Family

The Red Handkerchief

In the story The Giver, they had a phrase “precision of language”. This was an admonition when people used an irrelevant term, something their culture didn’t believe in anymore. We have antiquated words that don’t serve us or even offend us now, and we have phrases whose etymologies are hard to trace. I’m captivated by […]

Coping by Escaping

I remember three holes in the wooden post of my childhood bunk bed. One contained the bolt that connected the frame together and the other two were empty. They were meant for adjusting the height of the lower bunk, but we never did. The empty holes were insignificant to the rest of the room, unimportant […]

Portrait of A Both Girl

I am not black. I am not white. I am somewhere between the ink and the page, the word that is blurred      out. I am not what you assume She speaks Spanish… can’t quite place her…. definitely not from around here I am from around here. I grew up down that stone road […]

I Am the Daughter of a Mentally-Ill Person

My sister and sat in a dark theatre waiting for the movie Silver Linings Playbook to begin. I knew from watching the previews that the movie was about mental illness, but that’s all I knew. I found myself squirming: How would this movie impact my sister and I? Silver Linings Playbook is the story of […]

A Letter to My Brother with Mental Illness

Dear Brother, I miss you. I really do. I know you are not far and I can see you whenever I want, but it’s not the same. You’re not the same. I’m not the same. Mental illness has changed everything. It came in quiet, a current we didn’t even feel sweeping us out. We kept […]

The Waging and the Waiting

This essay is an excerpt from the anthology Soul Bare: Stories of Redemption published by Inter Varsity Press in August 2016. In 1977, my mother left my brothers and me with sitters to go looking for an apartment and didn’t return for days. When she finally did, after what most people considered a “lost weekend,” my […]

Feasting on Liturgy

When I left the Evangelical church for an Anglican one in college, it was out of proximity rather than theology. I had decided to attend university in France and there were very few English-speaking churches in Paris. As a freshman in college living abroad, I sought the ease of a community that spoke my native […]

Why Sex is Worth the Work

In the course of my twenty-five year marriage, we’ve made good sex a priority. That doesn’t mean it’s been effortless. Anything in marriage that’s good takes effort and intentionality. In all regards, we’re still a work in progress. We had more than a few vulnerable conversations about our hopes for the marriage bed before saying […]

A Letter From Your Wife, A Survivor

Dear Husband, I need you to know, my heart breaks for you, it breaks for us. I wish I could have been perfect for you. I wish that these hurts, these scars would have healed better. Because I know you have never hurt me like those in my past have. I know you are not […]