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Friday, August 12, 2016

Parenting, Prayer, and Papa

I'm heading out soon for a much-anticipated week away on vacation, but before I drop the mic, I wanted to share a few resources that I found especially useful this week. Not sure how they all relate to one another, but they sure reflect the varied things I'm always working on.

Common Prayer ~ free app! In my post from the end of July, I noted some reliable devotional resources I have taken advantage of for years. Soon after, I received an update about one of my favorites, generated by New Monasticism leaders Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Shane Claiborne. I've used my hardcover copy of Common Prayer since the day it was released in 2010, and access the website almost everyday. But this past week I received news that their app for iPhone/iPad had recently been released for free! Pass along this great news to everyone and use it to create spiritual connection and intimacy among your friends and leaders.

Child Leaving for College is Like Labor All Over Again. This was published in our local alternative weekly, and I thought it really captured the angst that many parents feel especially at this time of year as their beloved offspring enter this crucial transition into adulthood and leave the nest. The subtitle says it all: "Hey, can I get an epidural here?" If you work with youth and their families, this article provides a good laugh (and perhaps a few sympathetic tears), and best of all, an invitation to talk more.

Two Homes, One Childhood: Co-Parenting After Divorce. Another, more jarring parental transition comes when parents separate and/or divorce. Perhaps through your work or maybe in your own life, you have to walk with someone through this painful journey. This podcast episode provides some excellent, though at times poignant, insights.

Need Help with Your Writing and Editing? I'm working with a client on crafting a mission statement, and I always see the first draft or three as an opportunity to throw all the spaghetti on the wall and not wordsmith too much. But eventually you need to be brutal with your precious creation and get real. I found this great page of Hemingway quotes to get my editing groove on, and sent it to my client as well. This also feeds my eternal English major heart! You may or may not know that Hemingway's nickname was "Papa" ... I had a professor in my 20th century lit course who described Papa's writing style as "never use ten words when one will do." As someone who can tend to suffer from "verbal diarrhea," this website is a great motivator (and wake-up call?)

Final thoughts. I read this this morning:

He prays well who is so absorbed with God that he does not know he is praying.
    ... Francois de Sales (1567-1622)

As I noted in my journal, "I have brief moments of this, but certainly pray for many more." Ironically, to pray like this is something like becoming humble; the second I actually achieve humility, all is lost! In other words, it is a goal that I cannot reach consciously or willfully. Such connection with God comes on his terms, and through ongoing relationship and intimacy rather than through goal-setting or to-do lists. So my wish for you is to... be absorbed with God, I guess. Godspeed!

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