Friday, April 3, 2015

Weekly Smorgasbord

Here's my roundup of recent links:

On Faith:
Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:21 PM PDT
"Someone asked that once - why do we worship the Book of Common Prayer? She thought that when our rector walked down the aisle to read from the gospels, we bowed toward the Book of Common Prayer he held. But it is a Bible he This is so relevant to the Al Mohler discussion from yesterday. I had to share. I loved this because, had it not been my experience here, I could have easily found myself as this weeping woman scared for the souls of her children departing from a tradition she understood. But I also love my sweet friendship with Emily. It's no secret that I was afraid of stepping on some toes with a recent similar post I wrote and while a lot of that was "the churches of my childhood" (and in my case early adulthood) as the writer put it, I also didn't want my friends at our morning church in Brooklyn to feel dismissed by it. Both of our faith communities here have challenged me, grown me, blessed me and pointed me consistantly to a lived Gospel. I'm so thankful for you all.
Posted: 25 Mar 2015 07:26 PM PDT
"In my experience, there is nothing quite like The Stations of the Cross in evangelicalism or low-church Protestantism. And I think we're the poorer for it. I know a lot of our churches are experimenting with Ash Wednesday and "giving up" something for Lent. But for me, The Stations of the Cross are the heart and soul of Lenten observance."

Posted: 25 Mar 2015 01:52 PM PDT
"The life I'm choosing is, on one hand, incredibly stable: wife, mom, blogger, pastor's wife, but also wildly unstable. It's ministry, dealing with messy people and inconsistent church budgets, but it's rooted in a divine stability which pulses life into the mundane. When we commit to loving well right where we are, washing dishes after dinner becomes worship. The table becomes the temple. The coffee shop becomes the confessional. The playdates become passing of peace. Because Jesus is who he says he his and because his Spirit turns our hearts toward him, there's stability—I have to remember this. I have to remember stability is defined by courageous love and not the balance in my bank account or the letters behind my name."
Posted: 25 Mar 2015 01:31 PM PDT
"But the response reveals something of the way we tend to think about our faith traditions—as systems to either accept or reject rather than little cultures that (for better or worse… or, more likely, a bit of both) indelibly shape how we think, who we know, what we fear and long for and love." I've linked to almost every post in her list over the past few months and I think what RHE says in the post is mostly spot on. Good thoughts and I can't wait for the book (I actually haven't read either of her first two).
Posted: 22 Mar 2015 10:18 PM PDT
OMG. Dead. - Bono, Madeleine L'Engle, N.T. Wright, and C.S. Lewis FTW - And y'all I legit think I have done the "Saint Paul" reference recently.

On Parenting:
Posted: 17 Mar 2015 07:05 PM PDT
Last week I asked Annie what she'd do if somehow she got stuck on a platform and Peyton was in the train and she was by herself (almost happened on the way to the Bronx but she doesn't know it did). She told me very confidently "well, if it was a G train platform, I'd just go back home". We talked about it and she told me she'd be a little nervous about the crosswalks but she could do it. And I believe her. Not trying it any time soon, of course, but Peyton and I had a great talk about the confidence this year has given her (she's really struggled with being under-confidant and fearing failure in the past) and all the important skills she's learned. Not to mention the way it has forever shaped hers and Graves's worldview in ways they may never fully comprehend. I think she's ready for first grade. But I'm so damn glad first grade is happening at 140 Williams Circle. I love spending my days with her.

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 08:07 PM PDT
"So Grysman's theory, which he explored in an extensive review of the literature published last year, is that those early conversations with your parents implicitly told you which details are important to remember about the things that happen to you, and which are not. And because parents' conversations with girls include references to both more information and more emotion, they're setting their daughters up to have stronger memories over their lives." Super interesting. How parents conversations influence children's memories.
Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:19 PM PDT
I try not to share too many negative/pushback type things on here and mostly want my timeline these days to be full of positive links and images and quotes (and absurd pictures of AP and Graves) and I know I just did that, BUT I have to share one more than really had me frustrated recently:…/why-i-no-longer-need-mommy-ti… Ya'll. Don't invoke dead children to make people feel guilty for needing some space. Mothers guilt and shame themselves over this enough as it is. Of course, the other side of the coin is that just a few days ago Peyton and I were talking about a parenting seminar we went to when Annie was tiny and the guy (a well known figure) said that after two, 90% of your children's time should be independent of their parent. I have the least common sense of anybody I know but I can tell you right now, there needs to be a balance.

On Pregnancy and Birth:
Posted: 21 Mar 2015 01:39 PM PDT
"New research by a University of Rhode Island professor suggests that the length of human pregnancy is limited primarily by a mother's metabolism, not the size of the birth canal. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of August 27, challenges the long-held notion of an evolutionary trade-off between childbirth and a pelvis adapted for walking upright."

Posted: 28 Mar 2015 01:36 PM PDT
"Talking about the fear of miscarriage while actually in the first trimester feels a bit taboo, as if we're tempting fate or claiming the inevitable. If we're really honest, sharing your pregnancy at all during the first trimester is a bit taboo itself (and it seems as if the number of people who wait to share their pregnancies has grown even in the past 12 years since my first pregnancy). I'm not criticizing anyone's personal decision to wait—and I think it would be fun to keep it a secret that you share only with your husband, even if there is no way I can personally pull that off for more than 24 hours—but I do disagree with the cultural pressure to wait to announce a pregnancy in case you miscarry."

On Homeschooling:
Posted: 25 Mar 2015 07:22 PM PDT
"In many ways, we can think of homeschooling — or any other difficult job for which we sign up — as another opportunity for sanctification. This big, huge thing we're doing can reveal all the ways we fall short. Homeschooling shows us our short tempers and bad attitudes. It shows us our lack of organization or follow through. It shows us our ignorance and incompetence. Ultimately, it shows us our selfishness and lack of generosity. "I feel insufficient!" we scream at the end of the day. Good news: it's true. I will never be enough, and neither will you. There are a few ways to deal with this fact, first and foremost being that we must cling to the idea that while we are not enough, God is. So we trust that His grace will cover all the bumbling mistakes — both willful and accidental — along the way." Whew. This is convicting. But good.
Posted: 21 Mar 2015 09:21 PM PDT
More Advance Preparation work: One other tip for approaching a harder book is to look it over in advance and look up just two or three words with your children- there may likely be a dozen you think she won't know. Just choose two or three. Look them up first, help her define them in her own words. With one or two of my daughters, I wrote the words and she wrote definitions on an index card." This is a fantastic post if you like to read a little (or a lot!) above your kids' level.

On Writing (and Reading):
Posted: 23 Mar 2015 12:34 PM PDT
"This puts a ton of pressure on authors to play the publicity game, and authors can really hit a wall here. We need to gather reviews, write guest posts, book speaking events when possible, and figure out ways to gain exposure for our books even though most of us have no experience in publicity, retail, or online merchandising. Publishers have essentially told authors, "This is the new normal, get used to it."" Really interesting and eye-opening. You know, if you were someone who wanted to write a book one day =)

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 02:22 PM PDT
"But I couldn't get away from my stories, which were, let's be honest, a lot like memoir. So I decided I should learn about the form. I mean, I was writing it; it only seemed honest to have read some. So I put on a gas mask and tied one end of a length of thread around the front door of a bookstore and the other end around my waist, and I went looking for the "memoir/autobiography/cry for help" shelf. When I found it, hidden out of embarrassment between "pets" and "fortune-telling," I saw the usual suspects: the celebrity and addiction and abuse memoirs. I found one by Tori Spelling and opened to a random page, just to see what sort of wonders it might unleash upon my mind. It couldn't be that bad. Somebody had published it. The passage I came to said this: "I have a pretty detailed short-term memory. I can read a script once and remember all my lines—for the next day at least.""

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 08:43 PM PDT
"In a blog post dedicated to the subject, she said authors chose their words carefully, and for a reason, with third-party censors editing their work "sometimes very clumsily" being unacceptable. "Anyone who works with words understands their power," she said. "Words, if used correctly, can achieve almost anything. To tamper with what is written – however much we may dislike certain words and phrases – is to embrace censorship.""

On Processing Information:
Posted: 22 Mar 2015 07:41 PM PDT
A mind map differs from a regular brain dump or a list in that a mind map's information is organized. However, unlike an outline, which is rigid and linear, a mind map is flexible. That flexibility makes a mind map is a great starting point for collecting ideas.
On Humanity:
Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:25 PM PDT
"When I was six years old, I had a vision where I saw everything that was going to happen in my life. Jesus showed me that my life was going to be very tough, but if I stuck with him, and prayed, and cried when I needed to, and ate lots of chocolate, I'd be OK." "Where were you when you had this vision?" "At the feet of my foster mother. She was kicking me in the stomach."" Wow.
Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:25 PM PDT
On Simplicity:
Posted: 27 Mar 2015 09:27 PM PDT
Really, really great tips here for when you're struggling through a stressful season.

On Failure:
Posted: 21 Mar 2015 09:53 AM PDT
"I've done such a fine job of avoiding failure that I can't point out many times in my life that I have triumphed through sheer grit and determination. Rather, I quietly walk away – or distract myself and others by upping my game at the things that do come more easily."
On Spring:
Posted: 21 Mar 2015 09:34 PM PDT
"It's hot. It's cold. It's haul out the flip flops; it's drain the hose before it freezes. I don't have any idea what's going on. Except that I am beginning to receive transmission. All the signals from Nature are coming on. "Wake up" signals. "Be alert" signals. "Now's the time to live the life you want to live" signals. This is what spring is bringing to my soul right now: the thrill of possibility, the exhilaration of potential. And the reminder that any walk that matters is a walk step by step into thin air. Something's coming. Could be a resurrection. Could be an ass-whooping. Hang around and see. Oh, sure, sounds like fun. Let me just breathe into a paper bag for a half an hour and get back to you."
On Motown:
Posted: 23 Mar 2015 12:36 PM PDT
Noteworthy Quotes from the Week:
"For all serious daring starts from within"- Eudora Welty

Noteworthy Images from the Week:

Hope you enjoy!

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