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When listening breaks our white hearts: for SheLoves Magazine thumbnail

A few weeks ago, a young man approached me in church to pass the peace. In the Spanish-language church I attend, this means moving around the room, trying to wish others the peace of Christ and shake hands with as many people as possible. This brother in Christ was dressed in a baggy t-shirt, long [...]

Quiet Time Confidential: Quotables and calligraphy thumbnail

I asked a lot of readers to share their habits, feelings, experiences and attitudes towards the Bible--good and bad. Many read the Bible regularly, for hours every week. Some haven't picked it up for years. I was surprised by how many of the people who read regularly have been through periods of avoiding it. And [...]


Hunger for Rock & Sling

Hunger for Rock & Sling thumbnail

I was a junior in college when my Bible study leader, Tina, recommended that I memorize Scripture. She pulled out a card from her pocket to show me. “I write my memory verse on this and carry it in my pocket,” she said. In her neat printing, it read, Blessed is the one …whose delight [...]

You don’t look like sisters: for the SheLoves synchroblog thumbnail

“That’s funny—you don’t look like sisters,” the woman said. My sister Katie and I were facing away from the ocean and making chit-chat with this stranger whose kids played with mine. Behind us, my daughters were digging a hole for themselves, the chilly Pacific saltwater splashing over their chubby legs. I looked at my sister, and [...]


The idea of “controlling metaphors” has been flitting around in my brain lately. For those of you who didn't get excited about lit classes, a controlling metaphor is sort of an overarching motif that runs through an entire work of literature. For example, a controlling metaphor in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books is Narnia is a version [...]


Why I swear sometimes

Why I swear sometimes thumbnail

I recently got a respectful and fraught email from a (now former) subscriber. She said she was unsubscribing because of a swear word I used on a recent post—“shitty”. (And then last week, I didn't censor that word in an interview...because I thought it was warranted.) My former reader mentioned the verse from Timothy about not having [...]


You know what I just did?

You know what I just did? thumbnail

I ordered a proof of my new book, Unquiet Time.  Right now, they are printing up a few copies of my book for me and putting it into an envelope and sending it to me IN THE MAIL. (If this were a musical, I would be breaking out into song right about...now.) You'll be able to [...]

“I want to hear what my neighbors say.” Quiet Time Confidential with D.L. Mayfield thumbnail

D.L. Mayfield's words about the Kingdom of God blow the lid off my very careful Christianity over and over. I love that she is trying to figure out how to live out her faith out among the poor, and that she's not pretending the experience is all unicorns and rainbows. She isn't selling me something--but she does [...]

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My gut crying out to God: One Woman’s Yes with Carly Gelsinger thumbnail

When I first came across Carly Gelsinger's site, I didn't know if we'd have a lot in common. I didn't grow up in a fundamentalist church, so would her work really speak to me? The answer was yes. The anxiety, the search for new pathways through faith, and what remains of faith after spiritual crises. I was [...]

What Are You Speaking, Lord?: Gail Dudley’s Quiet Time Confidential thumbnail

I was so honored to have Gail Dudley, a pastor, author, and forceful woman of God, agree to respond to my questions about reading the Bible. I read some of Gail's personal story--feeling ashamed, caught in lies about her basic worth--in her book, Who Told You That?: The truth about the lies. Gail's approach to Scripture [...]