Lazy-day Link-a-palooza: Jesus Stuff, Adoption Stuff, and Miscarriages.

by Camille on September 5, 2012

A little link-love from the past few weeks while I work on some other posts.  Finally found time to move through the starred list of my Google reader and wanted to share some posts that made me think, laugh, or snuffle-cry.  🙂 Enjoy! 

what I want you to know about multiple miscarriages, from Rage Against the Minivan

A lovely guest post with helpful advice for how to treat friends who have experienced miscarriages.

The term miscarriage is one simple word that represents SO MANY different experiences. Different physical experiences.  Different emotional experiences…. Miscarriage is also a very generic medical term that is used for radically different medical and personal situations and experiences (3rd loss in a row, miscarriage after IVF, miscarriage after stillbirth, pregnancy loss at home, D&C etc. etc. etc.).

– Speak with sensitivity about the number of kids people have, or the spacing of their children.  There is often a story behind how a family came to be.  And that story often includes a miscarriage, or another form of loss.  Don’t assume. Be careful of flippant comments about how easy it was for you to get pregnant, or how the spacing of your kids is exactly how you planned.

How to Follow Jesus….without being Shane Claiborne from Rachel Held Evans

I love Shane Claiborne. I read his book, The Irresistible Revolution, and started thinking about how commune-living in inner-city Memphis might be the way to go. But I’ll never be Shane Claiborne, and while he and other radicals are inspiring, I have to figure out to love Jesus as Camille and be a radical where I am. In the “messy, boring, unglamorous today.” Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my own idealism, and I’m thankful for Rachel’s practical reminders of how to serve God as myself.

It seems to me that the real problem occurs between Phases 4  and 5, where—upon facing the reality of my actual life and my actual responsibilities—I not only abandon Shane Claiborne’s way of following Jesus, I abandon following Jesus altogether. I short, I make the perfect the enemy of the good. I become paralyzed by my own idealism. 

 our father from the Wayward Follower

The post includes a thought-provoking video from pastor Brian Mclaren questioning how things would look different if we treated this world as the kingdom of God. You know that part in the Lord’s prayer….  “…thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?” Yeah, if we meant that, how would it change our views and practices? The Wayward Follower wants us to consider what this would mean for our views on gun control (a valid conversation, for sure), but I think it applies to an assortment of topics. What do you think?

In which I admit to being afraid of poverty from Sarah Bessey

I love Sarah’s raw honesty in everything she writes. I love that she’s not afraid to question God or admit weaknesses that so many of us share. In this post, she gives a practical way to overcome fear and confusion in how to help the poor…one step at a time.

I’m scared of my own privilege, I’m scared that I’ll hurt more than I’ll help. I feel my white-Canadian-girl-privilege sticking out all over me, prickles and stings of my place in the world, my luck of the draw. I’ve written before about how I wrestle with it, how my heart is wounded at the slightest exposure to poverty, and then I quickly move on, stuff my fingers in my ears and sing lalalalalalalalahallelujah loudly to drown out the inadequacies of my response, look busy! look busy! look busy!

The Boy with the Finger from Finding Our Way

My friend McCall, author of this lovely blog, had the opportunity to travel to Uganda to work in a children’s prison earlier this year. She has a heart for Africa so big it’s bursting out of her petite frame and leaking all over every aspect of her life. She quit her job, changed careers, and is pursuing a mission-oriented life. Her enthusiasm inspires me, and her faith and commitment to God’s will challenge me to focus on the things that really matter.

So, when you stop me at Wal-Mart and find that I’d rather talk about Africa and orphans and clean water than just about anything, please know that the boy with the finger is the vision that is stuck in my head. With that in mind, can you blame me for wanting to do more to help? I certainly hope not. For while I sit here snuggling Hollyn and watching Beauty and the Beast for the third time this week (don’t judge; it’s raining, and the girl loves some ‘Be Our Guest’), this boy is suffering. His finger is dying while I throw out three cups of water that my kids didn’t finish. And while I am so very thankful for the fact that I can take a shower any time I want to, it’s not fair that my kids have clean water, while this little boy and countless others don’t.

Terrifying people into a relationship with Jesus from Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like

Probably the worst (and rather hilarious) attempt at sharing salvation I’ve ever heard. Indeed, love is harder than fear, but I’m fairly sure Jesus was a fan of the love thing.

To tell you the truth, terrifying someone into a relationship with God is also easier. Love makes us vulnerable. I have to throw myself out there and be honest and naked and open to getting rejected if love is what I give to you. But fear doesn’t require any of that. I can yell and scream and try to intimidate you without getting hurt or taking any real risks. Love is harder because it demands that I get personally involved in your life. Fear doesn’t carry those same requirements.

What should you teach your kids? from Team Tori

An interesting discussion on how much responsibility parents should assume in teaching their children sensitivity about differences they’ll see in the world….i.e., transracial families, handicapped persons, different religions, etc. I tend to agree with the author, Michelle, that it’s our job as parents to teach empathy, respect, and love.

As an adult, I get asked a lot of questions about adoption or cancer or foster care or the Bachelorette. And I’m happy to talk about these things, but I’m happier when it is phrased like this:

“I’m interested in learning more about adoption. Would you mind if I asked you some questions?”

rather than:

“So you adopted her? What was wrong with her real mom? Did it cost a lot?”

The Truth About Adoption: One Year Later from Jen Hatmaker

For those “starving for truth-tellers in adoption” she is the all-you-can-eat buffet. And while she doesn’t shy away from the times when parents find themselves “haunted, unshowered, unhinged, unmoored,” she’s also wonderfully encouraging and affirming to those considering stepping out into the terrifying journey of international or older-child adoption.

Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting through, and adoption is one of them. I can hardly think of something closer to God’s character, who is the “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” Certainly, we are his difficult children who spaz out and pull away and manipulate and struggle. We distrust His good love and sabotage our blessings, imagining our shame disqualifies us or that God couldn’t possibly be faithful to such orphans.

But He is. We are loved with an everlasting love, and it is enough to overwhelm our own fear and shame and humanity. In adoption, God is enough for us all…

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