Category growing up

Immodest Proposals: Elephant in the room

I was thin as a kid. Always big for my age, but not chubby. Then I hit puberty and got wider before I got taller. Stretch marks etched into my thighs, my face rounded, and I felt thick and overstuffed and elephantine. I grew self-conscious about the reverberations of my steps (did I sound extra-heavy?), […]

Immodest Proposals: Learning shame

My family did not follow the more extreme modesty rules. My parents did not require head coverings, daily floor-length denim, or any strict uniform; they never demonized pants or department stores. My mom did buy into modesty enough to make shopping trips a stereotypical nightmare during high school. I’d want to get a V-neck blouse; […]

happy thoughts

“The girls we once were are coming back to us now.” — Brandy Walker When you grow up, you forget. All the sad memories and adult anxieties crowd in; they unpack their bags and make a home in your psyche. The good moments, the small wonders, they get stuffed in boxes under the bed. So […]

It Is Written (at Midwife of Words)

I’m over at Midwife of Words today sharing for my dear story sister Bethany’s It Is Written series. I’d encourage you to read some of the other posts in the series, too; there have been many gorgeous and freeing contributions. In mid-January when I was thirteen, I filled a shirt box with trinkets and keepsakes, […]

#PlanetCCM: Does this nonconformity make me look cool?

At my 11th birthday party, I unwrapped my very first CD. I’d had a few tapes before (shout-out to my beloved green Lion King soundtrack!), listened to my parents’ old Simon & Garfunkel and Emmylou Harris albums, and flipped through the radio a bit, but this was the first time I had personally owned what […]

when God was a breaker

I’ve been reading through some of my journals from my teen years. I wrote out my prayers back then, and boy, did I pray a lot. In many of those prayers, I have a bunch of names in quotation marks. “Sheree,” “Mark,” “Lullou,” “Connall” … It took me a while to recall who these people […]

her creative heart

“We’ll have to watch the weather and reschedule.” My mom hung up the phone. It was a cold February. “Mooooooom,” I whined. “We’re neeeever gonna have my party.” My actual birthday had been the month before, but that Southern Idaho winter, the roads were particularly snowy, so a couple of the girls invited had to […]

Millennials and Adam’s missing rib

SCIENCE POP QUIZ: How many ribs do men have? How many ribs do women have? If you answered twenty-four to both, you are correct! RELIGION POP QUIZ: How many ribs do men have? How many ribs do women have? If you answered twenty-four to both, you are doubting biblical inerrancy, have succumbed to the lies […]

A Digital Bildungsroman

Or: Don’t Worry Guys, This Isn’t A Horror Story About Chat Room Predators, I Promise; It’s About How I Came to Be a Social Media Junkie and Writer Or: Love in The Time After Floppy Discs But Before DVDs What’s the loser-ish-est thing you did as a teenager? Me, probably hanging out in the Myspace […]

Guard Your Heart, part I: I did, and I regret it

“Are you dating anyone right now?” My drivers ed teacher, Mrs. Schofield, was a stern, opinionated, and very direct woman. She peered over her glasses and left shoulder at me, an eyebrow raised, expecting a direct reply. “I don’t believe in dating during high school,” I responded from the backseat. “There’s not really any point. […]