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This was a brand spankin’ new talk, created just for this event. It’s about the ways our conversation with kids can help build the ‘interior arch’ that supports them against burdens both internal and external. I had to do a lot of thinking and praying about what I wanted to say (it’s all in the Free E-book you can download from Motherheart Press), and then I wound up adding more into the talk itself (always happens!) Ask for the audio if you missed it.
Thanks to all who smiled, nodded, laughed, gave me your email addresses and feedback, stayed to talk more, or responded in any way. This post, by the way, is very much open to comments, so thanks in advance for those.
I have a few more bricks for your collection, from mine:
Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.
You are not going around in circles, but growing upward, like a tree, in spirals.
Christ makes you more truly and fully who you are. Today, you are more fully realized than ever before!
It’s not a great idea until it’s well-expressed.
Unless it moves through you, it doesn’t get to you.
I’ve tagged some of my brick-y-est posts ‘Brick’ so you can find them easily with the search bar.
Then I collected my favs into another freebie you can get at Motherheart Press, which is just me, inviting your participation in the work of the Joy Foundation.
Here, also, are links to every one of my posts that mentions placenta! [Read more…]
I love this thought from a poem by G. K. Chesterton: Gloria in profundis. Glory to God in the depths, in the lowest things, at this time of year when we sing, “Glory to God in the highest”! Since most of life is spent doing the lowest things – diapers, scrubbing toilets, changing oil and brake pads, filling in new planning calendars… – what a great thing it is to learn to be amazed by them! [Read more…]
After a baby’s birth, Mom becomes the ‘womb’, the context for his continuing development. This is so much more than just making a safe home, or choosing the best food for him. The womb and placenta, like Mom, are mediating structures meant to link the child to his wider environment through a bulky, messy, murky mass that impedes flow even as it facilitates flow. I’m not calling Mom names here, just pointing out that all attempts to do away with this design, this ‘inefficient’, personal, slow, messy process are dis-integrated, wrong-headed, dangerous.
If I wanted to teach a child, I’d give his mother rich opportunities to learn, to ingest great materials, to practice skills, to discuss whatever she finds delightful, wondrous, or interesting. I imagine she’d do the mediating for that particular child better than any artificial womb I could create. Fr. Luigi Giussani wrote, “I am an educator if I communicate myself.” Unless I can be a real part of your child’s context, mediated to him through his mother’s wisdom and discernment about his needs and capabilities, I cannot truly communicate my self, or anything else, to him.
We need more people in children’s REAL LIVES and fewer contrived, artificial kiddie activities, classes, and play-spaces. It does take a village, but that village better grow up organically around the home to serve the child and his parents in truth. I’m hoping to be part of the village for the families I love, but I don’t want to abstract the children from those wombs in order to give myself to them.
Does this make sense to you? I’d love to hear your feedback on this one!
One of my favorite talks is about Mom understanding herself as this sort of continuing context for the child: Building the Bridge.
My whole life is an argument! It’s not that I go around picking fights, but that every choice I make, every action is, in its own way, an argument for choosing that action over other possibilities. This quality of actuality – one judgment realized in concrete form necessarily limits the range of possibility for the next choice – is one reason we keep ideas and virtue locked in a mental tower, and so seldom actualize them in forms, gestures, incontrovertible proofs of what we have thought about.
Thankfully, I don’t live intimately among people who choose quite differently. So, there’s not really much overt argument about my life choices. Every now and then, I realize that my very presence – because of these choices, not because I’m constantly mouthing off about my decisions – is a challenge to someone else.
I know how they feel. I’ve felt it myself – a little defensive in the presence even of someone who has chosen to dress nicer for this party, or go ahead and buy from that company. They might feel a bit wary that their choice for something I clearly chose against might be grounds for exile from my heart, my community, or my regard for them.
Their remedy – if my experience is any indicator – is to be much more clear than people usually are about the whys and wherefores of their own choices. The real challenge is to see that it’s me who needs to shift course when I feel defensive. I need to go over my own reasoning with a teachable spirit (not a combative, internal, self-righteous rehearsal) and then take a calm stand based on my own judgment.
Most important, I need to ‘own my own stuff’ and not attribute my discomfort to the other person, as though he were forcing me to defend myself.
I can stand my high ground, but need to stay free while doing it. Read some surprising reasons why you should argue.