The Woman I Represent

I represent the woman who knows what it means to be completely out of place. I am the woman who has lost her footing and has found her soul standing naked, like a tree whose branches had been cut off. I am the woman who knows what it means to start from nothing. No friendships. No strength. No dates on the calendar. Only days that stretch into more days for months on end. I … [Read More]


When Women Bond

A recent ‘This American Life” episode featured a story about two grown men attempting to become friends. It was funny and slightly awkward, and made me reflect on … [Read More]

Finding Our Way Home

I once had a fleet of Air Force servicemen and women point their guns at me. A junior in college at the time, my friends Michael and Alyssa and I had gone to hear … [Read More]


Until the Light Comes Pouring In

By: Samantha Paul | Twitter: @samantha_paul_ A few years ago, I found myself sitting in front of a sweet older woman who had been qualified by a well-known … [Read More]

The Raspberry Resurrection

The early spring was colder and rainier than previous springs we've had here in Nashville. Winter was more intense too—six inches of snow in January broke a ten-year … [Read More]

Featured Stories

The Red Couch: Life Path Discussion

To learn more about Life Path, please read the introductory post. Be sure to peruse The Nightstand in that post, which has resources for those wanting to learn more about the topic and themes of this month’s selection. After I got married, my parents … [Read More]

I Love my Dad, but Father’s Day was Hard

When I was growing up, my dad was a mental health counselor who ran miles and miles every week and had his own home gym. His happy place was puttering around home depot, where he would inevitably come home with new plants and supplies for his endless gardening … [Read More]

What Would Jesus Vote?

Last summer I moved back to the UK with my little family, eight years after I left for an internship in Brussels. In those eight years, I lived in two capital cities, got married, had two children, and made friends from so many countries it’s impossible to … [Read More]

There’s Something About Small Yeses

The other day I got a text a little before 7am. I was still in bed, reading and trying to swim up to the surface of consciousness. My first response was to ignore it. Then I was curious and the adult part of my brain remembered that sometimes people text early … [Read More]

Confessions of a Serial Planner

I am a planner. This includes any project I take on, but five-year plans are my favourite, giving me a sense of purpose, direction and control. I feel safe when my plans are detailed and well laid out. I like knowing where I am going and how I am going to get … [Read More]

On Stolen Wallets and Church and the Beauty of Doubt

On Sunday I went to a church service for the first time in two years. My wallet was stolen the night before and in the morning I woke up to news of the mass shooting in Orlando. I was raw. I was broken. And I had my first Sunday off in months. So I … [Read More]

Forgiving Myself for Being Late to the Game

by Shae Jassmann Sisters, I have a confession: For much of my life, I have not been on our side. I am guilty of sexism against my own sex so much so that I have been heard saying things like, “I think some women are great in management but I would prefer … [Read More]

Will God Show Me a Better Way?

I never was one for maps. My stepdad always liked to sprawl those intricate roadmaps that fold eight ways (and you need eight people to hold) across his lap and study them for hours. I couldn’t even figure out how to properly fold them back up again. Thank … [Read More]

When You Leap Off a Cliff

We moved to Atlanta ten years ago, and I used to love to tell the story. We had a year before I graduated with my teaching certificate and he with his Masters. We didn’t have a lot of furniture, but we made up for it in possibilities. We owned so many … [Read More]

When There’s No Hugging or Learning Moment

I went to the Festival of Faith and Writing in April with the goal of getting my memoir about my childhood published. Getting published is hard. Writing honestly about family is harder. But even more difficult were the conversations that happened before I … [Read More]