2015 Summer Reading List

So with the summer season right around the corner, I thought I’d share with you the books I’ll be reading. Now I must admit that one of them I already completed, and all of them I’ve begun. Lately I’ve gotten into the awful habit of getting halfway through a perfectly lovely book and putting it aside for some other pressing issue. So now I’ll be taking them back up again and finishing them for once and for all!


Watership Down by Richard Adams

This one came highly recommended to me, and so I’m determined to read it. From what I can gather reading the introduction and the first few chapters, it follows the story of two particular rabbits, Hazel and Fiver on their great adventure. So naturally a tale of two rabbits is thus far very charming in its own right.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

I started reading this book when I was about twelve years old, and so most of the symbolism went right over my head. Consequently, I will return to it and at last complete the book. I do so enjoy Lewis’ writing style, and so I’m eager to again pick up this book.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

So this particular novel is a bit dark for me. And I’m very sorry, but to me Heathcliff is not the hero of this story. Yes, his story is tragic, but he is so unbelievably selfish! I had gotten a bit stuck at the midpoint, where it seemed to me to be no place further for the story to go. But of course, I probably had only a few pages yet to read before another twist would present itself. Though it was a chilling read, I would like to at last know just how it ends!

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This book is a futuristic tale about people living in complete servitude. It portrays a society that esteems sin as virtue and regards virtue as sin. I believe it to be a startlingly accurate example of a world that has abandoned God. The elements of conditioning the people and suppressing the population through happiness seems a very real possibility for our future. A depressing but good read!

Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert

The first half of this book (the part I’ve thus far read) tells the story of St. John Paul II, beginning with the death of his mother and ending with his accomplishments as pope. This was extremely fascinating as it revealed the many miraculous event surrounding the St. John Paul’s papacy. And of course, it gave great insights not only to his constant humility and love, but also to his fight against communism. The second section delves into this saint’s five loves: the youth, human love, the Eucharist, Our Lady, and finally, the Cross. It is a quick and inspirational read.

There you are! Now, I’m hoping to add to this list as the Summer progresses, but I figured that this is a good start. 🙂 I hope that you’ll be able to relax and dive into a few excellent books the summer!

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Legalized Murder or Death with Dignity?

The once unthinkable practice of euthanizing the helpless is becoming a reality. The recent resurfacing of the question of the morality and necessity of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia has stirred a great deal of debate amongst Americans. The arguments are highly passionate and emotional, as both sides fight for what they believe to be fundamental rights. Although the euthanasia advocates are correct in their concern for human rights, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are ultimately unethical practices that condone and promote murder. They force doctors into contradictory roles, where they both save lives and end them. This contradiction is unacceptable as end-of-life treatment continues to improve.
 
DOCTOR’S ROLE?
 
In order to properly determine what the physician’s role is, it is best to understand their historical role. Traditionally, the purpose of the doctor is to heal. We see this exemplified in the Hippocratic Oath. Since the 5th century B.C., The Hippocratic Oath has been used to define what it means to be a physician. Although it has recently been made optional, doctors were once required to swear the oath, and in doing so would vow, “And I will not give a drug that is deadly to anyone if asked [for it], nor will I suggest the way to such a counsel” (Miles xiii). This directly contradicts the more recent claim that doctors ought to assist their suffering patients in ending their lives, whether directly or through prescribed poison. In her article, Dr. Fiona Randall explains that the doctor’s role cannot include ending the lives of his or her patients, “while the role of the doctor has changed and may continue to develop it cannot (logically) extend to intentional killing or assisting with killing. If so extended then the concept of what it means to be a doctor must also radically change, and more than two millennia of settled public and medical opinion must be reversed” (Randall 324). As Dr. Randall just explained, this evolution in the doctor’s role would require them to first pursue their patient’s best interests, and then assist in their death. This greatly alters their original purpose in society.
 
In both the act of euthanasia and in physician-assisted suicide, the doctor plays a key role in ending another’s life. In euthanatizing someone, the doctor terminates a person who is either suffering, or else deemed “unworthy” to live (Smith). Similarly, physician-assisted suicide is directly linked to the doctor, as he or she gives the ill the means to end their lives. The Oregon Right to Life Organization defined physician-assisted suicide as involving, “a physician prescribing lethal drugs for a patient with the knowledge that the patient intends to use the drugs to commit suicide” (Oregon’s Assisted Suicide 157). In both cases, the physician is involved in the murder of an innocent life. This act does more than simply contradict their role as healer; it is an unethical practice that turns them into murderers. As the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force articulated, “Euthanasia is not about the right to die. It’s about the right to kill” (International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force 58). It is true that at times the patient requests their own death, but this does not excuse the moral culpability of the doctor.
 
IS IT BEST FOR THE PATIENT?
 
Those who support euthanasia and physician assisted-suicide believe they are acting from compassion, but in reality their arguments are based on inaccurate assumptions. For example, the right-to-die activists are convicted because they don’t believe any person should be made to suffer unnecessarily. However, in his article “Four Myths About Doctor-Assisted Suicide,” bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel revealed that only twenty-two percent of patients requesting euthanasia are enduring immense pain. Another misconception is that the majority of dying and terminally ill patients desire this option, but are unable to receive it because of current laws. Again, Emanuel affirms that the contrary is true, “In Oregon, between 1998 and 2011, 596 patients used physician-assisted suicide — about 0.2 percent of dying patients in the state. In the Netherlands, where euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide have been permitted for more than three decades, fewer than 3 percent of people die by these means” (Emanuel). Consequently, the “right to die” does not fill an urgent social need. Rather, it causes a great deal of problems for both patients and doctors. In addition to this, the opportunity for abuses by family members and physicians becomes a threat once euthanasia is legalized.
 
The many dangers of euthanasia are obscenely large. For instance, this option would open the door to countless abuses. Suddenly, doctors and family members would be able to make critical choices for patients, and while we hope that they would keep the patient’s best interest in the forefront, in reality many would not. We have the Terri Schiavo case as evidence as to the misuses euthanasia allows (Lynne). Physicians agree that this is a very real concern surrounding the legalization of euthanasia, according to a survey administered by C Seale Centre for Health Sciences, “The most common qualifying statement concerned the need for safeguards to prevent abuse, made by 45% (46%) of those in favour of assisted dying…Others in favour of assisted dying made comments about the need for nonmedical people to carry out euthanasia or assisted suicide or for individual doctors to have a right to opt out [27% (25% weighted)]” (Seale).The evidence shows that not only are the ill and aging alarmed at the prospect of legalized euthanasia, but so are the physicians. Similarly, this new choice belittles the value of a person, making the terminally ill ponder if their loved ones would be better off without them. It guilts many disabled and ill persons to die rather than burden their family members and society. As the president of Not Yet Dead, an organization that fights in defense of the disabled, Diane Coleman explains, “Bioethicists are now writing about health care economics and the idea that some of us, whose health care services will cut into insurance company profits, have a duty to die, voluntarily or not” (Coleman 133). The driving force behind euthanasia is to provide the suffering with choices. Yet if it were to be legalized, many would feel pressured into choosing an immediate death.

ESCAPE FOR THE DEPRESSED
 
Finally, those requesting physician-assisted suicide aren’t always the terminally ill; many are simply suffering from depression. According to palliative care nurses Vicky Robinson and Helen Scott, many of the patients requesting this option have not been evaluated by a psychiatrist, “They therefore concluded that, as many cases of depression are missed, it is possible that some depressed patients received lethal prescriptions and that patients without a mental disorder at the time of receiving the prescription may have become depressed by the time they ingested it” (Robinson and Scott). Anyone who is requesting the drastic measure of suicide should be examined by a mental health professional. Dr. Tal Bergman Levy explains that the mere request for assisted suicide should alert the doctor to deep mental anguish and is cause for a psychiatric evaluation, “Under such circumstances, it would be fitting for the psychiatrist to be skeptical of a patient’s desire to die rather than automatically accepting and cooperating with the patient’s request for assisted suicide” (Levy 406). Legalizing this would provide an out for the mentally ill and depressed, who given the proper treatment, are able to live full and long lives.
            
It is fair to desire a comfortable and dignified death for the suffering. Because of the advances modern medicine has taken, now a peaceful death is possible for the multitude. In his article Hospice Care Can Make Assisted Suicide Unnecessary, deputy editor Joe Loconte explains that “there is another way to die – under the care of a specialized discipline of medicine that manages the pain of deadly diseases, keeps patients comfortable yet awake and alert, and surrounds the dying with emotional and spiritual support” (Loconte 97).  According to Loconte, every year about 450,000 people die in the comfort of a hospice. This situation provides a dignified solution for the dying. Rather than being injected with a high dose of poison and dying painfully, the patient is surrounded by compassionate, certified caregivers and given the necessary medication to spend their final days comfortably and peacefully.


Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are harmful practices that endanger both doctors and patients. Although many politicians are pushing for its legalization, euthanasia contradicts the physician’s traditional role in society and endangers patients. It is horribly demeaning, as a value is shamelessly placed on human life. With the improvement of end-of-life care, any act to end the lives of the ill is unwarranted. Rather than promoting euthanasia, our nation’s focus should be on continual advancement of end-of-life treatment, providing those in difficult situations with optimal care and treating them with the dignity they deserve.
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The Price Women Pay

THE EFFECTS OF ABORTION ON THE MOTHER

The issue of the legalization of abortion is one of the most significant debates of our time. The arguments are highly passionate and emotional, as women and men alike fight for what they believe to be fundamental rights. Often the issue of women’s well-being is thoughtlessly cast aside as the focus remains solely on the issue of life in the womb. The mother’s mental and physical health ought to play a substantial role in the abortion debate. Slogans are carelessly tossed about, and the statistics remain relatively unknown. Yet after careful and thorough research, it becomes abundantly evident that abortion jeopardizes the emotional and mental stability of the mother.


The main intent in this post is to evaluate the effects of abortion on women, yet we would be remiss to neglect the crucial matter of whether the fetus in the womb is a life at all. Without this evidence, there is no case against abortion. The issue of when life begins is pivotal. It is the difference between a woman having some scar tissue scrapped away, and her sanctioning the murder of her baby. Scientists have proven that life does in fact begin at the moment of conception. After a great deal of research, the US  Senate agreed, “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings” (United States). It follows that if the fetus is indeed a living person, then any act to end his or her life is nothing less than murder. If so, then the doctor and nurses who perform the operation and the advisors who advocate it, all have the blood of a defenseless child on their hands. For a woman who has had an abortion, the realization of this knowledge has an enormously negative effect on her mental well-being.

“WOMEN DESERVE CHOICES THEY CAN LIVE WITH”

Unsurprisingly, scientists have discovered a strong link between abortion and emotional trauma. For the purpose of fully understanding these words, the reader can look to the dictionary definitions for aid. Noah Webster’s defines the terms emotional and mental in his American Dictionary of the English Language, “Emotional, adj. 1. Literally, a moving of the mind or soul; hence, any agitation of mind or excitement of sensibility” and “Mental, a. Pertaining to the mind; intellectual; as mental faculties; mental operations; mental sight; mental taste” (“Mental” and “Emotional”). And finally, his definition of stability is as follows, “Stability, n. 1. Steadiness, stableness; firmness. 2. Steadiness or firmness of character; firmness of resolution or purpose; the qualities opposite to fickleness, irresolution, or inconstancy” (“Stability”). These terms will be used frequently throughout this post, as the primary side effect of abortion is that of emotional and mental instability in the woman. This is demonstrated in a study performed by Professor of Human Development, Priscilla K. Coleman. According to the study, a woman who has an abortion faces an 81% increase in her chance of developing mental health issues (Coleman). Furthermore, a study by the University of Otago revealed that over 85% of the 500 women interviewed stated they had negative reactions from their abortion.  These reactions included regret, grief, and guilt (Fergusson 420-426). Abortion wreaks havoc on a woman’s mental health. The weight of her decision often causes a lifetime of regret and negative psychological effects. As psychiatrist Theodore Lidz points out, “Much of what goes on in life can be blamed upon others, but the ultimate decision concerning abortion and the refusal to give that new life a chance remains with the mother. The guilt, too, is hers” (Rosen 279).  The unique bond between a mother and her child is something precious. It isn’t difficult to imagine the anguish the mother feels when realizing she allowed the abortionist to end a life, especially when that life was her own child.

In order to better understand the emotional struggles abortion causes in women, there is the story of Beatrice Fedor, a woman who experienced two abortions. Both abortions resulted in years of self-loathing and emotional trauma. She chose to share her story in order to inform and encourage women. She disclosed the struggles she has dealt with because of her decision to abort, “Abortion impacts us long after we leave the clinic… women deserve choices they can live with” (Fedor). After marrying, Beatrice became pregnant a third time, and she wanted to have the baby. Yet she explained that her past continued to haunt her, as she slipped into depression. Even after the birth of her son, she felt disconnected from her new baby. In an interview, Beatrice confessed to her extreme mental anguish, “I had nightmares where I would hurt him with knives and say, ‘It’s OK, he can’t feel anything.’ Or he would drown and I couldn’t save him” (Fedor). She felt that this inability to bond with her son was a direct result of her former abortions. Sadly, thousands of women are forced to cope with similar emotional battles as they as they struggle with the reality of their decision.  Consequently, abortion cannot be viewed as a safe alternative.

DEFENSE OF WOMEN?

Those who advocate abortion are correct in their concern for the defense of women and their rights. Undoubtedly, the woman is also a person whose needs should be recognized. Even with the knowledge that the infant in the womb is a person, the dignity of the mother must also be respected. Contrary to popular belief, abortion threatens this safety with its numerous negative side effects. In fact, it could be argued that in order to protect a women’s safety and well-being, abortion cannot be an option. For example, according to the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, women who have had a prior abortion have an increased risk of premature births, “Large studies have reported a doubling of EPB (Early Premature Birth) risk from two prior IAs. Women who had four or more IAs experienced, on average, nine times the risk of XPB (< 28 weeks gestation, an increase of 800 percent)” (Rooney, 46). Women are told that having an abortion is taking control of her life and timing, yet most are unaware that this action often prohibits the birth of future children. Having this procedure endangers the choice of having children later. This is one of many examples of how abortion can harm the woman’s body, as well as her future life.

The abortion advocates argue that the mother’s health and mental well-being are reasons enough for condoning the procedure. Yet surveys suggest that the case of a mother’s health being the reason for an abortion is a rare one.  According to research performed by Louisiana State Center for Health Statistics and the Utah Department of Health, out of a total of 122,083 abortions performed in 3 abortion clinics, only 0.22% were caused from rape and incest, 0.42% were on account of the mother’s health, and 0.20% were due to birth defects. The total of “hard cases” made up a mere 0.84% of abortions, while 99.16% were performed for “other reasons” (Annual reports). These numbers are on the higher end of the spectrum, as research confirms the astonishingly low numbers of abortions performed out of “necessity.”  Using these extreme cases, abortion advocates have justified the deaths of millions of infants. Although these cases do present women and medical practitioners with a difficult decision, this in no way accounts for the other 99% of women who abort their babies. Abortion was legalized to protect women put in difficult positions, and although this small percentage of extreme cases are given a choice, now millions of otherwise healthy women are endangered mental and physically. We as a nation cannot overlook the damaging effects abortion has on women.

THE NEXT STEP

Abortion is a not merely a religious issue for the right-winged fundamentalists to battle out, it is the legalization of the death of millions of babies and the emotional scarring of millions of women. This practice comes at a high price. I propose we reevaluate abortion. Since Roe v. Wade, scientific research has informed us with the effects this procedure has on women. Consequently, it is in our nation’s best interest that we reassess the abortion issue, for the sake of American women. As widely published psychologist and avid feminist Sidney Callahan stated, “The feminist cause is being betrayed by the men and women pushing for public acceptance of the principle of abortion on demand. Arguments used in urging routine abortion deny fundamental values guiding the whole women’s movement” (Callahan 47).

At First Glance

Alright, so first of all I would like to apologize for taking so terribly long to post something. I’ve been going through some major changes as a freshman in college and then our dog had seven precious but oh-so-crazy puppies, and consequently blogging was more or less put on the back burner. But I’m posting to let you know that I’m not going anywhere. Although with papers and essays to write (I’m currently juggling not one, but two English classes!) I may not get things out as quickly as I might like, I will definitely do my best to continually post fresh and worthwhile articles for you.

Yes, he was one of the 7 distractions. 🙂 But surely you can see how it’s so
hard to work when you have those eyes staring up at you!

With that being said…

Here is something I stumbled across in my readings a few weeks ago that struck me as worth sharing, “There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our first glance at him. Because, in that first glace, we know everything. Even though we’re not always wise enough to unravel the knowledge.” This fascinating idea came from the brilliant fictional writer Any Rand’s novel The Fountainhead. I remember re-reading this paragraph, curiously pondering the words and deciding if I agreed with them or not. I paused to recall the faces of people I know. I examined their personalities, dreams, and struggles and compared them to what I see written upon their faces. And naturally the question crossed my mind, “What do people see when they look upon me?” I couldn’t help but race to the mirror to examine my countenance. While I did so, I wondered just what people see when first meeting me.

So would you say that this is true, that we are so vulnerable as to display our entire person upon our countenance? I have toyed with this question for days now, and feel no nearer to the answer than as the first moment I learned of it. But I suppose it doesn’t truly matter if we stand totally unguarded before our fellow man, or if we can mask our true selves from the world. Rather, the real question for you is that were this the case…just what would a person see written upon your countenance. Would it be joy, charity, or understanding? Or do you shiver at the thought of everyone knowing your true person? It is worth thinking about!

Leave, Convert, or Die: Christians Slaughtered in Iraq

Today in Iraq, 2,500 Christians are trapped and dying at the hands of Muslims. Many have been surrounded on Mount Sinjar and were given till noon yesterday to convert to the Muslim faith, or else they would be slaughtered. Already there have been many be-headings, crucifixions, kidnappings, and rapes. There are claims that the women below the age of 35 are being kidnapped for sexual slavery.

The ISIS have completely burned the Syriac Catholic Diocese, including the 1,800 year old church. They have been reported as entering churches and destroying the statues of Christ and His Blessed Mother. In the place of the statue of Our Lady, their black flag was erected.
In moments like this I wonder what I can do to help. For us, I believe the answer is prayer and fasting. “And in all things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” Matthew 21:22 So I encourage you to join me in prayer for these persecuted Christians.

I apologize if this post seems a bit disjointed, but I wrote it in a hurry after discovering that this is going on. It is getting very little coverage from the media, and people need to know what is happening! Please send this message along to others!

Link for further reading:

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-iraq-refugees-20140809-story.html

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/church-plea-as-iraq-horror-escalates-30494786.html

4 Tips from Audrey Hepburn

“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.” – Audrey Hepburn

When you hear the work elegance, what comes first to mind? Perhaps a ballroom alight with crystal, a well dressed woman, or a grand estate? For me, it is Audrey Hepburn.

As a girl watching her films, I always longed to be her. First of all, she was stunningly beautiful. Not to mention she always had such a smashing wardrobe! But most appealing to me was the calm confidence she exuded. She was gentle and feminine, but her every movement seemed filled with purpose. Her soft voice and fluid movements were captivating. Looking back, I see it was her timeless elegance that delighted audiences everywhere.

Elegance is an art that the 21st century long ago abandoned. Very few women today are truly elegant, or even know how to become so. They view an obstinate attitude as strength, and dignity as a facade. Let us show this crazy, mixed-up world just how empowering and beautiful elegance is in a woman!

With help from Audrey Hepburn’s quotes I’ve composed a list of helpful hints….

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1. Be genuinely joyful

A person doesn’t have to smile to reveal their inner joy, it simply radiates from them. And it is a most attractive quality, particularly within a woman. And after all, isn’t life too short to be miserable all the time?

“I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls..”

2. Understand true beauty

You cannot be beautiful according to the worlds standards. It’s impossible. That’s why they have airbrush. So although it is necessary to be well groomed, don’t fool yourself into chasing a beauty that is both in-achievable and fleeting. Instead, invest in the only lasting beauty.

“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.”

“Make-up can only make you look pretty on the outside but it doesn’t help if you are ugly on the inside. Unless you eat the make-up.” 

3. Embrace who you are

Alright, so this isn’t just a “don’t worry about pursuing goodness and instead just submit to your shortcomings” excuse. It means that instead of living in constant dissatisfaction with your appearance, surroundings, or talents you ought to embrace your unique style.

“Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.”

4. Challenge yourself

Rather self-explanatory.

“I tried always to do better: saw always a little further. I tried to stretch myself.” 

“Good things aren’t supposed to just fall into your lap. God is very generous, but He expects you to do your part first.”

So there ya go! I hope you enjoyed, and have a wonderful day! 🙂

Becoming the Brady Bunch?

Do you ever wonder what is wrong with you? I have. Particularly on occasions such as when I was  looking about in a consignment shop, minding my own business. Out of nowhere, an older gentleman randomly came up to my family and exclaimed, “Wow!” (There was an awkward pause since he exclaimed this with way  too much gusto and seemed to stagger backwards at the sight of my sister and myself.) “You look like the Brady Bunch or something!” Now I wasn’t wearing white boots or straight, long blonde hair so needless to say I was initially puzzled at his statement. I mean, there were only two of us there! Didn’t the Brady Bunch have six kids? I can only imagine if this fella saw the rest of my family!

I asked my dad about it later, pondering how on earth we remotely resemble the 70’s television show. His reply was, “It’s because you’re wholesome. And that’s something the world doesn’t see anymore. Everyone is used to seeing young people with their heads down, staring at a screen. It’s rare to see them looking up and engaging with others.” Sadly, this is very much the case. We have become so accustomed to seeing broken families and disgruntled kids, a happy household is a rarity.

Sometimes I feel a bit like a freak when strangers comment on how unusual we are and question us on our lifestyle. I wonder to myself, is it that obvious I’m a homeschooler? I mean, yes I know we wear skirts and educate at home. And I will admit, we aren’t the most technically advanced family in the neighborhood. And the real kicker, we’re traditional Catholics. But does that really warrant all the perplexed stares, worried comments, and constant advice? I always found it ironic that the very people who are amazed at how well-behaved and educated we are, suddenly grow concerned for our development after hearing we’re home-schooled.

So long story short, I’ve slowly grown accustom to explaining and even defending my way of life. I have come to terms with the fact that my family and myself have chosen a rather unusual lifestyle, and thus will always draw attention from others. And you know what, it’s alright to live a life set apart from the world. So if ever you feel rejected or isolated because of your values, rejoice! It means you’re doing things right! “If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefor the world hateth you.” John 15:18

An open letter to feminists

Dear liberated women,

I am an eighteen year old who willingly wears skirts and firmly believes in the biblical model for womanhood and marriage. I don’t do it because I am forced to, or because of indoctrination, or lack proper socialization and knowledge of the world. I do it because I am a woman, and I am both proud and happy to be just that.

For you the code of womanhood demands that I stand up by myself and for myself. You claim that I must live solely for my own benefit, and thus ought to make my own way in life. You want me to rise up against “injustice”. Alright then. I’ll rebel. I am rebelling against the cultural expectation that women must follow the cookie-cutter form, spoon fed to us by “liberated” women. Not the type of revolt you had in mind, is it?

I believe that the feminists are hypocritical to say that my body is my own, only so long as I use it to oppose tradition and men in general. If as you claim my body is my own, then why am I not free to dress as a woman? I am happy to be a woman and thus I naturally embrace my femininity. How can I be pro-woman if I dress and act like a man? What does that accomplish for you, but to destroy womanhood? It is blatantly clear that all feminism has accomplished is a loss of femininity. These angry women have turned into the very thing they once complained about. They have turned into the condescending, entitled male. Only now it’s the female who gets all the privileges. So much for equality. But is that really what the feminists were looking for, equality? Or was it superiority? And in that case, aren’t they just as bad if not worse than the superior white male? Just pull out the “I’m just a poor woman, trying to make it on my own and the whole universe is against me” card. That’s totally fair and equal?

I am pro-women, but I am not anti-man. I believe that women should be treated with the utmost respect. Consequently, when a man holds the door for me, I take it as the compliment it was meant to be. Feminists have foolishly cast chivalry to the side. Dare I say, I fully intend to one day marry and become a man’s help-meet. Radical, I know. But why should I give up my happiness for someone else’s agenda?

And no, in case you’ve been wondering I was not brainwashed by an overbearing father. Quite the contrary, I have been blessed with a solid, classical education. I have been taught to think for myself. And that is the reason why I call into question the motives of the feminist movement. Women of today are blindly following the feminist movement simply because “this is how it’s supposed to go”. Maybe you ought to research a little before taking these 20th century women’s words as gospel. Particularly Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. How can you follow a woman whose goal was to eradicate whole races? Just how is that equal? She was quoted as saying, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population”. A pretty revealing statement.

Feminism has created a world full of discontented women pushing and shoving their men away for a place at the top. But who is happy with this lifestyle? I mean truly joyful and content. I for one refuse to give up a domestic life for something I don’t believe in or want. I have not bound myself to live according to the philosophies of suffragettes. I live according to the dictates of my own conscience. So I would say I am without a doubt, the liberated one. I don’t work to further a boss whose mission I don’t believe in. I haven’t sacrificed my family for the ability to say that I have “freedom”. I live in harmony with the men in my life. I understand the full beauty of motherhood, and am content to have my family be my mission. Most especially, I understand the beauty of womanhood, and would not trade that for all the titles in the world.

Sincerely,
A very content stay-at-home daughter

My Summer Reading List

So I’ve gone on and on about why you ought to read worthwhile books this summer, so I thought I might share with you the books I’ll be pouring over. I must admit, a novel or two did sneak in there. But they were just such intriguing stories! So here are the books on my list. Some I’ve already read, some I’m part way through, and others I’ve yet to grab from the library. But without further ado…

Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley 
It was oh so good to finally discover what happened to the famous pair Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler! Yes, it was a long read. 884 pages, to be exact. But it was wonderful to follow Scarlett as she at last returned to Tara and pursued true and lasting happiness.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier 

I actually already read this book a few weeks ago. But it is truly the most delightful read I have encountered in years. I found it very easy to relate to the main character, and the shocking twists the plot took made it a real page-turner. This is perhaps my new favorite novel.
Hints on Child Training by H. Clay Trumball 
Written by a father of eight, this book is acclaimed to be the “single best volume on the subject of child training ever written”. A valuable tool for women intending to one day marry and raise a family.
The Herbal Drugstore by Linda White MS and Steven Foster 

Comparing herbs to over-the-counter antibiotics, this is an invaluable resource. Although in all honestly, I don’t know that I’ll read the 624 pages from start to finish, I am looking forward to comparing and contrasting natural medicine to the medication we are expected to use.

Women’s Life in Colonial Days by Carl Holliday 
Using letters and diaries from the 16th century, we are given a glimpse into the life of a woman from the colonial era. I love history, and it is fascinating to discover what really happened in our nation’s past. Thus far I have been amazed at what I’ve learned!

 

The Home Medical Library Volume I by Kenelm Winslow, B.A.S., M.D.
Although I’ve never had the stomach for this sort of thing, it goes without saying that knowing how to handle a medical emergency is always a good idea!

So there you have it! This list will undoubtedly expand as the summer progresses. And I’ll probably end up rereading those old favorites of mine, a habit I too often fall prey too. But for now this is it! I hope you’ll hit the books and enjoy the simple pleasures of reading this summer.

 

A Worthwhile Summer

“From time to time one must recreate and relax in mind and body. It is actually a defect to be so strict, austere and unsociable that one permits neither oneself nor others any recreation time.” -Saint Francis de Sales

The long awaited season of summer is at last upon us. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already got your flip-flops and sun glasses ready for some serious relaxing. But before we delve too deeply into vacation mode, let’s consider how we can use our free time wisely this summer.

But I’ve been busy all year round, you moan. Give me a break! First of all, let me say I agree wholeheartedly that everyone needs a break from time to time. God even rested on the seventh day. So I know where you’re coming from and I do agree. But the question I pose is this, just how do you relax?

When you’re sitting contently in a beach chair with your tall glass of iced tea, are you pouring over mindless dime novels or are you selecting more stimulating reads? Instead of investing in another boy-meets-girl tale, go to the library and find books you can learn from. Everyone has an area they really ought to be more knowledgeable in. For myself, I will be reading books ranging from managing money to child training. I’m pretty certain I won’t be rearing children or managing a household for a couple years at least, but now is the time to prepare. That way you don’t fail the first year of gardening because you lacked sufficient knowledge or when a medical emergency arrives, you make a fatal mistake in your misguided attempt to help. Remember, nothing you learn will be lost to you.

And reading isn’t the only worthwhile pastime. What about playing a musical instrument, baking, hiking, or simply spending quality time with people? Everyone has different interests, so this list ought to be tailored to you, by you. Next time you get ready to settle in for yet another “Say Yes to the Dress” marathon, why not instead do something that adds value to your life.

There are two main reasons why we must be aware of just how we spend this free time. The first is that we be good stewards of the time given to us. The second is that we do not become too engrossed in pointless hobbies. The danger is not so much in relaxation itself, but that we grow too accustom to leisure. St. Francis de Sales spoke of this matter in his writings, “If you spend too much time on games they are no longer recreations but occupations. If your love for a game is disproportionate or the stakes played for are too high, passions get mixed with it, and emotions get out of control.” I believe we all know someone who has been carried away with their love for a trivial pastime. Perhaps the person is yourself. A little self-examination from time to time is always a good practice. It can be surprising what you’ll discover about yourself. Now is the time to abandon fruitless endeavors for matter of real significance.

So just what defines a worthwhile activity? It is something that either enriches you in mind, body, or spirit, or else does the same for others. So although board games may not improve your quality of life, playing them with your brother can become a fond memory he will one day cherish.

There are many ways with which one can fill a lazy summer day. I am not proposing a strict schedule to be made out and followed without deviation. I do suggest some thought goes into these carefree, empty days, lest you find your summer past and those months a total loss. I cannot stress enough how precious a gift time is. If I stop and ponder the frailty and briefness of this life for even a moment I am astonished at my own lack of urgency.

So the moral of the story? Recreation is good and necessary, but we must be careful not to allow it to drain our lives and ourselves of the things that truly matter. Rather than fritter away yet another summer, take full advantage of this time and the opportunities it presents you.