First three questions are going to be answered today, and, as always, I welcome your input on them.
Jenna wonders: who designed the new blog design? It looks lovely and I meant to say that on my past two clickovers.
Thank you! I love it. So clean and so pretty. It was designed by the beautiful Deanna of Domestic Chicky, who is very super easy to work with. I'd highly, HIGHLY recommend her work to anyone in need of blog redesign. She's fairly priced, works with you and has tons of really awesome ideas.
JMB wants to know: where does your confidence come from?
I often feel as if I don't have any confidence at all. I do an AWFUL lot of faking it 'til I make it kind of stuff. Lots of pep talks, lots of "You've been successful at a,b or c, so surely you can do d" type things.I force myself to do stuff. Make challenges with people - often people who have no idea that I'm competing with them in my head, like the lady who bugs me silly at Zumba. I try to work harder/faster/hold poses longer. It doesn't hurt her AT ALL because she has no idea, it helps me stay motivated and improve myself/
And Jennifer skirts the "no talking about religion" stipulation by asking: I wonder if you believe and support everything the Catholic Church supports -- or more importantly, how you come to terms with those aspects that you might not agree with?
We once had a priest at our church was was more liberal than others. He often acted as if he didn't want to be a priest, and was frequently angry with many of the more religious in the church. As some members of my extended family are among the more religious sector, it came up that he and I had some pretty interesting conversations. I liked him. I didn't always agree with him, and sometimes, I thought he was totally wrong - and I wondered why he'd become a priest. While in confession one day with a different priest, I confessed that I struggled with all of the many beliefs that were constantly being presented to me - this devotion, that devotion - this mandate which wasn't really a mandate any longer, that sort of thing. I also told Priest B that I struggled with the liberal and loose interpretation that Priest A had given me.
Priest B told me something eye opening and I've never forgotten it. "As a Catholic, you have to believe in just a couple of things. Everything else is gravy." For example, some things are tradition with a BIG T to some people - processions, devotions and the like. They are traditions and beliefs and not required.
In other owrds, Tradition with a BIG T and tradition with a little t are different things.
It's a muddy explanation, but it's the best one I have. I believe in a couple of key things, and let the rest slide. I don't think that those who follow every single belief to the letter are better Catholics than anyone else. There are aspects of church rules with which I don't agree, just like there are road rules and work rules and house rules and gym rules with which I don't agree. Being part of a group doesn't mean that I have to believe in every one of those rules, though.