Career

Reaching Across the Edges

I kneeled on the blue mat next to Sam’s bed in the skilled-care wing of the senior care facility. My elbows were on the edge of his bed as I leaned forward to hear him better. I felt like one of those old-fashioned needle point pictures of the children praying before bed, “Now I lay […]

This Little Light of Mine . . .

This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. As a girl I sang these words, in a children’s’ choir with our fingers pointed to the sky. Our hands circling. We were the light of the world. And we were to let our lights shine brightly, and constantly for all to see. This little […]

Why I Dreaded My Dream Being Fulfilled

I thought they would be my knightesses in shining armor. A connection had led me to a small female–led company with promises of increasing my non-profit’s capacity. As the founder of a 5-year-old organization, I was relieved to hear that help might be tucked away in the basement of this little home-based business. I unloaded […]

The Disquiet that Calls You Back to the Fire

My grandmother told me she could see their fires at night, dotting the dark rise of the forested bluff as her family’s wagon passed along the dirt road after the summer church revival. She told me you could hear their music, too, the strings weaving their way down the wooded hill. Music like joy, but different from […]

When You Think You’re Too Good for Hope

I used to think of hope as wishes, as little bubbles that floated away from you and popped on the way up to some genie in the sky. Hope seemed ephemeral, insubstantial, the sort of thing you rely on when you’re at your wit’s end. And I made it a point to never be at […]

When We All Just Want to Be Known

Fifty of us invaded their driveway on Tuesday night. Card tables and ice chests and camping chairs decorated the pavement, along with stacks of paper plates and plastic silverware and Red Solo cups. The grill sizzled, red and gray coals in wait for chicken apple sausages and hot dogs from the local butcher. We scrawled […]

Authentic Living is Hard

You know I am from the Midwest because when you ask me how I am, I answer you. This is, as my children’s minister pointed out to me, a trait I have passed on to my girls. Lucky for the Norman girls, she finds us charming. Don’t ask us how we are if you don’t […]

When the Tidal Wave Hits

My nails were wet and half finished when I started ugly crying for seemingly no reason. The poor man who was painting them simply asked me if there was anything he could do. There wasn’t really. This wasn’t about the manicure. It was just that his chair was the first place I had sat down […]

Mourning the Life You Thought You Would Have

When my husband and I got married we moved from Miami, Florida to Wake Forest, North Carolina. We were beyond excited to get out of Miami. I wouldn’t say we hated Miami, I think we were just longing to see what was out there. We wanted to experience a different life from the one we […]

From the Ashes

The last year has perhaps been the most difficult one of my life. Last summer, my husband Andy and I began to seriously discuss abandoning our life plan of forever living among the poor in the slums of India. As we talked, we stood on a rooftop garden overlooking the snowcapped Himalayas and the small […]

God Told Me to Blog

I started blogging because God told me to. It is a little weird, right, to admit that a feminist Christian blogger got her start at a Women of Faith conference but there it is. God told me to blog and I started doing it. I think that may have been the last time I heard […]

To Be Married

For someone who has been telling the internet all the things about all the things for the last few years there is one thing that doesn’t get a lot of press: my marriage. It isn’t that I haven’t tried. Like I write my girls a letter every year on their birthdays, I have wished to, […]

I’m Not Going to Preach About Josh Duggar

I am not going to preach today about Josh Duggar and the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. We’re all too addicted to these stories, of how the famous rise and fall. We have too much invested, in their fame in the first place, and then the […]

The Parable of the Exploding Ketchup

We pulled out of the zoo and immediately they started asking for more. “Can we go out for Ice cream?!”  “Can we go out for dinner?!”   “Oh please Mom! Oh please!” We’d just spent hours traipsing around the zoo, petting the wallabies, climbing the wooden train and tracking down the tigers. We weren’t there for […]

What I Learned From an Everyday Wednesday

  Emily Freeman taught me to listen to my Tuesdays. Mine showed up a day late. It was an everyday Wednesday. I stood, feet askew, stirring the carnitas in my red dutch oven for our friends coming over for lunch that day, like they do every week. There was a pause as my husband passed by, […]

Carrying Hope

My hardest days at work aren’t the days when my students are loud or disobedient or unkind to each other. Those days are hard, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t the hardest. We have procedures and consequences in place for those things, we learn from them and then we move on. Those are the […]