Monsoon Togetherness

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When I was in graduate school, I worked with several Indian students and these relationships were defined by the questions we asked one another. There always seemed to be something to learn. One day I asked a female co-worker, “Do you miss monsoon season?”

Her response was not quite what I expected: “I do. I miss everyone being inside together, even though there were many of us.”

In my mind, I imagined damp clothes, mildew, and body odor. What could ever be redeeming about such an environment? In truth, I had trouble seeing past the external to consider the internal.

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Dear Single Parent Student

Blocks + Books

A few weeks ago I came across the following news story, and it has resonated with me for many days:

Professor Holds Student’s Child (CNN)

I have NO idea what it’s like to be a single parent. In fact, when my husband must travel for work, the few things that I am left to do in his absence are minimal compared to the endless tasks single parents willingly take on to be everything at all times to their children. It really must require superhuman strength.

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Boots on the Ground

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One of my favorite things about the life of Jesus was his commitment to being countercultural for the furthering of God’s kingdom. He listened to the ugly and broken; he embraced time alone at the height of his popularity; and he was guided by long-term benefits. If Jesus walked in human form today, I am willing to bet that he would have been interested in discussing more than red coffee cups last week.

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Deep Waters

Waters

It all began with a phone call. The climax, that is.

Unsurprisingly, my husband and I had forgotten to re-enroll ourselves in a health insurance plan for the upcoming year. It was approximately 4:48 p.m. this past Friday when my husband desperately took action to beat the deadline. He called me with an urgent tone to obtain our daughter’s social security number in order to complete the process.

For the average person, such a request seems minor; to the mother on the verge of an emotional breakdown, however, this is enough to wage a war.

Where is her card? Oh, no, I can’t find her card…

[Cue wailing newborn and insert curious, no-personal-space toddler here]

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Grand Answers

Grand Answers

I’ll be the first to admit that I used to be one of those annoying pregnant women who believed that she could will herself into having a natural birth – no medicine, no struggle, no problem. That was, of course, my first pregnancy.

I once read that the pain associated with giving birth is comparable to several bones breaking in the body at once, and I would have to agree. Every sense and pulse in your body tells you that you might be dying (and, truthfully, you kind of wish you were), but the catch is that you must deliver a sweet, innocent, and vulnerable being that is, in ways both known and unknown, a part of you. This is the best motivation I can think of to persevere.

When my body collapsed from sheer exhaustion after seven hours of unmedicated labor, I realized that what I had secretly been denying for nearly nine months was actually true. I cannot do this alone.

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The Other Side

Shoes

My son has recently become obsessed with shoes. Not his shoes, of course, but Mom and Dad’s. We encourage him to explore (even when this leads to us tripping over said shoes), but we always remind him of the danger of trying to wear shoes that are too big: he might fall.

Isn’t this a beautiful metaphor for life? We spend so much of our time trying to rush our lives away to get to the good parts – where the shoe fits and where we think we will no longer fall.

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When a Train Rings the Bell

Halloween 2015

Our neighborhood is no longer sexy. In fact, it reached its peak decades ago. We, of course, understood this when we purchased our home back in 2013, but we thought our young family could infuse life into it once again. Now that we are seasoned homeowners, we understand how naïve we were in believing that moving into an older neighborhood would change anything.

Young families, at least in the rural South, rarely live in cities (no matter how big or small), and sprawl continues. I think we are more acutely aware of this phenomenon because (1) environmental stewardship is important to us and (2) we chose to be countercultural in our home purchase (i.e. we live in the city).

Doing what you feel is best, however, rarely comes without sacrifice.

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