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Debra Rienstra

cultural commentarypop culture

Little Obsessions

I have endured some condescending eyerolling this week, aimed my way because I showed moderate interest in the birth of the royal baby. The two men with whom I live (one husband, one teenage son) took the line “Babies are born every day. Big deal.”…
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July 27, 2013
college lifespirituality

Engage Your Core

I don’t think I am very good at engaging my core. I guess it kind of means pulling in your stomach muscles (“navel to spine”), but when I’m balancing and folding and twisting I have other things to think about, especially at 6:52 in the…
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July 12, 2013
memoir

“Danger: You Could Die Here in Paradise”

I know that important things have been happening in the news this week, but I don’t care because: I’m in Hawaii. Been here for almost two weeks with my wonderful partner, Ron, celebrating 25 years of marriage. We are giving ourselves a much-needed and extravagant…
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June 29, 2013
Pious Petunia

Pious Petunia Celebrates Summer

Dear Miss Petunia: My husband and I bicker every summer about his preference for golf over worship services on sunny Sunday mornings. “I worship God so much better on the golf course!” he claims. I think he’s just being lazy about the spiritual life. Either…
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June 1, 2013
memoirspirituality

Unfinished Business

I suppose I have simply gotten used to unfinished business. As more academic years slide past and pile up behind me, I have less a sense of closure in May than a sense of constant motion. Even this year, when two of my own children…
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May 18, 2013
cultural commentary

Quintessence of Dust

Last night, thanks to the cleverness and curiosity of internet geeks, my husband and I were able to listen for about three hours to Boston police scanners—live-streamed over the internet—during the operation that captured the Boston bombing suspect. We knew, before it was broadcast on…
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April 20, 2013
liturgical year

The Problem with Palms

Let’s admit it: Palm Sunday is a problem. I know I shouldn’t be questioning a moment in the church calendar that goes all the way back to the third or fourth century, but why do I always vaguely dread this day?
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March 23, 2013