Quick Takes: I’m So Lazy I’m Just Going to Use Others’ Words Edition
I can’t even remember the last time I popped in to participate in Jen’s Quick Takes, but this seemed like a good way to kick off the first Friday of 2011. Since we are engaged in full Christmas detox and working to get our children back on track after several weeks of sweet binges, late bedtimes, and an out of whack routine, I’m coming up short on words, so I’ve decided to share a few quotes that have recently given me pause (or made me laugh). Enjoy!
*UPDATE: Please keep Jen in your prayers. From her friend, Hallie: “Jen’s been having regular pain in her legs for a while now. Since her clotting disorder puts her at an increased risk for DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) [a, her doctor thought it would be best for her to head to the hospital for an emergency ultrasound of her legs this evening." In case you were unaware, Jen is pregnant, and pregnancy increases her risk for blood clots. You can read more about her clotting disorder here, and Jen, as she's able, will be providing updates on Twitter.
"The word ‘epiphany’ means ‘to show forth.’ Epiphanies, both large and small, tend to be private events – yet events with great significance for the public. Trying to share the details with another of an epiphany is fraught with complications. The words are never quite right, and even the most sympathetic listener cannot fully bridge the gap between description and what is was like being there. Most of us keep our personal experiences of the Holy to ourselves. Who would believe it? And who would really understand?
The irony is that epiphanies are made for sharing, [emphasis mine] even as they are impossible to communicate fully.…
Unlike the poor shepherds, the Magi had to travel a long road; they had to face adversity to reach their goal. It was anything but a romantic, sentimental pilgrimage that we often see in our manger scenes! The experience of the magi reminds us that all who make the tedious journey to the truth will finally encounter it and be changed in the process. They can never go back to a ‘business as usual’ way of life. When we meet Christ and see who he really is, we will never be the same – and only then can we hope to begin to share in his mission.…”
-Father Thomas Rosica, CSB
, 2010 Solemnity of the Epiphany
This made me feel better about sharing my own rambling epiphany recently, which came across as a tad corny when I re-read it but which was true and from the heart. (That sounds corny, too, but, again, it’s true.)
“Authenticity, as the concept was presented [in a self-help book], ended up looking a whole lot like navel-gazing selfishness. But at the time, as viewed through this woman’s lens, it seemed I’d given up far too much of myself for my family. The premise of this woman’s argument was that the key to self-fulfillment–and a low body fat percentage–was my being more me-oriented. Of course, in order for me to be me-oriented, everyone else had to be oriented towards me, as well–an idea which if I thought it could work out I might still be entertaining.
Where did all this self-absorbed navel-gazing leave my husband, Dan? Well, that wasn’t my concern, really. I had a void to fill and a dress to fit into. But as I demanded that things change he (already hugely selfless) was left to pick up the slack. The author in question’s prescription of focusing a laser beam on my own desires (and let’s not kid ourselves–that’s what they were: desires) was crowding out even my husband’s most basic needs. (And if that didn’t make him want to run for the hills, I assure you my many soliloquies about a return to authenticity did.)”
My newly turned 6-year-old, Madeline: It’s not a real elf, you know. [Said to a friend who is telling her about her Elf on the Shelf.]
Friend: Yes, he is. He does magic.
Friend: When I’m sleeping.
Madeline: How do you know he does it if you’re asleep?
Madeline: Where did you get this elf?
Friend: From the store.
Madeline: Do you really think a real elf can be bought in a store?
Poor friend does not reply.
Madeline: Here’s what you need to do to see if he’s really real. Look at his ears. See if the skin on his ear matches his face. When I sat on Santa’s lap this year, I knew her elf wasn’t real because her ear skin didn’t match her face skin.
That’s my girl – crushing the dreams of little children everywhere. I mean, honestly, I thought she had one more year until the age of reason.
“I’ll charge it up when it’s done.”
“You don’t have to. It’s a book, jackass.”
Bibliophile that I am, I’m somewhat surprisingly and very well-pleased with my new Kindle, but I’ll always be loyal to good, old-fashioned books. I thoroughly enjoyed this clever and hilarious picture book our retired librarian neighbor gave us for Christmas. In the story, a donkey (the jackass) is fascinated by his friend’s book and asks questions like, “Can you blog with it?” “Does it need a password?” “How do you scroll down?” It’s a Book is a delightful reminder that there’s nothing quite like the real thing and that despite its dearth of whistles and bells, a good book has the power to allure, to enlighten, to engage, and to entertain – batteries not included or necessary!
“Enjoy that beautiful creature that is your child. Appreciate their wonder and awe, delight with them in their achievements, and be amazed at their thirst for knowing the world. Watch a movie together, push them on a swing, and savor the time that they are young. And when you tuck them in at night (maybe in their own bed!) tell them you love them.”
“Personally, I predict I will spend the year falling down and getting up, with (I hope) a bit of progress due entirely to the grace of God. By year’s end 2011, I expect to be still disappointing most people, including myself.
My New Year’s wish is that my readers have a living and lasting encounter with Jesus Christ that leaves them forever changed.”
-An excerpt from Mark Shea’s conversational and honest predictions and wishes for 2011.
“I loved the way books looked, loved the way books smelled, loved that books made me forget. My favorites were The Diary of Anne Frank, The Yearling, Uncle Tom’s Cabin: tales of grotesque cruelty and unbearable loss. That was precisely why I liked them. Even back then I understood the real purpose of literature. I didn’t want to hear that people lived happily ever after. I wanted to know that other people suffered, too.”
Perhaps this helps to explain my recent obsession with memoirs such as Parched. Reading here’s-my-raw-and-bleeding-hemorrhaging-heart-books like this makes my life seem mighty peachy.
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