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 […]

The Pain and the Joy of Rebirth

Birth is messy and beautiful, extraordinary and common; it’s loss and separation and connection and hope all at once. Rebirth, I’m learning, is much the same. I have always had a plan for my life: college in four years with a major in English, graduate school and more degrees in English, then a tenure track […]

Getting the Most Out of Regret

My top five regrets: Not dropping everything and going to the west coast when my sister’s husband was going through cancer treatment. Not being emotionally honest with friends for the first half of my life. Not traveling to a close friend’s destination wedding because it felt too expensive. Teasing a middle school classmate. Not getting […]

I’ve Misused My Vulnerability in Leadership: I Want to Be Liked

I’m not going to be as liked. But I sense that I’m more often going to appeal to God’s Spirit for telling me “well done.”

Of Regrets? (almost) FEARLESS

Of regrets, I have exactly none. To regret something is to wish it never happened. Relying upon the words of Jeremiah 1:5 (KJV), Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Every move we’ve made, every step and […]

Tasting Beauty in the Suburbs

Flashback Friday: This post was originally published on May 10, 2016. It had been a string of days with too much noise—me, children, politics, social media—so I took to the neighborhood walking paths to work things out in my body, while my husband constructed things out of wood (his own way of working things out). I […]

Finding Holy in the Suburbs Interview with Ashley Hales

I recently had the opportunity to chat with author, Ashley Hales, about her upcoming book, Finding Holy in the Suburbs. I’ve “known” Ashley around the internet for the last several years, and it’s such a delight to see her do this important work of helping us to cultivate a love for our people and places. […]

Witnesses to Our Rebirths

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. -1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT I don’t recognize her anymore. Her short hair […]

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 […]