Relationships

Integrity Is The Opposite of Cutting Ourselves

Can I tell you an embarrassing story? Picture me and a guy I liked sitting together on some stairs on our college campus. We’re having a serious DTR. Since the first time I met this guy, I thought he was super-cute, and over the last year and a half, we’ve spent more and more time […]

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 […]

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? […]

Restoration After Exile

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! […]

We Light Our Candles in the Darkness

I am fearless and fiercely protective of those I love: Just try coming for one of mine. As I wrote in my personal manifesto #GentlyAngry, “I aspire to live in peace, but I ain’t no punk.” “I encourage you never to mistake my quiet or my cool for anything, please. Draw conclusions at your peril. […]

Preach Hope to Me: I’m Afraid That My Inner Jackass Is My Real Me

I heard an analysis of a sermon recently. One commentator said to another, “I shouldn’t leave and walk out feeling good about myself.” Really? I’ve been in churches like that—where as one of my friends said, you’re just crap on a plate, covered with a veneer of Jesus. When I was clinically depressed for a […]

When My Sister Moved In: Long-Term Healing and Adult Children of Alcoholics

I’m about to judge a new friend for being overly attached to her family of origin. She sees it in my eyes, knows it by the question I ask, and defends herself. We are scooping white rice onto forks, pushing chunks of curried goat over it, and sliding it into our mouths. I am wiping […]

No One Belongs Here More Than You

The first sofa we had was purchased before we were married. We had been dating for well over a year and I helped him pick it out at a “real” furniture store. It was a light khaki colored canvas sofa, loveseat, and ottoman set. Oversized and soft, it enveloped us as we sat on it […]

5 Dos and Don’ts of Foster Parenting

This is not a heady article written by people with thirty years’ foster parenting experience. It’s a piece written by a former foster child with 14 years’ experience, from 4 years old to 18. It’s directed more at foster parents of preschoolers and older. I’m writing out of my own journey through broken family, trauma, […]

If not me, then who?

I cradle her on my chest, her little hand resting on my neck. She’s so little for her age but she fits perfectly against me. I know my days with her are numbered as we have been told she will be going to live with her father— father she has never known and who has […]

A Bridge to Span the Divide

It almost ruined our friendship. A cancerous disagreement gained cells every day while it remained unspoken, avoided, skirted in conversation. The longer it remained buried, the bigger it grew, until it could no longer be ignored. Through tears, we hashed out our grievances, listened, apologized, and contended for hours over the phone and in person, […]

Can We Disagree Like Christians?

Is it biblical for Christians to agree to disagree? That depends. When writing to the Corinthian Church regarding issues that were divisive, the Apostle Paul discouraged fellow believers from criticizing or condemning each other and instead, encouraged them to “live at peace with everyone, as much as possible” (Rom. 12:18). That sounds an awful lot […]