When Jesus Is Gay

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Once upon a time, a little girl learned about Jesus. He had a beard, just like her father, and the bluest of eyes. The Bible told her that he was a warm man – the kind who never met a stranger.

But the sermon always took a Southern Baptist turn for the worse when homosexuality was mentioned. What happens to those who are intimate with the same sex?

Hell.

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Letter to a College Football Coach’s Wife

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Dear B,

You are a daughter, a sister, and a mother. To the greater world, however, you are largely known as a college football coach’s wife. When we first met, you chose not to volunteer the latter. You positioned yourself as a preschool mother ally and, in doing so, earned my deepest respect.

I know today must be difficult. When your husband’s team wins, the world laughs with you. When they lose, you fear for your life. Last night, the points did not fall in our favor. I didn’t see you at pick-up.

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Date Night, within Reach

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“We’ll go on a date night.”

It’s a lie we tell ourselves over and over and over again. The truth is, when our parents are in town, we get a little selfish. We, too, want attention – to be taken care of.

When you are raising your children several hours from your closest blood relative, it feels like all the hard decisions are yours to make:

Who will care for my child while I work?

Can we really afford what our family needs?

And how will I make it through the day without a backup quarterback?

In my own mothering, I have reached the danger zone: I want to give up.

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The Friendship Paradox

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Thirteen years ago, I graduated from high school, and my confession is this: I only actively communicate with one friend from the first 18 years of my life. 

When I was younger, someone told me that the older you get, the more you will long for the people who knew you when you were young. I couldn’t agree more and, in recent years, have found myself missing those childhood friends.

To where, then, do they disappear?

They go to college.

They invest in romantic relationships.

They pursue professional opportunities.

They have children.

This is the secret held by the other side of adulthood: Friends don’t keep.

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The Hands of a Bully

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…are small, even childlike, but they hold great weight: my fragile son.

At a churchwide picnic earlier this week, my heart dropped when I saw my son’s body, seemingly lifeless, fall through the air. I was making friendly parent conversation and my favorite toddler, up until that moment, was enjoying adventures on a large inflatable.

Somewhere in the endless plastic, my son cried out for me. When I finally extracted him from the bottom of the partially deflated slide, I embraced a trembling shell of my little boy.

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Grate Expectations

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I have a confession: I hate cooking. Really, I make a terrible Southern woman.

When I met my husband, his culinary expertise immediately hooked me. After our first food-inspired date night, I wanted to try my hand at chocolate fondue. I am quite good at following recipes, so I added a few ingredients to create the perfect luscious sauce. Only it was a disaster. And somehow it didn’t even taste like chocolate.

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A Body, Divided

 

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The first time I met a transgender person, I wanted to take her home. I wanted to teach her how to walk in high-heeled boots, and I wanted to tell her that young women do not wear tank tops in Virginia winter.

I don’t remember this classmate’s name, but I do recall how others looked at her. I can only imagine how often she wished she were invisible. And yet, she persisted – with her hormone drugs, with her disheveled attempt at feminine beauty, and with her confidence.

In many ways, I envied the guts it took to live her life. But I always wondered, where was her safe place?

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A Holiday Fast

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This year for Thanksgiving, I felt compelled to undertake a 3-day social media cleanse. It was an experiment of sorts to understand how the impacts of Facebook, news media, and even this blog shape my relationships and overall emotional state. Earlier this fall, I confronted my own addiction and was hopeful that a Thanksgiving fast would prepare my heart for the holiday season. In truth, I originally sought for my information purge to last an entire week, but I am a scholar rooted in reality – I actually wanted to meet my goal.

What changed?

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