• art,  creativity,  inner world,  self-awareness

    Mourning and Making: Creativity in a Time of Lament

      How do we deal with the losses of everyday life during quarantine?  Take a page out of Carrie Fischer’s book and take your broken heart and turn it into art. In this episode of Beautiful Things, I explore ways to mourn and grieve what we’ve lost by making things. Click on the link below to listen. Beautiful Things: Making and Mourning; creativity in a time of lament You might have jumped on the bandwagon of breadmaking like I have (holla challah!), or making furniture (I’m looking at you Keegan Michael Key), or making videos of yourself in a prom dress with your family. Below are a couple links to…

  • women

    Hope for #metoo

    “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” As I listened to Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes, I thought about all the #metoo stories that have poured out since Alyssa Milano tweeted “if all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” These past few months have been a powerful reminder that our words and our stories matter, especially when it comes to the places we’ve been silenced, marginalized and trapped in shame.   Over the years I’ve heard countless stories from college women I worked with…

  • kids,  parenting

    When Books are the Enemy

    With my firstborn letters, words and sentences came easily. He would pass time in the back seat of our Nissan on long road trips his little legs crossed, paging through picture books. But with little one, every word is a battle. It breaks my heart to hear him yell the words “I HATE READING!”   We knew that it would be likely that our kids might struggle since my husband and I both have forms of dyslexia. As an adult he’s learned to cope with it by consuming audio books- reading more than I ever could because he pops in his headphones and listens while he does dishes, or during…

  • inner world,  jesus,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    Please. Christmas. Now.

    Joy feels urgent to me as we enter into this Christmas season. It’s the season of Advent which is all about waiting- finding hope in the midst of darkness that never seems to end. My friend Alex Kuykendall released a book recently, Loving My Actual Christmas and it was a hopeful reminder that we can choose to experience joy this season. I read it in September & it’s helped me to be mindful entering into the holidays with my time, budget and relationships. This year I saw people posting on Facebook that they put up their Christmas trees the day after Halloween. That they had started watching Hallmark Holiday movies before…

  • Uncategorized

    Are you a Facebook Fear Monger?

    Have you ever gotten on social media out of boredom and seen something that completely derailed you emotionally? I have a friend who always posts angry rants about people he thinks are stupid, another friend who posts articles about animal abuse, or how kids brains are rotting because of iPads and another friend who makes “vague book” posts- you know, things like “I just wish today would be over. I don’t think my life is ever going to get better.” Total click bait for some sympathy. Why do people post stuff like this? I think it’s because most of us are angry and afraid. Facebook has become a dumping ground…

  • leadership,  spiritual conversations,  spirituality,  women

    Show Some Love

    Do you ever get jealous of fictional characters?  I find myself envying Zoey Deschenel’s wardrobe in New Girl, and that Wonder Woman can roam around with a lasso of truth in some killer red boots. I also get jealous of real people- random friends on social media I see who seem to be having amazing time connecting with friends, and bloggers who seem to effortlessly crank out content that throngs of people love, and marriages where breakfast in bed is a normal occurance. You know what happens when I start to focus on all of the ways I’m not being loved? I get crusty, bitter, resentful and wish I could…

  • Uncategorized

    Tell Fear to Skedaddle

    I’m not entirely sure skedaddle is a real word. But I know fear is real. I know it lurks in the places where we start to think about trying something new, especially when it comes to spirituality. You may be a Christian & feel afraid of taking a step of faith to follow him in an area he’s been challenging you about. You might not be a Christian and be scared of going to church, exploring Jesus or even opening up that can of worms. You mighty be struggling in your faith and fear that things will never change and doubt that God even cares for you. Fear is legit. But it doesn’t…

  • Uncategorized

    3 Steps to Fearlessly Crush your Goals

    I have a lot of friends who are in network marketing. For a hot minute I joined up with one of these companies to sell their product which I really liked and used personally.  Though I didn’t end up making a career out of selling nail wraps I was blown away by what I learned from the network marketing community.   1. Progress doesn’t happen without goals. The company that I was with encouraged all their consultants to write down and share specific goals with team mates each month. Everyone was clear on what they were trying to accomplish individually and as a team. 2. You need support to reach those…

  • friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  mom blogs

    Friendship What Ifs

    When it comes to making new friends, what holds you back? Here are a couple things I’ve been learning as I face my friendship fears in a new city. I recently moved to a new city and I am plagued by doubts in building new relationships: What if I reach out and she doesn’t respond? What if I share something vulnerable and I’m judged? What if we hang out and it’s really awkward? What if I show up to an event and feel out of place? ​Building relationships takes initiative, time and energy. Do you know many women who have an excess of those commodities? Yeah, me neither. But I’m…

  • fearless friday

    Fearless Friday: Confession

    Can I make a confession to you guys? I’ve been afraid. Afraid of you and what you’ll think of me. I fear that I’m too much or  I not enough. Though I just had a book released this past August I’ve been afraid to keep putting myself and my writing out there for fear people will think I’m a self-promoting megalomaniac or a creepy televangelist type person. This past week my friend Maddison and I completed a 40-day journey during Lent with a group of brave souls to deal with our fears head on. It was so encouraging to see how people took small steps together to demonstrate faith instead of fear…

  • friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  justice,  Uncategorized

    To become fearless you need friends

    I met Krista for the first time in person when I was bunking up at her expansive lake home in Northern Idaho. A group of writers had bonded together to support rather than compete with one another because we all realize that writing makes us crazy and jealous. Not a good combo when you’re trying to put good things out in the world.  Thus, The Open Door was created. Krista as our hostess made us immediately feel welcomed- even from our first phone call. Her life motto is “live rooted.” For a perpetual Peter Pan like myself I was drawn in by her rooted vibe and wanted to figure out how to…

  • friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  spiritual conversations

    40 Days of Fearless

    Can you imagine if you lived without fear for even one day? What if you gave up fear for Lent? Yes. I realize that probably means you won’t lose any weight like you would if you gave up chocolate or French fries. But don’t you think life could be different if you spent 40 days with a community of women asking Jesus to fill you with his perfect love instead of fear? Lent is a season of preparation to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Typically people go without something as a way to foster deeper dependance on Jesus and be reminded of their need for his presence in their lives. While some…

  • Uncategorized

    13 women go to a cabin in Idaho to meet for the first time

    I’m not setting the scene for the latest horror movie or describing a really strange online meet-up site- I’m telling you what I’m going to be doing this weekend. Having just put out a book I feel the pressure to get my stuff out there. To speak. To tweet. To blog. The issue is that I just moved to Kansas City to take a new full-time job, have a husband who I like hanging out with and two really fun kids. Not so much a problem- but there are only so many hours in the day. And it can feel really difficult to be alone trying to get your stuff out…

  • books,  Uncategorized,  writing

    Why I’m Changing my Name

    In a little over a month my book, Beautiful Feet: Unleashing Women to Everyday Witness will be released with InterVarsity Press.  Though I’d like to be all like “aw, shucks, no big deal, it’s just something I did on the side,” I’m not really that kind of person.  I’m SUPER PSYCHED my book is about to drop! I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life! I’m even putting together some awesome giveaways to do next month around the time of book release for all ya’ll because of all the ways AMAZING you women and men have inspired me to share my faith. So, the name change thing. I found a…

  • Uncategorized

    Enough.

    I would love someday to wake up and see a Facebook feed where black lives aren’t devalued. Where black kids, teenagers and adults feel safe doing normal things like going to a pool party, walking home from the store or sitting and talking in a hotel lobby. I recently preached at a predominantly black church here in Cleveland- I was on a panel of people celebrating Youth Sunday.  It included me- a campus minister, a motivational speaker for teens, a police officer and a juvenile corrections facility manager. Though it was supposed to be a brief presentation and Q&A it wasn’t entirely clear how the morning was supposed to go.  There were very…

  • friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  self-awareness,  spirituality

    The Gift of Pain

    “Pain is God’s megaphone to us” C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia series once said.  I love and hate this quote because so much of it depends on the person’s willingness to listen to what is being said through the megaphone.  At times I have clamped my hands over my ears, closing my eyes and been unwilling to look at or hear what the cries were from gaping wounds in my life or the lives of other. I’ve turned up the music to drown out the presence of pain that was howling for my attention relishing a good beat instead but then slowly realizing that the howl could sing along…

  • exercise,  food,  self-awareness,  women

    The butterfly that messed everything up

    A couple years ago I was feeling really sluggish and chalked it up to being a mom of a two year old- when I went in to get a sinus infection treated my doctor drew some blood. Turns out I wasn’t just a tired mom- I had hypothyroidism- an autoimmune condition that affects just about every other function in the body- energy level, digestion, libido, metabolism, everything. I went away to a cabin after I was treated with a radioactive iodine pill to let that sucker kill off the node on my thyroid that was causing all the problems. I slept for 14-hours straight. And now, a couple years it’s…

  • Uncategorized

    Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most

    Reading Small Talk by Amy Julia Becker felt a little like watching someone pan for gold, getting wet and messy in a river, sifting through a lot of rocks, silt and dirt to find the nuggets of gold that can appear unexpectedly. It feels a lot like experiences in mothering- trying, failing, feeling desperate, feeling joyful, worrying whether it’s ok to do things differently than my mother or other mothers we see. She has a lot of questions- questions about herself, God, her children, her marriage, her ambitions….I could relate. And it’s in these questions she makes some amazing discoveries. Small Talk is a collection of stories in the mundane experiences of…

  • Uncategorized

    Take your own advice

    Have you ever listened to yourself give advice to a friend? Words of encouragement come so easily to us as we guide a friend through a tough situation, help them work through a problem or want to help them succeed in a new venture. You know what’s terrible? Not taking your own advice. It’s so much easier to listen to a friend tell you good, insightful things instead of really believing them.  For instance- the previous post I wrote on patience was pretty much written to myself. I knew other people would benefit from it but as there are a number of things I am waiting on (winter to be over,…

  • Uncategorized

    Patience is a virtue- and a virtue can’t hurt you

    Years ago I heard a preacher say these words: “Patience is a virtue, and a virtue can’t hurt you.” That little rhyming phrase has stuck with me for at least a decade, especially when I’m prone to be impatient about something. And there has been a lot to be impatient about in the last decade of my life: waiting to hear if an offer on a house went through, being pregnant and waiting for each of my two sons to arrive, waiting to hear if I got into graduate school, waiting for my husband, Dave, to fix the hole in the wall that he accidentally made while working on a house…

  • Uncategorized

    Overcoming January Defeat

    Many of you have probably made resolutions or goals to be more awesome this year. To lose weight and get to the rec center, to read more instead of watching Netflix, to quit smoking or stop biting your nails. It’s also likely that you’re already starting to hear the mean voice of January Defeat. January Defeat loves to whisper, “It’s January 13 . . . and you haven’t changed any of the things you said you would. You’re a loser and you’ll never change.” To keep reading this post, click on over to the rest of the blog I wrote at Intervarsity.org