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When Christmas Looks Like Easter: Reflections from the First 72 Hours of Processing Grief

On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth… – Isaiah 25:7-8 No one’s ever really gone – Luke Skywalker On Christmas Eve, my Dad slipped into a […]

Where Is the Gospel in Adoption?

Grateful for this anonymous piece: I became an orphan 37 years ago, somewhere in South Korea. I can’t be more specific — I don’t know when I was left, who left me, or even where. My orphanage paperwork only says that sometime that summer, “By request of [the police], we intook the child to be […]

Vacations, Adventures, and Restless Hearts

As I am writing this, I am back on my break. You know, the one where the kids are at school and the house is peaceful and quiet. My family and I had a blessed Christmas and New Year, but I have to admit (with some feelings of guilt) that I consider the breaks from […]

A Primer for Staying Married at Christmas 

Christmas is, as we say in our household, the season of BIG FEELINGS. Expect all of them from your spouse. And from yourself. Without judgement. The other night I realized our daughter called thermometers “mothers,” and I could not find a suitable amount of Kleenex. My husband looked perplexed and said, “Are you sure that […]

Christmas Triggers

In 1965 I was 10 years old. In full retreat from a mid-century family, I was a complete Peanuts fan boy. I had every (every) one of the bound compendiums, all the way back to the very first strip—started before I was born—plus bobblehead dolls, books on Charles Schulz (the cartoonist), and a poster or […]

Mr. Archie and Waiting in Advent

Every month, we pay a certain sum of money for music lessons. In theory, this is so that our children will learn how to read music, perform in front of a crowd, and take direction. In reality, they learn so much more than that, and that music tuition is worth every penny. Our youngest, Ben, […]

From Mary’s Womb

My son was being showered with attention and shouts of “Happy Birthday!” when another mom leaned over to me and quietly said, “Happy Giving-Birth-Day to you!” And I thought, “Yeah! Why is he getting all of the attention? I’m the one who went through childbirth!” Soon of course that attitude passed, and I continued celebrating […]

Middle School, Santa Claus, and the Love that Surpasses Understanding

I’ve written a fair amount about Christmas, and how our family celebrates Christmas. We honor Santa with a nod to the big guy, but we don’t go all-out with lumps of coal and threats of surveillance. Santa was one of those things about parenthood that I put entirely too much thought into at the beginning, […]

A Grave Hope

And if life is a miraculous opening, why cannot death be a miraculous opening also? — Brian Doyle 1 In Acts 7:16, readers are told that the bodies of Jacob and his twelve sons were brought back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the […]

Shooting Blanks: Baby-Making in an Age of Anxiety – Ben Maddison

From our Spring conference in NYC, the following video features Mockingbird contributor Ben Maddison, in a talk about fatherhood and fertility in the 21st century. For more, see his previous work The Weight of Masculinity and Mary Definitely Knew.

Shooting Blanks: Baby-Making in an Age of Anxiety – Ben Maddison from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

What’s Missing in Marriage Story

This one comes to us from Benjamin Y. Goff. Spoilers ahead. “Criminal lawyers see bad people at their best, divorce lawyers see good people at their worst,” and the adage could not be truer in Noah Baumbach’s newest film, Marriage Story. With a misleading title, the movie follows the demise of an actor-director couple (Scarlett […]

A Hope for Thanksgiving: Assigning Grace Instead of Malice 

I was in late elementary school the first time I heard someone use a racial slur in my house. This was quite a feat in Mississippi where such a word was common parlance. My parents had never really commented about why we did not say it. I just knew that we did not say it. […]