About Leslie Verner

I am a goer who is learning how to stay. I’ve traveled all over the world and lived in northwest China for five years before God U-turned my life and brought me back to the U.S. to get married to an actor in Chicago. I’m a former middle school teacher, mama to three little ones and like American cuisine the least. I currently live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and write regularly about faith, justice, family and cross-cultural issues at Scraping Raisins.

When Writing Feels Like a Waste of Time

On a rough day, my husband will cheer me up with a dozen yellow roses. For some reason, it’s often before we go out of town, so I immediately think how we will receive a sad, wilted welcome when we return from our trip. It feels like a waste of beauty. How many days and […]

My #Woke Journey

Last year, at the age of 37, in spite of living and working among other races for my entire life, I finally noticed the racial divide. As a child of the 80s, I was taught that talking about race was impolite; it meant you noticed differences. We say, “We’re all the same, after all—on the […]

When You and Your Husband Have Different Callings

When my husband and I met, we knew one of us would have to give up our calling: acting in Chicago for him, or teaching in China for me. Due for time back in the states, I gave up China. And because of the nature of marriage and parenting three children four and under, he […]

When the Answer is “Not Now”

What about a driving school for Muslim women? My mind buzzes with the possibilities, spinning the details into a feasible plan. I just dropped our Saudi Arabian exchange student off at the international terminal and in the quiet hum of the hour-long interstate ride home, I plan, strategize and dream. Most of the Saudi international […]

Breastfeeding and the Liturgy of the Hours

I am a doer, goer and to-do list extraordinaire. I buy post-it notes in 12 packs. Freshman year of college was the first time I met anyone who actually enjoyed sitting around doing nothing. Bursting into our dorm room to change clothes for an intramural soccer game before my study group and the floor party […]