• Article,  Featured

    Read Widely: Memoirs That Will Change You

    As I mentioned in my previous article, Why We Should be Reading [Stories], I’ve always been an avid reader, but I haven’t always read with the purpose of expanding my world and perspective. However, in 2018 I did just that, using memoirs written by a wide variety of people from every corner of society and the world to see what I would learn in the process. What I discovered was that by reading someone else’s story, your brain is experiencing – thinking, feeling, processing – another person’s life as if it were your own. What I did was read 30+ books in 2018. What happened was that I grew in…

  • Article,  Featured

    3 Easy Ways to Read Like Hermione in 2019

    So please, oh please, we beg, we pray go throw your TV set away and in its place, you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall “Television” by Roald Dahl I read 31 memoirs in 2018 (plus a couple other books). As I’ve spent the year sharing my reading journey, countless people have asked me how I managed to read so many. While it is definitely the most books I have finished in a year, it is not as difficult to do as you might think, nor is 30 books a high standard. Last week, I made a case for why we all should be reading more; this week…

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  • Article,  Featured

    Why We Should be Reading [Stories]

    For those of you who know me (or follow me on social media), it is common knowledge that I am, and have always been, a voracious reader. I consume literature like most Americans consume Netflix – without measure or self-control. However, this past year,  I began a journey on reading intentionally, which over the next three articles, you’ll hear more about my reading habits and choices than you thought you’d want to know. Before I do, though, I want to spend a fraction of your time (approximately 8 minutes) building a case as to why reading – and reading stories – is more vital to your life than you may…

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    For Better or For Worse: 10 “I Do’s” of Singleness

    I recently read a fantastic blog about one woman’s commitment to explore the important things she says “I do” to throughout her marriage. I say fantastic because it truly was insightful and helpful – if you’re married. Marriage is held as the most significant institution in a human being’s life to foster growth and maturity through faithfulness, endurance, and commitment through a host of things over a lifetime of seasons. The inundation of reading material alone you can find on this subject suggests there’s an element of truth to this. However, one of the hardest things for the single (divorced, widowed, bachelor, bachelorette – or otherwise) is wondering whether we…

  • Article

    Soul Care: After the Storm

    Several years ago, I was driving home from college when I found myself literally straddling the line of sun and storm. Or maybe I was driving from home back to college. It doesn’t really matter, but I do specifically remember driving on Highway 421 watching dark blue monsters rolling in on one side while the fading sunlight streamed in through my other window. It was bizarre, because one second it wasn’t raining on my passenger side, then I blinked and a curtain of rain began falling over the right half of my car. Half the road was bathed in sunlight, the other half drowned in rain water. Because those kinds…

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  • Article

    Risk the Intersection: My Flight with Leo

    I love flying; I’m fairly certain I always have. There is something oddly spiritual about ascending into the white fluffy reefs as we swim through the air, as if the skies were some mystical inverse of the ocean. I love seeing the city lights twinkle like the constellations in the moonlight; man’s monumental reflection of the heavens. Seeing lightning flash below instead of above, cruising over mountain ranges, and turning the volume of the world to mute – I love it all. There is such an awe in becoming acutely aware of your own smallness while enjoying it from the privileged view of God. But as an introvert, what I…

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  • Article

    Who is the God of Tamar?

    I had already encroached on my friend’s time long enough. Yet his hand beckoned me to stay across from him, welcoming the prolonged dialogue as we coaxed my words of fear and doubt out from hiding. A duet of angst, my fears lamented shakily in verse; his words harmonized with comfort and confidence. My doubts pushed back. His reassurances doubled down. I was thankful for the chance to openly struggle with such a compassionate voice, but at the end of it all, there remained a final chasm he could not cross with me – the chasm of womanhood. There exists a tension within me, a discomfort within my soul, as…

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  • Article

    Fleeing God

    Ragged gasps fell offbeat with steady footfalls on the pavement, harmonizing with the water splattering behind them. It had been a long time since I had run. But my eyes forward, squinting against pellets of rain, I was determined to run. It was the only thing left I could do. Though a stitch was ripping through my side and blisters were forming against my drenched tennis shoes, I ran on. My life depended on it. I had to get away. I ran as far as my feet could carry me, from everything I had grown weary of, hated, or knew, until I was lost. By that time, it had stopped…

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  • Article

    Healing in the Water

    I stood over the water, toes curled tightly around the ledge, and adjusted my goggles again – an old nervous tick of mine. A lone swimmer turned in the next lane, splashing water over my bare feet. I recoiled. It was cold – but I suppose that’s been my complaint about pools for seventeen years. My mom tells me that I was terrified of water as a child, so she enrolled me in swim lessons to help me overcome that fear. Needless to say, I did. I swam nearly every day from the time I was five until I was twenty-two. Seventeen years. It was probably my first love, but…

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    Not Ready for the Yes

    “Bunu istiyorum!” Little Syrian eyes searched upward as a bag of chips was thrust into my hands. “You want this?” I repeated, holding the bag back out to him. “Evet. Bunu istiyorum, bunu istiyorum!” “Tamam – Okay.” I put the bag in the basket and walked on, trailing behind his mother. He ran on ahead, zigzagging down the aisle touching everything in his reach. He plucked another bag from the shelf, this time running to his mother. “Bunu istiyorum!” She looked back at me, holding the bag in her hands. “Bu ne? What’s this?” “I already got him some chips,” I said, holding up the first bag. She turned back…

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