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.

The Red Couch: Dangerous Territory Discussion

We weren’t supposed to use the “M” word. Speaking, emailing or writing the word “missionary” could endanger us, our organization, or our friends. I worked in China five years with the same organization as Amy Peterson, the author of Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World. Like Amy, I also indulged in a […]

Confessions of a White Ally

A good writer zips the reader into their skin, according to Memoirist Mary Karr. A good Christian zips herself into the skin of others. As a white woman researching race, ethnicity and white privilege in the United States, I thought I was doing this—learning empathy, increasing compassion. I read the books, listened to podcasts, shared […]

Luddite for Lent: A Phone-Fasting Testimony

I did it. For Lent, I dumbed my Smartphone down to calls, texts, podcasts and maps, uninstalled all social media, and disabled my internet browser. Then I sank into the silence and waited. At first, it felt like a house when the power goes out—too quiet. Where is the buzzing refrigerator noise I never noticed […]

The Sacrament of Childbirth

I was shocked by how similar childbirth was to watching my father-in-law die. There is the pacing, the patience, the impatience, the watching for signs of death—or life. The living room transforms into a tunnel where the outside world is fuzzy and out of focus and inside, all senses are heightened. As the time for […]

It’s Time to Hide My Hashtags

Where does the time go? Mostly, my smartphone steals mine. Months ago, I downloaded a simple app to put limits on the time I spend on my phone. I used it for a week, and then gave up. What I didn’t realize was that the app continued tracking my phone usage—for months. When I finally […]