7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 81)

May 21, 2010 | 44 comments

— 1 —

I have this pipe dream of starting a bed and breakfast with no artificial light. I keep thinking about it after all the great comments to my post about light, faith and control. Here’s my vision: the house would be wired for electricity so that we could have air conditioner, vacuums, etc. but there would be no lights other than candlelight. (My thinking on having some modern electric amenities is that guests could get 90% of the spiritual benefit with minimal physical discomfort by cutting artificial light alone.)

I wish someone would start a place like this! Especially after reading Anne Kennedy’s fascinating post about her life in Africa without electricity, I think it would be such a great way to spend a weekend.

— 2 —

Quite a few people asked me for more info about that part-time private school we were looking into for next Fall, so I wanted to share the info. It’s called Annunciation, and their website is here. I just heard that some spaces have opened up for the 2010-11 school year, so feel free to pass that info along to any central Texas folks who might be interested. Their curriculum is fantastic (they start Latin in elementary school!) and I love the balance of the kids going to a school two days a week and homeschooling three days a week. I’ve never seen anything like that in action, but it definitely sounds promising!

— 3 —

Over the past year I happened to read three memoirs in short succession that all talked about what the authors were doing the moment they found out Pearl Harbor had been attacked — The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Seven Storey Mountain and A Severe Mercy. It’s fascinating to have that snapshot of three amazing life stories that were playing out at that time, each very different but all woven together by that event. I could think about that kind of thing all day.

— 4 —

Speaking of memoirs, I’m currently reading Adrift, the story of how Steven Callahan survived alone at sea for 76 days after his ship sank in the middle of the Atlantic. Dude. Let’s just say that it’s cured me of any aspirations to try to sail across the ocean by myself (not that that was high on my to-do list or anything). No matter how challenging my days have been these past few weeks, I keep having these moments of looking up, smiling, and thinking, “You know, I at least I’m not stranded in the middle of the ocean with man-eating sharks bumping up against the bottom of my rubber raft every single time I go to sleep, knowing that at ANY MOMENT a 24-foot-long Great White shark could pop up from below and DEVOUR ME WHOLE WITH NO WARNING AT ALL.”

— 5 —

Abigail recently introduced me to the virtue of affability. According to Prior Marc Foley:

Affability is the virtue of maturity and not of youth. It requires the discipline and strength of character to be even-keeled in one’s demeanor, regardless of how one is feeling. It is that rare species of charity, the heroic strength that does not inflict one’s fluctuating moods upon others.

What?? My family likes it when I inflict my fluctuating moods on them. Don’t they? I mean, surely they’re impressed with my ability to narrate my inconveniences with the precision of a sportscaster, walking around the house like, “Getting more tired now as we head into the three o’clock hour. Have a mild headache. Wish I could take a nap. Just opened the door and realized that it’s stupid-hot again outside. Back in now, but I’m totally cold in here.” I decided to work on this, on the off chance that it might be beneficial to others and to myself not to spread my misery around, and the main thing I’ve learned is that I have a long way to go on the affability front.

— 6 —

I’ve always loved the quote from St. Ignatius of Loyola that says:

Pray as if everything depends on God, but work as if everything depends on you.

But then I recently heard that he actually said the opposite, and was misquoted by someone who thought he must have accidentally said the wrong thing. I can’t remember where I read that, but the source said that the correct quote is:

Pray as if everything depends on you, and work as if everything depends on God.

It’s interesting to think about how different the advice is depending on which version you consider. Does anyone know which is the real quote?

— 7 —

[WARNING: Fellow procrastinators, do not read this take.] I just discovered Wikipedia’s random feature. Click here to go to a random entry. (You can keep clicking and it will bring up something different each time.) I’m sorry. I hope you weren’t planning to get anything done for the next fifteen minutes.

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. Kathy
2. Kristen @ St Monica’s Bridge
3. Rose @ Adventures In Savings (cake, cake & cake)
4. Elizabeth Mahlou
5. Jan, A Tapestry of Life
6. Kathryn (Bookworm)
7. George @ Convert Journal (The Mass)
8. It Feels Like Chaos (a weekend)
9. Val in Brazil
10. Mary @ Hope Echoes
11. Cassidy @ The Praying Mom
12. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time
13. DebbieQ @ stop her she’s knitting
14. Tami @ The Next Step
15. Katherine @ Having Left The Altar
16. Emily @ Attempting Grace
17. Anne @ Undercurrent
18. becomewhatyouare
19. Lisa@GoldenGrasses
20. Just a Minute
21. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
22. Sara @ A Shower of Roses
23. Erin @ Seven Little Australians Plus One
24. Nadja@Patch O’ Dirt Farm
25. Michelle
26. Joy@ joy in the morning
27. Mrs. Bubbles
28. That Married Couple
29. Tina @ Multiple Mom
30. Elena @MyDomestic Church
31. Heather’s Hodgepodge
32. Chelsea @ Roots & Rings
33. Elisa @ Elisa Loves
34. TeacherMommy
35. Judy @ A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings
36. Julie
37. Matching Moonheads
38. Katie @ Just Another Catholic Mom
39. Milehiama @ Mama Says (new blog carnival!)
40. Steph&Bogdan
41. Sarah @ Fumbling Toward Grace
42. Jillian@Welcome To Jillville
43. Blair’s Blessings
44. Curious Notions
45. Alice @ Accidental Grad Student
46. Vanderbilt Wife
47. Sarah @ Simple Pleasures
48. Emily
49. Barbara C.@Box of Chocolates
50. Jordana @ Curmudgeonry
51. Karen S. @ Imitation of Mary
52. Thrifty Mystics
53. Sarah @ Passing for Normal
54. SillyStuff@YoungMom
55. Maggie @ From the Heart
56. Gillian – Life of a Photographer
57. Barb @ My Daily Round
58. a broader mark
59. Flowers Round The Cross
60. Alexis
61. K @ Proverbs 30:8
62. Jaime @ Under the Fig Tree
63. Angie
64. Barbara
65. Christian H @ The Thinking Grounds
66. Esther @ Cor Ad Cor Loquitur
67. Mrs k @ the first four years
68. michiel@ Landscapes and Portraits
69. Kitchen Stewardship (HM ketchup, aluminum water bottles, love my readers)
70. Jenn-Home is Where
71. Summer at Home
72. Kim@Starry Sky Ranch
73. TradCats
74. The Bipolar Beauty Queen

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

First photo by isaks


  1. Kathy

    Argh! I was so excited about actually having Quick Takes ready this week that I forgot to put my blog name in the Mr. Linky form.

    #6: I liked the quote better the first way… which, of course, might say more about my overactive, impatient nature than the quote.

    The second version would seem to say that there is no point to either praying or working, wouldn't it? I've always heard the first version, which would encourage both fervent prayer and a healthy dose of working towards the good end prayed for.

  2. Paulina

    Hi, I've been a reader for more than a year now and I'm glad I found your blog I've learn so much and feel very inspired sometimes (I've met so many people who'd left the CC that "meeting" people who join is a new thing for me).

    I know what it is to enter the world of Wikipedia without putting myself time-restrictions.

  3. Rose Atwater

    I love linking up here on Fridays and getting to click around and read everyone else's quick takes!!

    Thanks Jennifer =)

  4. Barb

    I am so with you on the affability. My children have made a few comments to me lately about my demeanor; I know it's God speaking through them. I know as a mom, I set the tone for the family, for the home. I'd love to known as affable, faithful and hospitable! Much to confess when I go on my first spiritual retreat next Monday.

    This was a great post! I'm going to be coming back several times today to redigest other items.

  5. George @ Convert Journal

    My Quick Takes Friday today are just some random thoughts and observations.

    I messed-up the Mister Linky description a little. Google Chrome pre-filled the "name" field and it looked OK – at least the part I could see. Unfortunately the hidden portion was from a different Mr. Linky entry and doesn't apply today. Sigh. Sorry…

  6. Mary

    Thanks for hosting.

  7. Anne Kennedy

    Thanks so much for the link! And fascinating quick takes as always.

  8. Faith

    Wow, I just printed out the affability quote! Exactly, to the T, what I needed to read to today. Thank you, Jen!

  9. Katherine

    #6 Honestly I could see how either could be right. We need to pray with complete reliance on God but also pray recognizing that we need Him. We need to do our best for God in everything but also know not to worry about what we cannot do. I love it. Thanks so much for posting this!

  10. Kathleen@so much to say, so little tiem

    #1–sounds romantic. Though I have never been a fan of low-lit dinners. Candles are good, but I know people who deliberately turn down the lights at their parties and that drives me berzerk. Probably b/c my eyes are really bad and I need high light to see by…but then, maybe that's the point…not to see…just to wind down as the night comes on. Pardon my rambles.

    #5. Love it!

  11. Anne Kennedy

    Meant to say, but totally forgot, that our life in Africa was so well paced, quiet and peaceful, that we always had visitors of one kind or another–other missionaries, peace corp workers, people just passing through. It's a lot of work to live without electricity, but I bet if you started such a venture people would sign up in droves, even with no electricity at all. The key is to provide delicious lavish meals at regular intervals, be scintillating yourself, and have elegantly sparse rooms. I'll come be your maid, cook, and water carrier.

  12. That Married Couple

    Oh wow, that is quite a difference in the quote. Fascinating.

    And thanks for the school link. Although we're not in Austin (and we have another 4-5 years to figure this out), I'm excited to see this variety of options!

  13. Elisa

    Affability. Thanks for the reminder. I, um…REALLY, need to practice that one.

  14. Teacher Mommy

    I'm getting all Byronic over on mine.

  15. Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website

    Wow! Great Takes! I have much to share with you in response today:

    1) I actually KNOW Father Marc Foley and have been a guest on a Carmelite silent retreat where he was our Retreat Master…my brother is a very very close friend of his! Father Marc is awesome! He spoke straight to my soul on: "The Results do NOT Belong to You: They Belong to God and God Alone"…and then he looked straight through my eyes and asked, "Do you not have the courage to do a C+ job?" At that time, I was struggling deep inside with some issues of JUST that in our homeschooling experience…OH BOY! The Holy Spirit knows how to get His message across through Father Marc!

    2) The quote was actually originally written the second way.
    When I read your first quote, I thought, "Oh, I'll have to comment and tell Jennifer that that's the OPPOSITE of what he actually wrote"…but then you took care of that for me, didn't ya'?

    3) I hope that you DO open that Bed and Breakfast! Wasn't it you that shared a great post last year about a man who had bought an old house, renovated it and turned it into a restaurant where he used candlelight…had only a handful of guests each night; and cooked for them himself in his kitchen?

    4) In-line with the "affability" discussion…here's a great Pentecost activity…place the seven gifts of the HS on strips of paper (or doves) and have each person draw one out. Consider that particular gift to be the one that God wishes you to reflect upon and grow in the virtue of this year!

    Thanks for Friday Quick Takes and for ALL you write Jennifer. I LOVE your blog!

  16. Katie

    The private school sounds great!

  17. Stephanie Y.

    This was my first time participating. Think I might start doing this every week. Love reading your quick takes.

  18. Scarlett

    #1 – I would totally come to that bed and breakfast! I've been so interested in your posts about artificial light. I'm thinking of going on a media fast when I get done with school (because it's impossible to fast from internet while in school), and I thought for half a second about trying to avoid artificial light, too – but I don't think it would fly with my roommates!

  19. Robyn @Leave the Lights On

    Ooooh, I wouldn't do candles in the B&B. You might even have trouble getting insurance if you have candles. There's a good chance a careless guest will burn the place down. I bet you can find safe fuel-burning lamps to use instead.

    If you REALLY want to get a new time-sucking addiction involving Wikipedia, create an account and start contributing to it. As you can see here, I have finally gotten THAT monkey off my back (mostly). I used to have dozens or even hundreds of edits every single day.

  20. August

    There are fiber optic lighting systems which simply route sunlight where you need it during the day.
    I suspect such a bed and breakfast would be quite therapeutic. I have been wishing I live like this for a long time.

  21. Tom L


    Short answer: probably apocryphal

    Long answer: The first (more common) version is quoted in CCC 2834. Their footnote says "attributed" to St. Ignatius, and they cf. a discussion in a book on the Jesuits by Joseph de Guibert. Guibert quotes two possible sources, both from early writings about Ignatius. Neither is attributed to him as a direct quote, and neither is in the commonly quoted form, though the gist of both is the same as the first version. He concludes: "In this precise formula, the thought is nowhere found in Ignatius' writings nor in any contemporary documents; but nevertheless it does correspond to his ideas."

  22. woolnest

    Hm. Your discussion of "Affability" reminds me of a priest who, years ago, gave me the penance of no longer talking about myself.

    Thinking about it in the context of "affability," though, makes it seem much more humane.

  23. Emily

    LOVE the quote. LOVE it. In both forms!!!!

  24. Kathryn

    Wow. I have never thought about affability this way. I think I just matured (at least a little). 🙂

  25. Jordana

    I think a weekend get-away at a candles only B&B would be very relaxing (although I wonder what the fire insurance would run?). Actually, these days I think a weekend away from certain short people in my life would be relaxing whether or not I had electric lights.

  26. Young Mom

    I love memoirs too, now I want to get that Adrift book!
    And I am not even looking at your #7, so THERE!

  27. Iona C.

    #3 – I'm reading the "Seven Storey Mountain" right now. I like Thomas Merton. Too bad he isn't officially recognized as a saint… yet.

    #6 – Wow… all this time I've thought that St. Augustine said it. I guess I've been prayer-thanking the wrong saint. My bad, haha.

  28. Loretta S.

    About the affability thing…I think Mother Teresa took a "vow" of cheerfulness. She was determined to be cheerful at all times. At first I thought it was frivolous, seriously, you're dealing with the outcasts of the outcasts. You got people dying, victims of domestic violence, children who are beaten, you don't have time to be cheerful. But then at church, we have a staff member who is there a lot of the time and is perpetually disgruntled. And I know he loves serving the Lord, but it really puts a damper on you when you see him because he's always exhausted and doesn't put much effort into being happy for others. And suddenly I realized, dang, that M. Teresa was onto something. I incorporated it into my days as a SAHM as imperfectly as I do, and it does make a difference. Let us know the results!

  29. abroadermark

    As usual, I really enjoyed your quick takes. Thanks for hosting!

  30. scmom (Barbara)

    I think you could open that B & B and have a long list of reservations! I added my link to your box below. Have a great weekend.

  31. Christian H

    15 minutes? More like hours, if I hadn't already known it exists.

    I'm not sure that I prefer the first of the two quotations; I think the latter requires more honesty, in that we except that the only real control we have is over whether or not we accept God's invitation. We must work knowing that our work is useless without God's blessing (which is true), and we must pray knowing that God requires we choose him ourselves (which is also true). But I can see the appeal in praying humbly and working hard, too.

    Too few people are affable. I think I know a half-dozen or fewer noticably affable people.

  32. Amity

    A few years back, I worked for a home school/private school hybrid similar to Annunciation, only Protestatnt, and smaller, I think (I was the only employee other than the headmaster.) It was pretty impressive, with the Latin and the Dante and all. It would have killed my spirit as a child, though. I wouldn't have had time to explore anything that interested me, and I'm pretty sure that I would have rebelled. As an adult, I genefitted from the program: grading all those papers prepared me admirably for grad school.

  33. Summer


    Hmm, I am really pondering this quaote too.
    Thank you!

  34. Flexo

    It would appear that whichever is the right quote, there is a corrolary, which is the other quote.

  35. Mama Bean

    But if you get better at affability we won't get to read your hilarious sportscasting of your day.
    You're only allowed to be more affable if you simultaneously become super funny in another way 🙂
    Just kidding! Thanks for the post 🙂

  36. Gina

    Although it does have electric light, this is the best B&B EVER:


    Seriously, if you're ever in that area, you have to try it. The rooms are gorgeous, the food is great, and the couple that run it are so sweet. Icing on the cake: There are quite a few classic novels in the bookcases! I can't remember the last time I'd felt so pampered and relaxed, and a time when I really needed that.

  37. LaughingLioness

    The school sounds wonderful! there is a national association of 3-day schools called National Assoc of University Model Schools. You can read more about them here: http://www.naums.net/

  38. Anonymous

    #6– The first quote is correct and I found multiple sources that attribute it to St. Augustine.

  39. Anne

    After a year of blogging, I suffered from blog burnout and have decided that if I am going to write a blog, I can't keep up with the Meme's anymore, I just have to write my own thing on my own schedule-but, your 7 QT's was one of my favorites!

    Regarding affability, I am completely lacking. In the midst of perimenopause and possibly suffering from a much more serious mood disorder, I've got a long way to go from inflicting my feelings on others. If you are serious about discarding your exposure of moods, I recommend reading about Elisabeth Leseur. Her diary, "My Spirit Rejoices" is a great testimony to the strength she found in only revealing joy to those around her and giving all of her pain and sufferings to God in a secret pact to convert her atheistic husband. She has become one of my new favorite holy people!

  40. Jess

    I know I am late responding but I wanted to comment on the artificial light quick take. In a college class I learned that our sleep patterns have changed drastically since artificial light was introduced. Apparently, humans used to sleep in 4-5 hour blocks and there was night-waking at night that was considering normal. People would get up, have a light snack, converse, etc. and go back to bed. There has been some research, I wish I could pinpoint the actual article that my professor had us read. It was fascinating.

    Maybe new babies born are wired correctly and we are the ones screwed up expecting 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. 🙂 If you ever find a candle light only B&B let me know, sounds right up my alley.

  41. Anonymous

    this is about the boat – Fred said
    "I told God I would let go and listen.
    I would let God build this boat."
    And because of this boat, Fred has prayed with thousands of people and won multiple awards even though it is the only boat he has ever built.

  42. Josie

    please open that B&B-i LOVE that idea!!!! I'll be your first customer….God bless!

  43. nuntym

    Hi again Jennifer!

    Sorry for this late reply, but I think I found that quote by St. Ignatius which is the basis for the latter saying in #6:

    “Let this be the first rule of your undertakings: confide in God as if the success of those undertakings depended completely upon you and not at all upon God; nonetheless give your whole self to the undertakings as if you yourself would be doing nothing in them but God alone would be doing everything.”

    Unfortunately, I haven't found where this was from originally.

    The best explanation for this quote I found was what I read in http://whosoeverdesires.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/the-hope-of-st-peter-canisius/

    "[St. Peter Canisius, SJ (1521-1597)]'s Peter’s strength came not from “working as if everything depended on himself and praying as if everything depended on God” (an unhappy wedding of Pelagianism and Quietism, popularized in this pithy formulation by Benjamin Franklin). Rather, his rule of action was nearly the reverse. He both prayed to God and begged the prayers of others as if everything depended on himself (that is, ever mindful of his own natural mediocrity), and he worked as if everything depended on God (that is, assured of God’s power to grant success). St. Peter so believed in God’s will to make good on His promises that he looked neither to the right nor to the left, neither to himself nor to his merely human prospects, for assurance. He was able to work tireless precisely because he looked only to God."


  1. 7 quick takes friday - A Life in Balance - [...] more quick takes, check out Jen’s list at Conversion Diaries, and the other quick takes. [...]

Connect With Me On Social Media or Explore My Site



The "THIS IS JEN" podcast is on Facebook & all podcast apps


- Subscribe on iTunes or Google Play (audio)

- Get weekly bonus episodes on Patreon

- Sign up for my email list to be the first
to know about new tour dates