Unwanted Reality

  I had two abortions. They weren’t “crisis pregnancies.” They weren’t “unplanned pregnancies.” They were simply unwanted. I was a teenaged girl living with her boyfriend, playing house. Our “unplanned pregnancies” were nothing more than “not planning ahead and being responsible pregnancies.” I didn’t use birth control. So abortion became my birth control. 1987 was […]

Soup For the Skinny Girls (With a Recipe for Vegetable Soup)

FOOD IS NOT MY LOVE LANGUAGE, I said. To the computer screen. With maybe a little more feeling than I had intended. A writer friend had just invited me to participate in a writers’ group cookbook project, and of course I wanted to contribute. I love online community, and I love my hard-earned kitchen skills. […]

The Night I Almost Stopped Being a Christian

The night I almost stopped being a Christian anymore, I sat alone, at midnight, in the living room of the house I shared with three other women. I was twenty-two, almost six months out of college, depressed, and despairing. I’d discovered I was depressed in my therapist’s office the summer before. The revelation was like […]

When We All Just Want to Be Known

Fifty of us invaded their driveway on Tuesday night. Card tables and ice chests and camping chairs decorated the pavement, along with stacks of paper plates and plastic silverware and Red Solo cups. The grill sizzled, red and gray coals in wait for chicken apple sausages and hot dogs from the local butcher. We scrawled […]

Healing Where We Are

  We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were. We must look for blessings to come from unlikely, everyday places—out of Galilee, as it were—and not in spectacular events, […]

Porous Hearts and Broken Bits

I don’t remember a lot about that first night they all poured into our third floor walkup other than the fact I was scared. New city. New church. New group of strangers coming to my house. We gathered in my house, but I didn’t lead; I was allowed just to learn. Learn and cook. What […]

No Need to Hide When You Abide

After analysis paralysis, I decided to focus on what makes us hide and why it is safe to come out and be authentic. ****** When he was twelve, a family friend molested him. He never told his parents but for more than decade, he hid his pain through an addiction to pornography and sex. ****** […]

Who Sees You?

I took an art class as a college elective. The first assignment challenged me to communicate the divide between who I was and who I thought I was supposed to be using only a black marker to draw basic lines and shapes on a four-inch square of white paper. As I brainstormed ideas in my […]

Free to Be Me

It’s been awhile since I’ve experienced it: vulnerability hangover. It’s a term Brene Brown coined for that feeling of, “Did I just share too much? Is she going to think I’m way too much of a mess?” It’s enough to make you throw up a little. But I felt that vulnerability hangover the other morning. […]