Friday Favorites for June 29

June 29, 2007 | 12 comments

OK, I just have to ask: ARE YOU GUYS READING THIS STUFF? I think that every time I put together one of these lists of links. “This stuff is so great, I hope people are checking out these links!” Since these posts don’t lend themselves to comments it’s hard to tell.

Anyway, here are my favorite 12 posts that I came across in my blog reading this week:

  1. “My NFP conversion story”: Stevie has a great post about why she and her husband came to agree with Church teaching on contraception, as well as the changes it brought to their lives. This humble, honest account of their “conversion” is a great read (and has inspired me to start working on a post of my own on that subject).
  2. Modern Catholic church or coal mine?: What a great idea for a post. Can you tell which ones are pictures of modern Catholic church buildings and which are coal mines? (I couldn’t).
  3. Courage and faith in the face of execution: Elena Maria Vidal always has the most beautiful posts detailing the personal lives of historical figures. This excerpt from a letter from 1794 details the amazing conduct of a Catholic woman sentenced to die by guillotine. I hope that I would have half her faith and courage in that situation.
  4. Gifts and clutter management: Kristen made herself the unofficial Clutter Expert of the Catholic mom blogosphere with this post that pretty much everyone has linked to by now. She follows that up with a great Q&A about how they manage to pull of their minimalist lifestyle.
  5. Catholics and Fridays: Seminarian Matthew has a nice reminder of what Friday means to Catholics.
  6. Beauty is truth: Stephanie writes of her longing for classic beauty rooted in deep truth that is so sorely missing from the modern world. This post brought to light something I’d never been able to articulate about my own conversion: once I came to see God I finally understood why I’d always known on a gut level that some art was truly beautiful while other art (e.g. most “modern art”) was just junk — because the former is rooted in truth and reflects something of God, the latter does not.
  7. Evaluating yourself by your relationships: Almost every post Mansheed writes leaves me saying “wow!”, and this one is no exception. She talks about the spiritual exercise of evaluating herself through her relationships with others, and her stunning realization that “there was NOT ONE relationship where I could say I’d given my all, that I’d truly loved and truly tried to know the other person and truly given of myself”. Great idea for a spiritual exercise, great insight, great blog.
  8. “If you are a parent, you ARE the curriculum”: I loved this post from Starry Sky Ranch about how to approach daily challenges. Kim points out that when we approach seemingly mundane, thankless work like mopping or dishes we should “consider that what we are modeling is not simply how to clean but how to persevere, how to remain gentle spirited, how to maintain grace under pressure, how to serve the least of those around us. Our tasks may well just be the venue chosen to relay those lessons and not simply an end in and of themselves.”
  9. Pint-sized conscience examiners: The ever-eloquent Kristen candidly tells of how she felt when she behavior she didn’t like in her daughters…and realized exactly who they got it from. She says so much about parenthood when she notes that “these little ones reveal my sins more clearly through their tiny mouths and hands than any of my lengthy personal reflections.”
  10. Appreciating what you have: Another interesting post from Tienne, who recounts her mother’s life of poverty in Croatia and notes that “it’s no surprise that the more society attempts to pursue pleasure, comfort and excess, the less satisfied we are with what we have.”
  11. The woman who dared to stay home: Mrs. Alexandra tells a poignant tale from her childhood in an Eastern European communist country about a neighbor who dared to be a housewife. There are so many lessons here — about judging others, gossip, courage, staying home with children, and motherhood, just to name a few. Great stuff.
  12. “I looked for happiness everywhere…”: Everyone who came to faith after going through serious doubts or atheism should read this.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


  1. newhousenewjob

    Hi Jen

    Thanks for the link – I can tell you that even if people aren’t commenting, Sitemeter tells me several people have clicked on the link to my post. I’m just off to look at all your other recommendations now – so much for my plans for an early night! :¬)

  2. newhousenewjob

    A great selection of links, mostly from blogs I’d never visited before – thanks, Jen!

  3. Amber

    I do appreciate the links, and I generally read at least half of the posts. I’d read more, but I just don’t really want to sit in front of the computer that much more than I already do! *grin* I have a bunch of these open in other browser windows and I’ll be looking forward to reading them tonight and into the weekend.

  4. Mahsheed


    Thanks for linking to me–it was a nice surprise!

    You’ve been posting faster than I can keep up, but I really enjoy everything you write and I love your new “Friday Favorites” collections.

  5. Kate

    I read them! and I’ve found some lovely new blogs through your site, so thank you!

  6. melanieb


    Thanks for the great links.

    What you wrote about getting so many gifts for the kids that you don’t know what to do…. I could have written that comment! I can’t seem to convince my in-laws to just buy books off Bella’s Amazon wishlist. Instead it seems they all go on shopping sprees at ToysRUs or WalMart and we end up with enormous gift bags stuffed with toys and clothes and junk that we’ll never used. Some of the toys, especially the ones that make noise and require batteries have gone straight into a box that will go to Toys for Tots or some such charity at Christmas time.

    (Feels so good to write that. I can’t do so on my blog because some of the worst offenders read it and I’m afraid of hurting feelings.)

    If you ever find an answer that works to fend off the avalanche of stuff, let me know!

  7. Sarah

    So Jen, I gotta be honest…I’m fighting the whole sleeping-constantly thing so me n bloglines ain’t as tight as we used ta be…but I LOVE that you’re sharing these links and I do read your posts, though I don’t always click through. It’s a great resource for someone who can’t ever read enough (or stare at a screen of good writing enough)…and you know, I keep thinking, yeah, when I don’t have anything else to do I’ll click through on all those links Jen and Julie put together (and sometimes, I do go back to them…) Anyway, what you’ve done with this more than anything for me is point me to blogs where content seems to consistently be what I’m interested in, and that’s what I appreciate right now. Later, when I’m up at all hours nursing a wee one, I’ll appreciate the specific links. Oh yes. (yBut I’m looking forward to the nursing too, don’t get me wrong.) 🙂

  8. Scott

    Hi Jen. I’m a lurker around here, and we’ve never met, but I read you pretty regularly because I find your story so fascinating (I found you while searching for Catholic responses to atheism).

    Re:#6, I don’t know how much spare reading time you manage to get, but it might be worth a look at Richard Viladesau’s book “Theology and the Arts.” I know opinions on the beauty of contemporary art vary, and I don’t wish to expound my own views, but he’s a gifted writer and theologian and I would gladly recommend his. (Another good book for those interested in the visual arts in particular is “Visual Faith,” by William Dyrness)

    Just dropping in from lurkspace for a moment, and back I go!

  9. Julie D.

    Thanks for the link! I agree that I always look at a few of these links and discover someone new. Keep it up, please! 🙂

  10. elena maria vidal

    Thanks for the link! Yes, Elisabeth of France was a special lady!!

  11. qualcosa di bello

    Dear Jen, yes, i am reading your links (at least some of them)& am very grateful for the wonderful places they lead me. Thank you!

  12. Peter

    Yes Jen, I’ve been clicking those links and wondering why people don’t do this sort of thing more often. It is a great way to help friends find other good blogs.

    Of course, coming with jen’s recommendation they are a must read!


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