Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

11
Jan
13

But someone is wrong on the internet!!!

I like people. Individually, every one of us is a unique puzzle. We all have a story and each one is interesting. Collectively, we are generally pretty amusing, too, but in a different way. I enjoy learning peoples likes and dislikes. I find individual reasons to be thoroughly fascinating. We all do what we think is the right thing to do, and for moral issues, I do believe that there is right and there is wrong. With methods, however, often there is no one right answer for every situation. We see this manifested in about a million and one different ways. It ranges in importance from what type of shoe we prefer to wear all the way over to (the oh so hot topics of) parenting practices. Of course, anything can become a moral issue (just as wine in of itself is no sin, we can make it one for ourselves), but more often then not, it simply comes down to preferences. One thing I have become quite convicted of is that women, generally, need to approach diversity more like men.

Men don’t tend to take their differences personally. My husband has a friend who is really into Terry Pratchett novels. My husband enjoys some of them, but is not gung-ho. He is more of a read a history book on the Peloponnesian wars for funsies kinda guy, but back to the point… I know that if my husband out and out hated Terry Pratchett novels, that there would be no awkwardness or breach of fellowship between the two men. They would probably give one another a hard time about it, poking fun, one upping, but all in good spirits, being able to enjoy and even applaud well worded gibes. It isn’t a sin to dislike Terry Prachett. It causes no rift between them and I admire that. Of course if my husband was all gung-ho about, say, 50 Shades of Grey, well, that would probably change their friendship, not because of the difference in taste, but the moral philosophy of the novel. We all do what we do for a good reason. If we don’t know why we do what we do, that is different problem. But philosophy and methodology aren’t the same thing. Some people get them confused, or sometimes they accidentally idolize a method into part of their philosophy. The two parts play off one another, for sure, and it is healthy to fellowship with people who have philosophies that are pleasing in God’s sight, but we need to remember not to made gods out of  our preferences. It is not a sin to have preferences. In fact, it is good to have them, especially when it comes to what you will or won’t let your teenage daughter wear, but as Christian women, we should not allow ourselves to let them become our religion.

For example, my two closest friends are women who have very opposite approaches to (look out!!) birthing methods. One prefers home birth, the other prefers the whole hospital experience. I’ve done both, and certainly have preferences, but I also see the appeal to the other approach. Obviously, we  all have different opinions about what environment and resources we want our baby born in and  we all practice our preferences. This has not once cause strife in the friendship, to the best my knowledge. In fact, it is often the subject of our jokes. We are each confident in our decisions and don’t allow our preference to be part of our identity, which means that nobody is threatened or feels the need to get worked up over our differences. In short, we handle this difference in a manner more often seen in men then in women. Both my friends visited me when I had a hospital birth and when I had a home birth. They were happy for me despite our differences and we could fellowship freely. Sadly, often I have seen this subject in particular create barriers in fellowship between women. Even topics of lesser gravity; cosleeping, cio, cribs, breastfeeding and all the controversy that surrounds it, VBAC, formula, EBF, child led weaning, ERF, even what kinds of food we feed our families (special diets like organic, vegetarian, factory farmed, or the more extreme), or what cleaners we like to use, favorite tv shows and books. When it comes to women, it seems like if you have a preference, there is always someone out there who is hell bent on making sure you know you are wrong for choosing it. Sometimes all it takes is a passing comment to set off a barrage of passive aggressive (or just plain aggressive) arguments on why what you think isn’t optimal in their sight. It can be maddening and exhausting to have to strategize everything you say to avoid conflict. We should always think before we speak, but that is not the same thing as tip toeing around subjects. If someone has to tiptoe around you, eventually, they will grow weary of it and go elsewhere to fellowship. We should be able to disagree in an honest, gracious and God glorifying way. In my opinion, if you can’t disagree with someone amicably, then you probably shouldn’t be voicing your opinions at all. Feel free to disagree with me, though….

Admittedly, it is a work in progress for myself. I do some work online interacting with women I don’t personally know  on a daily basis, which is why this issue comes to my attention repeatedly. Often I’ll see women who are asking for help on a topic, but have to preface their question with “please don’t bash me for this”, and unfortunately, that preface is smart (although often ineffective). I once saw a woman respond that you probably had made the wrong choice if you had to ask people not to bash you for it. “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) No, I am not equating internet arguments with Christ dying for a sins, but the point is effective, even when you are doing the right thing, someone is gonna bash you for it. I’ve even heard it said that if you are a Christian and someone isn’t mad at you, you aren’t doing it right. That one has kept my brain busy for some time now.

It is Up to You

So application, which is going to be flimsy since I’m a newbie, myself, but here goes:

  • Don’t moralize non-moral issues. If you feel yourself getting worked up over someone elses preferences, even if they worded it indelicately and thereby practically asked for an argument, it is probably a good idea to examine your position, thoughts and motives and make sure they are glorifying to God.
  • When writing, texting or typing (any medium where the recipient isn’t right in front of you), imagine your audience is sitting next to you. One of the biggest problems with the internet is that it allows anonymity, which is very, very bad. We all need accountability. We are sinners by nature and being allowed to do, or say things without consequences is just asking for trouble! You are you, you are a child of God, don’t say something you’d never say to a person face to face. Also recognize that often online, you aren’t just speaking to one person, you are speaking to literally thousands and you can’t pick who does or does not see what you have said.
  • Train yourself to be more neutral on non-moral topics. This one is a bit tricky since we all have reasons for our preferences. The most helpful thing I have found is to remember that with methods, what I find best for my situation may not be best for this other situation. So if someone asks for advice, give it, but give it in a way that your preferences don’t become a moral high-ground. Avoiding inflammatory language is also a helpful way to smooth rough waters and reestablish camaraderie.
  • Defend whoever is getting pummelled, regardless of your personal preference. We are God’s people. We are called to protect the weak. Anytime someone is getting the snot beaten out of them and you can take a hit for them, do it, but do it in a way where you are blameless, which is much easier said then done. Don’t sin. Just don’t. If you can’t protect someone weaker than you without having to apologize later, then you need to level up your skills. Don’t pass an opportunity by to glorify God  because you are unprepared. Make sure you have the time, energy, and attention (this means no neglecting the responsibilities put before you to take care of a problem over there) to engage prior to getting involved. As a general rule, I try not to log on until my chores are done and, if my children are awake at the time, I am prepared to put the computer aside at a moments notice.
  • And lastly, man up. You need to be prepared for people to disagree with you, and you need to be prepared for them to do so in an ungracious way. If your children, family, home, attitude, chores, or ability to fellowship with “haters” is going to be effected by interacting with them, it is better not to get involved at all. Basically, if hubby comes home to find you in a mood or weeping due to an online altercation, you aren’t a good candidate for online discussions.

It is a lot of work to disagree in a Godly way. Sometimes I am tempted to not bother at all, but that would be a cop out for me. I know I can glorify God more by learning the discipline of kindly discussing topics and defending the weaker online, and as long as that doesn’t interfere with my immediate responsibilities (as I mentioned above) it is healthy..(.and sometimes I can make money doing it ;-)) I have learned and continue to learn how to proof myself against letting disagreements get to me. It has taken time and deliberate planning and I know sometimes I have failed. I try not to get online or read inflammatory articles when I am especially tired, or feeling particularly contrary. Like I mentioned before, I get my house cleaned up, and laundry in the machine, kids down for naps or playing happily in the real world before jumping into the digital world. I’m learning not to be easily offended. Learning not to be unnecessarily aggressive and yet not be a doormat.   Learning what battles are worth the fight and which ones to ignore. It’s a work in progress, but it is one to consider working on, at the very least, it is something to be aware of.

I’m not trying to “jump” on anyone in particularly. I am not referring to any single instance. I am not trying to be unkind and I certainly don’t consider myself an expert on the topic. I’ve been in chat rooms (which I tend to avoid now because I don’t have that kind of uninterrupted time to devote) and online forums and blogs for roughly 15 years. This is simply a problem I’ve noticed crop up regularly.

So tell me, what tips do you have for interacting online without loosing your identity in Christ?

06
Aug
12

Summer Scents

For a more subtle aroma, try mixing a tablespoon of your favorite lotion (citrus ones work beautifully for this) with 5oz of warm water into a spray bottle. Shake to mix and spritz away! I love this method for an everyday smell that isn’t overwhelming or expensive. 

Image

The picture is of my Mirabelle. It has absolutely nothing to do with smells except that she usually smells good.  
01
Jul
11

super burgers

I have always hated hamburgers, especially homemade ones. Dry, briquette like patties with mediocre condiments and, well, I never even noticed the buns, that’s how interesting I found them. My opinion has changed a bit since we discovered this recipe in Everyday FOOD for feta stuffed BLT burgers. We serve these with the traditional mayo/mustard/ketchup combo because some people (particularly my husband) can’t do without the sauces. One day I will find a sauce to rival Carl’s Jr (I set a high bar, huh?).

Last night we had friends over for dinner and I’d forgotten to buy buns, so I used this recipe from my friend Katie’s food blog. Because we like our burgers big, I used 4 oz portions rather than the recommended 3 oz, and I opted for oil and buttermilk. I think this gave us 10 hamburger buns and I topped some with sesame seeds, some with poppy seeds, and some I left plain. I was quite pleased with how well they turned out.

While I did notice a distinct lack of dry, sauce soaked “bread”, I have to say I wasn’t completely wowed by the change that homemade buns gave to the burgers. The moister, denser bun was nice, but I think next time I will try adding garlic or onion powder or putting onions on top or something. But, the overall effect was great and I think we might want to check our love for bigger burgers. I only made it 2/3 of the way through mine, and I think my husband hurt himself by finishing his.

15
Mar
10

Fetal Gastronomy

No more food posts from me for a while. Yup, Carnahan Baby #3 is to make its debut this November, so you’ll have to forgive me if I ixnay oodfay for a while. So far I’ve only been nauseous, but we hit week 6 yesterday so I’m preparing for a bumpy but wildly rewarding year of eating only for survival. 🙂 In other news, Miss Mira (16 months) has learned to climb…everything. I found her on the bathroom sink the other day. What did you do to climber proof your homes or did you at all?

26
Feb
10

cream whippers

….are something everyone ought to have. I thought about making a concession to people who may be watching their caloric intake, but I’ve decided not to. Even those people need these, if only for use on their Sunday morning cup of coffee. If you’re going to watch your intake all week, then the day that you can splurge ought to be done in the most enthusiastic way possible. With fresh whipped cream.

Cream whippers are also vital to any kitchen that ever serves children. Need a way to add a bit of pizzazz to pancakes? Fresh whipped cream. Chocolate milk? Fresh whipped cream. Fruit salad? Hot chocolate? Pound cake? You get the idea. And using a cream whipper instead of whipping it up in a kitchen aid or other stand mixer gives you the ability to make fun designs and stuff to make it all the more exciting and special.

And for those of you who are not watching your caloric intake (at least not too closely!) – ah, let me tell you of the joys that a cream whipper can bring. Coffee. Desserts. Waffles. Chai spice rice pudding. The possibilities are endless, and the convenience is unmatched when you have your own cream whipper waiting for you in your fridge, ready to dispense this cloudy creamy goodness.

Why not just buy the cans of whipped cream? Well, first of all, they don’t taste as good. Secondly, you can’t be creative with them. When you mix up your own, you can add anything! Think vanilla syrup, for starters. Then branch out to hazelnut. Now start thinking about things like dark spiced rum when mixing up a batch for your pumpkin pies this fall. You can mix pretty much anything in to give your whipped cream that one of a kind delicious flavor.

Cost. It can be daunting. You could spend anywhere from $30 to $150 on a cream whipper. So maybe you ask for it for Mother’s Day or Christmas. For the cook who has it all, this is a great gift.

What size? I was given this whipper for Christmas. The half pint works well, but the pint sized one would be nice. You use the same sized chargers for the half pint and pint, so with the pint you’re getting a much better value out of each charger. The cream lasts in the whipper for two weeks (or so I’ve heard – mine has always been used up well before the two or even one week mark!), so you don’t have to worry about it spoiling. Also, if you have guests over it would be nice to have the larger size – my half pint barely made enough to garnish 3 cups of coffee and 5 pieces of chocolate torte.

So put it on your wish list or send your husband/kids a link to this post as a not-so-subtle-hint. Then you too can enjoy honey vanilla pound cake like this.

21
May
09

Evangeline Audrey

Born to Andrew & Betsy
5/20/2009 at 8:56 pm
7 lbs 3 oz
19.5 inches

08
Oct
08

absences…

I’ve been sick for the past week or so, hence the lack of posting. And with Abra only a few days from her due date, I have a feeling that posts might be a little thinner here for a little while longer. Thanks for bearing with us!




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