Friday Fuel: Who’s Influencing You, and Making Life By Hand

August 23, 2013

It’s the end of another week.

Before we go any further, let’s clear something up.  If you are one of the few people who are still, somehow, on summer vacation, you are not allowed to post beach pictures on social media while I am firmly entrenched at school.

That being said, this is what fueled me this week.

On My Blog

I was just in love with comments on Wednesday’s post in which people listed their children as their biggest influence, or the people who influence them most.  I can’t think of anything more beautiful.  You’re already a rock star to those little people.

foxfire-booksOn My Bookshelf

Imagine a book about the old way of life.  Not about our parents, but maybe their parents or grandparents.  People who lived away from cities, without electricity or running water.  What was life really like?  What was it like to craft an entire life by hand?

The last leg of our vacation took us to a lovely cabin on Lake Michigan.  Of all the things to occupy us, we found some of the most unexpectedly captivating reading material I have ever found.  The Foxfire Books are a series published a few decades ago, comprised of interviews with people from the backwoods of Georgia.  My initial expectation was that the books would be a rambling, incoherent mess from a bunch of backwater illiterates.  I was entirely mistaken.  Everything from how to build a cabin, wash laundry, dress a hog, make a straw bed, to local legends and religious beliefs are discussed.  The entire experience of reading the books has left me with a sense of how little I know about what it takes to survive without modern conveniences.  I’ve been enjoying my own raggedy used copies since returning home.

Oh, and the entire series was written by high school students and their journalism teacher.

In My Blog Reader

Wes Molebash has a sweet webcomic and I frequently catch him in my Instagram feed at 5 in the morning, making drawings.  I particularly enjoyed an unusually provocative comic from him this week: Porn Is Ok.

Is there anything worse to be as a Christian than exhausting to other people?  I think not, and neither does my friend Ed Cyzewski.  I don’t think I’ve made any secret that something inside me has been changing over the last several months, and Ed perfectly sums it up with Can Christians Be Unified If We Don’t Want the Same Thing.

Dog gone it, I just admire Alece Ronzino.  It doesn’t matter if your story is rough, or boring or if you’ve forgotten half of it.  Read Blessed Assurance and be encouraged.

I really don’t even need to mention it, because chances are you’ve already read it because it’s so dang good, necessary and true, but it bears mentioning that Anne Marie Miller posted Three Things You Don’t Know About Your Children and Sex.

Finally, Sonny Lemmons gets upfront and honest as a stay at home dad.  Even though everyone surely loves their kids, the grass is still Always Greener.

That’s what fueled me this week, friends and colleagues.  What fueled you?

6 responses to Friday Fuel: Who’s Influencing You, and Making Life By Hand

  1. Wow, Matt. Your words are so encouraging. Thank you!
    Alece Ronzino recently posted..blessed assurance

  2. Dad owns several books in the “Foxfire” series. Legit.

  3. Thanks Matt. I’m glad I can be a part of the shifts in your thinking.

    By the way, I won’t post any pictures of our family lake vacation here, but I passed your book along to my sister in law during family vacation. She’s a former art teacher who now stays home with her kids. She really enjoyed it!
    ed cyzewski recently posted..First Draft Father: Turning Away from the Computer Screen

  4. My MIL has a set of the Foxfire books at her house–very interesting reading. Back in the 70’s my in-laws did a lot of traditional crafting demos (broom making, etc) for the museum they were working for.

    Other interesting reads, if you ever come across one, is old Girl Scout handbooks. I have a copy of one if the first ones that I found at a flea market. Girl Scouts back then were expected to learn practically everything–do there’s the instructions for first aid and housekeeping that you might expect alongside tips on how to stop a runaway horse or tie up a burglar.

  5. Loved reading your post on influence! Thanks!

    And I really enjoyed reading the Time article on the 50 year anniversary of the March on Washington. Just amazing!

    On a local discussion site, we’re discussing “Did Jesus only get mad at religious people?”
    Luke recently posted..The Mutt

  6. Congratulations on learning about one of the best kept secrets in the book world, that is the Foxfire series. They are amazing. I’ve been reading them for years since my Father-In-Law introduced them to me.