7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 103)

October 29, 2010 | 45 comments

— 1 —

So here’s the deal: I had some babysitter time this morning that I was going to use to write my quick takes. Then an old friend called and asked if I wanted to meet for coffee. The introvert part of my brain screamed “NOOOO!!!” and presented me with an image of being holed up in my room, alone with my laptop, staring at the glowing monitor in ecstasy. Then the sane part of my brain kicked in and reminded me that maybe, sometimes, it just might be a good thing to, you know, leave the house. Anyway, we had a really fun meet-up at Starbucks, which leaves me with very little time to write my quick takes today. So how about a bunch of links?

— 2 —

Let’s start out with a bang. This video is unbelievably awesome. You have to watch it.

(via Deacon Greg)

— 3 —

Betty Duffy is on fire again. You do read Betty Duffy, right? Anyway, I keep thinking about her post about being a slave to the no. (It reminds me of a lot of the points in that second book I talked about yesterday, about how we try to control the world with our no‘s.)

— 4 —

This post about the “ghosts of babies” on Facebook made a point that really stuck with me:

[Cardinal J. Francis Stafford] noted that of all the issues that he had faced through the years when hearing confessions, one of the issues that consistently had the most devastating effects on the spiritual lives of penitents was infertility.

How serious? Often, he said, the spiritual effects of infertility were even worse than those suffered by those who lost a child to disease or to a tragic accident. There was a unique and silent pain suffered by those who wanted to have children, but could not. Whole communities will rally around those who lose a child. Those who feel denied the unique joys and pains of parenthood often suffer in silence, except for the interior screams of pain that others rarely hear.

Not that I didn’t already know what a heavy cross infertility is, but it reminded me to keep couples struggling to conceive in my prayers. (via New Advent)

— 5 —

I know I just linked to Heather King last week, but if I’m doing a roundup of “best links I saw this week, ” I can’t skip her post about why she kneels in church. Short but powerful.

— 6 —

You need to read Steven Pressfield’s post about his life as an ad man. Even if you have no interest in advertising or writing, he makes powerful points about the danger of thinking that certain types of work are beneath you. While you’re at it, check out his post about the most important writing lesson he ever learned (he does use some profanity in that second one — just FYI if that’s not your cup of tea). It’s a fantastic point about humility and communication.

— 7 —

Aw, man, I was just getting started! You’ll have to check out my links blog for more good stuff. Have a great weekend, everyone. Happy Halloween/All Hallows’ Eve!


Below is a 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.


  1. Holly

    It’s hard for me to leave the house too and not because I’m an introvert. There is too much to do. I would have loved to be on a coffee date today…instead, I spent more time with my laptop than I should have.

  2. George @ Convert Journal

    In light of the importance of Tuesday’s US mid-term election, my entry this week is a sort of “Catholic voters guide.” I give some introductory comments followed by 10 videos that tell the full story.

  3. JoAnna

    I’m glad you had a good coffee date! It is good to break free of the introvert bubble occasionally.

  4. Michelle

    cool video. Powerful quote. Awesome links. Thanks!!!

  5. Judy

    If you keep posting videos and links (i.e. Mosquito-heart) like these, then my almost 14 year old son Jake is going to start battling me for time on the computer at ConversionDairy.com! VERY AMAZING stuff! Thanks! (I loved the little girl “swinging” her bike into her “parking spot”!)

  6. Jenny

    Thanks for hosting Jennifer. I enjoy visiting new blogs and reading their Quick Takes.

  7. Martianne

    A links blog? Oh no! Are you trying to distract me from things i should be doing by offering bunny trails to hop down? I will stay focused, I will stay focused, I WILL stay focused!

    Have a blessed day!

  8. Pam

    Wow, do I ever identify with the first one. I could totally see myself having the same struggle (if I had kids of needing-a-babysitter age). I’ve often thought how much I would like to chat with you over coffee if we lived anywhere close — and I mean that in a totally sane, non-stalkerish way.

    BTW — my 7 Quick Takes this week talks a bit about Reformation Day. For the record, I don’t see today’s Catholic church as the same entity as it was in the 16th century. I have many Catholic friends who I consider brothers and sisters in Christ. Just to be clear. πŸ™‚

  9. Megan

    Sounds like the coffee date was fun! It is one of my favorite things to do with friends. πŸ™‚
    That stunt video was crazy! It is amazing what people can do!

  10. Margaret in Minnesota

    About your meeting your friend at the Starbucks for coffee instead of staying home on the computer?

    You chose the better portion.

  11. Margaret in Minnesota

    Although…for the sake of accuracy…Caribou does an even BETTER cup than Starbucks.

  12. Liesl

    That post about kneeling is quite amazing. That’s the way I feel about it too – unfortunately, my parish back home has NEVER used kneelers. We don’t have Jesus on the crucifix, but we have an artistic rendering if a resurrected Jesus on the altar (very beautiful, don’t get me wrong)… I look back and think that maybe what I was longing for in my faith life was the awe and respect that I get now.

  13. Chasing Gypsies in Europe

    Enlightening quote on infertility. I have a sister who has been dealing with infertility for 2 years now, while my family and my siblings families continue to grow. She’s hurting so badly.

  14. Jeanne

    I had a friend invite me out for coffee this week too… but she realised she had a scheduling conflict so it won’t be until next week. I too am an introvert, but I am excited to kind of get out of my shell and get to know people better. I need a support system that is more than my husband and family.

  15. Erin P

    Just posted my Quick Takes as well. You always have much cooler stuff though! Have a great weekend!

  16. Jenny C.

    Infertility is certainly tough. Fortunately, God can use that longing to move people to adopt a whole mess of the little critters and fill their house with love and laughter. Or move them to work with an orphanage at home or abroad. There are many ways that God can fill your life with the love and magic that children bring. Being infertile is not the same thing as being childless. And even a 70 year old childless woman can move to Guatemala or the Ukraine or wherever and start holding those precious babies that nobody else wants. It’s a match made in heaven! πŸ™‚

  17. Andrea

    Great uplifiting video. I especially enjoyed the walking (running) on water!

  18. Josephene Kealey

    My favourite clip in the video was the man jumping into a river, while a group of girls in a passing boat looked back to watch. I thought — I bet they want to kiss him. : ) Besides the handful of amazing feats performed by girls and women, most of these clips were of men throwing themselves into dangerous situations for the thrill. Men are wonderful for being like that. And with breaks and scrapes and cuts and bruises, they come out smiling (if only internally…). And then their friends try to do the same! I don’t fully understand it (going for coffee sounds more enticing to me), but I love it. : )

  19. Rebecca

    This is perfect. I’m totally unmotivated to get any real work accomplished AT work today – this should successfully take me through lunch!

    Have a great weekend!

  20. Julia

    Thanks for posting the infertility link. I think it’s very important to make others aware of the deep heartache that comes with this cross. My husband and I have experienced three consecutive early pregnancy losses and do not have any living children, so I have dealt with the issues addressed in the article firsthand.

    While my faith has grown much deeper over the past two years and I have found much consolation in the Church, it can also be a reminder of what we don’t have. It breaks my heart, for myself and for other childless couples, every time I hear the phrase from the Catechism that children are the crowning glory and supreme gift of a marriage. I know it isn’t meant to hurt couples without children, but the emotional reaction is to ask why our marriages aren’t as deserving.

    I hope there continues to be a growing awareness within parish families of how to support those couples. Thanks for your prayers!

    • Katie


      I too know the pain you are feeling. My husband an I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary this December and we began trying to conceive immediately. After a year passed I went to the doctor to begin the process of seeing what could be holding us back and I was told that I was too young for them to even consider doing testing yet. Eventually the doctors began testing me and could not find anything that pointed to why.

      While my husband and I processed this cross in our lives we began to pray about adoption; however, we both felt that we weren’t being called to adoption at this time.

      For reasons that I will never understand, last October we conceived. At our first visit the doctors took extra blood to see if they could now detect anything that might point to why I was now able to conceive. Through those tests they diagnosed me with hypothyroidism which explains my difficulty conceiving as well as my life-long struggle with being overweight. Why they never tested for this before, we’ll never know.

      My son Daniel was born in July and we praise God every day for this gift, made all the sweeter by the years of waiting.

      However, that time of waiting was one of the most spiritually painful time of my entire life. The quote you referenced from the catechism is a favorite of my associate pastor – he uses it at least once a month! And each and every time it was a knife in my heart. I teach at a high school and we have had a few of our female students get pregnant in the past few years. Each time, as ridiculous as it sounds, there is this twinge of envy and resentment towards that girl that she should be so lucky to get pregnant. Being at Church and seeing families with young children or women with growing bellies was such a painful experience that for a time I stopped attending Church all together – it was just too hard. There are groups at our Church for young adults – but it was all singles looking for spouses, no married young people. We were told that the young parents support group was for people at ‘our stage’ of life. However, we weren’t parents (yet)! It’s sad that there was no place to turn!

      It is heartening to hear a Bishop speak with such compassion on this issue. Everytime someone commented ‘so when are you guys gonna have a kid?’ I silently screamed in my heart.

  21. Young Mom

    Cool, now I have some stuff to watch later!

  22. Rachel

    I’ve been lurking for a while, but this is my first time playing. Thanks for hosting!

  23. Tracy

    I can so relate to not wanting to leave the house – even for a visit with a good friend…
    I played along today; it’s been awhile. Thanks for hosting.

  24. Fencing Bear

    Awesome video, but why is it all guys? I counted like three women (one cheerleader, one little girl on a bike, and one gymnast). What is this saying about what people consider awesome?

  25. Kassie @ Secret Vatican Spy

    Betty Duffy is indeed on fire again. She is on my list of Bloggers I Want To Be When I Grow Up. You and Hallie and Simcha are up there too. πŸ˜€

    Also, fantastic clip.

    Also, also, HAVE A GLORIOUS FRIDAY!!

  26. trs

    So true regarding the pain of infertility. But remember it doesn’t end with couples who want to concieve and can’t. As a 40 year old woman who has never married… and has practiced abstinence for most of my life… it is very painful to me to not be able to have children.

    As a Catholic and Christian… suggestions to “Have a child anyway” even though I’m not married are not helpful at all! Even if I didn’t have the great desire to parent with a partner in life… um… I’m poor – I can barely meet my own fixed expenses let alone a child. I could parent poor with a partner but not alone.

    Just saying, it is really painful to know that you don’t get what everyone else gets (marriage, motherhood) and it often seems like it is a direct result of preserving sexuality for marriage. Feels like a real punishment.

    Please keep single people who desire family in your prayers along with the infertile couples!

  27. Maria D. @ Downright Domesticity

    Thanks for sharing the video! I’ve seen a lot of those clips separately around the internet, but it is really neat to see them all together like that.

  28. Rebekka

    1. Awesome, but also keeping orthopedic surgeons in business. Holy moly.
    2. Infertility sucks.

  29. Erika

    My son must never, never see that video, LOL!

  30. Christy

    Awesome video! I love watching stuff like that. πŸ™‚

    And yay, Starbucks! I’m glad you had a good experience – if you lived closer to Pittsburgh, I probably could have made your latte! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

  31. Salome Ellen

    The wheelchair flip in the video took my breath away!

  32. Elizabeth

    I just posted my first 7 Quick Takes so I’d like to THANK YOU for the inspiration! God bless you!

  33. Erika

    I really enjoyed doing this!

  34. Leila

    Number 1 — Oh, I so totally RELATE!!!!!

    Number 4 — Yes, I believe this. I have been reading the Catholic infertility blogs for over a year now. Infertility is so devastating, and so isolating.

  35. Missus Wookie

    Thanks for hosting this – forgot to link/comment on Friday ’cause I also was in a rush due to amazingly getting to go out and be with real people. Strange feeling but worth it πŸ™‚

  36. alison

    thanks for mentioning something about infertility. it makes us feel less invisible πŸ™‚

  37. David O'Neil

    I’ve made seven short takes on some forgotten aspects of religion available in the 87th linkback (http://randommonkeyworks.com/wordpress/?p=236). Hopefully, this leads to a fuller, more comprehensive discussion about our spiritual history.

    Best wishes,

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