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. […]

Prayers in Wingback Chairs

I sat in our green wingback chair, my legs curled under me, my hands outstretched to the ceiling. I prayed for God to show up, my fingertips flying through space, willing him to do something. I was bred on “praying the sinner’s prayer,” and extemporaneous prayer overflowing with all the big feelings in youth group. […]

You are Woman: You Belong

We sat on the curb at the edge of the elementary school playground. Five friends huddled around me, my white plastic three-ring binder with the words “Mon Amis” written on it. We were starting an exclusive club — a club where we had things like codes and friendship pledges and anything I could use to […]

Mudroom at the Festival of Faith & Writing

We’re ecstatic to be attending the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids again! We had an amazing time in 2016; meeting old and new friends, making connections with publishers, promoting our books, and finding new writers.  If this will be your first time (or 10th!) we’d like to make some recommendations for you.  […]

Can You Say “I’m Sorry” in the Church Parking Lot?

We were walking in to church: my brood of children and I. I’d actually managed the impossible trifecta: hair done, makeup done, dressed appropriately (usually only one or two gets checked off the list daily). My three younger children were already hanging by their fingernails off of the plastic slide, but my eldest walked away […]

Coffee Cups and Emmanuel

 I knew now… why I could feel homesick at home. — G.K. Chesterton   O Come O Come Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear   Coffee cups I don’t remember much of the particulars of that conversation. I remember fumbling around for words as my […]

Finding My Place, One Avocado at a Time

I do not yet know how to belong to a place. It always happens in the in-between space of small conversations, the way the light hits just so, or the accumulated miles where your route “home” becomes something you can do in your sleep. It happens when what was “different” from “there” instead just “is.” […]

On Writing My First Book

A few weeks ago, I turned in the manuscript for my first book to my publisher, Finding Holy in the Suburbs. I suppose there had been others — scrawled words in composition notebooks and spiral notebooks, abandoned stories where I gave up writing and thought I could only write about writing, and a PhD that approximately […]