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I am the child of Christian parents who were deeply committed to raising kids who care about others. My dad was a pastor and we were homeschooled, but my parents worked hard to intentionally break open our lives to learn and be in relationship with diverse communities. We volunteered in special ed classrooms. We spent multiple weeks in the summer in tiny indigenous villages. I grew up believing that every family invited a hodgepodge of lonely and isolated people to every holiday gathering. And yet, for all that was modeled to me to be outward looking, as a young adult in Bible college I struggled to find theological language for what seemed to be a fairly straightforward concept: that Christians have a responsibility to care about their neighbor, especially the most vulnerable.
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Long - Loneliness - Dorothy - Day - Catholic
When I was in my 20s, I read The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day (who started the Catholic Worker Movement) and was electrified by the language of the common good. This, I thought, was what my parents raised me to believe in, and it was something I wanted to pass on to my own children. But now, as a mother, I realized I underestimated the challenges—both cultural and personal—to modeling for my children a life that is lived with our neighbors in mind.
What Do We Really Want?
Work - Age - Schedules - Technology - Desire
It is hard work to parent well in this, or any, age. Consumed by busy schedules, technology, and the desire to do it all perfectly, many of us can feel overwhelmed and go into autopilot. This is why it is helpful to step back consistently and ask ourselves: What is it that we really want for our children?
Judging by blogs, sermons, and Instagram posts, what many in our culture desire is to raise...
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