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Testimony

Long Days and the In-Between Times

Long Days and the In-Between Times

My husband and I decided to take advantage of the recent three-day weekend by potty training our not yet two-and-a-half-year-old son. It’s times like these when my palms begin to shake, missing late nights or showering regularly or skipping out of the house for a spontaneous dinner gathering.

Instead, I spent the weekend in my pajama pants with the Wiggles singing in the background, carefully eyeing my son to make sure he didn’t unload on our carpet.

Wild times.

Today is shaping up to be crisis-free–a real rarity in (our) married life. From the moment we said our vows, life has felt like…

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Heading Back to Church: The Prodigal Son and His New Year’s Resolution

Heading Back to Church: The Prodigal Son and His New Year’s Resolution

Like you, I adore and admire the New Years’ resolutions that fill my social media newsfeed every January. Please, tell me more about the Whole30 diet you are doing. Yes, I want to see your feet photos from the treadmill. Smart friends, what books you will be reading while I watch the latest incarnation of the Housewives franchise?

I kid, of course. Resolutions do have their place. There’s something hopeful about them, even when done with tongue in cheek. Something unavoidable. And Lord knows we can use all the cheerleaders we can get, virtual or no.

Just please, keep our churches out…

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Never Tell Me the Odds: Growing Up with Star Wars and The Force Awakens (NO SPOILERS)

Never Tell Me the Odds: Growing Up with Star Wars and The Force Awakens (NO SPOILERS)

The new Star Wars movie hits tonight. It’s giving me the shakes.

Two years ago, I shared this post with Mockingbird readers as Disney announced the J.J. Abrams helmed Star Wars VII. Can you believe it? Some have been waiting for this movie release for 30+ years and the countdown is almost over. Tonight, at 7pm, we’ll know whether or not to have a “new hope” in this latest franchise reboot.

I won’t speak for you, but it’s been a hard two years for me, and not because of the long wait. We’ve all suffered the endless think pieces and hot takes about how…

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Hello From the Inside

Hello From the Inside

It is a fact that approximately 4 billion people are singing Adele’s “Hello” in the shower at any given moment, somewhere around the world. Okay so it hasn’t been proven by scientists, but you know that it’s true. Sales of “Hello” went platinum only three weeks after its release. Something about this song has utterly captured and hypnotized us all. Just yesterday I was listening to it in the car and afterwards, my two-year-old son yelled from the backseat, “Do one more time!” with a tone of desperation I have never heard from him. The power of “Hello” is not…

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Including That One: The Absolution of a Halitosis Hater

Including That One: The Absolution of a Halitosis Hater

A stop-you-in-your-tracks story of grace from the first chapter of Nadia Bolz-Weber’s new book, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People, involving her dealings with a rather hapless newcomer to House of All Sinner and Saints. There are a lot of wonderful stories in the book, but this may be my favorite, for no other reason than the mundanity of the infraction. So true to life! Anyway, those who were at the NYC conference in April may recognize the episode. I read it at a class the other night and we all had ourselves a good cry. Posted with permission:

I never…

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"I don't care! I'd rather sink -- than call Brad for help!" laments Lichtenstein's 1963 Drowning Girl.

Your Best Story, Now!

Here’s how I know God exists: he ruined my life. Multiple times. The guy can’t seem to nail my happy ending!

In my late twenties, I had finally finished my doctorate, summiting my professional goals–and I was ready for my personal happy ending: perfect man, two kids, beautiful home. Instead, my third roommate in a row became engaged while I didn’t even have a date to my little sister’s wedding. I dutifully prayed with one eye glaring at God, wondering why he was ruining my painstakingly constructed life. I had a schedule to keep!

Up to that point, I had curated an image of God based…

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In the Way of Happy Gilmore: “Mista, Mista, GET ME OUTTA HERE!”

In the Way of Happy Gilmore: “Mista, Mista, GET ME OUTTA HERE!”

Not that I’m a 300-pound drunk biker guy covered with tattoos ode to my mother, but my favorite thing to yell at any live show is “FREEBIRD!!” I know, I’m like the cliché bar-scene from every movie you’ve ever seen.

But seriously, no matter the cliché, I love this song. It makes me feel…free. Like stop-shaving-wave-a-lighter-in-the-air free.

Freedom is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. I wish I could say it’s because of the refugees pouring into Europe right now, fleeing the brutal tyranny in their home countries. Or because I’ve been so deeply inspired by the Pope’s visit to…

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Constructing Identity One Bookshelf at a Time, Or, What I Learned Living Out of My Car

Constructing Identity One Bookshelf at a Time, Or, What I Learned Living Out of My Car

This reflection comes from our vagabond-in-recovery, Lizzie Stallings.

Room with a view

There is a certain restlessness that stems from living out of one’s car. Daily games of I-Spy become the modus operandi, resulting in frequent conversations with oneself—along with a staggering degree of comfort in talking quite audibly to no one:

“Where are my shoes? Ah, yes, under that box of oatmeal. But then, where is my wallet? Oh…here, wedged in the spine of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes—with my headlamp! Perfect! Ah, but wait… my keys? Oh yes, in my collapsible camping pot!”

This lifestyle was a result of my decision to…

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Life as an Approval Squirrel

Life as an Approval Squirrel

This reflection comes from real-life grace bully, Scott Brand.

I have a pretty large dog who loves chasing squirrels. I know this is not a revelatory attribute, but my dog is less interested in catching and eating the squirrels and more interested in just chasing and playing with them. The problem is he unaware of how big he is, so it ends up being more of a Lennie-playing-with-rabbits scenario every time he catches one. Recently, I moved into a house that does not have a completely fenced in backyard, but now when I have to chain him up his tether doesn’t quite reach…

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Happy 22nd Birthday to August and Everything After

Happy 22nd Birthday to August and Everything After

On September 14, 1993 Counting Crows released their first album August and Everything After, and twenty-two years later it’s worth recognizing that this album, despite its all-too depressing lyrics, just never gets old.

More than anything, the album is about transience. Several sources suggest that the band pulled its name from an old saying that goes something along the lines of: “If you hang onto the flimsiness of anything you may as well be standing there counting crows.” I suppose that because birds come and go, and because they’ll dizzy you up with all their flapping anyway, it’s a useless task to try and count them, and it’s definitely not…

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New Country, Same Old Sin

New Country, Same Old Sin

This one comes to us from none other than Asher Noble. FTB:

On July 16th, Australian rock band Tame Impala released their highly anticipated new album, Currents. I don’t claim to be a music critic, but I know when I hear music I like. The band released four singles off the record prior to its formal debut, which formed the soundtrack to spring for my friends and me. It’s hard to describe what was so good about these tracks, but they stuck, and we developed a somewhat cultish fandom for Tame Impala. The resulting excitement for the full-length release was new…

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“When I Run, I Feel His Pleasure”, and Sometimes I’m Just Pleasant

“When I Run, I Feel His Pleasure”, and Sometimes I’m Just Pleasant

I was talking about the film “Secretariat” with a friend recently, and I remember him saying “I’m not really into horse movies”. That made me laugh. It’s like saying “I’m not into books about turtles”. It just seems to be an odd thing to be averse to. Anyway, I guess if I was pressed on the topic, I’d say I kind of like horse movies, Sea Biscuit, Secretariat, War Horse, and Black Beauty all come to mind. The film Secretariat came up in our conversation because we were talking about favorite movie scenes. I had mentioned that one of my…

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