this glorious maze

because life is full of twists and turns

So I was listening to this one podcast…

“So I was listening to this one podcast…”

My husband estimates that I start a sentence this way about three times a day.  He’s probably not far off.  I’m always listening to podcasts and bringing them up in conversations.  Last year my friend Katie shared a huge list of her favorite podcasts and many of my top-picks are on there too.  But today I’m sharing a few new (or at least, new to me) podcasts that have been grabbing my attention recently.  (All links are to iTunes, but you can find most of these on Google Music, Stitcher, etc)

The Liturgists Podcast 

Start with: Episode 24: Christian Nationalism 

This podcast has sparked many great discussions between me and my husband.  The hosts are progressive Christians who are willing to delve into difficult topics and have unflinching discussions.  They have some great guests as well!

Missing Richard Simmons

Start with: Where’s Richard?

I’ll be frank: I never thought I would be so interested in a podcast about Richard Simmons.  I had a vague knowledge of his disappearance from the public eye, but I hadn’t kept up on the story.  This podcast investigates his sudden vanishing and it is EXCELLENT (and it is just getting started so if you want to listen in real life it would be easy to catch up).

Prophetic Imagination Station

Start with: Connie Comes to Town

If you grew up evangelical like I did, you may be familiar with a little radio show called Adventures in Odyssey.  In this brand new podcast D.L. Mayfield (a writer I admire) and her husband discuss and critique episodes of AIO.  Think of it like Gilmore Guys for post-evangelicals.  I seriously should have started this podcast myself because I’ve spent a lot of time rehashing those old episodes.

How To Be A Girl 

Start with: Episode 1: Mama, I’m A Girl

In this podcast a mom shares her experiences raising a transgender daughter.  I love conversations about psychology and parenting so this is a good combination of the two.  It’s given me more empathy and awareness for families like these and I’m glad for that.

Pray As You Go

Start with: today’s date!

This is a short prayer service on a podcast run by British Jesuits.  They combine prayer, Scriptures, music and a short reflection into a 10-15 minute episode for each day of the year.  I love listening to it as I get ready in the morning.  (You do have to go into the feed and manually download new episodes each week as they don’t keep the entire years worth of episodes up)

Terrible, Thanks for Asking

Start with: In Love and Memory

Just a warning: if you listen to this podcast, you might cry.  A lot.  I still love it.  The host, Nora, gives people permission to talk about how they’re really doing.  They have covered all sorts of topics: suicide, brain injuries, miscarriage, infertility, sexual assault, murder and cancer.  It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.  But I love this idea of talking about those taboo topics honestly.  Nora is a funny, gracious host for this podcast.  I think you’ll like it.

Is that the weirdest mix of podcasts ever?  Probably.  But they’re all good.

If you listen to any of these I would love, LOVE to hear what you think.  (I’m not just saying that.  I really would!)  Connect with me on Facebook or on Twitter.

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If you tell your 4 year old about abortion, will you also tell her about rape?

To the stranger on social media,

I saw your post about abortion.  How you told your 4 year old that some mamas don’t want their babies in their bellies any more.  So they kill them.  Your words, not mine.

Here are the questions I’ve been asking ever since I saw your post:

If you tell your 4 year old about abortion, will you also tell her about sex?  Because I know that in many households, children learn about abortion years and years before they learn about sex.  And that seems off to me.  Does she even know how babies get in bellies?  And if you haven’t told her, why not?  Why is it too early to learn about something beautiful, but the right time to learn about something heartbreaking?

If you tell your 4 year old about abortion, will you also tell her about contraceptives?  And will you tell her that it is her right and every woman’s right to have them at an affordable cost?

If you tell your 4 year old about abortion, will you also tell her about rape?  How women, teenagers, and even tiny girls can be forced against their will?  How it can happen once or happen repeatedly, but either way leaves deep and lasting imprints on the woman.  How sometimes that vile, despicable act results in pregnancy?  How a girl who has already had her body snatched from her would feel when she learns that the effects of the rape will continue to be physically in her for 9 months?

If you tell your 4 year old about abortion, will you also tell her about mamas who want to keep their babies?  Who are making a decision that rips their heart in pieces?  Because that is part of this story as well.  You can’t simply reduce this down to “mamas who don’t want their babies.”  Women agonize over this choice and come to this decision for a wide variety of reasons.

I’m not asking you to support abortion.  But, my friend, if you decide that 4 years old is the right age to learn about abortion, will you at least tell the whole story?

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Completion > Perfection {an honest video review of Chatbooks}

I’m aaaaaalive.  And by that I mean that I am finally taking the time to sit and write one of the many blog posts I’ve been composing in my head for, oh, several months now.  So here’s a quick review of the photo book company Chatbooks:

Since Hadden was born I’ve known that I needed to start collecting and printing our family photos.  I had this intense guilt over all the wonderful photos we had that were just hanging out in The Cloud.  I wanted to do something with them, but I was paralyzed by a need for them to be perfect.  As my reserve of pictures grew so did my guilt.

When I heard about Chatbooks I was skeptical as to whether I’d like it or not.  I still had the idea of an intricate scrapbook (a la Creative Memories) but with no desire or talent to actually MAKE that scrapbook.  So while I was waited for my first Chatbook to arrive, I had some serious reservations.

After several months of trying out their products I can now highly recommend Chatbooks.  The convenience and price simply cannot be beat.  And I’ve been happy with all the items I’ve received.

As I say in the video, I would NOT use Chatbooks for, say, your wedding album.  The quality just isn’t on par with other photo books I’ve made even on the pictures I’ve taken with my “good” camera.  I have liked the books I’ve received enough that I am working on six other books and plan to have all of them printed once I edit the captions and add Caleb’s photos.

I also love the fact that at any time I can go on and order another copy of a book.  If we ever lose them during a move or if we decided to print copies of our family albums for our kids, it will take me just a few clicks before a new album is on its way to our home.



A few additional things:

  1. Chatbooks contacted me in the spring and offered to send me a free book.  However there was no mention or obligation of writing a review in exchange for the product.  I had a frustrating experience at the beginning of working with them and the book that was offered never actually came.  Instead I was given a credit and with that I made my own book (again, .  Even after the rough start, I’ve since fallen in love with this company.  I chose to do a review on my own because I wanted to share it with people.  All opinions are my own.
  2. I am THE WORST on video.  And I know it.  So if it sounds awkward to you, don’t worry: I’m aware. But I wanted to actually show the products and knew that filming would be much faster than trying to describe each thing.
  3. What you can’t see in this picture is Adelaide sitting right next to me in her highchair trying to figure out what the heck I was doing!  I was waiting for her to make some noise, but she was perfectly quiet the whole time.

If you follow this link, you can get your first book FREE!  That is a referral link so if you follow it and make a Series book (rather than a Custom), I receive a small credit to my account.  If you’d prefer not to use the referral link, you can usually find other deals around the web!  Try it out!

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