Grief

Minnie Vautrin: Staring Down Death

“The city is strangely silent—after all the bombing and shelling. Three dangers are past—that of looting [Chinese] soldiers, bombing from aeroplanes and shelling from big guns, but the fourth is still before us—our fate at the hands of a victorious army. People are very anxious tonight and do not know what to expect . . […]

How Does it Feel, Now That You’re an Orphan?

The question surprised me, since I’d never thought of myself as an orphan, but I immediately recognized the truth of it.  With my father’s death some years ago and my mother’s death more recently, I had become part of the “older generation” in my family—fatherless, motherless, an orphan. My father’s death was the first death […]

Hope and Healing for the Sexually Broken

A heads up: this post is about pornography, lust, masturbation, and sexual orientation, but more importantly it’s about a woman calling out to God in her desperate need and God answering her with Himself. Before you read it, please remember something that normally goes without saying: people have the right to share their lived experiences, […]

Mom, I’m Pregnant

On my way to a doctor’s appointment this morning, I grabbed Starbucks and then delivered a frappuccino to my daughter. As soon as my hands were empty, I picked up my grandson and smothered him with snuggles. We smiled at each other and laughed. I talked gibberish to him and I am pretty sure he […]

I Switched Husbands

I got off the plane and in the car with 6 other women, perfect strangers. I was in Nebraska, a state I’d never been before nor expected to ever go. I was there as the keynote speaker for the women’s retreat, Jumping Tandem. Given the nature of my previous three years, keynoting was also unexpected. […]

I’m Not Going to Preach About Josh Duggar

I am not going to preach today about Josh Duggar and the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. We’re all too addicted to these stories, of how the famous rise and fall. We have too much invested, in their fame in the first place, and then the […]

Hope is Too Heavy Sometimes

At 26 I was miraculously healed, but at 13 I started asking for healing. Sometimes people wonder why more people aren’t experiencing miracles, and I wonder sometimes if it is because we don’t understand how expensive hope is. I spent most of my teen years believing I would be healed. I went to every healing […]

The Gift and Curse of Silence

Time pushed on and life bulldozed through my plans with all of its cruelty and loss and horrors, I allowed myself the space to think and grieve. Those ‘quiet times’ shifted into crying times. And the tears poured and poured and poured.

Treading Water: A Story of Domestic Violence

When you see me, you don’t know my secret. I hide it well. I share a story from shadows. My words must be spoken in whispers, in quiet places. For now.  He threw something at my head. It hit the target. Once he broke a chair and then threatened me. There was the time he […]

A Mutt, a Boxing Ring, and a Fight for Forgiveness

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb…. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in […]

Fear and Faith in the Desert Places

I love Robert Frost’s poem “Desert Places.” Typical of Frost, the speaker in this poem describes a natural environment of forests, fields, and snow. But this isn’t a beautiful or peaceful place. Quite the opposite: it’s a place of darkness, cold, and isolation–it’s a menacing and threatening place. For me, the genius of the poem […]

Dear Portia: The Spiraling Journey of Forgiveness

How Do We Know When We’re Done Forgiving? Dear Portia, What does forgiveness look like when you work through the process and do your best, but either the offender never acknowledges their sin or they continue to offend? Not asking about boundaries, that’s pretty clear to me, but how do we know when we’re done? […]