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About Sarah Condon

Episcopal clergy lady at St. Martin's Church, Houston. Mother to Neil and Annie. Wife to Josh.

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    Seven Tips for Winning an Argument with Your Spouse

    The subtitle in the Love & Death Issue is, naturally, “How to Bring Hell into Your Household.”  

    1. Ignore initial pesky feeling that you might be wrong.

    If you are thinking to yourself that this is the moment to apologize, forget about it. You started this riot in the street and you are damn well going to finish it. Double down on your argument by 1000% Even if (especially if) you no longer believe it.

    2. Ask questions you already know the answer to.

    Did you even read that book I suggested? How many drinks have you had? Are we ever going on a vacation again?

    3. Blurt out expletives you typically reserve for car accidents.

    Most people exist on a sliding scale of what is considered really bad language. But we’ve all got those few words we reserve for life’s most precious moments: car accidents, iPhones dropped in toilets, and fights with our spouse. This is your chance! Because you are mad as hell and fresh out of ducks!

    4. Tell them they look just like their mother.

    Or father. Just choose whichever parent they have the most contentious relationship with. If you say this enough then you will start to believe it yourself. And then you might imagine you are kissing your mother in law. This one is the gift that you give yourself.

    5. Bring up your honeymoon.

    Surely, they did something that you hated. If you are among the .002 percent of Americans who had a bucolic honeymoon, then there’s always Christmases past, the birth of children, or that time you spent $5K at Disney World.

    (Bonus Pro Tip: Even soiling happy memories can be great fuel for the fire.)

    6. Repeat whatever they say back to them in an antagonistic voice.

    Especially if they’ve just said something kind and genuine. It looks like this, “Babe, can we just talk about this?” You respond, “OH, WE CAN TALK ABOUT THIS.” The possibilities are endless. Try to imagine yourself as a perched squawky bird.

    7. For the Ladies Only: Birth Stories

    Gloriously claim victory over any domestic chores argument by bringing up childbirth. “How great that you unloaded the dishwasher? I MADE BABIES!” This is especially effective if you do it in front of the babies you are talking about. Then, everyone will know you are a champion.

    Order Love & Death Here!

    Memo From Houston: What Harvey Taught Me

    Memo From Houston: What Harvey Taught Me

    One week you will be doing ballet barre classes and drinking self-righteousness smoothies and the next week you will be hunkered down on a couch in your native Mississippi, crying into your 6am Jimmy Dean pancake on a stick, while endlessly watching the Weather Channel.
    When your husband sends you and your kids away from Houston, you will not see him again for two weeks. You will have brought enough clothing for two days. You will stay with the most generous people you know until you and your family have officially worn out your loudass welcome. And then you will need…

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    The Alt-Right Are Zombies. Stay with Me.

    The Alt-Right Are Zombies. Stay with Me.

    Think about it. They are wandering the streets. They want to destroy those who are not like them. They are screaming for blood. And they are obviously terrifying.

    Christians have put out responses all over the map on this one. Tina Fey (a churchgoing Lutheran) has suggested we yell our anger into sheet cakes. Many of my colleagues have taken to the streets to show great love in the face of hate. Also, word on the street is that Beth Moore is pissed at these guys, too.

    Believers are rightly upset. Racism is undeniably a sin. And apparently the alt-right missed the…

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    Option B: A Primer for When Life Falls Apart

    Option B: A Primer for When Life Falls Apart

    When Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In debuted, I was in seminary with a newborn baby and an hour and a half commute. People in my life who did not have children at home were telling me to read her book right and left. “Its so insightful!” the empty nesters told me. “Women really can have it all!” well-meaning, but childless people insisted.

    Admittedly, I did not buy the book. I saw Sandberg interviewed a handful of times and thought, “I spend most of my nights getting a baby to bed. And then I fall asleep into an account of the…

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    People Are Dying in Texas and I Am a Lucky Schmuck

    People Are Dying in Texas and I Am a Lucky Schmuck

    As a Southern transplant to New York City, riding the subway during rush hour was the most jarring activity of the week. After a long day of work, people were ready to get home and order some takeout. In the summer, everyone smelled bad, me included. Train after train would pass with no room for the crowds to get on. There was always an air of chaos and immediacy that I haven’t experienced in any other setting.

    After a few months of this daily trial, I begin to notice the shift that would happen in myself as I…

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    Stranger Things: When Angels Show Up In Cadillacs

    Stranger Things: When Angels Show Up In Cadillacs

    When I was in the third grade a man tried to abduct me in our neighborhood. I was walking the five houses down to my best friend’s house, a thing I did almost everyday. A man pulled his car over and began to ask me questions.

    He wanted to know my name, how old I was, and where I lived. And then he paused for a moment and said, “Why don’t you take a ride with me?”

    Stranger Danger and a innately suspicious personality made me say “no.”

    He asked a second time if I could “just come a…

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    Love of Children and Fear of the World

    Love of Children and Fear of the World

    Stephen Marche’s The Unmade Bed is the book I cannot stop recommending. He talks about the state of modern marriage with unflinching clarity. And in a bold literary move, his wife provides footnotes. It is like being at a dinner party with the funny, poignant couple who occasionally correct one another’s stories.

    From a theological perspective, the book serves as the perfect, secular counterbalance to Robert Farrar Capon’s Bed and Board. In Capon’s era, it was women who made the bed, but in Marche’s modern take we learn that bed-making is an activity we all long to avoid. Seriously,…

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    Heaven Side Encouragement for Earth Side Ministry: A Remembrance of Ed Salmon

    Heaven Side Encouragement for Earth Side Ministry: A Remembrance of Ed Salmon

    The first time I met the Rev. Ed Salmon, he was ordaining a friend of mine at All Saints, Chevy Chase. I was immediately struck by just how much he felt like a bishop. He was open-hearted, generous, and incredibly Southern.

    Later I came to realize that he had either worked with or had a major impact on many of the Episcopal clergy who I know and love. Years ago, when one of my friends came into the Diocese of South Carolina as a newly ordained priest, Bishop Salmon told him, “In the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina…

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    Self-Righteousness at Home in the Twenty-First Century

    Self-Righteousness at Home in the Twenty-First Century

    Yet another harrowing indictment of modern family life recently came across my newsfeed. “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” chronicles the ways in which American family life is falling in on itself. Apparently things are worse than we thought. We are surrounded by our belongings, our children are staring at screens, and no one is going outside. Also, it turns out everyone is eating chicken nuggets. Dammit, America, haven’t we talked about this already?

    Mostly, all of the nuerotic-as-I-am mothers are posting articles about this book and wondering what we are doing to screw our kids up. We see…

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    The Handmaid's Tale: When My Zumba-Loving Heart Hit the Dance Floor

    The Handmaid’s Tale: When My Zumba-Loving Heart Hit the Dance Floor

    In Houston, Texas, Zumba is what God hath intendeth it to be. You will never hear a song in English because it is almost exclusively Latin music. Praise Jesus. Also, you will not hear many words spoken in English either. All of my teachers have been native Spanish speakers. Which is perfect, because many of the classes participants are too. So, Spanglish it is. God bless Texas. And Houston. #sanctuarycity4lyfe

    Some years ago, I attended my first Zumba class when we lived in Westchester County, New York. To say the least, I was not impressed. The music was mostly from the…

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    Free as a Mother: Telling the Devil to Sit on a Tack

    Free as a Mother: Telling the Devil to Sit on a Tack

    Last week, as my kindergartner and I approached the pool for his first swimming lesson of the season, I noticed all of the children sitting there in goggles. I panicked. Goggles! Of course! Forget that I learned how to swim without goggles. Forget that we go through 14 pairs of goggles a summer because we lose them like we are getting paid to. Forget that children the world over have swum without protective eye covering for millennia. My baby needed goggles and I forgot them.

    One more check in the Sarah is a Crappy Mom column.

    I always…

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    The Rev. Mrs. Fleming Rutledge is Not Ashamed of the Gospel

    The Rev. Mrs. Fleming Rutledge is Not Ashamed of the Gospel

    For several years now, people have been saying to me, “Sarah, you’ve got to read the Rev. Fleming Rutledge.” And for several years now I’ve politely nodded and thought to myself, “Sure, I’ll add him to the list of ordained dudes whose books I need to read.”

    That was, until last year, when I heard about Fleming Rutledge’s latest book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ. I googled this Fleming character and much to my surprise, this photo appeared:

    The beautiful hair, the earrings that can only be described as “earbobs,” and that scarf draped with…

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