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 […]

Fears of Writing Books and Belonging to a Place

“Religion starts, as Frost said poems do, with a lump in the throat, to put it mildly, or with the bush going up in flames, the rain of flowers, the dove coming down out to the sky.” “Each of them responds to Something for which words like shalom, oneness, God even, are only pallid souvenirs” […]

Your zip code won’t make you holy

The in-between moments I fill with podcasts and Voxer conversations with writer friends as I circle the suburbs in my minivan. One conversation with a friend about moving to a city or the suburbs, lead her to write down this encouragement: your place doesn’t make you holy. Friend, I’m hear to tell you the same […]

Prayers in Wingback Chairs

I sat in our green wingback chair, my legs curled under me, my hands outstretched to the ceiling. I prayed for God to show up, my fingertips flying through space, willing him to do something. I was bred on “praying the sinner’s prayer,” and extemporaneous prayer overflowing with all the big feelings in youth group. […]

You are Woman: You Belong

We sat on the curb at the edge of the elementary school playground. Five friends huddled around me, my white plastic three-ring binder with the words “Mon Amis” written on it. We were starting an exclusive club — a club where we had things like codes and friendship pledges and anything I could use to […]

A Soul Bare Interview: Sex, Love, and Belovedness with Jennifer Camp

I hope you’ve been following along with our Soul Bare journey. Our regular writers, Tammy Perlmutter and Tanya Marlow, are featured in the new essay collection, Soul Bare: Stories of Redemption, published by InterVarsity Press. Tammy gave away a copy (hooray! But if you missed it, order one here), and last week we interviewed the […]

Can You Say “I’m Sorry” in the Church Parking Lot?

We were walking in to church: my brood of children and I. I’d actually managed the impossible trifecta: hair done, makeup done, dressed appropriately (usually only one or two gets checked off the list daily). My three younger children were already hanging by their fingernails off of the plastic slide, but my eldest walked away […]

How Not to Lose Your Footing on a Tilt-a-Whirl

I admit to being a bit spoiled: my husband hardly travels much for work anymore. Now, as a church planter, we practice staying put, putting down roots, being placed. (How else, can we plant an outpost for God’s kingdom if we’re always moving on?) But over the holidays, I sent him off on a plane […]

Coffee Cups and Emmanuel

 I knew now… why I could feel homesick at home. — G.K. Chesterton   O Come O Come Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear   Coffee cups I don’t remember much of the particulars of that conversation. I remember fumbling around for words as my […]