Church

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 […]

Disruptive Love

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34) I am talking to my neighbor and friend, Rosa. I’m sitting in her […]

Welcome to The Mudroom

This is the first-ever post written for The Mudroom, back in February 2015. It’s as relevant now as it was then! Back in the day, I used to write for Cornerstone magazine. The staff was a community inside of a community: artists, proofreaders, marketing, writers, mailroom. It was frantic and insane and glorious. I miss […]

The Immigrants’ Daughter

It’s maybe her first memory: The rocking boat, tempest-tossed* and cutting through Atlantic waves. “You always remember what makes you afraid,” she smiled. Fear mingled with hope as the USNS General M.L. Hersey entered the safety of the Lady’s harbor. Embrace was not a word she understood. Not in English. At three years of age, […]

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 […]

When You’re Afraid of the Church

We were church shopping again. I tried to steady my breathing as we stepped into the building. I gripped my husband’s hand as we chose our seats. He asked me if we were going to fill out the connection card to which I shook my head. I showed up. That was brave enough for today.  […]

Rhythms that Return Us To Ourselves

T.S. Eliot writes, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” I am forty-one and a half. And lately, I’ve been sensing that God is calling me, like the prodigal, to return to my senses—to […]

Why I Hate the Verb “Discipling”

When I was in college, I was “discipled” for four years. Back then, I was part of the parachurch ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru), which meant we needed to use Biblical nouns as verbs. Discipling involved meeting with a staff member, volunteer, or older student leader every month or so and discussing how […]

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 […]

Singleness & the Myth of Scarcity

“I’ve never known a love like this.” The refrain often found below posts of diamond rings and starry-eyed kisses. A declaration in the midst of thoughtful vows said in white dresses with peonies as far as the eye can see. “I’ve never known a love like this.” Printed on picture frames with tiny squishy baby […]

Responding to the Brokenness

When I was in high school my mom found out I was having sex. I was 16. And to make matters worse, it was with a boyfriend she didn’t approve of. And rightly so, he was no good for me. I was a broken teenager looking for love. When I found out she knew I […]

The Math of Friendship

Math has always been my hardest subject. I still count on my fingers and only know my times table by rote. If my life depended on solving a quadratic equation, I would be absent in the body and present with the Lord. But no math vexes me quite like the math of friendship with my […]