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The Optimistic 80-Something: Episode 468

Listen to this week’s show!

Question to discuss:

Where do you feel God might be calling you to step out in faith this year? What will trusting Him in this look like?

Roundtable: Lessons Learned Through Big Decisions

Early last year, we caught up with three young adults who had big plans for 2016. In this follow-up discussion, we discover how the year went in light of their life changes and goals. A new job, new marriage, and new challenge (live on $7/day!) proved daunting but worthwhile.

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Evangelicals for Life: Episode 467

Listen to this week’s show!

Question to discuss:

How can you speak for the voiceless in your own spheres of influence? Which aspect of the pro-life ethic are you most passionate about, and which would you like to understand more?

Roundtable: Pro-Life and the Big Picture

Many people hear “pro-life” and immediately think “anti-abortion.” That’s not wrong, but it’s not the whole story. Life at all ages, stages and circumstances is ordained and blessed by God; this means that the unborn as well as the orphan, the elderly, the refugee, the person with special needs—every person on earth has dignity and value, and is worth fighting for.

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The Good Side of Getting Older

I turned 37 this year. Ouch.

I’m still single and there are several goals I thought I would have accomplished by now. Sometimes aging is depressing.

Our culture is pretty good at enforcing a negative opinion of aging. At every birthday we hear people grumbling about how old they are. They wish for the good ol’ days, or remember how earlier years were their best ones. And I know that women sometimes deal with this even more strongly if they want to have children and are approaching the later childbearing years.

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Making Christmas Meaningful: Episode 464

Listen to this week’s show!

Question to discuss:

What do you do to ensure the Christmas holiday doesn’t get away from you? How do you slow down, take it all in, and bless others in the process?

Roundtable: What Christmas Means to Me

Christmas can be hard when you’re single. The solution isn’t to get depressed or bitter, but to instead find ways to infuse
meaning, tradition and joy into the holiday. Sometimes this means being extra creative and intentional.

Green garlands of fir or pine branches with red and gold Christmas toys door on the veranda.

Home for the Holidays

Countless Christmas songs are written about it. Countless videos are posted about it. But not everyone has a home to go to for the holidays. It’s not a good or bad thing. Sometimes, it just is what is.

That’s where I fit in. My father passed away when I was nine, and I have an estranged relationship with my mother. All of my mother’s side of the family is spread out across the country, and I’ve never been super close to my father’s side of the family.

christmas-gift

The Gift of Advent

The other day, I was standing in worship service singing one of my favorite worship songs, “In Christ Alone,” and something dawned on me: Singing that song felt different than it had when I sang it years before. When I was single and sang, In Christ alone, my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song … I remember feeling utterly desperate, almost clingy. At that point, I had at least one tangible unanswered hope…the hope of a spouse.

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Contentment in Singleness—Is It a Feeling?

I can’t be the only one who’s wished for a switch to turn off my emotions. I’ve complained to my friends that I just want to stop feeling things, and they pat me on the back and tell me that if I did, I wouldn’t be the artistic, compassionate person I am… blah, blah, blah.

Don’t get me wrong, I love them for saying that. But it is hard to accept emotions are a good thing when you’re feeling like Eeyore with his tail missing on a rainy day.

The Fight for Purity

The word “purity” can stir up all manner of thoughts and emotions. It’s that important. The subject carries a great deal of weight, but sometimes I don’t know if we fully treat it as such.

I’ve led youth in one form or another for the past 17 years. It has brought me such joy seeing each student leave the group for college and step into their destinies. On the other hand, it has at times brought such sadness to see girls become pregnant as teens or not long after they’ve entered college.

A "happily ever after" sign

Married Guilt: On Leaving the Single Life

In my twenties, I formed a sisterhood stronger than almost any other I’ve ever experienced. I met a group of girls who I lived my life with, in its entirety. We laughed together, we cried together, we shopped together, we worshipped together, and mostly we were single together. These were my roommates, my best friends, my confidents — my family. We were inseparable.

But, slowly, the inevitable happened. Some of those friends started falling in love and getting married.

A man standing in the rain

The Holy Gift Of Lament

I think lamenting gets a bad wrap.

Lamenting is important. It’s necessary. It’s good. It’s healing. And dare I say, lamenting is holy. The past few months, I have had a season of loss like I’ve never experienced before. There’s been grief and sadness on top of pain and anguish. Hard doesn’t even begin to describe what I’ve been going through. There have been countless tears shed leading to countless sleepless nights. Just when I think the tears are over, a whole new wave of them ensue.