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Children

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 […]

Motherhood in an Age of Anxiety: Your Story Isn't Good Enough

Motherhood in an Age of Anxiety: Your Story Isn’t Good Enough

Once, some years back, our young daughter was wandering around our church campus. Like any church campus, we can have multiple things happening in a day. But on this particular day, a woman who I have never met, who does not attend our church, saw my daughter. And she decided that her mother (me) was […]

The Narrow Path of Reconciliation

The Narrow Path of Reconciliation

Children often highlight the reality of the human experience in a kind of stark relief not obtained by adults. Young ones are more honest and less inhibited. Small people are less self-curated than those of us with more decades behind us. (At least until we get up into our seventies and eighties and realize it […]

The Future of Our Children: Doom, Gloom, and Love at the End of the World

The Future of Our Children: Doom, Gloom, and Love at the End of the World

This week Roy Scranton wrote a stirring op-ed for the New York Times called “Raising My Child in a Doomed World.” Frankly it’s not a headline you would have seen before 2016. Now, this rhetoric is everywhere. Fictional dystopias are no longer phantasms of who we could become, of where we might go, but of […]

Getting to Know Fred

Getting to Know Fred

My childhood memories involving Mr. Rogers were probably pretty average for kids my age; he was the nice storyteller that my parents trusted enough to give full control over our afternoon TV; his show always moving at a infuriatingly slow walking pace, with enriching guests like Yo-Yo Ma and other musicians showing up to uphold […]

Still in Diapers at Thirty

Still in Diapers at Thirty

We started potty-training Annie last weekend, and while it was certainly all-encompassing for a few days, it wasn’t as tortuous as the image I had built up in my mind. It began as most parents’ toilet training experiences do. On Saturday morning, we very ceremoniously threw away Annie’s diapers, saying “bye bye” as I bagged […]

Summer Bucket Lists and Taking a Seat at the Table

Summer Bucket Lists and Taking a Seat at the Table

I ended the school year a few days ago by high-fiving my seniors au-revoir at their graduation and have now set about making lists of #allthethings I hope to do with my girls this summer. Enter: the Summer Bucket List. In sharing my ideas with friends and building said list, I was motivated by two […]

Stupid Kids Doing Stupid Stuff

Stupid Kids Doing Stupid Stuff

This little piece comes to us from the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase. In the film “20th Century Women,” there’s a compelling scene between a mother and her teenaged son. The mother has just brought him home from the hospital; he was rushed there after playing a game with his friends that went wrong. The game involved […]

The First Chapter of Bed and Board by Robert Farrar Capon - New Edition Available Now!

The First Chapter of Bed and Board by Robert Farrar Capon – New Edition Available Now!

And now we present an excerpt from the most recent addition to our Robert Farrar Capon series, his greatly esteemed work Bed and Board: Plain Talk About Marriage. An essential book for any Capon-lover, this was Robert’s first bestseller, and you’ll see why in this introductory chapter, reproduced below. “Bed and Board is necessary and offensive […]

The Weight of Masculinity, Toxic or Otherwise

The Weight of Masculinity, Toxic or Otherwise

In our house, emotions were embraced. I was never told that “boys don’t cry;” it was never implied that men hide their emotions. When your dad is a professional opera-singing pastor-psychologist, and your mother a high-powered hospital executive, you get different messages about gender norms than most. As if you needed proof: my parents let […]

The Distraction of Grace

The Distraction of Grace

This reflection comes to us from Blair Kilgallen. Our two granddaughters had been staying with us for several days while our kids took a respite in Iceland before they got too weighed down with the arrival of their third child. Morning plans were set. My wife Rachel was working at the clinic. Arrangements were made for […]