Doing Nothing

We’ve recently been reunited with our friend Pooh.

 

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We had these CDs (you can find them here:Winnie-the-Pooh: A.A. Milne’s Pooh Classics, Volume 1*
) from the time the boys were little, but they were so loved that they were scratched out of use a few years back. Now we have the audio again. It’s been so much fun to see Cameron, Ben, and Andrew recognize the old friends, and see the younger ones enjoy it for the first time.

This morning we heard the ending of The House at Pooh Corner:

Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hand, called out “Pooh!”

“Yes?” said Pooh.

“When I’m–when–Pooh!”

“Yes, Christopher Robin?”

“I’m not going to do Nothing any more.”

“Never again?”

“Well, not so much. They don’t let you.”

I was overcome again with how counter-cultural it can be to make space for kids and not hyper-schedule them. I want my children to, among other things, have time to do Nothing. What is Nothing? Allow Christopher Robin to enlighten you:

 

 “How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.

“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do Christopher Robin, and you say, Oh, nothing, and you go and do it.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.

“This is a nothing sort of thing that we’re doing right now.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh again.

“It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear and not bothering.”

“Oh!” said Pooh.”

*contains affiliate link

Linkage 1.17.15

Happy weekend to you! We have a birthday to celebrate this weekend today, and we’ll be watching some football. I’ve enjoyed some good reading this week and wanted to pass it on to you.

The Next Light Pole — Jonathan Rogers’ meditation on running and writing applies to many other areas of life, too. “For me, at least, it helps to remember that I don’t write books. I write sentences. A book is what you have after the fact.”

I Want to Quit Homeschooling — This is where I was the day Christmas break ended. I hit an unprecedented slump. It always helps. too. to remember that Everyone Wants to Quit in November and February.

Here’s some hilarity for you: 99 Percent of all Moms’ Group Facebook Discussions End Like This

My friend David encourages us all to be like Tolkien and keep the day job: Epiphanytide, and a Proposal Concerning Your Day Job

An Advent Narrative

Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent NarrativeJust as I did last year, I am reading through Russ Ramsey’s Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative every morning of Advent.

(Before you say, “OH NO HERE SHE GOES WITH THE ANDREW PETERSON PITCH AGAIN,” let me say, No, I am not pitching AP’s album again — although if I did, I would be completely justified in doing so. )

(To be completely on the up and up, though, this book contains some lyrics from the album and it shares the artwork.)

Ramsey’s Advent devotional begins with Creation and proceeds carefully through the Fall, Israel’s history, and the coming of Christ. If we as Christians grasp Redemption history well, we can grasp the Incarnation that much better. We ought to be people of this Story.

It’s what we like to call the “True Tall Tale.”

This year, Russ is managing a facebook group where he posts a Scripture passage, reflections, and questions from each day’s chapter. It’s not too late to join in and lend some ancient and strong significance to your Advent.

“The Lord God took this struggling man out beneath the desert sky at night, pulled back the blanket of self-doubt smothering Abram, and revealed a canopy of glimmering stars too numerous to count.”

-from chapter 4, “Number the Stars of Heaven”

Linkage

Lazy Cultural Engagement: “…we tend to treat actual cultural artifacts in the way we sometimes treat the Bible: as “proof texts” from which we can draw principles or truths for application. Though we love the Bible, we evangelicals in particular have often treated verses as if they stand alone, forgetting that the story in which they appear speaks just as much as the verses themselves. Form speaks, as well as content.”

I guess it’s a movie day today in linkage. Here’s Thomas MacKenzie’s review of the new Left Behind movie, which starts off being hilarious and ends up being really encouraging.

I posted this a while back on facebook, but I wanted to keep it here, too. Maybe you need this encouragement for moms that It’s Their Day, Too.

Here’s a worthwhile kickstarter to support. Sam Smith is a good friend of ours and he’s putting out his first novel! My kids laughed and laughed over this video:

Some Mornings are Like That

Monday was one of those magical mornings in our homeschool. They seem to happen more often lately. There were years that I felt like I was constantly putting out fires; now the kids help keep our momentum going and the mornings go more smoothly.

 

Monday was…

the windows open to hear the rain and the birds

the oldest two boys reading more Robert Frost poetry

the middle one getting caught up in The Wind in the Willows and reading all morning

the youngest two beginning When We Were Very Young

connections to things we’ve talked about, places we’ve been

laughing over shared memories

Then there are the days when the pencils are all missing or broken, attitudes are terrible (including my own), papers are missing, the math software is malfunctioning, and the toilet gets clogged. When those mornings happen, I pull out from my heart a memory of peaceful rainy days with great books, and ponder it for a moment. It helps.

The Empty Shelf Challenge 2014

Back in December of last year, Jon Acuff issued a challenge to his readers to empty one bookshelf in their home for the purpose of tracking what they’ve read in 2014.tilt

Here we are in late September. What would your shelf look like? I listed what’s on mine in the sidebar. That list does not include those books I read with my literature classes, but I still wish the list were longer. Nevertheless, my goal was one book per month, and I’ve kept to it. I’m on the verge of finishing numbers ten and eleven.

I think I will continue to keep a shelf free for this purpose. It’s excellent accountability to keep on reading. You can see what everyone has read on the shared Pinterest board.

Heard at Hutchmoot: Shiny Things

Heard at Hutchmoot: A Series on Words From Our Weekend in Nashville

The keynote speaker at Hutchmoot was an author by the name of Leif Enger.  His most notable works are the bestseller Peace Like a River and So Brave, Young, and Handsome.

Leif gave us some encouragement to see from his life on a Minnesota farm.  He and his wife like to take walks at sunset when the weather is warm.  Leif usually carries some change in his pocket, and there’s a certain rock where he will leave a coin or two.

Why?  Because the crows like shiny things.  When the couple passes by that rock later on, the coins are always gone.  Leif said it gives the birds happiness to have shiny things in their nest, and it gives him joy to think of those coins making their way into trees around the property.

Gifts

He said, “Look for the shiny things. Store them away.”

What’s a shiny thing for you?

A shiny thing this time of year is my husband’s faithfulness to turn on the Christmas tree lights early in the morning. The kids’ eagerness to shop for their siblings. The Behold the Lamb of God concert.

A shiny thing anytime of year is the light filtering through the trees a certain way. The smell of homemade soup. Times with friends when you laugh until you cry. Words from a familiar Psalm.

When I was eager to look at those crows as hoarders, Leif Enger turned that image on its head and said I should be a hoarder of shiny things.  Shiny things make us grateful to the Giver of all good gifts.

 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. James 1:16-18

P.S. Those books mentioned above? Check them out. That man that my husband now calls his “friend” is a wonderful storyteller.