Showing posts from May, 2011

Working Women Still "Keepers of the Home"

When it comes to choosing a spouse, there is so much to consider – not the least of which includes role expectations within household duties.

It seems like everywhere I look lately, I’ve been getting the same message: when it comes to being a “keeper of the home,” women have still got it – whether they want it or not.

Shawn Bean deals with this topic in a recent article from Parenting magazine titled “Help Has No Fury”...

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The Trip West: Day 4

We’ve been driving through California since yesterday afternoon.
For most of today, we’ve been driving through towns with names I’ve heard as long as I can remember. Modesto. Madera. Fresno. Sacramento.
Last night, we ate at a pizza parlor my dad frequented as a teen. This morning, we drove by his old home. Orchards now cover the ground that once supported his family turkey farm. Fields stretch out where barns once shaded the earth.
As I write this, we are driving north to my mom’s childhood home. My family has moved many times during my life, but my grandparents have lived in the same house since 1964. I remember the way their cement walk felt under my 5-year-old toes.
Driving into California is almost like coming home. It’s the first place I identified with. It’s the first home I located on a map. California held the first chapters of my parent’s stories, and it’s where mine began.
And yet, it’s not a home where I belong anymore. It’s like finding an old glove that, when I slip my hand …

The Trip West: Day 2

Today we took a small rest from our break-neck pace to enjoy the wild beauty of Arizona. The seemingly endless vistas reminded me of a somewhat recent article from Transpositions titled "Natural Beauty, Frontiers, and God" by L. Clifton Edwards:

Despite all of humankind’s progress, we have never lost our desire to dwell in the ever elusive frontiers of beauty and knowledge. And for Maurice Merleau-Ponty, the entire sensible and knowable world is a ‘frontier,’ a ‘horizon,’ that catches us up and includes us within its own being and purpose.Perhaps it is with good reason, then, that Augustine called creation ‘divine art.’ In theConfessions, Augustine also said that he posed his questions to the world in the form of his attention. The response that he received from the world was its beauty. If nature can speak in such a way, then Wordsworth was right to view it, as he said he did, with ‘pregnant vision.’ Does natural beauty speak to us symbolically of the divine, through images …

The Trip West: Day 1

We headed west yesterday morning. After staying up until nearly 1 a.m. and not being able to sleep until at least 2 a.m., I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to pack up the ice chests and pile into the minivan with the other six members of my family.
The day started with the radio threatening to give out, but it pulled itself together enough to fill the morning with several hours of ‘70s tunes. Once again, I have found it true that the best memories are made to the sound of James Taylor.
Yesterday’s route took us through Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and across New Mexico. As I watched the Ozark Hills fade into rolling plains, level into prairies and then rise into rugged desert mesas, I kept thinking of my great-grandmother. Lavola Jean Mills was raised in the Petty Jean Mountains of the Arkansas Ozarks, a couple hours south of where I live now. She left the hills as a young woman when she ran away with my great-grandfather to California where they worked in the shipyards during WWII.
Though I ha…

Meditations on Spring Cleaning

Over the past two weeks, I (along with several family members) have been in the process of spring cleaning our house.
It never ceases to amaze me how much dust, clutter, and general mess finds its way into forgotten corners of a house. Typically we deep clean the house every six months, and regardless of how tidy everything looks at the outset, the end result is that the house was much worse than I originally thought.

So too this spring.

As I vacuumed flocks of dust-bunnies from beneath beds, I thought to myself that dust is rather like sin. It is almost simple to keep things tidy on the surface. Repentance for obvious wrongs is like feather dusting the furniture -- things always seems quite clean. Yet, it's all too easy to get lax about what is hidden, to forget about the closet corners and back rooms of our minds and hearts.

A good spring cleaning is necessary for both a well-kept house and well-kept heart

Are Women Really That Complicated?

A few weeks ago, a friend posted a link on my Facebook wall to a photo titled “Man and Woman in Computer Form.” I clicked the photo thumbnail and found myself looking at two control panels. One, labeled “Man,” contained an on/off switch. The other, labeled “Woman” contained 40 colored knobs and buttons, complete with blinking lights.

You’ve probably seen the picture I’m describing. It has come through my Facebook feed several times in the last weeks. On StumbleUpon alone, it has been viewed over four million times and received over one thousand comments. Apparently, something about the old “women are so much more complicated than men” cliché really resonates with people...
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Patiently Holding Out

This spring, I’ve taken up jogging. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is to me.

I gave up on running at the age of 10, simply because I was not good at it. I tried. I failed. End of story.

I’ve never thought of myself as a quitter. When I was growing up, my mother would often quote the proverb, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” In most areas, I have done my very best to prove that statement true. Whatever the goal, I would persevere...
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The Foundation of Marriage: Friendship vs. Eros

To the Ancients, Friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it...

~ C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
As I was battling boredom this afternoon, I decided to get caught up on Boundless. In today's article, "Making A Good Marriage," Steven Garber argues that friendship is the best foundation for marriage. The idea certainly isn't a knew one, but Garber argues it beautifully. 
I was committed to trying to be different, to trying for the first time in my young life to enter into friendship with the young women of my life with no other motive than to love them unselfishly. In a word, to be a friend.That required that I repent of the language that had so skewed my relationships through adolescence, particularly the notion that categorized some girls as "friends" and some as "girlfriends." They were different kinds of girls; everyone knew that, and never the…