October 21, 2017

Brain Power: How Deeply Do you Think?


Many stay-at-home moms mourn the state of their “brain power.” With wiping noses, changing diapers, and speaking on a 2 year old’s vocabulary level, the tendency can be to forget the power and gift that deep thinking can be.

We remember the brainstorming days when we pondered deep, metaphysical ideas, and now our mathematical excellence ponders how to split the ice cream sandwich perfectly in half, so that there are no arguments over whose section is larger.

Yet, just because we might not sit around solving the worlds’ problems on a daily basis (although it might feel that way in our home), I thought I would share what I am pondering today.

I am at a three day practicum/conference through Classical Conversations ( a home school program in which I am a director) on Expanding my Vision. Right now, as I type, we are digging apart the following quote.

“Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought.”  Abraham Lincoln

By looking at historical, political, spiritual, and societal implications that this quote has on our lives in view of the present world situation is fascinating. Considering that we must start by defining our terms, and my definition of “freedom” comes from a unwavering world view, it’s eye opening to me that the definition of “freedom” in our society is incredibly controversial. Determining “what it means to be free”,  and the ability to have varied views on life issues is what makes America great.

Some of the questions we have asked after throwing out many definitions on freedom:  Are there “oughts”? Are there unspoken “oughts”? Who determines them?

Freedom is a gift that comes at a cost. Not just a cost to those who have gone before us, but one we need to think deeply about, consider, and act on for the health of our future generations.

So, that is my bit of brain power for the day. Brain fitness is important. I hope you can dust off some of those cob webs with me, because I have too many lurking webs still hiding in the recess of my cerebrum. 😉


  1. I usually read several books at one time and try to have one of them be a deeper type book that really makes me think. It helps me think in areas outside of my usually homemaking, child rearing, eduction type reading. A good deep book or conversation is good for all of us once in a while.


  2. Kerry D. says:

    Yes, I deeply mourned not only thinking deep and complex thoughts, but also the luxury of an uninterrupted thought! So much, that I went back to grad school when my kids were in school and loved it. Yes, graduate work and writing a 100 page thesis is much easier than caring for children and a family. Just in case anyone wondered. “Mom-work” is the hardest job on the planet! Ladies, don’t forget how amazing you are.


  3. Just found your blog, and love it!

    The beauty of being a mom is that on any given day you can converse with a pre-verbal child, have a deep discussion on the true causes of the Civil War with your middle school child, ponder the merits of delaying dating with your teen-aged daughter, and if you’re lucky, encourage your husband in his employee-relations!!

    Well, maybe not all in one day. . . (unless your children are as spread out as mine!), but the seasons will bring all of these and more. Changing diapers. . . . changes to something else soon enough!



  4. Good thoughts in this post! My goal has been to bring theology (study of who God is) because I am a Christian into my mommy moments as I teach. Little by little, when we teach what pleases God to a two year old, we can be thinking about how to apply that in our own adult life too. Talking about being kind when another kid is not so kind, that’s something to contemplate from birth to death. Things to think about when you fold the laundry!
    So the thought on freedom you spoke about, is Great to mull over. Who gives the freedom? If it comes from God, then he’s the one to set the rules. Christ says Pick up your cross, follow me. If I die to myself, freedom looks a little different than the common use of the word.


    Jen Reply:

    Absolutely – since it was a Christian group that we were discussing this with, you can bet that we covered that first before heading into the political or economic aspects.


  5. OH MY WORD! I sat diagonally behind you at practicum and did not even realize it was you! I guess that would be weird to run up and say I have read your blog for years though wouldn’t it? Thanks for sharing this!


    Jen Reply:

    No, it wouldn’t have been weird. I have that happen a lot. BUT, I am more concerned that you didn’t recognize me. (And honestly, I don’t photo shop my pictures, really. It must be the few extra pounds I have put on these last few months.) 😉 I did the training for the non-tutors for the week.


    Allison Reply:

    Oh I don’t think you photo shop at all. Everything was such a blur and I was trying to soak up so much. This will be my first year tutoring and second using CC’s method. I am excited and apprehensive at the same time. Anyway I just thought it was cool that I sat down to read this and realized we were in the same place. 🙂


    Jen Reply:

    You will do great. This is my ninth year with CC. I have tutored all the cycles and been a director for six years. We have loved it. What group are you with?
    (I was teasing about the photoshop ;)).

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