The Mountaintop Experience

Today I'm writing over at A Deeper Family. This is the first time I think I've ever written an extended piece about my time in my family singing group. I KNOW. Fridays in April and May were busy for my family growing up. My sisters and I would get home from one school, my dad from the high school where he worked, and my mom from the nursing home where she worked. We would change out of school and work clothes and into something a little bit dressier. If we had time, mom would curl our hair. We would load into our tan and maroon conversion van with speakers and microphones and tape decks and head out to one church or another for a covered-dish mother-daughter banquet. Because my family was The Mountaintop Experience. You'll have to click here to read the rest. And I promise, you want … [Read more...]

Christian Parenting When Only One Parent Is Christian

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I'm posting today over at A Deeper Family about parenting in a mixed faith home. We also did all of the things that we were supposed to do as Christian parents. We took them to church. We stood in front of our congregations and promised to raise them in the Christian faith. We did AWANA and VBS. We took the Christian parenting class. Then things changed. Jason is no longer a believer. It took us a while to talk to the kids about this change, but at this point, they all know. And while it was one thing to ask the kids to continue to attend church when Jason was in school and working nights and was just “too tired” to go, it’s quite another thing to ask this of them when it’s not something that both of their parents do. As a result, our kids have been attending church much less regularly. … [Read more...]

Family Vacation

I spent all of last week on vacation. It was a little bit up and down, but once again, I had the opportunity to make some lasting memories with people who I love. Today I'm writing at A Deeper Family about family vacations. I would love it if you'd head over and give it a read. Also, this is probably the last thing you'll see here for a little while. Rachelle spoke with some editors last week at a big book event and now I need to invest big time in the writing of my sample chapters so that they have something by which to be amazed. I will absolutely get back to blogging (and if the mood strikes, I may blog while I'm working), but for the most part, I'm taking some time off to get this done. I so appreciate all of the amazing support you offer me. I can't wait to continue to share … [Read more...]

Beauty in the Brokenness

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Today I'm writing over at A Deeper Family. I love writing there because it allows me to tackle some hard things that I don't usually write about here. I hate it for the same reason. Today's post is about my mom's recent diagnosis with ALS. My sister and I were standing outside of a restaurant. We had met to talk about my trip to Moldova and to catch up on what was going on in our lives. We were  enjoying a surprisingly beautiful February day and before we said our good-byes, she said, "I don't think Mom had a stroke." Head over to read the rest. I'm sorry for not sharing about this sooner, but I want to honor my mom's story and to give her and the rest of my family a little bit of time to process it. I thank you all for this space. … [Read more...]

The Plague

A Deeper Family

I'm posting over at A Deeper Family today. Sometimes we go through some gross things. This is one of those gross things. I’ll never forget the time that my daughter got lice. I’m pretty sure no one ever forgets something like that. It tends to be fairly traumatic for the whole family. For the other children in the family who are worried that they might also be banned from school. For the parents who feel like they must have been negligent in some way. And, of course, for the child who is forced to suffer under the chemicals and combs and the stigma of being the kid who has lice. I'd love it if you'd head over to A Deeper Family to read the rest. Also, prepare yourself for the worst picture ever. … [Read more...]

Blasphemy

A Deeper Family

Today is my day over at A Deeper Family. Honestly, I didn't think I was going to be able to get a post together for today. There has been a lot going on in my family of origin over the past month, and not much of it has been good. Honestly, a lot of it has been downright awful. I'm usually a big fan of Easter, but this year...it was hard. It felt a lot more of Friday than of Sunday. I think it might just be that way for a while. Right now I'm just working on sorting through that. This post is only the very beginning of that work. And when so much hurt and pain swirls around me, I just want to drink too much and swear too loudly and wish it would just go away. Go away and never, ever, ever come back. I know that in the coming days and months, people will offer words of encouragement … [Read more...]

The Labels We Didn’t Choose

It's my turn over at A Deeper Family today. Today's is a post I wish I didn't have to write. When I was asked to start writing (at A Deeper Family), I was mostly excited. This is an amazing community and to be a part of it was something that I was looking forward to so much. But a tiny part of me was wary. Because I knew that one reason I was asked to be here was my story. Except that it doesn’t always feel like MY story, but the story that happened to me when my husband deconverted.  The “interfaith marriage” story. The “atheist’s wife” story. I don’t like that very much. I would love it if you would stop by A Deeper Family and read the rest. To those clicking over here, be sure to check out my new series, The Christian Guide to Atheists. … [Read more...]

This Is My Family

Today I'm posting over at A Deeper Family. Sometimes you have to leave your home to see your family. My husband held me in his arms and kissed me deeply before he sent me off to a country thousands of miles away from our home to write about a God he doesn’t worship in a place where God can be hard to see. He is my family. After admitting that I was terrified that I was the wrong person to make the trip to Moldova, my Facebook wall filled with images of fiery unicorns and inappropriate prayers from people that I know primarily through online interactions. They are my family. Head on over and give the rest of it a read! … [Read more...]

Separate Stories

Happy 2013, my dear friends! This is where I welcome you to the new year here on the blog and immediately invite you to head somewhere else. Today is my day to post over at A Deeper Family, so I'd love it if you'd swing by there and read what I have to say about not writing my kids' stories. I remember when our lives were so intertwined that there was no aspect of her story that wasn’t my own. I could wrap her up in the sling and take her with me wherever I went. The way that her curls would tangle around my fingers, so our stories tangled together. But as she and her siblings age, the way that our stories interlace will be expressed differently. We can never be fully separated, as they are a part of me, but the way that connection is shared must continue to evolve. Read more here. … [Read more...]

Unfulfilled Expectancy

It's the first Tuesday of the month, which means that today I'm posting over at A Deeper Family. I don't usually wait until the last minute to finish my posts over there, but this one took a while to get out. The Christmas tree was set up, decorated in blue and silver. The band rocked out a slamming rendition of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The calendar was packed full of Christmas activities – children’s pageant, live nativity, Christmas potluck. I folded up the paper and put it in my purse. I’m not a big fan of Christmas. Head on over to A Deeper Family to read the rest. … [Read more...]