Ten on Tuesday

1. In spite of pacing myself last week, working on the book was hard work, and I’m tired. Trying to go easy on myself. Unfortunately, well, there’s just a lot going on.

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2. I do feel good about what I accomplished last week. I did a ton of editing on my first (very rough) draft, and now I need to enter those changes into Evernote. (Still need a word count feature, guys!) Then I need feedback, then lots more drafts.

The Collegeville Institute has a nicely stocked kitchen, including Nutella, which I never buy because it’s, well, deliciously sinister, but it’s great on a sandwich with peanut butter. I call the PB&N sandwich the “Collegeville Special.”

One fun thing, there’s started to be some buzz about the book. The group last week was very encouraging. And I actually got a call the other day from a freelance reporter working on an article on Sabbath-keeping for an Episcopal Church publication, wanting to interview me.

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3. Caroline is at camp this week. That’s been unexpectedly hard. I suspect she will have some homesick moments but will mostly have a blast. It’s a Girl Scout camp with a swimming/water focus, which will bring some familiarity to a brand-new experience. I can’t wait to hear all about it on Saturday morning.

I did something in worship on Sunday that may have been a little self-indulgent, but heck, being the pastor has to have some privileges. And when you’re in a small church with a small group of kids, you can do stuff like this. During the children’s time, I talked about today being Caroline’s first camp experience, and I asked one of the older boys, who’d just come back from Boy Scout camp, to give some advice to Caroline. Then I asked the whole congregation to add words of advice or encouragement. Then I told all of the kids to look out at the people in the congregation and remember that wherever they go, this church family cares about them and prays for them. It was a nice “Tiny Church” moment.

That day C was wearing her T-shirt from the divisional swim meet. We’d forgotten to have her teammates sign the back of the shirt at the swim team party the day before, so she had her family do it instead. She also brought a Sharpie to church and had people there sign it. It made me feel smile to think that as she went into this new experience, that her family and friends “had her back.”

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4. Speaking of the swim team party, Caroline had a pretty good season. She got stronger in all four strokes, with her times improving by up to 26% (depending on the stroke) over the season. Caroline had really wanted the coach’s award, and was striving for it all summer. It went to her friend K instead. Afterwards I gave her a hug and she said sincerely, “I’m not upset. I’m happy for K. She’s my best friend.”

That was my proudest moment as a swim-team mom.

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5. In the car with Margaret the other day… we were talking about the age difference between the kids and which years they’d be at school together:

Me: So when you’re in second and third grade, all three of you will be in the same school. And then in high school, you and Caroline will be there together one year, until she goes to college. And you and James will be in the same school for two years, until you go to college.

Margaret: And then James will go to college. And then you will cry.

Me: Yes, probably.

Margaret: But it will be from joy too.

Me: Yes, definitely.

Margaret: Besides, Grammy and Pops will be there where we go to college!

…OK, what’s great about this conversation is the assumption on her part, that of course she will go to Rice University in Houston… hah! YES!!

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6. I’m in complete denial about the mess that is happening in Washington over the debt ceiling. Seriously. What a train wreck. La-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you.

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7. I know it’s not time for Friday Link Love yet, but I love this article in Newsweek by Andrew Sullivan called “Why Gay Marriage is Good for Straight America.” I’ve thought for a long time that marriage equality was fundamentally a conservative notion.

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8. My BFF is coming into town on Saturday night for several days! Woo!

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9. I started out thinking that Google+ would be my Facebook replacement, and it might be that, but it’s actually been a Twitter replacement. More on that some other time, perhaps.

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10. And finally, someone posted this to their Facebook. I remember when he first said this and my jaw dropped. Love the prophet Stephen:

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8 thoughts on “Ten on Tuesday

  1. Mamala says:

    And I get to use my “I’m watching you from behind those giant Oak trees on the Rice campus” for a second generation! if Margaret is correct about this college thingy.

  2. I’ve had mixed feelings about the Stephen Colbert quote simply because I know political conservatives who hate having tax dollars go to, say, Planned Parenthood, yet they personally are very involved in charitable work (distributing blankets and food to the homeless, for example.) Their take on it is that government programs enable the needy to stay needy and therefore don’t really help them.

    • MaryAnn says:

      My read of the Colbert quote is that people can’t have it both ways. You can’t call this a “Christian nation” (as so many people still do) while opposing policies that help the poor and disenfranchised, since that’s a huge part of Jesus’ message.

      When the prophets in the Old Testament delivered their words of judgment from the Lord, they were not simply speaking to the hearts and minds of individuals. They were speaking to the nation of Israel as a nation—its leaders and its people, collectively.

      And charitable work, while admirable, is only part of the story. One of my critiques of religious folks of all stripes (including myself) is the way we do charitable acts and then think we’re done. Blankets don’t solve homelessness either.

      • Rachel Heslin says:

        Yeah, my problem is the judgmental aspect of who is Truly Needy and who is Just Lazy. I, for one, would like more studies that provide solid empirical data on what structural changes helps people move out of the cycle of poverty. I would also like a magic wand that would make people actually pay attention to and acknowledge and support what is *shown* to work, even if it runs counter to their preconceived notions of how they think things are.

      • MaryAnn says:

        I remember an article in the New Yorker a couple years back in which Malcolm Gladwell profiled a pilot program in NYC (?) that put chronically homeless people into apartments. Spent just a huge amount of money on each case—gave them social workers, drug rehab, preventive health care, job training, etc. But as expensive as it was, it actually turned out to be cheaper in the long run than what it usually costs the public to care for someone like that. (Just think about the hospital bills for treating an uninsured person who’s bouncing in and out of the ER, for example.)

        But it offends our sensibilities (mine too)—we’d rather help the single mother working two jobs because she deserves it more. Even if it saves us money to help the junkie.

        ‘Thing about Jesus is, he didn’t make that distinction. Man, I wish he did. It would be so much cleaner and sane. He healed ten lepers and nine of them didn’t even bother to stammer out a “thank you.” Talk about lazy and ungrateful! He certainly noticed it, and remarked on it. But he didn’t take their healing away.

  3. Alex says:

    That is a program called “Housing First”…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_First.

  4. Becca says:

    Simply because everyone else has left such profound and wonderful comments, I will just tell you: nutella and marshmallow fluff. Amen. 🙂

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