The Hebrew word “Shabbat” comes from a root that means “to repose, to desist from exertion.” It means literally, to rest. And that is exactly what I’m suggesting.
If you were a bird, I’d tell you to soar. But you’re a human, so use your two legs and leap. Hop. Somersault. Whip and nae nae if you have to. Just move forward in faith.
Losing your life isn’t a one-time deal. Instead, it’s more of a recurring opportunity to value the eternal over the present. This is as simple (and as difficult) as being convinced that your deepest self has been invited to be fully alive.
I’m a born and raised Canadian, so moving away from my close community and choosing to live in one of the top 10 most populous cities in the U.S. was quite a big leap for me. These are the lessons I’m still learning about being bold, stepping out, and creating community.
Whether we like it or not, life is monotonous. We do the same thing day after day, and it often feels like we have nothing to show for it. The laundry keeps piling up. The traffic on the road is always backed up. The coffee pot always burns the brew. The spacebar on the keyboard at work always sticks.
It’s easy to fall into the routine of looking at others for approval in an effort to determine our own levels of success. Here are a few tips for avoiding the comparison trap and maintaining a healthy perspective.
Happy things happen and I want to gloat. Sad things happen, and I want to pout. Affirm me, people! But no one in Facebook-land responded for weeks. Not even my family. Not one single like. Not one single comment.
There is one area of my life that, despite my best intentions and efforts, usually ends in failure. It is the area of gardening. I rarely keep plants alive. Leafy greens, blooming bulbs and even the un-needy cacti die slow, painful deaths all around my house.
I don’t like feelings very much. I don’t like them because they are vulnerable and raw and I’d rather be covered and safe. I don’t like them because they show weakness and fear and much worse, shame.
When I woke up, I went to see our new baby. I looked through a window into the nursery. One side of the room was lined with baby beds all full of babies. Except one bed was missing. And tubes and cords hung from the wall in a tangle, as if one of the babies had left in a rush.
If we are disciples of Jesus, we see diversity as a very good thing. We honour variety. We don’t place it in a value system where some are more important than others for whatever trendy, political, cultural, or inherited reason.
Aggressive, risk-taking and adventurous behaviour is actually part of a man’s make-up and wiring. Testosterone, a hormone found roughly 15 times more in men than in women…
Sometimes Christians are too quick to assume the quotes we see on twitter and pinterest are in the Bible. If it has a few “thee’s” and “thou’s” or sounds at all like a proverb, we assume that its somewhere in that dense, leather-bound book sitting on our nightstand.
Most people are really good at either humility/hearing or courage/doing. To be great at both hearing and doing requires time and effort.
Unhappy people need to be able to acknowledge their feelings of negativity before they can change for the better.
Depression has been a familiar and unwelcome companion through my 20s. I have had six unannounced visits over the past ten years, each visit lasting between one and six months.These excerpts from my journal will give you an idea of how I felt during these times: Nov 2003: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Something […]
Joshua Milton Blahyi a passionate preacher living in West Africa. He has a wife, three adopted kids, and runs a mission for homeless children. In his spare time he enjoys playing chess. If you met him on the street, you would probably think he was an ordinary man with an upstanding sense of morality. But […]
We all have blind spots. It’s so easy to see the fault in someone else or in another group but so difficult to see the limitations in ourselves. Unless you learn to see the faults in yourself and your heroes, though, you can’t appreciate how God has gifted other Christians. Only then can you understand […]
I recently had a conversation with a friend about God, Hell, and pain. Especially the latter. Because of the enormity of pain and suffering she had observed in her life, she was certain God couldn’t exist. It was a heavy conversation. And, as a Christian engaged in full-time ministry, I felt the extreme pressure to […]
I was recently reading a book about relationships and our “learned behaviors” that negatively affect them. In thinking and reflecting on this, I realized that at the root of most of my destructive learned behaviors is shame. Shame is that feeling that we are not enough, that what we did or who we are is just […]
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” — C.S. Lewis There inevitably comes a time in life where you will reach the ‘end of your rope’ — the end of yourself. Hopefully […]
For a good part of my life, I focused my faith on knowing Jesus through morality management. More accurately, Jesus was savior and the Spirit was the voice that helped give me the strength to avoid things like cussing, gossip, lust, and pride. Getting through a single day where those sins were avoided meant a major […]
I never thought it would happen to me. When I was in seminary, I heard about how many pastors left the profession each month (over 1,000 per month according to one study). Professors used phrases like “burnout” and “moral failure”. I don’t know if the point was to scare me into dropping out, but I […]
“Dear Lord, don’t let Billy’s memories remain anchors that he has to drag along. Turn them to treasures he can carry with him.” This prayer by a friend of musician Billy Sprague is one of the most profound things I’ve read in my 28 years. It first resonated with me when I came across it […]
I am the son of a Buddhist father of Chinese and Thai heritage, and a Pentecostal African American mother from New York City. My home growing up was multicultural, to say the least. At a young age my father briefly served as a monk in Thailand. As an adult he would occasionally go to the […]
What do I want to order from your ten-page menu, Mr. Waiter? You have no idea the inner turmoil you are creating by giving me so many options with only three minutes to self-diagnose my food craving! The decisions of everyday life, much like selecting from a large menu, can be overwhelming even for you […]
If you’re newly married, or about to get married, this is especially for you. But even if you’ve been married for a while, you can still use these ideas as tune-ups. Here are eight things you won’t regret doing before your first anniversary: 1. Work on your sex life Yep, I’m starting with an attention-getter. […]
Picture this: a mom, dad, son, daughter and a Golden Lab named Waldo; a picture perfect family with a white picket fence surrounding their house. The fence symbolizes togetherness and joy. When I was in high school I longed for this “white picket fence” – I was longing for something I thought I was missing […]
I spent twenty years fat. And if it’s anyone’s fault, it’s my own. I grew up working very hard and eating very hard. I stopped working hard just as I hit my teens. It didn’t occur to me to stop eating hard until much later. My health suffered. My complexion suffered. I lost strength, then stamina. I could no longer […]
“Our present ecological crisis… has a great deal to do with our failure to think of the world as existing in relation to the mystery of God, not just as a huge warehouse of stuff to be used for our convenience.” —Archbishop Rowan Williams There’s this old statement of faith called the Westminster Confession that answers […]
The mundane doesn’t need to be meaningless. Often times, the ordinary can be the perfect opportunity to slow down, to reflect — to meditate. What do you do to unwind after a long day? Some opt for the Netflix route, plopping on the couch and turning their minds to autopilot. Others feel that the best cure […]
Beauty matters. A few weeks ago, I was surprised to find myself at the arena downtown a couple of nights in a row. I saw two different recording artists who had come through town on their multi-city tours. There couldn’t have been two more different shows to see than these. The first night’s show would […]
I was talking to my married, younger sister (who knows infinitely more than I do) recently, and we talked about how many of her friends are unmarried and growing tired of waiting for guys to show interest. She told me about one friend in particular: “I feel sorry for her. She said she’s 25 and […]
Suffering is something I’ve learned a lot about in the past seven years. In looking back now, I can see I was called to live a life with grief and pain, dealing with tragedies that hit my family and myself. I believe this is the calling for all believers; if we are not suffering, there […]
As I move into the last year of my twenties, even the thought of owning a houseplant still seems like too much of a tie-me-down commitment. As a single, I want my life to be my own. And I must confess: I love it that way. In fact, I love it too much. In my singleness, […]
Within the story of creation, God is very clear that aloneness is a state that is “not good.” God carefully ensured the world was free from the design flaw of loneliness by creating companionship. From this union, a family would form and multiply like the branches of a tree. Our families go way back. I […]
We all have an insatiable desire for something more. In this frustrating life, where our appetite never ceases, we constantly find ourselves seeking to satiate these cravings. Usually, we end up concluding that we need more money to do so. Yes, we all need to buy the basics like food and shelter. But most of […]
Patience is known as a virtue for a reason. According to the dictionary it is, “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”
We are the leaders of tomorrow, man, and don’t we deserve it! We’re the first generation to grow up using the Internet and personal computers, after all, and the first generation to enjoy unparalleled access to the accumulated wealth of human knowledge through Google, online newspapers, searchable libraries, and Wikipedia. We’re also history’s most educated […]
“Hang out here a minute, they’ve asked me to come inside,” he said. My Australian guide opened the truck door slowly. “Um, are you sure it’s safe here? Why do they want to talk to you? Is it because of the camera?” Heart pounding, I couldn’t hold back my barrage of questions. The guide paused […]
Judah Smith speaks with a slight drawl and a charismatic rhythm that draws listeners in. The first thing he tells me, as he sits down for our interview, is that he’s addicted to hand sanitizer. He produces a bottle of Purell from his vest pock and squeezes a generous amount into his hands. I ask […]
I was three years old when my first brother was born. A few days later we learned he had a serious malfunction in one of his organs that would soon take away his life. A life-threatening surgery was necessary for his survival. In the midst of this turmoil my parents asked some friends and relatives […]
“…For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.” – Naomi Wolf Naomi Wolf’s statement is striking. It reveals to us just how far porn has distorted the modern view of sex. In Gail Dines’ Pornland and a similar book […]
Author Tim Basselin speaks on discovering the good in the grotesque One day when Tim Basselin was in the sixth grade, he got called to the principal’s office. His father — a mechanic for a heavy machinery dealer — had been working on a front-end loader when the tractor’s three-ton bucket swung down suddenly and slammed […]
The first time I read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road it was like hearing a siren’s call during the stormy seas of adolescence. The book articulated the secret longings of my heart: my yearnings to bomb down highways in borrowed cars toward the revelatory music, artistic pals, bohemian women, and the ruckus of big and […]
Predicting the future. Many of us spend a considerable amount of energy trying our hand at it, because ultimately we want to create systems that will protect the things we desire, and ward off the things we wish to avoid. Our constant attempts to direct our lives one way or another often require wisdom; but […]
My small bare feet sank into a muddy puddle. I closed my eyes and put my nose to the purple-grey sky. As I took in the scent of rain-soaked mud and cement, my dirt-covered hands gripped my bunch of flowers and shoebox of rocks more tightly. There was nothing better than standing in the stillness […]
I hate conflict. I avoid unsparing honesty 90 per cent of the time because I fear it will result in a disapproving argument. If I know what I have to say is going to cause conflict I typically don’t say it. I tuck the words away and pretend that they don’t exist. If I say […]
I knew something was going on in my body. I felt tired. Two blood clots had developed in my legs. I was starting to bruise easily. Then, two days before Christmas 2011, my doctor called: “It looks like you have leukemia. I’ve arranged for you to meet with the doctor at the cancer centre today.” […]
We all have those friends. You know the ones I mean. The friends who get everything they want in life. Or — even worse — everything you want in life, without even really trying that hard. One minute you’re side-by-side at the starting line. Suddenly they have sprinted ahead of you and are now living […]
We spend semesters in classrooms learning the trade of our future careers, searching for the perfect internship, and then crossing our fingers that we’re good enough for consideration. This past summer, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and into the brutal and busy streets of New York City. It was a journalism […]
At 28, the only thing I’m sure about is that I’ve stopped growing — in inches that is. As I reflect upon my near three decades on this earth, I’ve realized I’ve forgotten a lot, learned a little, and am still discovering even more. In a culture where our 20s have become the be-all-end-all decade […]
My father immigrated to America in hopes of finding a better life for himself. When I was a young teenager, my dad loved to share the story of how he had to hold up his wooden roof during the monsoon season. Whenever I complained, my dad reminded me how good I have it. At a […]
An interview with the makers of Violent, a companion film to We Are The City’s 2012 album Violent, the debut film from local British Columbian talent Andrew Huculiak, Cayne McKenzie, Joseph Schweers, and Josh Huculiak, was one of the highlights of the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). The film is a companion of sorts to […]
When you’re in your 20s and 30s, moving away from your hometown seems inevitable. Whether you’ve decided to relocate because of a job, a relationship, a new opportunity, or just purely for the adventure of it all, any move can be a monumental adjustment. So here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in […]
Dear Amanda, The guy I’m dating isn’t someone I ever pictured myself with. I pictured a tall, dark, and handsome guy and he’s not that. But he IS really wonderful, treats me well, and I could see this lasting. How can I know that he’s perfect for me, will take care of me, challenge my […]
I used to want to be a zoologist. I would spend hours watching episodes of The Crocodile Hunter, dreaming about getting paid to hang out with cool animals all day. The one problem? I have no aptitude for biology. I just wanted someone to recognize my dream and hand me the job without having to […]
We hear sermons that convict us for not praying more. We read books that convince us to do more for global hunger. We talk to friends who inspire us to give more and read more and witness more. The needs seem so urgent. The workers seem so few. If we don’t do something, who will? […]
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. (Albert Einstein) When I was 16, I imagined a lot of things about myself as a 20-something. I hoped to be out of my parents’ house, close to […]
What is the best strategy for continuing a conversation when the other person clearly knows who you are but you can’t remember anything about this person — or why you should know him or her — for the life of you? Lydia (20, Waterloo, ON) Dear Lydia, One time I walked into a TV store […]
A man’s mind, once it has been stretched with a new idea, can never return to its original dimensions. (Oliver Wendell Holmes) “The climb has taken me far beyond the mountain,” says Denise Heppner. She was one of 45 women from around the world who climbed to Everest Base Camp in Nepal to raise global awareness […]
The concept of God’s calling, and in particular the concept that God has a calling for your whole life and for every area within your life that you have the power to know and follow, is one of the most important in the history of theology. It provides an organizing principle for understanding everything we […]
On the day I got married five and a half years ago, my wife-to-be slipped my wedding ring over the fourth finger of my left hand. It was loose — we hadn’t sized it properly before the wedding, and so it jostled back and forth between my other fingers. Even after we resized it later, […]
My family keeps the Sabbath. Not religiously — as in, we don’t always do religious things. But we are pretty religious about “keeping” it. Usually we go to church. Usually we eat simply — eggs and toast is normal fare for Sunday dinners. Usually we say “no” to invitations and engagements unless they involve family. […]
I slam my fists on the steering wheel, because I’ve forgotten my library card — it’s in the other wallet and the kids are strapped into their car seats on our way to the library. It’s funny how you can be both the best version of yourself and the worst version of yourself within the […]
In tragedy people tend to lose their faith, their religion, and everything that once defined them. It wasn’t like that for me. My parents divorced when I was young. Shortly thereafter my mom started dating Don. I wasn’t allowed to meet Don until they had been dating for a substantial amount of time. His rules. […]
I sat in the second pew, holding back tears as I watched that familiar face disappear behind the lid of the casket. I glanced over at a grieving wife, son and daughter. I turned to look back again at the casket as the funeral director placed a large cascading bouquet on top. “This is life […]
I got married about six months ago, less than one month before my 30th birthday. Last year at this time, I was both in my 20s and unmarried. I feel geriatric when I realize how my identity has shifted. And when I say things like, “I’m 30.” The fact is, I’m still mourning the end […]
When you get a group of friends together, there are bound to be disagreements over where to eat or what movie to see. “I just ate Italian for lunch.” “Sorry, I saw that movie last weekend.” And while everyone else is fussing, my friend Tyler is the guy who quietly waits for a resolution. He’s […]
December, or my life for that matter, has turned into one big waiting game. I laugh at the irony of how this frustration and anxiety that accompanies waiting fits perfectly within the season of Advent. Waiting. Watching. Hoping. I wait for phone calls from potential employers as I begin to embrace my looming status of […]
Way back in 2006, four churches in Portland, Oregon decided to forego the usual Christmas spending spree and donate the money they saved to Living Water International. The following year, a bunch more churches joined them in doing the same thing, again. I don’t know how many years or how many people are required to […]
I’ve been thinking about my life lately. Actually, I’ve been thinking about it constantly. Instead of living life, I’ve been contemplating it. I’m 24 and I feel as though I’ve reached a quarter-life crisis. If I speak those words, people only tell me I’m too young for that nonsense. They say, “You’ve got your whole life ahead of […]
I am the product of two headstrong, vibrant, daring lives coming together. In the early ’80s, a young Canadian pilot and a young British teacher moved to Ethiopia. He went to fly famine relief, she to teach at a missionary school. They met there, dated, survived a long distance stint, and then got married. I was […]
I’ve often found myself feeling left out when it comes to church. While the church I attend does a pretty decent job at initiating mentorship and even has a young adults ministry, as a single 20-something woman, it’s easy to feel out of place. Ministry options for singles always seem to feel like a bit […]
I’m a virgin. If the topic ever comes up, it’s always received with an incredulous, “Whaa?” The former mainstay, “Are you a virgin?” has now become, “Are you STILL a virgin?” almost exclusively. Why would anyone want to retain their v-card? (Cue the “Jesus is my boyfriend” jokes dripping with condescension, please.) As glamorous, exciting […]
It’s no secret I like to have crushes on people. I fall fast, and I fall hard. Everyone who knows me knows this. But here’s the problem: my crushes tend to be on celebrities and literary characters. And at this point in my life, I’m realizing it’s time to let go. It’s time to breakup […]
“Eating with the fullest pleasure — pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance — is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living in a mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.” […]
Three days ago, Seth Adam Smith published a blog post entitled “Marriage Isn’t For You” that went viral (Seth says it has over four million views so far). His cleverly titled post explained that marriage isn’t about your own happiness, but about your spouse’s happiness. This is my response to his post. I disagree with what […]
It’s on the warm end of a cloudless October morning. I’m riding a ferry from the end of Rhode Island to an island with a year-round population of about 1,000. I’m sitting beside the window, feeling my heart begin to race with that precipitate giddiness I used to feel when I’d traveled between university terms. […]
On the desk in my apartment sits a great big canvas that I painted myself that reads: “It is well with my soul.” I love the old hymn; I need to be reminded of those words every day. My desk is always the most cluttered space in my apartment. If it begins to get messy, […]
“When that happens to me, I just click the Google button twice,” my landlady said, giving me a knowing look. I had just told her my Internet had stopped working. “Exit the window, and reopen it. Almost always works.” I am 99 per cent sure the router (which I don’t have access to) just needs […]
Everything was fine up until the moment when things turned really shitty. These things were true: I was sitting in a movie theatre. I was with my friends. I was breathing. I stopped breathing. My chest was tingling. My arm was numb, it was crawling up my body, it was up my neck, my face […]
“Let’s be honest. You know your heart. The Lord knows your heart. And everybody else can go suck a lemon.” A dear friend said that to me a month or so ago. It stuck. I realized that my opinion of myself often is reflective of others’ opinions of me. I care far too much about […]
“So, how’s your baby doing?” It was a couple months after my daughter, Eilidh, had been born, and I was having lunch with a friend. Inevitably, this question came up, and I found myself as unable to answer it as always. “Well, you know, she’s fine. She does the usual baby things. She sleeps pretty […]
I teach tiny children for a living. Every day, I deal with children who say mean things to one another. It works like this: I’m usually greeted with a teary-eyed, “Miss Bast, he hurt my feelings.” Next, I’ll pull both children aside and talk about what happened. I ask the name-caller to look at the […]
In the past I was a part of a leadership team for my church’s young adults group. As leaders, part of our role was to welcome newcomers. We greeted them at the door and got them connected. I loved the opportunity, but often times I’d leave in an anxious whirlwind, not sure of who I […]
Thanks to Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, we’ve all bought into silver linings on one level or another. The idea that even in the absolute worst situation, there is something beautiful to be found if you search hard enough. On pen and paper, it seems like a pretty great concept, and on the big screen, […]
I’m not happy about it, but I am learning to come to terms with it. I’m talking about those of us in our 20s and 30s, otherwise known as Generation Y We’re said to be fickle, flaky, and frivolous. People say we’re privileged and often averse to hard work. And we have a difficult time […]
If you’re like me, you’re captivated by the new pope. Pope Francis has a way of making even the most staunch Protestants consider what the Catholic Church has to say. (But isn’t this is the way it should be? Shouldn’t we be unified as one church?) I recently read an interview with Pope Francis which, […]
In simpler times, stalking was a simple affair of inappropriate attention and restraining orders. Today, it’s so mundane, we even joke about it: “I’ve been stalking him/her on Facebook.” It’s funny until…well, until it’s not. As my friend Elyse says, “You know it’s an idol by the way you react when you’re either forced to do it, […]
There I was, on a rooftop with friends. Gazing at the city skyline, dragging on cheap cigarettes. Attempting to answer the conjecture laced with nicotine, “How did I get here?” I managed to feel beat-poetic watching the sun descend behind buildings, my smoke halos of rebellion rising up into dusk. This would surprise anyone who […]
Early this year, Maclean’s magazine released its timely, relatable, and very discouraging summary of “the new underclass.” Basically, that’s all of us who graduated in the last five years or so. We’re overeducated and underemployed. “It turns out that most young people are working,” the article says, “typically in jobs well below their levels of […]
I’m the darling of my dentist’s office. Why, you ask? Because I floss every single day. Sometimes — check this out — I floss twice. Before you write me off as a goody-two-shoes, let me add that I don’t get oil changes as often as I should, and I typically don’t finish my taxes until […]
I’m the worst with directions. I’m not exaggerating for effect. I’m just that directionally challenged. Ask my friend Tyler about the time we tried to drive 20 minutes into the country and two hours later ended up somewhere near Toronto. It was an adventure to say the least, but our friendship survived (barely). Fortunately, there […]
Did my grandparents chase their dreams? No, they just went to work. — Jeff Goins Everyone has a dream. That’s what Billy Joel says anyway, and he’s been around for a while. Some of us scribble it down on bar napkins in fits of inspiration. Some of us stew over it when our workplace gets overwhelmingly […]
It started when I was seven years old. You told me I was ugly and stupid. I cried. You laughed at me and told me I was fat. I believed you. You told me my mom gave me a boy’s name because I looked like a boy, and probably had boy parts instead of girl […]
I am 26. I am not married. I don’t have children. I don’t have a career. Oh my gosh, I am so aware that my biological clock is ticking, family, friends, social media you are all reminding me.
The first time I came across one of those rock structures where oddly shaped rocks were meticulously balanced on one another, I was transfixed. Like many around me, I had a hard time taking my eyes away from an artist who defied the laws of physics (not to mention the laws of patience) to create […]
At the beginning of March I joined a group of Christian journalists from all over Canada for a tour of the Holy Land. The Israel portion of the trip was sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. Unfortunately, I was not able to include writing on all the places I visited. The sites listed […]
My dehumanization I used to watch a lot of sci-fi movies when I was a kid. My dad was into the weird ’80s stuff, and let me watch things he probably shouldn’t have, like Dune, Total Recall, and Terminator 2. There are lots of sci-fi movies that warn us of a future where the robots […]
“Trailer Trash” was the theme of the event, and its guests had embraced that fully: the garish colours of the paint that had been splattered across so many jean cut-offs clashed loudly with the lacy thongs that whale-tailed for freedom in every direction. It was a flashy, sexy, sweaty summer mess. I had never seen a […]
The following is an excerpt from Paul Angone’s new book 101 Secrets for your Twenties. #59 The most ridiculous thing you can do as an adult is stop being ridiculous. Taking yourself too seriously is very serious work. Very important, steadfast, I can’t be bothered business. Where you save up every penny to buy a one-way […]
In our culture, I see apathy and escapism everywhere. I think they go hand in hand. I hear them in simple phrases, like, “It’s alright,” “It doesn’t matter,” “No one is going to care,” “Don’t worry about it,” “You can only do so much,” “Do what you want,” “Whatever.” I see them in sports, games, […]
The problem with most career advice, it seems to me, is twofold: First, we are told that we can do whatever we want, and then when we try to do whatever we want, we are told that we can’t do whatever we want. It is rare to see a week that goes by where there […]
“SIERRA!” I yelled that name dozens of times last Sunday afternoon; each time my voice trailing off with a measure of embarrassment. You see, Sierra is our new puppy that we lost less than 24hrs after we got her. She was given to us by a friend who knew we were looking for a new […]
If there’s one thing I love…which is a stupid way to lead off, because there are many things I love…but anyway, one thing I love is chain of acquaintance. You know–there’s this girl I know, who knows this guy, who knows this other guy, whom I just met on the bus today and ended up […]
I had a teacher in junior high school who had a few pet peeves. Mostly, her pet peeves were words. She forbade us from using the word “cool” unless we were referring to temperature. “Ain’t” was outlawed for obvious reasons. “Yeah” was out too. And “can’t.” She never allowed us to speak the word “can’t” […]
I walk a tightrope from the apartment door to my bedroom each day, hoping not to fall into the abyss of anxiety, anger, and negativity that lies between them. The climb up to the tightrope is no better. As the elevator rises, so does my anxiety about what I will have done wrong today; it’s […]
When I was a girl, I was not allowed to have Barbie dolls. My parents didn’t want to encourage me to live in a “Barbie dreamland.” Even though this decision made me feel left out from time to time, I understand that they wanted to protect how I learned about self-image. Let’s be honest: Barbie […]
God’s been teaching me a lot about Himself in funny ways lately. For my 20th birthday, my parents gave me an amazing ring. It had a big blue topaz stone in the middle with five tiny diamonds lining either side. I was not expecting anything at all for my birthday: I can rarely think of […]
Everyone knew who they were. Wandering the halls in steel-toe boots, jeans, and plaid, they talked tractors and nodded from under hats bearing the logos of local feed suppliers. They skipped school — not to bum around the mall or smoke up down the street — but to help with harvest. In the complex hierarchy of […]
What the “Christian masculinity” movement keeps getting wrong. The Church has been inundated recently with a glut of books and articles on what it means to be a Christian man. But while we should think holistically about our identities — including gender roles — it is unfortunate so much of the material glorifies what can […]