Friday, September 23, 2011

Mental health day

Whiney kids with colds, multiple grey rainy days, and to top it all off a power outage this morning.  Yup, today is a mental health day. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Playlist songs

I keep saying that I am going to create a playlist/CD for my kids to listen to if anything should happen to me.  My father died when I was very young and his letters are so precious to me; so this idea of leaving something to lift my kids up if I was gone is close to my heart.  This song would definitely make the list!  I also really want Britt Nicole's headphones from this video.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dagny O'Hara

At first glance you might not see many similarities between the girly, man-obsessed Scarlett O’Hara, from Gone with the Wind, and the no-nonsense business woman Dagny Taggart of Atlas Shrugged.  Both books are incredibly long by modern day standards.  Despite the length of each book I think it would make an excellent study to compare the two. 
Today I wanted to put forward similarities between these two strong female leads.  There are some similarities that differ in the details; for example, both women love married men but both do not have affairs with them.  Dagny has a physical relationship with Henry Rearden.  Scarlett loves and pines after Ashley Wilkes.  The circumstances of each woman’s relationship with a married man are different but the consequent themes of love and marriage within each book become quite analogous.  That two characters can be so alike and yet so opposing is a testament to the core values that each book puts forward.
Both are:
  • Confident in their gifts/abilities.
  • Not afraid to do what it takes to get the job done.
  • Not typically beautiful but stunning anyway. 
  • High interest in making money.
  • Neither one is able to understand the men around her who can actually see reality and who truly understand her (Dagny-John Galt/Francisco d’Anconia, Scarlett-Rhett Butler).
  • Neither understands or agrees with the ruling class’s philosophy.
  • Are rebels.
  • Are seen as doing a man’s work (and doing it too well for a woman).
  • Don’t stay where society tries to make them stay.
  • Don’t find true love until the end of the story.
  • Are vocal about their views of the world.
  • Reject God and rely on self.
  • Are able to shrug off society’s disapproval (self-confidence).
  • More interested in work then children (reject the traditional female role).
  • Feel a connection to a certain part of land.
  • Measures success by productivity.
  • Has a funny name by today’s standards. J
  • Misunderstood by their sibling/s even though they are taking care of them.
  • Neither feels a need to hide their distaste with pretty speech, they say what they mean or don’t speak at all.
  • Have “impure” relations with married men who turn out not to be their true love.
  • Both their True Loves are just as outspoken and “anti-society” as they are.

Next week:  The themes of love and romance in both books.  Yes, there is romance in Atlas Shrugged.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Breaking the rules

Rules were made to be broken.  God made the law knowing we couldn’t keep it.  To be human is to sin, which means breaking the rules.  God expected this when he handed them down. The rules, or more to the point, our propensity to break them was designed to point us back to the fact that we can’t be good enough.  We can’t get to heaven on our own.  We need God, not just to give us grace when we sin but also to give us strength to obey.
            “Barriers alone can not suppress the heart,” said our pastor this Sunday.  Our heart is our best and worst asset.  We want to obey God; our hearts long to please Him.  But it is also our heart that betrays us when the desire to be distracted or entertained by the world is stronger than our desire to be right with God.  God already set limits, or barriers to sin, for us.  We set them for ourselves too.  “After this one time, I won’t do that anymore.”  “Just this once, it isn’t like I watch/listen/read this stuff all the time.”  We tell ourselves we are going on a diet (sometimes food and sometimes from media, electronics, etc) and right away temptation finds us.  Barriers alone can not suppress our hearts.
            I shouldn’t be surprised then that rules and limits are not enough to assure obedience from my daughters.  I have to continue to work on their hearts.  Character issues are frequently called heart issues, I like that.  It gets to the root of the problem.  What are ways you reach your daughters’ hearts? 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gone with Atlas?

I just finished reading Gone with the Wind, and it gave me a lot to think about.  The strangest thought was to wonder if Ayn Rand ever read Gone with the Wind?  I need to think more about it but I will let you know more by next Friday. 
My first thought is that Gone with the Wind takes the Lord's name in vain at least 15-20 times.  That is enough for me to hesitate recommending it to young teens. 

Let you know more next Friday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Did you know?

This is a great video clip on the current culture and technology.  It gets very interesting in relation to how we parent at about 2:30 and 3:14 into the clip.  It is about 5 minutes long.

Can you imagine the amount of information that our daughters will be exposed to in the coming years?  Will they be prepared to process that information from a Godly perspective?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Twitter Grace

Have you become so use to certain words that they have lost their meaning?  I have noticed that I have a real aversion to using some decidedly churchy type words simply because they just don’t seem to carry any weight anymore.  I have become so desensitized to words like salvation, saved, born again, grace, Christians, sin, moral, and many others.  These poor words get thrown around left and right to the point where it gets hard to remember to take them seriously.  I can see why translations like The Message have found a niche in modern times as we struggle to reconnect with ideas that have become lost in a sea of misuse or over-use.  Christians can certainly talk the talk without walking the walk.

How do your daughters define these words?  How do we help them connect to the ideas that these important words represent?

Could you text salvation?
“God luvs u.  OMG[oodness] sinned again.  BTW He paid price 4 u 2 b rite w/Him.”

How do you twitter grace?
“So didn’t deserve it, but Big Guy came through 4 me again.Can’t believe He doesn’t hold it over my head when I sin big.So grateful 4 His luv.”

I am all for reaching out to our daughters in a language they can readily access and understand, but I hope we are still getting the message across.  I had an interesting battle of words with one of my girls yesterday.  I said she was worth the time and effort on my part to get things right; I won more of our “fights” because I worked hard to do right by her.  What she heard was me saying how great I was…hmm, nope, not what I meant.  So I asked her to look at it another way.  She is a treasure of gold to me and I don’t want to tarnish her or bend her into a shape that is not what God intended to be best for her.  She is worth so much that she deserves the best I have to offer.  I had to break her out of her pattern of thinking in order for her to hear what I truly said.

Sometimes I spell out a simple word and think that it couldn’t possibly be correct, but it is (usually).  It is the everyday stuff that we really should know and see that can become blurry and out of focus without us even realizing it.  It pays off big to check in with our daughters on what they understand about all the church-speak that gets thrown around in Sunday school or during the sermon.  Do they really get it?  I’ll be asking my kids this weekend what they think some of these words mean.  I would love to hear what faith-based words you think have lost their meanings.  Do your daughters have the same understanding of these words that you do?  Let me know in the comments section!