While you read this, I will be sitting with a group of people I’ve never met, but with whom I have a great deal in common. I am at the Families in Global Transition conference in Washington, DC. I will write more about this group later, but for now I am enjoying the gift of spending time with like-minded people and I can’t wait to weigh in through writing on all I learn and do. But onto some good reads!
The Wanderlust Gene: When People are Born to Travel. This essay says it all. And it completely validates my essay in Between Worlds called “Designed for Travel.” Those of you who itch to get on planes, and who rearrange the furniture when you can’t hop on a plane, will love this essay! Just a note that my dad for sure has this gene! He will be 89 years old this summer and he still has that twinkle in his eye and a lilt in his step when he gets to go on a trip.
Excerpt: You’ve been this way for as long as you can remember – which probably dates back to your first few trips growing up, boarding that plane to Disney World every few winters, as a child.
According to recent scientific claims, it may have been embedded in your DNA, even before that.
As told on one psychology blog, the inherent urge to travel can be traced back to one gene, which is a genetic derivative of the gene DRD4, which is associated with the dopamine levels in the brain.
Repairable by Tara Livesay in A Life Overseas. This beautiful post is such a picture of second and third chances. Tara lives in Haiti with her large and lovely family. As a person, I deeply admire Tara from my computer screen. Our only connection has been online but she is all the things I admire in a person. Strong, funny, deeply loves God and the world, and a midwife so that sealed the deal for me! I urge you to head to A Life Overseas and read this essay but for now, here is an excerpt.
Excerpt: I remember vividly the pain of crashing a second time. I was a divorced, single mom.
At twenty-two years old I was trying desperately to piece my life back together after the second shattering.
I said and thought things to myself.
“I cannot be fixed.”
“Once was enough.”
“Who will love you now?”
“This is too much. Give up.”
“You cannot be made whole.”
Cracked into so many jagged pieces, repair and restoration seemed unlikely if not impossible.
At the time I was carrying in my womb the unplanned little baby girl who would grow up to look me in the eye and say to me with confidence, “This is repairable, you just watch.”
From a Private School in Cairo to Isis Killing Fields in Syria in NY Times. There are many theories behind why people join ISIS. The fact is we don’t know what all goes into a person’s decision but we do know that it is a group that crosses cultural and national boundaries. This is an article that looks at the life of a young man in Cairo and his journey to join ISIS. It was the impetus for the piece I wrote called “A Mother’s Grief; A Father’s Pain.”
Excerpt: “But it is here, in the very fabric of this community, the living rooms, the streets, the mosques and the halls of power, that the fertile ground of extremism has been prepared.
There is no single path that leads to jihad, but in exploring Mr. Yaken’s life, signposts emerge. There are influences familiar and easy to discuss, like a lack of economic opportunity and a renewed sense of political alienation, especially among youths. But there are also more delicate subjects — less often publicly debated, let alone dissected — like the increasingly conservative thinking that defines the faith for many Muslims today, or sexual repression among young people who are taught that their physical and emotional desires can bring them eternal damnation.” [emphasis mine]
On my night stand: I have finished I am Malala and am processing the book. There are things I liked about it, and there are things that concerned me. My opinion of the book has nothing to do with my opinion of Malala herself. I think she is an amazing young woman and I look forward to hearing more from her in the future. It’s the book that I’m processing. I look forward to reviewing it in this space in the next couple of weeks. I am reading a small book called Stories from Gaza, given to me by my daughter Stefanie for Christmas. I love the whole premise of the book, which is making sure stories from Gaza survive and are not only told, but published for wider distribution.
Travel Quote: This one comes from the article above. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: http://pixabay.com/en/map-navigation-hands-travel-route-455769/ WordArt by Marilyn R Gardner