Show & Tell: Bloggy Depth & Breadth

I'm continually amazed at the breadth and depth of the blogosphere... there is so much to learn, so much to read, so much to challenge and encourage. Here's some of the good stuff I've come across in the last week or two.

Take a break and pick out some (or all) of these articles to read... I hope you enjoy these great reads as much as I have. Seriously, I know I probably say this every time... but this Show & Tell is FULL of great articles. ~Jess

Some deeper analysis of HOT-BUTTON ISSUES:

  • MYTH OF ADOLESCENCE: [In a recent "teach your children about sex" post, I went off on a tangent about the term "teenagers" that was interesting to many of you.] Here's a GREAT summary of how the adolescent years have sadly declined to become seen as years that are expected to be wasted away, when "teens" are really capable of much, much more. Written by one of the Harris brothers (who was himself a teenager when he wrote this), it's a great read. Click to read the "Myth of Adolescence".
  • Barbara Curtis, of "MommyLife" blog fame, wrote an interesting article in Crosswalk called, "Why Some Evangelicals Are Throwing out Birth Control." Regardless of where you fall on the issue, it's a good read.
  • What did the leaders of the Protestant Reformation think about birth control?, you might ponder from time to time. Well, maybe not. But if you're interested in reading a fairly concise summary of how Reformers dealt with the birth control issue, this article is definitely worth reading.
  • Another example of pets taking priority over people. Blegh!
  • SELECTIVE ABORTION: How a mother could casually choose one child over another and then continue to raise and "love" the "chosen" child is absolutely beyond me... Terry has written a great article about this horrifying issue of our day.
  • Newsweek has a heartbreaking and eye-opening article about the continued sexualization of American young daughters, and how it played out at Halloween this year.
  • Linda Hirschman has gotten a lot of ink and airtime over the last year by blasting homemaking women. But my bloggy friend over at "The Cappuccino Life" has highlighted an interesting hypocrisy in feminist circles. A WOMAN who stays home with her children is often degraded and made fodder for derision, but a MAN who stays home with his children is praised to the heavens. She points out that, according to their thinking, homemaking is fulfilling... but only if you're a dad!
Political Commentary from women like us:
  • Elizabeth considers the Presidential race in her article: POLAR BEARS OR ABORTED CHILDREN? This interesting article examines the choices we have to make when ranking our priorities in the political races that are coming up. For her, it's how does her environmental concerns stack up against her desire to see abortion end. For you, it may be something different- but it's a good read.
  • Tamara asks, "Is America Ready for a President in a Skirt?" (just a hint: she ain't talking about Hillary)
CONSIDER THESE ARTICLES, examining the breadth of the life of a Christian woman, in order from young womanhood to death:
  • Bekah has written a great article about walking in freedom after being raised in legalism.
  • I've been enjoying wearing skirts much more often this last six months, and found this post with some pretty (read: not frumpy) options for wearing skirts, particularly in the colder months. (I especially like the cute greenish plaid one halfway down.)
  • Anna of Domestic Felicity wrote a great article about her own experience of courtship as a young woman with an imperfect past... "Courtship with a Difficult Background". Let this be a reminder to all of us as we raise our children... to not be closed off towards imperfection in our children or their potential mates, as though we ourselves are without flaw.
  • Amy Jane has an EXCELLENT article for young women preparing for marriage: HERE COMES THE WEDDING NIGHT. Even if you're already married, you'll want to bookmark this one or print it out for a young woman you know or to save for your own daughter... she has done a very thorough job of addressing real issues surrounding preparation for the wedding night.
  • Justin Taylor and his wife have adopted two children and are in process to adopt another. His article about adoption has compiled some very interesting information about adoption-- how Muslims view adoption, how Christians should see adoption, and biblical basis for adopting. VERY interesting read.
  • The illusion of "The Perfect Family". This pride in perfection (of behavior, spirituality, etc.) is a very common problem that I've seen among homeschooling families I've known- and something we try hard to avoid. Having super-human expectations sets our kids up for failure and ultimately, for rejection of our "fake" and "forced" faith. Here's a couple of interesting quotes that sum up some of my thoughts as well:
    "It is vital that our children understand the “why” behind our actions and decisions and if we are too proud or busy to take the time to be open about these things, we will breed rebellion."

    "Unrealistic expectations have a very real and detrimental side effect… anger. When perceived expectations and standards aren’t met, anger follows, and it can destroy a family."
Interesting stuff. Now, for the humorous end to this Show & Tell... today I've got two "laughs" for you...

Amy's son's failure to READ directions, AND a Wal-Mart cake decorator's failure to FOLLOW directions.

They're both hilarious-- so check em out. Happy, happy reading! :) (And let me know what you think about all or any of these links, if you get the chance!)


Terry said...

I so enjoyed "The Myth of Adolescence". Thank you for sharing it.

Anna S said...

Jess, I have read some of those articles already, and look forward to reading more of them, as time allows! I'm glad you found interest in my post about courtship. I feel this is something many young women struggle with after they decide to correct their ways.

Brenda said...

How did you have the patience/time to link all these articles???

I will have to come back when I have time. The 8 year old like wants to learn something and won't leave me alone! Sheesh!

Nancy said...

Hi Jess,

I enjoyed all the links... this is my favorite feature in your blog. I really loved the 2 "laughs" at the end--they were priceless!


Lady Why said...

These are some terrific articles! I especially loved "Polar Bears or Aborted Children".

And, that Halloween article was right on the money! I was shocked at some of the costumes I saw in stores this Halloween!

Thank you for all the wonderful links!

*~Tamara~* said...

Ha! You linked to the one thing on my blog that will scare them to death when they open it. *grin*

That cake has me cracking up. :-P

:..Rebekah..: said...

I really like the article about how low expectations can set our children up for poor behavior and character. I think it's common for people to expect children to act immature in their relationships with siblings and other children, so instead of using their behavior to point out the state of their heart, we ignore it, when we can use it as an opportunity to teach and train them about the great commandment to love others. I am encouraged to keep a check on myself in presenting my expectations to my children on a regular basis, and not that they are just my expectations, but that they are what we know that God expects from his love and to be kind.
Thanks for the links!

Amy Jane (Untangling Tales) said...

Hey, thanks for the link. Wow you've got a lot of readers.

I thought the evangelicals giving up bc article was interesting in theory, but didn't feel like it said very much for its length.

I couldn't decide if I was disappointed or relieved by that.

Jess said...

It does take time, but I'm willing to take the time to do all the links because I read this stuff anyway, and like being a channel through which other moms can read it too!

I'm glad this is someone's favorite feature-- like I said to Brenda, it takes time, but it's worth it for me to see all the people clicking on all these links (in my sitemeter, I can see where people go... I'm like a blog spy!). ;)

It took me a while to stop laughing over the cake link too. Hysterical.

You are SOOOO dead-on about how expectations craft the interactions of the home. When we EXPECT our kids not to like each other, we won't be surprised and won't be proactive when they argue. But if we EXPECT our kids to work through their disagreements and differences and love each other and serve each other in love, we can get such a different result. Expectations are something we try to evaluate a lot around our home-- it's such an important but often overlooked aspect of parenting.

Amy Jane,
If you want more information on the evangelicals/birth control issue from her perspective, go to Barbara Curtis' MommyLife blog... she is a woman who can talk and I listen because she actually lives it-- not just accepting children that come her way, but actively choosing to parent children who others would reject (they've adopted 2 or 3 children with Down Syndrome). I think the article was more of a broad overview for a major publication rather than an attempt to get into specifics.

Thanks for all the comments- glad you guys enjoy this feature- cause I like sharing all my finds! :)