Pick of the Clicks 7/21/2016

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Hi friends, here are a few worthwhile clicks for you this weekend!

Sam Allberry with Why Single is Not the Same as Lonely – with great insights on our need for both depth and breadth in our relationships.

I deeply appreciate Katharine Welby’s piece on the severe mercy of Dependency. While I don’t struggle with chronic illness as the author does, I am someone closing out my thirties who has been unable to work for pay through most of this decade and at times, the feeling of vulnerability at always having to rely on the kindness and stability of others gets me very down. Her words were water in a thirsty spot for me.

A reader wrote in this week with a question about how to prepare and protect children from sexual predators, starting with how/when to discuss their bodies and sexuality, and how to handle entrusting our kids to others in child care. One reader linked to this VERY helpful resource: The Super Ten Play-It-Safe Rules (for Kids and Grown-Ups). This is one to print and keep in your house!

This made me laugh out loud: 40 Things Everyone But you is Doing This Summer (I know. I’m sorry. I have the WORST sense of humor. and Kelly Catchpole is brilliant in this.)

My brilliant friend  Corrie made a comic featuring my precocious middle child: it’s been two years since this conversation and it STILL makes me laugh out loud – Mac n Cheese.

And then, I just started reading Katelyn Beaty’s newly released book A Woman’s Place. It is WORTHWHILE food for thought, and so well written. For a taste of the conversation, read this: 5 Truths Stay-at-Home and Working Moms Can Agree On. (And I promise I’m not just recommending the book and article because I have a confession quote in it!)

This was INCREDIBLE (and recommended by my sister who is a physical therapist who specializes in neurology, as well as a lover of dance)… watch and be inspired <3

From me:

Just hang the darn curtains. Open the wine. Call that friend you haven’t talked to in a year.

Children have Feelings. Just Like Grownups.

At Aleteia For Her: In defense of public displays of affection in church (and everywhere). (It has since come to my attention that Lore Wilbert, who wrote about this here, and I are theologically and pastorally like-minded in our views on this… but the overlap was coincidental.)

That’s all for this week, friends. Thank you for following and a special thank you to those who take the time to comment here or on Facebook or to message me: I LOVE hearing from you 🙂 Happy clicking!

Pick of the Clicks 7/8/16

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Hi friends,

If your exposure to the internet is anything like mine, you are probably feeling a Whole Lot of Feelings this week as you read. Me too. So in this round up of clicks I am not going to touch much on the events of the past two days – huge as they may be… but I do have a couple of other worthy things I wanted to share:

Joy Beth Smith’s Fat. Single. Christian., on dating as an overweight Christian, is a drop-the-mic piece. A short and very significant read.

I have always wondered about the “mythical” French parents – whose babies sleep through the night and eat escargot as toddlers and apparently have none of the usual infancy-toddler-child-behavior issues that the mothers around me and I lament about together. So, I really appreciated Laura June’s piece: The Real Reason You’ll Never Be Able to Parent Like a French Mom.  (Hint, it has nothing to do with not being French.)

Best read on motherhood in a long, long while: April Hoss’s Counting with Dragons. Don’t miss this one.

They threw their food once; how many times had I yelled? They cried a handful of inconvenient times and generally slowed me down; how many times had I sighed or thrown my hands up in a posture of dismayed shock or said with a voice saturated in irritation, “Enough, no more!” I was logging extra hours of solo parenting while simultaneously being forced to cut down on sleep and they hadn’t adjusted their behavior accordingly.

How many times had I come unglued?

Nothing has made the dragon scales shine brighter than motherhood.

Incredible storytelling by Laura Droege in Empty Spaces (An Autobiography in Seven Parts):

The person formerly known as me had disappeared. It was like walking into our living room and seeing those chairs gone. The ugly baseboards and chair leg-shaped dents in the carpeting showed, just like my ribs did.

An older guy came along. He confessed that he “had a little crush” on me—or the person he thought I was—and pursued me. He continued to pursue me, even when I wouldn’t go out with him, even when he knew I was bulimic, even through three manic-and-depressive cycles. I wasn’t one of those girls who wore problem-causing clothing, he said. I wasn’t an outspoken feminist anymore. I didn’t disagree with his opinions. Perfect girlfriend material.

Lesson learned: Men like it when you’re thin and don’t think too hard. Empty-headed mannequins make marvelous girlfriends.

The ONLY thing I’m linking to this week regarding the violence… but DO read it: Mika Edmondson’s Is Black Lives Matter the New Civil Rights Movement?  His insights on Cain’s pouty “Am I brother’s keeper?” made my hair stand on end.

From me:

On the blog: Let’s hear it for hot, married, older-person sex.

My story: a very personal essay about losing, and despairing, and slowly starting to find my “calling” – My Quilted Calling – Sewing Together the Scraps of My Story. (If you want to know about me and what makes me tick, this is about as plainly and honestly as I can tell it)  I’m grateful to The Well for their invitation to write it (and for their ministry to women in the academy – check them out!)

“With my un-crafty and untrained eye, I had not been able to see any possible use for the miscellaneous scraps of my life story, but that one invitation began to sew some of the themes together: justice, law, a mother’s heart, a platform for writing. The quilt was far from complete, but there was a thrill in seeing something of a pattern.”

At SheLoves: The Ministry of Flag Raising:

“As we tell our stories and process our journeys, trusted sisters (and brothers) in Christ have an integral role: they are witnesses, they help us discern where God is redemptively at work in places we might be blind to, and they raise flags where they see dangers.”

And over at The Encouraging Dads Project, I have a piece called Divorce Doesn’t Have To Mean Dad-less:

There are so many ways that story could have gone. We could have been the kids who told of a Dad-less childhood, or ones whose Dad—discouraged by distance—took less and less of an interest in their lives as the years went by. For so many, divorce has meant Dad-less children. I am thankful this was not our story.

If anything, the divorce made my Dad a better father.

Also – a podcast interview between me and George Penk with The Forum in New Zealand at LifeFM Radio. The question on the table? Am I too young to lead in church? Click here for the link: my interview starts at about 31:00.

Finally – a Video. I loved this Spice Girls cover – because this is what I really, really want (a QUICK video that will make you smile and cheer. Promise.)

 

 

Pick of the Clicks 6/24/2016

Hi friends and happy weekend to you. I’ve spent most of the week dressed as a mermaid (here’s why), but in the few minutes of quiet time in my underwater cove here are some fabulous things from the internet to share with you:

Molly deFrank’s hilarious What It’s Like to Have Four Kids: so funny and so true (even as a mom of three!)

Kasey Edwards’ When Your Mother Says She’s Fat (and in a similar vein, check out this week’s podcast of This American Life Tell Me I’m Fat – lots to think about there)

I LOVE this infographic on the Benefits of Reading

This was fascinating: research proves that having kids makes you significantly less happy. In the USA, that is. And why it doesn’t have to be that way.

Brittany from the BamBlog has great words for parents… and everyone, really… in this one: I love you… but I can’t read your mind.

And a standing ovation to Tanya Marlow for her essay When God is Silent:

I want to say it loudly: the claim that you will always feel God’s peace during suffering is a myth. No matter how mature a Christian you are, sometimes you suffer and God feels desperately absent. Sometimes there’s an explanation in hindsight. Sometimes there’s a lesson learned from it. But sometimes there’s just silence and mystery.

From me? This blog has been quite quiet, but I’ve had a couple of pieces–and my first podcast!—up elsewhere on the web recently.

I got to talk with George Penk over at LifeFM Radio in New Zealand: On Women (and Wives, in particular) finding their place in Ministry (interview from 1:28 to 11mins)

Who knew this was such a Smoking Hot Topic… but here are some thoughts up at RELEVANT mag this week on sex, marriage, and that steamy phrase from Talladega Nights: OK, Let’s Stop All The Talk About Smoking Hot Wives

Writing for one of my favorite places on the internet, for Christianity Today’s Hermeneutics: on how Timehop Helps Me To See God’s Providence (why yes, scrolling through Facebook memories CAN be a sort of spiritual discipline!)

And then for Start Marriage Right, on What Marriage Is—And What It Isn’t

And your final moment of fun for the week, this final video… because sometimes in the middle of teaching kids manners and gratitude and arithmetic, we also need to teach them the coping skills of silliness:

Thanks for reading, friends, and happy clicking!

Pick of the Clicks 5/29/2016

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It’s a quiet weekend at our house: my husband and my eldest are on a backpacking trip, and our boys are exhausted after a day of swimming and an extended-dance-party-with-light-sabers (because, BOYS). So, that leaves time for a little weekend curating. Here are some of my favorite things from the interwebz of late:

My favorite read this week is from Nicole Cliffe. But before I tell you about this piece, I should say I had read another piece of hers two days before: In Which I Freely Endorse THINX Period Underwear, which had me rolling with laughter as I read. And then, from this same author, 48 hours later I read this—How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life—a STARK contrast in subject matter, but the combination of humor and realness and All The Things makes me want to be her BFF right away. This is a must read, friends:

I had started to meet more people of faith, having moved to Utah from Manhattan, and thought them frequently charming in their sweet delusion. I did not wish to believe. I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.

This was heartbreaking, from Zhaniah – What I want you to know about growing up in Foster Care and subsequently aging out:

I have spent most of my life in foster care and I can tell you, it is like drowning… repeatedly. You are swallowed–wholly, all at once, by something so other, so absolute that you cannot even make sense of it. Each time you fight your way to the top, reaching your hand out for anyone to save you; yet again you sink. Maybe next time. Occasionally, you make it to the top. You are so close to the shore that you begin to think you are in the clear, that you have found some semblance of safety; just to have a wave knock into you, and drag you below. After a while you give in—allowing your body to be swept under; accepting your fate as a sinking ship. You refuse to give the sea a chance to force your body into collapsing, yet again. You give into this immense nothingness because really this is the home you know. You realize the darkness, your quiet and lone purgatory is the only place you have ever belonged-thus the only place you can ever belong. And then, you are under so long that the ground seems like it was never meant for you at all; it is a fairy-tale, gifted to boys and girls nothing like you. Children who are so much more than you. Maybe you were fighting this void for no reason. Maybe no one ever intended to save you anyway.

Really thought-provoking insights on time and whether we have enough of it from Jen Pollock Michel in There’s Never Enough Time:

(T)o suggest that I “do it all” by waving my time management wand over life’s unruliness is to ignore a glaring distinction between me and many other busy mothers: material privilege.

I LOVE Addie Zierman’s answer to a young woman who has been so hurt by her church experience and is now wondering whether any of the spiritual stuff she sees around her is, as Peeta asks in the Hunger Games, “Real or Not Real?

The truth is, every single person gets a mixed bag of messages; half-truths mixed with lies mixed with truth. No matter how genuinely good their family or their youth group or their church or their friends are. No matter how theologically sound their upbringing might have been. Everyone ends up with a bunch of lies mixed in, whether they know it or not. What makes us lucky, you and me, is we know it. 

I LOVE this post from Melanie Dale, and would have included it in this week’s roundup even if it hadn’t been a guest post on this here blog: Cheer Mom. (And, if you click on the link, you still have a couple of days to enter to win a copy of her fabulous book, Women are Scary):

If you are a cheer mom or a cheerleader, forgive me. It’s not you it’s me. I will adjust and be as awesome as possible. I will bring snacks and learn to tie bows and be the sports bra of supportiveness. Don’t give up on me. Please be my friend.

(I mean COME ON: “I will be the sports bra of supportiveness” 🙂 I giggled for a good couple of minutes over that one.)

Then—sound the trumpets!—this week Anne at Modern Mrs Darcy released her annual Summer Reading Guide, and I have instantly queued up a whole host of titles on request on my Kindle. Wondering what to read next? Take a look at the Summer Reading Guide: I’ve read many of her suggestions over the last 2 years and EAGERLY look forward to this each year.

And then this ad, featuring 52 year old ballet dancer Alessandra Ferri, is just AWESOME:

From me this week: To the Brave Volunteers at Vacation Bible School.

And, since it’s Memorial Day, here’s a Letter To My Children on Memorial Day.

Happy Clicking, friends!

 

Pick of the Clicks 5/6/16 (in which I sound like a budget airline)

Hello, friends.

You know you’ve been flying a lot when you can pretty much do the safety demonstration in your sleep (“in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, air masks will release from above you….” etc) You also get very familiar with the goodbye spiel at the end: “We know you have a choice of airlines when you fly, so we thank you for flying with us today.”

As I look through all the tabs I have open on my phone and computer and wonder which of these to put in this post, I am struck afresh by the VAST NUMBER of online reading options there are out there. Just SO MUCH good stuff. And then it makes me want to make a little spiel of my own: “I know you have a choice of blogs when you read, so thank you—really, THANK YOU—for reading this one.” My little blog ticker thingy tells me that today this blog will be viewed for the MILLIONTH time. 1,000,000 views. That is just stunning to me. Thank you.

million_tickerPhew! Okay, back to the point of this post… here are the other marvelous airlines articles I wanted to recommend this week 🙂

Matt Moore’s How I Discovered True Masculinity is my top pick for the week. Matt is a gay Christian, and his words have a LOT to say about masculinity to the straight world out there. FANTASTIC stuff.

This was a profoundly insightful interview between Morgan Lee and Kate Grosmaire: I Forgave My Teen Daughter’s Killer:

There are two things that people misunderstand about forgiveness. The first thing is that forgiveness is a pardon. We don’t pardon Conor for what he has done. When you forgive someone, it only means that you aren’t expecting him to pay back that debt.

The second misunderstanding about forgiveness is that it’s reconciliation. But you can forgive someone even if they’re not sorry. It just means that you’re not expecting to collect that debt.

From Karen Swallow Prior on creativity and community: Lifting the Veil

Our collective imagination is haunted by a certain image of the artist: a solitary bard, brooding alone, awaiting a burst of inspiration from a mysterious and magical muse. We see the person with the creative spirit as one who stands above and apart from the common lot, a secular priest who mediates between regular folks and the transcendent, delivering divine revelation from his mountaintop hermitage.

Poppycock.

Funny: This is what your adult life looks like in 15 brutally honest illustrations.

I hate having a cluttered life and feel the Urge to Purge like so many around me, but I appreciated this thoughtful piece from Caryn Rivadeneira and Marlena Graves: In Defense of Clutter

Poverty shapes our relationship with possessions. Americans who lived during the Great Depression or remember rationing during World War II may hold onto things “just in case” they need them in the future, trying to be prepared. With lives marked by instability and fear, the homeless tend to have special attachments to their stuff, regardless of value or practical use. I’m no hoarder, but I understand the mentality.

This is such a fabulous piece of humanity and humor from some of the leaders of the free world: POTUS, FLOTUS, The Queen and Prince Harry chiming in for smack talk… BOOM!

And THIS: Bono and Eugene Peterson in the same video. Make time for this one…

From me: I have a new piece up at SheLoves mag – When We Can’t Take It Back:

“There are some things for which there are no do-overs. Some words we can’t unsay. Some actions we can’t undo. Some things we can’t unhear or unsee—a fact that constantly terrifies me in the world of accidental clicks of the internet.

We cannot take back that terrible thing we said which jabbed at our friend’s deepest insecurity. We cannot wrestle back the relentless arms of the ticking clock to the moment before we crashed the car, or succumbed to infidelity, or pushed send on the email with the blistering, angry, self-righteous words. I know I am not the only one who has sat with a thick lump of shame and remorse wedged in my throat at the damage I can, and shamefully do, inflict.

For these things there are no do-overs. The human heart is not an app that will re-start without glitches. We are made of flesh. We bruise.”

And I hope you didn’t miss the fantastic guest post from Tina Osterhouse: The spiritual practice of sometimes saying no – even when the only one who’s qualified and able.

That’s all for today, friends. Have a wonderful week, and really I mean it: Thank you for reading.

Pick of the Clicks 12/11/15

Hello, hello! It’s been a while, but here are some of those Pick of the Clicks gems you’ve been missing the last few weeks…

To kick off, my favorite meme of the season:

Source: Stephen Wildish

Source: Stephen Wildish

Just jaw-dropping: as if CS Lewis wasn’t cool enough already, it turns out he was a secret government agent. Amazing story from Harry Lee Poe.

My hubby and I went to see the Good Dinosaur, and did not care much for the movie or the short that preceded it. I did, however, appreciate this insight on the short movie from Luke T Harrington: ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ and the Struggle of Passing our Faith on to our Kids.

The whole world is abuzz talking about Trump, guns, muslims and Falwell, and in the midst of it all I appreciated Nate Pyle’s presentation of what this means for American Christians: A Fork in the Road: Civil Religion or Christianity.

Lindsey Nobles hit the nail on the head with this one: Church and the Single Girl. Listen up, y’all.

This, from Sarah Arthur, was written last year, but is just exactly what I needed to read this year about the place of sentiment in our Christmas preparation: Bringing True Joy to the World.

Adults, this is a resource you should bookmark: from Stop It Now (a resource for preventing sexual abuse), a guide to What is Age-Appropriate for developing children’s questions/knowledge.

And this, from Rachel Wrenn, is just beautiful: a Prayer for the End of Nursing.

This, the whole thing: Postpartum Depression, Defined, from Pamela Manasco.

Postpartum depression is crying in the checkout line at Walmart because you have an ear infection and your son is teething and he will not stop crying and all you wanted was a bag of peanut butter M&Ms, for the love of everything holy, will somebody please take this baby and let you walk into oncoming traffic?

This series of cartoons is BRILLIANT: Stop saying ‘sorry’ if you want to say thank you

Here’s a gift idea for the teacher in your life this Christmas: a Facepalm rubber stamp.

Also, fabulous, did you know that Dan Stevens (Matthew of Downton Abbey fame) has a daily Dan Stevens advent calendar… bizarre and hilarious.

Also, in November Adele released 25 and pretty much won the internet with the launch, IMO:

For example, when she entered an Adele impersonator competition (disguised, of course)…

And when she saved Thanksgiving…

And from me?

Up at Huffington Post Religion: Who put the X in Xmas?

On the blog: Building my Marriage One IKEA bookcase at a time, and my two-cents worth on Donald Trump: Let’s play No-Trumps (some thoughts on how the cards are stacked this election) .

Thanks for reading this blog, friends, and enjoy the clicks!

 

 

 

 

Pick of the Clicks 10/23/2015

Happy weekend, friends! Just a few this week, but they’re GO-OO-OO-OO-D: enjoy!

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This is so awesome: Sesame Street introduced their first character with Autism—Meet Julia. I watched Sesame Street for the first time in my 30s, and loved it straight away (the Count is my favorite! Von. Too. Tree. ah ah ah ah.) I didn’t think I could love it more… but now I do: what a huge contribution it makes to have beloved muppets teach us how to love kids of all kinds.

Excellent thoughts from Russell Moore: How Confidence Makes Us Kind.

But we are not the voice of the past, of the Bible Belt to a post-Christian culture of how good things used to be. We are the voice of the future, of the coming kingdom of God. The message of the kingdom isn’t “You kids, get off our lawn.” The message of the kingdom, is, “Make way for the coming of the Lord.”

“The arc of history may be long, but it bends towards Jesus.”

This is extraordinary story-telling and journalism from Sophia Jones following Syrian Refugees from country to country: 1000 Miles In Their Shoes.

Truth: I don’t like to link to the same people two weeks in a row on Pick of the Clicks… I try to keep things broad. But I can’t help it this week, because this article from Jessica Mesman Griffiths is truly EXCELLENT. So thought-provoking, so important. READ THIS: The Spiritual Child – The Next Big Idea in Parenting.

 I was a normal teenager struggling on the path of individuation under a mountain of grief. I needed someone, anyone, really, to stand by my side, to say “I’m not leaving,” to say “I see your suffering”—and our loving God sees your suffering. To say, as Miller says, “your pain is real—I know it.”

Also, since I’m repeating honors, Alexandra Petri KILLS it with this one: Famous Quotes, the way a woman would have to say them in a meeting.

“Let my people go.”
Woman in a Meeting: “Pharaoh, listen, I totally hear where you’re coming from on this. I totally do. And I don’t want to butt in if you’ve come to a decision here, but, just, I have to say, would you consider that an argument for maybe releasing these people could conceivably have merit? Or is that already off the table?”

Cindy Brandt always makes me think, and this post is no exception: Three Reasons Why We Don’t Pray The Sinner’s Prayer With Our Children. I think her third point (belonging > believing) resonates deeply with me, especially after my month-long thought experiment on what it means to belong.

Halloween is coming up, and a few people have asked me what I think: so here’s this from me at Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics last year on finding cultural nuance in the Halloween debate: My First American Halloween. (Hint: the holiday is really more American than religious or irreligious)

This old clip came to mind this week, so funny that I thought I’d share it this week for old times’ sake:

Haha. Gotta love Ross.

And from me this week:

When it’s time to hang up the super-mom cape (and put on pajamas),

and an older post which got a lot of love this week: On raising beautiful girls.

Also, I’m giving away a copy of the gorgeous new NIV Bible for Women (which includes devotions from yours truly – EEEK!) You can enter up to four times, and entries close Wednesday. Best of luck.