The Doubting Christian’s Starter Pack

Are you drawn to the story of a God who lives and dies full of love for a rebellious creation…yet find yourself wondering how it could possibly be true?  Have you grown weary of rules that seem to cause slavery rather than freedom?  Are you skeptical about the usefulness of “good news” that doesn’t seem so good?  Do you worry that the religion you grew up with doesn’t apply to a more diverse population?

Welcome to the Doubting Christians Club!

In a desire to provide a strong foundation for its members, the Church has often promoted a rigorous belief system that seems to leave little room for doubt…which can make doubters feel like they either need to leave the Church or else hide their doubts.  I don’t believe either of these options is a good idea for the Doubting Christian – the first because you will miss out on the beauty you are drawn to, and the second because you will live a double life that will slowly isolate and destroy you.

Luckily, there are others out there just like you (myself, for instance)!  Listed below is the Doubting Christians Starter Pack that will stretch your mind, give you hope, and assure you that you are not alone.

71891781|  O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling by Jason Boyett  

This is the book that began my journey toward becoming comfortable with my doubt.    It was given to me, unasked for, by my pastor, which has earned him my undying respect.  In this book, Boyett gets honest about his doubts and comes to the conclusion that perhaps doubters are closer to God than those who never question their faith – after all, doubt is an inextricable part of a faith given to something unseen.

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Packing for a Year in Greece: Entertainment

Based on this blog, it should be obvious that I take entertainment very seriously.  Ingesting stories is how I grow and/or stay alive.  So when it comes to preparing to move to Greece, the majority of my planning has revolved around books and media.

The one problem?  I have to pack a year’s worth of possessions into two suitcases and a backpack.  While I would LIKE to take two suitcases full of books, even I know that is impractical.  So I’ve improvised.   Continue reading

My Life as a Nerd

My Google Drive is full of drabbles, short pieces I’ve written and quickly abandoned before they got anywhere significant.  This one was called “My Life as a Nerd,” and I totally forgot I wrote it last summer.  I will never finish it, and I wanted someone to see it, so Here, Blog!  Enjoy.


I’ve spent my whole life being a nerd because I learned, from the very youngest of ages, that fantasy is better than reality.  It’s not like I had an oppressed, horrible life.  I grew up in a firmly middle-class family: not rich enough to fly somewhere for vacation, but rich enough to afford the newest technological gadget that interested my dad (a case could be made for inherited nerdiness).

The thing is, I was an introverted, extremely shy kid.  Life was hard for me, even when “life” just meant standing in front of the preschool to show off a possession for Show & Tell.  I would agonize about what to bring, worrying about what each possibility would make people think of me.  My stuffed animals seemed to baby-ish, I would probably lose my Polly Pocket, and people would laugh if I told them my Scar action figure was my favorite character in The Lion King.  I couldn’t handle a 30-second presentation designed to create opportunities for tiny children to make friends.

In addition to being terrified of people, I have also always been desperate to impress them.  Reading was a great way to do both.  I could sequester myself in my room for hours at a time, and when I finally emerged to socialize with human beings, nearby adults would always coo and say things like, “Wow, you read more than me!  You’re so smart!”  To prove them right, I would pick up a new book and head back into hiding.   Continue reading

The Story of a Friendship: Elizabeth and Tricia

One of my best friends in college was Stephanie.  For a while, I spent the night every Thursday at her dorm, which meant I got to know her roommates pretty well.  One of those roommates was Elizabeth Waibel.  She was one of the coolest people I knew, and I assumed she thought I was mostly an idiot.  Well, if she did, joke’s on her, because it has been six years and now we are really good friends!

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2009

I don’t really know how we shifted from real life acquaintances to frequent Facebook conversationalists, but our mutual introversion definitely helps.  She is intelligent and snarky, which are two of my favorite qualities in a person.  She often posts culturally relevant statuses that challenge people to think more deeply, and she tags me in articles about feminism.  Internet besties!   Continue reading

What Are You Reading Wednesday #WAYRW (1)

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature started on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog via the link up. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

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How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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1. What’s the name of your current read?

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.

“No,” I said, through the ache in my chest.  I will not cry in front of him.

He started to say something.  But at that moment the teacher entered, a man of indeterminate middle age.  He had the callused hands of a musician and carried his own lyre, carved of dark walnut.

“Who is this?” he asked.  His voice was harsh and loud.  A musician, but not a singer.

“This is Patroclus,” Achilles said.  “He does not play, but he will learn.”

“Not on that instrument.”  The man’s hand swooped down to pluck the lyre from my hands.  Instinctively, my fingers tightened on it.  It was not as beautiful as my mother’s lyre, but it was still a princely instrument.  I did not want to give it up.

I did not have to.  Achilles had caught him by the wrist, mid-reach.  “Yes, on that instrument if he likes.”

That’s the whole story.  People don’t value Patroclus until Achilles forces them to.  I LOVE IT.

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

Hm.  On the one hand, ancient Greece!?  Where the gods and goddesses are subtly real but not in an overly flashy way?  The nerd in me screams YES, but then…ancient Greece!?  Where honor is bound up in your ability to kill someone (haha, just kidding, I’m a woman – I wouldn’t have any honor)?  Practically, no, I wouldn’t want to live in this book.  But I sure do like living in it via Miller’s story.

Book MASH

Sarah E. from Rocky Top Real Talk posted a challenge I couldn’t resist:  playing the book version of MASH.  For those of you not in the know, I can only assume you were not a girl in the 90s.  MASH (Mansion/Apartment/Shack/House) is a game that predicts your future!  I’ve played it hundreds of times, which is I guess all the evidence I need for the existence of parallel universes.  However, all those previous games pale in comparison to this one.

IMG_6185I’ve always played MASH with three good choices and one bad per category.  That way there’s an element of realism?  So while I might get the chance to marry Peeta, I might also have to ride a school bus home to Minas Morgul.  As you can tell from my potential choices, I leaned heavily on fantasy and sci fi books.

IMG_6187I am so happy with how things turned out!  Because my spiral of 8 wiped out most of the bad choices first, I wound up with a really great future!  I was sad to lose out on Huan and Taggle (a talking dog and cat respectively), I am quite happy to have a flying mechanical dragon for a pet.  The only category I’m disappointed in is my job.  Although I’m very glad I missed out on being a Tribute, I was kind of hoping for becoming a cyborg mechanic.  Oh well.

IMG_6188I’m super stoked to marry Eugenides (from Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief series).  Having a one-handed husband who is whiny, adventurous, and better than you is pretty much exactly the kind of man I’m attracted to.  And I’ve always wanted to travel via Floo Powder!  Honestly, this all sounds like a really great book.  Someone write my future for me!

Try out a book MASH for yourself and let me know your future in the comments!

StumbleUpon Sunday (13)

StumbleUpon is a great way to lose hours of your life.  Luckily, I braved the Internet vortex so you don’t have to.  This week I found these especially interesting websites:

  1. 53 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down
    I cheered at the names of titles I loved and put several unknowns in my library queue.
  2. Young Girl Who’s Best Friends with African Wildlife
    I’m hyperventilating with how much I wish I had her life.
  3. Untranslatable Words Turned into Charming Illustrations
    I like those “if only English used this word” lists, but the addition of illustrations makes this so much better!
  4. Photograph
    I don’t normally link to a single photograph, but the simple whimsy of this outdoor space is so cute!
  5. Important Things from History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly
    The Egyptian pyramids were white, Greek statues were brightly painted, etc–time changes things!
  6. The Quest for Every Beard Type
    This is a man after my own heart – I’ve always thought there’s no point in being able to grow facial hair if you don’t experiment with it.
  7. Hope You Had a Better Day Than These Guys
    Sometimes all you need to feel better is a collection of pictures and GIFs showing you people who have it so much (hilariously) worse.
  8. The 50 Cutest Things That Ever Happened
    This title is no lie.  *squee*
  9. 23 People Posted the Wisest Words They’ve Ever Heard
    From “The single raindrop never feels responsible for the flood” to “By living, there’s a risk of dying.”
  10. Create Face Online
    What a weirdly addictive webpage.  My only complaint is that there don’t really seem to be options to create a female face.pimptheface-com