Faith

Psalm to Mom

You’re not my own but you read me to bed, and tickles me to the bone love how my fat cheeks dimple up. And I’m barely two and my curls are brand new. And you don’t know what she’s doing,  trying to make my braids, Put your head down, hold your head down, hold it […]

Masturbation: Difficult Conversations that We Need to Have with Our Children

  The first week of seventh grade, our second son came home with a novel written by an unfamiliar author. Ever curious, I sat down to read it after he went to bed. About half way through, the narrator, an adolescent boy, began the chapter with this thought, “If God did not want boys to […]

The Birds and the Bees and Belonging as a Family

“Mama, where do babies come from?” I stared at my five-year old son: he wasn’t really asking me about the birds and the bees, now was he? He looked at me, eyes wide in expectation. “Well buddy,” I replied, taking a deep breath, “babies come from their mommies’ tummies.” I felt far from ready for […]

Finding Refuge in the Church of Baseball

In the opening of the film Bull Durham, the camera pans over an empty baseball field at sunset, while one of the main characters, Annie, says in a voiceover, “I believe in the church of baseball….There are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, […]

Faith Is Figuring Life Out

Who’s to say I came out of the womb triumphant and beckoning, suckling sunlight and justice with indignant power, bewildered eyes ablaze to teach and be taught, or renting immaculate spaces with poise and unconscious infatuation. Suppose the wind coughed me out into this new world and then made me stand up and become my […]

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. […]