Learning to Listen

Many years ago in the midst of a particularly heated argument with my husband, I made a tearful plea: When I’m angry, what if rather than getting defensive you just listened to me? An unfamiliar look came over his face and he stood speechless. Clearly, this was a new thought. When he dialed down, he made […]

How Not to Lose Your Footing on a Tilt-a-Whirl

I admit to being a bit spoiled: my husband hardly travels much for work anymore. Now, as a church planter, we practice staying put, putting down roots, being placed. (How else, can we plant an outpost for God’s kingdom if we’re always moving on?) But over the holidays, I sent him off on a plane […]

Listening as Imperfect Resistance

Ever since the election last year, I have wanted to resist. In my introversion and general lack of political activist skill, this has been a mixed bag of efforts. I have attended protests. I have called my congressional representatives. I have signed petitions and read articles. I have prayed with undocumented people. I have also […]

Broken Seashells, Broken Hearts

At our beach wedding we were given 2 leis. The use of leis in wedding ceremonies is a culturally significant tradition common in Hawaii. The lei symbolizes the mutual exchange of love & respect. At it’s advent, the lei was used as a peace agreement between Chiefs and that too is an unspoken aspect while […]

My Improbable Love of “Happy Birthday”

I should get bonus points when I surprise my friend Shoshana: she’s remarkably unflappable. If I’d told her I was getting a giant bat tattoo on my behind, she’d probably nod and say, “Oh, interesting.” But the other day on the phone, when I told her I love it when people sing “Happy Birthday” to […]

Black Love: A Sacred Oneness

In this country the Black body has always been subject to the breaking and the taking—yet we’ve clutched tight to the promise to love. Against all odds we willed our oneness. Finding the other half of ourselves in moonlit fields, dimmed juke joints and strobe-lighted clubs. Safe places allowed us to wash away the touch […]

The Sexually Pregnant Mind

I see the curves of my breast and they please. I see the round of my rump and it entices. I see the button of my belly & giggle at its cuteness.   I rub the bulging bump that sustains my daughter it is tight but lovely.   My legs are thick pillars supporting the […]

Sex: a Work in Progress

Scene from a popular television show: Two characters, having previously flirted for several seasons with will-they-or-won’t-they tension, figure out they are sexually attracted to each other. They grab each other, bodies grinding against each other, hands tearing off clothes, mouths practically consuming the other’s face. Cue moaning and grunting. He pushes her up against the […]

Why Sex is Worth the Work

In the course of my twenty-five year marriage, we’ve made good sex a priority. That doesn’t mean it’s been effortless. Anything in marriage that’s good takes effort and intentionality. In all regards, we’re still a work in progress. We had more than a few vulnerable conversations about our hopes for the marriage bed before saying […]