7 Quick Takes {The Good Clicks for My Soul Edition}

1. I found Abigail's Alcove thanks to Conversion Diary and spent over an hour last night just clicking around, reading and reflecting. There is something in me that feels validated when I read conversion stories written by women of my generation (if you spent your high school years using Aqua Net to create anti-gravity effects on your bangs and spent your first year of college debating the impact of Pearl Jam v. Nirvana on modern culture, I'm right there with you).

As a Catholic, I believe that conversion of your soul is a constant, fluid process, one that {should} never end because it deepens your relationship with Christ. As a mother, I know that I've faced conversions, too, ones that involve my expectations, my goals, and who I want to be as a mother and a woman (vs. what our culture suggests/exalts/rewards). Abigail's Alcove is chock full of moments of both spiritual and motherhood conversions; click over when you have time to sit and read for a while.

2. I have no idea how I got there, but I was reading the "My Story" section of the Poor Clares of Galway, Ireland (late) last night, too. If you're not familiar with the Poor Clares, they are the nuns who live behind the grille in a fully cloistered life of prayer.

What I found so compelling about their stories (they all read like very good blogs) was the fact that each one of them described their life before they entered the convent - lives that look a lot like any modern young woman's (with pictures as well of their "before" life). They also were quite frank about the struggle that is discernment as well as the struggles they still face in fully living their vocation. Inspiring reading; click here if you need a little reassurance that every vocation - not just motherhood - has it's challenges.

3. At o'dark-thirty in the morning (after stumbling around, turning off my iPhone alarm and my two alarm clocks), I grab a cuppa java and read the daily Meditation at Word Among Us. Because I read it through eyes still blurry with sleep and before the first hit (of many) of my daily caffeine addiction is fully on board, I sometimes go back later in the morning and read it again. I always find something in the meditation that speaks to me and - bonus! - I sometimes can even offer up a quote or Saint's name at Bible Study which makes me look far more theologically grounded than I really am. I'm getting there....see #1 above for my thoughts on conversion. ;-)

4. I love Max Lucado and I don't care if he's not Catholic. It's all about the Word and the message, peeps, not which team you play for in the Major League of Jesus Freaks. And Max Lucado always inspires me without sugarcoating the fact that everyone of us who takes up the cross will travel dark valleys of fear that await us all in this life - but we'll never walk through them alone.

I've read several of Lucado's books and I also get daily meditations (which are usually excerpts from his books) by email. Both do me good. ;-)

5. I stumbled into Ann's blog a while ago via Kristen's blog and I revisit it when my soul is parched. You can meet Ann here; if you click over, be prepared first: get a cuppa java or tea, find a quiet corner, and just read and be filled with the beauty of her words and her love of Christ.   What a witness.

6. If you get tired of the drama that goes viral in the blogosphere (I do), read some of the stories of Compassion bloggers and World Vision bloggers. There is Shannon's Africa story as well as Kristen's as well as the stories of the bloggers who traveled to the Dominican Republic with World Vision this past May. What they share will humble you and shake you to your core; how they used their platform as bloggers to do good will inspire you.

7. She is perhaps America's most beloved and well-known writer-mommy and her words never fail to remind me to cherish both parts of my hyphenated self. There are bunches of good quotes from her here and information about the Erma Bombeck Writer's Conference (in Dayton! 2012!) here. But this one - oh man, it moves me every time I read it.  

Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to click through the links at Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes posts!