Still Soaring

Am I where I’m supposed to be? Do I have the inner strength, gentleness, and wisdom to venture out once again into the unknown?

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The Half-Open Door

I kept staring at the door—the half-open door. I didn’t want it to be closed. I already felt violated enough and wasn’t comfortable with the idea of being shut in a room, alone with this man. I didn’t want it to be open. I didn’t want anyone to hear my answers to his pointed questions.…

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Ode to Auny

“Auny” was part godmother and part adopted grandmother to me. She had a pet name all of her own, as she held a treasured and unique place in our family. She worked as a hostess in my grandparents’ midwestern Chinese restaurant. This was in a time before friendship between races was considered acceptable.   For decades, she rubbed…

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Shame Walks into Steam

There is a place I like to go that makes me feel brave and beautiful. From the congested street corner you might miss it. If you didn’t know what to look for, you would be carefully watching for the tram or from which direction the long line of honking taxis will emerge first. You might…

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The Solace of Solidarity

Dear Ministry Sister, I’ve had you on my mind all afternoon. I’ve been thinking about how things are for you and what I would want to hear if I was you. First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for saying yes to the call that led you where you are today. I want…

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The Dance

“I’m a queen, Mama,” my daughter declares, looking up at me as I help her into her favorite sparkly twirling dress. Her eyes glow with the same determined assurance that comes through in her voice when she stands transfixed by a ninja warrior performance and declares with calm certainty, “I could do that.” As we…

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Women to Match Our Mountains

I have a soft spot for bluegrass. I played in an Appalachian ensemble in college, and ever since then have found comfort in the music’s brash harmonies and communal energy. As I stroll down the main street of a small town in North Carolina with a good friend, I feel my heart stir at the…

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A Disruptive Voice

I sat with this month’s prompt, Lift Your Voice, for a week, finally commenting to my husband that I wasn’t sure what to write about. “That’s easy,” he said. “You have lots of stories about finding your voice—and how that’s been good for you and bad for me.” We both laughed, but the truth of…

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The Remaining 89 Seconds

I was a senior in high school, waiting to begin what could potentially be my final balance beam routine in my final competition of my 10-year gymnastics career. If I scored high enough on the beam—my strongest event—I would advance to the state competition. If not, my decade-long involvement in the sport would come to…

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