Welcome to the 2017 edition of my honest holiday newsletter. I hope whatever 2017 has been like for you, that something in what I share can encourage you (or, at the very least, entertain you). As a society, it has been an odd year to be alive. At the same time, our personal lives still exist. While some parts of our personal lives remain surprisingly unaffected by what's happening in the larger world, other parts will never be the same. I'm going to try something a little different [ continue reading ... ]

I haven't posted since August, which I *think* is the longest I've gone without posting since I started blogging. So, this is just a post to say "hi," to update you a bit, and maybe to force myself to reflect on where I am right now. On the surface, the fact that I haven't posted doesn't mean much. It means my job is even more demanding than usual this year. Even when I have the time to write, I'm exhausted and don't feel like it. It also means I'm still figuring out how to adjust my time [ continue reading ... ]

I wish we didn't have to personally know someone in order to begin to understand their experience. I wish we didn't have to hear someone's story to begin to change our way of thinking about them. I wish we could believe others without seeing for ourselves. I wish we could imagine what someone else's experience is like, even if it's just imagining the possibility of being someone different than we are. I wish we didn't have to know someone who has suffered from racism in order to believe it [ continue reading ... ]

When I started writing this blog (over four years ago!), I was much more direct about my faith and would regularly cite Bible verses to support my statements. I'm still upfront about my faith and sometimes reference the Bible, but not like I used to. I've been realizing this about my writing lately, and have thought about why. If you're interested, here are a few reasons I've come up with... 1. I don't want to cater exclusively to Christians and/or alienate people of other faiths/belief systems. I [ continue reading ... ]

I have often written about summer being a struggle for me. The heat, the lack of structure, and long periods of time to myself are all factors in my discomfort and tendencies towards depression. Last year was a particular challenge. In addition to the ways summer is typically difficult, I was adjusting to being newly married, was reacting poorly to changes in medical issues, and was struggling with the ever-building dissonance I felt with my church of ten years. Things were quite difficult [ continue reading ... ]

If you ask me, we have an anger problem. I don't mean that we're angry and that's a problem. Instead, we seem to have a problem with anger itself. We have long falsely placed anger in a box of emotions labeled bad to feel, but now it's also bad emotion to communicate. "Be careful how you tell him you're upset; you could just come across as angry." "Those protestors would make their point better if they weren't so angry." "Those [insert group of people I don't agree with] are so angry all [ continue reading ... ]

When you are born, you are automatically put into one of two categories: boy or girl. Obviously, there are physical, biological reasons for this categorization of sex. But, the implications of that categorization far from stops there.* While the implications vary greatly across country and culture, in the US, being a boy or girl determines a list of gendered expectations, from what kind of clothes you wear, to what kind of toys you play with, to what colors will be your favorites, to what [ continue reading ... ]

Shortly following last November's election, a trend popped up to wear a safety pin to show you were a "safe" person for people who were degraded (and possibly endangered) by Donald Trump's rhetoric. The idea stemmed from a similar movement in the UK  following the largely anti-immigrant "Brexit" vote to leave the European Union. I never did end up wearing one, but I was touched by the idea. I had a safety pin as my facebook photo for awhile. No sooner had I become aware of the safety pin [ continue reading ... ]

You know how sometimes you find yourself using a word a lot? When a word seems to describe one thing so well you find yourself applying it to other things, too? Lately, that word for me has been "gentle." I think it started when I was choosing a race to run my upcoming half-marathon. After four years of running half and full marathons, I hadn't run long distance for a year. I wanted to get back into it, but I wanted a simple race that would ease me back into endurance running. I chose a "rail-to-trail" [ continue reading ... ]

Last month, I attended a local rally in support of refugees and immigrants. The rally was partly in response to the first version of Trump's executive order, which banned immigrants from seven predominately Muslim countries, and was later struck down in court. One of the speakers at the rally was a local pastor. As part of her address, she wanted to sing. She asked those of that recognized the song to join in: We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord We are one in the Spirit, we [ continue reading ... ]