The Paradox Paper #21
I’m writing to you from the June Travel Vortex foreshadowed a few issues back. Three days ago we arrived home from grandma’s house after a fourteen hour road trip. I just finished all the laundry from that trip, and now we’re preparing to leave our children with two different Honorary Texas Aunts for an entire week while we go to a whole nother country. Last night I said to Trevor, “It’s one thing to pack everybody up for the same trip. It’s another to pack everybody for three separate trips.”
When we return to our children we’ll run the unpacking-laundry-repacking gauntlet one more time before driving them TWENTY hours to their OTHER grandma’s house, where they will stay while we take other people’s teenagers to a week of church camp. That’s where we actually are as you’re reading this, which is why I’m writing it from the past. Are you confused yet? What year is it?
You’ll notice this edition is missing a couple of the usual sections. I need some stillness and quiet to get down in the emotional, reflective part of myself, and as I’ve covered ad nauseam, ain’t none of that around here this month. We just gon have fun, say a prayer, and see each other next time around.
Welcome to The Paradox Paper, a monthly newsletter that honors paradox in the every day. If a friend forwarded you this email, click here to subscribe:
In this edition:
Some fun books for kids
A fun book for grown ups
A summertime prayer
Theology Board Books, by Amy Gannett
Turns out that kid-friendly faith conversations don’t always come naturally, even for someone like me whose education is in how to talk about my faith. When you’re talking with a human whose opening sentences range from “I’m scared to die,” to “Guess what, Mom? POOP!” it helps to have a jumping off point.
To that end I’m constantly on the lookout for age appropriate books that will foster conversations about who God is and how much He loves us. No surprises, that’s also tricky. So many books written to teach kids about faith boil down to some version of “God will love you more if you work harder.” Or they take so many pages to say “God loves you all the way because He’s good,” that the kids lose interest and I lose my voice. The Big Truths About God board books from Tiny Theologians avoid both these issues. Does God Go On Vacation? covers God’s omnipresence, Did God Learn His ABCs? covers God’s omniscience, and Does God Sleep? covers God’s omnipotence. The illustrations are beautiful enough to hold my baby’s attention, and the words are simple enough to stay with his big brothers. You can buy them in a set or separately.
I Miss You When I Blink, by Mary Laura Philpott
These essays are at once tender and irreverent, which is one of my favorite combinations. That’s the way life is, right? Sweet enough to cry over, hard enough to cuss out. Mary Laura writes with humor and impressive skill (her metaphors will knock you right out) about the joy and heartache of change, growing up, losing what you love, and getting what you’ve always wanted. She’ll make you cry and laugh out loud. Bonus: she reads the audiobook herself!
It is a true joy to write for you each month, and I always love to hear about anything you tried and loved or anything that stirred your heart. Simply reply to this email or leave a comment to let me know.
Until next time, hold the paradox, don’t panic. Love you.
If you enjoyed this edition of The Paradox Paper, consider sharing it!
You can forward this email or screenshot your favorite part for easy sharing on Instagram. (Remember to tag me @stephaniehcochrane so that I can say thanks!)