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Last week, my Kindergartner went to school all of one day, we had windchills of about 50 below, and I went to the dentist twice in one day. Good times.
I saw the meme above circulating and had to share it. Thank God for a new month!
Lots of exciting things happening already this month. I submitted "final, substantive edits" for my forthcoming book, Red State Christians, and I'm just beginning to work with my publisher on some of the marketing pieces and ways to share it with you all! It'll be available in August -- but lots to come before then. I'm also looking forward to planning some events. Yay!
In the mean time, life rolls on. I've really enjoyed my regular reporting work for Living Lutheran, while juggling my part-time pastoral work at Easter Lutheran and finishing up book edits. I want to share below with you a recent piece I did for Living Lutheran, about the prestigious Concordia Language Villages, and how they responded to learning that the name of their German language villages was connected to a dark and disturbing story during the Holocaust. It's an encouraging story about confronting difficult history, lifting up marginalized voices, and making amends without whitewashing the past. I hope you enjoy it!
I also want to share some great work and writing coming out from my sisters in the faith writing community. As my book work ramps up, part of the necessary work is a lot of self-promotion. But it's often much more fun to amplify others' voices, and especially a woman writer, I love to share other women's work. Hope you get chance to check these out!
Parenting Forward -- my friend, Cindy Wang Brandt, moderates an awesome Facebook group called Raising Children Unfundamentalist. It's geared toward parents who grew up in conservative or fundamentalist Christian families - and are now raising children and wanting to avoid instilling some of the same fear-based religion they were taught. Definitely check out Cindy's Facebook group, and her book is available for pre-order now. The book takes Cindy's insights about parenting, stories from her own life and the vast network of parents she knows, and offers advice on how to "raise children with justice, mercy and kindness." Sign me up.
One Breath at a Time -- are you like me -- vowing to start your new year with new relaxation and meditation -- trying the free trial of the Headspace app only to go back to waking up and immediately scrolling social media? If so, my friend J. Dana Trent's book might help. She gives five strategies for Christian meditation, dispels rumors and misconceptions, and gives a guide for 40 days of meditation practice. Again, sign me up for 2019!
Gritty and Graceful -- from the same publisher where I wrote Sunday school curriculum in 2018 comes a picture book version of my friend Caryn Rivadeneira's book Grit and Grace. She tells the stories of 15 inspiring women from the Bible, again doing away with myths about female weakness and quietude, and instead celebrating female strength! I've used Grit and Grace (the unillustrated version) in teaching kids at church in the past, so I'm excited to use this book with younger children, including my boys.
Read, Wonder, Listen: Stories from the Bible for young readers -- for parents looking for more "unfundamentalist" ways to teach your kids about God and Jesus, my friend Laura Alary has a children's illustrated Bible geared toward elementary aged children. I'm always looking for children's Bibles that take a non-traditional approach, so I'm excited to check this out.
Survivor Care -- especially for those of you who work in ministry and ministry-related professions, my friend Christy Sim's book is a must-read for working with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Too often the church has added to the hurt of survivors or failed to understand how to talk about forgiveness without enabling abuse. This book gives basic information about what trauma is, how understand its biology and neurobiology, as well as strategies for churches and church workers to work with people who have experienced trauma. Super helpful.