Weekend Daybook: conversations in community edition

Seven days of collecting what I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) photo from this week

 Pumpkin-picking with my parents, Sport Hill Farm, Easton, CT

Pumpkin-picking with my parents, Sport Hill Farm, Easton, CT


(2) new posts this week


One new post In the Work Stories series & one overdue post on what I’ve been reading lately!

  1. Kim Akel’s care-connecting calling (I’m struck by the statement Kim shares about stewarding the pain of our lives. She has done this beautifully, and I hope that reading her work story will encourage each of us to do the same.)

  2. What I Read June - September 2018 (What are YOU reading these days? I love to hear your recommendations!)


(3) stories from people stewarding their pain in order to help others (in honor of Kim Akel’s work to steward her own)

  1. My Right Mind by Peggi Tustan via The Perennial Gen (“…needing God is a good thing!”)

  2. How Can I Be More Like You by Lore Ferguson Wilbert via Sayable (“I was painfully shy when I came to live with them, was deeply caught cycles of fear and shame, and struggled to look many adults in the eye, and yet, night after night, we'd be called on to both answer thoughtful questions and ask them.”)

  3. Heart-Grabber by Ash Parsons via Fathom Magazine (“The tricky thing about life is it can be heartbreaking to be here, even in the good stuff—especially because of the good stuff.”)


(4) book lists to find your next reads (in honor of my latest book post)

You also might enjoy my Pinterest board: Read / Reading / Have Read

  1. Our Favorite November Picture Books via Read-Aloud Revival (I confess that, on occasion, I fill up my library holds with these lists. And then I feel guilty because I’m probably keeping them from the children in my town.)

  2. 31 spooky (but not too scary) books for your fall reading list via Modern Mrs. Darcy (Loved seeing our current reading group title in this list. Can you spot it?)

  3. Excellent, must-read memoirs and narrative non-fiction via Hearts & Minds Booknotes (Have you subscribed to Booknotes yet?)

  4. How the Silent Book Club gave me back my reading life: Reading alone, together, at a table of introverts via Lit Hub (Add this to my wishlist of amazing book clubs to host.)


(5) photos from my parents’ visit last weekend

Such a fun, brief visit with my parents. The weather snapped cold and rainy just before they arrived, but we made the best of it. Our Saturday itinerary - farm market, chicken soup at the Olde Blue Bird Inn, walking the new pier at Seaside Park - was bookended with cozy chats and card games. My favorite kind of visit!


(6) recent & brief articles informing us as we head toward mid-term elections

Brian and I are experimenting with a weekly, Instagram-live conversation to try to foster more fruitful conversations on social media. We’ve learned a lot about navigating life from what the Anglican church refers to as the via media (Latin for “middle road”). It’s not the kind of discernment that grabs headlines, but over and over again it’s steered us toward a healthy middle ground in the midst of tempting extremes. We didn’t intend to address politics - at least not in our third week - but the questions we received on the subject were compelling: “When no candidate captures every issue I value, how do I prioritize issues when selecting a candidate? “

The beauty of Instagram Live is that it’s only available for 24 hours, and allows Brian and me to speak kind of “off-the-cuff”. We’re really wanting to foster conversation, not speak as if we know the final word on any given subject. Several people requested the video from this week’s conversation so I’m posting it here. As long as viewers understand this is just us working out our convictions with the best information we have available, we’re happy to have you share the conversations with friends and family. We encourage you to continue fostering grace-filled conversations with civil convictions.

I’m also sharing six different articles we’ve read recently that come around the question of voting from what we feel are generally “via media” viewpoints. The authors don’t all arrive at the same conclusion, but they’re navigating the questions from a healthy civic theology.

  1. The Pastor Negotiates With the Empire by Scot McKnight via Jesus Creed (I’d also add from earlier this year, McKnight’s What Makes A Culture Christian via the Telos Collective’s Intersection Blog.)

  2. When Justice Fails by Peter Leithart via First Things (Our friend Fr. Peter Coelho shared this with us, and I referenced it in the IG Live conversation. While specifically speaking to the recent Supreme Court nomination and hearings, the advice is generally useful. )

  3. Present in the Polis: Toward An Anglican Political Theology by Rev. Seth Richardson via Intersection Blog (“Political theology at its best cultivates imagination for how the Body of Christ, the church, can be distinctly and peculiarly present in the polis for the sake of others.”)

  4. How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t. by Tim Keller via NY Times Op-Ed (This is a fairly broad approach which makes sense for its context in the NY Times, but it might be a good starting point for those who’ve not considered that neither political party is the “Christian” party.)

  5. Christians Don’t Fit Into the Political System. Period. by Charles Moore via Voices blog at the Bruderhof (A respectful response to Tim Keller’s op-ed in the NYT. For a longer read from Bruderhof’s Plough Quarterly Magazine, I recommend this interview with Stanley Haeurwas: Alien Citizens)

  6. Do politics belong in church?: 11 pastors and theologians weigh in via The Christian Century (While this is addressing more specifically pastors’ practices of speaking about politics in the church, I find that reading many viewpoints helps me understand the spectrum and discern where to land in a healthy middle.)

Here’s the video capture of our IG Live conversation. Maybe next week, we’ll show the other half of my face!


(7) blog posts from this week in the archives

  1. 2017 - Heading Home (One of my favorite essays I’ve ever written.)

  2. 2015 - Thoughts On the Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry & Our Attempt to Love Texas (What I learned from Wendell Berry as I tried to make myself at home in Texas.)

  3. 2014 - A Few Incomplete Thoughts On the Sacred Practice of Sabbath (Worth reading frequently.)

  4. 2013 - When Did You First Notice the One You Love? [tiny stories #5] (In honor of my grandparents’ 72nd wedding anniversary this week!)

  5. 2011 - Alex is Baptized! (A beautiful memory.)

  6. 2010 - Barefoot Hospitality (Still learning this and grateful for the many friends who’ve taught me the meaning of hospitality through the years.)

  7. 2009 - Why We’ve Saved For Therapy Instead of College (A little bit tongue-in-cheek, a little bit practice in humility!)

Alex's Baptism.jpeg

7 years ago

Alex’s Baptism - Christ Church of Austin, TX


May your weekend include some time at home and some time with friends that welcome your tears as well as your laughter. Peace...

p.s. This post may contain affiliate links because I'm trying to be a good steward, and when you buy something through one of these links you don't pay more money, but in some magical twist of capitalism we get a little pocket change. Thanks!