Friday, July 5, 2013

Weekly Smorgasbord

Not too terribly many links this week, but I found some good stuff, I think.

On Parenting:
Posted: 02 Jul 2013 08:44 PM PDT
" can tell them, "I changed the world today." You can tell them how you fought back the dark and held back the tide of all the broken, upside down bits and pieces and jagged names that this world will tsunami at our children. You can tell them how you ran miles in the marathon of raising tiny humans who can make sense of their own emotions, choices, wants, fears and passions. You can tell them that you stood in the gap, that you shone a light, that you cheered the loudest and sometimes it sounded like a second helping of Nutella spread thick on a slice of toast with a cup of hot, sweet tea....You can tell them that you were artist, doctor, psychiatrist, beautician, chef, and personal trainer all in the space of one spin around the sun. You can tell them that you were broken today. That you need to find a way to put yourself back together again before tomorrow."

Well, that would be the FOURTH cry the day I read it. It was a good one, though.

On Adoption:
Posted: 26 Jun 2013 08:29 PM PDT
"As for us, do we stop to consider how our worldview rubs raw against that of a relinquishing mother? Our worldview is distinctly legal. We operate from the understanding that, upon adoption, it was as if the child's extended family never existed. Sure, it's a legal fiction, but it's so ingrained in our worldview that it shapes every decision along the way."

Posted: 30 Jun 2013 02:01 PM PDT
"On February 18, 1999, the day Sivagama last saw her son Subash, he was still small enough to balance on her hip. Sivagama—who, like many in the state of Tamil Nadu, has no last name—lives in Chennai's Pulianthope slum, a place about as distant from the American Midwest culturally as it is in miles. Children play cricket in bustling streets swathed in the unbearable humidity that drifts in from the nearby Indian Ocean. Despite the hubbub, it's considered a safe area. Unattended kids are seldom far from a neighbor's watchful eye...So when Sivagama left Subash by the neighborhood pump a few dozen feet from their home, she figured someone would be watching him. And someone was. During her five-minute absence, Indian police say, a man likely dragged the toddler into a three-wheeled auto rickshaw. The next day, Subash was brought to an orphanage on the city's outskirts that paid cash for healthy children."

This is so heartbreaking. 

On Charity:
Posted: 26 Jun 2013 08:39 PM PDT
"Yes. We know that generosity gives you bursts of dopamine, which is a sense of pleasure and enthusiasm about life. We know that acts of generosity will activate parts of your peripheral nervous system that calms stress response, which is interesting. So, giving counteracts stress. We know from longitudinal research that people who give through charity 14 hours a week or so -- they live longer. Their life expectancy actually gets a dramatic boost through acts of charity. So, you put this story together: charity gives you happiness; it takes you out of that stress modality and your nervous system towards more optimal functioning, and then it gives you longevity. I don't know what else you need -- those are good data, from my standpoint." 


On Politics and Christianity:
Posted: 01 Jul 2013 09:49 PM PDT
"On a basic level, the utter ineptitude of our current partisan political climate demonstrates just how impotent this attitude renders our ability to get anything accomplished. But on a deeper level, when we caricature and demonize our fellow Christians (or people in general) on the other side of the aisle, we are denying them their God given identity as people made in the image of God by painting them instead simply as political opponents to be destroyed. When this happens we rip apart the Body we claim to hold dear."

On Race:
Posted: 03 Jul 2013 02:14 PM PDT
""It's very interesting kind of experiencing racism in the 21st century," she says. "Nobody's going to openly, you know, ostracize you. But there are whispers and there are looks." At Ole Miss, though, they're talking about it. And for Owens-Wilson, there's hope in knowing that Donald Cole, a man once marginalized, is helping to lead that discussion."

On Sexual Ethics:
Posted: 26 Jun 2013 07:49 PM PDT
"This gives Christian churches the opportunity to do what Jesus called us to do with our marriages in the first place: to serve as a light in a dark place. Permanent, stable marriages with families with both a mother and a father may well make us seem freakish in 21st-century culture. But is there anything more "freakish" than a crucified cosmic ruler? Is there anything more "freakish" than a gospel that can forgive rebels like us and make us sons and daughters? Let's embrace the freakishness, and crucify our illusions of a moral majority...The dangerous winds of religious liberty suppression means that our nominal Bible Belt marrying parson ways are over. Good riddance. This means we have the opportunity, by God's grace, to take marriage as seriously as the gospel does, in a way that prompts the culture around us to ask why."

On Being an Introvert (and a Parent):
Posted: 01 Jul 2013 09:44 PM PDT
"The past thirteen-plus years for me have been one long exercise in welcoming the messy, noisy, needy people who are my children. They make it hard to get anything done, especially writing. But without them, I'm not sure I'd have anything worthwhile to write, or for others to read. More and more, I am convinced that much of value in life simply cannot be managed; it must instead be welcomed with grace."

On Things That Could Make You Happy Cry:
Posted: 26 Jun 2013 07:59 PM PDT
Loved this.


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