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Family


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. […]

A Parent Trap in Ghana and the Double Bind of the Law

This one comes to us from Ryan Alvey. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good. (Rm 7:12) For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a […]

Classic Jazz, Pinot Noir, and Law/Gospel Couplets

He had ice water, I had the remnants of a large bottle of pinot noir. We clinked cup and bottle in a toast. He had been invited into the fellowship of the fellas — my exclusive man-cave or rather man-dungeon (I’m poor after all). It had been a long weekend filled with parental demands and […]

Lie Down and Die: The History of Miserable Motherhood (and an Unmapped Plug)

“I declare if I tho’t I was to be thus occupied for the rest of my life, I would — I was going to say — lie down & die.” So wrote a new nursing mother Laura Wirt Randall in 1828, as quoted in the book Scarlett’s Sisters by historian Anya Jabour. To which we reply, […]

Inherited Sin and Family Secrets: A Review of Nora Krug’s Belonging

My husband, overwhelmed by the news cycle a few years ago, re-subscribed to Ancestry.com. We call it “social media for dead people.” He will tell anyone who asks how interesting this has been for him. He will also tell you that if you are interested in researching your own family histories, you should beware that […]

All Hallows Eve Is for Sufferers

“The harvest was in, the summer done, the world brown and drab and mindful of death. Snow had not yet descended to comfort and hide the bony trees or blackened fields; so with little effort man could look about and see a meditation on death and life hereafter… The vigil for the souls, as well […]

The Zen Parent Writes of Posture

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. – Matthew 6:34 ~ As I was busily typing a sermon one Saturday evening, my seven-year-old son crept into my bedroom. He had gotten out of his bed because he was scared. Naturally, I asked him why. He whispered tearfully, “I can’t put […]

Another Week Ends: Time-Wasting Projects, Serotonin, Destination Funerals, the Hope of Children, the Languages of Love, and Jesus is King

1. Ear Hustle is a podcast about incarceration. It shares stories about life in San Quentin prison and the reintegration into life that follows a sentence there. The final episode of the recent fourth season is a hard story of reconciliation between a police officer and the man who shot him and went to jail […]