March 8, 2017

#Blessed beyond breastfeeding

Luke 11:27-- As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”
28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
When Jesus showed up, everything changed for women. Jesus showed up in a time and place in which women's identity was secured by men and women had no legal rights as individuals. At this time in the story of the people of Israel, a woman's greatest calling was to give birth to a male child and secure her family line and place in the family of God.
Jesus proclaimed a new way for women by engaging them as disciples, evangelists, and people of dignity and worth, not identified by their sexuality and biological function. That's why these verses in Luke are so powerful! Before Jesus, a woman's greatest work was to bear a son to connect her family line to Abraham and secure her family's religious place. After Jesus, a woman's greatest work is to be a disciple!
Today on International Women's Day, I am reminded of Christ's transformative work for women. Being a mother is an incredible and transformative journey, but being a disciple!--this is our deepest and truest calling.
Around the world, many (if not most) women are still identified by their sexuality and their relationship to men as their primary role. And perhaps everywhere, the predominant cultural perspective is that women are known as sexual beings first and foremost. The good news is that Jesus came to set the oppressed free! Jesus came to restore right relationship between women and men. Jesus came to call women to their deepest calling as disciples.
May we follow Jesus as we proclaim a different and deeper story for women than the world!

February 8, 2017

Where you invest your love

I am time-tracking by the half-hour again.  I completed the month of January and am now solidly into February.  I enjoy this self-measurement.  It makes me very conscious of how I am spending my time.  As Mumford & Sons sing "where you invest your love, there you invest your life."  (For more inspiration on time-tracking, check out Laura Vanderkam's book, I Know How She Does It.)

How do you invest your love?
Hour by hour...or even minute by minute.

I am investing my love these days in my love-and-wrestle 4 year old boy and my sweet-and-cuddle 2 1/2 month old baby girl.  Last week I put in 43!!  hours in a mix of "family time".  Family time does consist of simple chores--like emptying the dishwasher, making soup or putting away laundry, but only includes tasks that are secondary to my primary work of keeping up with two little ones.  That's a lot of hours being with these two.  I certainly am investing my love and my life.  Lots of cuddling and nursing (SO.MUCH.NURSING!--and pumping, but that's another story) and a fair amount of Mario wii playing with the boy.

I am also investing my love in my work.  I do not usually think about it as love, but love grows in what we work at with all our hearts.  Administrating policies, handling student and personnel crisis, crafting emails and planning programs do not sound like "love", but all of it is the work of creating a community that nurtures and grows students.  This week the work is not easy and I am well aware of my need for advisors and policy to shape responses.  I remind myself that where I am investing my love, I am investing my life, so it is worth being wholehearted in both family and work.

How are you investing your love these days?  Love to hear from you!

October 1, 2016

What I'm Reading

September Edition:

In print, for my work (and heart):

We hosted Christena Cleveland last week at the University and I want to keep this conversation on race growing in my heart and mind.  Also, considering this for a faculty-staff reading group. 

In my ears:

I am such a fan of the Sarah Maas "Throne of Glass" series.  Totally, 100% hooked.  I have listened to all of them and I have thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy tale of the girl-assassin-queen.  Great for older teens and adults.  I will be sad if this is the final one!

And I just finished listening to:

If you enjoy British detective stories with humor, Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness series is pure delight.  I have listened my way through this series and for whatever reason--I think they are a better listen than reading with your eyes. I think it is because the narrator does such an amazing job with the voices.

In print:

Upcoming baby, so here we are.

For my book club, on my kindle:

The book club is over on this book, but I still may finish it.  What an inspiring, desperate story. Beautiful and challenging. 

Just starting for the second time for the November book club:

OH MY.  THIS BOOK. AGAIN! More to come on this!
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