Hello lovely ones. I’m a little out of rhythm here, so a little grace is very much appreciated. I’m also trying to ponder these #SundaySpecial posts and am thinking they may serve better as an end of the month round up of the most interesting topics I find myself still circling around. I’ll keep considering, but in the mean time, here are quite a few articles about quite a few heavy topics. Dig in if you’re intrigued…
We have to teach our children (and ourselves) that caution is often a sign of courage. That often NO is as brave an answer as YES. Because the little girl who says no in the face of pressure to pierce her ears or jump off a cliff might become a bigger girl who says no in the face of pressure to bong a beer or bully a peer. Whether her answer is YES OR NO- give me a little girl who goes against the grain, who pleases her own internal voice before pleasing others. Give me that girl so I can call her BRAVE loudly and proudly in front of the whole world. Give me a girl who has the wisdom to listen to her OWN voice and the courage to SPEAK IT OUT LOUD. Even if it disappoints others. Especially then.
Reconciliation requires far more than hugs, small talk, and coffee dates. Being nice is well… nice, but it is not reconciliation. Reconciliation is what we do as we listen to hard truths from the marginalized among us. As our friends point out how troubling our words have been, how hurtful our actions have been, it’s our reaction that determines whether or not we are practicing reconciliation. Drinking in the words. Sitting in the pain. Committing to understanding. Committing to doing better. Desiring the hard truths because they lead to growth. These are the sign posts on the path of reconciliation. It’s spending time in each other’s spaces- physical space, head space, heart space. And it’s creating shared spaces where both can breathe freely.
I have always believed that any alternative to war must still address the very real problems at hand — just in a more effective way. To say that “war is not the answer” is not only a moral statement but also is a serious critique of what doesn’t work; wars often fail to solve the problems and ultimately make them worse. War has to answer to metrics, just as more peaceful alternatives do. The war in Iraq was a complete failure with enormous human and financial costs; ISIS is now one of the consequences.
Ebola spreads through contact with blood and other bodily fluids, and in Liberia, as in neighboring countries, women are usually the primary caregivers for the sick. They continue to be during the current epidemic — they stay in their homes and become infected by their children or husbands instead of seeking out doctors and nurses for their loved ones. Rarely are the roles reversed. ‘If a man is sick, the woman can easily bathe him but the man cannot do so,’ says Marpue Spear, the executive director of the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL). ‘Traditionally, women will take care of the men as compared to them taking care of the women.’
By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma. Participants ultimately spent less time in the hospital, enjoyed lower blood pressure and had better liver functionality than their counterparts.
So what caught your attention around the web this month? Feel free to leave a few words, links or funny photos in the comments!
*Sunday Specials are a weekly round-up of happenings on the web-o-sphere. So enjoy your coffee (or late night beverage) while checking out what’s caught our attention.
We saw how our friends’ children needed help when divorce, alcoholism or addictions befell them and we offered our homes, our carpooling, babysitting, and our ears and hearts to listen to their desperation. We wondered why them and not us? We watched our children lose friends for insignificant reasons and we saw our children befriend others and start over again. We weathered daughters not getting asked to dances and sons being a foot shorter than his seventh grade date. We were humbled as our children didn’t always shine or failed or rebelled and experienced punishments or even arrests. We learned not to judge other’s as we were humbled in ways we never expected.
Talking about race is challenging for many parents, especially White parents. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty about this topic – from worrying that by pointing out race we are contributing to racism, to believing that by ignoring race we are creating a “color-blind” and therefore more equal world; some simply don’t know how or where to start. And we need to get over it.
The List of Rules for Women
Feel free to share thoughts on any of these links as well as what caught your attention this week!
*Sunday Specials are a weekly round-up of happenings on the web-o-sphere. So enjoy your coffee while checking out what’s caught our attention.
Did everyone realize that the 2nd Annual International Day of Happiness was this past week?! The Gauthier household started the day with the infectious Happy song by Pharrell busting through our speakers. How can anyone resist the urge to dance while listening to that song? I dare you to try. Or better yet, go watch the first ever 24 hour music video.
Osheta Moore’s honest reflections on both her fear and her desire for a shalom that irradicates the US and THEM dichotomy is incredibly moving.
So I write my friends with blogs and I confess that as a black mama with Stand Your Ground Laws picking off our children one by one—I’m terrified of ‘them’. I invite them to write prayers as we stand together for God’s wholeness in the brokenness the justice system. We are white women and black, American and Canadian, young and old, urban and suburban and my fear will no longer perpetuate ‘us’ and ‘them’. ~Osheta Moore
She references the poem below in her post so I thought I’d share it here as well.
I recently read Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist. It was perfect bathtime reading material that catered to my love for food and desire for community. This post on her blog gives you just a taste of her appreciation for what happens around the table.
As the months go by, as we build this little tribe week by week, hour by hour around the table, I find myself bubbling with joy in anticipation of Thursday evenings. I love planning the recipes, prepping the food. I set the table in the afternoon, and I pray by name for each person that will gather around our table later that night. I’m rarely “in charge” of the discussion or study that happens after dinner, but the table is my contribution, and it’s one that I love. ~Shauna Niequist
I love Soul Pancake (producers of Kid President) and a video they posted this week fits nicely in with our pondering upon wholeness vs. perfectionism.
I know I’m a little late to the game here…but I just started reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. My hope is to finish it quickly so I can see the movie while it’s still in theaters. Not surprisingly, it was number one at the box office this past week. I’ll do my own book review and subsequent movie review in the coming weeks!
I try to keep up with world news in an effort to hold in my mind the reality that I am a part of a larger narrative and moment in time. Slate has been generating some interesting articles related to what is currently going on Russia:
Crimea is Putin’s Revenge by Masha Gessen
Russia Will Never Be Like Us by Anne Applebaum
What captured your attention around the web-o-sphere this week?