Shaped by Love

“You know I absolutely adore you.” His words return to me vivid and tender. An evergreen glistened with tiny white lights as raindrops pelted the brick landing of the retreat center before I boarded the airport shuttle. I picture the wild hair and dancing eyes of the kind man holding my face in his hands…

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Not What We’ve Done

We were sitting at a table along the wall in a crowded restaurant, menus in hand, diving right into the nitty gritty of our personal stories. I had known of this woman from church for a while but this was our first time getting together. The longer I sat with Kate, who is a handful…

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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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Holy Desire

I headed across campus and stepped into the student chapel. Spring was erupting, and doors were clumsily propped open to welcome in the breeze. I was on my way to the community outreach office where I led a team of fellow students. I had grabbed my mail on the way and saw an acceptance note…

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Confusion

A child’s mind is a mystery to me. It captures every experience and locks it in as the basis to build truth, to define normal, to create expectations. Is this still true when the normal is twisted with tainted experiences? This question spotlights my reality.  I liken it to the time my husband went to…

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Belly Dance

“Ewww, Mom, that’s disgusting,” he said as he glimpsed a sliver of the wrinkly, stretched skin of my stomach. The moment had started sweetly. Miracle of miracles, the kids were ready to go to school early which of course, never happens. So my two youngest boys and I were enjoying a few minutes of snuggling…

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Undamaged Goods

It was 2008 when Katy Perry launched her hit song, “I Kissed a Girl [and I liked it].” I worked in a conservative ministry at the time and watched as “church-people” gasped and shook their heads as if the world had reached a new depth of wickedness.

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Help Deferred Makes the Heart Sick

“I can only do it for $15 an hour and .25 cents a mile. At my age, what you are offering to pay me is really low and I could make more money doing something else.” The text came across my phone as I was on a date with my husband and immediately tears flooded…

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All Bodies Are Good Bodies

In Zadar, Croatia there is a thousand year old church that sits crumbling on the edge of the Adriatic sea. Embedded in its foundation are countless broken artifacts, alters, and columns from the pagan temple that once stood in its place. It was only a few meters from this church where I swam in open…

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Time For My Heart to Beat Again

“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.” Brene Brown   Recently the familiar buzz of my phone yielded a text. “You’re writing is different. Stronger. Intentional. Larger…

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