Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

So did you tune in? Catholic Women Now, the new radio show I’m co-hosting for Iowa Catholic Radio debuted this week. Lots of excitement … and now plenty of room for analysis, feedback, and improvement. That’s a good thing, right? Julie and I wouldn’t want to lay down all our cards on the first show now, would we?  We had a terrific interview with singer/songwriter Sarah Kroger and enjoyed sharing her music with the listeners. Our feedback line is open: [email protected] Drop us a note, let us know what’s working, and share show ideas. 

Why do I have a feeling this Litany of Humility is going to come in handy?

— 2 —

So as I was searching through my keepsake box, looking for that radio broadcasting paper I completed in eighth grade and wrote about here, I stumbled upon this All About Me book.

It was a collective class project completed during the third grade. My favorite colors were pink and purple; favorite foods were pizza and lasagna. Favorite subject? Art. Webster was my favorite TV show. Webster?! And my favorite sport … cheerleading. Cheerleading’s a sport?

Oh my word … I am my daughter. My daughter is me. I’m equal parts delighted and mortified. 

— 3 —

Another cool project I am involved with is the We Need a Savior Christmas CD. Several months ago I was asked to record Mary, Did You Know (please, don’t get into an argument with me about the theology of the song. Yes, Mary knew. Let’s leave it at that!). Accompanied by piano, flute, and upright string bass, the arrangement and recording turned out well.

Over one hundred singers and musicians from 18 different Catholic Churches in the Des Moines Diocese made this Christmas CD possible. It’s terrific! My friends Bob Weast and Tom Quiner, the same duo who produced The Calling CD that raised over $13,000 for our diocese’s seminarian fund, also produced this CD. We Need A Savior costs $15 each or 3 for $40. Proceeds go to the parishes and Iowa Catholic Radio. Drop me a note here if interested in making a purchase. Sure to make great gifts and proceeds go to a good cause — Holy Mother Church!

— 4 —

Speaking of music, I don’t do a lot with it anymore other than cantoring at Mass and providing music for an occasional funeral or wedding. I’ve become somewhat of “The Funeral Singer” for one extended family here in Des Moines. Sadly, the matriarch of the family died and I cantored for the funeral this week.

Funerals give me an opportunity to hear how ordinary Catholics lived extraordinarily holy, simple lives. And the woman we honored this week, Leola, was certainly one of them. Here are few things I heard about her.

  • One of Leola’s favorite sayings: Everyone should have a wish bone, a back bone, and a funny bone!
  • A cute story: Several years ago Leola’s husband perpetually came to the dinner table without wearing a shirt. No matter how much Leola complained, he often ate shirtless. So one evening, Leola got up from the table and came back without wearing her shirt. Leola’s husband gasped, left the table, and came back a minute later wearing his shirt. From then on he always came dressed for dinner. Problem solved.
  • And finally, a heartbreaking analogy: Leola’s daughter shared how hard it was to watch her mom die from complications of dementia. The daughter made an analogy that watching a loved one die to dementia is like building a snowman in the spring. I have never heard it expressed this way, but I think I’ll now always view it from that lens. Several of my friends are caring for parents in a similar situation. Much love and prayers to you all.

— 5 —

The holidays are approaching, and I’m already breaking out in my annual gift-gifting fever and rash. Not my love language, friends. How do you approach gift giving and gift receiving in your extended families? I know this is a perennial hot button topic. Any creative ideas to share?

— 6 —

In case you’re wondering, my love langue is Words of Affirmation. For example, a friend dropped me a note this week and asked, “Has anyone said thank you for living out your vocation? I’m saying it — Thank you!”

Just those few words were a tremendous boost on what’s been a rather exhausting month and week. Is there a friend in your life who may need a few words of affirmation? Giving her a few might be the best (and cheapest!) gift you can give. 

— 7 —

In the twink of an eye! No doubt you’ve heard by now that Hostess is closing up shop? No more Twinkies, no more Ring Dings, no more Wonder Bread. I don’t even eat that stuff, but I feel called to stand in solidarity with the near 18,500 employees who are now staring down unemployment. Going to bake these in their honor. 

Image credit: King Arthur Flour

Recipe here.

In all seriousness. Report after report shows America is just beginning to experience mounting job cuts. Buckle up, folks, serious turbulence ahead. I pledge to offer a prayer each day for those experiencing unemployment. Here’s a Litany to Find Employment a few friends have used. May God give us all strength.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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  1. says

    gift giving and our extended family got easier a few years back when we all discussed (around Thanksgiving) that none of us needed anything. We were all adults and it was just too hard and stressful. The cousins all did name swaps for years and the adults did the “white elephant” gift exchange a few times, but we focus on trying to get as many together as possible over Thanksgiving and usually Christmas Eve. Time is the best gift. It certainly made the gift giving thing so much easier!!

  2. Marie says

    Congrats on your radio show and CD, very cool!

    We draw names in our extended families, even for the kids. I kind of want to stop altogether, even though gifts are my second love language. Just makes Advent so stressful and I’d rather be enjoying it with my kids. I’ve never been this Scrooge-y before. : (

    • says

      I’m there girl, I’m there, too. We have a combined Thanksgiving/Christmas on Joel’s side this week. Haven’t bought a single thing yet. So guess how Scrooge-y I’m prone to be. I think I’ll make “choose joy!” my mantra.

  3. says

    We’ve stopped individual gift giving, and we try to do something meaningful instead–like this year my husband is planning to make homemade “hats” (a pasta everyone loves) for each family. In mine, we’ve gone to a communal donation. Stick do your guns!

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