<![CDATA[PROLIFEDOCTORS.COM - PROTECTING MARRIAGES]]>Sat, 09 Jan 2016 00:37:49 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[LIFEHACKS FROM THE LIBRARY--Financial and physical cleaning]]>Sun, 13 Dec 2015 06:55:15 GMThttp://www.prolifedoctors.com/protecting-marriages/lifehacks-from-the-library-financial-and-physical-cleaningWhile waiting for the clerk that still took to long, I flipped through a book that lay there and was pleased at its content. The author founded a financial and happy home website which garners one million visitors each month. She plays it commonsense, down-to-earth, with Biblical verses sprinkled. She saved her own marriage and their bank account by adopting the steps she suggests, the first of which was a spending freeze, suggested by her husband, for she projected an idealized life, home, family, that was manufactured by the media and not based on reality. Meaning she aspired and aspired--to perfection, gloss, celebrity mimicry--until nothing made sense and her family was in debt. She now realized that one can live simply, even luxuriously, without spending a million. She even finds now that giving is the best way to live luxuriously.

What makes good sense from her book: that she has a story where their dream month-long vacation screwed up her routine and was hard to readopt, that she makes her cleaning solutions from scratch and provides recipes to that effect, that she designs a quick-and-dirty cleaning scheme: bathrooms from toilet to floors to mirrors, the first two swept with disinfectant wipes and the next spritzed with glass cleaner. Bedrooms and living rooms are swept of clutter which is organized then dusted. Kitchen and hard floors are dry mopped daily and wet mopped weekly. It seems doable.

As I look into our house, I realize there is more stuff than when we started--duh. Which makes us now have to make room, for simply knowing what we have that we don't shop for duplicates. It is never-ending. I know hon and I have to give up more clothes, jackets, books which we had done in the past, but now another purge is due. I realize there is a Western mentality to it all. We accumulate because we think we will need something someday. Or the world owes us something from a failure or an unmet need. Hence, a banjo so I can catch up on chance of musicianship that i didn't have the chance to explore. My goodness. Half of one's books fall in this pattern. The wanna-be cook, the wanna-be writer creates his or her library as a wish fulfillment process, whether the books gets read or not. 

So this is a lesson that is really a meta-lesson. If I had bought that book, it would end up accumulating in the corner unread, then ultimately donated, good money wasted. So this can be the next frontier. Freeze on spending. Read by the clock and towards priority and interest. Read standing up. Gain knowledge not things. Hmm, I might actually get more reading done.
<![CDATA[LIFEHACKS FROM THE LIBRARY--Plating and cleaning]]>Sat, 12 Dec 2015 06:37:57 GMThttp://www.prolifedoctors.com/protecting-marriages/lifehacks-from-the-library-plating-and-cleaningOkay, so I am no Martha Stewart, but we can dream. Thanks to a stellar showing of Franciscan Sr. Alicia Torres in the Thanksgiving Souper-stars episode on "Chopped" I now have a new rolemodel on making it in the kitchen. Sr. Alicia  has no culinary training, just lots of creativity and--boy!--a sweet yet competitive spirit. But she makes her dishes well and effortlessly, thanks to the Holy Spirit "feed", that the judges were teasing her that she had culinary training in her pre-nun life. She even plates when like a pro, having her pancake dessert and whole plate dusted with sugar and paired with fresh berries in the side that was also gustatorily called for, says one judge. So this was my micro-challenge of the day: learn plating.

In the site theartofplating.com and another side, there was a quick visual as well as oral summary: approach the plate assymetrically (no dead centers or midline placements!), to use odd numbers (in the swirls or lines), to use the white space, to not overpower the plate, to not even bother adding sides and garnishes if they don't complement the dish, to be neat and unsloppy, to chill the dish appropriately, to be daring (especially for deconstructed desserts). 

So as I planned my meal today, cooking pasta for honey with a recipe that made use of gandules (pigeon peas), sun dried tomatoes and onions as a sauce. As our cousin brought Chinatown take-out of duck and pork ribs (what a gift to the late arriving cooking) l mixed a bit of both to reheat and added bread smeared with basil pesto.  But guess, what, like Sr. Alicia on most days in the soup kitchen, she serves family style and forgets the plating. Maybe Christmas.

<![CDATA[BOYISH BUT OH SO FEMININE]]>Fri, 11 Dec 2015 04:35:41 GMThttp://www.prolifedoctors.com/protecting-marriages/boyish-but-oh-so-feminineI once had a classmate who was so immaculate, pristine complexion, radiant smile, neat preppy outfits (pants too). Her hair was glossy and her notes were superb. She was married and had a thin wedding band that was demure in her ring finger like her presence in the whole of our theology class where we were the only youngish girls. For a while, because of her holy nun-like persona I didn't expect her to be married, but there we were toasting our husbands in absentia. I had been so caught up with what the media portrays as one who had "hooked" a man. In fact it was anything but as wholesome as her. In fact I tried to model myself in such Cosmopolitan standards of power dressing, forward talking, brash and boldly ambitious culturati. Maybe my would-be-husband was caught up in worldliness too or overlooked mine, for I was married to a good, wholesome man, one whose tastes compared to mine were, uh, vanilla. I am not bemoaning that now, in fact I was so happy reflecting that I do not have a spouse that would castigate me for not liking, say, the shift of Jhumpa Lahiri to French or the molecular gastronomy restaurants. That would just be fatiguing and also a lot of vain superficiality. But, returning to my friend. I was thinking, why is she attractive? To her husband, for sure, but also to me. For I wanted to talk and be close to her when we have the chance. She was irresistible. Then I remember a couple that I know; she was a worldly girl too, and was serving our church as a missionary after her conversion. She organized the outreach for the poor in Newark and was the youngest of the Eucharistic ministers that inspired me to become one too. When our community pray in the morning the rosary it was she who makes the sign of the cross at the "glory be" and when I found out later that this small action carries an indulgence, I started doing it too. Kim was deemed "irresistible" by her long-time friend who suddenly crashed into falling in love with her after years of being in the same young adult group in a church. Kim's change into being "irresistible" was from her holiness. So indeed, our main source of attraction is really not in the looks or money department , contrary to the glorified celebrity culture. It is deep, enduring spiritual closeness with our God. 

Let me bring a second point about my classmate, which explains the title. She has a short hair cut, which makes her look like a pixie especially with her big, animated eyes. But all of it connotes very much so--woman. I have done the short hairstyle and know I would not be able to pull off being treated like a woman, let alone recognized for one. The difference between her and me, as I discovered, was affect. She had the womanly one, and I had nil. Prior to my discovering the Lord it was either gung-ho feminism or basic anti-femininity. I guess they go together. Women (and men) who grew up with absent dads ultimately have no choice but to have a strong "masculinized" mother because there is but one parent who would do the protecting and the nurturing. Most of the time, the first domain is the one which the child relates to, and so castigates the softer, more domesticated side of things and thinks of it as a frill. Case in point, Obama, being raised by a single mom. He is pro-choice as he is because he didn't grow up in a traditional, stable family unit where his mother was more nurturing instead of being very career-oriented. I met a doctor over the weekend who suffered from this trauma. Her mother she said is a psychologist who gave up her career to raise her children. She did it so grudgingly, reminding the child each time, and that just hurt her self-esteem. How did she do her own mothering style? She divided her year into half: one-half working, one-half none, so she can be with her family. This is her own compensation of being emotionally present to her children, without the baggage of a career. She does, however, admit that when she is in doctor/work mode, her children, now teens, should better leave her alone.  

This is the schizophrenia of what women had to do because they have been so colluded that career is all. Again, the Cosmopolitan lie. In my case, it was not motherhood that was competing for career, it was being a wife, a sweet, submissive, mentally present wife. Only hectic careers have the capacity to do this, a friend observes, those whose culture tries to own you with such exorbitant demands on time, pager calls, etc, high salaries, high stakes or prestige. Lawyers, doctors, CEOs were her examples. Nonetheless, I know submit to the utmost gratitude that this attachment to the career and to some extent the career itself was taken out of the equation and replaced with the blissful experience of being a wife, happy and nurturing and being present without a hanging worry for someone of something else.

My spiritual director frames it as this: Eric (my husband) should get your best energies (after God). Not church. Not work. Another priest advised me today, make a schedule that will reflect this priority. Involve them in ministry and let them help you. Accept and give help. I had told them I had been cooking many a meal for the church, taking in with enthusiasm a task that was once disdained as being a waste of my precious careerist time. Now I thought--shopping for ingredients, planning  a meal, buying accoutrements for the service of dozens--why do I enjoy this so much? I mean, I have to prepare this meal, plus the meal for the house. I spend extra time in shops agonizing which cake to get for the maximum impact, or discuss with my husband if these meal plan will be a hit. I then thought, it is bliss because it is natural. Because I am in line with my purpose as a woman through Christian anthropology. Just as my husband provides, I nurture. This dynamic serves me well in church or career or at home. For even though I was working side by side with cops and detectives before studying guns and dead bodies, it was fun for me to come teach and orient the students, or buy cookies for the secretaries or organize going-away parties for friends. That was my niche. Without a person to do this, an office, let along a big stressful clinic will be unbearable. 

Could this be the source of burnout from the profession? That women are not allowed to be nurturing? And men protecting? (In the former, it would be from having a poor value on meekness and unalloyed service while in the latter, diversion into non-patient care tasks like billing. Oh , suffer the solo primary care practitioner).

I submit that my friend was  more feminine, boyish though she was, instead of babe-ish because she gave her nurturing side full expression. May we, women, in or outside of hectic careers, learn that giving warmth and tenderness to everyone but especially your spouse, is the prime concern of us marrieds.
<![CDATA[AND MY COOKING BLOG TOO--BECAUSE WOMEN TRULY HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO FEED THEIR MATES]]>Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:30:34 GMThttp://www.prolifedoctors.com/protecting-marriages/and-my-cooking-blog-too-because-women-truly-have-to-know-how-to-feed-their-mateswww.followingjamie.com

<![CDATA[WHY WE NEED TO PRAY FOR THE CHILDREN OF SAME SEX COUPLES]]>Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:04:27 GMThttp://www.prolifedoctors.com/protecting-marriages/why-we-need-to-pray-for-the-children-of-same-sex-couplesIf ever somebody tells you gay parenting is okay....IT'S NOT.
Mark Regnerus, "How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study," Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012), pp. 752-770; online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/…/article/pii/S0049089X12000610

Significant for both lesbian mothers (LM) and gay fathers (GF), with & without controls:
Compared with children raised by their married biological parents ("intact biological family," or IBF), children of homosexual parents (LM and GF):
Are much more likely to have received welfare growing up (IBF 17%; LM 69%; GF 57%)
Have lower educational attainment (IBF 3.19; LM 2.39; GF 2.64)
Report less safety and security in their family of origin (IBF 4.13; LM 3.12; GF 3.25)
Report more ongoing "negative impact" from their family of origin (IBF 2.30; LM 3.13; GF 2.90)
Are more likely to suffer from depression (IBF 1.83; LM 2.20; 2.18)
Have been arrested more often (IBF 1.18; LM 1.68; GF 1.75)
If they are female, have had more sexual partners-both male (IBF 2.79; LM 4.02; GF 5.92) and female (IBF 0.22; LM 1.04; GF 1.47)

Significant for lesbian mothers (LM) with & without controls
Compared to children from intact biological families (IBF), children of lesbian mothers:
Are more likely to be currently cohabiting (IBF 9%; LM 24%)
Are almost 4 times more likely to be currently on public assistance (IBF 10%; LM 38%)
Are barely half as likely to be currently employed full-time (IBF 49%; LM 26%)
Are more than 3 times more likely to be unemployed (IBF 8%; LM 28%)
Are nearly 4 times more likely to identify as something other than entirely heterosexual (Identifies as entirely heterosexual: IBF 90%; LM 61%)
Are 3 times as likely to have had an affair while married or cohabiting (IBF 13%; LM 40%)
Are an astonishing 11 times more likely to have been "touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver" in childhood (but not necessarily by the homosexual parent; IBF 2%; LM 23%)
Are nearly 4 times as likely to have been "physically forced" to have sex against their will (at some time in their life, not necessarily in childhood; IBF 8%; LM 31%)
Are more likely to have "attachment" problems related to the ability to depend on others (IBF 2.82; LM 3.43)
Use marijuana more frequently (IBF 1.32; LM 1.84)
Smoke more frequently (IBF 1.79; LM 2.76)
Watch TV for long periods more frequently (IBF 3.01; LM 3.70)
Have more often pled guilty to a non-minor offense (IBF 1.10; LM 1.36)

<![CDATA[MASCARA AT BREAKFAST AND OTHER VISUAL RITUALS]]>Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:56:54 GMThttp://www.prolifedoctors.com/protecting-marriages/mascara-at-breakfast-and-other-visual-ritualsI will just have a go at this. When my then-fiance, the sweetie, came with his parents to my parents' home in Massachusetts for the traditional "pamamanhikan" (engagement/formal proposal), one of our parents, I think his dad, asked us to tell the story of how we met. Most of our friends would know it was during a two-week overlap in the Pediatrics ward at PGH, but specifically in Eric's timeline, it was when he opened the door for me--him coming from one way and me from the other and he had a mental "whoa". He remembers me wearing makeup and then proceeds to tell our parents his first impression of me: I was --- (babe-ish compliment). This surprised me massively for he doesn't usually uses such language, but I guess being with our parents, his best friends for ages, he can be as honest as can be, and now moreso to my parents, because in the seven, almost eight years, of our dating, they have come to love and know him for many wonderful attributes. This came as a surprise because I never was the muse in events growing up and cheered my friends who were feted for the beautiful side of things. I was rather disappointed that I would not be celebrated for my conversation skills, fun planning or culture smarts, which I thought were my best assets. But I just went through the party, smiling and really happy. After all I was marrying the sweetie whom when I first saw months back on day one of internship (before he ever set eyes on me) in the back of the outpatient department, standing and, uh, smoking a cigarette (which was soon banned) but as I tell my friends, as if the heavens opened and the angels sang. The light streamed magnificently that moment--but more so in my minds' eye, these supernatural events were truly happening. It was God-ordained. The sighting of whoever this man is gave me so much bliss that I floated through helping the patients in the cancer ward and filled my year with longing for a formal introduction somewhere somehow in our busy hospital, which happened after that bumping in the same ward door during a party that night for my friend Mia Lou Cantara-Ascalon.
Later I would read from St. Philip Bellarmine in "The Art of Dying" that woman was made beautiful for her husband to love her. Last night, I would hear at Relevant Radio that this giddiness, this worshipful gazing of the beloved especially in one's honeymoon is so natural, because all we want to do with the beloved is is to behold and adore him or her. Hon had done the same on me and that discombobulates yet delights me completely. I never had somebody gaze at me with such love before. I would do the same thing to him too. And still do. This is what we do too, when we do Adoration with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament because we behold the Beloved who beholds us. It is just astounding and recommends regular practice of it of everyone in an Adoration Chapel or Service.
But back to this morning. Since one key element to married bliss is, well, offering one's self for the happiness and holy well-being of the beloved, it is not too much I think for a girl to look like one for her spouse, makeup and grooming assumed. I mean, I do it when I go to work, why not for the home life? So for this morning, unprecedented in our ten-year married life perhaps, I just did the girlie bit as he does the breakfast prep which being a home chef is his bliss. My gratitude was channeled into looking alive and scrubbed, even presentable, better yet okay, okay, more than okay. This is after all the one set of eyes I want to allure, the one set of ears I want to engage, the one set of lips I want to make regular contact. So in the interests of the Synod of the Family and on behalf of the Vatican encyclicals on marriage, family life and documents on theology of the body and tips from reality show housewife Melissa Gorga, she of the happy marriage, interesting visuals and church-wisdom-for-a-lay-audience-and-she-may-not-even-know-it book "Love Italian Style, The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage", I say, "Feast!" God has planned for us the eternal wedding banquet. Our task is to rehearse it here, in our homes, with our churches and most especially with our spouse. God bless.]]>