Mary Beth Writes

It's not hard to find experts who will teach us how to manage our children.  But that both exhausts and bores me; I don't want a system.  I don't want to maximize my kids' potential - whatever that might mean. 

Kids are not adventure equipment, or status symbols, or raw material to channel through the factory of my ego-whims.

I am not here to tell you how to get your kid to eat her lunch, go to bed on time, or to devise a homework schedule.  I used many child rearing techniques in my 20 years of parenting, but almost every "system" eventually fell away. 

What I want to understand is how we should LIVE.  How can we live our lives so that our choices, struggles, joys and battles can help to foster the lives of our children and ourselves?

Do we know what we want when we “raise our kids”?  Do we know what our goals and hopes are? Are we as clear as possible on what our mission is?

I can speak to the theoretical and then to the nitty-gritty of raising good kids who, we hope and pray, can take care of themselves and this world as they grow up.

Journey to Happiness

(I preached this sermon at my church, United Unitarian Universalist, in Waukesha. 3/3/2019)

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One day a young Buddhist on her journey to find True Happiness, came to the banks of a wide river. Staring at the great obstacle in front of her, she pondered and pondered how to cross such a wide and mighty barrier.

  Just as she was about to give up, she saw a Great Teacher on the other side of the river. The young Buddhist yelled over to the Teacher, "Oh Wise One, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river?”

Sermon - Courage / Roses on the Columbia

While on the space shuttle Columbia, which would explode during reentry a few days later, astronaut Laurel Clark wrote some emails to family and friends.

This is from one of them: Subject: Hello from 150 NM above the Earth

Sermon - "Why do we attend church? Um, I can't remember."

“Why do we attend church? Um, I can’t remember.”

There are so many reasons to not belong to or attend church - even liberal Unitarian Universalist churches.

Sermon - The Story of Ruth & Naomi / Who We Welcome is Who We Are

I have liked the Old Testament story of Ruth ever since I was a kid. But in seminary, when I learned it is not an “Aww Shucks, Ma’am” cowboy romance, I started liking it even more. The story of Ruth is not the particular romance of Ruth and Boaz. It IS a story of dangerous poverty, racism, and sexism – and what happened when good adults welcomed each other in an unsafe place and time.

In case you were not raised drenched in Hebrew or Christian stories (I can’t riff on Star Wars…) – let me retell the tale of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz.

Sermon - Julian of Norwich / She Persisted

I first encountered Julian of Norwich in a seminary class on mysticism when I was in my 20’s –back when I could read for hours without falling asleep. I had been raised in such a religiously patriarchal culture; that reading Julian for that first time was as if someone had turned a light on in the room.

Sermon - From Auden's "For The Time Being"

This is the "Opening Words" and then later in the service, the sermon - that I preached on "For The Time Being" by WH Auden and also from the Gospel of John.  

I belong to a small congregation of Unitarian Universalists. This is directed to people who are asking questions instead of believing creeds. You will probably note the difference.

Thanks.

MB. 

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Opening Words:

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