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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Bring Your Bathing Suit

The year was 1980, and I’d been invited to my first boy-girl party with classmates from school. It was the end of my 7th grade school year and invitations to girls-only parties had been few and far between. The addition of boys to the mix only heightened my excitement and dread. Even more anxiety inducing, however,…

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Invisible Privilege

Last week I finished reading Jodi Piccoult’s book, Small Great Things. I set it aside several times, pausing to read other books that were less disruptive. The book centers on the relationship between two ordinary women – Ruth Jefferson, a black nurse on trial for the death of a baby in her care (a baby…

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Coauthoring Meaning

The conversation that evening was sweet, as much a contributor to the celebration as the sumptuous meal and quiet candlelight at a favorite restaurant. My friend wanted to hear what had been significant for me in the year that was finishing and what I was looking forward to in the year ahead. As the evening…

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Reimagining Rest

I am writing today while traveling on a high-speed train between Paris and Barcelona. Outside my window, medieval villages, with their ancient churches, rustic houses, and palatial chateaus, dot the French countryside. There have been moments in the last week we’ve been traveling Europe where I’ve had to remind myself this is real, and not…

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On the Receiving End

I dislike the term “empty nester.” I understand the idea—I just don’t like referring to the space I’ve raised my family as a “nest,” which inherently makes me some kind of “momma bird.” In my mind, tacking a cutesy name on something sacred minimizes the significance.

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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.

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