It’s the little things . . .

It’s a wonderful thing to be pro-life. It’s better to talk with people about it and be educated. Even better? Live your life in a way where it’s clear what your priorities are. Be pro-life in every fiber of your being in the way you love and show compassion.

Which category do you fall under?

Sometimes I get frustrated because so many people fall under the first category – maybe the second.

As a student at a Catholic college, it’s nice that the majority of people here see the core of this issue in the same way as me. We know life is important, and yadda yadda yadda. We’re heard it all. Yay babies.

That’s great, but the fact is that our lives show what our priorities are. It’s disheartening to me to see so many people go on the March for Life, pose for cute pro-life pictures, but then never join us for other events. Never come outside clinics. Never learn to sidewalk counsel. Never come to an abortion dialogue workshop. Never respond to emails about getting involved. Never experience a life-changing moment where your witness touched someone.

It makes me sad sometimes because I have experienced what you’re missing out on.

This movement is a movement of love, and being part of it radically changed my life. I cannot begin to comprehend how much time I have devoted to this cause, and honestly there’s no way it’s going to stop. This is what I do and it’s part of who I am. But could you join me sometimes?

Show us what you believe in the little moments of everyday – don’t just post about it. Don’t just do the cute stuff, because that’s too easy. Join me in the behind the scenes work that no one sees, because in my experience, that’s where your true character shows. Let your feet speak for you sometimes. Let your life show others what you believe in. It’s easy to hold signs and march. Believe me, because I’ve done it. And it’s great to march and hold signs and post things. But it’s not enough. Being pro-life is about being pro-ALL-life.

So show me.

Join me.

I dare you.

f8f5e-237161_1257739195062-8res_284_320Come pray with us. Did you know 40 Days for Life begins on today? Join us for abortion clinic trips. Who needs sleep anyway? Come to our meetings. Join us for our ice cream social. Contribute your talents. None of us can do everything, but we can all do something. And together our little actions add up to a movement bigger than ourselves.

Not everyone is going to jump completely into this movement, but we’re all called to be part of it somehow. Maybe you could design graphics, bake for us, write for us, or be a prayer warrior. As a student now, you have time to do more than you will at any other point of time. So stop procrastinating and join us. Participate in 40 Days for Life. Come to senior center trips. Whatever it is, show me. Dare to do something great, because good just isn’t enough.

We were made for greatness. Now let’s get down to business.

To Life,

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NAS: Chivalry is not dead

Chivalry should not become a lost art and we, as women, ought to step up to the plate a bit more and encourage men to treat us as women, thereby respecting them as men. Do you have tips, ideas, or stories to encourage men to be… men?! Open doors for us, initiate dates, honor us as women, etc? Let’s chat!

Whoever says that chivalry is a lost art is not at a good Catholic college.

When I got here, all of a sudden I felt like I didn’t have to open doors anymore. What is this madness?! Maybe chivalry wears off a bit in college (because it’s not quite the same now), but it still happens rather often. It’s interesting because I’ve noticed girls opening doors for each other as well.

I’ve heard girls here get offended at guys for doing this, and that makes me sad. I’m not a guy, so I can’t tell you exactly how that feels, but I feel like it’s an insult to his man card to shun him for doing something nice. I’m guessing that this attitude from women is a major reason why guys stop being chivalrous sometimes. We don’t know the exact reason why guys do chivalrous things, but I think it’s the least we could to do politely say “thank you” and recognize it. Unless he’s blatantly accusing you of being a weak woman, I’m fairly certain he was just trying to be nice.

Last week I was struggling to carry a heavy box of pudding across campus to our Ministry Fair. (If you were wondering, yes, 144 little pudding cups can be VERY heavy folks. And we were handing them out at the Ravens Respect Life booth with pro-life stickers on them.) A friend and I were riding the struggle bus lugging around said pudding when a guy across the parking lot offered to carry it for us. He did not question said pudding, or even ask how far he would need to go. Plus, he was carrying some raw chicken (Walmart run?) and a drink. So! We exchanged loot and he saved the day by carrying it across campus.

Sir Pudding

I think that was a rather chivalrous thing to do. We certainly could have managed (because we’re strong independent women, you know *HINT:sarcasm*), but it was a kind thing to offer. In this case, we probably did look crazy while breaking a sweat moving pudding. We kind of did need help. But even if we didn’t really need help, it is nice to have it. Even for something as simple as a door.

Moving off my soap box!

What can we do to encourage chivalry? Say thank you. We all appreciate being appreciated. And positive reinforcement encourages repetition of the good action.

And in the nicest way possible, expect this of the guys you hang out with. Guys, if you walk a step ahead to catch the door, that is awesome. If you pick something up that we drop (not dropping to get your attention, but legit dropping something), that’s nice too. And carrying things like above raw-chicken-man is rather appreciated as well.

We can’t go around with our noses in the air expecting every man to bow at our words and heed every request. Chivalry requires mutual respect. That’s why it’s important that:

1. Guy initiates chivalrous deed because he wants to be nice or legitimately help a damsel in pudding distress.

2. Girl recognizes said action and reinforces exemplary behavior.

3. Both above actions are taken so both guy and girl leave the situation feeling appreciated and respected.

To encourage men to act as chivalrous men, we have to act like respectful women. Better yet, just be a respectful person in general. When people go out of their way to be nice, say thank you. We as women have the power to raise standards or leave guys stranded wondering what the heck we expect of them. Expect chivalry by demonstrating the same amount of kindness, and people around you will notice.

Are you one of those people who gets mad when we talk about chivalry? Why or why not? Do you feel respected or belittled as a woman? If you’re a guy, what can women do to encourage you? Let the conversation being!

To Life,

To Life,

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P.P.S. Thanks to Jen and Morgan for hosting this series!

Holiness from Calcutta

If I had to choose favorite saints (because who can pick just one?), mine would be St. Joan of Arc, (soon to be saint) Mother Teresa, and St. Gianna Molla. Today is the day that will be Mother Teresa’s feast day! We don’t celebrate it officially yet because she’s not quite officially recognized as a saint. But who wouldn’t take the opportunity to talk about her?

Mother Teresa inspires me so much because she gave up so much to run after God. Visiting sisters in her order over spring break showed me how radically different they live which was crazy awesome. They get up at 4am to serve people, and constantly smile. It was so beautiful! Part of why I love Mother Teresa is because she followed God no matter what. People think you’re crazy? Ain’t nobody got time fo that negativity. Love ‘em anyway! Sick people? Love ‘em! Crazy people? Love ‘em! Poor people? Love ‘em! We’re all people who long to love and be loved. Her life is a beautiful example of what that looks like.

She embodied the whole Christian idea of loving all our brothers and sisters. No matter what. She would help anyone, love anyone, but never backed down from what she believed in. Maybe that’s part of why I like her too – because I need to work on that more (the whole being nice and loving with truth). And another funny thing? I did the Myers-Briggs four letter personality thing and it said I had the same personality as her. Now that’s a lot to live up to!

There are so many quotes from Mother Teresa that I love. Here’s a poster I have on my wall (which is one of my favorites).DSCN7165

Read through the meditation I thirst for you (which you can order brochures of for free, and I have a whole stack of on my desk), and read her 7 steps to a holier life (ha, I must really like her because this is hanging on my door as well). Okay, yup. She’s also hanging out on our suite wall. So you could say she’s pretty awesome. Also, check out these pictures.

 

Mother Teresa // Inspirational Quote // Friendship Gift // Quote Art on Etsy, $20.27 AUD

"We may never know all the good that a simple smile can do." - Mother Teresa

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin." - Mother Teresa

Gah! Can you even handle the holiness here?!?! I just love her. What are some of your favorite quotes from her? The prayer she said everyday (Radiating Christ) has also become a favorite of mine:

Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly, that my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine.
It will be you, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise You the way You love best, by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by my example, by the catching force of the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You.
Amen.

BOOM. Your day just got more holy. Now go out and be awesome!

To Life,

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The time is now.

In the last couple years God has opened so many doors for me. I could never, ever, have expected my life to be like this even 4 years ago. At that time, I was in musicals and plugging along in high school: not really passionate about much, or knowing where I wanted to go with my life. But then.

Then, folks, I found the pro-life movement.

It hit me when I was in a sea of people at the West Coast Walk for Life in 2011. There was something bigger than myself out there, and that was when I first discovered it. Since then I’ve been immensely blessed with opportunities to work with and for incredible people. I’ve read so many books. And I am constantly learning more online about all sorts of faith, life, and womanhood topics. Now I write about them. I’ve found my passion.

But I still couldn’t get over the fact that I have failed at so much.

This summer I worked more hours than I ever have before, but I also experienced boredom unlike I have before. It was kind of weird because I go, go, go. Being busy drives me and motivates me. I am a doer, a leader, and someone who gets things done. So it was unusual to have time on my hands. Looking back, I certainly know I wasted some of it.

Then I thought “What if my life ended tomorrow? What would I have to show for everything God has given me?”. It was kind of a paralyzing realization. I’ve read Matthew Kelly’s books, so the concept of becoming the best version of myself wasn’t a foreign concept. I knew we’re all made for greatness. But I never really did much about it.

Many people have made comments about how awesome the work I do is. And yes, I have served lots of other people and learned so much. But it’s all because of the opportunities God has given me. It was nice to hear, but it never really felt true. I was organized, sure. And passionate about life. But did you know how messy my desk can get? Or how I forgot to hand in an assignment? Or how I wished I could do so much . . . but never did it?

Well, that’s over.

It’s not because I had a revelation about making my life efficient and figuring out how to do ALL the things. Nope. I began praying a lot. I asked God to use me for whatever purpose he made me for, and for him to guide me in becoming the best version of myself.

And oh my goodness. I’m sitting here at almost 2am writing because I am just so dang excited about LIFE.

I’ve struggled a lot with making myself do what I already know I should be doing. I know I should take time to pray, and exercise, and eat better. And now I am.

Everyday of the week, I’m getting up at 6:15 to exercise before class or work which start at 9am. Because I can. And I should. I’ve signed up for adoration two times a week. Because I can. And I should. Classes are going pretty well without procrastinating on homework. Because I can. And I should.

Yesterday morning I got up before the sun, threw on workout clothes, and blasted some soul-searching “Edge of Glory” as I headed out of my dorm. I jogged around the track and for crying out loud I couldn’t stop smiling. The sun was gorgeous as it rose, the wind (which wasn’t too humid yet!) was blowing through my hair, music was blasting, and peace. It was so peaceful. When that peace happens, I know God has given me a little glimpse into what his will for me is.

He wills for me to be dare to live me life abandoning my will to his. He dares me to live life on the edge of glory, fearlessly pursuing the plans he has for me. He dares me to spend time on what really matters, and to never give less than my best.

I am done giving less than my best. That is not who I am. I am a daughter of God, and he has better plans for me than procrastination and wasted time. His plans are so great that I can’t even imagine where I’ll be in another 4 years. It’s exciting, terrifying, and more than anything? Exhilarating. Pursing excellence and greatness is exhilarating. You know that little burst of energy you get while running when you want to stop, but then the most epic song comes on and you’re ready for another mile? Yeah, that’s what it felt like yesterday morning. And it felt right.

Mediocrity isn’t enough. So this is my pledge to do better. To continue to do better. To strive for greatness. After all:

The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness. - Pope Benedict

To Life,

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P.P.S. You know what’s really funny? After writing this last night, I slept through my 6:15 alarm for the first time. And now I’m cracking up because God has a sense of humor about the timing of this apparently. :-)

NAS: We’re Baaack!

We are back! As we get into the swing of things with NAS, what other ways can we be more involved at church or in our communities? Is there a parish ministry you have been wanting to help with or start up? What about that after school program for homeless kids? Has something been preventing you from getting involved? How do you think this will help you personally, spiritually and emotionally?

Helloooo everyone! I just love this group of women, and it’s so exciting to be back on a regular writing schedule :-)

So much of the time, you wonder if you should do something. Or you really wish you could do something. You’ve been wanting to do it for a while.

“I should go to Mass during the week.”

“I should hang out with people more.”

“I should exercise more.”

“I should get involved with ________”

So why haven’t you? If you want a more vibrant community experience, make it happen! If you want to meet young people in your community, and you’re out of college, then talk with your priest to see what is already offered. If there’s not much happening, start it yourself. Maybe it’ll start small, but then people will invite friends and viola! Community.

Still being in college, it’s probably easier for me than for people out of college. I have friends who can meet up whenever we want . . . even for doughnuts at 2am. It’s so much fun, and one of my favorite things about this time in my life.

As young people who probably have time we can devote to things outside work, we have the power to give more of ourselves outside the home than people can at other points in their lives. It’s nice to be able to hang out with friends and have community that way, but I also really love being part of other things on campus.

I have served as president of Ravens Respect Life for the last year (and will through this school year). I also led a mission trip working with the Missionaries of Charity last spring which was incredible. Freshman year I volunteered with the Underground team (hosting Catholic events) and the team of girls who cleaned one of the chapels. Now RRL takes up a lot of my time (which I LOVE!), so that’s what I mainly devote my time to. It’s so much fun to grow with our team of officers, get to know them all, and challenge each other in our work.

I think it’s important to make those connections with people to grow personally, spiritually, and emotionally. Not all friendships last. Not every interaction is awesome. But being in a community with so many other people gives you an opportunity to form those connections. It forces you to grow, and to live for more than yourself.

When I get out of college, who knows where I will live or what it will look like . . . it would be a safe assumption that I’ll stay involved with pro-life things. But I also really love encouraging people to become the best version of themselves. So, we’ll see. Life is an adventure!

Thanks to Jen and Morgan for hosting :-)

To Life,

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7 Quick Takes – Vol. 56: Goals, Giving, and School

— 1 —

Hello new school year! This week I road tripped out to school with my brother who will be a freshman here. It was lots of fun to see our beautiful country and rock out to a custom playlist :-)

With the new school year starting, I’m jumping back into my goal posts! I’ve been wanting to work constructively on improving parts of my life, so I divided my goals into five different categories. Welcome to my first goal post of the school year – I hope you’ll stick around for more and we can encourage each other!

Each “take” focuses on an aspect of my life. Since it’s nearly the end of August, these will be my goals until the end of September.

— 2 —

Category 1: Prayer

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After reading this article, I was kind of dumbstruck. Duh. Keep yourself focused, self! So my goal is to eventually increase prayer time by establishing routines. Why? Because it will help keep me focused on what is really important.

1. Find a morning offering to say each morning and/or a good devotional to start my day with

2. Find a night time examination of conscience to say before bed.

3. Sign up for adoration twice a week and start going.

4. Do the Stations of the Cross on Fridays.

— 3 —

Category 2: Fitness & Health

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Because let’s face it: Being in shape feels awesome. At this point in my life, I have no excuse to not be in shape and take care of my body. So, let’s do this!

1. Look for a 5k to do before Christmas.

2. Find two new healthy snacks to keep in my dorm room instead of traditional unhealthy ones

3. Work out three times a week, and find a consistent time that works. (Sub-goal? Get a new MP3 player and music!)

4. Since my commitments start at 9am M-F, set a consistent time to wake up.

— 4 —

Category 3: Academics

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“It’s easy to procrastinate” says the girl who stayed up past 3am to finish a paper due in mere hours. I did it twice. I am not proud of that. But am proud to say I’ve never had to pull an all-nighter! The fact is that I need to be responsible. My classes challenge me enough themselves, so I need to rise to the challenge and take advantage of the opportunities to learn.

1. Write down assignments in my planner when I find out about them.

2. Check planner everyday.

3. Buy a stock of post-it’s to put each assignment on, and write them down. Why? It’s fun to tear it up when it’s done!

— 5 —

Category 4: Computer Usage

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Being away from technology makes me happy. So why do I compulsively check my email probably 25 times a day? It makes me wonder if people really can become addicted to the internet and social media. My usage has improved quite a bit after cutting back on Facebook time by sorting “friends” into lists. Now I check those instead of my general newsfeed. There’s always room to improve, so here goes!

1. Put my laptop on my desk, and only sit there to be on it (unless I am taking it out of the suite to work on it).

2. Gradually check emails less. By the end of September, be checking them three times a day.

3. Check Facebook only twice a day.

4. Go to my Google Alerts for news instead of social media. Add two new alerts.

— 6 —

Category 5: Reading & Writing

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We all have a lot to learn. I love reading, and it’s something I want to devote time to. Sharing my life and things I learn through writing my own pieces is a great way to develop my thoughts and connect with people. The goals?

1. Find 15 minutes a day to read a non-school book. Focus on one at a time.

2. Write one non-link-up post a week here or for Live Action News.

— 7 —

Have you read The Giver? I remember checking it out from the library a couple times, but never ended up reading it. The trailer looks really interesting, so I definitely want to see it!

 

What do you think? If you’ve read the book, would you recommend reading it before seeing the movie?

And to end these quick takes . . .

I know there’s a lot going on in the world right now, so please remember to pray for peace. Pray for strength for those who are being persecuted. Pray for everyone who is starting their school year too! And don’t forget: We are the Easter people, and alleluia is STILL our song.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

To Life,

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P.P.S. Did you read about my new approach? Head over and tell me what you think!

Changing my approach

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an opinion piece for Live Action News, or much of anything of the same genre over here. It’s not because my views have changed. No, I still am serving as president of Ravens Respect Life and had an internship with a life affirming medical pregnancy center this summer.

But it’s true that my view has evolved to some degree.

Looking back on my articles, I’ve written about how some people are kind of crazy, Planned Parenthood doesn’t follow the rules, Obama problems, doing the pro-life thing wrong, and medical standard being all sorts of crazy. While it’s good to be informed, and expose lies while holding the truth high as a torch for all to see, it is not good to do this at the expense of other people.

I don’t know that my writing has ever hurt anyone. It’s something I posted about constantly in the past – and I did notice quite a few people “de-friending” me. Was it because of my beliefs? With the sensitive subject matter, I wouldn’t be surprised. And while I still don’t shy away from confrontation and would be happy to talk about these issue with you anytime, the days of Facebook debates are over. They have been for a while, actually.

If you’ve ever participated in debates (because let’s face it, they’re not usually just a “discussion”) online about sensitive life issues, you know that rush of OWNING the conversation. You know when something is just so dumb, you have the perfect comeback that will have everyone and their mother rushing to find sunglasses because the light o’ truth is just that bright.

Um, wrong. Wrong answer. Please don’t do that.

I have. And I loved it. But it is no longer my approach.

Thinking about this more, I realize that there is no place for inflammatory language in this movement. I’m not a complete hippie, but isn’t love what this is all about? We love women so much that we have to show them that we deserve better than abortion and contraception. We love guys so much that we tell them to man up and take care of us women and stop abandoning their children. We love children so much that we will fight for their lives. We love abortion clinic workers so much that we want to expose the truth of their industry, and lead them to a better life.

But did you ever love someone so much that you shut up about your agenda for a second?

Think about it.

You don’t prove much by holding a sign and posting things on social media about “the abortion holocaust”. Whoohoo. You have hands to hold a sign, and you can copy and past links. Yay you! Well, not really. Did you talk with your family member who lost a baby to miscarriage? Did you offer sincere condolences when a loved one of a friend died? Are you praying for people who hate you? Did you give that homeless person a snack? Do you try to love all the people in your life, even if they disagree with you?

Newsflash: if we can’t love people without saying “But abortion!” “But you use contraception!” then we’re doing love wrong.

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Like Mother Teresa said:

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

Yup. Even people I disagree with. Even people who are mean. Because you know? I probably have been too. So I’m starting to approach this differently, and I’m starting now. I do want to live my life being that light – the person everyone knows will stand up for the truth. That’s important. I also want to be a person who others know will take you as you are and treat you with love and respect.

So I promise to not shove my burning torch of truth in your face, honestly.

Something Maya Angelou said seems appropriate here:

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I want you to know in the fiber of your being, no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, no matter what you believe, that I believe in you. I believe you are capable of incredible things, and I believe you were made for greatness. My sincere hope is to communicate this better in the way I write.

I don’t want to write about how people are bad anymore. I want to inspire you. I want to use my life to show you how epic our calling to fearlessly pursue a higher purpose is.

This is what I’m doing today to start that. Will you join me?

To Life,

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No, Sam. I won’t stay with you.

The problem with many pop songs is that we listen to and sing them without thinking about what we’re saying. Let’s elaborate with a little story.

“Stay with me” (by Sam Smith” is a song that’s been on a LOT lately, and I have most certainly enjoyed singing it. Some of my favorite parts of the weeks I was still working were belting like crazy on the way home. Windows down, hair down, sunshine, and music blasting . . . much of the time it was country music, but I do listen to pop music. Except for the kind that makes me have a heart attack or is super graphic or gross.

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Via

We were singing this song or talking about it at home here, and my brother was like “Um, did you know that song is about a one night stand?”

WHAT?

No.

I have been singing this song for weeks. How could I not know that?!?!?!

But it’s true. Apparently I never listened real well to the beginning of the song, because here’s what he says:

 

Guess it’s true, I’m not good at a one-night stand
But I still need love ’cause I’m just a man
These nights never seem to go to plan
I don’t want you to leave, will you hold my hand?

[Chorus:]
Oh, won’t you stay with me?
‘Cause you’re all I need
This ain’t love, it’s clear to see
But darling, stay with me

[Verse 2:]
Why am I so emotional?
No, it’s not a good look, gain some self-control
And deep down I know this never works
But you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt

So basically he’s “just a man” which justifies the one night stand because he “still needs love”. He knows he needs self control, but we all know that never works, so why won’t the girl do him a darned favor and stay with him?

Let me tell you why:

Because smart women who value themselves don’t stay with losers who lack self control.

Of course, smart women shouldn’t get into that kind of a relationship in the first place. Nothing good comes out of one night stands, so it’s honestly quite pointless. We’re made for love, yes. We do need love. And one could argue that love is all we need.

But one night stands are not love. They are, much of the time, the result of drugs or alcohol and other things which inhibit our sense of good judgement.

So, Sam. You do need love. We all do. I would just suggest you start looking for it in other places.

And folks, I would suggest that you take a peek at the lyrics of some of your favorite songs before you start belting them. Just a warning before you start belting awkward lyrics at a stop light :-)

To Life,

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Body Wash: Hippie Style

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My latest hippie adventure has to do with body wash. I’ve been making it for quite some time, but ran out months ago and never made the effort to make more. Until now!

I don’t make body wash because regular stuff makes my skin super dry or because of certain chemicals I’m afraid of. The novelty of it is just fun, and I like making my own things. That’s partly why I’ve made my own laundry detergent too! Here’s how I do body wash:

1. Procure soap.

I don’t know what the name of this one is, but it’s my favorite! It’s Olay brand and comes in a yellowish-orange package with coconuts on it. Smells divine and is wonderfully moisturizing. You can get it for $1/bar, but could get lesser quality bars for cheaper (or this one with coupons).

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2. Grate or cut soap into small chunks.

This is surprisingly easy to do! I grate it until I get to the end then cut it up (see first picture up there) so I don’t grate my hand off.

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3. Add to pot with ~2 cups water, and turn up heat to medium.

Different bar soaps will come to a different consistency, and that’s been the hardest part. This particular bar comes out thin – kind of like a thin cream. Feel free to experiment with water amounts!

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4. Stir until soap chunks have disappeared, then let sit.

A whisk works nicely, but you can use any ol’ spoon. Or an oar. Whatever stirring agent you have lying around that won’t melt. Turn off the heat and let it sit for a while is what I read online, but I haven’t found the point behind that. I strained mine into a heat-proof bowl and let it cool so it wouldn’t melt my container.

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5. Viola! Prepare for storage & use.

I made 6 batches of this at one, so it made about 2.5 liters, or an orange juice container full, however you’d prefer to measure. Since it is somewhat thin, I put some in a spray bottle for regular use. If you want it thicker, I would suggest looking into different types of recipes with glycerin or castile soap.

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Sound super weird? I dare you to try it! This bar is moisturizing and smells heavenly, AND lasts a long time! If you’re into more au natural things, you can use a natural soap or whatever bar fits your preference. Let me know if you have questions or a different hippie project I could try out.

To Life,

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Life Lately

When I last posted, I was on a roll. My latest articles became some of my most popular – very quickly . . . and then I didn’t write for 10 days.

I’m not going to make excuses, because there wasn’t a conscious reason. It just kind of happens sometimes. So what’s been going on?

SFLA flew me out to D.C. for the kick-off training weekend for the Wilberforce Leadership Fellowship. It was rather impressive, and I’m honored to be counted among this year’s fellows. SFLA provides all kinds of resources to campus groups, which I did not know the depth of! It’s wonderful to see an organization committed to giving more than our hearts to the movement. They bring professionalism and best practices to the table, which I absolutely love. As part of the fellowship, they pair you with a mentor for the year, and I was matched with Peggy of Heartbeat International. It will be wonderful to learn from someone so closely involved with the pregnancy help movement!

10533734_10152479599545141_6387888710786783414_nOne of the speakers they brought in, Jeanneane Maxon of Americans United for Life, tweeted what she was doing, and a self-described “hard-core pro-abortion militant” replied asking if it was preschoolers for life meeting. SO! We took a pro-life selfie to share with her :-) She accepted that we are legitimate students.

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Via

My internship with RealOptions comes to a close this week just as soon as I give my final presentation. It’s been a wonderful learning experience. I was responsible for researching data systems and will be presenting my case for support for the best program available. It was also wonderful to be able to shadow their clinic directors and talk with their campus outreach coordinator!

For a while I’ve been saying that my goal is to run a life-affirming pregnancy center, but more and more I keep coming in contact with the rising issue of unity within our movement. Almost every organization I’ve been involved with has had issues with unity, and it’s widely known that the pro-life movement in general has issues with this.

We have people who carry huge bloody signs outside clinics yelling “don’t kill your baby!!” and then people who refuse to do anything but pray. Having direct contact with this outside clinics makes the whole situation so real. And I’m confronted with the fact that our lack of unity stops us from doing the work we’re called to do. I firmly believe our movement needs a greater focus on best practices, with an increased number of professionals. We need to ask the question “What is the best proven and logical way to go about this?” not “Abortion is bad. What is the farthest I’ll go to stop it?”. As you can tell, there’s a whole post coming on this.

Otherwise?

I represented Benedictine while tabling at the NAPA Institute Conference. That was neat!

Books . . . I love you. It’s been so long since I’ve read this much and I can’t wait to share some On My Bookshelf posts about them!

Also, I made cinnamon rolls. Want to come have coffee?

Summer is coming to a close, and I’m looking ahead to the school year. Books are on their way (most expensive ones yet!), and we’re cooking up all sorts of plans for Ravens Respect Life! Time to enjoy time away with extended family, finish a few books, and soak up some sun before the trek back to Kansas.

Thanks for reading!

To Life,

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