Community

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. […]

People Have the Power to Heal

I have become such an independent person, in part because I have so often found myself alone in the midst of deep pain. In those moments, I usually either crumble or swallow the pain down, and do what I have to do to survive. But that is isolating; it is an unhealthy way to be […]

Do You Really Want to Get Well?

The first time I came across the passage in John 5, I felt slightly irritated. Afterwards Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish religious holidays. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was Bethesda Pool, with five covered platforms or porches surrounding it. Crowds of sick folks—lame, blind, or with paralyzed limbs—lay on […]

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 […]

Soul-Care After an Unexpected Descent Into Depression

Without warning, I found my mental state rapidly shifting. For one week in late March, it seemed to spin out of my control. Increasing anxiety gripped my soul, its force building stronger each day. Suddenly, the anxiety transformed into a deep depression. Never had I felt such a heaviness pressing upon me.  After a few […]

What a Social Media Break Taught Me about Soul-Care

Sometimes I think about Jesus’ day to day life in the first century. I’m aware the Gospels do not record everything he ever did;  there were mundane moments when he was probably overwhelmed by the heat of the desert sun or when he waved away flies that hovered over his meal, but those moments are […]