Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Doubting Thomas, Faith and Fear

This weekend at Church, the story of doubting Thomas was read. During the reading, my son said, "It's pretty specific what he says is going to make him believe." 😇 I hushed him and chuckled to myself.

I kept thinking about that. Thomas had specific criteria that would make him believe.

Why didn't Thomas just tell them, "That sounds a little crazy guys. I'll believe it when I see it."

Thomas needed more than just the testimony of others, or a whisper in his heart. He needed not only to see but to touch and know.

Do I carry specific criteria for my faith or limits on what our faith can handle? Maybe I am more likely to set criteria my life or family must reach for me to have strong faith.

Recently, I had the privilege to hear Brother Guy Consolmagno speak.  I spoke with him briefly afterwards; he said, "Faith calls you to live without fear, not to live in fear. Our faith is big enough to handle anything! If we fear what we might learn or hear, we aren't living with faith."

As a parent in today's world, we live with a constant bombardment of fear mongering and insecurity. It is easy to fall prey to the fears of this world instead of hushing the Thomas in our hearts. It is harder to exercise our faith and pray, than it is to doubt and fear. We are insecure in how we parent and the choices we make. We need to wrap our lives and families in a blanket of faith to protect us from the insecurities and doubts around us.

Thomas is eternally known as "Doubting Thomas" but maybe he was more "Fearful Thomas" or "Insecure Thomas". Afraid of what it would mean if it were true that Jesus is risen. Afraid that he missed his chance to see the risen Christ. Afraid that he wasn't chosen to carry on Christ's mission.  Insecure of what his place was in the confusion of recent events. Insecure that if he believed with his whole heart he might bring suffering to his family or look like a fool.

Can you blame him?

I fear that I'm somehow messing up my children, fear that I'm not a good enough mom, wife, or homeschool teacher, and fear the unknown for our futures. But honestly, that's just insecurity and lack of faith. I will try instead to calm the insecurity with a warm and secure blanket of faith. I will quiet the winds of fear and listen to the whispers of faith of what I know is true.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Last minute GHC Cincinnati Tips

Can you believe that the Cincinnati GHC starts in just a few days?  I'm a local to the area, so I want to throw out some advice.

Pack a Snack and Water - You know you do this for your children all the time, save yourself money and pack for yourself! 

Stretch Your Mind - If every year you hear the same speakers, try a little something new.  Go to something that might refresh your soul like Sarah Mackenzie, S.D. Smith, or Anthony Esolen. Go hear about the beauty of Math from Ed Zaccaro or about the ancients from The Lukeion Project.

Have Fun and Feel Good - If you hear something that stresses you out, or makes you feel inadequate in your homeschool, write it down and forget it!  Don't run to buy their product! A curriculum purchased while feeling self lacking and under the guise of a fix, is never really a fix. Take a deep breath, research the area while you are there and go home. Re-evaluate in a month if you still feel drawn to it.

Support the Convention - It's easy to think that the Homeschool Convention and Curriculum providers will always be there, but if we don't show up and support them, they won't.

See the Area -
If you're visiting Cincinnati, take some time to enjoy our city.
Although there isn't too much near the Convention Center, from Fountain Square you can now ride our Street Car to The Banks or to some great restaurants and shops in Over the Rhine near Washington Square.  There are lots of fun and unique dining and shopping between Washington Park and Vine Street from 13th - Central Parkway.

If you're an old book lover, I recommend walking over to The Ohio Bookstore on 8th and Main Street.

For a quick bite during the convention, there are a few faster service places on 6th by Vine Street. Most of these close by 6pm. So for dinner, you'll have to treat yourself.
If you want:
Some of the best  authentic Italian -  Sotto
Mexican, Latin American or Spanish Inspired  - Nada or Mitta
Fun Brewery - Taft Ale House (cool old Church) 
There are lots of others options that are great as well! 

Have Fun and see you there!