When Houseplants Are Zombies of the Apocalypse

Last night, after I finished packing for a long trip, I decided to move all my succulents outside for the duration of our weeklong vacation. I have nine pots of various sizes on the bookshelves in our front room: one tiny barrel cacti, four plants that look like desert seaweed, and assorted echeveria in dark […]

It Takes Faith to Limbo

I was very flexible when I was young. Limbo was a party game that seemed to happen often, and I prided myself on how good I was at it. I could sashay under that pole with the best of them. Recently, I tried to limbo again, but my middle-aged body sounded its alarm alerting me […]

Navigating the Wilderness: Transformation Through Brokenness

This piece was originally presented as a breakout session at The Upside Down Podcast Gathering in Chicago, September 21-22, 2018. It has more of a talking feel than a reading feel, so please forgive the lack of polish.   Identifying the Wilderness   When I was 4 I was placed in foster care because my […]

Solitude: To Hear God I Have to Get Past My Own Junk

“Solitude is a crucible” my friend preaches. She’s paraphrasing Henri Nouwen from Way of the Heart, who calls solitude a “furnace of transformation.” The kind of solitude I imagine, a span of time spent outdoors, is compelling. But I’m about to realize that another kind of solitude I experience every day I often avoid. Finishing […]

Where Faith and Fear Collide

For a long time I thought that faith was the absence of fear. That if I had faith, I wouldn’t ever be afraid. That in my faith, my anxiety would be gone, my uncertainty would disappear and my crooked paths would all be made straight. But that has not been my experience. I look at […]

Finding Freedom from My Fears

I first read about the angel Gabriel’s exhortation to Fear Not! when I was in my early twenties. My initial thought was, Not fearing is an option? I didn’t know I had a choice. As far back as I have memory, I have memory of being afraid.  My fears did not attach to tangible objects […]

Revival Is Already Happening: An Interview with Carly Gelsinger

I’ve long appreciated Carly Gelsinger’s honesty about spiritual abuse and recovering from try-hard, never-enough Christianity. She wrote a memoir about her experience with radical faith, called Once You Go In, and I was eager to interview her. With so many revelations about abusive leaders coming out, I think it’s important we talk honestly about the appeal toxic […]

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 […]

I have fear. I have faith.

I have fear. I have faith. I wrote those two short sentences this morning in the “I Am” section of my journal. Yes, I do positive affirmations. No, it’s not corny & yes, it really does work. It stuck out to me today because first, it felt out of the blue. I.e. where did that […]