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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Around the Web in Fifteen Minutes

Hi readers!  I've read some lovely and interesting articles lately, and I'm really hoping some of you will want to read along.  Let's hit it.

Tired moms and dads, this essay is for you: 

Sarah Bessey writes,
...we have never been so happy and so tired and so everything all at once
Some nights, I get into bed and I think I have never been more tired and I will never be this tired ever again. I say things to my husband like I wish I could go back in time to smack my own self for every time I ever said that I was tired or busy before this time. He’s usually asleep already.

Parents, thank you for the hard and sometimes exhausting work that you are doing.

Here's one for moms feeling not just grateful and tired, but also completely overwhelmed:

Here's a snippet:
Depression is anger turned inward, right? Well, I’ve got my share of that going on, and I totally get it if you do too. When I’m frustrated by something, I don’t know how to deal with it because there is always someone else who has it worse. In those moments, my anger pulls me down like a weight on my shoulders. My guilt silences my cries.
You don’t deserve to cry about this. People have it way worse than you, my guilt tells me.
My 2-year-old daughter quit napping. Big whoop. Some moms don’t even get to be home during their toddler’s nap time. I’m a stay-at-home. Still, we’re both a wreck.
I liked this article for a few reasons. I think it was a good reminder for overwhelmed moms that they are not alone, and a good reminder for the rest of us to be quick with empathy and support.

But did you notice what else the writer did? She explored that weird guilty feeling when you're angry and sad, but you know other people are in far worse situations.

Once I was crying about something comparatively small and apologized to a friend, who was undergoing a much greater trial. She graciously told me that each person's experience of sadness is her own and gave me permission to go on feeling just as rotten as I felt. You don't compare grief; you just share it.

Back to the article:
I think about my friends without kids who can just hop in the cars and spend an evening reading in the corner of some coffee shop. They can just put on their coat, get in their car, and drive off.
I dream of days like that.

She says she sometimes dreams about the freedom that only childless people enjoy, but then feels bad because she knows some of them would love to trade places with her.

This section caught my eye because the number one piece of advice I've been given about the single life is to "enjoy it." And this advice is almost always delivered to me by tired parents who miss the time, money, and carefree life they used to have before their children arrived.

But if I am expressing sorrow or discouragement about my single life, telling me, "Enjoy it; I dream of those days!" is kind of like telling me "Enjoy your grief."

And if a tired mom is expressing sadness or discouragement about her mommy life and I tell her,  "Enjoy it; I dream of those days!", I'm probably not helping.

So I came up a handy dandy proverb:  Don't Tell People To Enjoy Circumstances About Which They Are Expressing Sorrow Even If Aspects of Those Circumstances Seem Appealing To You In Comparison to Your Present Situation.

Think it will catch on?

Anyway, here's the most fascinating article I've read in weeks. (Thanks to my brother for passing it along!)

This is not just an article about Justin Bieber.

(Did I lose you already?  COME BACK!!  THERE'S MORE!!!)

This is not just an article about Justin Bieber's baptism and the church he now attends.

This is not just an article about the leaders at Hillsong in NYC, the hip, huge church that Justin Bieber now attends.

At its heart, I think this is an article about the mixed feelings of a non-Christian encountering the gospel for the first time. 

In writing the article, the author spent a lot of time interviewing leaders of Hillsong Church.  She asked Joel, one of the leaders, about a family scandal:
He tells me that he considered changing his last name, that he wanted nothing to do with him or any of it, and also that he believes Jesus probably eventually forgave old Frank, because that’s what Jesus does. What is striking about this is how admirable it is to answer questions about something so ugly, but it is also inherent to Joel’s Christianity: People sin. We all sin.
 "Joel's Christianity," she calls it.  Does the author not know that this is Christianity? And not just Joel's Christianity? We all sin, and we're all eligible for forgiveness through Christ.

She likes the leaders of the church, and she's drawn to keep coming back. But she's offended that they don't allow gay leaders in their church and condemn abortion.

She wonders if maybe there's something to Christianity. But she wonders if she'd be throwing away her Orthodox Jewish upbringing if she she explores it further.

Curiosity, anger, admiration -- these are great first responses to the true message of Christ, which the author appears to be hearing for the first time.

A fascinating read.

What about you?  What have you read lately that you want to pass along?

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