Wild Winnie

As a military wife who moved frequently, I attended many churches. I am also a Pharisee and a people-pleaser, so I gravitated towards women like me—those who recognized and approved good works. Every church has those who give and those who take, and I found satisfaction in being someone who gave more than I took.

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I Know the Type

I thought I knew her type.  It was the second time I had seen her come to church but the first time we ever interacted. She was a bit older, sort of mousy, and she walked up to me with a red baseball hat tucked under one arm and a John MacArthur Study Bible under…

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Confined

“You see, dear—I think there are two types of people in the world. Those who divide the world up into two kinds of people…and those who don’t.” – Tony Hendra Pushing through the heavy church door, I was met by a rush of hot air, thick with humidity and foreshadowing a long, unpleasant southeastern summer.…

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A Modest Proposal

“You can take off your mask now and check your hair and your lips,” the photographer says as I get ready to take my headshots for work.  Check my lips? Oh, right. Women wear lipstick. “My lips always look the same, so they should be fine,” I quip back. As I glance in the mirror, I…

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10-Cent Ice Cream Cones

In the late Sunday summer afternoons of Eastern North Dakota, the sun is already beating its way through our Ford Pinto windows and onto the black vinyl seats we are about to gingerly put our bare skin on. There are four of us who need to get into the car and, luckily, no car seats…

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A Conversation at Starbucks

I arrive at Starbucks, sit at a small round table, and wait for the barista to call me. I ordered iced green tea–no sugar, no cream. In the afternoon, I still want caffeine but pretend to be healthier by ordering tea instead of black coffee. Besides, I don’t appreciate the bitter roast of Starbucks. It’s…

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Socks and Hymns

It’s Wednesday morning and I’m screeching at my children. “Where are your socks? Why are they not on your feet!? Did you get your backpack like I told you to? We’re going to be late! Ahh!” My irritation with my children is compounded by the lingering censure of an e-mail I received earlier in the…

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The Casserole Rules

Unless you air your laundry, divorce in the church is as isolating as a child’s temper tantrum during the Sunday morning service. When my husband of 27 years suddenly and unexpectedly left, it was weeks before my large-church-pastors noticed I was missing from Sunday morning services.  And even weeks more before someone called to check…

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Longing for Home

When I close my eyes, I can picture myself walking down the aisle and slipping into the pew. My hands brush against the familiar green velvet cushion as I tuck my dress around my dangling legs. My feet don’t quite reach the wooden floors yet, but they are getting closer each week. Rich, warm notes…

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Flooded

In September I began the Certificate Program at the Allender Center, and I took with me one overstuffed suitcase, one tender story, and one eager heart. I quickly discovered that my time in Seattle would include joy and sorrow, frustration and fear, barriers and breakthrough, isolation and community. At times it has felt like the…

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