quick 5

I was going to start with a Christmas countdown but that was threatening my otherwise peaceful mood. So let's just say, "Welcome Christmas season!" Phew.

"Fireplace for Your Home" on netflix. seriously.

 1. We made a Thanksgiving tree last week and tried to reflect a bit together on the things we are thankful for. Thankfulness is such a discipline, such a muscle you really have to use often in order to become strong. So the tree was a great reminder more from the physical presence of it than the actual verses and activity. (The leaves are a free printable and then we cut out extra leaves for the kids to paint. Add in a glass jar, fallen tree limbs and  bit of twine and you have a Thanksgiving tree!)

Things Ella is thankful for

Drew's thanks

2. For the last two nights I have slept straight through the night- no waking, no checking the clock, no baby crying -for six hours. Now six hours may not seem like a lot, but for a light sleeper who is usually up almost hourly, six straight feels AMAZING. Seriously, I popped out of bed this morning feeling like someone had injected me with Red Bull in my sleep. At 8:00 a.m. I said to Garrett, "I feel so alert and I haven't even had coffee yet!" What a feeling.

3. Today I read that the American Academy of Pediatrics has released an official statement encouraging pediatricians to prescribe emergency contraceptives to teenage girls. (You can read the statement from their website here). The article that I read was from Momaha.com and stated:

Doctors should give underage teens prescriptions for emergency contraceptives such as Plan B before they start having sex instead of waiting until a young patient’s “plan A” goes wrong, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a new policy statement.

Now I'm not really into debating the issue of teenage sexual activity because it is something that comes from your worldview, and that doesn't change from online debates. I did find it noteworthy, however, that the article I read stated that teenage sexual activity leads to teen pregnancies which leads to teen births. Those babies born to teens are more likely to "do poorly in school and suffer behavior problems such as truancy and early sexual activity." Wait a sec. We're going to give emergency contraceptives to teens so that they don't have babies which might grow up to engage in early sexual activity. If early sexual activity isn't a good thing, why are we not dealing with that issue instead of trying to erase the consequences of it?  

It feels a bit to me like saying, "Kids, we know you are going to play with matches even though you probably aren't mature enough to handle it and it can have lifelong consequences for you. We think you shouldn't but we know you will, so here's a fire extinguisher in case things get out of hand."

Kind of confusing, no?

(And then part of me is like, "If this is what the AAP thinks of caring for teens, why do I really care what they think of caring for little kids?" I don't.)

cover photo taken from goodreads.com
4. On that somewhat heavy and much more controversial-than-I-like note, we (Garrett and I) started reading a young adult fiction book called "Rootless" by Chris Howard. I was intrigued by the premise of the story: a dystopian future setting where trees are gone and a teenager makes his living building 'trees' out of scrap metal. He ends up on a quest to save his dad and the world and society, etc. 

Side note that is hopefully relevant: Several months back I listened to a Brandon Sanderson lecture where he talked about the difference between genres of books. It was interesting to note that Young Adult Fiction is different than middle grade fiction in more than just the age of the characters. Middle grade books are edited for content (limited mild language, no sexual activity, no mature themes) and YA fiction is NOT. This might help you understand this story. 

So we started this book.

By the top of page two, the language was intense and there was nudity. I wasn't freaking out, and I realize that some of the language is character development and bringing out the hopelessness of the world, but its just so much. YA in general gives this idea that this is what teens, all teens, want to read. And I just disagree. I think there are teens out there who want to read current novels, with real life problems, that don't embrace all the cultural nuances that everyone is having sex, adults are idiots that can't trusted, and any teen who lives otherwise is just weird. 

I beg to differ, and I'm writing a novel that will hopefully prove that point. Maybe. Kind of. That first sentence was much braver than I really feel about the venture but we'll just leave it there for now. Yikes.

5. And then there's Christmas. Are you excited for the Christmas season? Do you have gifts wrapped, ordered, written on a list, or still floating as ideas in your head? 

Here are some lovely free Christmas printables at Simple Design. 

Here is a place you can print a free Jesse tree devotional and ornaments to color with kiddos.

6! In other news around the web, here's the post over at Ann Voskamp's A Holy Experience that had me undone last week. There was this part...
"I keep losing the keys and time and bits of my stringy mind and it’s hard to keep company with Jesus when you are losing your sanctification over piles of shoe rubble heaped at the back door."
And this part...

 "Does a middle class life in North America add up to more than a hill of beans? Do you get on planes to bless the materially blessed with more of the Words of God and call it the great commission? Or do you stay at home and sort the socks from the underwear and pray for revival and give to missions month and train them up in the godly way they should go and referee mindless bickering while begging God to somehow multiply your life into more than a few flailing, gasping fish. You’ve only got one life."

And then she said this...

"When are your sacrifices really just about lining your own nest? What road, what career, what part of the world and is it okay to stay here or is it okay to go and is that even the right question? Do you have to choose between mothering and mission or can you choose both and what does that really look like at 11:30 on a Friday morning in Kansas?"

And by that point I was toast and waking the husband and saying in between sobs, "Honey...I ...read...this...post...and..." And he calmed me down, talked me down, let the post do what it needed to do for my soul without letting it pull everything down around us. Such a grace when someone can watch you fall apart and not need to put you back together, but also know when the coming apart has gone far enough. Thankful that I married a man who is good at that. 

 Well, that's all she wrote. Enjoy the last day of November! 



rachelc said...

Your posts are always so thought-provoking and discerning; thanks for being so real as you live. I actually read the quote from AnnV and thought, "Hmmm...Do I have to choose between mothering and mission or can you choose both and what does that really look like at 11:30 on a Friday morning in China?" Funny how our questions aren't so different from one another. =) Love to your family this holiday season.

Becky said...

Hey Rach!Your comment caught me off guard as I just assume that anyone "in the field" feels like they are living on mission. But I guess being a mom is a whole thing in itself no matter where you live. I feel like the idea of living on mission, living on purpose, is a new thought that is growing in me. Hope to write more about that as I work through it. So lovely to see your name and I hope your eastern Christmas is a true celebration.