Monday, January 4, 2016

Weekly Smorgasbord

Here's my round up for the week:

On Faith:
Posted: 16 Dec 2015 08:37 PM PST
'"As if sanctification wasn't a touchy enough issue already… Surely memory distortion shapes the way folks think about their moral/spiritual development. I know it does for me. Maybe you've heard someone give their testimony multiple times? And each time it gets a little more colorful? I certainly know I've been guilty of embellishing. Of course, some might say that the mark of a genuinely holy person is that they cease to think of themselves in those terms – they cease to think about themselves as much, period. This being the paradox of Christian growth: concern about maturity almost always betrays a lack of it. But here I am, talking about sanctification when justification is the issue at hand/head/heart."

Posted: 30 Nov 2015 07:59 PM PST
"One Sunday we were walking across the square near our home and I asked him, "Why do you keep coming when you are so sure you don't share our beliefs and never will?" He looked at me and answered, "I met Christians once when I first left my home country and they welcomed me as a friend. Now everywhere I go, I seek out the Christians. I know I can trust them.""

Posted: 30 Nov 2015 02:01 PM PST
"As both of us are ordained, I specifically worry about how we are sharing our faith with our kids (and worry that we are not intentional enough about it). It's so much harder than the faith environment of my childhood where the answers were so certain. Granted, I bear the scars from that and wouldn't subject those I love to the rigors of fundamentalism, but as my faith and belief has grown and become more open, sometimes it seems so big and nebulous that I'm not sure how to share it. I have cut out so much of the language that excludes and limits, but what words are left to show the ultimate grace and love that has captured me? The best way would be to show it, to model it, and yet in my exhaustion and frustration, I fear I teach them the opposite of what I would have them to know."
On Joy and Pain:
Posted: 30 Nov 2015 08:11 PM PST
"Pick a hard moment, mamas, any hard moment, and see it for the long-term impact it is making on both you and your little one, and all of a sudden it is lined with joy and not weaved with frustration. Motherhood certainly is a million hard minutes, but it is also one sweet long journey. And I think the world needs more joy-choosers on this journey. That starts with me."

Posted: 20 Dec 2015 12:19 PM PST
"But pain seems to be hounding me down the years until I can look it in the eye and stop resisting. I'm beginning to realize that the key to finding joy and being my whole self—and the self God has called me to be—lies in walking through the heartache and surrendering it all to God. Until I can do that, I think pain will always find me."

On Peace:
Posted: 20 Dec 2015 01:38 PM PST
"Specifically, the UK imagination has been shaped by a potent image, an unarmed police officer talking the gun out of the hands of a criminal. Americans, by contrast, can't even imagine this. That's what strikes me, how stunted is the American imagination when it comes to peace. Peaceable options that are easily imagined by others are unimaginable to Americans. And that's why I think we are so violent and addicted to guns in the US. Americans lack the imagination for peace."
On Marriage:
Posted: 16 Dec 2015 12:18 PM PST
"I don't buy it. I don't buy the necessity of it. I don't think you need a date night. I don't think your marriage will necessarily suffer without it. I don't think you ought to feel guilty if you don't schedule it every week, or every month for that. It may be a good thing, but it isn't a necessary thing."

 I think this is so spot on. For some people? sure it's helpful and important. But I remember when I read something someone said about how "essential" it was when we were in Brooklyn. And I just thought, well no. I mean, it's very fun and I'm happy we can do it more now but we LOVED watching TV together and eating take out and it was so, so not worth the potential cost of leaving our kids with a sitter that we didn't really know personally.

On Parenting and Children:
Posted: 20 Dec 2015 01:51 PM PST
"I have always believed that I am just as much my child's student as I am their teacher. Listening for the nuances, facial expressions, the quiver of the bottom lip, avoiding eye contact, the constant whining really communicating they really, really need a hug are the echoes of my own heart pumping."

Posted: 20 Dec 2015 12:03 PM PST
"Parenting is harder than I thought, and I'm learning to lay down the expectations that poison our time together. Maybe my kids will fight a lot, but in between the rounds, they'll also learn to love a little. Maybe they won't appreciate the work I do, but sometimes they'll throw their arms around my waist. Maybe the days will feel long, but the years will fly by. Maybe in a decade or so, the daily work will be over, but they'll still like me enough to come home for Christmas now and then. Maybe the hard stuff of parenting is forging me into a softer, gentler version of myself—one who's able to laugh off a painful jab and clean up a spill with a smile and believe the best in these wacky kids who are awkward and trying to morph into whole people."

Posted: 20 Dec 2015 01:18 PM PST
"This was perfect. Verity felt quiet inside, even as her fingers and toes tingled and twitched. The world was so sad, so pretty. And she was alive in it, and it hurt, and it was wonderful, and she wanted to find the words to say so. She tipped her head backward and closed her eyes. She said a little prayer. She asked for the words."

I am loving reading these "shorts" on Story Warren and I need to start actually reading them to the children.

On Hospitality, Scarcity, and Personal Space:
Posted: 30 Nov 2015 07:23 PM PST
"Hospitality, then, is the exact opposite of xenophobia. Opposed to xenophobia is philoxenia. Instead of phobia--fear and suspicion--the stranger (xenos) is greeted with philia, familial affection and love. Philia over phobia. That is the practice of hospitality."

Such a beautiful, compact post.
Posted: 22 Dec 2015 10:22 PM PST
"It's strange how we could live in a land of plenty but in a mindset of scarcity. But it is so easy to fall into that logic: to believe that our welfare must come at the expense of others; that we can only thrive through competition which necessarily pushes others down in order for us to rise. Scarcity is the logic of nationalism and of capitalism, but it is foreign to the Kingdom of God."

Posted: 18 Dec 2015 02:39 PM PST
"In America, our love for buffers is clear. Just watch as people choose where to sit in any cafe, movie theater, train or bus. Our tendency is to leave one or two open seats between us and "them." Are we simply respecting the personal space of others or protecting a selfish need for our own? Or do we go through life with an underlying aversion or suspicion of anyone we don't know?"

On Work:
Posted: 20 Dec 2015 10:54 PM PST
"And in that moment I felt an immense peace. The world does not hinge on my good works. Thank God. The world will not rise or fall based on the popularity of my blog posts, the perfection of my parenting, or the amount of things I manage to acquire. There is a much greater hope, a far greater anticipation. This is what the season of Advent has to offer us. This is the peace that comes in a quiet, expectant waiting."

On Refugees:
Posted: 20 Dec 2015 08:48 PM PST
This was truly beautiful.

On Being Enough:
Posted: 20 Dec 2015 11:39 AM PST
"These are the things we are trained against: guessing aloud the age of any made-up woman; asking how many place-holding zeroes a man needs to number his wealth..."

On Taking Care of Yourself:
Posted: 22 Dec 2015 08:39 PM PST
"Are you hydrated? If not, have a glass of water. Have you eaten in the past three hours? If not, get some food — something with protein, not just simple carbs. Perhaps some nuts or hummus? Have you showered in the past day? If not, take a shower right now."

This list is really, really good.

On Traveling with Kids:
Posted: 18 Dec 2015 10:41 PM PST
"Create playlists for every mood! This was so vital to our sanity on the road. Everyone in our family is highly affected by music. So we made playlists that either would go along with our mood or set the tone/mood we were hoping for. Sometimes we let everyone take turns picking a song. Sometimes we just let it play on shuffle. Some of our playlist titles = fun, chill, worship, kids worship, kids goofy songs, and kids resting."

Lots of great tips.

On Dresses:
Posted: 20 Dec 2015 11:50 AM PST
I miss The Met. There was another collection of dresses there when we lived in Brooklyn, and it was one of my favorite exhibits (maybe that makes me super shallow, whatever).

On Birds:
Posted: 30 Nov 2015 11:40 AM PST
So cool- I really want this for Annie!
On Books and Beds:
Posted: 20 Dec 2015 01:13 PM PST
"Book And Bed is "an accommodation bookshop" The perfect setting for a good nights sleep is something you will not find here.There are no comfortable mattresses, fluffy pillows nor lightweight and warm down duvets. What we do offer is an experience while reading a book (or comic book). An experience shared by everyone at least once : the blissful "instant of falling asleep". It is already 2 am but you think just a little more... with heavy drooping eye lids you continue reading only to realize you have fallen asleep. Our concept is thus a readers haven - an accommodation bookshop."
Noteworthy Images:

 Kinda made me miss algebra. KINDA can't wait for it one day at The Schoolhouse in the Suburbs.

Noteworthy Videos: 


1 comment:

Leah said...

Have you heard about the Great Backyard Bird Count? It's essentially a bird census. It takes 15 minutes (or more, if you want) and your daughter might enjoy it. The website is