Holy Incantations and Vessels for Light

Every night I lie down with my son. There are books that have told me that he should be able to fall asleep on his own. That it is not necessary to stay with him until he drifts off, mouth slack, fingers twitching. But, in this case, I am not under the influence of other […]

She Is Enough, She is Perfect

Trigger Warning: Mention of sexual assault and suicidal ideation *** I was born needing to be fixed. They didn’t have the fancy ultrasounds forty-some years ago, so I came out bloody and ready to breathe life into the world—except I could barely breathe. I was born disfigured; my lip was attached to the bottom of […]

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 […]

Sisters in Mental Illness: Shaley Hoogendoorn Talks to Jessica Birak of Mint & Birch

[ Trigger Warning: Mention of abuse, as well as an eating disorder.] This month, Shaley Hoogendoorn talks to Jessica Birak, founder of the jewelry company Mint & Birch, who is also a vulnerable and honest advocate for mental health. They talk about topics related to anxiety, depression, postpartum, hypochondria, eating disorders and healing from childhood […]

Still Learning Patience—A Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad, A few months ago, I pulled out the bible you gave me when I graduated high school. It was a hard cover, mottled brown NIV, the pages tearing away at the spine. It’s well-worn. It travelled with me from those first months of Bible college in the UK, through college and university days, […]