Bloggerhood Etc. 12/1/14

An all-purple Advent Wreath

But where’s the pink candle? (Photo: Cara Strickland)

Happy December and a Blessed Advent to all of you. Here’s the best of the last two weeks, beginning with an Advent post.

Best Start to Advent.Dwell” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Best Special Needs Post.We See You, Calvin” by Kara Dedert at Not Alone.

Best Dad Post.Sorry Kids, I Will Never “Let” You Beat Me” by Beau Coffron at Lunchbox Dad.

Most Moving.Ghostly Grief: On Miscarriage and Loss” by Micha Boyett at On Faith.

Best Retrospective.A Eulogy for Radio Shack” by Jon Bois at SBNation.

Best List.12 Things For Which I Forget to be Thankful” by Andee Zomerman at Nature of a Servant.

Best Commentary.Why the Lack of Indictment for Mike Brown’s Shooting is a Devastating Blow” by Kristen Howerton at Rage Against the Minivan.

Best Personal Essay.Gate A-4” by Naomi Shihab Nye at David Kanigan’s Live and Learn.

Best Response.Foolishness, Poverty, Mobility” by Elizabeth Stoker Bruening.

Best Photoblog.Read Me! Please!: Book Titles Rewritten to Get More Clicks” by Janet Potter at The Millions.

Best Interview.Faith and Science: 15 Questions for Dr. Stephen Barr” by Sean Salai, S.J. at America.

Best Reality Check.Pomplamoose 2014 Tour Profits (or Lack Thereof)” by Jack Conte at Medium.

Best Meditation.I Was Wrong About You, 2014” by Natalie Trust.

Best Profile.A Football Martyr” by John Rosengren at SB Nation.

Cutest Video.Paranormal Petivity” by Pets Add Life (via YouTube).


Car Trouble

Our van in 2005

“Burgundy” (Photo: Julia Ozab)

I’ve had an interesting morning.

It began as usual. I drove Anna to school. About halfway there, a warning light lit up on the dashboard. I didn’t think too much of it. Cold weather sometimes triggers errant alert lights.

Or as I explained to Anna “Burgundy doesn’t like the cold.”

Burgundy is Anna’s name for our van.

Then as I approached a right turn, I flipped the turn signal.


So I pushed the button to lower the window so I could signal by hand.


Now I knew something was wrong. I drove the rest of the way to school—very carefully—and dropped Anna off. I would have driven straight to our mechanic from there, but I forgot my cell phone so I had to go home and get it. Maybe I should have left the engine running while I went upstairs, but I didn’t. I came back down to start the car.


The lights still worked. The radio still worked. It wasn’t the battery, but something was wrong and now I needed a tow to the auto shop.

Quite a start to the day. I could focus on the negatives, and be angry, frustrated, or depressed, but instead I thought about all the positives.

We own a car—outright.

We are AAA members and get a free tow.

We have a reliable mechanic, who we’ve taken the car to since we bought it, so we won’t get ripped off.

The car didn’t quit on me this morning, with Anna in the backseat and no way to get her to school.

The car didn’t quit on us any time in the last week while we were out.

The car didn’t quit on me on the way to the Faith and Culture Writers Conference or on the way back home.

My mother-in-law lives close by, and shares her car with us. Julia drove it to work today so I could take Anna to school. Julia can pick Anna up if the car isn’t ready in time, and we can coordinate our schedules tomorrow if necessary.

There are so many good things to focus on, so many ways in which this situation could be much worse, that I refuse to dwell on the bad things.

Dwelling on them won’t change them. It will only make me feel worse. I’d rather give thanks for all that is good in my life. I’ve got a lot to give thanks for.

Has anything bad—or just inconvenient—happened to you lately where you were able to focus on the good instead? Did it help? Tell me about it.