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 6/6/2015

Bronlea Pick of the Clicks

WOW, there are some game-changer reads in this week’s line-up.

Ready? Set? GO!

Abigail Rine’s essay What is Marriage to Evangelical Millenials? raised some really excellent questions about the presumptions people bring to discussions about marriage (particularly why we marry at all). Do not miss, on this topic, Matthew Lee Anderson’s Why I Am Opposed To Gay Marriage: a masterfully written and very thought-provoking treatment on the place of eros in marriage. Anderson covers why we marry, why the sexual chemistry factor (eros) matters, how it calls us to faithfulness, and how a beautiful and true vision of marriage (the “I will always love you” kind, with eros being a feature throughout) affects the way we conduct all our conversations. It’s a lengthy essay but well worth your time. Even if you don’t want to read the application to same-sex relationships: READ SECTIONS 1-4 on love, sex and marriage.

Sheryl Sandberg’s tribute to her husband, Dave, who died tragically last month, and to the community who are standing with her as she wades through grief and love is profound and profoundly beautiful:

“Real empathy is sometimes not insisting that it will be okay but acknowledging that it is not.”

Edward Schlosser (a pseudonymous name) wrote an eye-opening piece from his perspective as a liberal college professor, who has become terrified of his liberal students. This piece is worth reading not just by college students and educators, but for all who engage in online discussion, because he writes about the changing culture of the “politics of personal testimony, in which the feelings of individuals are the primary or even exclusive means through which social issues are understood and discussed.”  I am not a college student, but I can see patterns of what Schlosser describes on the internet: people presenting challenging ideas are increasingly viewed as threatening people.

It’s not just that students refuse to countenance uncomfortable ideas – they refuse to engage them, period.

Steve McAlpine’s observations on Stage Two Exile in Western Christianity are worth reading if you have read, grieved, brainstormed or prayed over how we can “do church” better in the world in which we live. To set the context, he describes “Stage One Exile” this way:

Cafes were taken over for morning conversations between up and coming exilic leaders; pubs were used for exilic church; MacBooks were bought in bulk; and emerging/missional trailblazers employed coffee quality as a spiritual boundary marker, with a zeal that would have made any adherent of Second Temple Judaism weep with recognition.

In Exile Stage One the prevailing narrative was that the Christian church was being marginalised, Christendom was over, the church needed to come up with better strategies to strip away the dross, and all of this in order to reconnect Jesus with a lost world.

This article is peppered with wisdom, laugh-out-loud tongue in cheek, and some really deep-thinking observations with massive implications for our approach to church and engaging in culture.

Alastair Roberts kicked off this week’s discussion of the Saltshaker blog with a conversation about The Eternal Subordination of the Son, Social Triniarianism and Ectypal Theology. Yes, I know: the title is terrifying, and yes, I know: Alastair is incredibly clever and it is intimidating to read things like this. BUT…. this post is fascinating because it summarizes a critique of theology which is based on the supposed nature of relationships within the Trinity and then seeks to apply them in human relationship (e.g. The trinity live in community, so we should too, or the Father is a King-figure, so healthy communities should have a King, or—in the case of the gender discussions—the Son submits to the authority of the Father, so women should submit to men because this “reflects the Godhead”.) I’ve heard a myriad arguments based on this kind of thinking before, and this article blew a hole in it for me. I’m still processing.

I loved this story of 5th grade boys who spotted bullying and took action.

This is fascinating: a ground-breaking study where they have found a missing link between the brain and immune systems – a finding which has HUGE implications for conditions such as MS, Alzheimers, and even autism.

“In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist.”

Scott Saul’s essay on The Most Honest People In The World, And Why We Need Them was a refreshing and needed read (hint: it’s children.)

Micha Boyett’s reflections on pregnancy are poignant and important: ‘As Long as the Baby’s Healthy’… But What If He’s Not? No matter what, we need to be prepared to receive the children God gives us. I just love Micha’s heart and her writing.

The Narrowback Slacker’s thoughts on How I limited screen time by offering my kids unlimited screen time is DEFINITELY something I plan to consider with our kids in the years to come.

This guy is crocheting food-shaped hats: both random and hilarious.

This delighted my LEGO-loving children no end:

And, I have to post this Dear 16-year Old Me video. I am crazy obsessive about this. So important:

From me this week?

I have a post over at the wonderful SheLoves magazine on the Surprising Wisdom of Ants:

If you had told me 25 years ago that I would one day order a package of ants in the mail, I would have laughed in disbelief.

But I did not know, 25 years ago, that there were such things as ant farms: miniature terrariums where you could observe a colony making their subterranean labyrinths. I did not know, 25 years ago, that I would have two small boys with an irrepressible love of multi-legged creatures.

How could I have known that, late one night—bundled under blankets and bulky expectations for the perfect “boy” birthday—I would click “buy now” for an online order of a space-age looking ant farm, and one small vial of harvester ants? (read the rest here)

I shared some thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner), gender reassignment surgery and how we respond here, if you’re interested.

And on the blog: a tribute to two of the most inspiring students I’ve ever worked with (and to you, the invisible hero in our midst).

Thanks for reading!

Photo Credit: Seven Pegs, by Anders Adermark (Flickr Creative Commons)

Pick of the Clicks (4/10/15)

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Spring has Sprung. Isn’t it gorgeous?

 

If you read nothing else this week, read these 1000 words from Anne Lamott (her updates alone are a good enough reason to stay on Facebook, for all its ills). This week is her birthday, and she took the opportunity to write down Everything She Knows To Be True. Every word is solid gold.

Becca at Exile Fertility wrote a stunning piece on turning thirty three (my scars are a decade old), reflecting on a near fatal accident ten years ago in light of Easter. Gorgeous, powerful writing.

Betsy Childs wrote an incredible piece last year on being content with her singleness (if I remember correctly, it was in a previous Pick of the Clicks). The day after it was published, she received an email from a reader. She writes:

I woke up one morning with no marital prospects, and I went to bed wondering about a handsome British preacher.

Everyone loves a surprise love story, and Betsy’s reflections on what has happened since then are well worth reading: One Day He Appeared: My TGC Love Story.

This article from Rachel Cusk on Raising Teenagers: The Mother of All Problems is a lengthy but very worthwhile read. It’s one which I want to keep in mind for when my kids are teens, but is also making me think seriously about the way I interact with them even now. Bookmark it.

As a South African, I shared some real pride in Trevor Noah being named as Jon Stewart’s successor for The Daily Show. I did not, however, appreciate the tweets from his history which surfaced in the days following the announcement. Michelle van Loon’s piece on this,  Why we have to stop telling Jewish jokes is well worth your consideration. (And I say this knowing that Michelle is a person with a really fantastic and generous sense of humor… but not all comedy is funny.)

I am so proud to call Lesley Miller my friend: she is the real deal, and I love that she shared part of her story (of dealing with her husband’s cancer in the first year that they become parents) over at the lovely Coffee and Crumbs blog. Read it (and sigh with her) here: the most unexpected year.

William Saletan’s Slate essay Creativity for Creationists: An evolutionary scientist evangelizes to Christians about Science makes for very interesting reading. It’s brief, clear, and it made me think. I confess I have given almost zero hours of thought to this topic in over a decade, but this got my attention and I’m glad I read it.

Hardin asks atheists to be humble about what science can tell us. In his view, it can’t resolve whether God exists. But at the same time, he asks Christians to be humble about what science can’t tell us.

On the blog this week:

Natalie Nyquists’s very powerful piece Words That Melted A Glacier of Emotions, and

a post on Flaky Croissants and Hot Baked Memories. Did you know that croissants didn’t originate in France? In fact, their history is tied up to Marie Antoinette (yes! the “Let them eat cake!” one!). I had fun reflecting on how much baking and the things we eat tell stories from long ago.

Finally: your video for the week. Y’all very nearly got a dedicated blog post on this topic this week, but there were no hours to write. In the mean time, this is 1 minute of VERY important video. Please share?

Thanks for reading!

 

Pick of the Clicks 6/13/14

Summer is upon us, and this is the last Pick of the Clicks until August 🙂

We have a full family schedule for the next 6 weeks, so ’til then, ENJOY this week’s roundup! So without further ado:

It’s Father’s Day this weekend. I’m considering getting my husband this bouquet:

baconroses

I loved Ann Voskamp’s words about what really matters when it comes to Fathers who Do It Right: What our boys need in this economy their Dads work in.

However, some Fathers get it wrong, and that makes Father’s Day very painful. For those, read Leslie Leyland Field’s truly wonderful and wise What are fathers for?

Tim Krieder’s essay Controlling the Narrative is brilliant, thought-provoking stuff on the how and why people fight each other using words. The first paragraph has a lot of long words (and I almost wrote it off as being too academic to keep my interest) – but it becomes BRILLIANTLY insightful and MUCH more readable 2 or 3 paragraphs in. If you’re one who likes to read or write or listen to the news – consider this.

I came across this older article from Tim Keller – but it was new to me and SO refreshing: How to pray better in public, and in private too.

I appreciated the very helpful questions in this article from Sharon Hodde Miller: Why Your Teaching Isn’t As Effective As You Think –  (Thanks, Sharon!)

The ever-down-to-earth and yet mind-bogglingly insightful Glennon Melton nailed it this week with Beauty Routine – the secret to being beautiful every day.

The awesome story of Phin Lyman: Teenagers, It’s OK not to have sex. GO, PHIN!!!

With Calvin and Hobbes being semi-deities in our house, I couldn’t help but read (and recommend) this from Stephan Pastis: Every wish that Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson would return to the comics page? Well, he just did.

This little table was very helpful to me in figuring out some big parenting questions: Who does your kid love more: You or Dad?

Best book review this week: Jen Pollock Michel’s Deserts Bloom – a Review of Marlena Proper Graves’ A Beautiful Disaster. This review is worth reading because 1) it is so beautifully written itself and 2) it summarizes a book chock-full of wisdom and 3) includes some (literally) breath-takingly insightful quotes.

Even if it hadn’t been a guest post on this post, I would want to recommend Jamie Hanauer’s post on Tattoos and Cardigans to you as a pick of the Clicks this week. SO GOOD. Read it, in case you missed it.

And then on my blog this week:

Here’s my favorite video of the week – in honor of the World Cup and the Everyday Wonderful:

That’s all for this week folks! Happy clicking 🙂

 

 

Pick of the Clicks 5/24/14 – Bonus Edition!

Hi friends,

I had a list of things I wanted to share with you last week, but when the weekend came our household unwillingly participated in a modern day experiment: life without WiFi. We found this updated version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to be true:

modern-maslow-hierarchyOi!

But we’re back, and so this week I have two weeks worth of gems for you. I’ll be quick: I know you’re anxious to get clicking.

Rachel Held Evans’ 3 Things You Might Not Know About Proverbs 31 is an EXCELLENT summary of the very best parts of her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood. If Proverbs 31 has ever made you feel kinda inferior, read this. If you know any women who are inspiring, read this. If you’re a guy, read this.

Marlena Graves’ The Words We Live By is a beautiful, life-giving reflection on dealing with critical words which sometimes make us feel we should just crawl under a rock and not even bother to show up anymore. I’ve been there, done that. I bet you have too. I think you’ll be encouraged.

Katelyn Beaty’s Who You Calling Brusque? is an excellent piece dealing with the recent firing of New York Times editor Jill Abramson: asking great questions of how women in the workplace are treated, and what a Christian response to that should be. I liked the use of the term “glass cliff” (as opposed to glass ceiling), and her astute observation that our perceptions need to be “less gendered and more gospeled.”

Nate Pyle’s Into The Wilderness tells the painfully honest story of him and his wife having to choose to terminate a pregnancy… it’s worth a read.

Lesley Miller’s The Last Time I Walked Away is a beautiful and thought-provoking piece on responding to poverty and homelessness on the street, especially when we feel so guilty and conflicted in the face of women and children who are destitute. Reading this gave me hope, new ideas, and zero guilt … i.e. worth your time.

Scott Berkun’s Why It’s Okay to Buy Books and Not Read Them is a must-read if you have a pile of unread books on your nightstand (or your virtual nightstand). Also, I learned this fabulous new word:

Tsundoku (積ん読) is a Japanese word that means ‘stacked readings’ or books you’ve bought but haven’t read.

Rita Templeton (aka ScaryMommy) 10 Things Moms of Boys Must Do is awesome. Just awesome. And awful. All at the same time.

Karen Swallow Prior’s ‘Empathetically Correct’ Is the New Politically Correct – a sane and insightful word in all this week’s discussion on trigger warnings.

Abby Norman’s guest post over at Zack Hoag’s: I don’t want to be your white savior. Good stuff to think about from a white woman who taught in the inner city…

Aleah Marsden’s Finding Joy – whether you are an optimist, pessimist or realist (with a hilarious comic to boot!)

For those of you who are old enough to remember that debonair mulleted hero MacGuyver, this is your bit of YouTube awesomeness for the week:

And then, from me….. I had a few things published in the past two weeks:

  • A real “journalism” piece, which was selected for honorable mention by Intervarsity’s The Well – Beyond Academics: Kelly Arispe and Spanish Linguistics. I was SO inspired by my interview with my friend Kelly, and learned so much about how people-loving a discipline like linguistics can be.

That’s all folks – Have a great weekend, and happy clicking!

Pick of the Clicks 5/3/14

Just a handful this week – but oh so good. Enjoy!

Loved this gentle and unexpected love story from David Brooks.

Oh-so-convicting and well-written from Ellen Mandeville: The Way of the Hermit. It includes the alarming true story of a computer being thrown off a deck….

This, from Holley Gerth, was SO beautiful – I’m Celebrating Mother’s Day For the 1st Time.

Yet another post of insight and brilliance from Karen Dabaghian (whose blog you SHOULD follow): God’s Got Your Back? One of the best things I’ve read as I wrestle with the hundreds of Nigerian girls who were abducted.

This one is from a while ago, but I just came across it this week: Why We Shouldn’t Trust Our Stories from Alastair’s Adversaria.

Sheer Genius this week from the Honest Toddler: An Open Letter To the Child I Hit At The Park.

Best facebook status update this week, from Jamie the Very Worst Missionary:

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Two astute and brilliant pieces of satire this week:

* What I wish women knew about men – from Micah J Murray, and

* How the rich can make church a safe place for the greedy – from Jayson Bradley. Stellar stuff.

And this:

women with weight

And then your video for the week (possibly the month, the year….):

Finally, on my blog this week – Rest In Pieces (the story of how seeing my youngest child’s crib dismantled kind of got me unhinged too), and When you Feel “Less Than” (a little reflection on the age old problem of feeling inferior when we admire someone else’ skills….)

What about you? What did you read? What did you write? Please share!!

 

 

 

 

Pick of the Clicks 3/23/14

I have (literally) laughed and cried over these links this week. This is a rather eclectic and diverse selection: there’s something for everybody… so if you don’t find something that floats your boat – I”ll eat my hat. Enjoy!

There were some awesome articles and tributes in honor of Downs Syndrome Awareness day this week. I wanted to give  a standing ovation to the Wet Seal Fashion family for making  Karrie Brown’s dreams of being a fashion model come true. Yes!

I also loved this: Warning to women: this is not advisable to watch unless you are prepared to ruin your mascara.

I thought this little video of watching Europe’s borders change over the last 1000 years was fascinating. The music was a little dramatic for my taste (I imagined a Jaws-like-shark about to come and take a bite out of Poland), but the history tidbit was awesome. Totally worth a few minutes of your time.

Also, I discovered you can get these beauties from firebox.com for $7/piece. Perfect for bathroom tiles above the tub. Nice.

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Then, for things more substantial: I loved Lois Tverberg’s article Does God want us to Fear Him? We have been talking about the phrase “the fear of the Lord” in our home group, and this was incredible helpful in understanding what that means. The link to the quote by Abraham Heschel is amazing and worth a click too.

Karen Yates wrote a fabulous piece on the times when we just feel spiritually empty in when I talk of spiritual dryness. Loved this quote from her: “It’s not about getting back to where we once were.  It’s about growing toward where He’s taking us next.”

I agree with the hundreds of thousands of people who linked to Kristen Howerton’s article Let’s bring the holidays down a notch . Oh golly yes and amen. I’ve expressed my disdain about gift bags before, but that’s just a small part of a much bigger problem. Howerton’s article made me want to stand up and cheer (after I’ve stopped laughing!)

I loved this insight on parenting from Jen Wilkin in Our Children, Our Neighbors . If you have ever lamented that parenting is so tough and complex, and that there seems to be relatively little in the Bible about it – READ THIS.

I also appreciated this by Marta Oti Sears on #banbossy:  Would Jesus Use the B- Word?  She writes: I’m grateful to LeanIn.org and the Girl Scouts for challenging us to recognize that leadership is not bound by gender. I’d like to add that it’s not bound by temperament either.” If you’ve been following the discussion on banning bossy, this is an important voice to consider.

As someone who is trying to write, keep up with family and friends and do online errands on the computer, I so appreciated this from Sarah Bessey: In which I don’t mind if the tinies see me in front of the computer. Yes!!

I loved Addie Zierman’s guest post as part of Cara Strickland’s (De)tales series. My house is filled with clutter and color and stuff all around, and Addie’s piece house gave me a lens of fondness with which to view it all. Beautiful, true, honest words.

Suzanne Burden wrote a beautiful piece over at The Well called When I Opposed Women in Ministry. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m still thinking this topic over, and Suzanne’s article gave me more food for thought. She has a book coming out entitled “Reclaiming Eve” – and I’m curious to read it.

Then, on to matters of news and interest and hilarity:

Then, if you are a lover of word games, here’s a website for Lexicomaniacs. Alastair writes that it is “a site for people who take words too seriously.” It is formidable and fun… and even has scrabble pillows and a boggle birthday cake.

Chris Goodfellow’s article on A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet made all the sense in the world to me. What a tragedy.

I am usually reluctant to click on anything that comes from Buzzfeed, much less post it, but this little ditty of 77 Facts that Sound Like Huge Lies But Are Actually Completely True was awesome.  Except for the last one.

Then, a little bit of fabulous, brought to you by the 1980’s. I LOVED this (and given that I am a church lady, who did aerobics and had big hair and wore legwarmers in the 1980’s, you need to know that I am owning my identification with this set and laughing at myself too…) “Now, let’s engage in some cardiovascular fitness until the Lord!”

Also great was this, from the Onion, on Expectant Parents Throwing Some Values Together At The Last Minute. The Onion at its satirical best!

And finally, two most fabulous little clips riding the wave of the Frozen movie fame.

This is Voiceover artist Brian Hull’s version of Let It Go. It is FANTASTIC. Listen out for Mike Wazowski, Jack Sparrow and (my favorite), Winnie the Pooh:

And then this truly fabulous little trailer of Frozen from Honest trailers. Hilarious! (It includes a nod to Adele Dazeem!)

On my blog this week: most read post was When you can’t give it up, give it away (observations on Lent and generosity). I had the honor of writing a guest post for Modern Mrs Darcy on why I’m giving the literature classics a second chance, and I was delighted to host Briana Meade share her beautiful words in the Words that Changed My World series with Running in the Rain.

Lots to feast on this week. Enjoy!