Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Linkage

Baby, it's hot outside.

The "real feel" yesterday was 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat was blistering, the sunshine glaring, the humidity oppressive, and hair everywhere in the D.C. area was very flat.

So when you aren't basking in the oppressive Sarhar-ian weather this weekend, sit in some dark, quiet, air-conditioned room and do some reading.

Here is a funny reminder from The Oatmeal common spelling errors, then, from The Wall Street Journal, a commentary about why grammar still matters.

Michael Hyatt provides insight on one way to be radical. Need another reminder? Jane Friedman's blog talks about why it's OK to be naive.

The 99 Percent talks about creativity while Oh So Beautiful Paper provides some creative greeting cards.

The Cardus blog provides suggestions for practicing hospitality in the city while Relevant offers a list of practical ways to meet real needs.

Stay cool!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Our Time Now..."

We are Generation Y, the Millenials, the generation weaned on computers, raised by helicopter parents, kept miles away from lead, and provided with possibly more resources than any other generation anywhere in the history of the world.

We weren't allowed to have cell-phones in junior-high but we sure had them in college. 

We are better educated than previous generations but fewer of us are employed.

We were raised on the notion that we could be and do and go anywhere that we wanted but now we sometimes look like a less-than-mediocre generation of unsatisfied, disgruntled employees.

More of us were supported by our parents for longer, yet, on average, we are financially floundering or at least naively unaware. 

We are both the healthiest and the fattest generation.

We were raised by parents who read to us, but some of us haven't finished a real, meaty, grown-up book in five years. (No, skimming Twilight on your friend's Kindle does not count).

We either love our jobs or we hate them or we just quit them in search of our dream job, but we all are looking for deep meaning and fulfillment at work. None of us seem to be working purely for our retirement benefits or our paychecks.

We are constantly on the move, working too hard, playing too hard, eating too much or too little, living in a world of extremes. We are, in short, thirsty for more, in search of something better than average, in search of good stories, good relationships, good work, and good lives.

Conversations with my friends produce common themes. On the whole, I think common goals among evangelical Millenials are deeply positive, if occasionally misdirected.

We ask ourselves and each other: Why are we working? What is the purpose of work? Who do we marry? Why do we marry? When do we marry? When should we rest? What is rest anyway if not a 30-minute session of Angry Birds? Where should we live? Do we really need to live anywhere in particular? Should we go to grad school? Should we go to grad school again? Should we pay off our student loans? Did anyone vote in the last election? Does anyone even know who is running in the next one?

The generation of children that was told that there are no bad questions has grown into a generation of young adults asking a lot of big questions. 

And this is a good thing.

Idealism is only naivety if disconnected from reality. Abundance is only an evil in conjunction with bad stewardship. Angst can be a motivating force towards action.
Flannery O'Connor wrote, "In the long run, a people is known, not by its statements or its statistics, but by the stories it tells."

This generation of evangelical Millenials has an opportunity, a great opportunity, to tell good stories and, through them, to tell The Best Story. But first we have to put down Angry Birds.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bookish Tuesday: #3-10 of 30 Day Book Challenge

Like Jessica, I feel that the 30 Day Book Challenge is a fun idea but realistically a little painstaking. Here is part of my list en masse

3. Book that makes you laugh out loud: 

A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse

4. Book that makes you cry: 

This is that awkward moment when I have to admit that I'm not a cry-er. Not with books and movies, anyway. Sometimes I cry when I cut onions. I can name two movies, maybe three, that brought me to tears in the last five years. (No, Toy Story 3 did not.) But I definitely remember crying over a chapter of James Herriott's All Creatures Great and Small over a decade ago.

5. Book you wish you could live in: 

Betsy, Tacy, and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace. Deep Valley always seemed like an ideal world for any teenage girl.

6. Favorite young adult book: 

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt and Number the Stars by Lois Lowry both profoundly impacted me. Between the ages of 7 and 12, I think I read Number the Stars six times.

7. Book that you can quote/recite:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

8. Book that scares you:

The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey by Frank Peretti. Yes, it's a book for a junior-high audience. Obviously, I scare easily. I probably should not go see Paranormal Activity

9. Book that makes you sick:

Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This book left me numb. It was thoroughly depressing. It was a beautiful and well-written book, but not really one I want to endure again.

10. Book that changed your life;

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. I've never gotten over this book. It changed the way I view events and circumstances, decisions I've made, and, I hope, my entire outlook on life.

In case you missed them, here are #1 and #2 on my list.

What are your answers?

Monday, June 11, 2012

June's Goals

All sorts of planned things did not happen in May. But all sorts of wonderful things beyond the reach of goals also occurred.

  • I did have a friend and her sweet baby over for dinner. Check.
  • 15 posts? No. But I did blog regularly, which is, I suppose, the point.
  • I completed C.S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man and Jon Acuff's Quitter
  • I practiced...more. Still not enough. The journey continues.
  • I sent some thank-yous and listed some  gifts.

I also enjoyed: 
  • a fabulous visit from the sister and cousin which involved a lot of much-needed girl-time.
  • a memorable trek out to Colorado.
  • our house's annual barbecue, attended this year by over a hundred people.
Yes, despite clumsily achieved goals, May was a glorious month. I can't wait to see what the summer holds.

Goals for June:
  • Try a few new recipes.
  • Write 15 blog posts.
  • My next class is looming near. I'd like to jump-start some of the assigned reading.
  • Complete Jane Austen's Sandition, William Deresiewicz's A Jane Austen Education, and Emily Freeman's Grace for the Good Girl. I also plan to attempt anew Victor Hugo's Les Miserables
  • Get into some kind of regular practice routine.