Singleness and the Enneagram (New post for Single Roots)

I really hate it when people tell me I need to work on myself before pursuing a relationship with someone else.

Seriously, it’s probably one of my top ten pet peeves, next to guys who ask me out on Twitter. It always comes off as slightly condescending when another person assumes that because I’m single, I don’t possess some vaguely defined amount of self-knowledge and superior morality that every married person in the world must already have.

But even so, I am reminded nearly every day that a part of me is fundamentally broken. I don’t think this is a singleness problem, but a human problem. Continue reading

 

There is a Season

It’s funny how some stories don’t seem meaningful at the time, but in the silence you realize they need to be told.

Right before my 25th birthday, I got a retail job.  A few months earlier I sat down at a table across from my principal and heard the dreaded words “We just don’t think you’re a good fit for us.”  I also had two part-time teaching jobs, but they barely paid enough to cover my gas to get there.  So, for about two weeks, I had a retail job. Continue reading

When Everything Goes Wrong

“What are you afraid of?” he said. “Don’t you trust that God has a plan?” I had this conversation with a pastor in the beginning of my junior year of college.  I had spent the summer selling over-priced vegetable plants for minimum wage while my many of my friends had landed great internships, gone on exciting trips, or gotten engaged to the love of their life. The recession was in full swing, and I was terrified of what would happen when I was no longer living my life by a course catalog. God was at work in everyone else’s life, but was he going to take care of me?  Continue reading

What’s So Amazing About Grace?

This is the second time I’ve read this book.

The first time was in the summer before my senior year of college when I was taking a summer school class about the New Testament. This book was on my required reading list, but my library didn’t have it, and I didn’t feel like buying it on Amazon. So I drove to the library in the next town to get it, circled around the parking lot looking for a place to park, and suddenly this pole appeared out of nowhere, and I crashed my parents’ car into a pole. This could probably go down in history as my most brilliant move ever.

In that moment, I remember pounding my head on the steering wheel and groaning, “God… I didn’t need an object lesson.”  Continue reading

The Stories that are Unfinished

I remember learning about the elements of a story in my elementary school library, looking up at the overhead projector from my little table by the card catalog.  We learned that a story has a setting, characters, a plot, a conflict, and a resolution.  Nowadays, story has become a bit of a buzzword, as we often discuss how to tell a better story with our lives and write it in a way that draws other people in.  Continue reading

Sacred Places

Sometimes, I imagine people praying with their hands.  Building expectations and wishes and questions into brick and mortar and stone.

There’s something about great loss that makes us want to build something—we build war memorials and monuments and churches that symbolize what we’ve lost.  Maybe there’s something about stacking bricks and pouring concrete and carving wood that makes us feel like we’re doing something when life seems meaningless.  When we’re faced with a void, we fill the empty space with something tangible.  Continue reading

Suddenly, Everything Changed (New post for Single Roots)

“Enjoy it while you can, honey, because once you’re married you’ll just wish you could be single again.”

I’ve heard this one a few times, along with various other pieces of jaded advice from unhappily married women or well-intentioned friends who are trying to make me feel better. I’m sure most singles have experienced this — the “You should be happy you’re single, because marriage isn’t all its cracked up to be” pep talk. When we’re thinking about something we don’t have yet, it’s easy to console ourselves by writing it off and saying it must not be that great anyway. Continue reading

Sunset from Kiliney Hill (Ireland)

Sunset from Kiliney Hill (Ireland)