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More Valuable Than What a Book Can Teach

Some lessons are better learned in sorrow

As soon as my son returned from a few days backpacking and tenting in the desert in October, we were off again in November for a weekend in Mexico. There, I got sick for days, my madrina almost choked at a taco stand, my middle son got a nosebleed, my daughter got stung by a cactus, and my mother’s face became puffy from a mite infestation, all during the trip. It’s been an eventful month. The air in California recently has been brutal considering the Woolsey firestorms that misplaced so many. I find myself grateful for much, and even for that which seems hopeless in life, there is room for thankfulness. Being ill is humbling. Being out of the country, albeit for a few days, was a lesson more valuable than what a book can teach.

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Finding Our Way Through Conversations We’re Expected to Have

When we’re stuck keeping our words to ourselves

It is always a risk to bear the cross of Christ, to carry it through the procession of family dissonance. I find myself stuck in this cycle of defending the faith, my Biblical worldview considering what is happening in the culture, as I’m surrounded by extended family or perusing conversations online.

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The Truth About Ethnic Names and Their Marks on Childhood

How saying my name over and over has become a routine

When I was in fifth grade, my teacher decided to give me a new name because it was easier to pronounce. I recall feeling flustered by the whole ordeal—like I had been causing an inconvenience for being who I was. This alone made it hard for me to reconcile one of her comments to me during reading group. She sat in the center of our half donut shaped table and said in a clear and frank tone that I was a scholar. I didn’t know what the word meant at the time but I asked around. I felt embarrassed to ask her myself—I was intimidated by her towering presence and her weekly assessments of our oral readings of poetry and prose, among other public speaking exercises.

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How Our Scars Bear the Beauty of Christ’s Healing Power

The immutable marks of our story carry a purpose

The other day a dear writer I’ve come to admire shared a brief Twitter post suffixed with the hashtag of #AndThatsHowIGotThisScar. She recounts through a series of essays how she got her scar one Sunday in the City. It’s haunting and harrowing. But it is a beautiful description of transformation.

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