The Pain and the Joy of Rebirth

Birth is messy and beautiful, extraordinary and common; it’s loss and separation and connection and hope all at once. Rebirth, I’m learning, is much the same. I have always had a plan for my life: college in four years with a major in English, graduate school and more degrees in English, then a tenure track […]

Navigating the Wilderness: Transformation Through Brokenness

This piece was originally presented as a breakout session at The Upside Down Podcast Gathering in Chicago, September 21-22, 2018. It has more of a talking feel than a reading feel, so please forgive the lack of polish.   Identifying the Wilderness   When I was 4 I was placed in foster care because my […]

Abortion: 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 the […]

Living in the Tension of Waiting: Fear and Hope

It’s hard for me to say these days just what it is I’m waiting for.  There are so many things. If you meet me on the street, the questions seem obvious: “Oh, congratulations!  When are you due?” is second only to “Is it a boy or a girl?”  Which, funnily enough, we are waiting to […]

Living Monday after a Sunday Tragedy

A week ago, a terrorist let his machine gun loose on a crowd of people in our beloved city. Las Vegas was our home- the place where we started our married life, where we had our babies, where we rooted ourselves in the community we nurtured. But we weren’t there when the shooting happened. We […]

Dear Portia: How Do You Find Belonging When Your Ancestry Is Erased?

Dear Portia, Where do you place your footing when the footprints of your ancestors have been erased? Gentrification has/is pushing out the remnant of my marginalized community that was once here-do I fight to stay or do I wave my flag in surrender? GW Hello GW,  You ask such a poignant and important question around […]

Suffering as a Spiritual Discipline

When we talk about Spiritual Disciplines, we like to think of things we are adding into our lives. Rhythms, practices, prayers. Maybe it’s painting or journaling, perhaps it’s times spent wandering a trail in nature or a different way of allocating our time. Regardless of the method, the goal is the same: to connect with […]

Turning Crucifixions Into Resurrections

If one asks, I can give an account of my twenties pretty quickly. Transition has given no regard to my age or stage of life. Rather, it’s come on its own, as it pleases, most often in several forms at once. The chronology reads more like a T.V. series including, but not limited to: “The […]

Sitting with Jesus at Sex Camp

I remember meeting Jesus once at sex camp. It wasn’t our first meeting, but an important one. Everyday I walked up to a giant, beautiful, colorful painting of Jesus’s head, hair blowing in the wind. The massive painting hung on the wall of the Church where I was attending a week long retreat for women […]