Sleepless in America: Awake in a Rape Culture

Then some of his promises came true—knife, speeding car, footsteps on my roof. Me belly crawling through my dark teenage room into my sister’s—“help.” Lights on. He took to the shadows—he still might be there. I can’t remember his face, only his weight bearing down. A body remembers. ~MMS, Let the Bones Dance (WJKP, 2010) I can’t sleep. In my 49 years I have had countless nights like this one. Awake in the thick quiet of the world around me sleeping. I wrote a lot of my first book in this liminal time—when I needed sleep, but couldn’t sleep. I … Read the full post

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To Dread and To Savor: Mothering in Real Time–Feminism and Religion Post

It happened in the blink of an eye. So much of how we got here is blurry. I try to parse out the moments that came together to add up to this many years. I pause to absorb fragments, moments of the past. Hunkering down to watch a spider waiting patiently on her web.  I can see his tiny hands balancing on his knees peaking out from his blue overall shorts.  Driving to baseball practice forty minutes from our house and realizing he doesn’t have his shoes twenty-five minutes into the drive. I hate the sound of my voice yelling at … Read the full post

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Weaponizing Nice

In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy. ~John C. Sawhill Former President and CEO The Nature Conservancy. If you haven’t seen the movie Beatriz at Dinner it is worth your time. It will put you in an imaginary intersectional space.  In a space where the yawning gap that is swallowing up our world is morphed into intimate space where people connect. There in that imaginary space some who benefit the most from the concentrated wealth of the global economy and one whose back that wealth has … Read the full post

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Just How Rotten Are Things in Denmark?: Feminism and Religion Blog Post

The Shakespearean quote, “something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” comes from a palace guard. After watching Prince Hamlet walk away with the ghost of Hamlet’s murdered father, the former King, the guard has a sinking feeling about how screwed up things are in his country. And if you remember the play at all, things were pretty rotten. By the end of the story just about everybody dies. Revenge, misunderstandings, accidents, and lust for power are just a few of the causes of death. The guard was right. Something was rotting away at his country—something that was vacating people’s … Read the full post

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Why Not Me? Feminism and Religion Blog Post

My “me too” went out for all to see way before Facebook existed, way before there were hash tags and internet pages for unveiling our secrets to the world. In all the years that have passed since I first spoke publicly and published about my experiences with sexual violence, there has been a steady stream of people (mostly, but not all, women) who have come to me with their #metoo. Survivors tend to hold lots of secrets—they become heavier with time and the more the secrets stay secret, the more power they have to distort and rupture and isolate. I … Read the full post

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The Pulpit as Intersectional Space: Jesus’ Good News

When I was 16 years old I found the courage to say “no more” to an abusive relationship that included sexual assault, stalking, and emotional tyranny. After that day, his threats and stalking got much worse. But I knew that I would rather die standing in my truth, than live in the captivity of trying to placate him anymore. Jesus led the way. I heard and believed Christ’s voice of healing, “I want you to be well.” After I said “no more” school became a place I dreaded to go. He was a great athlete in my small town so … Read the full post

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My Turn: A Femifesto (Feminism and Religion Post)

It’s coming up on a year now that pretty much everything changed in my family’s life. My over twenty years of married life, up until last year around this time, had been built around football. John’s work as a coach in the NFL and Division I collegiate football had moved us all over the country—coast to coast and in between. This time last year our move was for me to take a job. No more football. And a move not for football meant massive shifts in the daily life of our family. I cannot count the number of times since … Read the full post

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Truth and Consequences: Never Again

The velocity of the car pressed my body against the seat with a force that felt impossible to fight. But, still I tried. Every muscle tense—as if working to hold my bones in place. I could hear his voice over the roar telling me my future—I would stay quiet, because no one would believe me. This vortex of force jolted me into silence with a potent tool: fear. Fear seeped into the ruminations of my teenage mind: fear of shame, fear of being judged, fear of his anger and hostility, and fear of losing my life. That fast car and … Read the full post

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Sacred Attentiveness: A 2017 Practice

Have you ever had the patience to sit still and watch as one of God’s creatures goes about its normal business? Not a dolphin show or a dog doing tricks—not entertainment for us highly distractible human beings. I am talking about creaturely normalcy, for a turtle or a squirrel or a spider.   Consider for a moment their capacity to focus on what really matters—food, home, awareness of their surroundings, knowing the true difference between friend and foe, being ever ready to protect and defend when needed, and being always watchful for the provisions they actually need. These creatures are … Read the full post

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Latest Post on Feminism and Religion: Elegy for An Old Life Gone

I married into your strange cadence
A drumbeat that never felt natural
All consuming was your intention 
But I protected pieces of myself from your designs
And more pieces retrieved me
As you showed me your true colors..
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