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About Stephanie Phillips

Wife, mom, dentist, writer, New Yorker, Southerner, Sydneysider, believer, sinner, overall case study in contradictions. @stephsphillips www.plansinpencil.com

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    My Lifestyle Brand Isn't Pretty, But It's Amazing

    My Lifestyle Brand Isn’t Pretty, But It’s Amazing

    “Reality is an ally of God.” — Richard Rohr When I was in dental school, I spent most afternoons with the rest of my class in the lab, where we’d toil over fake teeth for three hours. It was just as fun as it sounds, which led to filling the time with wandering conversations over […]

    Bad Takes and Gospel Truth: The Subtle Art of True Profanity

    Bad Takes and Gospel Truth: The Subtle Art of True Profanity

    I was eight years old when Back to the Future came out. (Fine, do the math. I’M FORTY.) I remember recapping the movie to a friend on what would now be called a playdate but at the time was just called being a kid. We were in my front yard, and I told her about […]

    The Things We Think And Do Not Say

    The Things We Think And Do Not Say

    I operated as if there’d be a verdict. An easy answer. A story. I operated as if we were setting the tone for the rest of our lives. It did not occur to me that we could simply muddle through. Change things later. Forgive ourselves. I was a freshman in college when Jerry Maguire came […]

    This Is Not My Fight Song

    This Is Not My Fight Song

    I was hungover on my wedding day. I say this not because I think it’s cute—and certainly my mom and sister, who drove me to the salon to get our hair did while I retched into a bucket in the backseat (it was one of the greeting baskets we gave to the wedding guests with […]

    The Stories We Tell

    The Stories We Tell

    For Valentine’s Day this year, my husband Jason and I opted out of the traditional romantic candlelit dinner scenario and, instead, took a too-seldom trip to the movie theater to see Black Panther. As with Wonder Woman before it, I had high expectations due to pre-release buzz surrounding the film. Also, I was just excited […]

    Womansplaining: A View from the Second X

    Womansplaining: A View from the Second X

    When I was pregnant with my first son, I spoke to a close friend who had given birth just a few months before. I was looking for reassurance and advice, and she told me that though having a newborn was hard, it did make her feel like she and her husband were on the same […]

    Because You Never Left

    Because You Never Left

    It’s no secret: I like God better when things are going well for me. Which makes 2017 a stellar year for the Almighty in my books. He landed us in Sydney, Australia, and provided a network of people and places to make us feel at home here: a beautiful home (actually, we’re on our second […]

    What If I Never Change?

    What If I Never Change?

    Sydney is currently seventeen hours ahead of my beloved EST, the time zone occupied by my former homes of New York and Atlanta. Funny how waking up so many hours ahead can leave me feeling so far behind. Most days our king-sized bed holds three to four people by the time of my sons’ circadian-induced […]

    #MeToo, and You

    #MeToo, and You

    My fingers hovered over the keys, wondering whether this was the right or wrong thing to do. Forty years’ practice keep me coming back to this default: not the nuanced, winding halls of grace but the black-and-white certainty of law. I considered and weighed, and I posted. There are three memories right off the top […]

    The Cold Predictability of Law and the Utter Loving Chaos of Grace

    The Cold Predictability of Law and the Utter Loving Chaos of Grace

    In this week’s episode of Bad Theology and Good Intentions, a podcast/film/concept album I have no intention of actually creating, I read a friend’s post on social media in which she admitted grappling with her short temper around her kids. She cited having a newborn and a young toddler and not getting any sleep as […]

    My Big Sick: When A Diagnosis Threatens to Define Us

    My Big Sick: When A Diagnosis Threatens to Define Us

    Over here in Sydney, the eclipse didn’t occur, and a 14-hour time jump from the East Coast means I actually often receive current events updates on a delay (while lying in bed reading them on my phone at 6am). The weird FOMO/day-ahead mentality, where my daylight is your nighttime, renders me disoriented; I feel as […]

    This Is Really 40

    This Is Really 40

    My family and I recently took a trip to Fiji. (I will pause momentarily for your pity.) My husband billed the “vacation” as part of my present for my upcoming fortieth birthday, even though since (a) the kids came along, and (b) trips with kids aren’t vacations, then by deductive reasoning, (c) I did not […]