Shaped by Love

“You know I absolutely adore you.” His words return to me vivid and tender. An evergreen glistened with tiny white lights as raindrops pelted the brick landing of the retreat center before I boarded the airport shuttle. I picture the wild hair and dancing eyes of the kind man holding my face in his hands…

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Women drawn to the sacred.

When Red Tent Living began, I don’t think any of us knew what awaited us. What we did know back in those early days was that sharing our faith as women felt stifled. There wasn’t an overarching community that welcomed our experiences as women and our experiences of faith. In Red Tenting Living, our hope…

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Human Anatomy

No topic is off limits in the operating room. While we reconstruct, remove, or generally alter various body parts, my coworkers and I open up about our own lives and bodies to a backdrop of 80s love songs. Over time, I’ve realized that health care professionals are completely desensitized to topics that might wig out…

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What I Didn’t Expect When I Was Expecting

“It is hard for you, little one,” said Aslan. “But things never happen the same way twice.” —Aslan, the Lion, to Lucy, the child, Prince Caspian, C. S. Lewis   Things never happen the same way twice, dear one. I am a thirty-one year-old woman (Jessie), I have been married to my husband (Mikey) for almost…

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Ezers

I could not believe what I was hearing! The women I was talking with were telling me what many pastors in Eastern Europe teach from their pulpits.  They said, “It is not uncommon for Christian women to be subjected to domestic violence because of church teachings!” What? These were trusted friends who had traveled throughout Asia,…

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The Romance of Friendship

Long before I knew romance with a boyfriend, I learned how to love, and love intensely, from my friend Ashley. “You are my SPNQ (SPOH-neek),” we would say to each other. It was code for “I love you,” invented some silly night at a girls’ retreat when we were maybe 15, 16 years old. It…

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The Mystery of Desire

Why do we go back for our small selves? It is enough, is it not, to survive into adulthood? To go back means the risk of awakening desire. And desire is a powerfully dangerous thing. To desire is to be alive.  I read a story over Christmas break, a novel written by a private investigator.…

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My Prayers

I remember the first time I held my granddaughter in my arms. She was minutes old. As I looked at her, she looked at me. She looked into my eyes, and I into hers. Her eyes were deep and rich, almond shaped brown with deep blue halos that only newborns seem to have. They were…

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Holy Desire

I headed across campus and stepped into the student chapel. Spring was erupting, and doors were clumsily propped open to welcome in the breeze. I was on my way to the community outreach office where I led a team of fellow students. I had grabbed my mail on the way and saw an acceptance note…

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Darling Mom

“I don’t need you, MOM! I don’t need you!” I hear this screamed by a large, fit, and well-dressed man. He is a study in contradiction. He has a large pack which suggests to me that he could be homeless. He is huge, more than six feet tall. He appears mentally ill. He is screaming…

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