Solidifying Joy

I lay awake last night, somehow exhausted and frustrated after a day of fellowship, rest, and play. I’ve been learning to intentionally take sabbath once a week, and it’s rough, inconsistent, and amazing all at the same time.  But yesterday, while the day was filled with activities that normally refresh my spirit, the gift of […]

This Freedom is Not a Forever-Promise

Last January, I was diagnosed with lichen sclerosus, a dermatological auto-immune condition. In women, LS affects what I took to calling my lady parts. I hoped that term communicated a kind of breezy comfort with my own anatomy, an aspirational cheer about the reality of being a woman who could not wear pants without anxiety. […]

Letting Go of My Expectations, But Not of God

A pastor friend prayed for me a few weeks ago, reminding me of what Jacob said when he wrestled with God: “I’m not letting go until you bless me.” I’ve cradled those words, sensing their meaningfulness but wondering if God would apply them more. He did. I’m letting go of some of the expectations I’ve […]

Hello, I’m Weak

 “You may want to consider going on antidepressants,” my counselor says at the end of session. My eyes widen in shock and fear. And shame. Lots of shame. This bomb continues to reverberate in me as I leave. I have no problems with people taking antidepressants. I have many family members who do and I’ve […]

Our Hope Rises Higher

Surveying the damage, they can’t imagine life again after the storm. They can’t yet see the trees that will grow to replace those pulled up by their roots. They can’t picture anything flourishing again in this place of devastation. *** Looking out at the endless sea of cars sitting on the interstate, I felt restless […]

Invocation to the Night I Drowned

I am the panic attack that upended your entire life. I am the storm you could never remember seeing but always felt. I am removing this identity from you like I have many times before. I am going to grow in you yet a new one as I have always done before. I am not […]

Oxygen for the Soul

All day and night I’ve had a hard time breathing—barely able to catch my breath. My best non-expert, but been-down-this-road-before guess is that it has to do with anemia. I’ve had bouts of anemia with these same symptoms throughout my life. My body doesn’t absorb iron well (and we don’t eat a lot of meat […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tiny Steps Towards Greatness

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:5, ESV. “You’re so brave,” she said admiringly as she slipped the receipt across the counter. I fought back the urge to laugh or cry, I wasn’t sure which. She saw me one side of me—the foreigner in […]