The Tweens You Don’t Hear About

I was called a tween this week: the in-between years of parenting your own kids while taking care of your own parents. It sucks every bit as much as middle school. The night before, we received a phone call at 2am. It was not the first time. My mother-in-law woke disoriented, fearful of the man…

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Relative Age

Dusk was falling on another Saturday night in the Chicago suburbs. My siblings and I, all under the age of ten, had been entertaining ourselves during a long, lazy day at home. It was just before dinner and we’d pulled a gigantic floor pillow in front of the couch, jumping like acrobats from the couch…

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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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Freaks and Geeks

As a little girl, I struggled to fit in with the world around me. I was a homeschooled, loner bookworm. I never fit in with my metal mouth, roller bangs, and frizzy hair. My clothes never felt at home on my body. I was constantly watching everyone around me while staying quiet, lest afraid of…

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Rewriting the Refrain

“No one listened to me, so I stopped using my voice.” My friend’s words disappeared into the animated discussion filling the room, but I reached out to catch them. It was an honest admission that needed to be received by another. I’m listening, I thought. Yet, I knew she was referring to a historic dismissal…

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True Love

I heard my heart whisper, “I’d rather be with them.” I held back a breath, stunned by the level of satisfaction I had being wrapped in the love of my husband and daughter.

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Confessions of a Relational Control Addict

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18 When I left for college, I experienced a major friendship shift. The people who had known me during adolescence were replaced with a whole college campus…

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Lessons in Love

Growing up, I loved playing “house.” I’d run around the basement pretending to be cooking, cleaning, and going on dates with my “boyfriend.” Everything in my game of adulthood was easy and lighthearted. There was rarely any conflict or hardship, which might be why his words, spoken fifteen years ago, cut me so deeply.

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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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Belonging to Myself

One would think that at my age I would know where I belong.  Quite frankly, I thought I did know.  Yet I am discovering that where I belong has evolved over the years as my awareness of what it really means to belong has shifted. 

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