“hippie books”

Written by Mandy Thompson

She’s just a girl with a guitar. And, in a perfect world, Mandy would spend her days writing songs and soaking up the sun. But, life is life. And, while not perfect, her life is good. She serves as Director of Congregational Services at The Chapel, in Brunswick GA. If you asked her about her position, she’d say her main course involves developing worship experiences, with a side of creative design and social media for dessert. Tasty!

April 17, 2012

Have I mentioned that I’m married to a Preacher? And not just any preacher, but the kind that taught himself Greek before he ever attended seminary. The kind that is learning Latin “just for fun” and likes to go to those super UNcool Bible conferences where their only means of inspiring decor is the lectern and presentation screen provided by the hotel and *nobody* brings a MacBook.

Yep, that’s my man.

(He’s also quite handsome and has a great sense of humor, but for the purpose of this post we won’t focus on those details.)

A few months back, we made our umpteenth attempt at having a regular shared prayer/devotional time together. It didn’t go so well… After a few days of a few hours of talking, we eventually settled into a routine that worked for us although it’s a bit unconventional. And I suggested he use our Family Devotion Time in a sermon recently, to encourage other families who struggle with creating a spiritual culture in their home.

Because it’s stinking hard y’all.

He shared the story with our congregation, which was a bit like my version. Except for one detail: He called my contribution to the FDT “hippie books.”


Now, before we all rush to my defense and go after him, let me explain. He, with his 4.0 math degree and two masters degrees, married me, with my jeans and t-shirts and flip flops and (now tattoo) and artsy-fartsy ways. And I’m also the hippie-chick behind the guitar leading worship on Sundays. I’m granola, and he likes it. And he’s nerdy, and I like it.

So we found a way to meet in the middle on spirituality. We are currently going through the book of John at his request, which suits me because John’s telling often validates the confusing side of Jesus. And then we go through my “hippie book” aka. Frederick Buechner’s Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC, which also suits him because we can talk through the hippie-side of theology.

We read a bit from Buechner & talk about it. We read a bit from John & talk about it. And Drew prays for us.

My point? It works. He gets to bring us together on spiritual terms, and I get to ask questions and show frustration whenever I want. And I think that’s what really matters when families try to come together to talk about the things of faith. However we accomplish this goal, the end result should be that we make space for one another and for God.

So what do y’all do? What does Family Devotion Time look like for your family?



  1. pastordt

    Fred Buechner a HIPPIE?? You have GOT to be kiddin’ me. He’s nearly 80 and a longtime – a long, long time Presbyterian pastor. Holey moley, you gotta get that man of yours out and about a bit more, honey. I do love this idea, though. Really love it. Thanks.

    • mandythompson

      haha!!! 🙂 I think it’s Buechner’s laid-back non-agressive style that reads a bit like: “hey man, this dude Jesus did some cool things”. Either way, we both like the book and I don’t mind being called a hippie. It works for me. 🙂

  2. Sandra Sims

    Mandy, I love your description of your devotional time and how it works for you. My pastor hubby and I have been married for 10 years next month. When we were first dating and married we read books and prayed together. We got out of the family devotional time for awhile and then stared attending the same covenant group. That was good for both of us but not the same as a personal time just the two of us. Thank you for the encouragement – now would be a great time for us to try this again.


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“hippie books”

by Mandy Thompson time to read: 2 min