Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School

The back-to-school season is upon us. Yes, I'm back at it, too; a generous gift will cover my tuition this year. Thankful for that, but cognizant of the time and energy it takes to work and go to school while serving and supporting a family all doing the same.

I did the first week's work of my online class last Sunday before leaving on a business trip and used a comp day on my return to get week two done; from here on out, though, we'll settle into a pattern of schoolwork every Saturday.

Hubs is driving to Portland on Mondays, now, for the final stretch on his M.Div. Daughter Haley is back at college in California. Son Daniel hasn't started classes yet, but he made it to the 5:30 am polo-team practices this week (!) and has his first pep rally with the band tonight. Monday night he goes back to his mom's place for the next two weeks, ready to register Tuesday and start actual classes on Wednesday. Senior year. Both Chris and Daniel graduate in June! Haley and I will finish a year later.

On Monday I snapped a picture of Chris heading off to class with his backpack, but he didn't want to see it posted on the internet. What, no more back-to-school photos when you're 45?!

See, though, 20 photos of kids' journeys to school from around the world (Global Citizen). 

Children are accompanied on their walk to school through Guizhou Province, China 
Flickr: Jeff Werner

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tim Keller on Understanding the Ego

"The ego often hurts. That is because it has something incredibly wrong with it. Something unbelievably wrong with it. It is always drawing attention to itself -- it does so every single day. It is always making us think about how we look and how we are treated. People sometimes say their feelings are hurt. But our feelings can't be hurt! It is the ego that hurts -- my sense of self, my identity.

"It is very hard to get through a whole day without feeling snubbed or ignored or feeling stupid or getting down on ourselves. That is because there is something wrong with my ego.

"It is incredibly busy trying to fill the emptiness. And it is incredibly busy doing two things in particular -- comparing and boasting. ... The way the normal ego tries to fill its emptiness and deal with its discomfort is by comparing itself to other people. All the time.

"In his famous chapter on pride in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis points out that pride is by nature competitive. It is competitiveness that is at the very heart of pride. 'Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next person. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about.'"

Source: The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, Timothy Keller