Go the Distance

To piggy back off of last week when we talked about seeking out the best resources and the best deals, this week we are talking about how far we are willing to go to get certain things. I worked at a car dealership and I was always surprised to see people coming from Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, even California, to buy cars from us. The reason we attracted so many people from all of the midwest (and the country) was because we had the best deals on new and used cars. People made the decision, after doing their homework, the deal they would get on the car was worth the long trip. I don’t think making this trip for groceries every week would be logical, so going the distance is dependent upon the deal you are seeking.

Since I mentioned groceries, we’ll stick with that example. The store closest to my house is significantly more expensive than the grocery store I pass on my way home from church. Because of that, I shop at the store in a neighboring town. I calculate the cost of the gas used is less than the difference of purchasing groceries from the store closer to my house. I am willing to travel a little further for a better deal because I am still saving money.

When you are doing your homework on the best deal, also calculate travel costs to see whether the deals are really worth it in the long term. The customer from California that bought a car from us, also stopped to visit family, making the trip a little more worth the money and time. As I mentioned, the grocery store I shop at, is on my way home from church. I’m already in that direction at least once a week, making it worth the gas. Going the extra mile is great if the deal is worth the extra mile.

  1. How much money is in your budget for gas?
  2. When choosing the next thing you want to buy, and your homework, calculate travel costs.
  3. Determine how far you are willing to travel for regular purchases like groceries, clothes, gym, etc.

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Wife Qualities: Supportive

A wife should always stand next to her husband, no matter how ridiculous the idea. 

I was watching reality TV one time and a woman was out to dinner with her husband and another couple. He had suggested some new business idea that he wanted to seriously explore, but she thought it was foolish. She shared her very strong feelings, one may even say rudely, in front of the other couple. This turned into a minor disagreement at the dinner table that was sufficient enough to make the other couple uncomfortable. It made me uncomfortable and I was in my living room!

This observation got me thinking about how men really need support from their wives, especially in public. Woman is designed to be man’s helpmeet, that means standing with him. Though, it doesn’t mean allowing him to make reckless decisions. Instead, assisting him in his decision making and allowing him the space to suggest new ideas.

I’m going to work on this by supporting my family. Although I think golf is a waste of a few hours, I will not discourage my dad from taking lessons. Although I don’t care for video games and think they can waste several hours, I will support my brother and his tournaments. At times, it is best for me not to share an opinion, rather share kind words of support and love.

Wish me luck…next week is about being honest.

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WQ supportive

6 Things in Atlanta

Oh yeah, y’all, today we’re taking the Dram City Trip series to Hotlanta! The extent of my knowledge of this SEC city is found in reality TV, which I’m sure does not accurately represent the city or her people. So as an uncultured girl, I’d like to see some of the more authentic aspects of Atlanta, Georgia. Here are the top six things I’d like to see on a Dream Atlanta Trip:

  1. College Football Hall of Fame: I love sports, especially football. You may have noticed my SEC reference in the introduction of this post. I don’t think I could go to Atlanta without seeing the Hall of Fame. 760 schools are represent and a colossal wall of helmets, there is an indoor field, and a giant interactive touch screen highlighting national champions and Heinemann winners.
  2. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site: The birth home of the Civil Rights leader has been turned into a national treasure commemorating the great work of Dr. King to unify our country. The DREAM Gallery shows his tireless work toward equality and highlights the relationships between civil rights leaders and Washington leadership which helped push our country toward a more perfect union. It also has a beautiful world peace rose garden, and I love roses.
  3. Cathedral of Christ the King: This spectacular piece of French Neo-Gothic architecture sits on four beautiful acres. The church has tall, grand, wooden doors that make me think of the Year of Mercy. I hope many of my brothers and sisters walked through those doors and found what it means to have Christ as the King of their lives. Perhaps this Catholic millennial will get the opportunity to see some of those people and ask them!
  4. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse: This place just looks like so much fun. Go see a show, have a couple drinks, just relax and have an enjoyable evening. According to the website, advanced ticket purchase is optimal but walk ins are welcome if space allows. I think this would be a must see for me. Food + drinks + Shakespeare = a very happy girl.
  5. Center for Civil and Human Rights: Our young country has come a very long way since 1776. I’m proud to say I’m an American because of all the work our forefathers have done for equal rights for every person in this country. Of course, the challenge isn’t over; but we must remember and celebrate how far we have come. This Center seems to be dedicated to highlighting our country’s journey and preserving through advocating for more inclusivity at home and abroad.
  6. Atlanta Botanical Garden: They have cooking and art classes! I can’t really “do art.” but I at least pretend I can cook. This place sounds like so much fun. They also have a massive conservatory with plants and animals from tropical and desert climates.

Atlanta seems like a fun, historically significant, and culturally diverse city. I think it has far more to offer than just the drama found on reality TV, and I’d love to see it.

If you have any suggestions of things to see in Atlanta, please put them in the comments below. Also check out the other posts in this series and subscribe to see new posts and vlogs…someday. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing on social media, and become a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Why the Saints are Important

Another one of those “Catholic things” I talk about so much is the Saints. We are passionate about our Saints and those outside of the Church are pretty strongly against the Saints. The reason we love the Saints so much, is not because of their own merit and good works, rather, it is because of God’s amazing grace. All the Saints knew their good deeds were dead if done for their own vanity, and were only truly done in love if united to the saving Passion of Christ. The Saints give us an example of hope, they show us what it means to live fully and recklessly for God. I don’t think there is a single one of us who can say we don’t sometimes get nervous about what God is asking us to do, how he wants us to change our lives, or what he may tell us to give up. It is very easy to fall into the temptations of distrust and disobedience. The Saints certainly did! Thankfully, by their example, we can have confidence in the knowledge all things work together for His good.

There are a variety reasons our Protestant brothers and sisters fight so hard against the idea of Saints. One must understand the history of the Protestant Schism to fully grasp the argument. In short, members of the Church were selling indulgences. Indulgences are special graces to reduce or eliminate a person’s time in Purgatory. It is important to note, the selling of indulgences has never been part of Church teaching and has never been an approved practice. It was, however, a common practice, and those in authority turned a blind eye, including the Pope at the time. The result was the Schism. Martin Luther and his fellow Protestants made the decision to remove several books from Scripture including the books of Maccabees and Tobit. Both books reference the importance of praying for Holy Souls in Purgatory, and the angles and Saints praying for the faithful on earth. Because Protestants believe in bible alone they don’t accept the teachings of those who have passed on being able to intercede for others.

Thankfully, the Lord’s word is consistent, and there are still a few places in Scripture we can refer to in order to help defend the Church’s position on praying to the Saints.

Luke 16:19-31

 

Revelation 6:9-11

Revelation 5:6-8

Revelation 8:3-4

Luke 15:10

Hebrews 11:14

I recommend you choose a couple favorite Saints whose stories you relate to or whose patronages you may need.

St. Dymphna: Mental illness

St. Jude: Desperate Situations

St. Isidore of Seville: The internet

St. Peregrine: Cancer

St. Anthony: Lost things

St. Rita: Difficult marriages

St. Valentine: Love

St. Gianna Beretta Molla: Unborn children

All popular Saints that would be more than pleased to help each of us on our journey home.

Seeking

One of the signs of a person who loves their family very deeply is to give them the best of everything possible. We have to know what those best things are and how to get them for the best price. I’m not talking about iPhones here, let’s consider needs, like food.

We have to eat, but there is a lot of garbage “food” out there that is terrible for our bodies and have serious long term consequences. Therefore, we should seek out real food, that comes in recognizable colors and textures. We have to research food to know what is actually helpful and nutritious, and what can be harmful. There are some foods that pretend to be healthy, but can actually be very unhealthy We have to read and research to find the best options to put into our bodies. Take eggs, for example, packed full of protein and cholesterol. Not exactly a health food, but one people eat all the time, probably because they don’t know any better.

Once we determine what the best options are, we need to seek out the best deal. We’ve talked before about the importance of good money management, spending and saving wisely. This comes from doing some more homework. Check out different deals around town to find the best one. Cooking meals based on produce that is on sale can do a lot for the monthly budget. This isn’t just for meals. Finding the best deal on a car, new kitchen appliance, or the best bank to use, are all important and require some research.

Seeking out the highest quality resources is very important for living a physically healthy and financially responsible life. Getting into the habit of never making a large purchase without extensive research, making a moderate investment after doing some homework, or doing regular shopping with a plan, will set an important habit for the future.

  1. How do you usually make the decision to purchase something?
  2. What are some tangible things you can do to become a more educated consumer?

Wife Qualities: Quiet

A wife should spend less time talking and more time listening.

I hate seeing women talk and talk and talk and their husbands are completely disengaged. I used to think the men were just being rude, then it happened with my dad and I. I was complaining about some annoying friend for the 100th time and his eyes glazed over. At first I was mad, then I realized he has much better things to worry about than me whining about someone getting on my nerves.

I, of course, didn’t notice this right away, it was more like a week later. I saw him itching to tell my mom about his day, but her story went on forever! When have the tendency to turn 5 minutes into 50 very easily and poor men have to patiently wait for us to get to the point. Fortunately, her story ended and he was able to tell her about his day.

All this observation got me thinking about how men tease women all the time for talking so much. Wouldn’t it be greatif we took some time to listen to them rather than forcing them to listen to us? Sure, it’s easier said than done. But like all qualities, it’s going to take some practice. Therefore, this week I’m going to work on being quiet. I will not share the first thing that pops into my head, rather, I will think before I speak. Before Mom and Dad get home, I will plan my days highlights that I want to share. Most importantly, I will listen attentively when my family speaks, and respond appropriately. Short and sweet!

Wish me luck…next week is about being supportive!

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WQ Quiet

6 Things in Anchorage

Here we are, back to my series of Dream City Trips! As a Catholic Millennial, I have a desire to take an epic road trip across the country. I’d love to see all of the archdiocese in the U.S. and see their cathedrals. I also want to learn about this big, beautiful, diverse place I call home. If you would like more details on how this blog series came together, click here.

But without further ado, here are the top six things I’d like to see on a trip to Anchorage Alaska:

  1. Cathedral of the Holy Family: The cathedral has an all white exterior, that I think is reminiscent of the rampant snow they probably have that far north. The architectural design is art deco and very unique. I’d love to see what it’s like to be a Catholic in Alaska.
  2. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: If there is one thing I know about Alaska, it’s that they have exceptional wildlife. This conservation center has a 1.5 mile trail visitors can either walk or drive to see the amazing creatures. They have eagles, lynx, and brown bears. What is the plural for lynx?  Lynxs? Lynxes? Anyway…this organization works to protect these and other amazing creatures and their habitats.
  3. Eklutna Historical Park: This fascinating looking place is home to St. Nick’s, a Russian Orthodox Church. It highlights the customs, history, and culture of Alaskan Native peoples and Russian Orthodoxy. It has small colorful boxes called Spirit Houses and I’d to learn what they are all about.
  4. Indian Valley Mine: This mine was built to find gold and was operated between 1920 and 1939. Today, it’s 20 acres are used to mine quartz. Visitors can learn gold panning techniques and staying a delightful little B&B called Turnagain View.
  5. Anchorage Museum: If you’ve been following this series, you know I love a museum. This one seems spectacular because it highlights important aspects of Alaska, namely, her native peoples and their cultures as well as what it is like living on a fault line. The threat of earthquakes is probably always on the minds of the people who live in that area of the content, the museum houses a Shake Table which simulates quakes. My favorite thing I found about the museum is their dedication to public art. Art, history, and culture, should not be for the few, the wealthy, and the educated. I can get behind any organization working to bring these things to all people.
  6. Paint a Scarf: This seems like a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, painting scarves! It looks like one can paint their scarf either outside in nature near a beautiful creek, or inside a cabin near a beautiful fire. While scarves are drying, they promise Alaskan tea. I love tea.

I’m not sure Alaska is the place a lot of people would think to visit, especially in my part of the country. We live in the cold, here in the midwest, and most of us would like to fly south. But I think our 49th state has a lot of amazing things to offer. I’d love to learn more about Native American cultures and history, especially how they have thrived so far north for so long.

If you have any recommendations on things to see in Anchorage, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully vlogs of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

Rockit Brunch

I recently went to a Blessed is She brunch for young women in Chicago and had a lovely time. There were six of us in our twenties all working to live our faith more fully and connect with others on similar paths. I found the whole experience so enjoyable and uplifting. We went to a delicious bar and grill called Rockit which had an amazing vibe and is definitely a place I would recommend. Although it was a cold and wet November Saturday in Chicago, the food and company were warm and encouraging.

The Ambiance
Rockit is an awesome place. It had such a cool vibe, I can’t even tell you. At 11 am on a random Saturday there was a surprisingly talented musician playing acoustic covers of popular songs. I don’t know who that guy was, but he was good. The menus were in old record sleeves which added to the musical theme. The staff was young, friendly, and a little hipster, but not annoyingly. But I’m sure you’re reading this waiting for me to tell you about the most important part, the food.

I, along with several of the other ladies, ordered the breakfast sandwich. It was a chicken sausage patty (way more delicious than it sounds) on a whole grain english muffin with egg whites, spinach, and tomatoes with a side salad. It was delicious and filling. The four of us who got it were very pleased. One of the gals got the strawberry pancakes which looked divine with strawberries cooked inside. The last girl ordered the avocado toast which was a contender for many of us. It was whole grain toast, mashed avocado, a soft poached egg, sprouts, and pumpkin seeds. The food was beautiful and delicious. I thought about taking a picture, but I didn’t wanna be the weird blogger at the table. We all left with full tummies and smiles on our faces.

The Ladies
Although each of us came from different walks of life, different careers, different interests, we all are sisters through our faith in Jesus Christ. Several of the women were new to the area and were church hopping so recommendations were given. We talked about careers, ministry, and events for young adults. One of the topics was the recent (re)Encounter event hosted by the Archdiocese of Chicago where Mark Wahlberg shared his faith. It was an awesome night and we all hope there is another event next year.

One of the things I learned from my companions is, the reason we are so hard for the Church to minister to is because ware so fluid. I don’ know why I didn’t consider this, since I myself am fluid in my faith. By “fluid” I mean we meet our needs at various parishes, we aren’t parish loyal. We may go to Sunday liturgy at one church, young adult ministry activities at one church, and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at a different church. On the one hand this is awesome, we feel welcomed in God’s house wherever it is. On the other hand, it’s hard to know what we need. It’s also hard to get us to show up to things. The wonderful woman who planned the brunch was explaining how people RSVP then don’t show up. I tried starting a young adult ministry at my home parish a few years ago and found myself sitting alone in the Ministry Center several times. Is the only way the Church can minister to us through big events with Catholic celebrities?

If there is one thing I took away from that brunch, other than my amazing leftovers, is that young people are seeking community in the faith. I’m so grateful to the woman who coordinated it for us because there was a common thirst for sisterhood among us. So much of my spiritual journey has been done in a vacuum or with people of other generations. We are hungry for God, hungry for community, and the Church is working to rise to the needs of Catholic millennials. We’re a tough bunch, but we love brunch so maybe we should start there.

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