Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weekly Smorgasbord

Well,  I'm back this week with a pretty solid list of posts. There's a good variety, too!

     On Faith:
    Posted: 09 May 2013 09:43 PM PDT
    "Perhaps a sociologist or historian could explain this, but I really don't know why so many people assume that mastering the content and duties of the Christian religion is supposed to be easy, so that people who will jog miles a day, go on near-starvation diets, deprive themselves of accustomed pleasures to pay for a new car or a vacation or a child's college education, stay up into the morning hours reading for a night-school class, with dictionary, notebooks, and highlighters at hand and in use, will think reading Mere Christianity or The Problem of Pain too hard. People who have carefully and patiently worked through problem after problem in their own field assume that if a religious question can't be answered immediately, it is not to be answered, at least by them."

    Fascinating article about C.S. Lewis and his use of analogies as an effective tool for discipleship.

    On Parenting:
    Posted: 08 May 2013 08:48 PM PDT
    I've thought about this a lot after having Annie. It was actually Peyton that pointed out to me that (not to cast all the blame away from ourselves but) the culture we lived in had a lot to do with how we viewed an unexpected pregnancy. Peyton came from a Catholic background and while I know the Catholic church has changed/is changing there were a lot of families he knew where this sort of thing would be celebrated. But in many of our circles, it wasn't. No one said anything rude to us, but I felt very surrounded by a mentality that said "You have two kids at most. You do it AFTER you've established a career. You have kids at exactly the time you were planning to and not before".
    Posted: 08 May 2013 08:41 PM PDT
    I saw this passed around Facebook so much in recent week and it's with so much horror. But the thing is, if you know our story, you know that Peyton and I can kind of relate to this guy. I was actually sort of amused to see Peyton commenting on it to a mutual Facebook friend. I think there is a bit of difference in that now that we've experienced the blessing of child (or two!), I don't think we could possibly feel that way again. But at the same time, I have a good friend who got pregnant with twins while her first was still really little and really struggled with accepting her new reality. Anyway, I don't think we should be so quick to pass judgement on the guy. I do, however, think it's indicative of the culture we live in- a culture that really doesn't value babies and children as it should and that treats them as necessary inconveniences, mostly. I think we need to do better at this. I also think we need to do better at being the village (e.g. "hey, there fellow shopper lady, you look exhausted (don't really say that part!), can I put up your grocery cart for you?" I need to do better about this myself, for sure!
    Posted: 08 May 2013 08:20 PM PDT
    SERIOUSLY, what kind of nerd are you (and what do you hope to pass down to your kids a passion for?) "In a wonderfully ad-libbed answer to an audience question at the Calgary Comic Expo, actor/writer/cultural ambassador Wil Wheaton explained in a much-shared YouTube clip about why it's "awesome" to be a nerd. He declared that the defining characteristic of being a nerd was loving things. It's not what we love, he said, but how we love: with passion. That passion makes us nerds...Ours is a world that often seems cynical, detached, and passionless. Ours is a world that needs more nerds. And we need more parents to pass along their nerdery to their kids. I can think of few things more life-giving than saying, "this is something I love and I want you to love it, too." Maybe it's music. Maybe it's backpacking. Maybe it's cheese.Doesn't matter the subject. What matters is the passion. What kind of nerd are you?"

    SD: 1. Reader Nerd
    2. Writer Nerd
    3. Music Nerd
    4. Analyzer of All Things (personality theory, psychology, sociology, pop culture, ect.) Nerd
    * I care pretty deeply about building a heritage of words and music in my kids' lives. And I will engage them in conversations of the number four variety, but it's not something I care too much if they enjoy.

    (My guesses) for Peyton:

     1. Reader Nerd
    2. (wannabe ;) Hiker Nerd
    3. Theology Nerd
    4. Economics Nerd
    * My guess is he cares most about a legacy of the first three, but I'm sure he'd fall over dead to have someone not bored to tears with number four in the house.

    We are clearly out of control nerdy.

    Posted: 13 May 2013 08:13 PM PDT
    "In 2011, Unicef asked children what they needed to be happy, and the top three things were time (particularly with families), friendships and, tellingly, "outdoors". Studies show that when children are allowed unstructured play in nature, their sense of freedom, independence and inner strength all thrive, and children surrounded by nature are not only less stressed but also bounce back from stressful events more readily. But there has been a steady reduction in open spaces for children to play. In Britain, children have one-ninth of the roaming room they had in earlier generations. There has also been a reduction in available time, with less than 10% of children spending time playing in woodlands, countryside or heaths, compared with 40% a generation ago. Younger children may be enclosed on the grounds that adults are frightened for them, and older children because adults are frightened of them...Children need wild, unlimited hours, but this time is in short supply for many, who are diarised into wall-to-wall activities, scheduled from the moment they wake until the minute they sleep, every hour accounted for by parents whose actions are prompted by the fear their child may fall behind in the rat race that begins in the nursery. Loving their child, not wanting them to be lifelong losers, parents push them to achieve through effective time-use. Society instils a fear of the future that can be appeased only by sacrificing present play and idleness, and children feel the effects in stress and depression".

    There are chunks of this I don't agree with, but it's an interesting premise with some truth, I think.
    Posted: 13 May 2013 07:59 PM PDT
    Poetry about sex. Because, obviously. No, I'm kidding- but seriously, really good.
    Posted: 13 May 2013 07:36 PM PDT
    "She never apologized to me for her boys. She never said "oh my gosh, I am so sorry he is melting down, he is so tired and etc. etc." or "sorry, they should not be jumping on the couch, BOYS STOP! GET DOOOOOWN!" or "sorry they are being so crazy" or "sorry, I'm so embarrassed my house is a mess, these kids... " She never apologized for her messy and beautiful life with small kids. And that ministers to me as a mom of little boys now. Because I feel like I am ALWAYS apologizing for my sons and their behavior."

    *This* ministered to me. I get on my soapbox as long as the day is long about teachers expecting little boys to act like little girls/little adults and the ADHD epidemic (which we all know I have experience with...ahem) for as long as the day is long, but when it comes to my TODDLER boy, I feel like I need to make excuses and apologize. Totally illogical. Thankful for this reminder.
    On Ole Miss Culture:
    Posted: 08 May 2013 08:53 PM PDT
    "While it's commonplace to hear "Hotty Toddy" in the Grove and at Ole Miss games, what's special to Rebel fans is how much further the saying extends past athletics. It only takes seeing an Ole Miss logo or design on a shirt, hat, etc., for a fellow Rebel to proudly say, "Hotty Toddy." In return, the other person proclaims a warm "Hotty Toddy.""

    On Powerful Words:
    Posted: 08 May 2013 08:42 PM PDT
    "This voice is trained into us early on, back in high school or Comp 101, when we're taught to make our arguments as succinct and cogent as possible, omitting wishy-washy qualifications like "in my opinion." You'd think these disclaimers could go without saying; every piece of writing includes the tacit caveat: Or I could be wrong. And yet quite a lot of readers respond to your personal observations with wounded outrage when they fail to reflect their own experience, as if you were proposing your idle speculation as totalitarian law."

    I have really struggled with this dynamic at times and I think the writer makes a great case for "the power of I don't know".

    On Peace:
    Posted: 08 May 2013 07:53 PM PDT
    "I am thirty five years old, and there has not been a day in my life that the flag has flown in peace, at least not as I think of peace. And don't get me wrong, I love my country and I turn inside out when someone burns the flag, but this doesn't change the fact that we often exchange peace for platitudinal notions of it. We love to fly words high, let the wind whip them around for dramatic effect. And we don't relegate this penchant to nationalistic tendencies, at least not in my experience. But that, too, is a discussion for another day...Words are easy. Doing is not."

    On Breastfeeding:
    Posted: 08 May 2013 08:54 PM PDT
    "A highly significant inverse relationship of ADHD to exclusive 6-month and 3-month breast-feeding in 2007 was observed. Direct relationships were observed between premature births, low birth weight and very low birth weight, obesity, infant deaths, neonatal deaths, and ADHD." G

    Good to know. Maybe the crazies won't take over my house after all ;)

    On Blogging:
    Posted: 08 May 2013 07:46 PM PDT
    "Let us not desecrate the magnificence of the sacred days we've been given with the lie that our words no longer hold value, that nobody will take seriously the life lived well. The simple truths, shared intentionally, are shaping communities, online and off. These stories deserve to be told."

    Enjoy them!


    Kara said...

    My husband has ADHD. I love your weekly links, thanks!

    Mallory Pickering said...

    Mine does too, and I have OCD. It makes for some interesting dynamics.