Author: Jess Kenyon

A Heart for Service

Read Time: 3 min.

Recently, I had a flood of sudden memories about a compliment that so many people gave me in my early life—they told me I had a heart for service. A thrill of excitement and acknowledgment would run through me every year or so when someone would say this. It meant people were watching me, were taking stock of the way I do things, and they had decided that I had a gift. A God-given gift. A gift for...Read More

My Changing Faith

Read Time: 2 min.

I considered myself a Christian for many years. I was raised in a very Christian community. Everyone was a Christian. I won’t say faith was a huge topic of discussion—more of an idea taken for granted within the community. Faith was something everyone told me to have, but no one told me how to get. I spent most of my Christian years ‘having faith’ that faith would come to me. For me it...Read More

Staying Friends

Read Time: 3 min.

Making friends as an adult is hard. I got really lucky when I met a woman at work and she and I instantly bonded. I honestly hadn’t had many female friends up until that point and it was exciting. I had never had anyone to go shopping with me or just kick it on a Friday night. When my friend started dating a drug addict, I didn’t know what to do. I’m not the kind of person who can stay quiet about...Read More

How to Speak About Abuse

Read Time: 4 min.

I was 16 before I told my parents I had been abused. I was actually at a church gathering that night and I told my youth pastor. She encouraged me to tell my parents. When I got home that night, I sat in my car in the driveway and cried. I was so scared. I was so nervous. I was so ashamed. My mom yelled at me because I was about an hour later than I normally was (this was before cell phones, mind ...Read More

Being the Bible Instead of Quoting the Bible

Read Time: 3 min.

I have read the Bible many times. Certain books and chapters received more re-readings than others, but I have read the whole thing through 3 or 4 times. At one time in my life, reading the Bible was very important. I wanted to talk to others about what I was reading, as you do when you get excited about anything in your life. I wanted to share. I was so excited I didn’t notice when others became ...Read More

The Vital, Overlooked Response to Tragedy

Read Time: 3 min.

What can I do? The question chased me Monday morning. What can I do when I wake up to hear that over 50 lives were lost, over 500 people were injured, and Las Vegas is grieving. I am grieving, too. What can we do? What will we do? There are many practical things we can do to feel involved—give blood, attend a memorial, continue to gather supplies for those affected by the recent hurricanes. We can...Read More

The Poverty Line

Read Time: 2 min.

I am poor. I have food, I have clothing, I have shelter. I have a job. I just financed a car. I have a kitten, I donate to the ACLU and I am still paying off my student loans and a credit card. On paper it all looks ok, but I know the truth. I am fighting every day for these things. Let’s say I lost my job tomorrow or I was injured and became unable to work. I don’t have enough saved to last me a ...Read More

A Quiet Act of Patriotism

Read Time: 2 min.

It’s really hard to listen. Sure, if your best friend needs to talk about their terrible day or your partner needs to vent about their boss or their commute, you can probably handle that kind of listening. All of us need people in our lives who can hear our petty griefs and existential trials. But when it comes to people with opposite political beliefs, things get dicey. Most of us choose to avoid...Read More

Pornography lacks real consent options.

Read Time: 2 min.

I don’t have a problem with pornography—in theory. I think sex between consenting adults is perfectly normal. I think people watching sex between consenting adults is also perfectly normal. I don’t think we can abolish the making or consumption of pornography, but I do think we need to change the way we talk about it. People are afraid to talk about sex for a number of reasons. It’s uncomfortable....Read More

Top 5 Life Lessons from Working in the Arts

Read Time: 3 min.

I work at a theater. I got my degree in Theater and Speech and have been working in wardrobe for over 10 years. I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I’ve gleaned from my time, so here are my top 5 lessons learned working in the arts. Storytelling is how we learn. We all tell stories every day. When you answer the questions, “How was your weekend”, “What are you doing after work”, ...Read More

What makes cohabitation work?

Read Time: 3 min.

Living with someone before marriage makes sense to me. There’s only so much you can know about someone when you aren’t forced to share the same space. Many of the questions cohabitation answers are practical ones, like, “Who will make sure we have milk?” “Will I have time to myself?” “Can we agree on a toothpaste?” Turns out my boyfriend and I can’t agree on a toothpaste and so we each have our ow...Read More

Does marriage still have a place?

Read Time: 3 min.

I have always wanted to get married. Growing up in the south, there was only one path to adulthood: meet someone in high school if you can, surely by college, graduate, and get married. But I didn’t meet anyone in high school. I didn’t meet anyone in college. I worked so hard at meeting people after college, it was basically a part time job. I joined dating websites and emailed, chatted with, and ...Read More