The Ten-Year Challenge

Not too long ago, my (admittedly limited) social media feed blew up with something called “The Ten-Year Challenge.” I scrolled through predictable pictures of glossy people apparently untouched by time, alongside regular folks like me who have (shockingly!) aged ten years in the space of a decade. I pulled up a random picture of myself […]

Authentic Living is Hard

You know I am from the Midwest because when you ask me how I am, I answer you. This is, as my children’s minister pointed out to me, a trait I have passed on to my girls. Lucky for the Norman girls, she finds us charming. Don’t ask us how we are if you don’t […]

It’s Authentic to Name Yourself

Drawing people is a jigsaw puzzle. You look at the photograph of the woman with the pixie cut and the flowing dress, her arms improbably easy as she falls through the air, and then you look past the whole for the parts. I start with the head, the slim cap of her hair, the eyes […]

Singleness & the Myth of Scarcity

“I’ve never known a love like this.” The refrain often found below posts of diamond rings and starry-eyed kisses. A declaration in the midst of thoughtful vows said in white dresses with peonies as far as the eye can see. “I’ve never known a love like this.” Printed on picture frames with tiny squishy baby […]

Forget “The Talk”: Focus on Chastity Rather Than Purity

“You see those two grasshoppers on top of each other over there?” I asked my daughters when they were preschoolers. “What do you think they are doing?” Biology I started early teaching my kids about sex by focusing on biology. My husband and I don’t believe in the concept of a “big talk” where primary […]

Sex Matters

Sex matters.  Not simply how we have sex, but how and what we think about sex.  Figuring all of this out is seldom simple because the extremes views—represented by contemporary hook-up culture and purity movement—dominate the conversation even as they mislead us. The former advocates that we divorce the emotional/relational component from sex and use […]

For the Single Ladies

She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best in dark and bright Meet in her aspect and in her eyes; Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. -Lord Byron   I think of you as I sit at my desk this morning. […]

Can a Christian Woman Be Hot for Sex?

My junior year in high school, my mom lent me my parents’ bedroom for me to do my homework. I sat at a little desk facing fake-wood paneling, but if I turned around, walked to the other side of the bed with its green JCPenney bedspread, and turned to the top of a chest, I […]

Drunk in Love

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3 KJV And We are Drunk in Love.   When Mr. & Mrs. Shawn Carter hit the stage of the 2014 Grammys their appearance was about more than collaborating on another hit. As Laura Turner wrote for BuzzFeed at the time, “Their performance […]

Calling Our Bodies Our Own (Coming Out of Hiding)

My breasts and bottom were fair game for open discussion; I learned this early in life…Always the message was clear – your body is ours to look at, to scrutinize, and to judge. After years of my body belonging to others, I just want it to be mine.

Christian Fiction Permitted Me to Desire

My twin brother and I survived high school by reading. Home life was fundamentalist and chaotic: a father recovering from once-secret chemical abuse and a mother undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Some of the books were my father’s books. I read all of the Sherlock Holme’s mysteries. Some of the books were my brother’s: science […]

Responding to the Brokenness

When I was in high school my mom found out I was having sex. I was 16. And to make matters worse, it was with a boyfriend she didn’t approve of. And rightly so, he was no good for me. I was a broken teenager looking for love. When I found out she knew I […]