During the first few months of writing my blog, I was also training for my first full marathon. So, a number of my initial posts were about--or at least mentioned--running. I began to notice that those running-related posts didn't get as much attention as posts on other topics. I mentioned this to a friend, and she jokingly suggested I deceptively title any posts that discussed exercise... like "How to Be a Couch Potato." All of that to say: It is with some hesitation that I write this post. [ continue reading ... ]

I have been thinking pretty much all year about writing this newsletter. My first honest holiday newsletter was a helpful way for me to process the year's events. Many readers appreciated my attempt at a realistic depiction of the joys, struggles, and tedium that a year entails. Knowing I wanted to write a second letter, I often wondered how I would portray this year at its end. Sometimes, I was tempted to write it early, so as not to have so much to think about at once. But I didn't, and [ continue reading ... ]

I feel remiss that I have not written a post about Christmas and the holiday season this year. Believe me, there has been plenty rattling around in my brain about it, but I haven't taken the time to commit it to print. This can be a strange, painful, nutty time. In lieu of having something new to share with you, here are a few of my past pieces that may offer you some encouragement. When Christmas Gets Real A Twist on the Thankfulness Trend When Nothing "Works" We Make Up Stuff About [ continue reading ... ]

As a single person, bridal showers bothered me. Actually, the excessive gift-giving associated with weddings in general bothered me. As I scrimped and struggled along on my own, the contrast between my own experience and the outpouring of material resources to couples was striking. Usually, it didn't make me angry. It mostly just hurt a lot. It hurt that following a socially expected path (getting married) meant people gave you gifts, but if you weren't getting married, you were on your own--in [ continue reading ... ]

  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 ... ]