Feb 4, 2017

Minimalism; Parenting; Pro-life (Off-site Highlights)

(Compiled by Anna)

Dear Readers,

Here are some excellent pieces to add to your weekend reading.

By the way, thanks to everyone who entered texts for the theologically-correct Valentine contest! Check back here on the 7th to vote for your favorite entry.

1. I am a believer in decluttering. However, in this fascinating piece, the author links minimalism with lack of respect for the material (including for human bodies).  
Minimalism Gets It Wrong by Michael Rennier
There are no shortcuts. Advertising that creates a false sense of desirability only leaves the consumer disillusioned and ready to quickly move on when advertising offers a newer, fancier model. On the other hand, getting rid of everything is a rejection of the goodness of the created world, which leaves us not more spiritually free but bereft and blinded. . . . The answer isn’t Minimalism. The answer is moderation and love. More

2. We modern parents are the recipients not just of an abundance of official advice, but of the message that we had better get this parenting thing right, by golly. Sometimes it's hard not to be cowed or confused by all the (sometimes contradictory) pressure. That's why I heartily recommend acquiring the perspective that comes with reading about parenting in other eras. Some tidbits of period advice still ring true. Others sound laughably horrifying. Both help us realize that our own experts might not be right. Take a look at this once-popular manual of advice for parents, written by a political activist, novelist, and self-help guru of the first half of the Nineteenth Century. 
The Mother's Book by Lydia Child (1831)

3. My Facebook feed is pretty political right now. I thought this article about stepping beyond meme-posting and helping prevent abortion is a helpful read. 
4 Ways To Stop Arguing About Abortion And Start Preventing It by Cara Valle
What if you don’t know anyone who’s considering abortion? Help the single mothers you know anyway. It will help give hope to women who feel unsupported. If the norm is for single mothers to be left on their own — forced to sacrifice one of their children for the others — then they will be more likely to seek abortion. If the norm is for good people to offer provide legitimate, effective assistance, they will be more likely to have the courage to keep an unborn child and not view it as a threat to their older children’s well-being.

4. On a related rate, it is highly encouraging to know that abortion rates are down.

5. Does our culture have a bias against adoption? It's worth considering Elizabeth Kirk's points about challenging this bias. 
We Need to Talk About Adoption by Elizabeth Kirk
"Indeed, adoptions are so rare as to be a statistical blip [compared to abortions]. Why is this so? There are myriad factors, such as the influence of the media (which loves a sensational negative adoption story) and the prevailing culture, shaped by the perception that abortion liberates women, which makes adoption unpopular. Women considering abortion report “adoption is not a realistic option for them. . . . [T]he thought of one’s child being out in the world without knowing if it was being taken care of or by whom would induce more guilt than having an abortion.” Some argue there is a soft stigma against adoption, or worse, that adoption is an unnatural, heartless choice on the part of the birthmother." More

7. The majority of abortions are procured by single moms who already have children and cannot fathom caring for another. Leila Lawler's post points to the solution. 
"There is no other plan ~ Marriage is the plan" by Leila Lawler
Abortion is the result of forgetting that God had a plan for man and woman. 
It’s not a terrible evil that befalls the child randomly. 
Rather, abortion on the scale that we witness today in America is the logical consequence of forgetting that a baby is meant to be the expression of love between a man and a woman who have pledged themselves to unity. 
Marriage is the solution to abortion.

8. Interested in the changing demographics and sociology of the LCMS (including the question, "Why is LCMS membership declining?")? There are some interesting new reports and resources here.

9. Did you know that Luther wrote a little book on prayer for his barber? 


  1. Thank-you for the recommended reads! I was particularly inspired by Lydia Child's "The Mother's Book". A rich read indeed. I wish I had read this before my first child was born but grateful I can still develop and mature as a mother as I take to heart wise instruction even now as I have three in tow. Yes, some of the ideas are "laughingly horrifying", but most are remarkably applicable to the modern mother. I appreciated Child's emphasis on our responsibility as mothers to govern our own thoughts and emotions with the understanding of our influence in our homes and hearts of our children (and husbands). We have much influence in how we respond and what we do. Your blog has so many quality references and reads. So wonderful!

    1. So much influence that it's kind of scary, isn't it?


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