May has been a month brimful with emotions. I need to discipline myself to write every day, rather than doing short recaps like this.

This month I turned 23 and was alone a lot. The day after my birthday I found out that my grandmother had passed away, and I discovered didn’t know how to grieve. I know that if I let myself feel, I could write about it, but I don’t know how to let myself feel these things sometimes. Taking communion on Sundays and giving thanks for the simple, tangible grace of bread and wine helps me feel solid again, though.

Later in the month I had jury duty for three days. This helped me break out of a reading rut and gave me time to enjoy some of the many good things sitting in my birthday book pile. [I think the reading rut is tied to my writer’s block, so I am hopeful about writing again soon.] Reading during jury duty allowed me to remember again the wholeness that comes from swallowing a book in one piece. I also loved the first-hand experience with our judicial system. I have new appreciation for a good judge and am surprised to discover that I really disliked the lawyers.

In the midst of these things, I had some job interviews. These left me breathless and deliberately strangling my growing sense of anticipation. I’d been feeling the need to leave my current position for a while (my desire to work with publications rather than fundraising wouldn’t die). With my experience in primarily Christian organizations and my lack of interest in public policy, I was less than optimistic about my chances of finding a fulfilling editorial position with potential for growth and mental stimulation. But then I got a job offer which was more wonderful than I could have hoped, and I feel a little guilty for feeling so incredibly happy and for being handed something so good. I wrote a professional notice of my resignation last week and handed it in, shaking. I was then surprised by unexpected congratulations and kind words. It feels really good to have a concrete to-do list for my last days and see a good conclusion to my time here taking shape. I have learned so much in this job and will be sad to leave the people [and the cushy commute] behind. It’s a good end to this season.

As if this news wasn’t good enough, Kevin was also interviewing for jobs and received a really fantastic job offer. He will be starting his new job on the same day I start mine. I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am about this and about the prospect of normal work schedules for both of us. I’ve been so thankful for his patience and commitment to his grueling restaurant job, and am just giddy that he gets to do something more tailored to his skill set in a place where he will be treated well for good work.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts in my head and probably could have written a post here every day this last month. But most of these thoughts have instead been channeled into long, long emails to friends discussing complementarianism, Sovereign Grace Ministries, marriage, and family stuff (see: my grandmother died). Kevin says that what gets posted here is the tip of the iceberg and also the cleanest and most well-thought out writing that I do. He’s right. Maybe I’ll do some Q&A posts based off of a couple of those emails. Oh, and I’m also featured as part of a panel on the “Raised Quiverfull” series over at Libby Anne’s blog. I think I’m the only active professing Christian on the panel, which I realized after I wrote my answers to the questions. I would probably revise some of my answers after reading those of the other panelists to be more thorough, but I really haven’t had time or energy.

There are lots of other emails from friends to which I haven’t replied yet. If that’s you, I’m sorry, and I’ll get to it soon. If I’ve been putting it off, it’s probably because it touched a tender spot and I’m still waiting for the words to say what I need to say.

Other sweet things have happened, too. There was a birthday party for the daughter of a friend and a spontaneous road trip to our alma mater, and we have good friends in town for the summer. We’ve had some wonderful family gatherings with good food and music at my in-laws. My family is going on a month-long road trip across the country, and our church continues to be a haven for us. I got to see a delightful author speak live at a book festival, and I bought plane tickets to see friends and family this summer and fall. And I’ve been making a lot of caprese salad and dark ‘n’ stormys. Life is sweet. Lhude sing cucu.


  • You’re doing a really good job on Libby Anne’s “Raised Quiverfull” series 🙂 Thank you for posting, I’ve been reading with interest!

  • I also left SGM after going to a SGM church for several (too many) years. I would love to speak to you sometime!! I honestly am still dealing with a lot of hell from the people at my old church about all kinds of things and I want to be like YOU ARE MAKING IT WORSE. It’s unbelievable some of the things I’ve been told/heard from SGM people once I became “ex-SG”… Anyway, let’s chat sometime?!

    • Hi Hannah! I’d love to chat – I’m in the DC area if you’d like to meet up, but either way shoot me an email at mattiechatham[at]gmail[dot]com and let’s talk some. I’ve been out for nearly 4 years and so I’ve cooled off a good bit about it, but it’s still really important to me to try to counter the false gospel and spiritual manipulation that is often the norm in many [not all] SGM churches.