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because life is full of twists and turns

Month: May 2014 (page 1 of 5)

The Best of the Month: May


May has been a light month for me, both in writing and reading.  Between planning for, traveling to, and recovering from my sister’s beautiful wedding (and let’s be honest, a Veronica Mars marathon), I just haven’t spent as much time writing as I probably should have.  Let’s chalk May up to being  a brain-break month, eh?  Still, I did do some reading and so I’ve collected the most thought-provoking posts I’ve read this month.  Take a look!



Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy: 5 Book Summer Reading Guide

I chose 5 titles that 1. are tremendously entertaining, 2. have broad appeal, and 3. are perfect for the beach, pool, or lounge chair in the backyard. This means the “breezy novels” category is over-represented, but I think I’m okay with that.



Rachel Held Evans: 3 Things You Might Not Know About Proverbs 31

As I did more research, I learned that indeed the only instructive language in the poem is directed at the poem’s intended male audience: “Praise her for all her hands have done.”  And yet many Christians interpret this passage prescriptively, as a command to women rather than an ode to women, with the home-based endeavors of the Proverbs 31 woman cast as the ideal lifestyle for all women of faith


Kathryn Joyce at American Prospect: By Grace Alone

“The reason why offenders get away with what they do is because we have too many cultures of silence,” Tchividjian said. “When something does surface, all too often the church leadership quiets it down. Because they’re concerned about reputation: ‘This could harm the name of Jesus, so let’s just take care of it internally.’”

“Jesus doesn’t need your reputation!” Tchividjian declared. “When somebody says that, it’s a lie. Keeping things in the dark and allowing souls to be destroyed by abuse, that shames the Gospel. Jesus is all about transparency.”



Sarah Millican at Radio Times: Twitter was a pin to my excitable Bafta balloon

Then I went onto Twitter and it was like a pin to my excitable red balloon. Literally thousands of messages from people criticising my appearance. I was fat and ugly as per usual. My dress (the one that caused ooohs in a department store fitting room?) was destroyed by the masses. I looked like a nana, my dress was disgusting, was it made out of curtains, why was I wearing black shoes with it. I cried. I cried in the car.

Why does it matter so much what I was wearing? Why did no one ask my husband where he got his suit from? I felt wonderful in that dress. And surely that’s all that counts.


Madia at Afghan Women’s Writing Project: Does a Head Scarf Define the Girl?

Someday, I will tell my daughter to study hard, get an education, and make her own future so she can make changes in our country. I will tell the same thing to my son: study hard and never believe there is a difference between girls and boys.

Girls should never believe only what people tell them or think of them. They should be able to become anything they want in life, and wear anything they want to wear. Girls should always be free.


Deidra Riggs at Jumping Tandem: Why We Don’t Need to Cringe About the Platform 

So, what if we writers embraced a different image of the platform? …For us, good stewardship means sitting down in front of the blank page or screen and putting a message into words in the best way we know how. And so, what if we writers started to see the platform as the perfect surface on which to set a fabulous table with chairs for everyone? And what if we—instead of standing there, with our palms sweating and our eyes squinting in the glare of a spotlight we never pursued—invited anyone who will, to join us at the table and to celebrate the feast?


Carly Gelsinger: My Husband is Not My Spiritual Leader

Then one day about two or three years into our marriage, in the middle of another why-aren’t-you-my-spiritual-leader argument, I heard just how whiny, weak and manipulative my own voice sounded.

“I’ve been saying this for years, and I don’t even know what it means,” I confided in him. “It was just something I’ve always heard.”


“fearlessly expanding the feminine voice”

When a woman says she feels called to ministry (or to preach), her motives are immediately questioned.  Her character is vetted.  She has to prove herself over and over again.  

…A person’s motives may not be pure when they decide to become a pastor, but I think that has much less to do with their gender and more to do with their character.

What is the best thing you’ve read (or written) this month?

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the post-vacation slump

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My beautiful sister and her wonderful new husband

This weekend we had the pleasure of attending my little sister’s wedding.  It was a long weekend as we drove 10 hours each way and then spent the days there in a flurry of wedding details.  But we had a wonderful time with my siblings and especially loved seeing Hadden bond with his cousins.


Now we’re home and I’m in the post-vacation slump.  I have a “thing” about leaving home – I always make sure it is in perfect order before we leave.  All the laundry is done, the sheets and towels are freshly laundered, the dishwasher is turned on as we walk out the door.  I like to come home to a clean house so that the first few days home are still fairly relaxing.  Last night when we first got home we quickly emptied the suitcases, did the laundry, and cleaned out my car. My other quirk about vacations is that I always encourage that Caleb take an extra day off of work.  Because most of our “vacations” actually revolve around other people, we like to take one day to relax together before life starts up again.  So we go to the grocery store and do yard work, but mostly, we hang out.  I love having this extra day built into our vacations to feel settled and connected as a family.  This morning we thought, for about an hour, that we might have been coming down with a stomach virus so I took that as an excuse to lay on the couch most of the day and play with Hadden.  But nothing ever came of the susceptive sickness – it must have simply been a combination of not enough sleep, too much travel, and five days of unhealthy eating.

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Once I decided that we definitely didn’t have any viruses, I baked cookies (my go-to therapy) and packaged them up to be dispersed.  Tomorrow real life continues, the vacation will officially be over, and I’ll need to renew our schedule.  But for tonight, I’m going to pretend we’re still on vacation.  🙂

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to my sister: on the eve of your marriage

When my little sister was graduating from high school I wrote her a letter.  So now, as she gets married, I’m doing another.  Most of this advice is second-hand so I’ll try to correctly attribute it when I can.

(photo source used under the Flickr Creative Commons license)


My beautiful Sister,

Congratulations!  We are so thrilled to be celebrating your marriage with you!  Here are a few words of advice:


Marriage is SO FUN!  I like to say that it is like having a sleepover every night with your best friend.  Everyone tells you horrible things and depressing statistics.  And those may be true, but they don’t HAVE to be true.  Remember to enjoy this!  Marriage is definitely hard, but if you focus on the negative, all you will see is the negative.


Be each other’s #1 cheerleader.  You are on the same team.  And you want the very best for each other.  Marriage can be passionate, but it can also be a partnership.  I think sometimes we turn up our noses at that idea because we think it is unromantic.  But viewing it as a partnership makes you seek the good for the other person and reminds you to work together for the good of the team.  And that’s a good thing.

Don’t be shocked if you find someone else attractive (or if he does).  It is bound to happen at some point.  Just be really careful with where you go next.

On a related note: Guard your marriage carefully.  There will be days when you feel much more connected to someone else.  Or he will be.  Even if it is a “just” an emotional connection, you need to keep your marriage the most important human relationship that you have.


Remember to make time for things that you both enjoy.  Visiting museums, hiking, going to concerts, or swing dancing – whatever it is, continue to do it once you’re married.

It’s okay to go to bed angry.  Emotions run high at night when you are exhausted and everything seems just a little bit better in the morning.  Resolve that you will deal with the issue first thing in the morning.

When you’re in the middle of a fight, force yourself to say through gritted teeth, “You are the most important person in the world to me and I am committed to working through this.”  It seems almost impossible to spit out at those moments, but it really helps focus on what’s important and remind yourself that you really do want to work things out with them. (From Joanna Goddard – I went through pages and pages of her archives trying to find that post, but couldn’t find it.  So you’ll just take my word for it!)

Fight fair.  Don’t bring up past issues that you’ve dealt with already.  If you know you can say something that will only, surely wound them, don’t say it.  (from our sister)


It is more important to love than to be right.  Remember this especially at times when you find yourself in a petty fight.  (from a professor)


Submit.  One to another.  As egalitarians it is easy for us to think that we don’t have to submit to our husbands since we believe in mutual submission.  Speaking from experience, it is easy to think that submitting “one to another” means that I am off the hook.  But, as with most things in marriage, it doesn’t work out well if I’m more focused on correcting my spouse’s actions than on my own.

You have chosen each other as your most important relationship.  If someone is consistently unsupportive of one or both of you, you may need to set some serious boundaries with that person.  (from a former pastor)

Don’t let logistics keep either of you from following your passions and doing what God has called you to do (from Shauna Niequist in this video)

Don’t be afraid of being the one who loves the most even though it is a vulnerable position.  When you let yourself be deeply loved by another, you are inevitably giving them be ability to deeply wound you.   (from C.S. Lewis in The Four Loves, I think).  


Happy wedding weekend, sister!





What’s the best marriage advice you have ever received?





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