Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekly Smorgasbord

Some new links to share! What redemption looks like, crowdsourcing motherhood, slow Summers, and probably a bit of excess in the Babylon Bee sharing. So much good stuff!

On Faith:

That’s the Law, Baby | Mockingbird

"I haven’t taken too many of my anxiety pills. If faith is a life-support system, then they’re actually just a crutch. It’s nice to have them nearby. They are a small, kind addition to an arsenal of oxygen–a mess of help–that was already there and always will be: Scripture, counsel, literature that reminds me of the Gospel narrative, movies suffused with grace, music, wine, Epsom salt baths, and the recent self-taught refrain I’ve mastered to whisper to myself–“That’s the law, baby”–whenever I feel the pressure of rules (little-L and otherwise) creep in and make me feel panicky. Examples: others’ expectations, approval from the general populace, children’s developmental milestones/sleeping locations, Facebook likes, etc. I suppose I’ve come to accept that my factory setting is jittery and that this isn’t cause for recall, but part of a design that suits me for a purpose I can’t fully see. Grace doesn’t transform my worrying (or any lack of faith) into a virtue, but it does allow my anxiety to drive me deeper into God’s own faithfulness. When it becomes debilitating, I check my oxygen levels and consider pills. And when “Hakuna Matata” comes on Pandora and I think to myself, This is total bullshit, I don’t immediately accuse myself of a character flaw that needs correcting. I consider the thought, and come to the conclusion, that it is. It is total bullshit. Because a problem-free, neatly-wrapped existence is not only boring, but devoid of the need for grace."

I love this. Especially where Stephanie says that her anxiety is "part of a design that suits me for a purpose I can't fully see".  I've often come to this conclusion about myself, though I'm not sure I've ever articulated it so well.

what redemption truly looks like

 "Gratefulness in this world’s darkness shines brighter than any other testimony one could give to the goodness of our God.'


“maybe you’re just not listening” (My mom . . . or God.) | Pete Enns

"I don’t think this person or others like him are in “rebellion” against God. Rather, I think they conditioned only to hear a certain kind of voice and when they don’t hear it they draw the conclusion that my friend did.
He wasn’t expecting an audible voice or anything like that, but he was expecting some concrete, tangible response—evidence that God is there and cares. After all, this is what we expect of any other being we communicate with. If we talked to family and friends and they never talked back, those relationships would eventually come to an end. Why should it be different with God? I think this conditioning is rooted in the modern notion that what is “real” is what can be demonstrated through some experienced, objective evidence. That idea works a lot of the time, but problems arise when Christians are either taught (or it’s caught) to apply this idea to spiritual matters."

I used to get REAL stressed about hearing/not hearing God. It was a huge source of anxiety for me. These days I'm learning (slowly) to see Him in new, less rigid, ways.

Failed Evangelist | Mockingbird

"I share my faith, my vital place of renewal through Jesus, with my family. My family points me to the truth, despite the fact that they don’t see Jesus as “the [only] way, the [only] truth, and the [only] life.” We share our messy lives and ask questions. Why does being (and having) a teenager suck sometimes? How should we deal with difficult people? Why is it so hard to make a sincere apology? How can we live our lives more magically? I try not to get in God’s way and wonder with them."

Lately I've stumbled across several articles written by people of faith who are married to people who...aren't people of faith. It's nice to read other's words and to see a way forward in what is an often difficult situation.

On Parenting:

The Case Against Crowdsourcing Motherhood | Brain, Child Magazine

 "The Internet makes crowdsourcing seem sensible. I wouldn’t buy a printer without reading the reviews on Amazon so why shouldn’t I crowdsource my parenting? In an age of endless access to information, it feels almost foolhardy not to use it. The problem is that none of this information or advice made me a better mother. All it did was remind me of what I didn’t know while making me forget how I really learned to mother. No matter how many articles I’ve read and online posts I’ve made, I became a mother in a rocking chair in the middle of the night, sobbing as my baby screamed into my engorged breast. I learned to mother each of my seven children uniquely and individually, as they, and I, grew up.'

So true. Case made.

Art House America - Art House Blog - My Daughter's Village

"It takes a village to raise a child, but I realize that my child has gathered a village of her own. And the burden I’ve carried to love and protect and nurture her is a little bit lighter as I watch them step in and do the job with ease. Someday, she might go to college, might get married, might have a demanding job, might have demanding babies. Maybe some of her old village will remain, or maybe the passing of time or a move to a different city will bring her a new one. Surely having tasted friendship that is good and true, she will recognize it whenever it comes again. I pray that when the stakes are higher than a baby swing, she will be surrounded by friends who are eager to help. Friends who will sit with her through the mundane, who will help pull her out of her darkest struggle, and who will chase the beauty in the world and make sure she doesn’t miss it."

Goodness. This was so poignant. It's interesting to think about my children's friendships and how they will develop over they years. 

For the Love of Mother's Day — Rebecca K. Reynolds

The weaknesses of her character, the weaknesses of her faith, the weaknesses of even her physical body will be brought to the surface in the middle of the night, when she is sick, when she is sad... when she thinks she has nothing else left to give. "She will be grieved by her failures at a level that is difficult to experience in any other pursuit, because she will know that she has hurt someone who is vulnerable and who needs her."

This one almost made me cry. What truth- being grieved by failures because you've hurt someone very vulnerable who needs you. Part of the story of motherhood.

The Decision | Brain, Child Magazine

"My narrative on love, marriage and parenting was tight and exact. Everyone in my family met young, married young, and stayed together until they were old. I grew up with parents and grandparents all who were still together and (mostly) happy. The people in my family loved their children fiercely. There was never a doubt in my mind that my parents would do anything for me or for my sister, anything at all. I never wondered if they wanted me, I never felt as though I didn’t fit in the family. There still is no doubt in my mind about that. If I call, they come. It has been tested more than once, even in my darkest days. That’s it.
I think, as a child, my understanding of this kind of love made me feel protected and safe. As I grew up and moved away, I set a goal for myself: give myself to other people, especially my future children, with a feverish protection of love."

On Slowness and Simplicity:

Art House America - Art House Blog - The Path of the Contemplative Writer

"To be a contemplative writer meant that I had to be a contemplative human being. I had to make space, slow down, and pay attention. I did that for a while with care and intention. I diligently wrote my morning pages, I blogged, I journaled, I wrote essays. And then life got in the way. The time I needed for reflection became more and more scarce as years went by. I still needed to create but found myself gravitating to photography and the immediate satisfaction it gave me. It was easier than struggling to make time for contemplation, for thinking and writing."

It is HARD to make this space, but I for one am trying. 

The Gift of an Unscheduled Summer ‹ Story Warren

"I remember loving summer as a child, despite the intense Texas heat. It wasn’t that I didn’t love school. I did. But there was something magical about that long period of freedom that nourished my soul.
But summers back then were a little different. Oh, we went to VBS and maybe camp for a week, but the rest of our days were fairly free. We swam and rode bikes. We read and played Nintendo. We climbed trees and caught lizards."

This is one of the things I love so much about Summer. It's a lazy time where you don't have to call it being lazy. 

On Fashion and Clothing:

Outfit: Saying "Yes" To Fashion Experiments

"One of the key "tricks" for me when experimenting with fashion is to pair the *daring* with the familiar. So from the neck up I'm trying out something new for me, but from the next down things are very familiar in my favorite dress shape, my over-worn black flats, and classic leather jacket. It's like trying some strange food for your appetizer, but getting something you already know you like for your main so you won't be starving!"

Great tip!

Wait Till You Get Your Hanes Back On You - The Hairpin

"But there’s something extremely pleasurable about buying your underwear in a four-pack, from the same store where you buy your tampons, your razors, your deodorant, and your chapstick. Underwear, for most of us at least, is a necessity, like paper towels and shampoo. It’s possible to occasionally treat it as such, while also finding the most pragmatic underwear Duane Reade can offer very sexy, the way that a uniform of all-black can feel like a distinct expression of style. Soon you’ll reconsider pantylines, the instigator of so many thong purchases, and look more favorably on them. Long live the VPL and that excellent ass of yours it’s drawing attention to. "

Poetry Worth Sharing:

All I Need | the beautiful due

"Some nights all I need is the
neighbor’s porchlight to dance
through nervous aspen leaves.
Seeing this morse code causes me to
fall asleep with hope as the
last thing on my mind.
Thinking that jim-dandy word causes me to
dream of my children’s future,
and of my place in it."

A color palette of human skin tones

Angelica Dass 
This is cool.

Famous paintings recreated with colorful masking tape

Nasa Funahara

Humor Worth Sharing:

Rob Bell Unable To Articulate Coherent Food Order At Applebee’s | The Babylon Bee

"The closest he came to placing a comprehensible order was when Reed asked if he perhaps wanted a hamburger, to which Bell reportedly replied, “I affirm the essence of hamburgers.”"

People In Tiny Houses Can't Have Sex - The Toast - The Toast

"Nice try, sir, but you cannot fit up there and neither can any sexual partner. Good luck finding space for floor boning."

PC(USA) Discernment Group Senses Holy Spirit Leading Denomination To Lose More Members

"“At the beginning of this process, I think we were all scared,” said Jack Fowler, chairperson of the 133-member Peace and Reconciliation Taskforce on Sexuality (PARTS). “We didn’t know if we would agree on anything. But in the end, after lectio divina and a lot of listening prayer, we all feel quite confident that the Holy Spirit wants us to decline by another 20 percent in the next decade.”
Although the report will not be voted on until the General Assembly later in June, several recommendations are already generating genuine excitement. For example, Recommendation 4 would allow for the ordination of practicing homosexuals on months with 31 days, while only celibate clergy and heterosexuals are to be ordained in those months with 30 days. February will be termed a “Month of Jubilee,” in which ordination may be procured upon three payments of $49.95. Also promising is Recommendation 13, which would impose a $2.32 per member assessment in an effort to raise the necessary funds to install 3,000 solar panels and three dozen unisex bathrooms at the denominational headquarters in Louisville."

Man Of God Perfects The Side Hug™ | The Babylon Bee 

"Flynn is confident Scripture is on his side. “Luther wrestled with Romans 1:17, and I’m happy for him. But I’ve always wrestled with Ecclesiastes 3:5: ‘There is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.’ After subjecting that text to a little exegesis, I realized it says nothing about the half-embrace. Biblically, there is always a time to half-embrace.”"

Quotes Worth Sharing:
"I am and I am not a universalist. I am one if you are talking about what God in Christ has done to save the world. The Lamb of God has not taken away the sins of some — of only the good, or the cooperative, or the select few who can manage to get their act together and die as perfect peaches. He has taken away the sins of the world — of every last being in it — and he has dropped them down the black hole of Jesus’ death. On the cross, he has shut up forever on the subject of guilt: “There is therefore now no condemnation. . . .” All human beings, at all times and places, are home free whether they know it or not, feel it or not, believe it or not. But I am not a universalist if you are talking about what people may do about accepting that happy-go-lucky gift of God’s grace. I take with utter seriousness everything that Jesus had to say about hell, including the eternal torment that such a foolish non-acceptance of his already-given acceptance must entail. All theologians who hold Scripture to be the Word of God must inevitably include in their work a tractate on hell. But I will not — because Jesus did not — locate hell outside the realm of grace. Grace is forever sovereign, even in Jesus’ parables of judgment. No one is ever kicked out at the end of those parables who wasn’t included in at the beginning."
~ Robert Farrar Capon, The Romance of the Word,

Noteworthy Stories:
Memorial Day in the Pharmacy:
Last night, about half an hour before I left work I got a phone call asking to speak with the pharmacist. When I picked up the phone a lady began speaking to me quite frantically. This isn't uncommon for people who call my store after 6pm on the weekends (i.e. after all the other outpatient pharmacies save 2 Walgreens in Central MS have closed for the day). I tried to slow her down by polite interruptions here and there, but that didn't really help too much. After she finished speaking I tried to recap and figure out what was going on. She was worried because her local Walgreens was closed and her son was out of his medication which he badly needed. She gave me his name and birthdate and I found he was on sertraline. His medication had no refills and would require a new prescription. As I continued to try to calm her down and reassure her that it would be quite simple to move her son's medication to my location that never closes and loan him a few pills so he'd be covered for the next 2-3 days, her anxiety lessened a bit and we could actually speak in a normal tempo. I fixed up the medicine and found out from her that he was a veteran suffering from PTSD and the beginning of this week will be an especially tough time for him. I was proud to be working at ‪#‎walgreens‬ in a situation where I could serve my patients, especially ones like this veteran who may have a tough time through the start of this week.  
[We've recently just starting talking to the children about how we hope when they choose what they want to do when they grow up they pick something they love doing and that is meaningful work to them and that helps other people, not just something that makes a lot of money or is well regarded in our society. Over the years, I've watched Peyton struggle to find the meaning and significance in pharmacy and to be honest (as I assume with almost anything) there are still days when this is a great difficulty. But I think one of the most meaningful things a person can do is to help another human make it through the day, through this life. I'm grateful for the way he does this so well both at home and in his profession.]{via Peyton}

Images Worth Sharing:


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