The Double Click: Prayer, Jane the Virgin, and Passports

Sometimes time zones, laundry, and the algorithms of social media mean we miss each other online. So I'm sharing my recent, favorite links for you to read when you get a chance. Here's some fun articles (and pics) to make you laugh and to make you think.

Five Prompts For Praying The News || The High Calling

As current events serve to polarize people further and further from one another, let’s consider how we, as people of faith might respond. What if, when engaging the news in our context, we first create space to meet with God in the midst of a hurting world?

14 Beautiful Experiences That Make Your Cross-Cultural Relationship Truly Special || HuffPost Weddings

There are many defining moments in inter-cultural relationships that allow you to both appreciate each other's differences... and just how thrilling those differences can turn out to be. For those of you who are already in the cultural thick of it (so to speak), you probably know these moments all too well.

Jane the Virgin Proves Diversity Is More Than Skin Deep || The Atlantic

As the only show currently on network television with a predominantly Latino cast, Jane the Virgin matters. The CW’s comedy-drama, loosely adapted from a Venezuelan telenovela and now in its second season, coincides with a reinvigorated debate about immigration, citizenship, and Latinos in America. At a time when getting people of color into more colorblind roles is widely viewed as the end goal for diversity on TV, the show stands out by going in the opposite direction—by fully drawing on the complexity of its characters’ Latino culture.

The department anticipates a surge in passport demand throughout this year, and officials hope to avoid a crush that could leave some Americans fuming in frustration with no passport in hand on the day they planned to travel outside the country.

The Rainy Winter Vacation {On Practicing Gratitude} || Addie Zierman

In a Brené Brown talk I listened to recently, she talked about the research she’d done around gratitude. That it’s not an attitude like the old platitude goes – Have an attitude of gratitude! Rather, it’s a practice. The people who have integrated gratitude into their lives are people who are intentional about it. Who practice it like scales, every day: I am grateful for…and I am grateful for…and I am grateful.

When Little Girls Do Brave Things {Black History Month}

"Tell your mama who that is," she told Gabriella from across the room.

Gabriella looked down at her coloring sheet. A young girl's face looked back. I could read the factual blurbs surrounding the African American girl's head. Gabriella had colored her face bright orange.

"Umm..." she hesitated while the childcare worker waited.

"Ruby," the worker offered slowly.

"Bridges!" Gabriella exclaimed.

"That's right! Next time you come here, I'm going to ask you her name. So you remember it, okay?"

"Okay! Bye!"

We shuffled out of the gym childcare, wrangling coats and hats and coloring pages. I held Gabriella's rendition of Ruby Bridge's profile.

One benefit of living in a predominately black neighborhood is that black history isn't contained by February. Gabriella has brought home coloring sheets of Thurgood Marshall and Rosa Parks, and of course, little Ruby Bridges.

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that though her name was familiar, I needed to refresh my memory of this 6-year old's role in the Civil Rights movement. A little reading revealed that her act of bravery was to go to school.

She became the first young black child to attend an all-white school in the New Orleans school district. Grown-ups screamed at her and threatened to poison her. One woman protested outside the institution carrying a small coffin with a black baby doll inside.

Ruby's mom taught her to pray on her walks to school.

As the mother of a 5-year old, I think about Ruby's mom. She was the one who spear-headed Ruby's attendance at the school. She felt convicted of its importance for her daughter's education and for the future of all black children. I admire Ruby's mom.

I also think about the other white parents at that school. They pulled their kids out. But on the second day, a 34-year old Methodist pastor walked his 5 year old white daughter into her class.

All the teachers - except for one - refused to teach young Ruby. Barbara Henry taught Ruby alone for over a year, but she taught as if a whole class was present. Can you imagine?

One young African American girl walking into school.

One white minister taking his daughter to class.

One rebellious teacher educating her student.

Being "the one" is lonely. It's scary. It's brave.

My daughter is 5. So close to the age of Ruby Bridges. We've talked about school segregation and Martin Luther King Jr and Ruby Bridges. I'm thankful for this brave little girl who pushed forward school integration in the South. My daughter benefits today.

And I'm reminded that my daughter will likely be in the minority at whichever school the Atlanta lottery lands on for her. As a white child, and certainly as a mixed Guatemala-American girl. I am grateful that she will not be subjected to the vitriol and violence Ruby Bridges faced. And I am encouraged that brave little girls are still participating in the vision of a diverse world.

51 Thoughts You Have Going Through U.S. Immigration & Customs

1. Whew. Finally. We landed.
2. Let the party begin!
3 .Oh no. Immigration.
4. Am I citizen here or a visitor?
5. Why am I having to think about that?
6. Can I blame jet lag?
7. Okay, I think I'm in the right line.
8. Why do I feel nervous?
9. Yay! My turn!
10. Why am I carrying so much stuff?
11. And what on earth happened to my passport?
12. Whew! Got it.
13. Um.. yes, sir. I was gone 7 days.. I mean 9 days. 9 DAYS!
14. I'm going to jail.
15. Well, my dear friend from college lives there. She moved there about 3 years ago....
16. Oh, you don't really care.
17. Why do you need to know what I do for a living?
18. Are we chitchatting or are you trying to trick me?
19. Am I babbling now? Stop talking.
20. Now I'm sweating. WHAT IS HAPPENING??
21. I've done nothing wrong!
22. Retinal scan? Sure, why not? Check out those peepers, baby!
23. Digital fingerprint?
24. Okay, do I need a lawyer?
25. I'm definitely going to jail.
26. Oh ok, welcome home. Thanks? That's oddly friendly now that I'm shaking.
27. Customs, here I come!
28. Wow. This form is intense.
29. What on earth IS in my suitcase?
30. Fruits, Vegetables, Plants, seeds, yada, yada...
31. I have a tres leches cake in my backpack. Does that count?
32. Ok, livestock.
33. Did I actually touch any of those chickens or stray dogs?
34. I don't think so, so no...
35. Hmmm... AM I carrying more than $10,000 USD?
36. Wait. Why am I calculating? I seriously brought like $200 on this trip.
37. Almost done.
38. Commercial merchandise.
39. My sister is planning to reimburse me for a shirt.
40. But I guess that's not what they're talking about.
41. Total value of merchandise I purchased abroad? Souvenirs, gifts...
42. Wow. I feel like I'm a kinda cheap gift-giver.
43. Okay, signed. Done.
44. Let's do this, America!
45. Hi there, kind customs agent. Here's my form.
46. Oh geez. More questions.
47. Can't you see I'm shaky and sweaty and clearly should not be questioned?
48. Fine. Yeah, my suitcase is mostly clothes and shoes and miniature toiletries.
49. Oh, and this cake.
50. Cake's okay? Score!
51. Thank you. Have a nice day.

A Life with Subtitles. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.