Friendship is so important. We’ve talked about this before and have encouraged people to reach out to their friends with an actual phone call and an actual outing, rather than a text or on social media…but this came off potentially judgy. We know that in some cases, texting and social media are all you’ve got. And in other cases, they just make more sense! Here’s how that looks in my life.
The Friend in a Different State
One of my high school besties, Juliana, moved to the Midwest after college. We share the same birthday, but we havebt celebrated it tofether since approximately 2004. We’ve missed one another’s weddings, become parents, moved on in our careers, and bought houses. Every year on our birthday, though, we text. We have nice textversations or chats on Facebook messenger about 3 times a year. That isn’t much, I know. But it’s how we’re able to maintain our friendship, even if it isn’t quite what it once was.
The Friends Who Were Your Group in College
We refer to ours as “SFA Sisters.” Comprised of four of us, we all majored in the same thing, and three of us worked in costume design. Three of us live in Texas and one is in Missouri. Two of us still work in theatre. We have a Facebook Messenger chat group that’s filled with all of our exciting news as well as a ton of gifs. We’ve announced pregnancies, jobs, houses, and randomness to one another in these groups. I’d say our closeness is still pretty strong.
The Friend Who Lives Nearby
It’s even hard to hang out with these friends sometimes; the ones I consider my closest friends. These are the ones I text most frequently, but we also call one another. We tag on Facebook about local events we can go to and email each other interesting articles.
Friendship: Not One Size Fits All
In conclusion,we have plenty of tech helping us maintain our relationships, and although we LOVE hanging out with our friends in person, sometimes it just isn’t feasible. Don’t feel badly if you’re in that boat, too. Reaching out and letting your friend know you miss them and are there for them is important, regardless of the media you use to do so.
Yesterday at Mass, I heard salvation, hope, direction, and inspiration to succeed in my everyday life.
Those words that inspired me were words I’d heard before, but my focus was elsewhere; my attention was interrupted by noise. I realized just how much noise there is in the world.
It surrounds me and my environment every day. Loud, intrusive, offensive, argumentative, rude, selfish, crazy, nonsense, righteous, judgmental, unloving, uncharitable, opinionated….noise. I could go on forever about the noise that surrounds me.
We all look for God in one way or another in that noise; some find him, and others are still searching. Just like Elijah was looking for God in yesterday’s reading. He was in a cave, lodging there.
How many of us are just lodging like that? Just lying around not doing much with our lives? He was in a state of waiting, I know I can compare myself to Elijah in that respect: I’m also waiting for direction.
Elijah was told by the Lord “…What are you doing here…?” (1 Kings 19:9), it seems to me that Lord was confused on why Elijah was just sitting there. He then told Elijah “…Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord…” (1 Kings 19:11) The Lord told Elijah that he was there and wanted Elijah to see him.
In the Calm
In the readings Elijah went and stood out on the mount. He experienced huge winds, earthquakes, and fire; but God wasn’t in any of those elements. It wasn’t until the entire ruckus calmed down that Elijah was able to hear the little whisper of God. It was when Elijah was calm and his faith was steady that he heard God.
The Gospel was about Peter, and we’ve all heard the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus. Peter was in a boat that was in the rocky water. Jesus came to Peter and the others in the middle of the night, the fourth watch. They all believed Jesus to be a ghost; except Peter: he knew it was Jesus. He followed what Jesus said “… Take heart; it is I; have no fear.” (Matthew 14:27)
He put his faith in the Lord when he was in the rocky water. He walked on water toward Jesus, but the wind (more noise) scared him, he faltered and started too descended into the water. Jesus who was right there grabbed him and said “Ye of little faith, why did you doubt” (Matthew 14:31)
Peter faltered in his faith because his attention was on the noise, not God. When Peter was quiet and his faith was steady he heard God.
Seeking on Rocky Waters
I can count how many times in my life that I’ve been in rocky waters or the noise engulfs me and I am nowhere near where I need to be with God. Times when I am still fuming from what I read on Facebook a couple of minutes before I started praying or am distracted.
There is a ton of fear and negativity in our world right now. Theres a lot of life going on, too. How am I going to focus on God and not the noise? Well, I came up with five things that I am going to start doing for less noise in my everyday life.
1. Before I pray, quiet myself and surroundings.
2. Put away my phone during “Family and Friend” time.
3. Be more positive and charitable with my responses.
4. Listen and think before I respond to anything.
5. Thank God for all of the blessings in my life; not harp on what is wrong.
We would love for you to drop your prayers in the comments or share with us how you quiet yourself so God can shine through.
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We’re back to FIAT!
Last weekend was amazing and we loved being on The Jennifer Fulwiler Show! We found out that it is available on Sirius On Demand. Yay!
This week we’re back and talking about positivity!
Won’t you join us?
Bridgette and Kristi spent the weekend in Austin at the lovely Edel Gathering and met tons of cool women, ate good food, and heard inspiring words. Here’s a photo snippet from the weekend!
It started with an appearance on the Jennifer Fulwiler Show on Sirius XM The Catholic Channel. Picture courtesy of Hallie Lord!
Then the ladies embarked on the short journey to the car in order to check into their AirBnB. There was an umbrella…in the car…so our ladies got caught up in a small summer rain. Fun times!
The next morning Bridgette took a SoulCore class and Kristi caught coffee with some new friends (including the ladies behind One Hail Mary at a Time and A Gentle Mother). Then they met up for brunch with Bridgette’s sister. This was snapped just before registration.
Kristi had to snap a picture with Hallie per the request of Little Miss. Side bar: Hallie is one cool lady.
The conference ended with a dinner where Bridgette was a table hostess. Then the karaoke and dancing began…
Here our fearless ladies take the stage to wow the crowd 1993 Salt-n-Pepa style with “Shoop.” They were actually told by a couple of ladies that their charisms were blogging and karaoke!
Hallie had to stop Bridgette to tell her how much she enjoyed the performance. Jen missed it.
Why, yes. That is Bridgette…dancing…in the middle if circle surrounded by women cheering her on. The lady has some mad dance skills. This is her grooving to “Uptown Funk.”
Generally speaking, I think of myself as a pretty good, practicing Catholic. I also call myself a “New Woman” feminist. Further, I am a woman who possesses what St. JP II called “the feminine genius.” Let’s look at these concepts briefly.
I first encountered New Woman feminism in an independent study course I took my senior year of college, while writing a critical paper on feminist theatre, focusing on a particular female playwright from the beginning of the twentieth century.
At its most basic, a New Woman feminist was a woman or a man who believed that a woman had things to offer society, be it through advocacy for poor women, suffrage, or economic independence. They also believed in a woman’s right to education, and a woman’s contributions to art and the humanities as authors and scientists. Perhaps most staggeringly different from today’s feminists, they also did not look down upon marriage and motherhood. For them, feminism was about women being on equal societal footing with men, while also acknowledging their uniqueness as women. That’s my feminism.
Pope St. John Paul II believed in acknowledging the feminine as well, citing women’s feminine genius:
“…society certainly owes much to the ‘genius of women’. Here I would like to express particular appreciation to those women who are involved in the various areas of education extending well beyond the family: nurseries, schools, universities, social service agencies, parishes, associations and movements. Wherever the work of education is called for, we can note that women are ever ready and willing to give themselves generously to others, especially in serving the weakest and most defenceless.” -Paragraph 9, Letter to Women
Here, the saint of my generation, is calling us to action: be who you’re designed to be; who God is calling you to be: giving of ourselves generously to others. Pretty neat.
Thanks for the exposition, Kristi. What’s your point?
Recently, the Christian blogosphere and Twitterverse has been populated with comments and suggestions that women are somehow emasculating their husbands if they are stay-at-home moms; that women are failing as wives if they don’t do ALL the housework.
I beg your pardon? This is a dangerous and, frankly, asinine narrative to put forth.
Bridgette is a stay-at-home mom, and she’s written about fulfilling her vocation as a homemaker. I sincerely doubt that Captain, her husband, feels less masculine because she stays at home to raise the kids. Rachel, too, is a stay-at-home wife, and The Scientist relies on her to literally run the household. I can vouch here as well that he isn’t complaining about being emasculated. Nor does Superman, who is married to me, a working mom, feel hyper-masculine because I’m NOT a stay-at-home mom.
Despite our working or staying differences, in all three households, we share the chores evenly. In my home, I do dishes and Superman does laundry. The rest of them are divided among us and Little Miss, as appropriate. This doesn’t mean that I’m a failure because I don’t do it all.
What this does mean is that I am a human person, like my husband. We entered into our marriage as partners. In marriage, when I work with my husband toward a goal (dinner, clean home, etc.), he and I are both giving generously of ourselves.
As Christian women, we aren’t meant to be doormats. We aren’t supposed to bow down to the whims of our husbands at our own peril for the sake of obedience. We aren’t responsible for the thoughts of men, either (but…that’s another post). You know what else? We are not meant to be superwomen.
As Christian women, though, we are asked to love our fellow human beings, forgive those who’ve hurt us, ask for forgiveness for those we’ve hurt, and use our God-given gifts to help those around us. We’re called to be helpers and to be Jesus to “the least of these.”
That’s our feminine genius.