Saturday, February 27, 2016

Weekly Smorgasbord

Here's some of my favorite links from the past little bit. Lots of stuff on simplicity, snow, being a fun mom, and real recipes that are just downright outlandish!

On Faith:
"This question has demanded all of me, and it is one to which I sometimes willingly, other times unwillingly, submitted. The question is accompanied by an answer, and the exciting aspect, for me, of this question and its answers has been figuring out what that means in my contemporary context, and the spaces, places and extraordinary people to which this question, and my exploration thereof, has led me. Exploring this question, combined with my studies, changed my understanding of God from one who was solely interested in how many souls I led to the Lord, how many hours I prayed and read my Bible, how faithful I was in doing my quiet times early in the morning, etc. I learned that God cares deeply about this world; God is constantly working towards the healing and transformation of this world; God invites us to participate in God’s work towards healing and wholeness, towards shalom."
 
"I think the questions we ask ourselves when it comes to these kinds of things not only reveal our hearts – I think they also proactively create who we are becoming. I want to ask better questions. I really do. Questions like: Wouldn’t it be great if someone who really needs a good parking space finds mine empty? What can I do to help an elderly person or a sick person find my spot tonight when I’m gone? 5 This is the blessing of living in the city, of living in community. No matter how much we want to, we can never completely isolate ourselves from our neighbor. No matter how hard we try, we cannot claim these public spaces as our own. We have to learn to live side-by-side, to offer grace, to think the best of one another. This is a gift, this snow, these “stolen” parking spaces. Trust me. This is a gift."
 
"These aren’t so much audible voices as inklings, rephrasings of the wind that come from the heart not the head. In the quiet, I knew the truth: we’ve not been left alone in our pain. We have a truer, consistent, and abiding bonded love. I listened for a few minutes, let it all sink in. 3. Cultivating the practice of listening in prayer is a difficult sort of husbandry. What does the voice of God sound like? How do we know it’s his voice and not our own? What of the distracting thoughts that interrupt our prayers? The voice of God sounds an awful lot like peace, patience, and love. It sounds a lot like constancy. Should it come as any surprise?"
 
"As you read through this list you likely felt a lot of it as familiar. Obviously, if God is giving the gift we expect that gift to be "perfect." Consequently, we expect a lot of these perfections to be applied to God's gift of grace. For example, God's grace is extravagant and a product of God's love for us. That is, God's grace displays superabundance and singularity. We also believe that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. In this grace displays priority (God loved us first) and incongruity (while we were undeserving sinners). You don't get a whole lot of debate about the first four perfections. By contrast, there has been a lot of debate about the last two, the perfections of efficacy and non-circularity."
 
On Gratitude:
I’m pretty sure she was hoping to catch the small toys and candy that Pastor Scott always brings, just like the rest of the kids. And I couldn’t blame her really. But then she leaned over and whispered, “If I catch anything, I’m going to give it away to the other kids,” and I wanted to shout, “Yes!” Looking around at her peers without shoes and coats, she could see her hands were already full. I wasn’t reminding and prodding and nagging her to be grateful—she knew she already had everything she needed. Nothing makes us more grateful than perspective. Nothing. I think it’s the key to loosening the chains of entitlement in our culture.
 
Why I Want My Kids to Be Grateful More Than Anything Else {Giveaway & Link Up} - Kristen Welch 
"Gratitude starts with a P. When we can step back and change the way we look at what we don’t have, or that bad day, or what other people have or don’t, that small seed of gratitude will begin to grow. Perspective is a gift we need to give our kids."
 
"My bent up heart veers toward disappointment and frustration as the wind slaps against my exposed face. The sun is out, and the waves are crashing, and I still have to choose it – the practice of gratitude. I am grateful for the sun. I am grateful for the kisses, for a little boy who still names inanimate objects, for 10am margaritas, for the aquamarine ocean, for the waves. Practice, practice, practice. And then practice more…because things will never be perfect, the reality will never match the postcard, the cracks will always show in a world that has been broken."
 
On Parenting:
"The Psalms told me that my children were a gift from God–as they were, with their color of eyes, their color and texture of hair, their various personalities, desires, loves–and weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Each of my little ones wanted to be known, loved as they were, and honored as a child made in the image of God who was designed to fulfill a purpose in this world, a part in His greater play in history. This they were created to find in our home."
 
"it strikes me that I’ve probably been saving too many of my favorite pleasures for moments when the kids aren’t around. I go out on restaurant dates with Daddy, or watch movies or shows with him after bedtime. I get together with friends and laugh. I treasure my solo time doing Pilates while they’re at school or reading books in bed before falling asleep. I blissfully lose myself in my writing work. Although I’m a happy person overall, the kids are not there so much for the most relaxed, easy-laughing side of me. Maybe I’ve just drawn too hard a line between on-duty and off-duty. When I’m with the kids, it’s a bit like I’ve punched the clock and I’m at work, mothering. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun at work—don’t all the best jobs have their fun side, and what could be better than working with these three amazing, silly, exuberant little people? They feel my love, yes, but they should also feel my joy. Not every moment—let’s be realistic—but  in our house we could all use a little more lightness and laughter, from me in particular. More yeses."     

 
Help! These Moms Won't Stop Bragging About How Smart Their Kid Is! - Enjoying the Small Things 
"I will remember the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. In conversations about learning or smartness or school, we talk a lot about reading, math and science and their respective test scores, but did you know there are at least 9 types of intelligence–all equally valuable? Did you know interpersonal intelligence–your child’s ability to recognize and respond to other people feeling sad or scared or in need of a friend–is a recognized form of intelligence in childhood psychology?"
 
On Small and Simple Living
"There’s something about the proximity of everything in a small space that I find really comforting and, honestly, easy. The other day we had friends over for dinner and James and I got into pajamas as soon as they left. Our dressers are right next to the kitchen table, so we hadn’t even cleared the dishes yet. It occurred to us that in a larger house you’d likely stay downstairs, cleaning up dinner and getting the house back in order, and then get cozy. We were in pajamas before our friends made it down to street level. I’ve said this before, but I think the most important survival tip for living in a small space is to embrace it joyfully, every last square inch." Love these tips.
 
Love these inspiration images. And two of the thirteen have our beds =)
 
"It’s a small circle life. Not just the yurt, but all the rhythms of our simple life. We walk over the same ground many times a day, the same patterns each day of the week. We make small circles. But if the discipline of spring and summer is to be planted, then the discipline of winter is to wear bare branches. We try to use the word “enough” as if it were a blessing and not a compromise. We have enough. We have enough time. We have enough money. We have enough love, to go around. And here we stay."
 
"When life hands me one of these weeks, I do the opposite of what the world around me is pressuring me to do. I actually take more time to slow down, to listen, to sleep, to read for pleasure. I paddle upstream from our culture that worships the word “busy,” and I take time to become even stronger to handle the to-do list in front of me. Hear me out: I don’t jettison my responsibilities and go running off in the sunset. No, I still do my “have tos.” But in between those things, I fight the urge to panic and stress, and instead, do things I know will recenter me."
 
On Busyness:
"I was talking about reaching our limits with a friend recently. She shared that she can always tell when she’s over capacity because she can no longer control her emotions."
 
On Not Attaching:
 
"I'm interested in a practice that stems from the Buddhist and Hindu tradition, called “non-attachment”. It means that rather than clinging to certain outcomes (visions of what could be) or certain people (or what we imagine they could be), we should remain grateful for, but unattached to, what currently is. Count your blessings, but hold them loosely. Our culture doesn’t endorse this philosophy. The secular voice would tell us that we have needs to be met and wants to be satisfied and that, by all means, we should attempt to meet and satisfy them—and then hoard them like trophies doomed for dusty shelves in the McMansion to which we are entitled."
 
On Snow:
"And yet, perhaps that’s why the blizzard remains the best natural disaster there is, theologically speaking. The snow falls everywhere, irrespective of our plans and designs–or our response to them being disrupted–yet remains stunningly personal, burrowing into eyes and hair and nostrils. Yes, the storm puts our attempts to assert ourselves in merciful perspective. Yes, to those who like sledding, it is an occasion for joy, and yes, to those who are tired or guilt-ridden, it brings rest. But that’s not all."
 
On Claiming a (Somewhat Negative) Identity:
Interesting story and comments.
 
 Humor Worth Sharing: 
First, Catch Your Jellyfish - The New York Times 
Y'all, these are from actual cookbooks. OMG.
 
" Discuss how you successfully conquered a First World Problem, White Girl Problem, Overeducated Problem, Stoner Problem, or another exaggerated obstacle of social, racial or habitual origin."

Photography Worth Sharing:
"For his series called Textiles, the architect and photographer documented twenty-five of the last textile mills in New England, some a century and one dating back to the Civil War."

These photos are amazing and so vibrant.
Made in USA: Textiles
Made in USA: Textiles
 

Noteworthy Images:
LOL for days....

Noteworthy Videos:
No, Bern, you won't get my vote by using beautiful Simon and Garfunkel songs about hitchhiking the country while showing wonderful montages of happy faces, cottages with flags painted on them, swing dancing in the grass, and adorable children and livestock. But it was a damn good shot. You do pull my heartstrings.

Enjoy! 

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