Friday, November 20, 2015

7 Quick takes where I give my opinion on all the things

I figured you'd want my thoughts on all the things this week, so I thought I would give them to you including the mundane stuff around here.

 It's complicated. I am suspicious of anyone who isn't naming in our world of instability/terror/danger/etc... the refugee question is complicated.
The simplistic Scripture verses and silly memes aren't helpful in this case.  I'm glad to see in the last couple days, people are admitting they don't know all the things, and that the question is complicated.

Must we open our country to the suffering, the stranger, the alien and the refugee?
Can we do it with a concern for safety and still be good people?
Is it hard to imagine making a move such as bringing in 10,000 refugees with a current leader who I don't trust?
Does the process, which seems incredibly complex, of admitting refugees into this country, seem safe?
Do I hope we safely welcome refugees into our country?
Without a doubt.
Am I confident we can do so?

I laid in bed last weekend, after Paris, and considered terrorism.
I thought about those people in Paris. I thought about the targets...a restaurant, a concert venue, a sporting arena.  Those intentional targets because hitting them terrorizes people. In places of extreme recreation, we just don't expect extreme violence.
Then I thought about the U of M game next weekend.  We are going.  For a second it made me nervous, but then I realized how far away from the conflict we are.  But then I remembered Michigan was specifically named by ISIS, and I was nervous again.
Lyrics from a song I was recently introduced to ran through my head.
"What's the worst thing that could happen?  What's the worst thing they can do?  Threaten me with heaven... that's all they can do."- Vince Gill, 'Threaten Me With Heaven'

I know this seems kind of hokey, but it is amazing to be a person of faith (albeit, weak at times).  Because, death really has no sting.  It still can carry sadness, very real sadness... but it has no lasting sting.  Death offers us what we are waiting for.  How freaking amazing is that?

When I considered that, I smiled to myself a bit in this crazy world.  The one thing a 'terrorist' desires is terror.  A terrorist really can't get that from people of faith.

Take that.

On a lighter note.
My opinion on the fact that my daughter is 2 months old?
It flies by.
And she's the best. With her long hair and her crooked smile.  With her 8 hour stretches through every night, and mild mannered spirit.  She's just the best.
And she melts us all.

I didn't change my profile to a French Flag and I didn't use a fancy hashtag to express my prayers for Paris.

I don't judge you if you did.

For me, it's just kind of gotten old.
The constant crisis and response in social media.
It's the same every time.

We state our shock at the news.
We offer prayers and come up with hashtags.
We post blogs/articles/etc.. laying blame and asking questions
A few days later, the 'extremes' are weeded out and people start to discuss somewhat rationally.
Then the profiles change back.
Then the hashtags go away.
And we wait...
until the next thing...
When we state our shock.

I don't know, I'm just kind of over it.
Probably a bit depressed by it.
Kind of grossed out by it.
I didn't want to participate this time.

I have started back with presentations/workshops and retreats :)
This time, after Malia, I took two full months off. I did not do that after I had John Paul. In retrospect the latter was probably a huge mistake.  It was good to have focussed time with my family.  But, it is good to be back.
As per usual though, I can feel God changing the ministry I do.
Where I once worked primarily with teens, I am finding adults/women/mothers to be a much more life-giving audience during this season in my life.
I was blessed to spend time with the women of St. Francis in Ann Arbor. Gosh- we had an amazing time sharing, especially about the role of joy.
Then, I was able to do some sharing with a local ministry in the Detroit area that serves young mothers.
It was good.
I feel so blessed to be able to do ministry.  As long as I keep my calendar realistic (not overbooking), I hope to continue this ministry for a long, long time.

Aaron is going out of town again.
I am not going to tell you when so you don't come kill me (but if you do, #threatenmewithheaven).
I am not scared this time.
The cluster of him going out of town when Malia was 4 weeks and the kids had pneumonia was really THE.BEST thing to happen to me.
Because I did it.
So I feel like I can just about do anything.
As long as I have a 6 pack in the fridge :)

They have started arriving. My siblings, to the area. And bringing with them my nieces and nephews.
All of my siblings are coming to town.
With all of my nieces and nephews.
It's somethin' like 41 people.
To my great depression, even though EVERYONE will be in town, it doesn't seem like we are going to be able to find a moment when everyone can be together at once (due to arrivals/comings/goings/other family visits, etc...).
But there will be a couple times when most of us are together.
And we have such fun planned.
My kids are FREAKING OUT.
There is nothing better than cousin best friends.
It's gonna be a whirlwind.
It's gonna be fun.
I am sure it's gonna be stressful.
But I wouldn't want it any other way.

That's it for me.  Check out more Quick Takes at http://thisaintthelyceum.org/



  1. Mary, I was super excited when I saw you were going to be sharing your thoughts on controversial issues :) Honestly, I have been a bit irritated by the extremist attitude that many Americans are taking. "Oh, you have reservations about the refugee crisis? You anti-Christian, anti-American person!" and then they shut you down with memes, Scripture verses, and I'm like, "Where is the rational conversation about this?" It is complicated, like you said. I think it's further complicated by the fact we're being told to "not discriminate on religion," but only 2-3% of the refugees that have come in over the past few years are Christians, and while Muslims are having a tough life in the Middle East, the Christians have been all-out slaughtered and exploited. So where is the push to go get those Christians out ASAP? It's strange. Like you, I don't really trust our Commander-In-Chief (or many of the people high up in the government) with national security issues, so that definitely contributes to my discomfort in the whole refugee-crisis.

    THANK YOU for talking about those filters. I think it gets really ridiculous, honestly. Yes, doing flag filters is a great way to show online support, but what does it actually accomplish? Furthermore, while people were flag-filtering their pictures for Paris, Beirut, Lebanon, was suffering silently from the terrorist attack that they suffered last week on Thursday evening-which NO ONE was talking about. I honestly feel like the flag filters were just helping the media to selectively choose what people would and would not focus on. One of my friends eventually changed her filter to a composite of the Lebanese flag, French flag, and a couple other flags, and someone commented, saying, "Why don't you just pray for the world?" My thoughts exactly :)

    Whoa, that sounds like it'll be a crazy, wild, fun Thanksgiving!!!!!!!! I hope that you all have a blast hanging out with everyone. I'm sure Malia will probably get swarmed with relatives :)

  2. I really like your opinion on the things. Internet opinions have gotten REALLY tiring. Seriously. Maybe just once we could admit that there are no easy answers and realize the amount we are being played time and time again.

    Anywho. Yes to number 3. I'm feeling that more and more. God give us the fortitude to hold that up if we are so called.

  3. Okay I'm right there with you on #4...like I don't mind if other's do it, but really what good do hash tags and posts do? Thank you for expressing something I've always felt ;)

  4. Funny, I had some similar thoughts about #4 when I started seeing the French flag overlays on people's profiles. I love that they are there and that it shows some brotherly love and support for the victims (and bonus, ignores the terrorists thus depriving them of the attention they're hoping to get), but at the same time it's sad to see those French flags starting to go away. I mean, we can't have every cause we support and thought we have expressed in one 160x160 pixel profile picture on FB... but still. Sad.