Mary Beth Writes

It's not hard to find experts who will teach us how to manage our children.  But that both exhausts and bores me; I don't want a system.  I don't want to maximize my kids' potential - whatever that might mean. 

Kids are not adventure equipment, or status symbols, or raw material to channel through the factory of my ego-whims.

I am not here to tell you how to get your kid to eat her lunch, go to bed on time, or to devise a homework schedule.  I used many child rearing techniques in my 20 years of parenting, but almost every "system" eventually fell away. 

What I want to understand is how we should LIVE.  How can we live our lives so that our choices, struggles, joys and battles can help to foster the lives of our children and ourselves?

Do we know what we want when we “raise our kids”?  Do we know what our goals and hopes are? Are we as clear as possible on what our mission is?

I can speak to the theoretical and then to the nitty-gritty of raising good kids who, we hope and pray, can take care of themselves and this world as they grow up.

It's not SIMPLE life, it's Simpler Life

I can speak to the luxuries and adventures that happen when one pursues a simpler life.

What are things to consider and enjoy?

Knowing oneself well enough to know what you want from your mortal life.

Where to live.

What to drive (or not drive).

What projects to tackle and which ones to let lie low.

What to wear.

How to splurge with joy and not worry.

When to go out and when to stay home.

Friends, company, cats and pups.

How do you design and live your own authentic, generous, rewarding life?

How to Retire on Less than a Half Million

I wrote that line! "If growing up is the process of creating ideas and dreams about what life should be, then maturity is letting go again."  Somebody made the poster without asking, so I use the poster without asking....

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I'm not Financial Planner - don't come to me for Money Rules For a Retirement Income That Will Not Fail.

I am a thinker and observer. And  we are retired (on less than a half million) and we love this part of our lives.

Who We Welcome is Who We Are - The Book of Ruth

I was raised on Bible stories. I like to go back and see what they mean to us now.

The Old Testament/Hebrew scriptures story of Ruth – Surprise, Surprise! - is not the particular romance of Ruth and Boaz. It IS a story of dangerous poverty, racism, and sexism – and what happened when good adults welcomed each other in an unsafe place and time.

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There is a huge and powerful message going on that says what’s wrong with society is foreign people, especially foreign women, lax morals, and lack of respect for the laws, rules, and customs of olden times.

"Do You Have a Question?" AKA the Life of Faith

 

What does “the path of faith” mean, anyhow?  How do we find and get on it? How do we grow in faith to become people who shine with courage and compassion?

In this sermon I acknowledge my own story from my strict beginnings in a Fundamentalist home and church.  (I can pretty much promise there will be some laughing.)

I acknowledge that what pulled me forward into my life weren’t other people’s answers, but my questions.

Guatemala - An Education in Respect and Empathy

We North Americans have much to learn about poverty in the developing world and about what we can do to support our fellow humans who live in struggling-to-dire circumstances.

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In 2002 I went to Guatemala with my then 17-year old daughter. We traveled there because one of the best friends of my life, Kathleen Morkert, had become the Exec Director of MayaWorks and she told me I ought to do this. (If you knew Kathleen, you’d probably do what she told you to do also. Hi, Kathleen!)

Sermon - "Can I get hurt if I stand in front of an Open Canon?"

“St Augustine wrote; “Thou has made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”

In Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen sings; “The door is open but the ride ain’t free.”

We have work to do to find worthy scriptures that will inspire us.”

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What does it mean to say “That’s inspired!”?

What’s a canon and why do theologians care whether it’s open or closed?

What’s the difference between feeling “warm and fuzzy” and “Amazing faith, how sweet the sound…I once was lost but now am found”?

DP Wigley
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