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Reading Small Talk Podcast with Amy Julia Becker
9 minutes | Jul 22, 2020
Chapter 12: Grace
I think about all the ways in which all three of our children are a means of grace in my life. Teaching me how to live with joy, with gratitude, with grace.Amazing Penny.Amazing William.Amazing Marilee.Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.
14 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
Chapter 11: Forgiveness
Stories of forgiveness in my life are often mundane. Forgiving myself after I snap at the kids yet another time. Forgiving them when they look at me with meanness behind their eyes. My kids don't fully understand the meaning of the word forgiveness. They have helped me realize that I don't fully understand it either. But together, I hope we are learning how to live out what forgiveness looks like in daily life.
18 minutes | Jul 8, 2020
Chapter 10: Love
Love for my children may begin and even end with sentiment, but the middle place of patience and dirt and sweat and kindness and wet beds—the middle place is filled with action and hard work. With agape. With something that comes from God and returns us to God.
12 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
Chapter 9: Laughter
Exhaustion filled our house. I was close to giving up on prayer altogether. Instead, I started to pray for laughter. For a long time, in fact, this was my only consistent prayer for our family. Laughter comes as an invitation to look for God's presence within our family, no matter the circumstances.
10 minutes | Jun 24, 2020
Chapter 8: Happiness
In the Beatitudes, Jesus singles out the people we would least expect to call blessed. They are the ones who know themselves to be dependent on God. The ones who don't have it all together. If true happiness, as Jesus tells us, is being out of control, dependent, and needy, then parents must be one of the happiest groups of people on earth. The Beatitudes have something to tell me about a different kind of happiness that doesn't come from a well-organized kitchen or an idyllic reading hour with a cup of hot tea.
16 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
Chapter 7: Listening
I often need to slow down in order to listen to God. And while the past several months have forced many of us to slow down, am I listening? In today's episode I talk about how my children taught me to have listening ears, not a listening defined by obedience, but a listening that receives the words I need to hear: "You are deeply loved."
16 minutes | Jun 10, 2020
Chapter 6: Waiting
We’ve endured a season of waiting as a nation these past few months. Waiting for stores and schools and churches to open up. Waiting for hugs and handshakes. Waiting for “normal” life to return. Today’s episode describes a few of the surgeries Penny endured when she was really little. And we consider how God wants to be present to us when we wait, whether we wait with eager expectation or desperate longing or contentment.
12 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
Chapter 5: Sin
This episode isn’t really about sin. It’s about mistakes. And limits. And crying out for what we need. And the ways we can understand our belovedness once we understand our neediness. It’s about all the opportunities every day gives us to admit our failings and receive the beauty and love offered to us.Learn more about Small Talk
16 minutes | May 27, 2020
Chapter 4: Prayer
Is it even possible to pray if you are the parent of small children? In this chapter, Amy Julia remembers the way prayer unraveled and came back together again as she moved from a time of quiet, devotional prayer to the more unruly prayer of little children. She learns about what it means to talk to God about everything she needs, with tears, and laughter, and a laundry basket.Learn more about Small Talk
15 minutes | May 20, 2020
Chapter 3: Beauty
Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt old? Have you noticed the lines on your face or the extra roll around your middle? This chapter explores that all-too-common experience. Instead of looking with critical eyes at ourselves, what if we looked with eyes of love? What if we could see ourselves as beautiful? Learn more about Small Talk
16 minutes | May 13, 2020
Chapter 2: Rest
Doctors and psychologists agree that rest is one of the most important things for our physical and emotional health and well being. Spiritual advisors would probably argue that the same is true for the health of our souls. Of course, life with young children makes rest hard under almost any circumstances, but is there also something in us that resists the invitation to rest? In this chapter, Amy Julia talks about the spiritual reasons for rest, the resistance to rest, and the gracious invitation to rest in the arms of God. More about Small Talk online here
13 minutes | May 6, 2020
Chapter 1: Failure
When our kids were little, I failed at gardening. I had ideas about what it meant to be a good mom, which included a vegetable garden and hand-crafted Halloween costumes. I thought I would inherit domesticity along with the hormones that come with pregnancy. But then I discovered that with gardening comes weeding, and excess produce, and bugs. This episode of the Reading Small Talk podcast describes that initial sense of failure and the unexpected gifts that came when I didn’t live up to my own expectations for motherhood. More about Small Talk online here
5 minutes | Apr 27, 2020
Introducing the Reading Small Talk Podcast!
Almost every day, one of Amy Julia’s children says something or asks something that prompts her to think more carefully: “What ‘lasting’ mean?” William wonders when he hears a song about God being an everlasting God. "If the children who died went to heaven, then why are we sad?” Penny asks, when she passes by a funeral for a victim of the Sandy Hook shootings. "I don't wanna' get 'tized!" says Marilee about baptism. These conversations deepen her relationships with her children, but they also deepen and refine her own understanding of what she believes, why she believes it, and what she hopes to pass along to the next generation. Small Talk is a narrative based upon these conversations. It is not a parenting guide. It does not offer prescriptive lessons about how to talk with children. Rather, it tells stories based upon the questions and statements Amy Julia’s children have made about the things that make life good (such as love, kindness, beauty, laughter, and friendship), the things that make life hard (such as death, failure, and tragedy), and what we believe (such as prayer, God, and miracles).Amy Julia moves in rough chronological order through the basic questions her kids asked when they were very young to the more intellectual and spiritual questions of later childhood. Small Talk invites other parents into these same conversations, with their children, with God, and with themselves. Moving from humorous exchanges to profound questions to heart-wrenching moments, Amy Julia encourages parents to ask themselves―and to talk with their children about―what matters most.
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