Here's Looking at You on International Women's Day

Here's Looking at You on International Women's Day

I’m realizing that all the things about being a woman that used to make me feel weak have actually revealed the strength I have. This is true for all the women that I encounter every day. We consistently show up for our jobs, families, friends, and communities, often while dealing with additional and unseen physical, emotional, societal, and systemic realities that simply come along with being a woman.

Observing the Sabbath, and What I've Gotten Wrong about Rest and Work - Part 1

Observing the Sabbath, and What I've Gotten Wrong about Rest and Work - Part 1

Most of us realize that taking one day of rest a week is important. We may realize on a soul level that we were not designed to go hard seven days a week—and between jobs, errands, housework, church, family schedules, and even technology, that is precisely what many of us are doing.

Throwback to One Year Ago: When I was 39 weeks Pregnant, Bored, and Sassy

Throwback to One Year Ago: When I was 39 weeks Pregnant, Bored, and Sassy

First of all, the answer to any pregnancy ailment is to drink lots of water & eat small meals throughout the day. Me: "I think I'm pregnant with an octopus, not a human" Doctor: "Drink lots of water & eat small meals throughout the day"

…Also, does anyone happen to have strong opinions on the book “Baby Wise”?

Our Bodies aren't Collectibles - Let's Use them Instead of Preserving Them

Our Bodies aren't Collectibles - Let's Use them Instead of Preserving Them

Most of treat our bodies like collectibles. We reach some kind of "ideal" body around our early twenties and from that point on, we live just to keep our bodies in that condition--so no one can tell that they've been taken out of the box. We constantly try to keep off the pounds. We dye, shave, pluck, and tan. We try everything to get rid of freckles, wrinkles, stretch marks, acne. 

Is "Context" Just an Excuse to Ignore Parts of the Bible we don't Like?

Is "Context" Just an Excuse to Ignore Parts of the Bible we don't Like?

It's really easy to pull out the "context" card when you run into a difficult passage, or one that is not your favorite. You could pull out some sort of context argument for every chapter and verse of Scripture, arguing that the Bible never actually says what it means. Which can lead us to ask: Is context just a cop out? Is it just an excuse for ignoring parts of the Bible we don't like? 

Where Do Women Belong in the Church?

Where Do Women Belong in the Church?

When we eliminate 50% of our possible leaders, teachers, writers, counselors, and speakers from the majority of our church ministries, we are hurting ourselves. We are pushing men to step into roles that just don't fit them and concentrating the skills of women into a very small amount of ministries.

Three Lies we Believe about Hospitality

Three Lies we Believe about Hospitality

I've always felt that talk of hospitality is akin to taking an Emily Post course where you should get the cleanness of your house, the decor, the food, etc, all perfect. And then the whole Spiritual aspect is tied into everything, so if things aren't perfect, it kind of makes you not as good of a Christian woman.

Some Things We Can Agree on Regarding Feminism

Some Things We Can Agree on Regarding Feminism

Too often the Christian circle wants to talk about where we should land on the feminist spectrum. Around whether Jesus was a feminist or not and what those hard female Biblical passages mean. Maybe the best question isn't what word we pin to our vests, but what we plan to do with those beliefs. 

Stop Feeling Guilty for Failing at Frugality

Stop Feeling Guilty for Failing at Frugality

1 Timothy 6:10, the verse about the love of money being the root of all kinds of evil, is always assigned to rich people. It's a rich people verse because all of those rich people need to know that they better not get too attached to their massive wealth. But the truth is, you don't have to have money to love money.

In trying to be thrifty, I've got to be careful that my motivation isn't just to have money. Am I being wise with my money so I can be generous, debt-free, and prepared for the future, or just so that I can have more wealth and possessions? Being frugal is often seen as virtuous, and it often is, but I have to look past appearances and into my own heart and ask myself what my motivations are.

You Still Need God when You're Married

You Still Need God when You're Married

When you're single, sermons, books, and Bible studies are focused on telling you that only the love of Jesus can fulfill you. When you're married, the same sources are focused on teaching how a husband and wife can love each other in a fulfilling way. For all our talk when we were single about how no person could fill the place of God in our lives, we sure started acting like it was possible when we got married.

The Issue with Modesty and Grace

The Issue with Modesty and Grace

So where's the line? That's what we always want to know. Fingertip length? Cover the shoulders? One piece swimsuits? No cleavage ever? Where is the line between abaya and hooker? Because all of us have an unspoken line somewhere between the two and deep down we want an actual rulebook to give validity to what we've always thought. 

Why I Sometimes Don't Feel Like Spending Time with God - Day 3

Why I Sometimes Don't Feel Like Spending Time with God - Day 3

I replace prayer with guilt over the fact that I haven't prayed. When I do pray for something, I feel like one time is not good enough. This guilt is toxic to what my communication with God could be right now. I don't feel the freedom to just come to Him and talk...or listen. I feel like when I come to Him, I have a backlog of 10 year's worth of prayers.

Why I Sometimes Don't Feel Like Spending Time with God - Day 2

Why I Sometimes Don't Feel Like Spending Time with God - Day 2

Since Junior High I've had pastors, youth pastors, mentors, teachers, and friends telling me about quiet times. Telling me about Bible study methods, prayer methods, ways to relate to God, how much time I should spend doing this, and that quiet times are always best in the morning with a freshly brewed cup of coffee by my side. Things are more holy in the morning. Plus, God is an early bird so He's extra attentive then. The problem was, I took those suggestions and methods and made them into rules. I pasted them all into this giant rule book until spending time with God became a crippling activity, a balancing act of doing everything right.

Why I sometimes Don't Feel Like Spending Time with God - Day 1

Why I sometimes Don't Feel Like Spending Time with God - Day 1

You probably feel guilty just like I do. This all feels sacrilegious or sinful because we "good Christians" are masters at saying "I struggle with distractions when I spend time with God" or "It's hard finding time to spend with God." Or my favorite "I'm sometimes tempted not to spend time with God." It's easier, isn't it? It's easier to use words like "struggle" and "temptation" than to truthfully say "sometimes I dread having a 'quiet time.'" See, I don't just "struggle" with not spending time with God right now. I flat out don't feel like spending time with Him.

Learning to Love Myself as a "Package Deal"

Learning to Love Myself as a "Package Deal"

"Love your neighbor as yourself." Definitely one of Jesus' teachings that is hardest to swallow. It demands unconditional love and care for others. But as I think about this teaching, I realize that if most of us loved our neighbor the way we truly love ourselves, we would actually treat them worse than we do now. We would be constantly critical of them, not letting any small mistake, annoyance, or flaw go unnoticed. We would pick them apart, trying to make them more like everyone else.