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A New Recipe: Grace in Family Life

A New Recipe: Grace in Family Life

This is an edited version of a talk given by the famed child psychologist, Dorothy Martyn, at the second annual Mockingbird Conference in 2009 and republished in our most recent issue of the magazine, the Deja Vu Issue. She died in January 2018. I suppose that you are, in some way or another, engaged in […]

Grace in Grandparenting

Grace in Grandparenting

My mom’s parents died when she was very young, and so the only grandparents I knew as a child were my father’s parents, who lived in the same town that we did. They were gracious babysitters, but my grandmother’s quirks were difficult, and they only got more challenging after my grandfather died when I was […]

Reckoning with Female Rage

Reckoning with Female Rage

Thankful for this one from Sarah Gates. One of my favorite podcasts is “Call Your Girlfriend,” self-described as “a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere,” co-hosted by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman. I listen to it nearly every Friday for a number of reasons, including the no-holds-barred attitudes of the hosts, their passionate feminism, and their […]

Everything for Nothing: <i>The Berenstain Bears</i> and the Black Hole of Pressure

Everything for Nothing: The Berenstain Bears and the Black Hole of Pressure

Fatherhood has become my most cherished title. I love being a dad and watching my daughter grow and learn and play and become who she is. Fatherhood has also, though, baptized me in the waters of children’s television, which, if you’re unfamiliar, is a genre of entertainment rife with princesses, anthropomorphic animals, and seemingly no […]

Turnips, Kiddies, and Icons

Turnips, Kiddies, and Icons

This reflection comes to us from Kim Kaufmann, part of the team at StoryMakersNYC (our awesome new children’s ministry initiative). Hold up an old, dried, brown, and knobbly turnip to a kid, and what do they say? “That looks like Gramma!” “It smells like poop!” “I bet there’s a fairy living inside!” “It’s a tree for […]

Healing in the Middle

Healing in the Middle

This piece comes to us from Andrew Taylor-Troutman. When I say Asa, I sing Asa – Bry Webb, “Asa” Our middle child is named Asa, which means Healer in Hebrew. His biblical namesake was the fifth ruler in the House of David, the third king of Judah. In his two and a half years, our […]

This Old House

This Old House

I asked my mom once if she believed in ghosts. She never seemed afraid of much of anything, and so I figured if she wasn’t afraid of them, it probably wasn’t worth bothering working myself up over them, either. “I don’t know about ghosts,” she replied. “But I do wish my mother could come visit […]

You Must Be This Tall (To Receive Grace)

You Must Be This Tall (To Receive Grace)

(Note: This was written with help, insight, and revision from my wife… Thank you, Angela.) “Wait a minute, Ma’am… does she have a disability?” The question cut through both of us like a word of law, judgment, and accusation. What was she getting at? What was she implying? Where are we going with this? Sigh. […]

Grace for Those With Father Issues (AKA Those With a Pulse) – Dave Johnson

Our next breakout video is one that really seemed to hit those in attendance right between the eyes. We’ve got our fingers crossed that Dave will turn it into a book:

Grace for Those with Father Issues (AKA, Grace for Those with a Pulse) – Dave Johnson from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Judgment and Relief at the End of Summer

Judgment and Relief at the End of Summer

In my neighborhood, the evidence of leaves already falling from the trees sounds a clear indictment and an unmistakable verdict: Summer is virtually gone…and I didn’t do enough to justify my existence. We didn’t do a good enough bona-fide family vacation—as in, we didn’t go anyplace exotic like Hawaii or Mexico or travel across country […]

Catch Me

Catch Me

This one comes from Andrew Taylor-Troutman.  A new friend, who is joining the church I serve, offered a Rumi reading to me from his morning devotional: Hold up a mirror to your worst destructive habits, for that is how the real making begins. ~ 1995 was my first year of high school. That spring, my […]

The Undeserved Vacation: The New Sabbath

The Undeserved Vacation: The New Sabbath

Tis the season… “I am on vacation, away from my office, Email access is remote so I may not respond until my return.” We seem to need vacation.  My father had the month of August off, but we went near nowhere (once a drive to DC to see a friend along the way and see […]