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Posts tagged "family"


A New Year & A Better Immanuel…

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” -Matthew 1:23 Immanuel, God with us, epitomizes the Christmas season and carries certain implications which we could summarize in the following respects: Firstly, God has come near us not to condemn, but […]

Thanksgiving: A Personal History

There were the countless Thanksgivings of my childhood spent in the Mississippi Delta. There’s nothing better than farm country in the fall. Harvest has happened and deer hunting season is in full effect. I remember the adults being cavalier with their joy. I would sneak beers, and I once almost lit my Memaw’s house on […]

The Tempest of Ancestry.com

I can talk to just about anyone about just about anything. Gallbladder surgery. Grandchildren’s precociousness. Train schedules. Weather patterns. But, I do have one achilles’ heel: ancestry narratives. As soon as someone starts talking about their third great-grandfather’s cousin twice removed, and how that person fought in the battle of Waterloo, my eyes glaze over […]

Bumper Stickers and Background Screens: Reflections on Losing a Child

Our bumper stickers and computer backgrounds reveal so much about us. Through the college team logo, the institution we attended, a political cause, or images of loved ones, we tell the world so much about what we love, desire, and stand for. I have often considered what the picture displayed on my own screen represents […]

Grace in Goofiness

My parents have three daughters and a son. We girls were, and are: rule-followers, studious, somewhat-to-highly anxious, bookish. Two of the three of us skipped a grade and became valedictorians of our high school classes, while the other was the salutatorian, and all of us were the kind of students that teachers would leave in charge […]

Summer Vacay: Where is Mom’s Coffin?

Officially speaking, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying tells the story of Bundren family traveling to bury their mother, Addie. Quickly in the narrative she dies. Children and husband must fulfill last request to take Mom’s body on a 40-mile trek in a wagon to be buried in Jefferson, Mississippi. Written in 1930, it dances […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Matthew Chapter Three Verses Sixteen and Seventeen

June 9 in the Mockingbird Devotional comes from David Zahl. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is […]

The Virtue of Just Showing Up (at the Hospital)

It probably won’t come as a surprise that my personal favorite book of the year, which actually came out in 2012, was Tim Kreider’s We Learn Nothing. A collection of essays on everything from Busyness and Friendship to Identity and Politics and Family to Death and Books (sometimes in the same paragraph), it’s as funny […]

Start-Up, Stay-at-Home Visionary: Solace for the Perfect Mom

The New York Times Magazine’s cover piece for this past week is a rejoinder to one from 2003, about mothers “opting out” of ambitious, lucrative career fields, to become stay-at-home mothers. This time, ten years later, Judith Warner catches up with and spotlights three women in particular who want a way back into their careers, […]

A Generational Reckoning: My Kindergartner, the Technophile

Have you been taught, by a small child, how to play Angry Birds? Were you amazed–kind of creeped out?–to see how they maneuvered the slingshot, how deftly they manipulated those pig structures? The New York Times Magazine just published this from fiction writer Steve Almond, about the perils latent in the swift currents of a […]

Looking Tobey Maguire Dead in the Eye: Heroes and Villains and Brothers

The latest installment of our “Mockingbird at the Movies” column comes to us from Addie Jenkins: “Grace knows I would do anything to get back to her.” These are the first words spoken by Captain Sam Cahill, played by Tobey Maguire in the 2009 wartime psychological drama, Brothers. Though referring to his wife, the line […]

Mockingbird at the Movies: Junebug

A reflection/review from Mbird friend Russ Masterson (with maybe a little help from DZ). If you haven’t grabbed Russ’ new e-book 40 Days Without Food, what’s stopping you? While attending the Mockingbird Conference in NYC last spring, a fellow attendee rattled off all the under-the-radar movies he thought I should see. I remembered a few […]