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Writing Rules for Life

By Sara ZarrSeptember 27, 2018

For my forty-first birthday, I decided to write a personal rule of life. Turning forty hadn’t magically made me wise in the way that translates into action, and I didn’t wish to spend the next decade wading in the same bog of issues and habits and disordered affections that kept me from feeling present to…

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For the Love of Money

By Sara ZarrJune 28, 2018

My husband and I took a spring break trip to the central coast of California, and we included a stop at the Hearst Castle—William Randolph Hearst’s 90,000 square foot, 61-bathroom home on 127 acres at the top of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Hearst was still expanding it when he died in 1951. It…

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Wrestling with Sunday Mornings

By Sara ZarrJuly 31, 2015

This past Saturday afternoon I warned my husband, “I’m not going to church tomorrow.” In the morning when he went off early to help with music for the service, I went for a walk, made bacon and eggs, sat by an open window, and read every single page of the New York Times.

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Airbnb and the Art of Hospitality

By Sara ZarrJuly 13, 2015

Though Airbnb is born of modern times and technology, it almost seems a throwback to the art of innkeeping in much earlier eras when for a reasonable fee people opened up extra space in their homes, however humble, to strangers. And to me it’s somewhat remarkable in our suspicious age that people would do this. Hosts are making themselves and their things vulnerable by leaving their homes and appliances and personal belongings in the hands of unsupervised strangers. Guests are trusting that the space will be as advertised, and relying on the hosts for good information and functional plumbing.

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Is the Gospel Good News or Bad?

By Sara ZarrJune 19, 2015

But sometimes for a lifelong Christian, this can feel more like old news than good news. Occasionally, it even feels like bad news when I’m overwhelmed with questions.

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Late Bloomers

By Sara ZarrMay 10, 2012

My husband and I are going through a time of marital restlessness. Not with each other, but with our life together of twenty-two years––the midlife of our marriage, maybe. The last time we felt this way was at the ten-year point. The result of that restlessness, in combination with opportunity and, we felt, calling, was…

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Prozac vs. Jesus

By Sara ZarrFebruary 8, 2012

Diagnosis: Generalized anxiety disorder, mild to medium major depression (you read that right—it’s not an oxymoron), and a pinch of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. I received this summary after speaking with a psychiatrist for an hour, a few weeks ago, finally ready to surrender to the idea that maybe, maybe, I didn’t need to endure days-long…

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The End of Advent

By Sara ZarrDecember 28, 2011

I lamented my lack of preparation for the season. I longed for answers. I wished for a different experience of waiting. I hoped for 2011 to be wrapped and ribboned and placed under my spiritual tree with an explanatory card from God. (There is still time, God! Gifts accepted through Epiphany.) On the fourth Sunday…

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That Kind of Love

By Sara ZarrOctober 25, 2011

As of October 18, my fourth novel, How to Save a Life, is officially out in the world. The plot involves a death, a pregnancy, and an adoption. Recently, a fellow writer said he thought it interesting that I, the same person who wrote about not being a mother here at Good Letters, had written a…

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Shop Talk with Priscilla and Aquila

By Sara ZarrOctober 5, 2011

My one-year Bible has me in Acts. It also has me in Kings, but I’ve temporarily abandoned the rulers of Aram, Elisha and his floating axe heads, and the mysterious woman of Shunem. I’m hoping to regain some sense of the world depicted on the pages as at least distantly related to present reality as…

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