Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Soup: Meaningful Conversation and Birthday Cake

Meaningful Conversation Can Change the World

I think the thing I miss the most in my big-girl life is the lack of meaningful conversation with other adults.  It's not for lack of trying.  It's the constant interruptions, the noise, the endless needs from little people and though I have built up a pretty healthy tolerance for noise and am able to multitask while hanging on for life to a conversation, inevitably the eyes of the person I am talking with will begin to glaze over, and they will start to fidget and lose concentration and finally look at me like I-didn't-understand-a-word-you-just-said.

Last night was not one of those nights and I happily spent that extra hour, plus five more, doing exactly the thing I love most: having a good conversation. I am going to choose to think of Daylight Savings as the start of a new era of life with children that includes adult conversation and adult beverages and children who entertain themselves. (Thanks, Jo and Larry- can we plan this every Saturday?)

It is why we read books and the reason we blog and check facebook, yes, sometimes compulsively- to know that we aren't alone.  And all of these things are good but none can replace what an hour or six of in-the-flesh meaningful conversation can do.

Related, I loved this post, Beautiful Disagreement at Jennie Allen Blog.
Recently I sat at a real life dinner table- not a virtual one- with friends who represented every end of every spectrum. But at that table with the deepest and best of conversations, we were women who loved Jesus, drinking wine and eating beautiful food and chasing God like He still contained mystery. We didn’t agree on everything but we could have disagreed for decades because it was so beautiful to disagree with people you love so much.
These kinds of beautiful disagreements were life-changing conversations for me.  I am ever grateful for the people who were able to gently disagree with me and love me anyway. In this season of polarizing politics I have to wonder if people shouting the loudest have ever shared their dinner table with a person on the other side of the issue.  Meaningful Conversation Can Change the World.

Greg Boyd on abortion
There is nothing distinctly Kingdom about having all the right opinions in the world about what governmentshould do. But when a person like Dorothy instead asks, “What can do?” that reflects the beauty of a life over which God reigns.

Busy and Busier at the Atlantic
 So then we walk around with what I call the GSA of life—the Gnawing Sense of Anxiety that something out there might be more important than what you’re currently doing. You don’t remember what it is, but it might be more important than whatever you’re doing, so you’re not present anywhere. You’re at work worrying about home, and you’re at home worrying about work, and you’re neither place psychologically when you’re there physically. That’s hugely undermining of your productivity, and certainly adds hugely to the stress factor.

 Prayers in the Garden insert book throwing moment
My friend Shannon, one of my favorite people in the world, has been writing out her faith and grief through the loss of her newborn baby, Ella. Her words are honest and bring me to tears. This post was especially beautiful.

My brother Joe:

Madden 4

We remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the church, the holy nation that transcends all human-made walls, boundaries and borders.
As we gather at the table, we remember that the power to redeem, to save, and to transform comes not from atop the seat of power but from within the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Today I made this pumpkin coffee cake with brown sugar glaze for our church potluck.  And it was good.

After throwing out one leftover birthday cake to make another this week, and another cake in-between, we are so over birthday cake. Thought I would share our family's tradition for birthday cakes: (food dye alert) the birthday child gets to choose the cake color and what color frosting she wants, and she helps make the cake.  Add food dye to boxed cake mix, stir.  Frosting recipe: 1/2 cup softened butter with 2 2/3 c. powdered sugar, a little vanilla, splash of milk, add food dye, stir.  Revolutionary, I know.  Our friend Jody gave us this idea for colored birthday cakes, and the kids love it.  Super simple, and cheap= great birthday tradition.

Happy #5 Anna Joy!

a blessed Sabbath to you, friends!

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