Whispers from the Side Door

She scuffs over sidewalks toward heavy high school doors, (always locked) with dauntless steps that prick my heart. One thing I know: Her feet will forever fall on roads in want of wear.1 Frost – he got to choose. But not my girl. Neurons woven together in secret places— before she drew breath— birthed a […]

Cloud by Day (Fire by Night) 

Walter Breugeman talks a lot about the pharaoh the Israelites left behind. He says pharaoh is a stand-in for all the empires that have ever been: Egypt. Rome. Western capitalism.    I remember being shocked in college when I first heard somebody question capitalism. You can question that? I thought. Boy, can you!  As an economy, […]

The Girl Who Was Born Dead

“We’ll have to put you to sleep.” I remember the mask going over my face, and then nothing. Darkness. I heard the words “fetal distress” and “slowed heartbeat”. No time to wait, they said. No time to wait. * It was Christmas Eve. An epidural wasn’t going to be enough. I already had two epidurals, […]

Having Courage to Hold On

Can you love someone who has betrayed you? In a mix of Norwegian fairytales (influenced by the Greek Cupid and Psyche and European Beauty and the Beast), author Joanna Meyer weaves a tale that feels familiar and foreign in her book Echo North. A young woman named Echo agrees to live in a house with […]

Here Lies Fear

Coming of age in any epoch means WEATHER.           Doing it as a burgeoning evangelical in the late 1900s (as my kids love to remind me) was like sipping a tempest in a teacup. There was no smoking, no parties or swearing for this sold-out Jesus-freak. There were—instead—bad perms, sub-par Christian rock, and not-so-subtle-sweatshirts like this […]

Courage for Living Connected

Editor’s note: Author Afton Rorvik’s words here are an adaptation from her new book (released today), Living Connected: An Introvert’s Guide to Friendship. Her call to the courageous, connected life comes just in time—and for such a time—as THIS. *** My friend Sharla recently had a significant birthday. Her sister noticed from Facebook that I […]

What I Want Them to Remember

Their nightstand and bookshelves tell you all you’d need to know. Anne of Green Gables, Ramona, Laura Ingalls Wilder. We have Girls Think of Everything, Rosie Revere Engineer, Not One Damsel in Distress. Harriet Tubman. Helen Keller. Sojourner Truth. Marie Curie. These are their heroes. We go through our Bible with care and find all […]

When a Story Happens: Madeleine L’Engle’s Impartation of Courage

Remember that time a story happened to you? It happened like a car accident or a record-breaking snowfall, like a check you weren’t expecting. One moment your life was clicking along as normal, a book in your hands; the next you stood motionless, a wave of words washing over you as relentlessly as the tide. […]

Lessons Learned Through Revision

  Last winter I mustered up the courage to query an agent in New York about a novel I’ve been working on. I sent him the first fifty pages of it. It’s a big fat fantasy love story that just so happens to hold the keys to my heart. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever […]

It’s Not Too Late for Your Dreams

I awoke suddenly from a deep sleep, memories of a dream flooding over me with waves of hope and excitement. I grabbed my pen and journal and started to write. You see, I had dreamed about birds—my favorite creatures. In the dream, I saw a bunch of beautiful, little parakeets. But something was wrong with […]

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 […]

What I Want Them to Remember

Their nightstand and bookshelves tell you all you’d need to know. Anne of Green Gables, Ramona, Laura Ingalls Wilder. We have Girls Think of Everything, Rosie Revere Engineer, Not One Damsel in Distress. Harriet Tubman. Helen Keller. Sojourner Truth. Marie Curie. These are their heroes. We go through our Bible with care and find all […]