Good, True, Beautiful: Week 16

To Read: Articles

Who Says Old-Fashioned Street Photography Is Dead? // Steven Kurutz // “Jean Andre Antoine uses a camera from 1947 and spends nearly every day working the same SoHo block.”

In Memory Of My Feelings // Kate Watson // “I wrote a meandering sort of essay on heartbreak, memory, language, and Tony Hoagland, trying to make sense of what poetry means to me.”

The Decline Of American Motherhood // Lyman Stone // “…however, many women find that, as they age, they can’t have as many kids as they would like.” // It seems like a major Captain Obvious biological statement, but go ask the 36 year-olds “finally ready!” to have a kid just because their bank account says so.

Online Momming In The ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ Age // Kathryn Jezer-Morton // “the Perfectly Imperfect Age: a group of women who eschew “judgmental moms” while enforcing clear guidelines about who does and doesn’t fit their mold.”

The Blood Of Jesus Is The Bridge; Not My Back // Ekemini Uwan // “Here is my public statement that serves as a thank you, a recap of my experience at Sparrow Conference, and final update on everything.” // The gospel is costly, and I’m glad Ekemini reminded us of that, especially as it pertains to anti-racism work and repentance.

Shabbat + Sabbath: Q+A On Our Family Practice // Bethany Douglass // “Yet Sabbath is not only for the wealthy or the privileged to enjoy; it is not something we earn as a reward, like retirement or annual vacation. It is a gift for all of humanity, a rhythm established in creation for everyone’s benefit.” // This was extremely helpful for thinking through Sabbath practices. Further references are included, for delving into its riches even deeper.

To Read: Books

Educated: A Memoir // Tara Westover // Audiobook // Her incredibly unique experiences, combined with fabulous storytelling, made for an enthralling listen.

Image Journal // A quarterly publication, not a book, I am still excited to slowly comb my way through the newest edition. I arrived a couple weeks ago and I’m excited to savor it.

To Watch

Brick // Jakob and I enjoyed this dark and quirky murder mystery. I screamed at one point, quite involuntarily.

Silver Linings Playbook // It might just be the angsty romantic comedy you need.

Why Our Family Throws A Party (Sabbath) Every Week! // This one is a really good pairing with the article above on Sabbath and Shabbat.

To Listen: Music

Jessie Reyez & 6lack — Imported // If I told you the amount of times I’ve played this song in my car this past week, y’all would be embarrassed for me. It’s an intoxicating jam.

Paper Bird — When The River Took Flight // Paper Bird follows Jakob and I pretty far back, and we like to revisit them periodically.

Sandra McCracken — Steadfast Live // This one is always there when worship seems like the only thing to do. A pouring out of the heart to our sure and steady anchor of the soul.

Anderson .Paak — Ventura // Came initially for the André 3000 feature. Stayed for the eclectic, beachy tunes.

To Make

Colorful Contacts // Instead of contact photos in your phone, try saving different plain colors and assigning those “photos” to people that you talk to. Your iMessages will look far more fun and it could make it easier to find and distinguish conversations from each other. (This tip is from Temi Coker.

Cornbread // With corn meal, gluten-free flour mix, coconut oil, Tex-Mex seasoning, jalepeno powder, and fresh garlic.

Orange Slices // Y’all it’s so easy. Please go buy some oranges and taste how delicious they are. I honestly forgot.

Fried Sweet Potatoes // With Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, jalapeño powder, olive oil and chopped garlic. Fried on cast iron skillets because I set the oven on fire a few minutes prior. (A lady’s gotta have her food, so you do what you gotta do. It turned out better this way, but I would prefer not to have a beeping smoke alarm and an oven full of smoke.) They were amazing.

To Cultivate

Enthusiastic Joy

“Is Jakob going to be the Easter Bunny again this year??? That was funny when we hid his ranch dressing!!” – 5 year old girl (who obviously has very vivid memories of last year’s Bunny Jake.)

“ever since my daughter found out our plant, serena, wasn’t getting enough sunlight, she insists on taking her out for walks while holding her up to the sun.” (Here’s the photo.)

Some friends met at a local brewery with a lawn. The weather was refreshing, and the company fun. A little boy on the lawn picked flowers and excitedly gave them to his mom before the sun started setting.

My mother-in-law couldn’t contain the Texas Bluebonnet love and sent me a photo of them in a field. I’m so happy she did.

(Hannah Anderson, referring to this video of Dr. Katie Bouman)“Seriously, though, this kind of comfort with joy is a rare and necessary thing. Whenever I find myself in similar moments of enthusiasm, I invariably get embarrassed & reel it back in, thinking I need to be “serious” & “professional.” But this is a much better way. Let your work speak for itself & let your love for it draw others in.”

Nine months of marriage and successful Sunday School teaching calls for celebratory Fuzzy’s Tacos.

This Sunday was Palm Sunday, and our lessons for the little ones talked about the people’s enthusiastic, elaborate, loud shows of reverence and joy as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. We can pray for a heart that bursts open in worship like that.


Appreciation And Love For Siblings

Just were just a buncha cute rascals. Happy National Sibling Day. (Whatever happened to child labor laws?)

Grateful Enjoyment – Amidst The Passing, Uncertain, Finite Things Of Life

I’ve realized how much I tend to hold back the fullness of joy that is possible for me to have. Some things are easier to embrace a full, unreserved gratitude and enjoyment of. Some things are harder, dulled by anxious what-ifs. Marriage is only for this life, and until one of us dies. We can still relish every lovely thing about it together. A city might just be a home for a time. We can attach ourselves in relationship to a church, friends and coworkers well and take part in the unique, fun personality of the place. Grad school and temporary work has an expiration date, a finish line. We can still throw our best into our work and our coworkers while surveying and feeling out the future. The same can be said of any part of life that threatens to be dulled by anxious what-ifs. Family situations, health, friendships, career opportunities, pregnancies, the place you live or want to live, romantic relationships, new creative projects, honestly the list of experiences is endless.

We can be paralyzed by the unknown and untidy, the potential disappointments, the anxious what-ifs. Or we can embrace the richness and depth of the lives in front of us, preparing as we can. Nothing in life is certain or perfect or sure until Christ makes all things new. Absolutely nothing. Enjoy and be grateful — free of unnecessary reserves.

“It is not a terrible thing to love the world, knowing that the world is always passing and irrecoverable, to be known only in loss. 

To love anything good, at any cost, is a bargain.”

-Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

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