Is This Renovation? Beatitudes and New Diagnoses

In January, I went to my gynecologist mildly concerned about some itchiness and pain in my nether regions. I expected a simple diagnosis—some kind of weird bacterial infection or an allergic reaction. Instead, I learned that I have a chronic condition called lichen sclerosus (LS), which is believed to be an auto-immune disorder. Basically, my […]

Kinship is Resurrection

“I remember our first small group,” Rachel said. “Heather said she didn’t really trust Christians.” I almost choked on my margarita. “I said what?” “Right!” Ericka said, laughing. “You also said you might not stick around the group. That you had to wait and see if we were a good fit.” We were on the […]

My Sacred Place Was a Palo Verde Tree

When I was twelve, my sacred places were a palo verde tree with boards nailed to it and a circle of mesquite trees that, in a land barren of shade, formed a shadowy grove. Growing up in Tucson, my life dried up. My family descended into chaos, my sense of self went dormant, my friendships withered […]

Real Freedom is Not a Spa Experience

I wanted the quail to stay trapped. I was ten or eleven, and the quail had a broken wing. It was caught in our yard, where a low brick wall hemmed in the desert plants decorating the front of our house. I found the bird there one day, huddled next to a barrel cactus, and when […]

My Trigger? Passive Aggression

You know you’re not having a good parenting day when you urgently look up mental health articles at Psychology Today. In my case, I was googling strategies for dealing with passive aggression in kids—you know, the foot dragging, procrastination, selective hearing and snarky defensiveness that ensues when you ask kids to hang up their coat. […]