Wednesday, August 27, 2014

getting ready

"I was old enough to understand that getting ready wasn't simply a matter of playing "space mission" with my brothers in our bunk beds, underneath a big National Geographic poster of the Moon. But there was no program I could enroll in, no manual I could read, no one to even ask. There was only one option I decided. I had to imagine what an astronaut might do if he were 9 years old, then do the exact same thing. I could get started immediately. Would an astronaut eat his vegetables or have potato chips instead? Sleep in late or get up early to read a book?
I didn't announce to my parents or my brothers and sisters that I wanted to be an astronaut. That would have elicited approximately the same reaction as announcing that I wanted to be a movie star. But from that night forward, my dream provided direction to my life. I recognized even as a 9-year-old that I had a lot of choices and my decisions mattered. What I did each day would determine the kind of person I'd become." ~ Chris Hadfield, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

a gathering of ideas

Here is a selection of online materials that I have been enjoying over the last couple of weeks as I prepare for the return to our lessons in September and as I pray and meditate on the Word of God. How rich we are to have an abundance of godly men and women who can provide such a feast for our souls, even in this dark hour of our culture.

Catechisms for the Imagination

Podcast: Hemingway, Waugh, and the Collapse of Shared Spiritual Value after WW1

Classical Q and A with Dr. Chris Perrin

Theology of Wonder: Integrating the Humanities

R.C. Sproul and D.A Carson on Biblical Exegesis

In honor of Cindy Rollins closing a chapter in her life by pulling her blog Ordo Amoris off the web indefinitely, here are some of her words which I hope will help you think through the role of motherhood and womanhood.

Yesterday I received in the mail my yearly statement from the Social Security Administration. Not much has changed in the last 20 years. If you looked at the statement you could almost say that it reflects 5 years of earning and 20 years of learning. Because I have been a stay-at-home mom, I have had the leisure to pursue scholastics. I am beginning to grasp why the word schola is linked to the word leisure. I have had the leisure to learn. In modern times we think of leisure as the pursuit of pleasure rather than the pursuit of wisdom, but truthfully, you must have leisure to learn.

This isn’t a new idea with me but if that is true then surely mothers at home are the modern equivalent of the monastics. We are the preservers of truth and beauty in our culture. This will never be understood by the culture at large. We will continue to be scorned and told we are not contributing.  But some day, maybe hundreds of years from now, someone will write a book titled How Motherhood Saved Civilization.
In light of this we should be very, very busy in our homes creating an environment of truth and beauty. The future of civilization is depending upon us.

Leave room for mystery

"I know it's hard for you to imagine this early in the game, but some day you may think to yourself (you might even say it out loud), "I'm not sure my husband understands me." You are probably right. He doesn't. He's a man. You're a woman. There are some areas in which ne'er the twain shall meet and we should be glad of that. Although there are times when we are frustrated and infuriated by the inability to fathom the depths of another personality, who can deny the fascination of mystery, of knowing that there are depths we haven't plumbed.
There is a story in the Bible which tells of a man who was able to answer all a woman's questions. The Queen of Sheba went to Jerusalem to test Solomon, the famous king, with hard questions. She went with pomp and splendor--appropriate to so momentous an encounter. We have heard of the wisdom and justice of Solomon, but no mention is made of his longsuffering. This story reveals it, for it is said that the queen 'told him all that was on her mind.' That must have taken a long time. Not many men would want to hear all that was on a woman's mind, but apparently the king listened, for 'Solomon answered all her questions, there was nothing hidden from Solomon which he could not explain to her.'
What a man he must have been to have command of all the answers and the patience to make all the explanations necessary to satisfy a powerful female potentate who had doubtless come with skepticism and perhaps jealousy and scorn. But she was thoroughly convinced. He won her over and she saw his wisdom. She surveyed also the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, the attendance of his servants and their clothes, and his burnt offerings which he offered at the house of the Lord.
When she had seen it all, 'there was no more spirit in her'. The display took all the wind out of the queen's sails. She did manage to pull herself back together sufficiently to commend him and to remind him of God's blessing on him. When she presented him with the gifts she had brought and received gifts from him, there was nothing left for her to do but go home.
Not many men can do what Solomon did. Not many men ought to try. And a woman who sets out to test a man with hard questions should be forewarned that she may end up with no more spirit in her, nothing to do but turn around and go back where she came from. It is probably not only a safer course but much wiser not to tell a man everything that is on your mind, not to press him with hard questions. Leave room for mystery."

~ Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman: Notes to My Daughter on the Meaning of Womanhood.