Tasting Beauty in the Suburbs

Flashback Friday: This post was originally published on May 10, 2016. It had been a string of days with too much noise—me, children, politics, social media—so I took to the neighborhood walking paths to work things out in my body, while my husband constructed things out of wood (his own way of working things out). I […]

Finding Holy in the Suburbs Interview with Ashley Hales

I recently had the opportunity to chat with author, Ashley Hales, about her upcoming book, Finding Holy in the Suburbs. I’ve “known” Ashley around the internet for the last several years, and it’s such a delight to see her do this important work of helping us to cultivate a love for our people and places. […]

Witnesses to Our Rebirths

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. -1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT I don’t recognize her anymore. Her short hair […]

When Houseplants Are Zombies of the Apocalypse

Last night, after I finished packing for a long trip, I decided to move all my succulents outside for the duration of our weeklong vacation. I have nine pots of various sizes on the bookshelves in our front room: one tiny barrel cacti, four plants that look like desert seaweed, and assorted echeveria in dark […]

It Takes Faith to Limbo

I was very flexible when I was young. Limbo was a party game that seemed to happen often, and I prided myself on how good I was at it. I could sashay under that pole with the best of them. Recently, I tried to limbo again, but my middle-aged body sounded its alarm alerting me […]

Navigating the Wilderness: Transformation Through Brokenness

This piece was originally presented as a breakout session at The Upside Down Podcast Gathering in Chicago, September 21-22, 2018. It has more of a talking feel than a reading feel, so please forgive the lack of polish.   Identifying the Wilderness   When I was 4 I was placed in foster care because my […]

Solitude: To Hear God I Have to Get Past My Own Junk

“Solitude is a crucible” my friend preaches. She’s paraphrasing Henri Nouwen from Way of the Heart, who calls solitude a “furnace of transformation.” The kind of solitude I imagine, a span of time spent outdoors, is compelling. But I’m about to realize that another kind of solitude I experience every day I often avoid. Finishing […]

Where Faith and Fear Collide

For a long time I thought that faith was the absence of fear. That if I had faith, I wouldn’t ever be afraid. That in my faith, my anxiety would be gone, my uncertainty would disappear and my crooked paths would all be made straight. But that has not been my experience. I look at […]

Finding Freedom from My Fears

I first read about the angel Gabriel’s exhortation to Fear Not! when I was in my early twenties. My initial thought was, Not fearing is an option? I didn’t know I had a choice. As far back as I have memory, I have memory of being afraid.  My fears did not attach to tangible objects […]