Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekly Smorgasbord

Well, now that I'm (hopefully) back to doing these on a routine basis, it shouldn't be SO much stuff all at once. Today, twelve links on some diverse topics, one video, a few quotes and images. Enjoy! 

On Faith:
Posted: 15 Nov 2015 02:40 PM PST
"I kiss my boys goodnight, and in my heart's own Headquarters, there are a dozen voices, all of them essential to the conversation. One of them calls herself Cynicism…but it's only because she doesn't know her true name yet. The name that God has given her. The one she will put on when Love makes her whole."
Posted: 13 Nov 2015 08:50 PM PST

"For an evangelical girl raised on a steady diet of spoken prayer, I was taught to be suspicious of so much silence. My prayer menu was based around the acronym ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication—all tasty morsels and useful in communicating with God, but terribly one-way and overburdened with words and thoughts and effort, and, dare I say, personal agendas. Conversely, silence as the ground of prayer requires the letting go of agendas. It requires the stilling of thoughts and the "dialing in" to a Presence that—surprise!—was there all along."

On Caregiver Roles:
Posted: 14 Nov 2015 02:59 PM PST

"We should also talk about "working fathers" as well as "working mothers," right? We constantly say a woman has two jobs: She's working and she's a mother. But we don't say that about men. We need to make clear that they have a dual identity the same way women have a dual identity. And let's get rid of the word "help." Let's stop saying, "My husband helps"—because that is really saying, "It is my job to run the household, but he helps me do it." No, no, no, no, no." 

Recently, a well meaning woman complimented Peyton on how kind it was for him to "give me a break" after he briefly explained our family logistics and why he was at the homeschool event on a Wednesday while I was sick on the couch at home. I came to her defense, but I understand why it bothered him when he's (we've) made sacrifices to be able to co-parent as equally as possible. I heard Peyton listening to Slaughter on a podcast recently and thought she was very compelling. Along with the "national conversation" Along with the "national conversation" sparked by Paul Ryan in his list of demands (including being able to prioritize time with his young children) for considering the role of Speaker, this seems to be progress. I am grateful I married a man who is very secure in his role as a caregiver, who takes great joy in that role, and who has chosen a less traveled path in order to be able to be more present in that role. [This also provoked a short conversation with the children on hypotheticals. Currently, Annie wants to have a few babies who she will wake up early to birdwatch with her when they get big enough. She also wants to work part time selling curtains to prevent birds from flying into windows. Graves wants to be a fireman and have "a hundred thousand" babies. Or work at a pharmacy.]

On Refugees:
Posted: 13 Nov 2015 08:46 PM PST
"By this time I was married with a family, and I was pregnant. I had also started writing again. I thought of my children when I wrote these things. I wondered what my country would be like when they grew up. We didn’t want the bad government and the darkness. But when we participated in a local rally, they came to my house. They beat my family. I tried to stop them. One of them kicked me in my back and knocked me to the floor. They pushed one of my children to the ground. My child was bleeding. After they left, I was so scared. My child’s eye was bloody on the inside, but she would recover. My husband took me to see a doctor and he said the baby was no longer alive. The baby inside of me was dead."

I think there is such force in the power of story. Please read it all.

Over the past few days, almost any time I see a comment section of any real length, I see at least on person opining about how we don't "take care of our own". Which, there's some truth in that. Look, I get it. This is one of those Hard Is Hard Yo things. Poverty is HARD. But, we have soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and what's known as a social safety net (though admittedly it isn't always as effective as it should be). So there's that. But even more importantly, in many cases these people seeking safety are not just being stripped of their resources, they are facing those who would seek to strip them of their dignity and in some cases, their very life- they are threatened, beaten, raped, and tortured. Even if you live in the sketchiest housing, in the seediest pocket, in the very worst neighborhood of New York City, it's statistically pretty unlikley you will have your head severed from your body for speaking out in support of basic human rights. Imagine yourself in "Miriam's" place-- whose husband encouraged her to flee to America because "an absent mother is better than a dead mother".

On Anxiety:
Posted: 15 Nov 2015 04:04 PM PST

"But here is anxiety's hidden blessing: it forces me to figure out why I am panicking."

On Race:
Posted: 15 Nov 2015 03:05 PM PST
"Dear Mr. Schulz," she wrote, "since the death of Martin Luther King, I've been asking myself what I can do to help change those conditions in our society which led to the assassination and which contribute to the vast sea of misunderstanding, hate, fear and violence." Mr. Schulz was Charles Schulz. Glickman thought the creator of the popular Peanuts comic strip could play a small part in promoting tolerance and interracial friendship by including a black character in his strip.

On Play:
Posted: 15 Nov 2015 03:11 PM PST

"So I'm looking to take back control of the word "play." What if we redefined it as any activity undertaken in a spirit of wonder and curiosity? Play begins by asking the question, "I wonder what would happen if…" And what a question that is! Dozens of times I've watched my kids in the midst of an everyday task take a sharp left turn and wind up discovering something unexpected simply because they were open to the possibility of taking left turns."

On Holidays:
Posted: 11 Nov 2015 08:19 PM PST
"Thanksgiving became the holiday we turned outwards and looked for who we could bring into the warmth of our home and family."

On Loss and Mourning:
Posted: 15 Nov 2015 02:39 PM PST
"Of course, it is true that Bradstreet's mode of lament was healthy. There is "a time to weep—a time to mourn," the author of Ecclesiastes says. We read that Jesus told his followers: "Blessed are those who mourn." We are given blessings and love when we grieve. We are not told to pull ourselves together and get it over it. It's okay to list our losses. It's okay to lament. It's okay to say "Enough! I'm broken. This is too much." It's also okay if you cannot mourn this way because your list is too long. It's okay if your truth is like my students'.It is a result of privilege to have the time, the My students are spot on. It is a result of privilege to have the time, the emotional space and the physical energy to mourn."
Posted: 15 Nov 2015 04:20 PM PST

"Blood came, rivers and rivers of blood, blood in the water, blood in my hands, and that glass jar shook as if the whole earth were being torn apart by its plates; I could not keep it still. Sounds came from me that I did not understand, sounds from down in my throat. Then there were strings of tissue falling. Pieces of womb, Salt water in my eyes. I couldn't see anything. I tried to wipe it all away, but more came." Heartbreaking and vulnerable.'

On Traveling with Children:
Posted: 13 Nov 2015 12:02 PM PST
"We didn't walk as far, or as fast, as we would have if this had been an adults-only trip. Not just because their legs are shorter, but because some of them need more time than we do to let new experiences sink in." This was a great post about taking FOUR kids on a trip to New York, but really it could be applied to a variety of places.

On Living Under a Rock:
Posted: 13 Nov 2015 08:55 PM PST
"Welcome to the town of Setenil de las Bodegas in Spain, where around 3,000 inhabitants are living quite literally, under a rock." So fascinating!

Noteworthy Quotes and Stories:

"The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellar full of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred proof Grace–bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us single-handedly. The word of the Gospel–after all those centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection of your bootstraps–suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home before they started…Grace has to be drunk straight: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, not the flowers that bloom in the spring of super spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case." - Robert Farrar Capon

"You're not overreacting; your life is impossible. The Good News is that the impossible is God's workshop: it's where he makes miracles." - Nick Lannon

Noteworthy Images:

[I mean, or you homeschool your kids, let them stay up to all hours and get them on your ridiculous schedule. Also, agree to a life of simplicity so your husband is around more mornings than not, especially if he happens to be an earl(ier) riser. Rare is the day I emerge before nine.]

Noteworthy Videos:

"It's easy to be pro-life for the nine months they're in the womb—they haven't done anything disappointing yet. But the 16-year-old on the floor of the county lockup addicted to heroin? I'm pro-life for her too."

Look, Chris Christie is so Jersey and having him as president would be a PR nightmare every three days, but I am thankful there are Republicans who will say these things.

1 comment:

Rebecca Petersen said...

Oh my goodness, Annie's desire to sell curtains to protect birds is just the sweetest! I think that comment says so much about her personality! I also posted the tweet from Oliver Willis on FB earlier this month... The posts that I've been seeing from other Christians about the refugee crisis is particular heartbreaking for me to read!