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Category: Identity

The Lie That You Can Always Be Better or More

Last Monday night I set my alarm for 5:30am to get up for a 6am workout class. My plan was to go to that class, then come home, shower, get ready, go to to work and then go to an afternoon meeting. This was my Tuesday plan. What happened instead? Well, Monday night I couldn’t sleep because I was having one of those can’t-shut-your-brain off kinda nights, so when 5:30am rolled around, I hadn’t been asleep long enough to be functional at 6am. I eventually rolled out of bed around 7am and…

Two Things Daughters Need to Hear from their Fathers

A few weeks ago I was assigned to write a Father’s Day article about what daughters need to hear from their fathers as teens. Immediately I remembered this one time I did a Q&A session at a youth leaders’ conference. I and another preacher’s daughter answered a few questions about what it was like to grow up with a pastor as a father. At the end of the session, the conference leader asked us what piece of advice we would give to fathers in the audience about daughters. My fellow interviewee gave a very articulate, smart…

Feeling Bent. Feeling Broken.

Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.  – Charles Dickens I spent about 26 years of my life feeling pretty good about myself. I was always a good student. I didn’t get in too much trouble in my teen years. I was active in my church, and in my community. I went to grad school. I worked out regularly and tried to eat healthy most of the time. I had a…

When Church Is the Cause of Your Hustle

Last week I was feeling irritable. I was busy. I had a lot of things to do and places to be and I didn’t like it. My soul wanted to rest. You know that feeling? When you realize you crammed a few too many things onto your calendar for the week and you feel the pull? The pull between being committed to things and not wanting to do them at all? I don’t have scientific evidence to support this, but I would hypothesize that church people tend to feel this more than non-church people because church people…

Six Tips for Navigating Your Twenties (+ a Giveaway!)

Winners of the All Groan Up giveaway are… Leslie Wood Beverly Vance Missy Mutchnik Send me your address via my contact page or PM. CONGRATULATIONS! A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about an article I had read that inspired me to embrace this unknown season of life I’m in, rather than run from it. I tweeted about the article and because social media, I ended up virtually meeting the author, Paul Angone. Turns out, Paul has just written a book all about navigating the shaky, weird decade that is your twenties. The book is All Groan…

When Life Is Shaky, Weird and Hard, But Good at the Same Time

    I’ve moved a lot since college. Almost every year in fact. From apartment to house to condo to another house. It’s the typical transient life of the twenty-something, I suppose. Though I leave a lot behind when I move—clothes, old picture frames, dishes I don’t want anymore—one thing I’ve carried with me to each new residence is a painting I bought in Paris when I was studying abroad as a junior in college. I bought it near the Seine, where vendor after vendor lines up to sell cheap artwork, postcards, calendars…

2015: No More Clean Slates

The phrase “a clean slate” is kicked around a lot this time of year. People are encouraging others and themselves to forget the heartache or mistakes or tragedies of last year and begin anew. A clean slate. It sounds so crisp. So freeing. So beautiful. So…clean. But I’m beginning to wonder, is a clean slate actually possible? And even if it were, is it desirable? To start anew and forget last year, as if it never happened? I walk into 2015 dragging a heavy, messy, embarrassingly dirty slate behind me, and I think I’ve been under-appreciating…

A Christmas Reminder for Perfectionists

This weekend I attended The Gift of Christmas–a night of spoken-word poetry and music with Ann Voskamp, Amena Brown and Ellie Holcomb. I expected the Christmas songs and the candles and for the word “advent” to be thrown around a few times, but I didn’t expect to be so moved by it all. I like Christmas, but I’m not a fanatic. I don’t want to get all excited about something that will last only one day. I think it’s a self-preservation thing. Anyways, that’s why I didn’t expect much more…

10 Things I've Learned, 10 Years After High School

This weekend, I attended my ten-year high school reunion. I didn’t think we would ever make it to our ten-year reunion. In high school, it seemed a million years away. But it turns out, ten years flies by like ten minutes in the real world. As we sat around in a circle reminiscing about crazy stories and remembering people we had forgotten about, I realized I’ve learned a lot things in the last ten years. About myself, about life, about God. So I decided to sit down and list the top ten lessons I’ve learned…

Why Men Don't Tell You You're Beautiful

I read this post by Matt Walsh a while back. It was a letter to his daughter, who is still very young, about her beauty and how he hopes that the magazine rack and social media will never convince her she isn’t beautiful. He’s knows it’s wishful thinking but it was a very well-written and honest piece from a father to his daughter. I’ve thought about it a lot. Partly because I get it. I have a dad who feels the same way about me and my sisters and made it clear to us growing…