January 14, 2013

I’ve been thinking a lot about character lately.  So for this week’s Monday Memories re-post, I thought I’d pull out a post from our first year of homeschool.  It recalls a night when I was reminded what homeschooling is really about for us.  Originally posted May, 2011: Get On The Bus We just finished watching the PBS American Experience episode, Freedom Riders. Ezra fell asleep around ten fifteen, but he was riveted until he could no longer keep his eyes open. Zach made… Read more

January 9, 2013

If you are part of the same Christian-small-world that I am, then undoubtedly someone has asked you over the last year, “What’s your love language?”  And the answer they are expecting is not, “French?”  They want to know which of five ways you prefer people to express their love to you: Physical Touch Receiving Gifts Words of Affirmation Acts of Service Quality Time The typology, developed by Gary Chapman, is meant to help you better understand and love your spouse,… Read more

January 7, 2013

I used to say that I wanted a small life.  A family, good work, and good friends – a humble list. There are, of course, many problems with this formulation.  First, no life is smaller or bigger than any other.  In one sense, George Washington’s life ended just the way yours and mine will – in the ground, with a few people’s lives dramatically changed by the loss.  In another sense, his life ended just the way yours and mine… Read more

December 27, 2012

“What?!!  We have to do schoolwork?” “But Mo-om, it’s Christmas vacation!” The cries of my two homeschooled sons – every year, every break. And every year, every break, I explain the same thing.  “Homeschool is different from regular school,” I say. “That’s why we go to Red Sox games in the middle of a weekday afternoon, and why we read Richard Dawkins in our pajamas while you are hanging upside down over the side of the couch.  It’s why you… Read more

December 15, 2012

I wish I could take down all of my Advent reflections from the last week.  It’s not that I don’t believe them anymore.  It’s that they feel like a slap in the face right now.  To those who are grieving, and frightened, and angry, the thought that this is a season of longing for Jesus to come back and make everything right is just too much.  At least, it’s too much for me. Because how exactly is he going to… Read more

December 13, 2012

Okay, here’s the thing: I don’t quite understand why you are buying Christmas presents.  I mean, that is, if you are a Christian who celebrates Advent. In other words, if you spend four weeks preparing for the coming of Christ by fasting, repenting, telling ancient stories, refusing to sing songs with the word Hallelujah in them, or otherwise acknowledging that all is not well in this world and that we are deep need of a savior, then I don’t get why you… Read more

December 12, 2012

We have a very simple Advent routine around here.  We light the candles in our advent wreath, tell a story, sing a song, and blow out the candles.  Fifteen minutes of getting ready, of entering the mystery of Christmas, of awakening our longings for all to be made right.  That’s it. As I wrote yesterday, I’ve never been so ready for Advent as I was this year.  With my father dying last month, I am acutely aware of how broken… Read more

December 11, 2012

Death is a horror. I don’t know how I forgot that, but I did.  I’ve had moments of remembering, of course; you have to be sleepwalking through this world to refuse any awareness of the horror of death.  What I forgot was the power of some deaths, or rather some loves, to bring on a grief that takes hold and won’t let go. The ache, the longing, the tightness, the haunting memories. Those damned memories.  (My father had a heart… Read more

November 18, 2012

My daddy died on Monday. He was a Jewish boy who grew up in New York during World War II.  An Air Force officer and B-52 pilot who learned how to ignite farts outside the mess hall.  A commercial pilot and taxi driver who got people where they were going.  A chess master and amateur astronomer who never graduated from college.  A beloved neighbor and loyal friend. Now he’s gone, and it’s an outrage to my sensibilities.  An outrage.  I… Read more

November 11, 2012

I want to be a pacifist when I grow up. But I’m not there yet.  And as we stop for a day to remember and thank the men and women who have risked life and limb on my behalf, I thought I’d spend a minute thinking about why I just can’t get on the pacifist bus quite yet.  Unfortunately, this won’t be a logical post –  because I’m pretty sure that all of the logic falls with the pacifists. Christian… Read more

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