Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesdays with Words: Getting Started

Welcome to the new WWW!

I'm so looking forward to reading about what you're reading and learning from the ideas that you choose to share with us! I've added a little explanation at the top of the link-up, but thought I'd also share it in the main blog post as we're getting started:

Wednesdays with Words is an opportunity to share your reading and words that have been meaningful to you in any way. Mostly participants share quotes from books they're reading, but any written material (articles, internet magazine, whatever) is great. Sometimes participants share a selection because of its beautiful phrasing, sometimes because of its intriguing ideas, sometimes because of its everyday encouragement. We'd love to have you share with us someone else's words.
Please feel free to use the lovely logo Brandy at Afterthoughts designed for me on your post and - most importantly - link back here (or I might not see your contribution!)  I hope the linky-thing works, but I've never tried this before so please be patient if the technical side is a little wonky this week!

Now onto the reading and sharing!

I'm currently reading Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron.  20 years ago, I went as a leader for my church Youth Group's trip to a big retreat called "Fun in the Son" in Ocean City, New Jersey.  Cron was there as the music leader/concert giver.  I bought his CD, it's pretty good.  So when in the last few years I noticed that he was writing books I was intrigued.

He somewhat recently (the last two years?) published a spiritual memoir, Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir ... of Sorts and I - enjoying memoirs over the past couple of years - thought that was what I purchased.  But, no, Chasing Francis is a novel about a modern evangelical pastor who loses it and goes searching for pre-enlightenment faith.  I was very confused until I realized I wasn't reading the book I thought I was reading. Chasing Francis is pretty good so far, the info-dumps of Francis of Assi information are less show than tell, but I understand that Cron has to bring the reader up to speed to accomplish what he's doing.  Anyway, I enjoyed the following passage(s).

A conversation between Chase Falson (our main character) and Kenny (his uncle, guide, and a Roman Catholic priest).

I put my hands on the back of the pew in front of me and leaned forward, resting my chin on them. “It’s strange to look at the Bible in a painting. I’ve always thought of it as a black-and-white photograph,” I mused. “Everything in it had to be perfectly clear so no one could question it.”

“How modern of you,” Kenny said.

“What does that mean?”

“The medieval Christian perspective got beaten up during the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers saw the universe less as a mystery and more as a machine where you got hold of truth by using reason, not divine revelation. The Christian worldview that had never been challenged before suddenly came under attack. Scientists replaced theologians, and the age of modernity was born.”
“I’m sure that bugged some people,” I said. I imagined groups of robed clerics wringing their hands and bemoaning their changed fortunes.

“Yes, eventually the church became so threatened by modernity’s scorn that they turned the Bible into more of a history of ideas rather than a story.”

“But why?”

“If they could make all their doctrines string together perfectly and logically, it would make the faith harder to discredit. But the Bible is less about ideas or doctrines than it is a story about people and their up-and-down relationships with God. It’s — ”

“More a painting than a photograph,” I said.

“Right. It’s not always clear, it’s not black-and-white, you can’t use it forensically in court, it’s messy — and like all art it’s open to many interpretations,” Kenny said.

“So why do you say I’m a modern?” I asked.

Kenny paused. “Sometimes when you speak about your faith, you sound desperate and defensive, like you’re afraid someone is going to come along and knock over all your blocks. That strips the poetry out of the Scriptures, out of following Jesus. I’m not surprised you woke up one day and asked yourself, ‘Is this all there is?’ ”

“You want me to start thinking like I’m living in the Middle Ages?” I asked.

“Why not? Stop asking the painting to be a photograph. It’s the story that makes sense of your life, and you don’t need to apologize for choosing it,” Kenny said. He stood up. “As a friend of mine used to say, the Bible is the story of how God gets back what was always his in the first place. People are looking for a story that can explain the way the world is. I think they’re open to being romanced by the glory of the painting. I think Saint Francis can show us how to take advantage of the moment.” (pg 55-56)
And, then, later, I just liked the way this was said ...

True holiness is so often swaddled in the simple. (pg 65)
What have you been reading?

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook for August 18, 2014


Outside my window... it has been warm and gray.

I am thinking... that Quiet Time will come none-too-soon today.

I am thankful... for the 4+ years we had with our dog, TenorWe are sad that he died from lymphoma on Friday night, but he was clearly failing and Jason was patting him when he passed. 
In the kitchen... we enjoyed a ripe cantaloupe with lunch.

I am wearing... shorts and a green top.

I am creating... not much, but maybe a menu plan and a grocery list in the next hours.

I am going... to go out with three of my Sisters-in-law Friday night.  I'm excited about it!

I am wondering... how the rest of the week will go.  Hopefully today was the hardest day as Mondays are wont to be.

I am reading... Chasing Francis. I was very confused because the same author recently published a spiritual memoir and the names were all wrong, but I figured that out.  I do like parts of it but I'm feeling like he's telling a lot more than showing right now.

I am hoping... to finish The Liberal Arts Tradition before next Monday.  I'm so close. I failed last week.

I am looking forward to... our Church Picnic this weekend!

I am learning ... about Google Analytics, inlinkz blog linkups, and all sorts of blogging stuff I never knew about despite being a blog owner for more than a decade.

Around the house... re-instating chores and routines is painful.

I am pondering... loving one another in and outside the church.  Our pastor's series on 1 Thessalonians is hitting it out of the park.

A favorite quote for today... 

One of my favorite things... Celebrating birthdays with my extended family.
A few plans for the rest of the week ... Titus 2 group, Jason's investment club meeting (= breakfast for dinner for the rest of us!), I'm going out with my SILs on Friday while Jason takes the kids to First Lego League, Church Picnic.  It's a busy week and soccer hasn't started yet!

A peek into my day... we said goodbye to Tenor:

This post is linked to The Simple Woman's Daybook.  We'd love to have you join us!

Embrace the Ordinary: Extended Family

I've never much talked about my extended family on my blog.  I have three brothers and one sister.  We are all pretty close in age as we are a blended family; five kids in 3 years! Each sibling is married and each other family has one child.  I have two nieces and two nephews, and they are all very dear.

My parents are also still living.  Most Sundays some combination of us get together at our parents' home for dinner and visiting.  The grandchildren are becoming very close friends that way. 

With a large family, there are 19 of us, we have a lot of birthday celebrations.  My niece turns two soon and we had her party on Saturday.  My sister lives the furthest away of all my siblings - almost 2 hours away from us - and it is beautiful where she lives with hills and valleys and ravines as compared to our flat city and former farmland.  She has goats, chickens, and a dwarf mule named Trumpkin. The children love that part. We enjoyed being together to celebrate, playing, eating, and hiking.

I love that a birthday celebration is so ordinary in my family.  Here is some of what my sister sees as "ordinary."

This post linked to the Someday (hopefully) They'll Be Saints Embrace the Ordinary linkup.  Join us!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Weekly Report for August 11-15,2014

This has been a "get back to it" week. We've been "doing school" somewhat regularly all summer, a minimum amount - read, write, math, Latin, piano.  Done. Go play outside. 

This week, we added a regular wake up and start time back in.  At least the first three days.  I got the kids up about 7:30, they were to do their chores (get dressed, make beds, wipe bathroom, eat breakfast, brush teeth/hair).  School start at 8:30, any time they had once chores were done, they got for themselves.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we did half of Circle Time, through all our Bible work - hymns, prayer, Bible History (Peril and Peace), Catechism, and Bible with Covenantal Catechism.  Monday, we made our assignment sheets. I did not assign a full schedule this week; essentially Circle Time, typing, and what we'd been doing already.

Thursday, we sought library books ... and found all but two before we left the house.  The children did not have fun cleaning their rooms yesterday or working on it today (and they found the two books).  We had fun at our art class, though. 

It was a rough week. Lord willing, our return to routine will be better next week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesdays with Words: Where to go, what we are

Starting in the next couple of weeks I hope to revive Cindy's Wednesdays with Words linkup (with her generous, kind "you go, Girl" blessings, I might add).

I hadn't thought to post any words today, but our dinnertime read aloud provided the perfect thing.  We're reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien. All of us are enjoying it!  Today, we were reading about their escape from NIMH:

The real point is this: We don't know where to go because we don't know what we are. Do you want to of back to living in a sewer-pipe? And eating other people's garbage? Because that's what rats do. But the fact is, we aren't rats anymore. We're something Dr. Schultz has made. Something new. Dr. Schultz says our intelligence has increased more than one thousand percent. I suspect he's underestimated; I think we're probably as intelligent as he is --maybe more. We can read, and with a little practice, we'll be able to write, too. I mean to do both. I think we can learn anything we want. But where do we do it? Where does a group of civilized rats fit in? (pg 137, emphasis mine)
 Reading, writing, education, an ability to learn constitute civilization in Jenner's mind.

I'll leave comments open on this post, feel free to add links to posts you may have made today or on this quote.  I'm excited to continue this part of the work Cindy began.

Wordless Wednesday: Someday this won't be comfy anymore ...

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook for August 11, 2014


Outside my window... it's been a drizzly day.

I am thinking... about blogging, purposes, and what I'm doing.

I am thankful... for friends who kicked me into gear.

In the kitchen... the children are getting lunch together.

I am wearing... shorts and a flowery purple top. 

I am creating... assignment sheets for my kids during our Weekly Meetings.  Well the Weekly Meetings I hope to reinstate. Ours are generally just on Fridays.

I am going... to mail our Intent to Homeschool and pick up dog food this afternoon.

I am wondering... if the children will accomplish the shorter lessons I assigned today.  M-girl will, but the other two are putting up resistance.

I am reading... Bridget Jones' Diary. I don't like it very much, I liked the movie better.  [shocked silence from the crowd]

I am hoping... to finish The Liberal Arts Tradition before next Monday.  I'm so close.

I am looking forward to... Main Street Delaware Fine Art, Food & Wine date with my husband :)

I am learning ...

Around the house... we worked hard on the main rooms over the weekend.  The school room needs attention now.

I am pondering... how belief and unbelief look.  Last night's sermon on Jesus healing the paralytic from Mark 2 was great.

A favorite quote for today... "All that's left now for those redeemed by the Savior's blood is to celebrate the canceling of the "record of debt that stood against us" -- our monstrous slate of sin that He has "set aside, nailing it to the cross" (Col. 2.14)" --Nancy Leigh DeMoss in The Quiet Place

One of my favorite things... I got a smart phone this spring and a tablet. I love that so syncs between the two platforms. If I used Chrome as my browser, even my laptop would sync.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... Art with Friends, errands, date night, my niece's second birthday party.  It's all good.

A peek into my day... butterflies!