Career

Waiting for Twilight

The summer before I got married Dave went away to teach at a program for brilliant young writers and I stayed in Pittsburgh, trying to finish my master’s thesis, which I hadn’t started. One night, there was a terrible thunderstorm, and my friend Rachael came over to keep me company. We drank mint juleps and […]

Writing for Ducks

Today, we watched Frozen twice. Once because they were tired and once because I was tired. Usually we do puzzles and read and bake and play in the little pink kitchen that’s always askew in the corner. But today we snuggled, we danced, we sang. We also ate Kit-Kats and had chocolate smeared on our […]

The Mudroom at The Festival of Faith and Writing

More than half of us are going to Calvin this year for their legendary writing conference, The Festival of Faith and Writing. Tammy Perlmutter, Ashley Hales, Heather Caliri, Grace Sandra, Cara Meredith, Caris Adel, Nicole Walters, and Jessica Mesman Griffith will be there. Most of us will be meeting each other in person for the first […]

God Isn’t Asking You to Bleed Out

Let me just let you know up front: God isn’t asking you to bleed out. I do not believe that God is asking you to just sit there and take it, whatever it is. God is not asking you to bleed out slowly as you turn pale and feel the life slowly leaking out of […]

A Poem in Two Parts

  Part 1: Metaphor to My Simile I sat on the floor pen and paper in hand contemplating what I would try to get you all to understand, yet I’m not sure any man or woman could stand in my place and say it with elegance and grace what need to be articulated to my […]

V is for Vocation

If V is for Vocation, then F is for Fineprint. Let me get the disclaimers out of the way: I hold two graduate degrees, and earn exactly zero dollars a month. I am a full-time Mom: a packer of dishwashers and kisser of boo-boos and driver of carpools; roles I never imagined myself in and […]

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 […]

When I was Twelve I Heard the Voice of God

When I was twelve I heard the voice of God. Like, literally. I know. I think it is totally weird too. I was the most awkward almost thirteen year old you could possibly imagine, and I heard the voice of God, behind me and to the left. I was at church camp. God told me […]

The Balance Between Snuggles and Deadlines

A work deadline loomed, but my daughter had burrowed a handcrafted space for my head beside hers on her down pillow. Nose to nose, we bid farewell to another day. The smell of her breath filled the space between us. She was five, but memories of her baby breath were still fresh on my mind. […]

How to Discover Your Calling

By the age of 21, I knew my calling in life. My fiancé and I wrote it on a piece of paper before we got married as a declaration: ‘whatever it takes for both of us to be in full-time Christian ministry.’ I loved teaching the Bible, helping people on the fringes of faith work […]

In Which This Is a Change, But It Isn’t a Goodbye

It was just over a year ago now that Tammy invited me to be a writer for the Mudroom. I had given her this passionate piece, “The End of Secrets,” and I believed very much in this idea, of a place for Christian writers to be messy. Also for messy writers to be Christian. And for […]

When “Career” Is a Messy, Beautiful Chaos

When I was twenty, I got a Rotary scholarship to go study literature at the University of Buenos Aires for a year. At the time, I only knew was that UBA was a public university with an excellent reputation. Later, I’d encounter its chaos: professors who chain-smoked without ashtrays in class, roving political party members soliciting […]

Becoming Who I Am

“Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess.” ~Parker Palmer I was three months into my new stay-at-home-mom life. I had spent years holding onto a lawyer job that didn’t fit. I held onto it much longer than I probably […]

Coming Alive to Your Calling

I used to feel like I was called. I was sure that the pulpit was my destination. I was called to the ministry. I had been told that since I was a child. I was to be a pastor, a preacher, a minister. I felt this calling in my bones, in my spirit, deep in […]

Overcoming “Not Enoughness”

Several years ago, we asked thousands of people from all across the world to pray for a very sick newborn child. We hoped with all our hearts that God would perform a miracle. But when my best friend’s curly-headed baby boy died in her arms, she was launched into a season of incapacitating sorrow. God […]

Writing for Rescue

It’s interesting to me that The Mudroom’s first anniversary would fall on a month where the theme is Vocation, Career, Mission. When I was younger I adored Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, and the legendary Harriet the Spy. I took out books from the library on the history of the FBI. I pretended I was […]