Birthday Traditions, Busyness + Books // The Heystack, vol. IV
plus, a British poet and parenting
Hello! Longtime, no write.
Did you miss me?
(No need to answer that).
My absence is not for lack of ideas and drafts, but because of work happening in my paid job that’s consumed a lot of my time and energy. A big project is done now and another project is underway, so I’m hoping to return here to write more regularly. I have a fun series in the hopper.
But today’s Heystack is a hodge podge of parenting thoughts, birthday traditions and Lenten plans. Enjoy the saunter through what’s on my mind.
As I’m writing this, I’m listening to this interview by Russell Moore with Malcolm Guite that my friend Jana sent me. And am I loving it? What a silly question. Of course I am. I’m officially entering what I’m calling my Malcolm Guite Era.
So far this year in my reading life, two highlights have been (gasp!) two non-fiction titles: People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn and Reading While Black by Esau McCaulley.
Do you have any plans for Lent? One year, I gave up saying “I’m busy” and what I learned from that practice still impacts me. Last year, I attempted a food fast for the first time in years. I find food restriction tricky, quickly leading to propping up the idol of ideal body, thus my hesitancy to fast from food. Last year, however, I found a practice that worked really well and I’m planning to do something similar again this year.
I know Lent is already rolling, but if you’re looking for devotionals on Lent, I can’t recommend my friend Jen’s, A Habit Called Faith highly enough. I also appreciate dipping into Bitter and Sweet by Tsh Oxenrider.
I have big decluttering energy right now, and Dawn of The Minimal Mom has been my ever faithful sherpa.
Finally, this week, we celebrated the birthday of the baby in the photo above! We’re attempting to begin a new birthday tradition this year where instead of a big gift, we go get a special treat as a family then head to a local book store for the celebrant to choose a book or two to add to their own library. This title and this title were the books chosen.
My kids’ birthdays get me thinking a lot about the goodness and the work of parenting. A few weeks ago, I took some time to collect the Bible verses that have shaped my approach to parenting the past four years and it was a helpful, fruitful exercise. Each year of parenting gets sweeter and brings new challenges. And as I embark on another year of parenting, these words from Romans are on my mind.
“Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice.”
Peace to you on this Thursday.
I love your writing. Always stop & read when I see it.
Definitely going to listen to that podcast! Thanks for the recommendation.