Sunday Specials


Post Sunday Specials: Nigeria, Abuse and our Birthing Bodies

Since we’ve wrapped up the first month of 2015, I thought it was time to post some of the good reads I’ve been pondering lately and a few other goodies. And since yesterday was the Superbowl (why not a running play???) and my whole family has been trying to survive FLUmageddon, I’m posting the Sunday Specials today.

A Lament for Nigeria by Sarah Bessey

We repent of how we ignore you, of how we turn a blind eye to your suffering and your brilliance, of how the nations of the world continue to look on with only empty words and threats, of how our compassion has yet to turn to action. Your massacres, your sufferings, are forgotten, it seems.

The Fault in My Scars by Laura Parrot-Perry

The thing about shame is that it doesn’t so much live in your brain, as it inhabits your heart. It is a parasite that takes up lodging in your soul. I have been host to my shame for so long that it is hard to imagine my life without it. Shame was always my baseline. Shame has always felt a lot like home to me. What’s so deeply insidious about that particular type of abuse is that it fundamentally changes how a child feels about who they are, how they see the world, and how they believe the world sees them. I used to think everyone knew.  In fact, I used to think they could smell it on me.  Literally. I was obviously bad. I was the type of girl boys wanted, but not for their girlfriend. I never thought I was beautiful, but I always knew I had that thing- whatever it is. That’s another thing about shame- you wear it. Every day. You just assume it’s visible.

Birth: Shame, Fear and Exultation by Heather Stringer

Since we cannot simply get over fear and anxiety, we must enter both through our narrative by familiarizing ourselves with how our bodies, pain and voices were regarded in our stories. We all have many accounts to which we’ve experienced harm, neglect and parental anxiety. Whether it was a mother who was constantly worried about your pain and safety or a family member who sexually abused you and manipulated silence or parents who didn’t ever speak or consider their bodies’ health and needs. Of course there are a myriad of other stories that could be told, ones I’ve heard, ones I’ve experienced and stories so subtle and insidious, it requires a practitioner of some kind to name them. Simply put, our bodies carry, conceal and cleverly disclose the tragedies of our past.


If you’re like me and often on the road, you may enjoy a few of these podcasts as well.

Fearless : Invisibilia : NPR

The River, The Mountain and You by Rob Bell (The Robcast)

The Other Side of the Mattress: The Liturgists Podcast


And lastly, have you heard The Lone Bellow’s newly released album yet??? Here’s a teaser for your inticement:

That’s it for now folks. What has caught your eye…or ear this year so far?


Sunday Specials: Sexuality, Mommy Wars, Parenting and Mockingjay

It’s been awhile since I shared a few #SundaySpecials with all of you. So here are some good reads for those interested in a few culturally relevant topics.

Soapbox Warning: On Jian Ghomeshi and the Acceptiblity of Sexualized Violence Against Women By Sarah Bessey

I’m a feminist because I follow Jesus, my feminism is shaped by my discipleship to Jesus. And so yes, I dare to have an opinion precisely because of that distinction.I’ve grappled with writing about sexuality on several occasions – mainly because I think the Church has often gotten it so wrong. Over the years, I’ve taken issue with everything from purity culture to modesty rules to how we treat those of us who not only engaged in premarital sex but dared to enjoy it as ‘damaged goods.’ I’m never one to argue for repression or shaming as healthy sexuality, let alone someone who places one individual in the relationship (typically the man) as the sun around which our mutual sexuality should orbit. I rarely fall neatly on any one ‘side’ – I’m often too conservative for liberals and too liberal for conservatives.

There’s Nothing Wrong with the Mommy Track by Rachel J Simmons

Our culture sings in only two keys about how successful women manage motherhood and work: either you’re driving a hard line to the C-suite, parking the crib in your corner office, or you’re shredding the Mommy track. But what about those of us who are still working hard, and who live and work somewhere between the two? I love being a mom, and I also love (and can’t afford not to) work.

How Baby Boomers Ruined Parenting Forever by Sarah Kendzior

In America, today’s parents have inherited expectations they can no longer afford.The vigilant standards of the helicopter parents from the baby boomer generation have become defined as mainstream practice, but they require money that the average household earning $53,891 per year— and struggling to survive in an economy in its seventh year of illusory “recovery”— does not have. The result is a fearful society in which poorer parents are cast as threats to their own children. As more families struggle to stay afloat, the number of helicopter parents dwindles—but their shadow looms large.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Review by Jeffrey Overstreet

I hate the word “relevant,” but for lack of a better term, I can’t imagine a more relevant dystopic vision for today’s fantasy-saturated audiences than this one, or a series I would be happier to see young people reading, watching, and discussing. Our futures will be shaped by the capacity of rising generations to challenge and test what their screens and gadgets tell them about the world, and The Hunger Games is a parable for them, about them, summoning them to demand freedom, human rights, and the truth.

What caught your attention around the web this month? Feel free to leave a few words, links or funny photos in the comments!


#SundaySpecials on Monday

Hello lovely ones. I’m a little out of rhythm here, so a little grace is very much appreciated. I’m also trying to ponder these #SundaySpecial posts and am thinking they may serve better as an end of the month round up of the most interesting topics I find myself still circling around. I’ll keep considering, but in the mean time, here are quite a few articles about quite a few heavy topics. Dig in if you’re intrigued…

This is What Brave Means by Glennon Doyle Melton

We have to teach our children (and ourselves) that caution is often a sign of courage. That often NO is as brave an answer as YES. Because the little girl who says no in the face of pressure to pierce her ears or jump off a cliff might become a bigger girl who says no in the face of pressure to bong a beer or bully a peer.  Whether her answer is YES OR NO- give me a little girl who goes against the grain, who pleases her own internal voice before pleasing others. Give me that girl so I can call her BRAVE loudly and proudly in front of the whole world. Give me a girl who has the wisdom to listen to her OWN voice and the courage to SPEAK IT OUT LOUD. Even if it disappoints others. Especially then.

Justice then Reconciliation by Austin Channing Brown

Reconciliation requires far more than hugs, small talk, and coffee dates. Being nice is well… nice, but it is not reconciliation. Reconciliation is what we do as we listen to hard truths from the marginalized among us. As our friends point out how troubling our words have been, how hurtful our actions have been, it’s our reaction that determines whether or not we are practicing reconciliation. Drinking in the words. Sitting in the pain. Committing to understanding. Committing to doing better. Desiring the hard truths because they lead to growth. These are the sign posts on the path of reconciliation. It’s spending time in each other’s spaces- physical space, head space, heart space. And it’s creating shared spaces where both can breathe freely.

War Is Not the Answer by Jim Wallis

I have always believed that any alternative to war must still address the very real problems at hand — just in a more effective way. To say that “war is not the answer” is not only a moral statement but also is a serious critique of what doesn’t work; wars often fail to solve the problems and ultimately make them worse. War has to answer to metrics, just as more peaceful alternatives do. The war in Iraq was a complete failure with enormous human and financial costs; ISIS is now one of the consequences.

Why Are So Many Women Dying From Ebola by Lauren Wolfe

Ebola spreads through contact with blood and other bodily fluids, and in Liberia, as in neighboring countries, women are usually the primary caregivers for the sick. They continue to be during the current epidemic — they stay in their homes and become infected by their children or husbands instead of seeking out doctors and nurses for their loved ones. Rarely are the roles reversed. ‘If a man is sick, the woman can easily bathe him but the man cannot do so,’ says Marpue Spear, the executive director of the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL). ‘Traditionally, women will take care of the men as compared to them taking care of the women.’

Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write by Rachel Grate

By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma. Participants ultimately spent less time in the hospital, enjoyed lower blood pressure and had better liver functionality than their counterparts.



So what caught your attention around the web this month? Feel free to leave a few words, links or funny photos in the comments!


Sunday Specials: Parenting and Rules for Women

*Sunday Specials are a weekly round-up of happenings on the web-o-sphere. So enjoy your coffee (or late night beverage) while checking out what’s caught our attention. 

1st Day of Kindergarten by Becky Allender

We saw how our friends’ children needed help when divorce, alcoholism or addictions befell them and we offered our homes, our carpooling, babysitting, and our ears and hearts to listen to their desperation. We wondered why them and not us? We watched our children lose friends for insignificant reasons and we saw our children befriend others and start over again. We weathered daughters not getting asked to dances and sons being a foot shorter than his seventh grade date. We were humbled as our children didn’t always shine or failed or rebelled and experienced punishments or even arrests. We learned not to judge other’s as we were humbled in ways we never expected.

 6 Things White Parents Can Do to Raise Racially Conscious Children by Bree Ervin

Talking about race is challenging for many parents, especially White parents. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty about this topic – from worrying that by pointing out race we are contributing to racism, to believing that by ignoring race we are creating a “color-blind” and therefore more equal world; some simply don’t know how or where to start. And we need to get over it.

The List of Rules for Women

Feel free to share thoughts on any of these links as well as what caught your attention this week!


Sunday Specials: Sex, The Pope, Food Stamps & Mothering

*Sunday Specials are a weekly round-up of happenings on the web-o-sphere. So enjoy your coffee (or late night beverage) while checking out what’s caught our attention. 

Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem) by John Pavlovitz

I know you’ve been led to believe that it’s the girl’s fault; the way she dresses, the shape of her body, her flirtatious nature, her mixed messages. I know you’ve grown-up reading and hearing that since guys are really “visual”, that the ladies need to manage all of that by covering-up and keeping it hidden; that theyneed to drive this whole physical relationship deal, because we’re not capable. That’s a load of crap.

What the Pope’s Popularity Says About American Culture by Jonathan Merritt

What is happening across culture is, per usual, more complicated than some assume. Americans are not intrinsically allergic to Christians, but rather certain expressions of Christianity. The pope’s popularity helps us understand exactly which types of Christianity people resist.

This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps by Darlena Cunha

Using the coupons was even worse. The stares, the faux concern, the pity, the outrage — I hated it. One time, an old, kind-looking man with a bit of a hunch was standing behind me with just a six-pack of soda, waiting to check out. The entire contents of my cart were splayed out on the conveyor belt. When he noticed the flash of large white paper stubs in my hand, he touched me on the shoulder. I was scared that he was going to give me money; instead he gave me a small, rectangular card. He asked me to accept Jesus into my heart so that my troubles would disappear. I think I managed a half-smile before breaking into long, jogging strides out of there, the workers calling after me as to whether I still wanted my receipt.

Composite Mothering by Christine Canty

Please share with us what caught your attention this week.