Somehow I Didn’t Punch Him In the Neck

So, remember when I was all lit about about the book When We Were on Fire?

And I invited all of you to read it and join me for a giant book club discussion over lattes and scones at the world’s biggest Starbucks which might just be in my imagination and an ethereal dream?

I’m still pretty fired up about this memoir.

(No pun intended.)  (Okay, yes it was.)  (It always is.)

Addie Zierman has become one of my favorite authors and contemporary theologians, and (…wait for it…) she invited me to write a guest post on her blog, to her audience, for the people who call her well-written and wise.

Today is the debut: Somehow I Didn’t Punch Him In the Neck.

Please go to Addie’s blog, and give yourself the pleasure of a virtual stroll.  Give her some love.

And order her book.

 

Christians Suck Sometimes.

“Christians kind of suck sometimes,” I said, holding her hand.

“Oh, I know this.”

“I know you know, because you haven’t been loved well. But here’s what I want you to know: there are many of us who are mean and judging and hurtful. But those are just Christians behaving badly. That’s not God. That’s not his heart for you, or what he wants for you – and it’s not what he wants from us.”

Her eyes filled with tears.

“Oh, my friend,” I whispered.  “He just loves you. He is not the author of shame, confusion, or fear. When you feel those, you can know they are not from God, and they are not what he wants for you. Someone else gave that to you, handed it to you, placed it on you. But not God.”

She cried.

***

“Why do Christians suck so much?” I ask loudly when I can finally speak, because the moment of striking loneliness always brings me back here. To church. To the places where I am most wounded. I look at Miles, angry, my breath a mix of alcohol and dark roast.

“I don’t know,” Miles sighs. “They just sometimes do.”

I put my coffee down and put my head in my hands.

“I know what you’re going through,” he says quietly. “I mean, I’ve been there.”

“Why did you go back?” I mumble into my hands. I mean to the faith. To Church People. To the college on Snelling with the required biblical studies major and the ridiculous visiting hours and the rule about not dancing. To the people who look at you suspiciously, who wait for you to fail.

Miles thinks about it for a moment. “Because some of them don’t suck. Some of them understand what Jesus is all about. Some of them will love you without a thought.”

~ Addie Zierman, When We Were On Fire: 

A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over*

 

*I am in love with this memoir.  Addie writes about her journey of growing up in an evangelical environment, of cliches and guidelines that carry great meaning but are often divorced from the Scripture that they were originally derived from.  She comes of age and realizes that all of these words, cliches, rules, and contracts are not actually directives from God.  And it revolutionizes her thinking.

I would like to send a mass email to everyone from my youth group, summer camp, and college community.  I would say, Please read this and then let’s all meet at a giant Starbucks so we can talk about it.  I totally want to hear your thoughts.  And maybe we can each drop a line to the influencers in our lives who taught us how to think, not what to think.

If you grew up in the evangelical subculture, and you’ve ever questioned if any or all of it is legit, please read this book.  Stat.

Stack the States

Stack the States.

You need to get this app as soon as possible. It’s this brilliant educational app that has made my children experts on United States geography in no time at all.

Or, it felt like no time at since they were in the iPod zone, and not fighting or bothering me.

Tuck can click and drag all of the states to their homes on the map in 15 seconds or less. Maybe it’s 8 seconds or less. I’m telling you, he’s fast. His favorite thing is to envision an invisible map hanging between us, and he says, “Mommy. Name a state.” I say Washington, and he points to his top left. And I say Florida, and he points to the bottom right. Then I make it harder and ask him to show me Ohio, and he points to the upper midwest. He even knows the specific locations I’ve never learned, like Delaware and Rhode Island and all those little ditties on the east coast.

And, as a bonus, young readers will teach you new and charming pronunciations.

Massachewsiss.
New Idaho.
Wiscoshington.
Mississ-Mama-mia.
Lose Anna.
Honkalulu.
New Hampson.

Your life is about to get better. Your kids will study geography for hours, and you’ll look like a great mom.

Because this is what it takes these days.

A Letter to Tripp and Tyler

Dear Tripp and Tyler,

Your comedy saved my life.

When my husband died, my world became very small. I was asleep or at Starbucks. I couldn’t bear to be in my home, yet I was terrified to leave. Nights were the worst, because the trauma replayed whether I was awake or asleep. I couldn’t get away from any of it, and I couldn’t take a deep breath.

So, I lay under my covers with my Mac, and I escaped into YouTube. That’s actually a pretty overwhelming environment, so I stuck with one safe channel. I watched Don’t Be That Guy. Shoot Christians Say. Sh*t Nobody Says. Things You Can’t Do When You’re Not in a Pool. Things You Can’t Do When You’re Not a Dog. I watched Linda, who is merely a woman, in the temple workout. And for a few minutes, I was somewhere else. My mind could rest, and I couldn’t help but laugh. And I began to breathe.

I am so honored to write these words to you, that you may store them away and know they are true. You and Tyler are more than ‘the funny guys on YouTube.’ You brought laughter into my life when every light had gone out.

Thank you for the laughter.

Tricia

MotherLoaded

The MotherLoaded Tavern  

103 S Main Street

Breckenridge, Colorado

 

I come here every time I visit Breckenridge, except for one sad day during mud-season when they were closed for a month or something else eternally long.  But today they are open, and thus I am here.

 

The silverware is clustered on the table in a Family Size can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

The salt and pepper are in old-timey Coke bottles.

My water pitcher is a square green bottle, no label.  Just pouring myself a glass of water, I felt like Miss Hannigan pouring vodka in her knickers.

 

The restaurant raises her glass in honor of mothers and grandmothers everywhere, those who have fixed us our favorite meals that have never tasted quite so good since we left home.

The decor boasts framed pictures of random moms with random kids, and quotable words on the wall.

 

“All Mothers are Working Mothers.”

“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”

“A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother.”

 

The menu is just incredible, really.

 

Naturally, they’ve got homemade mac ‘n cheese, meatloaf, and chicken fried chicken, but they also have fried chicken waffles, deep fried pickles, and The Pregnant Elvis burger (complete with peanut butter, bacon, and pickles).  The list goes on.

 

I’m having a Monte Cristo Panini, grilled and encrusted with Cap’n Crunch dust.

 

And you bet your sweet bippy I’m saving room for the Fried Twinkie for dessert.  Unless I opt for the strawberry cobbler or the make-my-own s’mores over a hibachi at my table.

 

But really, I think I’ll go with the Twinkie.

 

Eat here.  It’ll change your life.