Sunday, September 23, 2012

A different kind of church

Sunday mornings have never been about sleeping in around my house.  Except for instances of college, illness, or vacation, Sunday mornings have been up-and-at-em time for church.  Today, both my husband and I are under the weather.  Not enough to stay in bed, but enough not to bring our germs to church.  Which is good, because since my son is feeling just fine, staying in bed is not an option anyway.

So after breakfast today, I went out for a walk.  It's a sunny, cold morning, enough that I could cover my bed-head with a hat, but not so cold that it was unpleasant. I haven't been exercising much lately because of my work schedule, so it's just as well that I wasn't up for a full jog today.  With some good tunes in my headphones, turned down just low enough to hear the birds, and some alone time to hear myself think, I got to spend some time churching in a whole different way.  I missed seeing my church family today, but sometimes it's good to change it up a little and see things when it's quiet.  Happy Sunday, all.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Power (?)

I took a few minutes in between cooking and laundry, ironically enough, to read an article in the Chicago Tribune today about power.  The article, "Women and Power", explored the definition of power that is met by the women on the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list, and whether Forbes' definition of "money, access, and connections," is really the measure we should be using.  Not surprisingly, most, but not all, of the women on the list have more money at their disposal than the rest of us.

Of course, first there had to be some talk about the disparity between men and women, the difference in the standards to which they are held, the corporate boy's club, etc.  I didn't find this as interesting as I did the quotes from a few very intelligent women that were interviewed about what they thought of this list.  First, a woman named Nilay Yapici, who is a "postdoctural fellow in the laboratory of neurogenetics and behavior at The Rockefeller University in New York."  I'm going to go out on a short limb here and guess that this woman is brilliant.  While her point of view that there should be more scientists and researchers on that list is certainly biased towards her profession, I think she is spot on.  She asked, "Who is really powerful: the person who gives the money, or the person who has the idea and makes the discovery?"  According to Forbes it's the money.  But I tend to agree with her underlying point, the people that make it happen aren't given nearly enough credit.  Obviously the research doesn't exist without the funding, and having the position to control where the funding goes gives that power, but shouldn't the brain that solves the problem get some too?

Next they asked psychotherapist Simone Kornfeld, (again, probably pretty smart) about supermodel Gisele Bundchen holding the number 83 spot.  First she noted that while Bundchen may be a very savvy businesswoman, her presence on this list is an acknowledgement of the "reality that beauty is power."  Whether we agree that it should be or not, I would bet that most women who grew up in this American society would have a similar reaction to mine: smirk.....pppfffttt.......shake of the head......sigh.....ain't that the truth.  But where Simone Kornfeld goes next fascinated me.  The article says that having Bundchen on that list "probably provoked the most eye rolls."  She says, "We push women to have beauty all the time, and then we get mad at them when they do."  It's such a sad statement, but I believe she is right.  Girls are pushed to reach an impossible standard, and when 99% of us can't meet it, we respond with envy, anger, gossip, and rejection.

I will admit, I am happy to be nowhere near the top 100 list.  I don't want the power to make the decisions that those people have to make.  I don't want to spend hours on my appearance every day with the worry that I would be caught with a bad hair day.  But of course there is some awe (envy) in watching these power players live out their lives in very public fashion.  I think that I'm mature enough to be done worrying about meeting societal standards that I can't/don't want to meet, but I won't pretend that I don't slip sometimes and fall to the temptation of making fun because the internet makes it easy.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


We've all had those moments.  The ones where a small smile crosses your face and you know that moment, no matter how ordinary, has been impressed in your memory to last a lifetime.

Like when I was a freshman at Indiana University, on a sunny afternoon during finals week, and a gathering of people ended up on the roof of Briscoe Hall for a study break.  At the moment a few people started to dance around to Brown-Eyed Girl, and everyone joined in just because, I remember stepping back and looking over that scene, realizing it was a snapshot in time I would never forget.  "Click"

Fast forward a few years to tonight.  My son lounged in the bathtub, playing with his boat, singing loudly along to a song called "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman.  The refrain goes something like "Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul, worship His holy name.  Sing like never before, oh my soul, I worship Your holy name."  He makes up his own live rendition, but it's close enough.  Watching that cute little dude sing at the top of his lungs with no fear or embarrassment, to music like that, well, that's a moment I want to hold onto forever. "Click"

Dear God, in 15 years when that cute little dude is sauntering in past curfew and giving me attitude, please, please help me remember that moment.