Bracing for Holiday Challenges

Read Time: 2 min.

A few days ago, I called the father of my two twenty-something children. For the past couple of years, the kids and I have been celebrating Thanksgiving at his condo in Philadelphia—Christmas is at my house. I had gotten word through the “grapevine” (a.k.a. my son) that his dad was upset about the possibility that after dinner everyone would leave for their separate dwellings, and then he’d be stu...

Compassion for the Holidays

Read Time: 4 min.

It’s been a tense year, to say the least. Political polarization is at an all-time high and people on both sides are angry. Many people don’t just disagree with the other side’s views anymore; they think the other side’s views—and the people who hold them—are abhorrent. It can be hard enough to navigate political differences with strangers and acquaintances. But what are we supposed to do when the...

Lessons from a Culture that Celebrates Life

Read Time: 4 min.

Finding his way through the vibrant “Land of the Dead” in the Disney/Pixar film Coco, Miguel sadly watches an older soul fade away in front of him. Perplexed that someone can disappear, even from the land of those who no longer live, he asks his trickster companion Héctor what happened. Poignantly, Héctor informs Miguel that, “Our memories, they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life—...

Great and Terrible Babies

Read Time: 3 min.

Babies are great… and awful. If you listen to an honest debate between a loving parent and someone who doesn’t have children, chances are high that they would not truly understand each other. Parenthood is a life-changing experience, so much so that it is often hard for people whose home has already been invaded by a baby and people who still think that Saturday mornings are for sleeping in to spe...

Failing Friendships and Learning to be Kind

Read Time: 4 min.

I’ve heard it said that, even more than their lessons, educators teach who they are as people. Students learn about their teachers’ passions, annoyances, available buttons to push, and amount of care they hold for their pupils—perhaps even more than they learn about their coursework. As a teacher, I have seen this happen. As a former student, I’ve learned that the most important person a student c...

Nice vs Kind

Read Time: 2 min.

One of the many unintended side effects of becoming a parent is that you’re forced to develop a completely new relationship with the English language. I don’t mean that you’ll instantly gain an understanding of homophones, homonyms, and homographs – no such luck. What I mean is that you’ll learn that “sit on the couch” can mean a multitude of different things – ranging from the traditi...

Family Matters

Read Time: 3 min.

Growing up, I had a pretty normal childhood filled with little league games, family vacations, and in sixth grade…divorce. You may not think this last little tidbit is “normal,” but in today’s world, 40-50% of first-time marriages will end in divorce (the odds are greater among second and third marriages). I know this isn’t the most cheerful start to a post, but we’re all adults here. I just...

Can I Respect and Disagree with Grandma?

Read Time: 3 min.

My Grandma is my favorite person on the planet. She is 89 and she lives alone. She never learned to drive because she and my Grandpa lived in Chicago for most of their lives and she could take the bus to do anything she needed in the city. When my mother and her siblings were growing up, my Grandma would take them to baseball games and movies and would sneak beer in for herself. When I was little,...

“I’m Bringing Sexy Back”

Read Time: 3 min.

Like most millennials (and every other human on Earth), I think about sex. A lot. Not in the “constantly-horny-teenager-going-through-puberty” kind of way; it’s more of a “I-feel-like-a-scientist-because-I’m-so-curious-to-know-what-other-people-think-about-this-basic-human-need” kind of thing. Growing up, society tells us that we’re gross, perverted, and should keep our thoughts to ourselves. I do...

Healthy sex—do we know what it is?

Read Time: 5 min.

Sex. It is everywhere, and it is a part of all of us. Having it, not having it, wishing we were having it, never having it done correctly, being addicted to it, even being paid for it. We all are classified by how we identify with one, none, or even multiple genders. It seems to pervade every layer of political discussion and color most interactions to some degree.  Who we are is somewhat defined ...


Read Time: 4 min.

If you’ve gotten the impression that the God Christians follow doesn’t like sex, or that the Bible is a prudish book, is it a surprise to hear that isn’t true? Is it a shock to hear that God celebrates sex? Many Christians themselves are taken aback by the unembarrassed sensuality found in the book called “Song of Solomon,” which is right in the middle of the Bible. As one lover proclaims to his p...

Old Friends, New Friends, and the Lonely Spaces In-Between

Read Time: 4 min.

My family made four cross-country moves before I turned 18. I don’t remember the move from California to Michigan because I was just a toddler. The move from Michigan to Illinois was a mixture of excitement for something new and sadness because I quickly missed my friends of eight years. The next two moves, when I was 11 and 16, turned my already naturally introverted personality into that of a hu...

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