“I only want a little bit of steadiness!” This was me six years ago: desperate, wailing to my pastor and his wife. I was a baby Christian and it felt like every week was a new high or a new low. Not only was I tired from struggle with miring […]

God wants to make you steady


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by Justin Dillehay It all started when my wife laughed at one of my favorite songs. A couple of a years ago, my wife Tilly and I were driving down the road, and I decided to introduce her to “Chicken Fried,” the debut single from the Zac Brown Band. If […]

Memorial Day, Country Music, and Chicken Fried Common Grace



My oldest girl would subsist on fruit alone if she could. Blueberries, apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, melons, grapes, pineapples, pears—she asks for these things many times a day, and I wash, cut, peel, slice, ball, and plate them for her many times a day. I taste the fruit to see […]

Feed your children fruit


click here to read BIRTH STORIES, PART 1: NORAH Agnes Even in the haze of love-drunkenness that I experienced for Norah’s entire infancy, I was afraid to think or talk much about the labor process. I knew that there were too many voices in my mind, too many conflicting opinions about […]

Birth stories, Part 2: Agnes



I’ve been meaning for three months to write out the birth story of little Agnes, but somehow not gotten down to the job before now. I had three reasons for waiting this long. 1.) Most obvious reason: I have lately had an infant in my house. 2.) I realized that […]

Birth stories, Part 1: Norah


She is small; she fits in the crook of my arm. When she is hungry, she cries. I pull her to me and offer her the only thing she has ever yet been hungry for. A greedy-happy look overtakes her face, contained in the slight smile over her lips as […]

Things I’m going to want to remember in 10 years



A few friends and I have started a book club together, and we just did a meeting on Till We Have Faces. We’re trying to be very serious about this club, writing pieces or researching discussion questions before we meet. So far we’re very earnest but distracted, like college freshmen […]

The outrageous demands of God


I got this sweet and well-written note from a seasoned parent at my church, who I’ll just call Schmolly Shmaker, and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share it here. She was responding to this post. I thought others would enjoy her comments, reflecting on the sweet […]

The sweet uncapturables of parenting



I was on the phone with my younger sister last week, and she asked me, sort of wistfully, to describe for her what being married with children is like. It’s all either of us ever wanted, I think, and the only firm life plan we ever had for ourselves. Now […]

4 things I want my little sister to know about ...


by Justin Dillehay “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” This statement is one of the hallmarks of a certain type of religious person (though she would likely prefer to be called “spiritual”). This person is always searching, always asking, always roaming. If she hears you claim that you’ve found […]

A Time to Quit Searching