7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 63)

January 1, 2010 | 25 comments

— 1 —

Happy New Year! It’s funny to think that I am writing this in 2009 (Thursday) and you’ll be reading it in 2010 (Friday). I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve. Mine undoubtedly will be boring, since I’ve learned the hard way in years past that the kids will still get up at the same time in the morning, regardless of how late we stayed up the night before.

— 2 —

Looking out my window and seeing neighbors unloading unmarked brown bags from the trunks of their cars reminds me that it’s once again time for my semi-annual Matthew 22:39 Challenge, where I struggle to see my neighbors’ love of all-night fireworks extravaganzas in a charitable light. Perhaps this afternoon I’ll sit down with them and show them my “Pros and Cons of Setting Off Fireworks” chart that I detailed in this post where I came out as a Fireworks Scrooge:

— 3 —

I am a big New Year’s Resolutions person. I recently heard someone point out that in order to make a big lifestyle change it’s necessary to do something drastic break out of the “orbit” of your old ways (e.g. strict Phase I starts of diets), and I find the new year a perfect opportunity to give myself that extra push. My only problem is that I’m not yet sure what my goals are for this year. Maybe you guys could give me some inspiration: What are your New Year’s resolutions?

— 4 —

For those of you with blog-related goals for the coming year, Michael Hyatt’s recent post about top mistakes bloggers make has some excellent food for thought. One of the best lists of its kind that I’ve seen.

— 5 —

If you’re looking for some inspiration/food for thought regarding topics like prayer and detachment (or if you’ve ever fantasized about moving into a cave where you’re not surrounded by chaos and constant noise for a while — not that I’d know anything about that) I highly recommend setting aside an hour to watch this video about a desert hermit that I posted earlier this year. Fascinating stuff.

— 6 —

I had something else written for this take, but just before I hit Publish I went to check the mail, and I saw that we got our yearly note from our mystery friend in San Antonio whom I told you about in #2 here! I now have her name as well, since this year it was printed on the return address. I got a little teary-eyed when I saw that the same P.S. she included last year was at the bottom of her note about how much she enjoyed our Christmas card:

P.S. I lost [my husband] in May 2008. I really miss him. We were married for 67 years.

Please keep our new friend in your prayers!

— 7 —

I’m off to start a French Cream of Lentil soup from my Monastery Soups cookbook, which for some reason I thought would be the perfect thing to have on a chilly New Year’s Eve night. Happy New Year, everyone!

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Young Mom
2. Molly @ Just Simply – New Years
3. A Broader Mark
4. Poor Nurse Clare
5. Sarah Reinhard (Failed Resolutions)
6. becomewhatyouare
7. Phyllis @ Life on Windy Ridge
8. Mary @ Hope Echoes
9. Trena @ The Third Prayer
10. Michelle aka Catholic Lady
11. Emily in NC
12. Enbrethiliel @ Shredded Cheddar
13. Tami @ The Next Step
14. violingirl
15. Rachel @ under construction
16. Carolyn @ reluctant atheist
17. Sarah @ Keeping Up With The Johnsons
18. The Praying Mom
19. Barbara C. @Box of Chocolates
20. Sharon
21. Emily
22. Elena @My Domestic church
23. Jaime @ UndertheFigTree
24. Judy@AThankful Woman’s Book of Blessings
25. Emily a.k.a. Smoochagator
26. Maggie@ From the Heart
27. emily@Me In Life
28. Julia@ Blessed Obscurity
29. Catherine @ Adventures in Domesticity
30. Erin P @ My Vocations
31. Laughing Lioness
32. Jenny@Lest I Forget
33. Christian H @ The Thinking Grounds
34. Kerrie @ The Forgotten Kitchen
35. Lindsay @ Contrariwise
36. Queen Bee
37. Very Sleepy People
38. K

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. curiousceridwen

    Happy new year! I appreciate the bit about fireworks. We wish our neighbors saw the extensive cons of restoring jeep engines after dark and early on Saturday mornings.

  2. Young Mom

    I hate making New Years Resolutions since the expectation sets up a perfectionist like me for failure, so I can't help you there. I think I'm the first to link! :)Happy New Year!

  3. abroadermark

    Looking forward to watching the desert hermit video. Thanks for the recommendation. Happy New Year!

  4. Poor Nurse Clare

    Happy Mary Day!

  5. tootie

    #2 cracks me up! I'm a fireworks scrooge, too.

    And what a blessing for #6! I bet your card made her day.

  6. Enbrethiliel


    Hi, Jen! Happy New Year!

    I've stopped making New Year's Resolutions for myself, because I don't ever keep them! If I still did, however, I'd borrow these three Marian actions from today's misalette:

    Fiat. Stabat. Magnificat.

    How are those for Marian resolutions? =)

  7. confused homemaker

    Happy New Year!!

    I don't really have a resolution, just a realization that I'm a work in progress & I've also got some decisions that need to be made about where life is taking me.

    And I totally feel you on the kids getting up at the same time no matter what.

  8. Sharon

    Happy New Year! Thanks as always for posting this. My husband and the boys always ask to set off fireworks for July 4, and so far I've been able to put my foot down and insist they stick with sparklers (which I don't like either, but that's a battle I decided not to fight). Blessings to you in 2010!

  9. Emily

    I LOVE the part about the fireworks. I feel the same way!
    I don't usually make resolutions, either, but this year I have a few: Get in a gym habit (My best friend is getting married in August, so I have major motivation); finish my fledgling novel; and pray the Divine Office every day.

  10. Susan Thompson

    My main New Years resolution is to gather together all the pictures and mementos and make baby and childhood scrapbooks for my kids. The youngest child is 20. The habit of procrastination that led to putting it off for so long I'll work on next year.

  11. Christina

    I just came across a post about resolutions from another blog.

    My church handed out little cards this year, with a section to write in blessings from last year and resolutions for the next. When I was filling it out I realized that one of my main blessings was an event that at the time was horrid and hurt, but taught me to trust God more.

    It also pointed out how my fears harm others and bring me away from God. I'm resolving to "be not afraid". Although I haven't figured out how to make it into a measurable goal yet.

  12. nicole m

    Just a quick thank you. Your blog helped me through one of the most difficult years of my life. 2009 found me in the middle of pretty severe ppd, one of the symptoms of which was a nagging anxiety that there is no God (to put it mildly- I was truly having an existential crisis!). Your wonderfully logical path to a religious life helped me to find my faith again. And brightness followed. Thanks again! Nicole

  13. Tracy

    that is so lovely about the card.

    And I detest fireworks at home. It is scary every occasion – and there are so many occasions on which they are set here in the South. We live in woods, and I was SO happy to hear the rain yesterday, thinking, at least everything will be soaked and not catch on fire as quickly.

  14. Jess

    First, Happy New Year!

    Second, Gabriel has played with his car toy since he opened it, thank you very much.

    Third, I was so happy to find my copy of Monastery Soups in our unpacking frenzy last week – I love that book and really appreciate that you recommended it.

    Fourth, I read through the blog writing tips and I am definitely a "hobby" blogger. 🙂

    Fifth, I have found I am terrible at committing to resolutions so I am simply making a list of things I'd like to accomplish in 2010 which seems more feasible – not trying to "fix" anything about myself but would still like to improve if that makes sense.

  15. Lacey

    Hi Jennifer! I just found your blog last night. I read through some of your blog posts and you are an incredible writer! Your story is very inspiring. My New Year's Resolutions are: to take a step back from life's craziness and remain focused on what is important and true, take more time to pray and to trust God with His Plan for me, not my plan for me. Happy New Year! 🙂

  16. Anonymous

    We set goals, individually and as a family, in six areas (how many in each area varies with the person, the year, &c.): Spiritual/Intellectual/Physical/Family/Community (could be parish & includes "social")/Work. This helps maintain a comfortable balance, but still offers the challenge of growth/improvement.

    Happy New Year to you & yours

  17. MemeGRL

    Happy 2010! SO with you on home-done fireworks.
    My resolutions are always ways to be kinder to ourselves. More date nights, new-to-us movies once a month–something that will be fun to keep since up north here, we're always in midwinter bleakness. Then even if I only make it to April (as with movies last year) it at least gets us through the winter.
    But I love Embrethiliel's post above!

  18. Lindsay

    Excited to participate this week/year!

  19. Dawn Farias

    the kids will still get up at the same time in the morning, regardless of how late we stayed up the night before.

    Ha! Yes. I'm so there.

    Off to read the blogging mistakes list. Happy New Year!

  20. Sarah - Kala

    You could come spend New Years on O'ahu . . . our first was last night: constant, relentless, loud, obnoxious fireworks/crackers from about 6:30pm to well after midnight! I think they are fun, in a controlled way . . . but many locals were setting them off (there were two or more injuries and a few fire scares, but no fires due to fireworks). Still, my dog was annoyed.

  21. unavocis

    On this, the beginning of 2010, it is fitting that I begin reading (catching up with, really) your blog. After my conversion at Easter Vigil 2008, I found myself really missing the close-knit group that was built into the RCIA process. I have tried to supplement (mostly) regular church attendance with various Catholic blogs. Yours has been SO helpful. I have loved reading your conversion story. Mine is definitely not as dramatic or inspiring as yours , as I was raised in a Protestant Christian tradition, but it was a journey of its own. Thank you again for writing as you do, and for hosting the "7 Quick Takes Friday." I hope to participate in the near future. Blessings for 2010!

  22. patti Hildreth

    I am not making new years resolutions this year I am just going to ask God what He wants me to have faith for this year. Since faith is always growing, I am sure that there is something I have not had the faith for last year that God wants me to tackle this year.

  23. samcarter

    I hate fireworks. Hate, hate hate. They are illegal in our state, but idiots (i mean, people) still do it. We don't call the police if it's the Fourth of July, because we figure the police are already pretty busy. This year people were shooting some off on New Year's Eve, which i didn't understand. It is COLD out there. I grew up in this state and never heard of fireworks on New Year's Eve.

  24. Mary @ Parenthood

    Did you come up with New Years Resolutions yet?

    I resolved to visit all the museums in my city. We'll see how literally I end up taking that resolution…

  25. Molly

    Additional Pros for Fireworks
    ~Sparkly and Shiny

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