Here are some things I read this week that made me think. (These are just snippets – click on the title to read the whole thing.)

Craigslist Missed Connections (parents4parents) by Raquel D’Apice with The Ugly Volvo

“7.) Not sure if you’ll remember me. You were sitting with a friend in Starbucks talking about how you had been considering having a third child. I was the woman two tables over who leapt from her chair and knocked over a display case of mugs while screaming the words, “DON’T DO IT!” Wanted to say I’m sorry for making you spill your coffee but I stand by my words.”

“Our life would be in ruins if we hadn’t come here. The process was rigorous….

The process started with a series of meetings with U.S. government representatives — at least five in-­person interviews with each of us and countless phone conversations. The questions were very detailed: about my family, my friends, how I spent my time. The interviewers often knew the answers to the questions before they asked them. They asked about my life going back to the day I was born; they even knew the location of the hospital. My story is my story, so I knew that the details would match their information. But I was stunned by the level of scrutiny and the length of the process.”

“A dying parent is excruciating. I would get physically ill as I listened to my father detail the side effects from chemotherapy, his exhaustion and nausea, and his daily litany of health issues from the cancer that was slowly eating away at his insides. I’d lay awake at night and wonder if tomorrow was the day his health would go from bad to worse. When your parent is dying, you die inside right alongside them.”

“When you’re in a heated Facebook debate with somebody you only kinda remember from high school, I recommend Boone’s Farm. The hints of strawberry or, I think that’s cherry, bring you back to a time when you may have actually liked that person….or, God forbid, even dated him.”

“My role model was always Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. … My taste was high. So when it came to role models, I looked at presidents’ wives. Of course, you’re talking about a farm girl who stood in the fields, dreaming, years ago, wishing she was that kind of person. But if I had been that kind of person, do you think I could sing with the emotions I do? You sing with those emotions because you’ve had pain in your heart. The bloodline of my family didn’t come from that kind of royalty. Why I relate to it, I don’t know. That’s the class I wanted to be. But I wasn’t, so I dealt with the class I was in. I have never disrespected myself, and I’m still very proud of myself.” —Tina Turner, Rolling Stone, October 1986

“Do you have a friend who always insists on picking up the bill at social gatherings? Their extreme generosity may not stem from huge wealth, but from status anxiety.

Or are you the sort of person who obsessively checks their bank balance or investment portfolio? You may feel like a spreadsheet superhero, but in fact, you could be overcompensating for a lack of control elsewhere in your life.

Perhaps you consider yourself a budgeting champion because you are so good at grabbing bargains online. Yet if discounts drive you to spend money on things you don’t need, your shopping habits could signify loneliness, or a lack of self-esteem.”

COMMENTARY: Church shouldn’t be this hard from Tom via The Washington Post
“It doesn’t have to be this way. God certainly doesn’t want it this way…..

Church should be a safe place — safe to be oneself, safe to make one’s confession, safe to love whoever one feels called to love, safe to imagine more, safe to fail. Instead, church often is a dangerous place, where people feel guarded, self-protective, hemmed in by tradition and expectation, required to obey rules.

Church should be different from society. Instead, it plays by the same rules: get mine, be first, be right, punish the weak, exclude the different, reward the wealthy.”