What in the world happened to Laura Goetsch?

Is she still thinking about such things? Has she given up veering wildly from the weighty to the frivolous?

My faithful readers may be wondering this since it has been 42 days since I published a post. And that was a short, frothy one.

Rest calmly, dear ones. I am still frolicking in the frivolous and seeking wisdom for the weighty. Truthfully, my days are bulging with both laughter and lament. As I imagine yours are, too.

I have needed to devote most of my words, imagination, and hours to church leading and to parenting this fall.  That’s where my best wisdom and deepest prayers are most needed right now. It has been hard but satisfying work.

So, for the foreseeable future, this blog will remain a bit quieter, though not entirely silent, I hope.

If you find yourself craving my quips, tales of imaginative children, or lackluster fair-to-middling dazzling photos, your best bet is to follow me on Instagram. I post photos and short paragraphs there several times a week. I realize that many of you, dear readers, are not on Instagram, but I’d like to gently whisper that perhaps it’s time to join the cool kids.

For now, I’d like to leave you with proof of one of my personal convictions, namely: Orange cats are the best cats. Meet Max, the cat who lost the library but won the internet.

And a few pics from life in Goetschland:

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Current favorite “sport”
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When we tried to decorate for Christmas
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My life in one picture

©Laura Goetsch and Thinking About Such Things, 2017.

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Choosing to live and love (puppies)

North America is being racked by disasters. Harvey, Irma, Maria, José, and now an earthquake, for crying out loud. Which I am. North Korea is firing missiles. The President of the United States is firing ill-advised tweets. White supremacists are gathering force.

The speed and variety of calamities bewilders both heart and mind. Where to focus? How to grieve? How to understand? Where to serve? What to give whom?

These are not easy questions, but they press on us. We must lean into them, discerning our individual calls in the midst of the suffering and the destruction.

For some, the temptation is to withdraw. To shut your ears, hunker down, pretend all is fine. We cannot do this. Too many are suffering and too much is at stake.

We also cannot neglect daily living and go into survival mode. At least those of us outside the disaster zones cannot. We must face our small lives and the large questions with equal tenacity. This is a tricky balance, a dance we must do day-by-day. Continue reading “Choosing to live and love (puppies)”

Mean Mom: middle school edition

In a few short months, my oldest daughter will graduate from elementary school and become a middle schooler. (Hold me.) In addition to all the perennial challenges of the junior high years—hormones, mean girls, a larger school, kids who party—we must figure out how to navigate social media and smart phones.

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How I prefer she spend her time. Outside, playing badminton.

For the first time in my parenting, I cannot look to my parents’ model or that of my wise friends with older kids. Even five years ago, smart phones were far less ubiquitous than they are today. My cabinet cannot help me here because when their daughters were in middle school, flip phones were socially acceptable. Snapchat hadn’t been invented.  Today, 50% of kids have smart phones in 6th grade and 90% have them by 8th grade.

Continue reading “Mean Mom: middle school edition”

Why I’m for school choice, as a special needs parent

With the revelation a year ago that our twin daughters have dyslexia, we joined the millions across the country who are parenting children with learning disabilities. We now know that our kids have special needs, and we must navigate the education system accordingly.

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The first day of kindergarten

We were shocked to discover that our public school could not help us with dyslexia. They were not even aware of the signs. For almost two years, we asked “Why are the girls having so much trouble learning to read? Why is this going so slowly and so painfully?” Neither their kindergarten nor their first grade teacher had answers. They told us to just keep working at home while they worked at school, and it would eventually click. It never clicked. In first grade, the girls started seeing the school reading specialist several times a week. We asked her, too. All she could point to was their anxiety about reading.

Finally, I grew suspicious and googled symptoms of dyslexia. The girls were textbook cases. An outside evaluation later confirmed this. Why had the teachers at school not seen this? As I talked with them about it, I learned that they had not been trained to spot dyslexia. Not even the reading specialist. How could this be? Research indicates that up to 15% of the population may be dyslexic, and yet public school teachers have not been trained to spot the signs? Even if only 5% of schoolchildren are dyslexic, that still adds up to 2.5 million children this year. Continue reading “Why I’m for school choice, as a special needs parent”

On Christmas shopping

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I’m making my money do extra work this Christmas. Instead of focusing only on finding good prices, I’m trying to shop in a way that supports things I value. I’m doing this in three ways:

I’m paying money for good writing. Few people want to pay for writing now, even though we continue to need quality thinking expressed well. To counter that trend, I have made sure to purchase both books and subscriptions as gifts this year. I want excellent writers to continue being able to make a living. Continue reading “On Christmas shopping”

Book give-away: how to fix America’s problems

America has a number of problems. Despite what he insists, Donald Trump does not know how to solve them.

I recently discovered a book that contains answers to a handful of our national issues. It unveils how to lower rates of asthma and obesity, how to decrease auto fatalities, how to pull kids away from computers and TVs, how to situate the elderly so they can thrive without assistance late into their lives, how to draw young people and new talent into struggling cities, how to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and how to increase interaction between the poor and the upper classes.

What book could answer all these questions? What single solution could possibly address all these issues?

Continue reading “Book give-away: how to fix America’s problems”