Bits’n’Blogs (March 2013)

My ‘What I’m into’ post was so long for March what with all the hair products – (I’m still amused by my newly-discovered fashion prowess!) – that I didn’t have time to mention the best of the blog posts for March. Here are some of my favourites:


For the broken and hurting:

  • Seth HainesShadow of a doubt. This is for all the doubters – brilliant stuff.
  • Addie Zierman God-shaped hole. – This is perhaps the most perfect thing Addie has ever written, which is saying something, because her writing is always superlative. This is achingly beautiful: on mourning and hanging onto God in the wreckage. (Trigger warning: miscarriage).
  • Sarah BesseyIn which God does not want to use me. This has been one of my bugbears too, and she articulated the problems with it so well.
  • Alice Buckley @ Play on the Word – Listening to the better voice. “God is not an abuser”. This whole series has been excellent – on negative thoughts, perfectionism, and what God asks of us. Read it for freedom.
  • Andrea Levendusky @ A Deeper Story – When I called God a cheat and ran off with married man – a gripping story: for the formerly ‘good girls’ who find themselves surprised by their own sin.


On Steubenville, rape and manhood
In case you missed this shocking news story: two high school students (athletes with scholarships to good universities) were given a prison sentence for raping a girl at a party and videoing and photographing it. The girl was so unconscious she would probably not have known what had occurred if it hadn’t been for the fact that she saw pictures of the offence all over social media the next day. Some important articles on this event and what it tells us about culture:

  • Dan Wetzel for Yahoo Sports – Steubenville – read this for more details of the case and why it was so controversial.
  • Abby Norman @ Accidental Devotional – The day I taught how not to rape. “But how can it be rape when she’s too asleep to say no?” This really shocked me. Teacher Abby Norman tells of the discussion in her class the following week.
  • Ann Voskamp @ A holy experience – After Steubenville: 25 things our sons need to know about manhood – Ann Voskamp knocks it out of the park in this important piece on parenting, manhood and rape.


On writing and art:

  • Sarah Bessey In which art is like manna – “I used to save my best work.” This was such a lightbulb moment for me – not hoarding those good ideas, but letting them flow.
  • Micha Boyett has a book contract! She’s one of my favourites. Scroll down and watch her short video explaining what it’s about – it’s going to be so good!
  • John Blase hosted a guest series of poetry this month: The Common Good. I am excited to discover Christian poets who aren’t – well – too ‘Christiany’. They are all brilliant, but my favourites were Amber Haines, Joy Roulier Sawyer and Micha Boyett.


On shame and spiritual abuse

  • Elora Nicole @ A Deeper Story –A lesson in words: they mean things. This is such an important piece about shame and why Christians need to be so careful about the words we use. It made my blood boil to read of how Elora was treated. May I never use Bible knowledge in this way.
  • Esther Emerybreastfeeding in church. This (slightly older) piece by Esther Emery also made an impact on me, the ways that shame can creep into our worship services.
  • There were too many good posts to choose from Spiritual Abuse Week. Start with this one from Joy Bennett on the consequences of spiritual abuse, and go from there.


Politics (Bedroom tax and other cuts starting 1 April)


ME links

  • No poster girlLosing my voice – I really related to this post about mourning the loss of singing since getting severe ME.
  • Youtube – Seven years in the making – Do you know what severe ME is like? This short video is about the seven-year-struggle for an M.E. sufferer to sit in a chair on her birthday. Watching the effort – hoists, lifts etc – that this required of her makes it a very moving video – do watch if you don’t know much about severe M.E.
  • BMJ new somatic symptom disorder DSM-5 – The new ‘psychiatric Bible’ with an updated list of psychiatric disorders is coming out in May. One of these new disorders is ‘somatic symptom disorder’, replacing a similar one before it. This means that if you have an autoimmune illness which doctors don’t know much about as yet, and you are worried about it, you could be misdiagnosed as suffering from a psychiatric disorder. Given the persistent confusion among the medical profession about the nature of M.E., many people are concerned that this will lead to more ME patients being wrongly diagnosed as having a somatisation disorder, and their severe physical symptoms assumed to be psychiatric in origin. This is already happening, but this new, looser definition means it may well happen more. The British Medical Journal article is now behind a paywall, but this one by the same writer explains the problems: Mislabelling medical illness as mental disorder. Please sign the petition against it here:


On social media and technology

  • Vicky Beeching for The Independent – The Google Glass generation. It was great to see Vicky Beeching in the mainstream media again: her piece on social media and the need for silence was so thoughtfully written.


“And finally…”

  • Jon MarlowEverything Changes. My husband, Jon is a vicar. To give you a taste of what a family service is like with him leading it, watch this moderately amusing 3 minute video on his blog showing his entrance on a motorbike into the middle of church on Easter Sunday.


Over to you:

  • What’s been happening on your blog? What are your best reads for March?


Liked this post? Do stay in touch – subscribe by email or like my Facebook page.

4 Responses to Bits’n’Blogs (March 2013)

  1. Joy Lenton 8th April, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Phew, Tanya, you leave me breathless with all you are able to read and to do these days! So pleased you have the energy for it all. I have read some of the blog posts you mention and firmly agree with your opinions. Ann Voskamp made me wish I’d imparted similar wise words to my own sons and Sarah Bessey encouraged me to put out work I’d saved for ‘the future’ and gave me courage to believe the best is still yet to come. Joy Bennett is always so good at putting her finger on the pulse of what needs addressing. Ruth Povey wrote with grace, dignity and a starkness of truth about life for many caught up in the government reforms. ‘Losing my Voice’ by No Poster Girl was a poignant read I could relate to as a sorrow for me too since having M.E. and Alice Buckley’s ‘Listening to the better voice’ reminds us who to listen to and what we know of God’s character.
    An interesting selection with more to explore in the days ahead! I just wanted to comment now in case I didn’t get round to it while this post is up. You always have much to share with us that is helpful and informative. Happy reading! Blessings of further health and strength to you. Love, Joy xx 🙂

  2. Sipech 8th April, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    I’ve been loving some of the stuff Katharine Welby’s been writing over The Community Mission Blog, in particular, ‘The vilification of the masses’ and ‘A church response’.

    I’ve also liked Artsy Honker’s new project to write a letter a week:

  3. Mark Allman 8th April, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    I enjoyed Jon’s post. Were you in it anywhere? Addie’s post was moving. Your comment from Sarah’s post reinforced what she was saying and I would like to say from my observation you have an awesome walk with God; and one that affects many. I liked reading how Abby Norman used that teachable moment that presented itself in her class about rape… just excellent.

  4. Janice 8th April, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Sarah Bessey’s Art is Like Manna was so great. It did really switch something in my mind.

    And Addie, that girl is amazing. That post was especially good.

    Now I need to go check out all the others that I missed – which is not good because my MUST DO list today is about three pages long….

    Hope you’re having a lovely Monday!

Leave a Reply

Please send me my free ebook and updates