Career

Valor’s Unsettling Saints

What kind of women are women of valor? I think they are women who are courageous enough to use their God-given gifts, others-oriented, and are willing to buck the status quo to follow Jesus and bring forth goodness and justice.   Right off of the bat, I think of St. Macrina the Younger (330-379 A.D.). I […]

Meet the Princess of the Press: Ida B. Wells

This was first published in March 2015.  Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Before Billie Holiday sang the lyrics above at Cafe Society, the first integrated nightclub in New York, another icon of […]

Epiphany: Learn to Do Less

Sabbath, rest, learning to do less requires trust. It requires faith that declares today is not all we have, this is not the end, and better-rested means better equipped.

Unrequited Horse 

I wanted a horse. I wanted a lot of things and I never reached for them. I wanted to study in Mexico for a semester (too much effort?). I wanted to switch majors and train orcas and dolphins at Sea World (this was before Blackfish). I wanted to win a debate trophy.  When I was […]

Emmanuel and Showing Up

The first few days of Advent, I felt irrationally angry. I tried to call it irritable or easily annoyed, but when I sat down to dig through it all what I found was anger. Advent is an invitation to the waiting, and frankly, I would like to decline. No thanks. Can’t come. Wish I could […]

Freedom

It was in that Bible study that I realized I was not free. We were eight couples, all of us fresh into our time as expats in Singapore, struggling to find our footing in what we jokingly called “Fantasy Island.” That group was a lifeline in the midst of our turbulent transition to a new […]

Letting Go of My Expectations, But Not of God

A pastor friend prayed for me a few weeks ago, reminding me of what Jacob said when he wrestled with God: “I’m not letting go until you bless me.” I’ve cradled those words, sensing their meaningfulness but wondering if God would apply them more. He did. I’m letting go of some of the expectations I’ve […]

First comes Freedom, then Surrender, then Joy.

I have been granted the freedom to seek out new paths. I will not listen to the ugly whispering voice in all our heads that lies to our dreams. Bravely, I declare that voice has no power over me.

How the Enneagram Affirmed My Desire to Lead

I’ve jumped aboard the Enneagram train, and I’m pulling the chain to make it whistle. “This again?” my husband asks, when I tell him I’m going to discuss it with my boss in regards to my professional development. To my younger self, I say: The Enneagram test I took, one I was assured was statistically […]

Authentic Living is Hard

You know I am from the Midwest because when you ask me how I am, I answer you. This is, as my children’s minister pointed out to me, a trait I have passed on to my girls. Lucky for the Norman girls, she finds us charming. Don’t ask us how we are if you don’t […]

A Prayer for My Children’s Teachers at the End of the School Year

Dear God, Hi. It’s me again. First off, thank you for making the hot water heater start working this morning when I kicked it really hard. I promise I will call and schedule a repairperson to come and look at it tomorrow. For real this time. It’s just that I’ve been a little busy, Lord, […]

The Absent Ones | A Conversation with Christie Purifoy about Placemaker

The morning light filters in through wavy glass windows in a little nook off a farmhouse dining room. I sit across from Christie Purifoy, watching a squirrel foraging outside in the winter-bitten grass, and it strikes me that the drab brown of mid-March is a perfect backdrop for our conversation about placemaking–a visual reminder that […]