Do We Idolize the Brokenness?

I was 17 and living in my small town with two stoplights when I declared I wanted to grow up and become an urban missionary. And I was 19 when I left college to spend a year serving in downtown Atlanta. It was a crash course on life in the margins, and I was hooked. […]

The Restoration We Find through Confession

Confession has never been a feel-good word to me. I grew up in a Korean Presbyterian church, so confession often meant something along the lines of punishment, sinner, dirty, shame. Shame for the things we had done. Shame for the ways we had failed. Shame for not being able to overcome. Shame for even feeling […]

An Urban Mayberry

Large, inviting front porches. Walkable, well-lit streets. Shared green spaces. Sidewalks to encourage pedestrian traffic. Affordable, gorgeous, well-built homes. Close proximity to downtown. Block parties. Diversity. Children playing basketball on makeshift street courts. Neighbors greeting each other as they walk their dogs or shovel snow. Access to great schools. Bike lanes. Nearby, mixed-use commercial corridors. […]

Tammy Goes to Guatemala

I’ve been invited to join a Vision Trip to Guatemala City in April with my friend, Melanie Dale, who partners with Children’s HopeChest, raising awareness and support for communities and orphans in Uganda. On this Vision Trip, our team will visit several locations to evaluate the potential for partnership at that specific community. We will […]

Setting an Extra Place

Last spring, I went back to work full-time, setting off something of a tumult of significant life changes. Our littlest started kindergarten. We left summer camp ministry (and our home of more than a decade), trading the life bucolic for a busy corner rental in town. Jim started two businesses, and he and I largely […]

What I Learned From an Everyday Wednesday

  Emily Freeman taught me to listen to my Tuesdays. Mine showed up a day late. It was an everyday Wednesday. I stood, feet askew, stirring the carnitas in my red dutch oven for our friends coming over for lunch that day, like they do every week. There was a pause as my husband passed by, […]

Breakaway Rising

I was fiercely fighting in forcing myself to stay. To be the “bigger person” and rise to the occasion. But after nine months, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had to break free. And I was terrified it would be anything but a clean break. Tears flowed by the buckets that weekend, all because […]

Welcome to The Mudroom

Back in the day I used to write for Cornerstone magazine. The staff was a community inside of a community: artists, proofreaders, marketing, writers, mail room. It was frantic and insane and glorious. I miss that sense of secrecy, the privilege of beholding a work of art before anyone else does, the camaraderie of common deadlines and late-night last-looks. […]