It is difficult for me to be comfortable in polished situations anymore.  When you walk in and everything looks just right.  Where the "How are you?s" are answered vaguely and you can talk to someone for several minutes and not know them any better than before you started talking.  Trials and pain are hidden or ignored.  People's mouths move and sound comes out, but the words start blurring together without meaning. In contrast, it is a relief to walk into a situation that is not so [ continue reading ... ]

Scars are strange.  I mean, think about it.  Regardless of how much time passes, they remain a physical mark in our constantly regenerating skin.  For example, it's strange that I have a scar all because I was too embarrassed to tell my high school P.E. teacher that, despite her constant, emphatic reminders, I had forgotten to lower my index finger and the fletching on my arrow cut me when I released my bow string.  It was forever ago and it happened in a moment, but I still have the thinnest [ continue reading ... ]

"Yeah, it's pretty clear/I ain't no size 2..."  These lyrics introduce "All About That Bass," Meghan Trainor's incredibly catchy--and equally controversial--hit song.  The song is meant to be something of a solidarity-inspiring encouragement to women whose bodies don't fit the slenderized ideal ("Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top").  In the process, the lyrics run into some major flaws (insulting slender women and communicating that the worth of a woman's body is connected [ continue reading ... ]

Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  For many people, this time signifies the beginning of an incredibly painful season of the year.  For some, the holidays contain hurtful or traumatic memories.  For others, the holidays compound a currently difficult situation.  For still others, it's simply the way the holidays bring their experience of despair in even sharper contrast with yet unfulfilled promises of hope. For me, this season is difficult for something of an "all of the above."  As [ continue reading ... ]

Author, activist, and friend Ben Lowe recently released his second book, Doing Good Without Giving Up: Sustaining Social Action in a World That's Hard to Change.  Ben has a wide range of experiences to speak from (he even ran for Congress!), and it was a pleasure to review his book for Converge Magazine.  You can read my review here: How do you fight for change... without burning out? [ continue reading ... ]

It doesn't seem like such a landmark to be brainstorming organization strategies for one's house.  But for me, it is.  The other day, for no reason in particular, I had an idea for how to keep things in better order, and I went out and bought the baskets that I needed to do it.  I was energized, motivated, and focused.  I was even excited.  And feeling that way was a gift. I've lived in my house about two and a half years, but it still feels new to me.  I haven't really settled in, haven't [ continue reading ... ]

There's a term in theater that describes the imaginary wall between the actors and the audience.  A typical proscenium stage (think your high school auditorium) has three sides (the left, right, and back), but the fourth side is open.  This is where the audience looks into the story.  There's not really a separation between the audience and the actors, but in theater, we silently agree to believe there is. Occasionally, a character breaks the fourth wall.  This means the character speaks directly [ continue reading ... ]

My title here has a double meaning.  One, I mean to represent the experience many single people have at weddings.  Two, I call this piece “a single voice” because it’s a perspective you rarely hear in an authentic way.  So much of what I have to say so many people have experienced, but it is taboo to voice it in a way that questions “tradition.” Before I begin, let me say that most of the single people I know are incredibly gracious and sacrificial in their attendance, support [ continue reading ... ]

I don't post recommended reads often, so you know when I do, I absolutely believe it is worth your time.  This piece by theologian Peter Enns is so clear and so needed to be said.  "10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About the Bible" manages to concisely cover the most significant issues in our approach to the Bible, including, "The Bible doesn't answer all--or even most--of our questions," and, "The Bible doesn't give us permission to speak for God."  I'm excited to read his newest book, The Bible [ continue reading ... ]

I recently had the unusual and interesting opportunity to view and review the documentary Kidnapped for Christ, a narrative of a young evangelical film student's exploration of a Dominican Republic-based Christian center for teens with behavioral issues.  What she finds when she visits the camp is both disturbing and convicting.  Read my review for PRISM Magazine here. [ continue reading ... ]