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.

Our Nude Bodies: How Do I Protect My Daughter?

“If anyone ever touches your private parts, you hit them,” I told her. I’m sure she wondered why her mama was reversing the usual “do not hit” rule. My daughter’s cheeks are still soft with baby chub, though her body has lengthened. I stare at her four-year-old arms and legs sprawled out on the bottom […]

Failure to Thrive

How long do we need to live somewhere before it feels like home? A year? Two years? Ten? It’s been three years since we relocated from Chicago to Colorado and my husband and I have had approximately 200 conversations about staying, going, and the metaphorical roots, weeds and soil of home. We didn’t anticipate the […]

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 […]