would have asked him. My, how our marriage has grown.” (More…)

Trees of Grace

“It promised to be a busy Saturday. My husband Dennis, our children and I were going to plant trees that morning on our farm, I had my radio show to do in the afternoon, and then Dennis and I were picking up friends for dinner and the Symphony that evening.

I bounced out of bed early, said my morning prayers, and then headed to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for my family. As I tied my apron on over my nightgown, I gloomily surveyed the damage from the previous few days. The children and I had been so intent that week on trying to do all of Dennis’ outside chores while he was out of town on business so that he could spend more time with the family on the weekend, that the details of keeping the kitchen spotless had been neglected.

I heaved a sigh and started breakfast. The kitchen disaster would have to wait one more day. Or two.” (More…)

Little Red Corvette

“When I renounced my career in favor of being a stay-at-home-mother, Dennis and I knew we would suffer a major loss of income.

Since the beginning of our marriage, I had handled the finances and made all the financial decisions. Controlling the finances had always been an emotional experience for me, as the budget never seemed to go as planned. It had become downright stressful and depressing.

After three years of trying to make ends meet, one day I broke down. “I can’t do it anymore,” I wailed, throwing the checkbook and bills on the counter next to Dennis. “Trying to handle the finances is stressing me out, and I’m overwhelmed. Will you please take it over?” (More…)

The War of the Onion

“Some of our favorite times together have been in the kitchen. Even when we were dating, Dennis and I would work side by side concocting tasty meals, and then enjoy what we had created together. That tradition has continued for the past 14 years of our marriage. That’s why I was so baffled by what we now affectionately call, “the War of the Onion.”

We were making stir-fry. A few years earlier, I had learned from a Japanese Chef how to wildly “slice and dice’ and not lose a digit. Innocently, I thought I’d share the technique with my beloved.

“You know, if you hold your fingers this way,” I demonstrated, “you won’t cut your fingers.”

The tips of his ears turned red. Oops! Dead giveaway. He’s upset.” (More…)

The Postcard

“I’m glad I got the mail that day instead of my children.

Living in the country, our mailbox is a quarter of a mile from the house, and the children—ages 8, 6, 4 and 2—take delight in running down to the box to get the mail. It also helps them burn off some extra energy.

I was headed out for an emergency trip to the grocery store that afternoon and stopped to get the mail myself. We had received a postcard.” (More…)

Reflections on Motherhood

“I received a joke the other day over the Internet. In a nutshell, it said that women are communicative, nurturing, sensitive, generous, caring, loving and supportive. Men, on the other hand, can lift heavy things. I giggled. Then it hit me: Before the Fall, would Adam and Eve have had the same differences?” (More…)

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