Category: Community

A business trip to Haiti

Ahh, I’m back. What an amazing business trip to Haiti.

A business trip to Haiti? Isn’t that a place you do mission trips to instead? you might be asking.

Yes, it is a country that has had a lot of mission trips to, which is part of the reason why it took me 3 years to finally decide to sign up for a business trip to that country. Because I?ve learned a lot over the past few years how many mission trips aren?t the most beneficial, and, in fact, can be quite harmful to the [ READ MORE... ]

Being a bartender made me a better Christian

The first time I encountered alcohol in my life was in third grade.

My friend invited me over to her house to play after school one day, and when I walked in, I saw her dad in a recliner holding a bottle of beer and watching tv. I froze and felt a rising inward panic.

Why, you may ask?

Because as a kid, I understood alcohol as a bad thing. And in my kid logic, that meant bad people drank alcohol and alcohol made people do bad things.

All I remember from that day was watching her dad from the kitchen, [ READ MORE... ]

A Poem on Belonging

For those who know me well know that my passion is bringing people together. Finding common ground amidst our differences. Creating community out of unlikely places with all sorts of people. Connecting people with one another, for both pragmatic and relational reasons. But all with the goal of fostering community.

It is how I am wired. It’s how I view the world and how I make decisions that I do.

I often think questions like:
How can I make this world a more loving place? How can [ READ MORE... ]

Living Shame-Free

(13 minute read – Sermon from 9/22/2016)
(In the first few seconds of my audio recording I’m choking back tears but I sound normal after that:)

I love Brene Brown’s definition of shame. She describes it as the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging. 

In other words, shame is the fear of disconnection, the idea that something about me makes me unworthy of love and belonging.

Shame is the phrase ?I?m not ________ enough.? [ READ MORE... ]

Divorcing Mamas: You Are Not Alone

You guys… my friends are being abused; their children are being abused. This is not a joke. This is their reality and they’re opening up to me about it. And the hesitancy and the fear these women have had in telling me and their loved ones about the abuse is palpable. And it makes me realize two things:

  1. Domestic abuse has got to stop. Now.
  2. We have to create a culture where women feel safe to tell their loved ones that they are in a toxic and/or abusive marriage and need to get out.

In the past 6 months, I have had more women come out to me about abuse and infidelity in their marriages than I can keep count. It’s heartbreaking and it’s horrifying.

The [ READ MORE... ]

The Sun Will Rise

(11 minute read – Sermon from 6/16/2016)

If you’ve been listening to the news this past week, you’ve likely been reminded of all that’s wrong in this world. Where the beauty and hope and love you started believing in seems to have been swallowed up in the recent tragedies that have swept our nation.

So tonight I’m hoping to do more of a poetic or liturgical sermon. Where the first half of the sermon will be on the brokenness of this world, and the last [ READ MORE... ]

My homebirth with Judah

(Trigger: this post contains detailed accounts of birth and pain)

For those of you who are friends with me on social media, you’ve already seen some of our photos from our homebirth. And can I just say how thankful I am for our photographers? They sure captured such beautiful moments that day! Thank you so much Erica Morrow Photography and St. Paul Photo Co.!

For those interested, I thought I?d give a summary of our birthing day, especially since this was our last (home)birth. This post [ READ MORE... ]

Celebrating Our Unexpected Gift

FullSizeRender

Friends, we are 5 weeks into postpartum, and while my brain is fried from sleep deprivation, my heart is so very full.

Holding sweet Judah in my arms has changed so many things for me.

Before he was born, I was nervous I wouldn’t feel bonded to him. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to love him as much as I love our girls. I feared the unknown.

But once he was in my arms and I was able to take in all his tiny features and kiss his squishy cheeks, the love in my heart exploded and [ READ MORE... ]

A BitterSweet Announcement

Change Direction by Phil Whitehouse, Flickr

January was one of the hardest months we’ve had in a long time. In fact, the other night John and I were talking about how January was the hardest month of our marriage. And in that conversation John said, “I actually think we’re entering a really hard season… it’s not going to be just the month of January.” It was sobering to soak in those words, but I knew he was right. We are just in a hard season of life right now.

As you noticed with my last post, we [ READ MORE... ]

To Our Unborn Black Baby

cherlejoyful/Flickr

cherlejoyful/Flickr

As we wrestle with the hurt and confusion and injustice at the loss of unarmed black lives around the U.S., I noticed a major shift in how I viewed these recent losses. As many of you know, we are in the process of adopting, but only few know that we are adopting an African American baby. As I read the reports on Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and more, I no longer see them as ?outsiders?, strangers, just another person. I now see my baby. [ READ MORE... ]