Dearest Readers, I am getting married in the spring. While there is much of my specific personal life that I keep separate from my blog, this is a life event I do not want to pass without me directly addressing you about it. I have written some of my most popular posts from my perspective as a single person. I have also written many posts about the ways the church and society’s emphasis on marriage is damaging to people and relationships of all kinds. So, I want to be honest about [ continue reading ... ]

Yesterday, I ran my second full marathon. Ever since I ran my first marathon, I've been eyeing the calendar, looking for a season that I could once again squeeze in the time-intensive training. This time, I wanted to run my local marathon. I wanted to run along the familiar course, see the familiar sites, and be cheered on by people I knew. This wasn't exactly a season conducive to training. I could just barely visualize the time in my schedule. The school year started, proving to be quite a challenge. [ continue reading ... ]

I spent several hours at a harvest festival today. The temperature was moderate and comfortable, I stayed fairly well hydrated, I was covered except for part of my face, neck, and hands, and during much of the festival I was inside buildings or under tents. And yet, by the time I got home, I was nauseous and achy. I spent the next hours on the couch wrapped up in a blanket, trying to alleviate the chills even while craving a cold shower to cool down my extremely warm body. I don't know why the [ continue reading ... ]

I like to think I am a fairly tolerant and and gracious person--especially with strangers. If I feel like someone is rude to me or otherwise doesn't treat me well, I try to give that person the benefit of the doubt. But there are times of significant emotional stress when my tolerance is very low. In those times, there's a spark inside me that flares quickly, and it seems the tiniest of offenses can make me go from calm to livid. It makes me want to scream, "DON'T mess with me!" Last weekend, [ continue reading ... ]

Memory anniversaries are so real, emotionally and physically. I wonder why that is. Of course, there are many signs that let our bodies and subconscious know an anniversary approaches. At a certain time of year, there's typical weather, holidays, typical events, familiar calendar dates. But I believe that even if we didn't have those signs, there's something deeper our souls would recognize. I don't understand it, but I believe it. Try to remember the kind of September When life was slow [ continue reading ... ]

In the past few months, I’ve been thinking about the name of my blog. Sometimes it seems strange to call it “Slivers of Hope.” While many of the topics I write about—like mental/emotional struggles—have a clear connection to the title, others—like confronting bias in our traditions—don’t seem directly related. The original title for my blog was, “You’re Not Alone… and I’m Not, Either.” But, I couldn’t work out a web address with that title that wasn’t already [ continue reading ... ]

If you follow me on facebook and twitter, you may have seen a piece I shared by Jayson D. Bradley. I neglected to mention it on my blog at the time, but I greatly appreciate and resonate with the piece. I also think it's great that Jayson wrote it as a married person (AKA a person). There are a handful of wonderful single Christian writers (AKA writers) out there addressing single issues with courage and dignity, but it's rare that a married Christian writer thoughtfully addresses the single [ continue reading ... ]

According to Jimmy Fallon, this website I just googled, and a random girl I heard singing it on a beach boardwalk, Omi's song, "Cheerleader" is kind-of-sort-of-maybe one of(?) the songs of this summer. I was surprised when I first heard it. Although the lyrics aren't exactly inspired, it's kind of a sweet song (no "blurred lines" or "up all night to get lucky" here). If you haven't heard it, the song is basically an ode to his girlfriend (his "cheerleader") and how she's always there for him. Even [ continue reading ... ]

Wow. There has been a LOT of talk about marriage lately. Between the Supreme Court decision about same-sex marriage* and the rush of summer wedding ceremonies*, it seems like everywhere you turn, there's someone loudly declaring their belief in the divine/magical relationship that is the union of marriage. And so I feel compelled, once again, to remind us all: Marriage is a human relationship--nothing more, nothing less. (Throughout this post, I linked to several of my past pieces, in addition [ continue reading ... ]

What follows is a nostalgic reflection on the way an inanimate object can mark the passage of time. It may mean nothing to you. That's ok, because I wrote it for me. But you're welcome to read it, in case it does mean something to you. There's a treadmill in my parents' basement. More specifically, the treadmill is in the one finished room in my parents' basement. It's a room that has been used as a playroom, a piano practice room, a bedroom, and, for the several years preceding my dad's death, [ continue reading ... ]