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 […]

5 Dos and Don’ts of Foster Parenting

This is not a heady article written by people with thirty years’ foster parenting experience. It’s a piece written by a former foster child with 14 years’ experience, from 4 years old to 18. It’s directed more at foster parents of preschoolers and older. I’m writing out of my own journey through broken family, trauma, […]

When Other People Think Your Kids Are Apples

Today my kids got these . . . I don’t know . . . lip spreaders at church. You know the ones I mean? The plastic thingies that pull your lips away from your gums and make you talk funny like you’re at the dentist? As we walked out of church, my kids start chanting […]

New Healing for Old Wounds

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3 How did I not see this before? I stared at what I had just written and it was like a neon sign was flashing the answer to a question I didn’t even realize I had been asking. I was sitting in a training for cross-cultural […]

Coping by Escaping

I remember three holes in the wooden post of my childhood bunk bed. One contained the bolt that connected the frame together and the other two were empty. They were meant for adjusting the height of the lower bunk, but we never did. The empty holes were insignificant to the rest of the room, unimportant […]

In Which Rescue is on Deck

I turn 40 later this month, and as such have become hella reflective. This year has been one of the worst years of my life. So much so, I’m thinking of canceling my 40th birthday party. Please, please forgive my swears, but what is the gottdamb mutha-effin’ point of a celebration when you are wildly […]

Abandoning God

We have been experiencing a bit of a thaw here in the Midwest, so the air has spring smell about it. The mud, the warmth, the melted snow, have fooled us all into thinking that spring is here. Growing up in Alaska, we generally had one thaw per year, in late April. Unlike other places […]

The Night my Blackness Was Stripped Away in the Dark

I was weary of dumbing down my brain smarts and body parts to fit into the present day image of Black beauty and sexuality.  Truth is I didn’t have the breast size or small waist and curved hips to compete in the first place. Instead of placing MTV’s coke-bottle-super-model-video vixens as my prized goal, I […]

Just Like Riding a Bike

Four years ago a teen-aged boy pointed a gun at me while demanding I give him my money. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in Oakland, California. I was standing at the flagpole in front of the elementary school where I’d recently been assigned to teach. My husband Chris and I had ridden our bikes […]