Thursday, December 3, 2009

Spanking your child in the name of the father, the son and the holy ghost

A Dutch priest got a lot of flak for preaching that it's okay to spank your child. He said it was a sign of love. To prove his point he quoted Proverbs 13:24 (New International Version): 'He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.'

Now that got everyone's atttention!

In a Dutch survey a small majority of 56% agreed with this Dutch minister: giving your kids a little slap to teach them something is alright. But all the Dutch experts disagree, and say hitting your child is a sign of powerlessness, and springs from impulsive anger. Besides: you're setting a really bad example.

Not much of a fan of all those experts telling parents what to do, and how to do it, I have to agree with them on this. Hurting your child to teach him something seems odd to me. What if your spouse hit you to make his point? Shouldn't adults be able to fight their battles using words?!

I think the bible can be read in many ways, and if you search long and hard enough, you may very possibly find someting to prove you right. Because doesn't the bible also say: 'Seek and you will find?'

What do you think ot spanking your child?

Read the rest of the Post >

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Light under a bushel?

Since I have a phd in psychology and I'm a stay at home mom, people tend to tell me I'm hiding my light under a bushel.

'What a waste!' and 'So you don't do anything anymore?' are common responses, based on the assumption that taking care of your children doesn't require talent nor effort.

To all those people I would like to say: I did not hide my light under a bushel! I'm using it every day to make the world a better place by taking care of the future: my children.

Read the rest of the Post >

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Follow Me

I found this sweet little picture in our local thrift shop and I took it home with me.

Now it's hanging on our wall and I love to look at it. I know it's a childlike perspective on Jesus; indeed, it's how I used to picture Jesus myself. As this gentle man in long white robes, long flowing hair a beard and Birkenstocks.

Maybe that's what attracts me too it: the feeling of kindness and love it exudes.

Also, it makes me smile a little, because obviously the message is that all children are welcome, and Jesus loves them all. But at the same time the way they are depicted is very stereotypical. One might almost say a bit racist. But the intention was all good, I'm sure!

As a Dutch mom I just love the little Dutch girl in wooden shoes!

I did a little research on Tom Curr, and this is what I found:

Tom Curr was born in 1887, and died in 1958 at the age of 71. He was a member of Edinburgh Photographic Society and one of the three judges for the EPS Open Exhibition held in 1936. He also played a prominent role in the Boys' Brigade in Edinburgh.

In October 1938, he spoke to the EPS Portfolio Group. Tom gave his comments on and criticisms of the annual EPS Members' Exhibition in January 1947.

I couldn't find any more information, but good news: dr. Nancy Brewer is doing research on Tom Curr, so hopefully in future we'll know more about him.

Read the rest of the Post >

Friday, July 3, 2009

Are your lights on?!

Ten virgins were waiting for the bridegroom to come. It was nighttime and they all had lamps with oil in them, and the lamps were burning brightly.
They waited and waited. As it got later, they began to get drowsy, and one by one they fell asleep.
Then they heard someone calling, "Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him."
They began to get up, but some of the lamps began going out.
Five of the girls were prepared for just such an event. They had planned ahead and anticipated the delay. They had extra oil to add to their lamps. They were wise to make this preparation.
The five foolish girls had no extra oil.

I have always liked this story. I could easily imagine the five foolish girls and the five wise girls and always though the foolish girls, well, foolish! And smugly I thought: that wouldn't happen to me! Or would it...

Eckhart Tolle offers a very interesting interpretation of this story:

The five foolish girls are 'unaware' they do not live in the moment. Their lack of oil represents there lack of awareness.
The five wise girls on the other hand have enough oil = awareness to keep their lamp burning = in the present.

According to Eckhart Tolle the story of the five girls is about the possibility to live in a completely new state of awareness. A state of mind in which all your attention is focused on the here and now.

'There's no room for daydreams, thoughts, memories and expectations. There is nog room for tension or fear. All there is, is you with every fibre of your body.'

It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase: punching someone's lights out!

Read the rest of the Post >

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends

Because sometimes you need all the help you can get.

Read the rest of the Post >

Friday, May 8, 2009

Guest post: There's something about Mary

Beatrijs Hofland is a Dutch theologian and stay-at-home mom.

She was kind enough to write this beautiful guest post.

The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria.
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word:
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria 
(From: Westside Story)

Why do I write about Maria?

Why would a protestant write about Maria? Sure, in protestan religion Maria is important as Jesus' mom, but she doesn’t occupy the same important place as in catholism.

Maria came to my life at special moments:

  • at a wedding
  • as the image that an important friend gave to me. S
  • during my study of women and religion, through which I got to know a different, more revolutionary side of Mary. 
I even named my daughter Elisabeth, after my mother-in-law and Mary’s cousin Elisabeth, who knew that Mary was to give birth to Jesus:

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

(Lukas 1: 41-44, New International version)

When your life starts in such a joyful manner, it must be wonderful!

Mary who?

In biblical history Mary is the chosen one who gets to give birth to Jesus Christ. At the time she is still a virgin, and engaged to Joseph, but in a mysterious way she gets pregnant! Many men would call the whole thing off, but Joseph doesn’t because an angel tells him that Mary will bear the Son of God.

Jesus is born and has more brothers and sisters, according to the tradition. He spends his childhood in Nazareth, and at a young age goes to temple to learn and proclaim Gods’ Word.

During his lifetime he meets more Mary’s: Mary of Magdala, who becomes a very good friend and Mary, mother of John, who stands by him at the last moments of his life. 

When we speak of Mary, mother of all mothers, we mean Mary, mother of Jesus.

Searching for Mary

There are only a few Bible texts that speak about Mary (see the Gospels according to Mark, Matthew, Luke and John). In fact, very little was written about Jesus' birth. If wasn't until the First Christians realized the importance of Jesus' message, that they started to appreciate the importance of his biography.

This is what's come to be known as tradition: at a later stage information about Jesus is combined with older material.
 Early Christianity had a lot to explain to the already existing, much older religions. The more wonder and prophecy-stories about Jesus and Mary were told, the more authentic and profound the religion became.

Miracle stories about Mary

In time, many miraculous stories were told about Mary. These originated from folktales, legends and experiences from ordinary people and the official church. These stories were told because the bible left so many questions unanswered: if Mary is Jesus’ mother, what does that say about her own holiness? If Mary is that holy, how did she die?

To provide answers to these and other questions, the church declared the new stories about Mary true. These are the so-called church dogmas. They can't be found in the bible, but are derived from folk traditions.

Not much women in the bible

There aren't all that many stories about women in the bible, maybe that’s why Mary always appealed to so many women. Mary is kinda easy to talk to. Maybe just because she is a woman and a mom, and thereby seems closer than God the Father. You can ask her to pray for you and you can ask for her blessing, as this bride did during her wedding day.

A bride asks Mary for her blessing

The bride in her radiant white wedding gown kneels at an icon of Mary. Eyes closed, hands folded. Her blond her catches a ray of sunshine. Silently she speaks words that remain unheard. Behind her everyone waits in silence and awe, while Bach’s’ Ave Maria is softly being played. Then she gets up, tears on her face as she smiles at her groom.

This is not a scene from a play, nor is it a century old, but it is a scene from a modern wedding. The groom, already a dad to two teenage girls, is getting married again to this young, childless bride.

She was there by herself, with her own thoughts, her tradition and the thousands of women who have walked the same path. She prayed Mary for support in her marriage and asked a blessing: the gift of children. In the catholic tradition it is common practice for newlyweds to pray at a Mary statue, while the Ave Maria is being played.

Usually the bride lights a candle in the centerpiece the bride and groom bring themselves. Praying to Mary is taking a moment to stop and think of Jesus’ mother. It’s also a moment to ask her to bless the promises just made. Because Mary, like no one else, knew what it means to truly say yes to the Other, to God.

I think it means a lot that the young woman is asking help of the mother of all mothers. Unusual? Maybe. Because divorce doesn’t sit well with church tradition, nor does getting remarried. It is like Mary gave this bride courage to enter this marital adventure.

Asking a blessing means asking for approval. And asking a blessing from Mary or from God, means that asking for approval from the Eternal One. That is quite a thing, since you stand up against the official church that condemns divorce/ remarriage.

Yet I believe there is room within Faith to ask for this blessing. I even think it is the core of religion: the good wins in the end, the judgments of people are less important than Gods’ Judgment.
 Ave Maria (which means: Hail Mary), is the right song to the prayer.

The Ave Maria is Elisabeth’s and Gabriel’s prayer to Mary when she was told to be carrying the Savior:

Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
for thou hast borne Christ the Savior,
the Deliverer of our souls.


Ave Maria, Hail Mary

Many composers, like Verdi, Schubert and Gounod, put music to the prayer. And every day, everywhere in the world, this Hail Mary is being prayed. At home, schools, churches, hospitals, everywhere people ask Mary to take care of them and for her blessing.

It's such a beautiful thing to start the day with a prayer to Mary! To the mother who went through the unimaginable: departing from your son, giving him up for the greater good, watching him suffer. And yet it's also the most joyful feeling a mother can imagine: seeing your child go his own way, fulfilling his destiny.

Isn’t that what makes us a mother? Isn’t that every mother’s goal: watching your children becoming loving people, reaching their goals in life?

Praying to Mary touches your soul, it is like talking to hundreds of generations of mothers who preceded you and want to show you your direction: this is your destiny, so it must be.

Literally: so be it (=amen). 

Want to read more from Beatrijs?

Visit her blog! blog

Read the rest of the Post >

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Let it be, there will be an answer, let it be

I'm still kinda reeling from the shock of my son Jan, not being admitted to the school we chose for him. Last year he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS and the school told us they think he has needs they can't provide for.

When I told him this he listened quietly and then said: 'But they don't even know me!' which is a really good point if you ask me!
Anyway, the search for the right school continues, but I'm very worried and feel as if there's no room for my son at the inn!

As I was fretting and worrying about his future, suddenly this song popped into my head:

'When I find myself in times of trouble,
Mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom: Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.'

I felt as if God was speaking to me by giving me this song, and I'm going to try to live its song.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Read the rest of the Post >

Blogger Templates by Bloganol