Sacred Connections Amidst Mental Health

Sacred Connections Amidst Mental Health

As I scan across the byte-sized headlines filling my social media accounts, an increasingly common phrase beckons my attention. “Mental Health” is finally gaining a common place in our cultural vernacular. In the midst of strong opinions regarding the current ills of...
Mary Coston Wise

Mary Coston Wise

Finally, I see you. Weathered black, white shades of brown. I weep from longing.   You are eighteen with furrowed brow wearing your Sunday best.   It’s Accomack County graduation day 1935. Did you know your arms,  legs crossed, could not shield you  from...
Welcoming Strangers

Welcoming Strangers

My first Christmas in China, my American teammate got sick and asked to be alone. Rather than spend Christmas binge-watching television by myself, I jogged to the outskirts of the city where tarmac turned to orange dust. I ran through dry fields that would grow...
A Prayer for the Nation

A Prayer for the Nation

My piano teacher slid onto the piano bench beside me, but neither of us touched the keys. The studio was unnaturally quiet. My weekly lessons were usually filled with simple sonatas and easy etudes as Hallee encouraged me, an adult beginner, to relax my hands and lean...
Breaking My Podcast Addiction

Breaking My Podcast Addiction

It started off so innocently. After hearing about it from what seemed like every person on the planet, I listened to the first season of Serial. Then I started listening to a few other podcasts that were recommended to me. Then I started subscribing regularly to a few...
The Purpose of Chaos

The Purpose of Chaos

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You” (Isaiah 26:3). Sometimes I write things that surely are not of my own doing. I reread this recently,  and it laid over me like Ezekiel’s rain blessing.  “Perfect Peace. The...
#Me Too, Jesus

#Me Too, Jesus

A lovely young woman sits across from me in my small therapy office, buttoned up so tight it looks like she’s hardly even breathing.  Her lips are pressed together as she carefully folds, then refolds, the Kleenex on her lap. Then she stops, looks up at me, and says,...
You Rock, Abigail

You Rock, Abigail

Once upon a time, there was a woman whose name was Abigail. Abigail not only was beautiful, but also very wise. Abigail was the apple of her parents’ eyes. They delighted to watch her grow in grace and knowledge, and gain the favor of those who knew her. Naturally,...
Jael Flips the Script

Jael Flips the Script

The Bible, like life, is rife with stories of gender-based violence. Abuse. Enslavement. Rape. Murder. Torture. Kidnappings. Forced marriages. Exploitation. It is there, in all its horrifying depravity, and the stories hint at realities that are even worse. Realities...
The Flawed Women in Jesus’ Genealogy

The Flawed Women in Jesus’ Genealogy

The women who were Jesus’ great-great-great-ancestors had issues. Their problems might not necessarily qualify them as bad (as in Liz Curtis Higgs’ Bad Girls of the Bible) or even lost (Lost Women of the Bible by Carolyn Custis James), but they had their shortcomings....
To Take—and Give—Courage

To Take—and Give—Courage

Just then a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years slipped in from behind and lightly touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned—caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter....
Mary and Elizabeth

Mary and Elizabeth

I hold my son’s son, both hands cupped against his wife’s warm abdomen. Her baby rolls toward my touch and she smiles down at me. Maternal delight mingled with innocence shines through her flush of expectancy. Love flows from each of us into the center of her...
The Women and the Resurrection

The Women and the Resurrection

Summers are difficult for me because when my kids are out of school, I don’t have a regular rhythm for my work, writing, and alone time, which I desperately crave. Even though my kids are teenagers, they still need things like food and rides to various places all...
Permission

Permission

The first time I heard the term helpmeet was during a career development conversation with the vice-president of my department at my corporate job. After college, my husband and I had worked hard to establish careers and our family. My performance was stellar, and I...

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