Church

Shame on Me

I think I’ve been brainwashed.  The unexpected thought pierced my sleepy fog. Although after midnight, we girls were dragged from our sleeping bags for a special lecture. Clumped together on a couple of couches, we yawned and tried to listen. I was sadly aware that my alarm was going off in less than six hours. […]

Stealing Joy

Mindful of mental wellness and practicing self-care, I sought solace for my soul. I am overwhelmed. I am weary and seek to manage my anger and disappointment. My practice? Staying mostly quiet, writing, and stealing joy.

Nipped

I have this distinct childhood memory: I’m six or so, outside our little frame house with a big, wide porch, next to the azaleas whose buds we nipped before they could bloom. Everything is sort of floating by my eyes—I’m spinning. I am realizing, smartly, that you don’t need to go to church to be […]

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 […]