All posts by Taryn Frazier

About Taryn Frazier

Taryn and her young family live in Pittsburgh, where her husband serves as pastor and principal in the New Church society. Taryn enjoys being a wife and a mother to three small kids. She enjoys building community, reading, being outdoors, and thinking about education--hers and the kids'.

Just Who Do We Think We Are?

I read books—mostly fiction—like most of us eat popcorn: frequently, in large quantities, and without much chewing. But there’s one I’ve been slowly nibbling on that has affected me more than any other secular book I’ve read in 2018: Mindset by Carol Dweck. It’s changed the way I think, especially about my spiritual life.

Dr. Dweck, a psychologist from Stanford University, asserts that way people view their talents, personalities, and skills affects the way they approach almost every aspect of life. According to her theory, people adopt either a “fixed” mindset or a “growth” mindset. Those who take a fixed mindset approach—say, about learning to play the piano—believe that ability is static, that talent largely explains success. But those with a growth mindset believe that they can change—that effort will result in improvement. Dweck illustrates her theory with extensive research and neat anecdotes from the worlds of sport, art, education, business, and relationships.

To be honest, I almost stopped reading at the introduction because her idea was so simple. Most of us would say that a good attitude and hard work can get us places. But do we truly believe that? Dr. Dweck shows how insidious and damaging the fixed mindset can be. Continue reading Just Who Do We Think We Are?

Busy Busy

My kids like to listen to a song called “Busybusybusy”. The kids find the rapid delivery funny, but their mother finds the whole thing a little dark. It’s worth a couple minutes of your life.

For those of us in charge of a house and maybe a kid or three, life sometimes seems to boil down to busily shuffling stuff around. I dress the kids, put the kids in the car, buy the groceries, shuttle them home, assemble a meal, wash the dishes and car, then wash and dress the kids for bed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It’s easy to get stuck on the treadmill of this material world and to forget the Lord’s eternal purpose.

After a spiritually foggy year, I stopped making excuses for why I wasn’t raising my mind up to the Lord and His Word regularly. (I’m too tired, I need to sweep the floor, I can’t decide where to begin, and so on.) I joined an online study group.

Last week, I was dutifully trudging through the Arcana, and as often happens when I dutifully trudge through the Arcana, the Lord had a gem of a passage waiting there for me. I was reading a section explaining Genesis 35. Continue reading Busy Busy

Connect

“We have no portion in David, and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his tents, O Israel!” – 2 Samuel 20:1

This quote comes from the mouth of a troublemaker speaking in a troubled time thousands of years ago. Sheba, a Benjamite, questions King David’s authority as the united tribes of Israel are splintering into factions. It was a time of confusion and grief, anger and betrayal.

“Every man to his own tent!” The call sounds familiar to my modern ears. I read this part of 2 Samuel again recently, because the story felt applicable to the state of the world today.

Many felt grief and confusion this month. The shooting in a Florida high school has affected many hearts. We air our theories, mourn, rage. It seems easiest to pull away, to splinter into comfortable factions–everyone to his or her own tent.
Continue reading Connect

Reputation

We live in an age of openness. News, gossip, opinions, and images spread like wildfire over the internet. We put a lot of energy into curating Facebook walls and Instagram feeds to show our followers a desirable image. But watch out. One tweet can ruin your life, warns the New York Times. Years ago, a relative of mine who works in politics said something to me that stayed with me: “Operate as if everything you say, write, or type is tattooed on your forehead.”

As wives, friends, or mothers, we occupy powerful positions. I see my loved ones at their lowest, grumpiest, holey-sweat-pant moments. The annoying habit my husband has? Noted. The toddler tantrum over the wrong cup? I’m there. The parenting mistake my friend made? Saw it. If one tweet can ruin my life, I should be just as careful with others’ reputations.
Continue reading Reputation