Saturday, 16 March 2013

Weekend Reading

Debunking the myth of consistency @ Steady Mom
Being consistent means being there. It means responding when you need to respond, in the way you need to respond. It means taking the time to figure that out, to address each child as an individual. It means treating our children the way we hope they will one day treat us. It means acknowledging that we can't solve our kids like mathematical equations, we must relate to them from the heart.

Roman Catholicism – An Appreciation @ Internet Monk
The fact is, there is much that I like about Roman Catholicism. The better I get to know it, the more I find to like.

I admire a tradition that sees the culture of the church in history as confident and defining on its own, without having to resort to endless envies and imitations of pop culture in order to feel relevant.

Who's really surprised that 7-year-olds are putting themselves on diets? @ xoJane
The real question is when did the realization strike that being bigger and rounder was something I should remedy? Because at 4 I did not see my different shape as a negative thing, just an interesting difference. I suspect the change happened, curiously enough, sometime around my seventh year, as that is the period in which I first remember becoming aware that my body was a thing I hypothetically could - and therefore should - change.

By 15, I was still keeping a diary. And I was still talking about my weight. In an entry that also mentions the “diet pizza” I had for lunch (I believe this was the Jenny Craig era of my ill-spent adolescence) I wrote, “I wish I had a boyfriend. I wish I was thin. I wish I had a 4.0 average. I wish I wasn’t wishing for so much. I’m pretty happy as I am.”

I couldn’t have articulated it then, but this was the cognitive dissonance that informed so much of my relationship with my body, well into adulthood, and the same is probably true for many of you reading this as well. My happiness was not the goal. My happiness had pretty much nothing to do with it.

The message that I had successfully digested and internalized, along with so many of my dieting and weight-obsessed peers, was that I MUST care, even if I didn’t care. I had a role to play, a very particular socialized feminine role, and it demanded certain things of my self-image. I MUST worry about my weight, and learn to hate my body, and eat diet pizza seemingly made from cardboard and plastic, even if I feel mostly okay with myself in spite of everything.

Church Culture: Out of Sight, Out of Mind @ Jezamama
Instead of partnering and coming alongside parents, [churches] try to lead the charge. We check our kids like coats to a children’s attendant and then proceed to our own adult thing. We have learned to worship God separately: adults in the grownup spaces and the children in their spaces (which is often “out of sight, out of mind”). We bring home the brown paper bags filled with their work, craft or lessons – and it ends up in the trash.

Until a church culture makes the least among us a priority, seen as a blessing, instead of a distraction to be tolerated; families as a whole nourished and trained; the youngest among us considered first in the making of our budgets and planning of our spaces instead of afterthoughts in our vision...we are going to miss it. We are going to miss this amazing opportunity we have to love many young ones and their future children in the name of JESUS.

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