Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Favorites #13: Identity and Difficulty

The Knowles family on October 15, 2011
Dear friends,

It’s about time for more Friday Favorites!  Yes, it’s been over two months since I’ve done this, but we’ve had a wedding to plan (Just a Few Wedding Pictures and A Country Style Wedding Reception) and I wrote several posts in my Grace Based Parenting series in the interim.  And now I’m really having to limit blogging time because our family is walking through a very challenging season of life.  Your prayers are greatly appreciated. 

However, I did want to compile this group of links that I thought would be helpful to some of you.  Most of these are in some way related to having a true sense of identity, and I can tell you, I have been thinking lately that “It is a good thing I know who I am.”

I have posted brief excerpts with each link, and I would encourage you to read the full articles for anything which piques your interest.

How To Afford What Really Matters- Living Loved by Arabah Joy “I know this voice well. How often it tells me that I need to teach my children a lesson; that a few well placed, hard words will bend them to my liking and will prevent future mishaps; that in order to get the appropriate response I want, I must listen to my emotions, lay down the law. I surely must address this and nip it in the bud. If not, my child will run wild and I’ll never be able to “control” him or her again. I simply can’t afford anything other than strong-armed parenting. Except the voice has been proven a liar. I’ve been down a parenting road or two that I don’t ever care to visit again.  This is one of them. But how to find the way out? Because it is a dark road, not well marked, and finding your way back isn’t easy. And just because I’ve learned that Shepherd’s staff trumps Egypt’s whip doesn’t mean I always know what the staff looks like…how it plays out from situation to situation. It can all be so frustratingly ambiguous. What exactly am I supposed to do? The refrain echos from the chambers of my heart: “Live Loved,” it says once again.

Jamie’s Biggest Homeschooling Mistake: Failing to Be Me by Jamie Martin at Simple Homeschooling “I  began my homeschooling career like many of you: with a whole host of stereotypes and a conveyor belt education hangover. I believed I wasn’t fully equipped to teach my children and that a system knew what they needed better than I did. Even though I dared, as many of you have, to venture out on this path–I carried my baggage with me. As a result, I wanted to homeschool the “right” way. I desperately didn’t want to fail my children or screw up their education, their socialization, their lives! So I read some really good books about homeschooling, searched for the ideal curriculum, and turned down the dial on my inner intuition. But something didn’t feel right. Me.”

What’s Happened to Satan?  By Preston at A Deeper Story “The boy removed his horns from his head and offered them and his pitchfork to me, stating simply and confidently, “I don’t want to be Satan anymore.” I received them with the same look of earnest conviction that he had offered them to me. “Alright, what shall you be, then?”

Which personalities are the most acceptable?  by Sally Clarkson at I Take JoyWe live in a world that values conformity. We want to use our force, our power, our authority to make people, and our children, fit into the box. Be good. Be tame. Be moral. Don’t bring attention to yourself. Don’t contend or question what the norm.” – which leads into her son’s article…

OCD, ADHD, ADD, ODD by Nathan Clarkson at The MOB Society (for Moms of Boys) “I am different, sometimes crazy, I am more volatile than most, I am a little louder at some points and much quieter than anyone at other times, I feel things strongly, I don’t idle well, I dance and sing VERY loudly.”

Be Careful Who You Listen To by Lizzie Julin at Submission Is Not Silence “Through history, women have heard conflicting messages, enough to blur and distort the truth of who they are: their importance and significance. Fear of being controlled and fear of abuse still resonate in women. In some places slave trafficking, domestic violence and unfair workplace policies steal their self respect and excitement for life.  Every woman is significant by birth! Every woman can become strong and effective with wisdom from the Bible and persistent effort. Her courageous steps toward expressing it will work for her benefit her whole lifetime.”  Also see Debating Abigail

Two Abigails Part 1 and Part 2 by MatthewS at Recovering Grace  The first Abigail is a wise and beautiful hero, an inspiration to women and men everywhere. Her quick thinking, deliberate action, and diplomatic speech saved many lives. We meet this Abigail in a delightful story told in 1 Samuel 15. Sadly, many of us raised under the Institute in Basic Life Principles and ATI’s teachings grew up hearing a misleading version of this courageous person’s story.

I Call You Blessed by Beverly Bradley at Out on a LimbThen Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” As Reb was reading, I sensed the Lord embrace me, saying, “You have never seen Me, and yet you believe.”  My heart responded, “But I falter, and I struggle everyday to remember and to believe.” His encouragement persisted.  “You have never seen Me, and yet you believe in Me.  You don’t stop believing in Me.  You fall, but you get up, go on; you believe and won’t stop.  I call you blessed.” I was amazed!  Here I was in the throes of my weakness, and Jesus called me blessed! “Seriously, Lord, You are O.K. with this…this train wreck?” I call you blessed.” “Well then, if I know I am not wounding Your heart, and I have to struggle every day of my life, then O.K., I will fight this as long as I live, and I will believe.”“I call you blessed.” Tears of relief flooded me.  I could fight this fight as long as I knew I had His smile.

And finally, though it is not a blog post, I thought I would end this emphasis on identity with a news story: Name changers: 285 Indian girls no longer 'unwanted'
Hundreds of Indian girls whose names mean "unwanted" in Hindi chose new names Saturday for a fresh start in life. A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespread gender discrimination that gives India a skewed gender ratio, with far more boys than girls.”


Which in turn reminds me of the identity that God offers us in Jesus:  “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)

Virginia Knowles
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