• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • fashion,  friendship,  inner world,  kids,  leadership,  mom blogs,  parenting,  women,  working moms

    This is My Life

    A couple years ago someone made the comment about a fashion blogger they read regularly- “why does she post about her kids? If I wanted to know about toddlers I’d read mom blogs, which I’m totally not interested in. I just want to know how to tie a scarf 27 ways or what flats are in style for the spring. Who cares that her toddler says the f-word when he asks for his truck! ”  As a blogger who writes about lots of different things this struck fear into my heart and raised all kinds of questions like: “Am I seen as dorky or out of touch if I post…

  • books,  friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  parenting,  self-awareness,  writing

    Coming off a bender

    Let me give you a glimpse into my life recently. I have eaten a total of: Three big Macs, two bars of chocolate, 5 scones, one bag of doritos (the big size) Drank a total of: 1 milkshake, two bottles of wine (shared with friends…mostly) and 57 cups of coffee. This has been washed down with gallons of water because it’s so cold and dry in Cleveland right now that I need to stay hydrated so I don’t shrivel up. Obsessed about: How the stretch marks on my thighs look like tributaries of the Mississippi delta That my six year old seems to be “discovering” his private parts and the girls at…

  • friendship,  jesus,  marriage

    Visit

    Whether it is planned or unexpected I love to host people in my home, particularly if people need a place to stay for the night or a couple of days. Dave and I decided early on that we wanted to have the kind of home where we would always have a bed for someone if they needed it.  Over the years we have enjoyed friends crashing for the night, family staying for a couple days, students who lived with us for a few months and strangers we’ve never met.  Yes, I said we let strangers stay in our home. Working for InterVarsity is like being connected to a big global family-…

  • friendship,  inner world,  kids,  parenting

    Fatherly Encouragement

    I sent my dad a thank you card recently. My mom is in Liberia for three weeks chaperoning a trip for Calvin College students. My dad is usually the one traveling around the world.  In part because I knew he would be a little lonely, in part because at InterVarsity’s recent national staff conference we were invited to write thank you’d. Thank you’s to people who have helped us to become a world changer. I love and appreciate my dad but I realize how seldom I tell that to him. Somehow texts, emails and even words spoken don’t have the punch of seeing something scrawled in a familiar script on…

  • awkward stories,  friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  marriage,  mom blogs,  parenting,  prayer

    Blog roundup

    I’ve been loving some of the posts I’ve been reading lately from brave and thoughtful folks- check out some of their goodness that involves gaping wounds, hot wives, and scandalous women. The one that made me thankful for men who love on their wives publicly: From Adam Jeske: Don’t Stop Bragging about Your Smokin Hot Wife….but please don’t stop there. The one that made me think about stupid things I’ve done and the stupid things I will do: From my girl Grace Biskie: That Little Warrior Girl The one that made me think about scripture in a new way: From Jenny Rae Armstrong: Scandalous, Loving, Woman The one that made me nod my head…

  • friendship,  kids,  marriage,  mom blogs,  parenting,  spiritual conversations,  spirituality,  work

    Care, Questions, & Creativity- sharing Jesus after college

    Jesus tells us to go into the world to make disciples (Matthew 28:19), but some days it feels like a lot just to make dinner. Now that you’re navigating traffic on your morning commute, toting young kids to soccer practice, or traveling 20 days a month for work,how do you talk to neighbors, friends, and colleagues about Jesus without sounding like a robotic salesperson? One of the best ways to do so is to be present to others and express interest in their lives…. To continue reading my post, click on over to InterVarsity’s evangelism blog….thanks-a-rooney neighbor! What have been ways you’ve reached out to colleges, neighbors, friends or other people in…

  • friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  kids,  mom blogs,  MOPS,  parenting,  spirituality,  Uncategorized,  working moms

    MOMcon 2013- Amazing happens here

    This past month I flew to Kansas City to attend MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) MOMcon. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, or at least picturing….something like this…. Frumpy Mom- who has gone un-showered, forgotten that she is a woman and is still wearing her clothes from high school because, well, her kids wipe their ranch dressing covered fingers on her sleeves and there is spit up on her shoulders from carrying the baby around. Why buy new clothes when that Alanis Morrisette t-shirt from 1997 still fits? or you picture this….. Perfectly coiffed moms who look like they bounced back postpartum like 2 hours after giving birth… like the ones from…

  • church,  friendship

    one is the loneliest number

    When you’ve moved to a new town, what’s the best way you’ve found to connect with people? I’m thankful that there has been a handful of folks that we knew when we moved to Cleveland- it’s been great to be invited over for meals, go out to record shops we would have never known about and have people over for game nights.  It’s made the transition here a lot easier (you know who you are- thank you friends!). I’ve moved a few other times in my life- in high school, to college, to Grand Rapids after college when I still had the crazy idea I’d go to law school and…

  • fashion,  friendship,  Uncategorized

    help marla harness her hotness!

    Here it is friends- DIY “what not to wear!” Fick style (without the snarky comments or big budget)!  For the last few months I’ve had fun with friends and family doing closet makeovers and wardrobe consulting. Now I am not Heidi Klum, an editor for InStyle Mag or even an employee of fashionable stores such as Meijer & Walmart. But I have learned a few things over the years about looking cute, saving money, and living simply. You may ask yourself- how do those things fit together? Well, let me introduce you to my gal Marla and I’ll let you in on what I helped her with too and you…

  • fashion,  friendship,  inner world,  mom blogs,  race issues,  working moms

    friday fluff- friends!

    The first time I met Gracee Biskie we were attending new staff training as rookies with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  The training was about multi-ethnicity and how to help students learn about what scripture says about diversity.  As a bi-racial woman from Detroit who had experienced a ton of racism throughout her life she was in the midst of working through a lot of pain and anger.  Though I didn’t know it at the time, the training was stirring up all kinds of issues in her life. That night as we went back to our host home we were sitting around in our pajamas talking about the training Gracee ranted her…

  • exercise,  friendship,  inner world,  spirituality

    so what do you do when you’re livid?

    Now that I’ve had a chance to retract my adamantium claws after some frustration recently, I’ve been thinking about the process of healing after a difficult incidents like this.  Thank you to everyone who wrote encouraging comments, emails, called me & sent me carmels via carrier pigeons. I’m thankful for your kindness and the pigeons only ate 1/2 of the carmels! What do you do when you’re angry? hurt? frustrated? bitter? Why would I bother to even write about difficult experiences, or how I’m dealing with them? why? Because I’m betting that every single one of you have some sort of shizzle you’re dealing with in your life too. And…

  • friendship,  inner world,  jesus

    I’m so thankful I’m poor

    I’m so thankful I’m poor because when I go to the library to check out dvd’s instead of renting or buying them, I see kids from my neighborhood on the computer terminals and I’m reminded that most of the world doesn’t have a computer in their home, let a lone two laptops, iphones, dvds, a tv, and any number of other technology that I rely upon and enjoy on a daily basis. I’m so thankful that I’m poor because in choosing to eat less meat  to save money, reduce my carbon footprint, and be less of a consumer or resources, I’m more grateful for the times when I do enjoy…

  • baking,  church,  food,  friendship,  grad school,  inner world

    sabbatical dreams

    It’s hard to believe that in eight days I’ll begin a year long sabbatical from my regular job with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship! After seven years IVCF grants up to a year for academic sabbaticals, an amazing gift! I’m actually in my ninth year of ministry and during this year, I plan to  finish my M.A. through Wheaton Grad school.  I was talking with my friend Gracee the other day about helpful things to consider before beginning a sabbatical- I’d love some advice from any other people that have done/are doing one! Since my degree is modular and my first class doesn’t start until March, I’ll actually have a decent amount…

  • baking,  books,  friendship,  Uncategorized

    top five thankful list

    In preparation for the inevitable “what are you thankful for this year?” question that most of us get asked on Thursday, I thought I would be a little more thoughtful than rattling off the standard, “family, friends, pumpkin pie” answers.  Since this is my last post for this month’s challenge to practice thankfulness, I thought I’d encourage all of us not just to be thankful, but to be specific in your thanksgiving. What do I mean by this? Example A: I am thankful for clothes so I don’t have to be naked and cold. Specific modification: I am thankful for this pair of jeans and this amazingly stylish sweater from…

  • books,  friendship,  work

    we are the champions, my friends

    This past week I met with a national staff team of InterVarsity “outreach champions” from across the country. It’s one of my favorite meetings of the year both because I get to connect with brilliant, funny and deep colleagues, but also because we have fun together over delicious meals or going out to see a movie. This time we went and saw the Matt Damon movie- “The Informant!” hil-arious! I love a good dark comedy. The fun part about this team is that these people dream BIG. They have incredible ideas about how to help shape the faith of college students across the country & invite people to think about…

  • books,  food,  friendship,  Uncategorized

    am I getting stupider?

    When I was about to graduate from Michigan State University I was afraid of my brain turning to mush in the 9-5 world so I asked one of my professors “what can I do to make sure I don’t get stupider after college?”  Dr. Kotzin, a wizened Jewish woman whom I had taken an intro to philosophy class & a class on Aristotle would wheel her briefcase down the busy sidewalk to her office as I asked her questions about class and feminist theory. When I asked her the question, she looked at me intently and with a little chuckle said “keep reading, don’t ever stop reading!” About two years ago I…

  • dating,  food,  friendship,  marriage,  sex,  Uncategorized

    We should mate, uh, I mean date!

    Doesn’t dating make you crazy sometimes?  I was out with some girlfriends awhile ago on a Saturday night at Republic and as we were watching the brigade of mini-skirt clad ladies make their way upstairs, primly holding stems of martini glasses to make sure not to spill, we mused on life as married women who have taken ourselves off the meat market. “I’m so glad that I don’t have to get hooched up anymore hoping to hook up with a guy when I go out!” quipped one of my friends as she popped a salted edamame out of it’s fuzzy pod and into her mouth. “Yeah, it gets so tiresome…

  • friendship,  inner world,  movies,  pop culture,  Uncategorized

    I love you, man! (the sermon)

    What do Peter Klaven from “I love you, man”  and Peter from scripture have in common? Take a listen to my blog post today & find out! This is about a 15 minute long “sermonette” that I had to preach for a class I took this past spring at Wheaton Graduate School on the Gospel & pop culture.  This was by far one of my favorite classes, mostly because I love pop culture and watching movies.  Our professor Rick Richardson even gave us popcorn money for this class assignment- how sweet is that?! Our groups in class had to pick a movie & discuss the spiritual themes behind it.  This…