Monday, May 16, 2016

Weekly Smorgasbord

Another list for y'all! Friendship among women, stories as shared language, egos in politics and lots more!





On Faith: 
"This is the crucial part of the Easter story that we often skip over: their acceptance of what was, their faithfulness in mourning. The women didn't spend Saturday knowing that Jesus' resurrection was coming on Sunday. There was this whole day of utter stillness, and unresolved discomfort. Inconsolable grief. This is the embodied faith that most of us must live with in this life: the trauma of injustice, the unbearable silence after loss, the tension between Friday and Sunday."

"Whether it's remorse for sin or our sinful nature—for being very sin of very nature—or a change in direction and a turning to God, surely it's not a fruit to be checked by any modern-day, clipboard-carrying Pharisees out there or self-abusing whack-a-molers like me. Because whichever it is, its first step is turning to God, and the rest is a life-long, grace-filled process. One our gardener-God, Jesus, is willing to lovingly care-take in us, whether we've managed to produce one damn fig yet or not."

one key to walking through suffering | A Holy Experience

 "Lament is prayer that honors the honesty of pain and anger while also honoring the truth that God is the one who reigns and whose love never fails.
Lament holds in tension all the suffering that seems to make no sense with a determination to believe that God is just.
Lament draws us near to God when we are tempted to turn away.
Asking “why” – the core question of lament – is not a betrayal of faith."


On Parenting:

 The Promise I Can't Keep. — Coffee + Crumbs
 "Maybe the best promise I can make my daughter is that if she falls—when she falls—for as long as I live and as long as she lets me, I’ll still be there at the bottom, waiting. Still loving her. Still liking her. Still believing in her. When she’s young, I’ll be there with the Band-Aids and tissues and shoulders she can wet with her tears. When she’s older, I’ll be there with stories of my own falls, so she knows she’s not the only one. At every stage, I’ll be the one cheering loudest when she picks herself up and tries again.
I lean down and whisper a new promise in her ear, “When you fall, you won’t be alone.”"
" I never noticed the clothing and toy stores, play structures, park benches, and diaper changing stations interspersed throughout my neighborhood. It's like living inside an optical illusion. What else am I not seeing because I haven't lived it? And what must I become to be able to notice everything?"
 
On Friendship 
"It's not uncommon to hear women lamenting about how cliquey other women can be. And while I know this observation is sometimes true, I also think it's often a way we protect ourselves. We show up at an event, overhear jokes we don't understand and stories about the dinner everyone attended last week, and then we feel left out. Fairly quickly it's decided— there is no more room at the table. But here's the thing: there's definitely room. After starting over a few different times in the last ten years, I still believe in the goodness of women. I still believe that most are kind and lovely and ready to welcome another soul into their fold. But it takes boldness. It takes showing up even when it feels awkward, and it also means inviting people you don't know very well over for dinner. It takes throwing out insecurities. It takes throwing out the idea that everyone will love you. It takes believing that people don't always show their best selves on the first try. It takes some unreturned text messages and pushing through a few more times before you decide that maybe a potential friendship just isn’t meant to be. Most of the time, there are beautiful little communities of women everywhere we go, and we want and need each other’s company. More than anything, I believe that loving someone well takes getting to know them—their quirks, coffee preferences and deepest fears—while also being brave enough to share our own stories. Friendship requires trust, and trust takes time."


On Living Well 
"Every day I have the opportunity to choose how I am going to live—this is a great privilege but also a great responsibility. The way of our dreams–the Alpine Path, if you will–is not a leisurely stroll in a shaded wood, or even a pleasant hike up a rolling grade. It is a daily battle. A limiting unto more freedom. A devotion and a discipline, and it will sometimes require a shedding or a pruning or a sundering. It means that I cannot be choice-less in the matter because every day's fruit is only a result of the choices I have made all along the way, from the time I get up till the time I go to bed. Into this equilibrium for many Christians is added the uniquely evangelical bugbear of separating the "sacred" from the "secular": the judging between options and activities based on so-called "spiritual merit"; the low priority of certain desires on the mere basis that they are mine and must therefore somehow be less than God's will. The notion that tiredness is next to godliness. The goading to keep pace with the frenzied music of the world around me rather than the still, soft music that God would sing over my life. Viewing life as a compartmentalized series of duties and earned pleasures instead of the holistic dance of sacramental joy that it is."

What a Concussion Taught Me

 "By the beginning of February, Seth and I decided to see what would happen if we slept 8 hours a night for 30 days. It was as if our time and energy doubled from there. This is a practical thing. We had to give up our evening television-watching. We had to sleep later in the morning, but we came to such healing. Pain left my body. The world wasn’t so dark. I heard the voice of God. We had to consider ourselves and our callings worth the rest. We had to release control.
So I suspect that when our 30 days were up, I needed to see what would happen when I tried to control things again, when I stayed up late thumbing through instagram and when I tried to wake early to knock out my to-do lists. Guess what. The icons of my life, the windows to the holy and my ear to God’s voice, it has all become blurry and muted again. My body hurts again."

 On Place:
"So why, why, do we live here? I tell myself we're here because place matters. Where we live matters. What we see every day, the people we come in contact with, the reality of our communities — they matter. Our place, our community, shapes what is "normal." For every smashed beer bottle, there are dozens of friendly "hellos" and shared toys over the fence with the Somali family next door. For every waft of second-hand smoke, there are kind strangers holding open the door for my double stroller at the Dollar Store. And I want to go down kicking and screaming against the mantras of the American dream, that more stuff and homogenous living is better. I want to rail against the malaise of centering only on me and mine and my kind. I want my kids to know that their whiteness is just one color among many. Because I want to be where God is dwelling, and God is here, or so I've been told."

On Calling:
"When I look at scripture I don't see God pushing people into specific careers, I see Him calling people to a new way of living. He doesn't call people to be doctors or lawyers, He calls them to be a specific kind of doctor or lawyer. He calls them to be one who acts justly, loves mercy, walks humbly with God; is a peacemaker, merciful, righteous, and in all things, loves. Finding your vocation is less about finding the "right" vocation than it is about finding a job that will allow you to speak mercy, healing and love into a hurting world with the loudest voice possible."


On Community:
""It strikes me that pizzerias are sort of like the old malt shops – what I see about malt shops in the movies. People go and hangout and—because I'll see teenagers all come in and they each get a slice—and I think the slices probably weigh more than the girls do. And they sit in the back and they decompress from the day, and uh, it's just a—oh, I don't know… it's sort of a community thing. There aren't that many of those around anymore. You have to set them up for old people, the senior centers, and you set up the day cares and the play dates for children, but for everybody between the ages of five and under the age of 60, you gotta fend for yourselves, or find a pizza place.""

 On Simple Pleasures:
"For all the times I've bought a new box of Crayola 64 just so I can open the top and stare down at the perfect rows of rainbow and all their potential, walking through a fair is the closest human experience you'll have to living in a crayon box. Candy Apple Red, Popcorn Yellow, Cotton Candy Pink, Rainbow Ferris Wheel Kissing Swirly Blue Sky. No matter how much grease you have to smear off your face at the end of the night or many dollars disappeared from your wallet, there's always the color trip you get to go on when you buy a ticket to the fair. Worth it, my friends."

On Stories:
"That's the power in a language of shared stories. That's a power we have at our disposal to give our children a place of belonging. And that's really my greatest hope for relating to my children as they grow; that they will feel we shared something good enough to keep them interested, and keep them (even figuratively) coming home."

On Seasons and Being Outside:
"There's something about physically separating ourselves from the dirty dishes in the kitchen, the laptops, our separate places behind separate closed doors, that touches on the many meals of my childhood that were cooked and consumed under the shade of tall trees at campground picnic tables, and the playground picnics we spontaneously put together when our girls were little. Meals outside are meals that say, "This is just about us, here and now. Everything else can wait.""

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 09:08 PM PDT
"I store seasonal visions in my head, collected from scenes I've seen in movies, read in books–many from my childhood. When it comes to spring and summer, I see porches like the little boy in Sixth Sense saw dead people. I see them in my head, I see them in neighborhoods, I see porches everywhere–beautiful front porches where little old ladies sit in rocking chairs, sip lemonade and pencil in crossword puzzles. I see the last of the afternoon sunshine trickling in as the breeze picks up and stirs the wind chimes. I see flag bunting draped from railings and twinkle lights dangling everywhere so that these porches are just as magical at night as they are when the first cup of coffee is sipped from their most comfortable chairs. And there are parties on these porches–cocktails late on Friday afternoon, neighbors clinking glasses, little ones dancing, music, delicious ripe summer fruit piled up on platters. And weekend brunches because really, what's a porch good for if it can't host a Sunday brunch?"
Of course, a porch–unlike a rose–is just as sweet under its other names–veranda, stoop, sun room, lanai. Whatever the case, when the weather gets warmer and the seasons shift into longer days, I dream of life extending into outdoor spaces. - See more at: http://kellehampton.com/2016/04/spring-outdoor-living-makeover.html#sthash.UuMofyQb.dpuf
Of course, a porch–unlike a rose–is just as sweet under its other names–veranda, stoop, sun room, lanai. Whatever the case, when the weather gets warmer and the seasons shift into longer days, I dream of life extending into outdoor spaces. - See more at: http://kellehampton.com/2016/04/spring-outdoor-living-makeover.html#sthash.UuMofyQb.dpuf
brunch? Of course, a porch–unlike a rose–is just as sweet under its other names–veranda, stoop, sun room, lanai. Whatever the case, when the weather gets warmer and the seasons shift into longer days, I dream of life extending into outdoor spaces. - See more at: http://kellehampton.com/2016/04/spring-outdoor-living-makeover.html#sthash.UuMofyQb.dpuf
brunch? Of course, a porch–unlike a rose–is just as sweet under its other names–veranda, stoop, sun room, lanai. Whatever the case, when the weather gets warmer and the seasons shift into longer days, I dream of life extending into outdoor spaces. - See more at: http://kellehampton.com/2016/04/spring-outdoor-living-makeover.html#sthash.UuMofyQb.dpuf
brunch? Of course, a porch–unlike a rose–is just as sweet under its other names–veranda, stoop, sun room, lanai. Whatever the case, when the weather gets warmer and the seasons shift into longer days, I dream of life extending into outdoor spaces. - See more at: http://kellehampton.com/2016/04/spring-outdoor-living-makeover.html#sthash.UuMofyQb.dpuf

Of course, a porch–unlike a rose–is just as sweet under its other names–veranda, stoop, sun room, lanai. Whatever the case, when the weather gets warmer and the seasons shift into longer days, I dream of life extending into outdoor spaces. - See more at: http://kellehampton.com/2016/04/spring-outdoor-living-makeover.html#sthash.UuMofyQb.dpuf

 On Conversation:
"As a society, we practically crave interruption. We're easily distracted—and willingly so—by the shiny and new. But we don't always realize what we're giving up. Just as solitude fuels creativity, and boredom ignites imagination, so it goes with conversation. It's the quiet lulls in conversation that let us gather our thoughts, come up with new ideas, pivot in unexpected directions. Good conversations stumble. We hesitate; we backtrack. But a conversation's awkward moments make the profound ones possible."

On Politics:
"Each, representing their party lines, outlined their arguments in press conferences, saying what they needed to say. But looking back, I noticed something about their public discussion. They didn't say anything nasty or demeaning about one another. Ronnie didn't comment about Tip's bulbous nose, and Tip didn't ridicule Ronnie for dying his hair. Both would have been fair game. At lunch, they met as old friends. When they greeted each other at the door, they hugged one another genuinely and warmly. And then, they sat down and started laughing and talking and telling old stories. "

 Humor Worth Sharing:
"#aupairdontcare For brooding selfies at French parks, or for alerting your absent parents that your nanny isn't doing her job. #bookofcommonprayerdontcare For losing your religion. Or for Episcopalians who want to share their morning devotions in a jaunty way. #laissezfairedontcare For high school seniors failing government, or for being intentionally redundant for laughs."
Noteworthy Quotes:
"I won't tell you to vote Republican or Democrat, but I will encourage you to consider this: if you claim to be a single-issue voter and that issue is being "pro-life," then weigh well your vote with the question of what being "pro-life" means. A lot of people want to congratulate us for not aborting Jack. (I could spend a lot of time unpacking how that makes us feel, but that's for another day.) But those people don't always want to then fund the state and federal programs that help us give Jack what he needs to flourish. I don't want a discussion here and I mean it when I tell you there are Republicans and Democrats who both fail in this and who do it well. What I am asking you to do, if part of your Christian conviction is to stand against aborting kids like Jack, is to also be for getting them the long term support, aid, and care they need. That's a consistent pro-life ethic. Anything less is just anti-abortion. We should be honest about which label we actually mean." -Preston Yancey







Noteworthy Videos:

Um, wow.
Hysterical.

Enjoy!!!

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