A Disciple Lacking Discipline

My history with “discipline” and “self-control” is checkered at best. A couple of periods of my life come to mind when I think of those terms.  The first one is when I was in high school.  I became very meticulous about my eating and working out – I had a notebook where I wrote down…

Stories from Greece

I know that my words will be inadequate to do justice to the mission trip to Athens, Greece I recently returned from, but I am going to do my best anyway. There are so many things that I was only intellectually aware of before that were made manifest in flesh and blood, sitting next to…

Serving Refugees in Greece

I’m heading to the airport in about an hour to fly to Athens, Greece with 8 friends from church to serve at a refugee welcome center for the next 10 days, and it felt like an appropriate time for some reflection (and a long overdue blog post). By nature, I’m a very emotional person, so…

The Mountain

I sat on top of my mountain of privilege today, and I cried. When I first started the climb, I couldn’t even see the peak – it was obscured by clouds and the glare of the sun. I climbed past the Whole Foods that is so close to my apartment that I can see it…

The Turning Point

Last Saturday marked a huge milestone for me – it was Team World Vision’s 20 mile run – the longest run of the marathon training. I had recently missed a couple of long runs, so my confidence was low.  I felt undertrained and very discouraged.  My 14 mile run the prior weekend had been really…

When God Calls You To Where You Are Least Capable

I often don’t understand what God is doing, but recently I had one of those moments where He gave me a glimpse of the big picture. I’m a former competitive bodybuilder and former CrossFitter.  As a bodybuilder, I thought chasing my version of physical perfection would give me value.  Once I realized how superficial and…

Uganda

Trash adorns each side of the dirt road, rollicking like tumbleweeds in the cool breeze, skittering over the red earth. Chickens and goats forage in the grass, mostly untethered, as free to wander as the people. Men line the streets, reclining in the shade on or near their boda bodas , intently watching every vehicle that…

Life on Auto-Pilot

It’s becoming more and more evident to me that I live much of my life on auto-pilot – multi-tasking with my mind, my body, or both, never fully present or solely focused on the task at hand.  And today, my auto-pilot broke my heart. I flew home to Chicago from Washington, D.C. earlier this afternoon. …

Myopic (A Non-Fiction Short Story)

I hurry across the street with hands stuffed into my pockets and head inclined against the cold wind.  I reflect at how implausible it is that I have gone close to five years wearing the same pair of glasses.  Even though my eyesight is terrible, I only wear my glasses about 50% of the time,…

What It Means To Be Beautiful

We live in a world that objectifies women and teaches us the greatest thing a woman can be is sexy.  I would know because I’ve bought into this kind of thinking for most of my adult life. I grew up a shy and somewhat nerdy teenager, and I was mostly known for being really smart. …

The Allure of the Barbie Dream House

I didn’t realize how much I wanted the American dream until God thwarted my every attempt to have it.  Maybe it’s not even so much that I desired it as that I just assumed it would happen for me.  From childhood, I was bombarded with what society says my life trajectory should look like and…

When You’re A Spiritual Late Bloomer

If our Heavenly Father is the Gardener, then consider me one of His late bloomers. I grew up in a non-religious family, and my first time going to church was in my late teens with my high school boyfriend.  Unfortunately, in the dramatic way of teenagers, I ended up adopting all of the legalism while…