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simplicity, Charlotte Mason homeschooling, Old World inspiration, Oriental dance, style & beauty

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Ides of the March




Let me say upfront that I'm feeling very clever about the title of this post right now! I rarely write about politics or current news events, but I realize that I have a responsibility to do so. Organic Mothering typically receives 7,000 to 9,000 views per month, and while I'm sure that's nothing compared to Matt Walsh's stats, it's nothing to sneeze at either.

God gave me both an opinionated personality and a gift with words. I owe it to Him to stop being so quiet about things that really matter, and to start doing what he created me to do. I have realized lately how much my need for other people's approval has dampened my spirit, to the point that I actually checked a book out of the library called Approval Addiction. In our current liberal, severely left-wing, socialist culture (which is truly the hallmark of Barack Obama's legacy), if one is not a perfect parrot of political correctness, one is booed, hissed, and stoned to death. It's actually deliciously rebellious to be a traditional American and Christian right now, not to mention a pro-life woman. When I was a teenager, my dad told me that my big mouth would get me in trouble some day. I sincerely hope he's right!

So on to this "women's march". I was at my grandma's on Sunday to celebrate her 89th birthday. I don't have TV reception at my house, so I normally would not have seen anything of the march's shenanigans. Thanks be to God that while Grandma's TV was turned on, the sound was off. And thank goodness it was a spring-like day and my 12-year-old daughter was playing outside much of the time, because I wouldn't have been prepared for the rated-R program happening on CNN. 

It looked like Ashley Judd was rapping, so on Monday I just had to find the youtube video. She recited a slam poem written by a 19-year-old that sounded like it was written by a 19-year-old. So painfully awful, both content-wise and artistically, it literally made me cry. Madonna's dancing had been cut off by commercials, so I wanted to see that and hear her sing. What she said, her singing voice, even the dancing--a train wreck from every angle. Both of these ladies spouted virtually nothing but obscenity and low-brow entertainment. What valid claims of injustice against women these celebrities might have made were drowned out in vulgarity and crude images. Scarlett Johansson's lackluster defense (and what other kind of defense could there be?) of Planned Parenthood belied the general ignorance regarding this institution begun by Margaret Sanger, a woman whose most ardent desire was to use abortion to eradicate the black race from the face of the earth. And let's not pretend that that's no longer part of the agenda. Incidentally, Live Action revealed proof just today that Planned Parenthood does not in reality offer prenatal care, as insisted by its president, Cecil Richards--a married woman who aborted her 4th baby simply because she thought three children was enough. 


Some pictures and stories of the spectacle that I saw--"pussy hats", vagina costumes, acts of aggression, lewd signs, mostly naked bodies--it all adds up to childishness, indecency, social dysfunction and depravity. What a lost opportunity to forward the legitimate needs and issues of women! But we have to keep in mind that many of these women, especially the young, have simply been misguided and deceived. They sincerely believe the propaganda. They need to know the truth, and we women and men of grace are called upon to give it to them. We need to respectfully listen to their side of things, and then as kindly as possible guide them in the right direction.

This march was advertised as a support for women's issues--a thinly veiled deception, as the agenda was clearly an anti-Trump, anti-democracy, pro-abortion, pro-nasty-woman rally. A pro-life feminist group originally allowed co-sponsorship of the march was kicked to the curb, so clearly this event was not intended to support the interests and concerns of all women. The human rights of unborn females, the most marginalized and vulnerable of all, were not given a voice. No matter how you frame the picture, it's hypocrisy at its best. 

Well, we have another march coming up this Friday, January 27--the annual March for Life. I for one can't wait to witness the contrast between this march and the march madness (I did it again!) of three days ago. We have seen the pitiful desperation and phony "revolution of love" that we are dealing with. In two days they will see what real women look like and how they behave. 

That is, if the mainstream media covers it. But considering that they have consistently failed to do so year after year, I'm not betting on it. The March for Life is of similar size and scope, in D.C., nationwide and worldwide, as the so-called women's march, but I'd bet you my house that it won't get the same all-day, all-night coverage. You can watch live streaming of the March for Life at www.ewtn.com.

Dear readers, let's flood social media with the March for Life. Fill every crevice you can with notices that this is happening. Link to every online article and video you can get your hands on to show as many people as possible that the pro-life movement is a force to be reckoned with. We must be silent no longer. Be charitable with your foes, but don't be afraid to be loud. Don't mince words. Call a spade a spade. This is a spiritual battle, and Satan is the sponsor of the mayhem--the malevolent spirit behind that abominable march, Planned Parenthood, and the false representation of the dignity of women. This is not the time for diplomacy. You might even say this is war. 

There is hope. I heard just today that the House of Representatives has passed the motion to make permanent the Hyde Amendment. So we have our first pro-life victory of this new administration. We will celebrate every achievement great or small. We know that Justice will win in the end, that the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph. Let's make the time now. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Dream Behind the Dream





In a certain way, my dream for a pilgrimage to Brittany in France is symbolic of a deeper dream, the dream behind the dream, if you will. I've written at other times on this blog about the idea of a contemplative vocation for "ordinary" people, that is, those who are not formal religious (priests, monks, nuns, etc...). There is a book by Marsha Sinetar on this topic that I've read a number of times, Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics. The contemplative life can be difficult to define, so what is particularly helpful about this book is that Sinetar interviewed a wide spectrum of people who identify with this idea of the ordinary monk or mystic. We can see the common thread of the contemplative spirit flowing through their unique stories.

Through their anecdotes of spiritual awakening, we get a picture of the various ways that people have managed to carve out a life centered in prayer, meditation, and reflection, a life that is simplified and pared down in such a way as to allow for a focus on deepening spirituality and a self-actualizing authenticity. This requires a drawing away from the world to a certain extent, allowing a person to develop inner serenity and his or her God-given gifts and talents in order to be able to better serve the world in positive ways.

Last night I finished reading another book by Sinetar, Sometimes, Enough Is Enough, in which she further explores the "casual contemplative" life. What the title refers to is the reality that sometimes we have to fight the outward resistance to such a way of life, because it might seem crazy to other people. We have to learn to set boundaries and protect the time and space that we need in order to make union with the Divine the foundation of our lives. We must have those times carved out in each day for activities that nourish the spiritual life, which typically include contemplative prayer, meditation, the reading of Scripture and other sacred/spiritual texts, and perhaps a physical practice that coincides, such as yoga, pilates, walking in nature, gardening, or dance.

The contemplative soul may also have artistic work that he or she is, or longs to be, passionately engaged in. This might include poetry or other writing, painting, wood working, glass blowing, knitting, musical composition, and the like. Some casual contemplatives have chosen to relocate to very rural areas where they can have more quiet and a higher degree of isolation from the busyness of modern life. Others continue to be very active in the world and bring the peace and authenticity of the reflective life to whatever field they work in.

So much of what I have been writing about lately is tied to this contemplative calling. Letting go of perfectionism and the need for the approval of other people is key to my spiritual healing and progress on the path to an authentic, joyful life. The result may or may not be specifically a trip to Brittany. It is the spiritual pilgrimage which is important and necessary. Often a physical pilgrimage will manifest as well. What I know for sure is that clearing the clutter in my life is the first step. Contemplative domesticity, as I have newly subtitled this blog, is my theme for 2017!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A New Year's Dream


Quimper, Brittany, France

Happy New Year, dear readers! I want to share with you a new dream I have in my heart. You might guess it from the photo, so let's get right to it.

I went to Mass on New Year's Eve, the Solemnity of the Mother of God. The priest's homily was very simple, but somehow it sunk into a hidden corner of my psyche and went to work. What stood out was the difference he drew between a goal and a wish. A goal needs a plan to reach it. Without a plan, all you have is a wish. Let that sink in a moment.

On New Year's Day, my dream surfaced. I have written before about my Celtic heritage, and how I discovered that my French ancestors of the Valle family were an ancient, noble clan in Brittany. Located in the northwest corner of France, the territory of Brittany is part of the group of officially recognized Celtic territories which also includes Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, and the Isle of Mann. Brittany's culture and heritage are distinct from the rest of France, having more in common with those areas of Great Britain. While French is the primary language spoken in Brittany, there are still some who speak the native, Celtic language of Breton.

My maternal grandmother's grandparents were almost entirely Celtic, tracing their ancestry to Ireland (and possibly Scotland) and Brittany. I have always felt strongly drawn toward Celtic culture, history, and traditions. I am planning now for a pilgrimage to Brittany. I have already found the town I want to visit, Quimper, researched things like the weather and time of year I want to go, watched youtube videos of the region, looked at gites and cottages to rent, and read blogs. I've ordered the Usborne French language set for a great price on Ebay, and I've begun to save my money.

This dream gives me a focus for pulling together other things which need doing and completing for the best chances of making the dream come true. For example, one option would be to do a house swap with someone who lives near Quimper. This gives me a new motivation for getting house projects and decluttering done. It gives me a tangible reason to become conversational in French. It inspires me to really pare down my possessions and to buy only what is essential. To really watch where every penny goes. It gives me the push I need to buckle down and get my book ready for publication, and to advertise well for my upcoming dance class.

I have realized that I have been making excuses for not following my dreams. I have physical limitations. This is a reality, but there are things I can do to strengthen my lower back and core, such as losing weight and regular exercise. It would be easier to continue on with Spanish in our homeschooling endeavors, as I have a background in this language and so feel comfortable with it. French is not phonetic like Spanish, so it is more difficult to learn. But I must break out of my comfort zone. I must stop limiting my dreams to those which are small and easy. It's time to stop resisting happiness.

Money is a big obstacle for a lot of us, but it's often our attitude about money that gets in the way. We tell ourselves we can't afford our dreams, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We make no plans to be able to afford our dreams, and we have no faith that God will provide what we need, and so our dreams remain wishes.

What do you wish for in your heart of hearts? What plan can you hatch to reach your goals, and what small step can you take today to begin to live your dream?


Brittany Coast