Relationships

A Letter to My Muslim Sisters

I don’t remember your name. I do remember your laughter, your patience when you helped me with my pronunciation of sounds that are difficult for the English-trained tongue. I never saw you again after our college Arabic class ended but the look in your eyes has remained with me all these years—the fear and sorrow […]

Sex: a Work in Progress

Scene from a popular television show: Two characters, having previously flirted for several seasons with will-they-or-won’t-they tension, figure out they are sexually attracted to each other. They grab each other, bodies grinding against each other, hands tearing off clothes, mouths practically consuming the other’s face. Cue moaning and grunting. He pushes her up against the […]

Your Marriage Doesn’t Have to Look Like Anyone Else’s

I think my picture of what marriage would look like was some combination of my parents’ marriage and every 1990’s rom-com I’d ever seen. We’d have clear his-and-hers roles based on how my parents did everything, because hey, it’s still working for them, and we’d cuddle every night and fall asleep with our arms and […]

What Enneagram Type Was Jesus?

We use labels to shut people up and shut conversation down, but the enneagram should do the opposite. The enneagram should start conversations, not end them.

This Is Why I’m Single

You, who likely do not know me, probably have a guess as to why I’m single. Maybe I’m afraid of commitment. Maybe I’ve never been in a serious relationship. Maybe I come from too troubled of a past. Maybe I’m “just not really trying.” Here’s why I’m single: because I just am. I’ve gone to […]

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 […]