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[…]

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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[…]

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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[…]

The hap-hap-happiest Christmas!!!! (or not)

There are times I love my kids so much I think that my heart is going to explode. Kissing their round little cheeks, hearing Reuben tell corny knock-knock jokes, having Ozzy wildly cackle when he wins Candy Land. I marvel at the gifts they are to me and how full my life is with them.[…]

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Getting “Beyond Awkward” + Giveaway!

It can feel really awkward talking about Jesus. We don’t want to sound forced, come off as one of “those Christians” or break trust with people we care about. So how do we get beyond awkward and get to the point where sharing Jesus feels comfortable, even normal? My buddy Beau has a few ideas[…]

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Hold- five minute friday

That moment in a workout where you’ve been doing squats or plank for what seems like forever and then the instructor tells you- “great! now hold it for a minute!” is excruciating. Waiting is difficult- no matter if you’re holding a squat and your quads are burning, your mind spins with worry waiting to hear[…]

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Afraid of Pink

For a long time I didn’t wear pink, red or any other color that seemed distinctly feminine. Pink seemed too girly. I didn’t want to be lumped in with Barbie or women that liked devotional books with flowers and hearts on them or sappy love songs that made women cry. Red seemed too tempting. What[…]

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Conflicted- or Money Makes People Funny

I have a weird relationship with stuff. For the past 4 years I’ve been adamantly denying myself of things I want rather than things I need. In part it was out of necessity- when we moved to Cleveland we weren’t able to sell our house in Michigan and were some of the millions of Americans[…]

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Thrifty Thursday: On the outside and the Inside

Warning- this is about to get a little philosophical up in my wardrobe on this Thrifty Thursday. I was thinking recently about reasons why I love thrift store shopping which include: 1. saving money. 2. caring for the planet by reducing my demand for new items. 3. finding the needle in the haystack in the[…]

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This is How We Fight

This is How We Fight  We dance because we believe in the one who makes all things new We sing because our voices cannot be silenced amidst the screams of terror around the world We bake bread to nourish our bodies because just like Elijah- the angels around remind us; “get up and eat. the[…]

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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[…]

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When a man loves a woman- he will be an advocate

In the immortal words of singer Percy Sledge “when a man loves a woman….he’d change the world for the good thing he’s found.” My friend Rob from California loves women- and is changing the world because of it. He loves women so much that he has dedicated a significant part of his life and leadership[…]

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Dreams Come True

Right before Christmas I received this amazing email from Al, an editor at InterVarsity Press: Jessica – I’m thrilled to tell you that our publishing committee officially approved publication of your book proposal! The team was impressed with what you have done to develop both the proposal and your platform, and folks really appreciate your[…]

What the Duck?

As if your newsfeed isn’t already cluttered enough with Duck Dynasty rants one way or another (Christian’s are hate mongers!! Liberals are taking away free speech! Make him cut his beard off as punishment!!!) here is a post that expresses my thoughts on the whole matter. Since I’m on vacation busy drinking egg nog and[…]

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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[…]

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cigarettes and carrot sticks- my facebook fast

I decided to go on a facebook vacation recently.  And then I felt this huge void in my soul. Well, that might be a little dramatic but I definitely felt like a smoker who reaches for a cigarette only to remember that tough decision to quit.  Those addictive little puffs of affirmation, feedback and likes[…]

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I see him everywhere

I had been composing a blog in my mind while pruning the branches of my weeping cherry tree, a blog about white privilege  and all the cross-cutural training I’ve received through the years from Universities, scripture, the organization I work withInterVarsity Christian Fellowship or being willing to engage in difficult conversations about ethnicity with friends who look different[…]

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Tell me about your friend

“You talk differently about God now.” Curious, I asked him what he meant- “you used to talk about Jesus, now you just say “the LORD” like you have to use his professional name now that you’re a campus minister.  My husband Dave made this comment about six months into my ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.[…]

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Marriage is Just Too Loud for Me

I could hear him throwing up in the bathroom though I was at the end of the hallway, at least 30 feet from the disgusting retching sounds.  Dave had food poisoning from a late night Denny’s run with some friends at a weekend retreat. We were there with his parents  a few months before he[…]

Care for the Little

“Will you read that poem to me mom?” This literally came out of my son’s mouth recently. No, I am not living in some sort of utopian world where my children request poetry instead of watching another episode of Superhero Squad- and now Thomas the Tank engine has made his dreaded return now that Oswald[…]

You Don’t Look like a Christian

It’s Ash Wednesday. And likely that you’ve seen some folks around town who appear unhygienic but in reality have had ashes imposed on their foreheads to signify the beginning of Lent- the 40 days leading up to Easter.   A friend recently commented to me- “If I saw you in a crowded restaurant I wouldn’t[…]