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Read. Pray. Stretch. Breathe. Cook.

About five years ago, my therapist at the time took me outside during one of our sessions and instructed me to sit down on a step and close my eyes. “What do you hear?” she asked. “Um, cars on the road?” I said. “What else?” I listened. “Birds.” “What else?” “The wind.” This went on for a while then she…

My Top 5 Books of 2018

For a writer, I’ve never felt like I read enough. I always have a book going, but I’m not what people call a “voracious reader.” Without being intentional, I average a book a month, sometimes two. So this year for the first time ever, I set a reading goal: two books a month, 24 books total. I’m…

A New Normal

I recently returned from a trip to Mexico City. I went by myself. This is something I never thought I would do. Travel alone. But after talking with a friend who travels alone regularly and loves it, I decided to give it a shot. It was a good trip, but it was strange. I am independent and always have been…

What Releasing a Book Has Taught Me, One Year Later

One year ago today English Lessons was born. To commemorate this book’s first birthday, I would like to write it a thank you note/birthday card. If you think this is strange, don’t worry, it is. But when you write a book, it kind of becomes its own entity. A person in itself. You birthed it, yes, but…

Two Years of a Capsule Wardrobe: Why I Do It, What I’ve Learned

On February 1, 2016, I turned in the first draft of English Lessons to my publisher. A couple of days later, I found myself frantically cleaning out my closet. I mean, cleaning it out. Everything. I had been reading about the concept of a capsule wardrobe—the idea of applying the principles of minimalism to your clothes, wearing only a…

When I Am Certain of Nothing Else

The first part of 2018 has looked very different from my past few years as a full-time writer. As a writer, I spend most of my days alone typing at my computer, with the occasional phone call thrown in. But this year, I’ve had several speaking engagements that have required preparation and travel. I’ve been writing, but…

When You Study the Bible for a Living

A few weeks ago my community group at church discussed this question: What is your relationship with scripture right now? I thought about it for a while and said, “It’s complicated. Scripture can feel like my job sometimes.” I study the Bible for a living. A lot of my freelance work over the years has been in the religious…

Jesus the Idea, Jesus in the Flesh

I feel like I can go long stretches of time where my faith is based on this idea of Jesus, but not really the person of Jesus. As if who he was was this wonderful collection of love and peace and wisdom. A formless mass of goodness. And then, someone will say something or I’ll read something or I…

Announcing A New Project: Breathing Room

This is how my ideas come to fruition: I have an idea. I think about that idea for a long time. I say the idea out loud, but only to myself. One day, I say the idea out loud to a trusted friend. Then, I say it to more friends. I practice speaking the idea. Maybe it’s to gauge…

I Am Not Good at Being Me, Except When I Write

I am not very good at being myself. But I am very good at being who people want me to be. I can walk into a room, read the situation and take on a persona. (I would probably be a great spy.) A room of academics? I’ll try and act smart. A room of Christians? I’ll talk about…