Helicopter Mom Episode 70: Merry Christmas

https://www.spreaker.com/user/juliadunhil/hm-70-merry-christmas

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Direct Download 

Email us at helicoptermompodcast@gmail.com

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/HelicopterMom14

And visit our blog at https://helicoptermomcast.com/

Like the artwork we’re using for the show? Our picture was created for us by Lumen et Sal. Follow him on twitter: https://twitter.com/lumen_sal

Helicopter Mom Episode 69: Get Behind Me Santa (With Borzoi)

https://www.spreaker.com/user/juliadunhil/hm-69-get-behind-me-santa-with-borzoi

Direct Download

Email us at helicoptermompodcast@gmail.com

Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/HelicopterMom14

And visit our blog at https://helicoptermomcast.com/

Like the artwork we’re using for the show? Our picture was created for us by Lumen et Sal. Follow him on twitter: twitter.com/lumen_sal

Helicopter Mom Episode 68: No Fun Gang

https://www.spreaker.com/user/10944213/hm-68-no-fun-gang

Direct download

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Email us at helicoptermompodcast@gmail.com

Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/HelicopterMom14

And visit our blog at https://helicoptermomcast.wordpress.com/

Like the artwork we’re using for the show? Our picture was created for us by Lumen et Sal. Follow him on twitter: twitter.com/lumen_sal

Helicopter Mom Episode 67: Santa Debate With Jim

https://www.spreaker.com/user/10944213/hm-67-santa-debate-with-jim

Direct Download

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Email us at helicoptermompodcast@gmail.com

Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/HelicopterMom14

And visit our blog at https://helicoptermomcast.wordpress.com/

Like the artwork we’re using for the show? Our picture was created for us by Lumen et Sal. Follow him on twitter: twitter.com/lumen_sal

Helicopter Mom Episode 66: At Least We Aren’t Italian

https://www.spreaker.com/user/10944213/plastic-couch-covers_1

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Email us at helicoptermompodcast@gmail.com

Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/HelicopterMom14

Like the artwork we’re using for the show? Our picture was created for us by Lumen et Sal. Follow him on twitter: twitter.com/lumen_sal

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Of Turkeys and Timelessness

A handsome white Cape Cod thronged with mature oaks, lawn mottled with colorful mosses, the porch swept and inviting: this iconic American house fittingly hosts an iconic American tradition. The sleepy neighborhood recalls an older, better time in America, where children played outside—is there a better metric for the health of a nation? Every year, I brush past my aunt’s prancing red Pomeranians and put my coat in the room with all of her Barnum and Bailey’s memorabilia—the circus, a last reserve of wonder, yet another casualty of Concerned Citizens.

Tumorous commercialism of the cult of “the holidays” aside, there is nonetheless a difficult to shake sense in the West that we have been left to our own devices. Even we converts find this day more real than perhaps we do the feast days of our new old time religion. But there is a painting of the Last Supper on the wall, and in the next room, a cross and a painting of General Lee astride Traveler. The bathroom wallpaper declares in a whimsical country font: “Always Be True to the Red White and Blue.” The faux pas continue with traditional roles: my uncles, big, burly men, sit together in the sun room and talk, while the women fret the food covering the counters and make finishing touches. Where once my cousins and I ran and played, our own children have replaced us, bringing joy to the aging. And so the years have passed like this, in their inexorable and mysterious way, forming a secular rhythm which is nonetheless formative to those of us who did not grow up with liturgy.

The weather for our gathering has always been bright and clear, or if it hasn’t, the rosy glaze of memory has supplied its lack. Out on the deck, the crisp, still day refracts the sounds of voices in celebration and conversation, joining with the lilting echoes of the neighbor’s children. This lively human hum defies the ever present smog of political ugliness and taps into a primal satisfaction.

There are moments of otherworldly stillness in times of congregation that detach the beholder, situating him between worlds. A sense that nothing changes because the tradition is always the same, though the relatives may be incrementally older. Lichen spotted trees thinned of their leaves reveal greater swathes of sky; bareness draws us closer to infinity. On the one hand, memento mori, on the other, revelry. Aud lang syne oddly becomes a presage of eternity: the line between nostalgia and the existence to come is supple. The creature in time understands himself, however briefly, as timeless.

The earthly traditions that moor us all propel us to that eventual instant—the summum bonum, that unfurling finality—in which we find ourselves face to face with God. Every clink of a fork against a platter, every condensing breath in the cold, the sun lighting as if from within the eyes of loved ones, is a permanent experience. Memory absorbs from the senses and by the action of Logos is transmuted into transcendence. The deep reservoir of memory invites perennial retreat and reflection to its private pools. In some sense, what we remember is a form of foretelling: the meaning of our memories, like the sanctification of our souls, emerges gradually and gloriously. Our traditions thus etch our beings, orienting us to ourselves, others and our telos. 

The same tradition lived over many years coalesces into a single living memory, suggesting at its core that nothing changes and there is something good to look forward to. Indeed, nothing changes with God: He is immutable, and wholly good. In observing traditions, even secular ones in our much desacralized culture, we are offered some protection against modern vagaries, and some reprieve for our souls. The rituals that are a part of us are stabilizing, renewing, and ground us in the nature of sublime reality. 

Whether you are eating off of paper plates or fine china this year, be grateful for those who have been provided to you as fellow travelers, and for the work of the hands that feed you. The family we see every year for Thanksgiving are given to us out of goodness, to refine us in charity. The traditions we forge together unite us to each other, and to God. Enjoy the moment—and be the one to turn off the football.

Happy Turkey Day from Helicopter Mom.

Helicopter Mom Episode 65: Why Did The Mom Cross The Road?

https://www.spreaker.com/user/10944213/hm-65-why-did-the-mom-cross-the-road

In this week’s episode of HM, Julia and Kelly finish answering the questions from the Q&A show and talk about Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Email us at helicoptermompodcast@gmail.com

RSS: https://www.spreaker.com/show/3262688/episodes/feed

Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/HelicopterMom14

And visit our blog at https://helicoptermomcast.wordpress.com/

Like the artwork we’re using for the show? Our picture was created for us by Lumen et Sal. Follow him on twitter: twitter.com/lumen_sal

Being a Goddess of Fun and Light (Dear Sisters Series)

“The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly.” — GK Chesterton

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s absolutely beautiful. I’ve read it thirteen times. And the plot goes like this: Elizabeth is the second daughter of a useless intellectual. She has no brothers, and therefore, can be “turned out of the house” whenever her dad dies, as the estate will be passed to her male cousin, a procedure called entailment.

Her older sister is basically a spinster, unmarried at 23, her best friend is hitting the wall at 27. But does Elizabeth Bennett cry? Goodness, no. She is having FUN.

It’s not that she doesn’t understand the gravity of her situation. She’s very intelligent and she certainly does. She has the opportunity to save her whole family by marrying her cousin, who she feels is a poor match for her. She keeps waiting. And she never loses her sense of fun.

When a filthy rich visitor comes into town, he finds himself captivated, very much against his will, by the beautiful and intelligent Ms. Eliza. He refuses to dance with her publically, and she turns it into a delightful joke. She has no aspirations on this tall dark and rich stranger. She’s absolutely in the moment, enjoying her life, warts and all.

She ends up (in an incredibly unlikely plot twist) spending a period of time with this rich visitor, Mr. Darcy. And during this time he, and his friends continuously snub Elizabeth, and she continuously does nothing but feel secretly amused by their snobbery. She has no self-pity. She is the goddess of light and fun. She reads, she plays music, she nurses her sick sister — all with no designs on captivating the wealthy gentleman before her, all with no self-consciousness or embarrassment. She just IS. She isn’t out to prove something. She simply is in the moment, enjoying all the irony, riding out the frustrations, and drinking deeply of the milk of LIFE.

Naturally this captivates Darcy and he inevitably proposes to her. Who could resist? The fun, the “spirit”, the fine, twinkling eyes of this woman captivate him. He has access to a woman of higher birth, who is more accomplished, arguably, intelligent, and infinitely more elegant than the poor Ms. Elizabeth. This woman stands no chance with him, as she has a terribly sour disposition. Because of Elizabeth’s sense of FUN, she wins the heart of the gentleman, and takes her rightful place as his wife, at his side, in his massive estate, Pemberley.

Sound too good to be true? Nah! This is the essence of the law of attraction. Her sense of lighthearted fun, her centeredness, her feminine essence, her relish of LIFE, yield to her the fruit of richness and romantic love. A man reforms his life for her, proposes to her TWICE, and offers her a life of luxury and prestige as his natural and fitting partner in his life, all because she was capable of seeing the bright side of things.

She kept her mind on the good and the beautiful and the amusing when she might have sunk into a pit of despair. She’s intelligent. She’s capable of analyzing the problems in her family and in her world, as she proves over and over. But she shows up with a clean face and an unbroken heart. She looks life clear in the eye and, as our dear Proverbs 31 woman so famously does, “SMILES at the future!” How lovely! How attractive! How incredibly FUN!

In conclusion, when life, with all its horrid darkness, despair, and “facts” have you down, when all the odds seem to be against you, the system is failing, your father is a fool, the very best thing you could do is LOOK UP! Feeling your life, BEING, enjoying every moment is the absolutely most feminine and joyful state of existence! By choosing positivity when the negative stares us in the face, we choose LIFE. We choose LOVE. And we choose the path of grace.

Channel your inner goddess today and see if you don’t find the world suddenly bending to your vision.

Much love, dear sisters. 

Why I Just Believed in God

 

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I read the God Delusion when I was 18. By 20, I was knee deep in internet intellectual Stefan Molyneux’s objectivist Randian and thoroughly atheistic podcast series, Freedomain Radio. My faith in God was rapidly waning, as I watched the church I grew up in grow smaller and smaller, it’s vision for the world more and more trite. My irritation with my own father was growing, and along that nagging frustration, came a doubt in the existence, or at least, the goodness of God.

 

Reason! That was the God by which all our faculties were illuminated. By reason we could understand if God existed or not, we could understand objective reality! And it is with my reason that I set out to analyze myself out of fundamentalist Christianity.

 

I was raised in a small Pentecostal church, full of spiritual excesses, speaking in tongues, dancing, screaming (in the spirit)! God had sent the church out into my small town in order to spread revival, that last outpouring of God’s spirit before the rapture finished us all off for good.

 

God was going to send me a husband through the church. My future was set as a meaningful cog in the machine of holy ghost revival. The church would massively expand and everyone would see that my father was right to bring his family to this tiny church of sixty people, in order to pioneer an old fashioned move of God in the last days.

 

Year after year past, and many things began to appear, let’s say, odd to me. Inconsistencies popped up, you could say. But I stayed. God, where would I go beyond this church I attended four times a week, this small closely knit group I grew up in was my whole world.

 

At 21 I left. I had approached, if not realized, big brained atheism, and my intellectual bravado gave me enough pride to stick it to everyone and walk out. And I’m immensely glad I did. In those walls there was no future with a loving husband for me, a future with children and a meaningful life. But the cold brutalism of atheism stared me in the face as I rejected spirituality, while clinging to my understanding of God with every breath of rebellion left in me. I wouldn’t be left a desolate widow of God in the postmodern world. NO! I would fight back, dig my heels in, and  find “reason” to believe in life everlasting.

 

Thus began the most painful years of my life. I devoured information on both sides of the question of God. I wore a hole in my mind looking for truth. And I found the alt-right, which, for all it’s faults, restored in me a sense of love for traditional western culture, and by necessity, Christianity. I had an instinct it was right, because it was beautiful, and the political movement gave me hope in the spiritual foundations.

 

This constant tension wore a hole in my mind as my heart and my head fought it out. I felt I couldn’t trust my own intuitions, my feeling, my gut instinct in an eternal father. I wrestled in my mind, listening to Hitchens and William Lane Craig, and, God forbid, the Amazing Atheist.

 

My intellectual wanderings brought me, like the Hebrews of old, to a sort of promised land. Ironically, this took the form of a documentary exposing the truth of World War Two, The Greatest Story Never Told. This video shows the true evils the human race is capable of, and as I watched the sheer and horrendous brutality unfold before me, especially of the Russians. My whole soul despaired of existence, of life, love, and made me fall into a sort of depression.

 

And I wondered to myself, how can people survive without believing in a higher meaning, in God?

 

I had often asked my mother, “Why do you believe in God, and I can’t?” And the answer came back to me, as soft and clear as morning.

 

“Your mother knows nothing more than you, simply, her soul has surrendered to its own necessity for meaning.”

 

Isn’t faith accepting and believing something that hasn’t absolutely been proven?

 

And in this way, all the mumbo-jumbo about reason being our new God, our only measure for the world, our only revelation, was replaced with the simplicity of a power higher than our faculties. A meaning that transcends us we must believe in.

 

If faith in God was necessary to me as an antidote to despair, I would try to believe.  It started out as “fake it til you make it,” but it very quickly turned into real and living faith. The world was a little rosier.  The future full of hope. And my mind began to truly believe and receive the message of the gospel.

 

If reason doesn’t create functionality, perhaps it’s time to try something more primal and instinctual. And as the Pentecostals sing,

 

“If it was good enough for them, and it was good enough for me.”

Simple Banana Muffins

Banana muffins are an easy and tasty way to use up bananas that are getting a little too ripe, and a great alternative to other sweet treats for kids. This simple recipe is based off this one, with some essential changes and additions that make all the difference when it comes to flavor.

Makes ~12

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas (depending on size)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled a bit
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, mash the bananas. Add egg, butter and vanilla; mix well. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups half full.
  2. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Bistec Ranchero

Steak and peppers in a tomato based sauce. Thanks to Cavernario for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • A steak
  • Four cloves of garlic
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Thinly sliced onion
  • Sliced poblano peppers
  • Sliced red bell peppers
  • Diced jalapeno
  • Sliced roma tomatoes
  • A lager beer

Directions:

  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper, sear it, and set it aside for now.
  2. Make a paste of the garlic cloves and some ground black pepper. In the same pan you used to sear the steak, add this butter, the onions, and peppers. Cook until the onions are soft.
  3. Thinly slice the steak and add it in.
  4. Cover it all with the sliced roma tomatoes and cook until they release their juices.
  5. Add a little lager and salt. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Serve with Spanish rice.

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Once Upon Our Times

    We often think of the times we are witnessing as spelling our doom. We think about the suffering our enemies are eager to inflict upon us, the passion of their malice, the pervasiveness of their evil schemes, and their worldly power. We tend to forget that worldly power is fleeting, that malice most effectively destroys the malicious, and that suffering can be endured.

    Nothing prepared us for the moral morass we are facing; our civilizational inheritance was amputated and our forebears mostly insensate, incapable or unwilling to fulfill their duties to transmit and to lead. And yet through the grace of God, there are none better prepared to do the work that lies ahead than us.

    If we are to learn anything from the structure of the classic fairy tale, it is that in the heart of darkness, the tide begins to turn. In the traditional German fairy tale Snow White, the jealous queen poisons the fair maiden in spite. Her murderous schemes are defeated by quaint, busy little agents, the dwarfs, and a bold young man endowed with regality of nature. The queen is forced to dance herself to death during the marriage of Snow White and the prince. Her plans and power come to ashes. Evil may have its day, but its victories are temporary and self-defeating, and therefore in a way, illusory. We can be confident in the Augustinian syllogism that God created every thing, but did not create evil; therefore, evil is not a thing. Good has substantial being: evil does not.

    We act as daring princes too, when we live counterculturally and reclaim what has been forgotten from the burned libraries of modernity. Our enemies do not want us to have or discover anything suggestive of the power of the good, the true, and the beautiful; as 1984’s Winston treasured his coral paperweight, recovered at a contraband shop, so we treasure true signs of life and the permanent perfections of wisdom. Our ends are not bleak as Orwell would forecast: our God is the god of victory. The LORD is a warrior; The LORD is His name (Exodus 15:3).

    Heroism is passed down in stories because the need for heroes will always arise. Happy endings are written not to soothe the sensibilities of the weak minded, but to affirm the absurdity of evil. The fate of the world is to be remade in perfection, and the fate that God intends for us is glorification. Knowing our Father in Heaven intends this for us, we can live freely despite the threats and taunts of our enemies. God will sunder their designs and use them instead to perfect us.

    We have reason to be joyous, to love one another unreservedly, and to trust boldly in our deliverance. So accustomed to the ubiquity, worldly preeminence and meddling of the wicked, we have forgotten their place beneath our feet. Live righteously and hopefully: those who strive against us fall on their own swords. After all, the end of the world heralds the reign of innocence… and the final happily ever after.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)