Emotions

The Funny Side of Divorce

Ok…who am I kidding? There’s absolutely nothing funny about divorce. It’s terrible. Hands down, it’s in the Top 5 Most Horrible Things I’ve Ever Experienced. If you’ve never been through it, take my word for it. It’s…Terrible. (With a capital T—that rhymes with P for ‘Please make it stop!’) That being said, I never thought I’d find myself in this position and there’s no way I was prepared fo...

The Very Public Nature of a Very Private Matter

Divorce sucks. No matter if it’s “amicable” or a battle royale, the process is grueling, emotionally taxing, and in the age of digital media—horribly public. If the legal documents, division of property, and emotions were not enough, today’s relational landscape includes navigating the ins-and-outs of social media as well! Today, more and more couples dissolving their marriages in their 30s and 40...

Forgiveness

In 2006, a gunman went into a small Amish school in Pennsylvania. Within minutes he killed 5 young girls and critically wounded another 5. The shooter then killed himself before police could intervene. What happened next stunned the nation: The Amish community immediately forgave the shooter. That very day they went to the shooter’s wife and parents to be with them, to mourn with them, and to say ...

Somewhere Between Coffee and Crazy

Sometimes I think I’m crazy. Right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop, with my earbuds and my latte, and I feel quite normal. Today I had the day off work. I slept in, I scrambled eggs, I stopped by a friend’s house, and now I’m here—drinking my latte and feeling normal. But some days, I think I’m crazy. Some days I do things that are so crazy I don’t want to tell you about them. Because I’m embarra...

Mental Health

What do Christians think about mental illness? There are a lot of stereotypes out there, unfortunately. You can find people, Christian or not, who have TERRIBLE ideas like these: Mental illness is not real. Anybody who claims to have it just needs to try harder (take more vitamins, put on a happy face, get out of the house—fill in the obnoxious advice of your choice); Mental illness is the same th...

I’d like to say I’m surprised by Charlottesville. But I’m not.

Writing a public piece on social justice, in our current climate, during this moment in history feels like a weight—one I have not yet earned the right to carry. Yes, I’m alive in this moment watching, alongside the rest of the world, to see how our country navigates our way through the minefield of systematic, historical, covert, and poisonous racism. But the topic is complex, possessing a histor...

Birth of an Activist

I’m willing to bet that at least a few of you have yelled nasty words at me while wagging your clinched fists, and damning me to hell for making you late for work. No? Don’t remember me? I can’t say that I blame you. At the moment where we locked eyes, I was probably just another link in a human chain or another hastily drawn sign held high above a crowd of surly rabble-rousers. Yup, that’s me. I’...

When Church Lets Me Down

I always feel really comfortable walking into a church. I realize many people feel quite the opposite. I think I feel the way I do because I’ve had unusually good church experiences. I had a solid youth group in my teen years. Meeting my pastor in late high school/early college was a serious gift…he understood me really well and helped me through a ton of grueling, angsty transition at that point ...

Pornography

Have you ever come across pornography on the internet when you weren’t looking for it? You’re not alone. Even 70+% of teenagers encounter porn online by accident. The internet’s anonymity and accessibility has led to a flood of pornographic production and consumption in our society. In 2001, it’s estimated that there were 70,000 porn websites; by 2005, there were 4.2 million. More pornographic vid...

Why Cohabitation Won’t Work for Me

I love having a roommate or two. It’s the best. When I was about 12, I used to dream of living on my own. I would draw floorplans of the condo I wanted to live in. I think I even asked my parents to build me a shed in the backyard (they said no). I just wanted a space that was all my own. Then I got to college and I was put in a single dorm room the first year. It was rough. I like making new frie...

Dear Suicidal Me

Dear Suicidal Me, Hi there. Remember me? I’m the one you worked so hard to maintain, the one you always wanted to be. All those hours at the gym, the yoga, the Psalms, the positive self talk when everything seemed wrong . . . But it failed. Because now you’re you. You look in the mirror and wish you could see a glimpse of me too. But you fail. You just see you. All those hours at counseling, the f...

Suicide’s impact is broad. And our understanding is narrow.

From the moment she walked into my classroom, I saw a little bit too much of myself in her. She was an introverted junior transfer, struggling to find a place for herself in a new school, in a new state. Over the course of the first semester, I got to know her through her writing and she frequented my classroom after school. While I have several former students who I remain close to, I normally tr...

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