A Letter To Addie Zierman - Night Driving Review
Being Known: Preparing To Attend The Festival Of Faith And Writing

Like My Father, Like My Mother


I am a bit like my father. I am a bit like my mother. 

Growing up, Dad used to take us to the family-owned bar on occasion. Now, in my family we were known as the “church goers,” so every time upon entering this bar, we’d have several people say to us, “Don’t tell your mom you were in here.” But I liked it there. Free games of pool. “Suicide sodas” and all the Slim Jim beef sticks you could eat. I still like a good game of pool and a local place with food and drink specials.

I am a bit like my father.




Since I was a baby, mom had me in church. In all my years, I have never attended a church service where I felt out of place. Church is home to me. I love her heart and soul. Church folk are my family. The family of God.

I am a bit like my mother.




Every time we had a gathering with my dad’s side of the family, you’d hear old country music blaring.









Not necessarily the music of my generation, but without a doubt the music of my people. It’s the playlist I listen to most often on Pandora.

I am a bit like my father.


For every song my dad played on the record player in our basement, my mom had her Christian music playing loud and proud upstairs. Or she’d be practicing old hymns on the piano. To this day, when I hum the music of my soul, it’s often the hymns of my childhood. When I’m feeling sad or overwhelmed. Those few years I rocked my baby to sleep, deeply breathing in the scent of her silky locks of blonde hair. It was all Amazing Grace, Sweet Hour of Prayer and Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

I am a bit like my mother.


To this day, when I hear George Jones sing Amazing Grace, I am completely undone.



My dad was a meat and potatoes man, unless it was breakfast time. Then, he was an eggs and bacon man, with a side of fried mush. In my years of trying to find a little bit of sophistication, I’ve learned some people call it polenta. Or fried cornbread. But it will always be fried mush to me. Mom would cook the bacon first and then fry our eggs and mush in the same pan. Oh goodness, did I love the Saturday mornings when we’d have fried mush. A different sort of health food I suppose.

I am a bit like my father.


My mom has always maintained her figure. She enjoys food but practices a great deal of discipline in her diet. She loves her veggies! It would suit her just fine to leave the meat off her plate and load up on the orange, green and yellow sides. If she likes a certain dessert, she’ll have maybe half a piece. When she reaches in to a bag of chips, you guys, she just gets a handful and then puts the bag away.

I am a bit (just a tiny bit in this regard) like my mother.


Sometimes I wonder if the parts of me most like my dad are Christian enough. Reckless and undisciplined. Does God ask us to sacrifice those parts that don’t look “churchy?”

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)


I’m learning though. All my parts make me who I am. These days, I embrace it all, offering myself up to a God who redeems every part of us. Even the part that sings along with Merle Haggard.


I am linking up with these lovely ladies today: Holly Barrett and Lyli Dunbar.



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