imperfect prose on thursdays: beer and hymns

it’s a collapse of child and mother, the after-supper kind of collapse. we haven’t seen each other all weekend because i’ve been away and we have joey and jin here too.

and sometimes this having other people in our home feels a bit like the curtains are pulled wide on a sacred ceremony. until i look into their eyes, the eyes of our godchildren, and realize that i love them as though they were my own. but it takes stopping, and looking, in order to see them.

we’re all family in this world of orphans and what good is it to speak theology to someone who is starving?

so we collapse together, at bath-time, them crying into the bubbles. Joey wants his mommy and Aiden wants his and Kasher and Jin are staring at their older brothers, and so i start to sing. Amazing Grace. i sing while i shampoo their hair and they cry in unison. i sing while i rinse them. and i sing while i wrap them in fluffy towels and zip up their onesies and put on a show for them.

later that night, joey says, “i want to stay young forever and ever.” and i want him to, also.

and i pray that he will. that i will. and i remember the wild goose festival, where there were speakers and bands and poignant messages but the most powerful part for me, was the Beer and Hymns at 4 pm on saturday. where we gathered together under a tent with cups of frothy lager and sang in acapella the songs of the church. all of us like children.

i’ve never sung with such abandon. it was communion, with beer and scruffy hippies who hadn’t showered in days, all fumbling around with grace and God and goodness.

and this is what i feel we have here. at imperfect prose. we’re a bunch of scruffy hippies just trying to figure Jesus out. together. with cups of lager in our hands, and a song on our lips. (i’ve missed you)

every wednesday and thursday, we gather together to celebrate redemption. here are the details:

1. link up a post (old or new) that you feel is ‘broken’ or ‘imperfect’ or somehow redemptive
2. put the ‘imperfect prose’ button at the bottom of your post, so others can find their way back here (see button code in right-hand column of my blog)
3. read other’s prose, and encourage them!

won’t you join us, here? in which we “walk each other home”? (ram dass)

imperfect prose Participants

1. Michele-Lyn {A LIfe Surrendered}
2. tara | pohlkotte press
3. You Didn’t Build That
4. Holly
5. Jennifer Richardson
6. Craig @ Deep into Love
7. Danelle@Heseesme *Prompted:OurBed*
8. Starla @PoetsProse
9. Old Ollie
10. Chronicles of Grace
11. Shelly @ Redemptions Beauty
12. When No One Sees But God @sixinthesticks
13. Jennifer @ You Are My Girls
14. Brenna@ChicagoMama
15. Did Jesus have boundaries?
16. lori
17. Must We Be Baptized?
18. Samson Man – Robert J. Gerryts
19. Getting through death and EVERYTHING.
20. How Captives Are Set Free. And Your Part In It All
21. HopeUnbroken
22. rachel // dramaticelegance
23. What makes friendships last
24. Nancy @ Alleged Mind
25. Diana Trautwein
26. The Green Hat: A Letter To My Girl
27. Jennifer Dougan
28. steven mcclure
29. suzannah | of exile and home
30. Little Pieces of Ordinary
31. Bethany Ann
32. Tanya – The day that changed my life
33. Elizabeth@just following Jesus…
34. jane@flightplatformliving
35. Sadee@aPicturebookGrace
36. Elaine
37. melyssa is conservatively liberal
38. Rachel@Geekunorthodox
39. Shaunie Friday
40. Memorizing grace @ Lisa notes
41. Elizabeth @wynnegraceappears
42. When I left all@tuningmyheart
43. Cara @ WhimsySmitten – Adoption, Heartbreak
44. The Weight of Despair | from two to one
45. Carrie
46. kendal – summer smiles and sighs
47. Jenn @ Sacred Everyday
48. Kim @ Like the Love
49. Southern Gal
50. Vicky
51. shannon@herspaciousplace
52. Dolly@SoulStops
53. In the Tension of the Waiting {Lindsey @ Lil Missionary Girl}
54. Jadie
55. Kath
56. Amber @ Composing Hope
57. Mommy Time At Home
58. Melanie @ M&M
59. patty
60. Alecia @ ThereSomethingDifferent
61. Linda
62. The Chair Master Once had Homework
63. Sarah – Inspiration-Driven Life
64. HisFireFly
65. Beth
66. laura
67. Behind The Smile
68. Amanda
69. Sarah @ All Manner of Inspiration
70. Alyssa Santos -Growing Up, Growing Older, Growing in Grace
71. Tresta
72. Lynn Mosher
73. Melissa@onethingblog

Learn more about imperfect prose here.

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Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

*linking this with Ed Cyzewski’s synchroblog celebrating the launch of his new book, Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus, with Derek Cooper. preview the book here… and link up your own story (and read more) here.

Making It Home


  1. Your words always cut to the quick — the deep tender places of my soul.

    This line –>”we’re all family in this world of orphans and what good is it to speak theology to someone who is starving?” Yes.

    I want to feed people. That’s always been a cry deep from my heart. I want to feed people.

    Love this place you have here…

  2. “all fumbling around with grace and God and goodness.” you just spoke humanity to me dear one. oh, how i’ve missed this.

    • Tara… I’ve missed you ( I know that your comment was for Emily) but just piping in here.

      Heading over to your place now.

      Humanity. Yes. God is not afraid of our humanity.

  3. Oh to be a scruffy hippie in your Jesus tribe, Emily! Thank you for opening wide the door.

  4. i feel at home
    only in a scruffy band of ragamuffins
    doing the messy business of life
    imperfectly and wholeheartedly
    and wallowing in grace.
    i’m over the moon grateful:)

  5. oh to be back!!! missed you and your orphan family! :0)

  6. One for the new school year.

  7. oh and all my best prayers are bound up and glorious with a frothy lager – totally dig this post.

  8. It’s all about this, isn’t it? Cups of lager together, bumping into each other in communion, singing grace over hard tears in the bathtub. Welcome home, Emily, and welcome home, IP.

  9. This has a familiar feeling to it, and sadly mine is way less cool than beer and hymns, but I have been listening to (usually against my will) children’s bible songs. The sort that sound like all the kids who are singing have a head cold, the sort that have the tempo of polka. I was trying to figure out what’s so appealing about them and then I realized: they lack irony. They’re singing these songs about wee little men and God is love and no one is making room for “reality”. I loved it.
    Just as I love this, and you, and your crying children. xoxoxo

  10. Oh, that we could — would — stay young forever and ever. That I would “grow out” of my grown-upness, that I would stop thinking now I’m so smart, now I have it together, now I should should should. Instead, like a child, that I could cry and cry in my bathtub, that I would let myself be wrapped up in his love, that I would stay with him as long as I need. Thank you for that picture, I’m carrying it with me. Love to you — and thank you for bringing this beautiful space back. xo

  11. Great post, Emily…beer and hymns? Wish I could have been there.

  12. One thing I’m sure of is that I don’t sing to my children enough. There’s something precious about singing songs of love and grace and comfort to your children. Beautiful as always, Emily :)

  13. I feel like a scruffy hippie most days…”all fumbling around with grace and God and goodness” :) Loved this. So glad imperfect prose is back. xo

  14. Such beautiful pictures of community. Leaves a longing in me. So lovely.

  15. Glad to see you here at imperfect prose! I can’t believe I missed the Wild Goose Festival,maybe next time. Sounds like you had a great time and good fellowship!

  16. One Jesus loving scruffy hippie to another I raise my glass of………… juice……….to you Emily. :)

  17. Awesome to see this starting again. Spent most of my summer honing writing skills, time to start creating and having fun with it.

    Thanks Emily for hosting.

  18. Emily, welcome home. So grateful for the communion He invites us into, with Him, all together. Thank you.

  19. I have found too, in carry for other people’s kids, that song is often my only solace. That the words birthed by song are the prayers for a tough day, the wind that carries my worries away. The fuel to get through another day. At times. When days are hard. Bless you, dear Emily. ~ jen

  20. “we’re all family in this world of orphans and what good is it to speak theology to someone who is starving?”

    emily, you said it all, and i wept with you.

    you are precious, sacrificing mother.

  21. Wish you had asked me to pour myself a cold one before reading this!

    There are times, many times, when as a mama I don’t know what to do or say. So I sing. I sing the old hymns of the faith because their theology is rich and deep and sometimes the tunes are melancholy and dark. But I sing them, even though sometimes my heart feels far from believing things like, “It is Well With My Soul.” Because God inhabits the praises of his people. And when I sing, I’m inviting him into my mess, to fight battles I can’t fight.

    Of course, I sound better after a beer. Or two. Welcome back, dear friend. I’ve missed this community.

  22. Emily and Imperfect Prose friends,

    I’ve missed this bunch of “scruffy hippies just trying to figure Jesus out.” :)

    Have a lovely Wednesday!

    Jennifer Dougan

  23. We’ve missed you, too. I kept coming up with lines I wanted to quote until I just gave up and had to read it again…

    I just keep thinking…this is the kind of grace I signed up for.

    Hugs to you, friend. I’ll link up next week if I have my act together by then!

  24. that banner is my favourite. this place is, too. SO GOOD.

  25. emily, this is perfection. i’ve missed this community, and i so wish i could have been to wild goose with you. fumbling with grace and a song on our lips. yes and yes.

  26. emily, this is perfection. i’ve missed this community, and i so wish i could have been to wild goose with you. fumbling with grace and a song on our lips. yes and yes.

  27. emily, this is perfection. i’ve missed this community, and i so wish i could have been to wild goose with you. fumbling with grace and a song on our lips. yes and yes.

  28. Love this – I watched the video and it just filled me with joy and goodness. It felt like a place where people belonged in their messiness – and they can joyfully sing together – I LOVe this as a metaphor for the community here. (also approve of the addition of beer – as would Martin Luther, I’m sure.)

  29. I’m so glad you’re back, that the linky is up and running again! Love and thanks to you, dear Em, for hosting us!

  30. What a beautiful post. Bath time around here almost always ends in tears too. Love how you just sang your way through it–that’s one of my ways of coping too. Thought about you today, Emily, and how I’ve missed Imperfect Prose! And I didn’t even know at the time that you’d be back today. So thankful for this place :).

  31. Bless you, beautiful.

  32. You always know just what to say!

  33. So very thankful to have this sweet space back again…you feeding people…and i pray we feed as well…biggest ((hugs)) to say…glad to see you and to be back with you my friend~

  34. Sometimes when I visit your beautiful blog sweet Emily…i feel like I have finally arrived home from a long journey in the wilderness. Thank you for always encouraging my soul! :-)

  35. So thankful you are back to this weekly meeting. I know I need your words, they inspire me often. Like they did today.

  36. i love you, em.

  37. “all fumbling around with grace and God and goodness.” Fumbling is definitely how I feel…sad to have missed it. I haven’t blogged in a long time but linking up today a bit of my fumbling. Needing to feel less alone with my thoughts I guess.

  38. from one scruffy hippie to the next….thanks for being our safe place. :)

  39. My heart lept with joy when I saw imperfect prose in my dashboard. I’ve missed this.

    Keep singing those song with abandon. Sometimes it’s all that we can do and it’s a sweet fragrance to his nostrils.

  40. That sounds like some awesome communion. (And so glad we’re all meeting back up here again for communion with imperfect prose.)

    Love this:

    “we’re all family in this world of orphans and what good is it to speak theology to someone who is starving?”

  41. we’ve missed you too darling!

  42. Happy you’re back…missed you and the community :)

  43. Yes. We are trying to figure Jesus out (together). Beautiful. xx.

  44. thanks em. bless you and those lovely boys.

  45. Thanks, Em. I’ve missed you, too. We made a big move about six weeks ago and I just don’t know how to write right now. Wish I had been there for the beer and the singing. I need that.
    love to you and all your boys!

  46. Glad your link up is back, it’s been missed! The wild goose festival sounds like my kind of place! :)

  47. I’m so glad you’re back for this Em. I am so proud of you. He is using you in mighty ways.

  48. Crying into the bathbubbles and singing them to a peaceful place through it all – that describes being a mom perfectly! A Wild Goose Festival, beer and God – I think that sounds delightful – where maybe your joy for a moment reached down all the way to the tips of your toes in a very real way – I love those moments!

  49. Happy to have you back hosting us here — may the change of seasons bring you His joy and a great measure of His peace…

  50. Oh, Emily. This touches me right where I am. Would love to hear you singing with abandon, beautiful heart.

  51. Cheers, dear Emily. Keep singing and loving and worshiping.

  52. A family of orphans, I like that phrase and your post. Joining you for the first time. Behind The Smile.

  53. I am home.

    Thank you.

    • how i’ve missed you, dear sheila. love you.

  54. I stinking love this. I too wrote of a hymn on my lips and the awkwardness of living in grace. It is in the bathtimes and beer and all the places in between that we can see the spirit of Jesus moving, working, loving us into his arms…if we’re looking. Thanks, for looking along with me. you are dear

  55. I love this Emily :)
    Just love it :)
    Your voice is so refreshing and true!


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