Red Tent Living

reframing femininity



Let Me Count The Ways

I fell in love in the nineties when passing hand-written notes and wearing charm bracelets made life worth living. Anticipation filled my body as I walked the halls between class, hoping my boyfriend would have a note to hand me. There was always something about the written words that could quiet insecurity in me while I navigated the tumultuous waters of middle school. Continue reading “Let Me Count The Ways”

The Reformation Table

“Catholic is the same as Christian, right mom?”

I stopped spreading peanut butter on the bread for the girls’ sandwiches and looked up at Libby. “That’s an interesting question, what exactly are you asking?” Continue reading “The Reformation Table”

Belonging is the Beginning

How do you talk about the girl who is the beginning of every story you tell?

The girl whom everyone seemed to experience similarly: intense, passionate, a bit wild, and fiercely loving. At least, that’s the theme that ran through every remembrance shared at her memorial last month. And that’s the girl etched in my memory. Continue reading “Belonging is the Beginning”

In the right now ordinary.

“I think those women are checking you out again,” Jeremy had a wry grin on his face, refusing to let me off the hook for how “CUTE!” the women at the bar had insisted I looked tonight.

“Well you know, I AM rather fetching…” I said it with a hair toss, not to be out done by my most extroverted friend. But my slightly arched eyebrow spoke another message, “Don’t you dare drag me over there for awkward stranger bonding.” Continue reading “In the right now ordinary.”

Weird Company

There is the question
of bearing witness, of being yourself seen
by yourself, & seen clearly, cleanly,
without weapon or bible in hand;
as this was the wish,
the sturdy & not-so-secret wish
of those who named us—

–David Rivard

This past summer, I found myself in a church meeting surrounded by eight other congregants, the head pastors, their wives, and a church elder. We had asked for a meeting to discuss a recent high-profile court case in our community, in which a prominent youth leader at a sister church was being tried for a felony sexual crime against one of the girls who was under his leadership. Continue reading “Weird Company”

No Place and Every Place

I pre-ordered Brené Brown’s new book on belonging as soon as I heard about it, both because I respect her work, and even more, because questions about belonging come up consistently for me. Continue reading “No Place and Every Place”


As I write this morning, I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop. Gathered around me are different groups—a large circle of women discussing a book; friends chatting in hushed voices over steaming pumpkin-spiced drinks; and businesspeople analyzing marketing plans. I recall a time that sitting here, observing all of this connection, would have made me feel alone—unseen, misfit, outcast. Continue reading “Enough”


I’ve become an old lady about church. As of lately, I’ve wanted to be a part of a body where the church doesn’t come with an app, the pastor doesn’t wear skinny jeans, and people bring actual Bibles with pages as opposed to iPads and smart phones. Continue reading “Framily”

The Cost of Belonging

I could hardly stand the excitement I felt to be shopping with my mother for a skirt to match my Blue Bird vest. Some six- year old girls were talking about joining Brownies but my mother said Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls had a much nicer camp and that sounded great. Continue reading “The Cost of Belonging”

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