Church

For When I Want to Leave Church

A therapist once suggested to me that I’m in an abusive relationship with churches. They keep hurting me, and I keep serving them nonetheless. And I keep wondering what to do with this. You know what has helped? Lady Gaga. Sitting in a church parking lot last January, I turned on my car and sighed […]

A Reflection on Finding Community in the Church

“It’s hard to find community,” they say. I sit across from them at Starbucks or at my dining table and listen to them share about the difficulty of finding people they connect to, people with whom they can build a solid friendship and grow together in faith. “They” have been college students, single young adults, […]

5 Things Your Pastor Wishes You Knew

I wear a lot of hats: mom to 4, author and speaker, academic, and pastor’s wife to a church planter. Most days my life looks small: walk kids to school, get in some writing, go to the grocery store, build relationships with neighbors, work towards growing our church plant. It can be a lonely, isolating […]

Dear Portia: Do I forgive my church family, or speak up?

Dear Portia, Several years ago, our family got involved in fostering children with significant medical needs. The nudge to do so came from the teachings of our church…to love God and to love people. But, the very church family who encouraged us to jump in did not throw the life-preserver we expected. Fostering got hard. […]

White Privilege Means I Can Look the Other Way. It’s Got to Stop.

What do we do in the wake of Charlottesville? What good are words on the Internet when hate, death, and violence are the order of the day? How does one white woman writer with a small platform engage issues of racism now — when videos show us how hate mushrooms, how the image of God […]

Losing and Finding Your Tribe

A lot has been written lately about “finding your tribe.” Every time I hear this phrase I am filled with excitement, hope, and also fear and disappointment. What if you have had phases in your life where you were so convinced that you had found your tribe—that you had found acceptance of who you really […]

When We Don’t Want Others To Belong

  I’m looking for spaces that are a homecoming. I’m realizing it’s not easy to find places of true belonging and it’s even harder to be a person who offers it. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want to belong, but I know many who want to disconnect, to distance, to separate and […]

Choosing to Belong

We hadn’t been going to any church regularly for a couple of years, yet we felt the yearning to belong to a local part of the body, to be connected. We had a few friends at a church who had invited us along, so we made a decision: we would go for an entire school […]

4 Things I Want You to Know about Mental Illness

What Mental Illness Is Empty. Sometimes I just feel empty. My body is heavy with exhaustion so that my arm flops down to the table. It’s not even that I’m sad. Just, empty. Void of emotion. And honestly, I don’t care. Yeah, that’s depression. Tight. Often I feel tight. All my muscles are tense and […]