Sunday, September 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes: bad news, good news, Fox news and more!

Add to the Beauty:  I've known my mother-in-law for approximately 30 years.  In that time she has never owned a house (always rented), but made beautiful landscapes in each yard.  She is talented and hard-working and inspires me to add beauty wherever we live.  This photo is from our time in New York this August.

Do you find yourself amazed the way seven days twist and turn through national and international stories of tragedy, suffering, political hairballs and minutia so that by the end of a week you forget half of it?  

Me, too.  I've already lost track of which day we heard reports of mass murder in our nation's capital.  I spent the day glued to news updates, trying to understand why it seemed our attention span is getting shorter and shorter random violence.  I asked my facebook friends and they shared some great insights.  

And now Nairobi.  Christ, have mercy.

I've also been following this story all week.  I am not politically savvy.  Nor do I devote the amount of time necessary to keep up with all the nuances (subtle or otherwise) of economic policy. 

Here's what I do know.  When Brian and I started having children we were pretty much children ourselves.  We were still college students.  We knew how to work hard.  We were naive when it came to family planning, maybe, but we knew how to work hard.  We were responsible and had goals for our lives.  

We did not have enough money to cover our grocery budget.  Family and friends invited us for meals.  My grandparents graciously purchased any food item that was "buy one get one free" at the grocery store they didn't even like shopping at in order to help stock our cupboards.  We worked, studied and cared for our children.

And, still, we needed public assistance.  My grandparents -- economically conservative souls of the Greatest Generation -- said to us "That's why part of our paycheck goes to help fund those who need help.  Someday your paycheck will do the same."

So, Fox News, our family was the face of food assistance. I'm morally indignant at your self-imposed rhetoric against the SNAP recipients, 72% of whom are working families with children -- just like my husband and I twenty years ago.  In addition, I'd ask some of those in the House of Representatives to take a few theology courses before they start quote mining Scripture to defend their bills. 

further reading: Your Christian Hypocrisy is Showing: On Pope Francis and the U.S. Congress at God's Politics

I've mentioned my day job a few times.  How I've taken Roz (from Monsters, Inc.) as my role model.  Here's a facebook post I wrote this week telling a brief story about the gentleman customer who softened my hardened, scaly heart:

Since I often complain here about cranky customers I speak to on the phone at work, I need to tell you about the wonderfully gracious man just now. I saw his caller ID, I knew he had good reason to be angry with us, I knew it wasn't my fault and I took the call, bracing myself for his outrage (which is the typical response). I apologized for our error and he said, "It's OK. I'm not mad. What we have here is an inconvenience, not a crisis." What a blessed man. And, yes, I hung up the phone and prayed blessings on him and all future generations of his family.

--- 4 ---
I thought he was so wise, I made this to help me remember those words always:

More good words I read online this week:

Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy at Huffington Post (thanks to my sister, Alicia, for sharing!)

On proving God at Conversion Diary: a former atheist speaks into the Explore God initiative among over 300 Austin churches 

Confession: Yom Kippur 5774 at Good Letters:  my Messianic Jewish friends just celebrated Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and I'm trying to learn what that means

Robert Farrar Capon: Saved In His Death at Out of Ur: more on the life and legacy of a priest who "savored the gospel's dark playfulness"

A Goldberry Evening at Curious Acorn:  just pretty (and inspiration for all future Hobbit viewing parties!)

And I fell in love with these boys.  Actually, maybe they just reminded me of the boys who grew up in my house:

Unlocking The Truth - Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.


A beauty and grace-filled weekend for us all, dear ones.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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