So you’ve come to the page to get my quick bio. Before I begin, please keep in mind these appropriate words from Don Miller:
Half the time, if not more than half, I am full of bullshit. I share what will make me look good. If I am vulnerable, I share just enough vulnerability to be perceived as vulnerable, rather than to actually humiliate myself so that others can talk more openly about their own insecurities. I also leak in my accomplishments, and I’ve become a master at it. I don’t even know I am doing it half the time, and the other half I strategically list my accomplishments so that they come off as dismissive or “in passing.”
Ok – with that out of the way…
Who are you?
My name is Derek. I’m a
late-30ish early-40ish husband and father of three daughters—one each in elementary, middle, and high school. I’m trying to figure out when I got old, and for the life of me, I have no idea. For the sake of this blog, I usually refer to the rest of my family individually as Ordinary Spouse and Oldest, Middle, and Youngest Daughters (or OS, OD, MD, and YD).
When I started this blog (April 2009), we lived in the suburban sprawl popping up southwest of Chicago. I worked at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory. The APS is a unique X-ray source that brings in researchers from around the United States and the world.
In the spring of 2012, we left suburbia behind and moved to Laurelville Mennonite Church Center. For me, it was part midlife crisis and part attempt to live faithfully as a doubting Christian. Our family (and whatever random wildlife that crept into our home) lived and worked at the camp.
At the end of the summer of 2015, we moved again—this time to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Ordinary Spouse joined the faculty at Eastern Mennonite University, the girls left the Rainbow House of Learning (how we fondly referred to their homeschool) to resume public schooling, and I began seminary. The whole family went back to school at the same time.
Why this blog?
Mostly because everyone else had a blog. In order to be cool, I needed a blog, as well. To be honest, I don’t know why I thought I would enjoy this. I’m not someone who has ever kept a journal or done much writing. But it’s now been over
three seven(!) years and it seems to be a practice that is good for my soul. I don’t blog as much as I did at the beginning, but things still show up here every once in a while.
When I started writing, I was struggling a lot trying to live life consistent with my faith and belief. I try to be a disciple of Jesus, but I’m not always successful. And I had a hard time reconciling my suburban middle-class life with being a disciple. Perhaps I was never successful at that. Or maybe I had a little success, but decided that it was time for a new start anyway.
And what’s with the name? And the tagline?
My life is ordinary, at least for the most part. And so is the Christian liturgical year. I thought it was a nice overlap.
(Edit, August 2016: I was recently reminded that ordinary is good.)
The tagline changes from time to time. Right now, it’s a thought from a person doing work that I admire.
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