Why Women Should Preach, as Explained by Wonder Woman

This post contains zero spoilers of the new Wonder Woman movie except that (totally non-spoiler) IT’S BEYOND WONDERFUL. You should go see it. Like, right now.


I know nothing about comics. I know nothing about DC versus Marvel. I have, maybe, seen half of the fifty super hero movies that have come out within the last ten years. Probably closer to five, but who’s counting? So maybe the new Wonder Woman movie broke all the rules or maybe everything I was blown away by is common knowledge – I wouldn’t know. All I do know is this: I loved it.

I loved the diversity I saw within the first five minutes. I loved the diversity I saw throughout the rest of the movie. I loved the clever one liners. I loved the subtle and not so subtle references to the ways men do things and the way Wonder Woman crashed right through those walls (literally and figuratively). I especially loved getting to see a woman save the day, seeing a woman in the leading role of an action movie, seeing a caring, compassionate, intelligent and gorgeous woman kick ass. Read More

Radical Generosity & Radical Exhaling

My yoga teacher was telling us about breath. How important it is, bla bla bla. When people (cough yoga teachers cough) talk about breathing, I tend to zone out. Yes, I’ve managed to learn that skill by now, thanks.

But I’ve been learning just how important proper breathing is. Just how important it is to exhale into some poses, inhale into others. How important it is to connect with your breath, to focus on your breath, to make sure you’re breathing into certain areas of your body.

She was talking about exhaling all your air out, for your body will naturally fill itself back up. This struck me in the way that simple facts that you should already know can be completely and utterly mind blowing. I don’t like to exhale everything out, I don’t like to go that deep. I don’t like to give it all up. I feel much more in control when I keep some, just a little, tucked away for safe keeping. I’m a planner! This in my in-case-of-emergency air.

But its only when we fully release, that we fully fill back up. Read More

I can’t help but wonder…

I can’t help but wonder… why are we talking about bathrooms again? Why, exactly, do we care where people pee??

I can’t help but wonder if these are the same excuses once used for segregated bathrooms. If this is the same process we had to go through to remember that black people are, in fact, humans, too. If these are age old lessons that we will have to continue re-teaching people. If we realize we’re going to be on the wrong side of history. Read More

Finding God in the Waves

You probably know Mike McHargue as ‘Science Mike’ – co-host on The Liturgists podcast. Or maybe you know him from his own podcast, Ask Science Mike. Maybe you’ve seen his blog, caught some of his appearances or interviews on other platforms. Maybe you recognize his name, maybe you recognize his ability to take anything simple and make it incredibly complex by providing a scientific, logical definition with lots of big words (or is that just me?), maybe you recognize his calming voice with the southern lilt. I used to know him as all those things, too, but now I know him as another thing: friend.

No, we haven’t met. Although he was gracious enough to chat with me on the phone last week (on the morning of his book release, no less!) and I follow him on Twitter, I doubt he would consider us very close. But after reading Finding God in the Waves, it’s impossible to walk away and not feel as if you just gained a new friend. Read More

365 Days & John Mark McMillan

Seasons of my life seem to always be defined by John Mark McMillan songs.

I scrawled “Future / Past” onto my mirror when I moved into this place, now over two years ago. “You are my first / You are my last / You are my future / and my past” is now faded, but still there to greet me every morning. “Skeleton Bones” was my anthem for new life, my mourning and rejoicing interwoven, when my world seemed to have shattered in my fingertips. I feel like I don’t even need to mention “How He Loves” – that changed everyone’s life, at one time or another, right?

And then, for the longest time, it was “Counting On”. And, to be honest, it wasn’t a place I wanted to be. “When the bombs break right outside my door / and I can’t shake the onset of my wars” felt a little too familiar; “I’m throwing stones up at your window … You’re what I’m counting on” felt too much like a whispered dream – one that I never knew if it would come true. A desire, a longing. But not quite my reality. Read More

We’re On Fire

My office building caught on fire Wednesday.

Well, we weren’t sure it was a fire, the man pointed out, as there was smoke pouring out of his suite and fire fighters rushing in. There was just a lot of smoke.

It was a normal afternoon. I was stressed out, trying to prioritize too many tasks given to me at the same time, trying to figure out a way to make everyone happy. I really had to pee, but sometimes I ignore my bladder for the sake of getting work done. Healthy, I know.

I finally got up to walk to the bathroom down the hall, and smelled smoke. Not a lot, not a scary amount, but definitely smoke. I walked past a suite with the door open, smoke wafting out, and some people in the hallway. Awkward smiles, no explanations offered, I kept walking. Weird, I thought. Maybe someone blew something up in the microwave.

Until, a few minutes later, as I excited the bathroom, and I immediately smelled smoke. A lot, a scary amount, of definite smoke. I walked back and hesitantly asked, “Do we know what’s going on…?”

“Oh, there’s a fire,” a woman answered nonchalantly. Almost as if I simply asked what color her shoes were. Read More

I Don’t Know Who I Am Without Flood Youth

It was February 2014.

I was at winter camp with Flood Youth, I was standing outside in the dark, and I was mad.

I had been with these students for a year and a half, seeing how far God had brought them in such a short time, seeing small glimpses of the work He was doing in their lives. I cried – me! crying! – during our church time, when girls who barely opened up to anyone stood up and shared vulnerably to the group. I held their hands as they shook from nerves, I stood next to them and belted out “Oceans” during worship, I stayed up far too late giggling with and affirming girls who had come to mean more to me than I’ll ever understand. It was a beautiful weekend, in so many ways, and I was pissed at God. Read More

On Feeling Out of Sorts

“But what actually happened?”

 

“You know… I wish I knew,” I told him.

 

It was a question I often get asked, a story I often avoid going into. But for the first time, it was a person asking who would truly understand. It was someone I felt safe to unpack it with, and, even more, wanted to unpack it with. I wanted some insight, I wanted understanding. But I didn’t even know where to begin, because I still don’t know. I don’t even know.
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I walked into church Sunday night exhausted. Exhausted doesn’t even come close to describing it, really. Is there a word for “every time I stop moving my body wants to fall asleep”, “there’s more things on my to-do list than minutes in a day”, “I almost cried in the aisle of Target because they were out of bananas”? Let me know.

 

A few hours earlier, I had to say goodbye to a friend as he heads back to Malawi. A friend that two weeks ago I never expected to see anytime soon, and yet his departure ripped a hole inside me. His surprise presence in my life over the last week has been such a source of joy. And such a source of challenge. It’s brought memories of good times and hard times. It’s brought about conversations that seem to flow so effortlessly with some people, and yet seem impossible with others. It’s brought a reminder of a person I used to be, a season come and now gone.

Read More

Do You See Me?

“Do you see me?” he asked.

He shared a brief glimpse into life as a Palestinian Christian living in the West Bank – the hardships of military rule, the reality of water rations, the acceptance of violence as the norm. He broke down and cried, as he told us of his mother dying of cancer in a hospital bed that he was unable to visit for political reasons. He bravely told us – a room of Americans – the pain he feels as an Arab, being automatically assumed to be an enemy. The pain he feels as a Christian, living in a predominantly Muslim area, of being pre-judged on a daily basis. The pain of a people group – and of a world – glancing your way yet quickly looking away …for they think they know you and your story, they presume the ugliness of your world might be too much for them to bear. The pain of not being seen.photo-1455368109333-ebc686ad6c58 Read More