Knowing Love

I remember the moment I first heard the words “I love you” from someone other than a family member. Chris and I were sitting in his car, in the same campus parking lot where we had met a few months before. After kissing me goodnight, he spoke those magical words, “I love you, Janet.” Immediately,…

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Nothing to Prove

On date night last weekend, Chris and I went to see the new Captain Marvel movie. I was feeling rather ambivalent after reading several reviews focusing on the movie’s feminist agenda. One in particular caused a visceral reaction internally, as I took in words that had the appearance of honor, but to me felt patronizing…

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Finding Shalom in the Seasons

Never have I known more clearly that I am a lover of changing seasons than the Christmases we lived in Northern California. Everything I loved about the season seemed intrinsically tied to cold and snow, which makes sense, given my Michigan upbringing. The flocked trees available at the local Christmas tree stand were nothing like…

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Banging on the Door

Thinking about this month’s theme of desire, I pulled The Journey of Desire by John Eldredge off our bookshelf. I flipped through its well-worn pages, full of highlights and notes scrawled in the margins, evidence that I had once spent a lot of time with this book when we studied it in our small group.…

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Mashed Potatoes and Trust

“Mom! You agreed to let us make the mashed potatoes, and we’re doing it. You don’t need to micro-manage the whole process!” The words my daughter spoke stung, but they were true. I had allowed her to be in charge of creating the decadent, buttery-smooth potatoes that were her favorite part of our traditional Thanksgiving…

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Expanding the Boundaries

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. – Oliver Wendell Holmes Growing up in a religiously conservative, white community in America’s heartland, my view of the world was rather small. My community included our family farm and my grandparents’ house, which was next door to…

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Outside Appropriate Christian Places

Last May, Chris and I walked out of the church community we have been part of for 19 years. This particular ending had been building inside of me for quite some time, yet I repeatedly stifled my sense of knowing, certain that there was no place else to go. This was the church where we…

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My Grandmother’s Hands

Twenty years ago, Chris and I moved our family back to Michigan, where we both grew up and where most of our family lived. I was glad we took the opportunity after getting married to leave and experience other places and people, and I was also glad to return when we did. By then, we…

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It’s That Time

The day I got my first period holds the distinction of being one of my most humiliating memories. I was totally unprepared and felt terrified that the presence of blood signaled my impending death. Looking back, my lack of awareness is hard to fathom. I was the third of four girls in my family, so…

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Welcoming Wonder

I love certainty. Motivated by a strong need for safety and security, I am all about imagining and planning for every possibility so that my well-being is guaranteed. In the case of an unforeseen scenario, I resolve to be even more prepared the next time so that I’m not caught off guard. Give me a…

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