“When The Christian Issue Comes Home”

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A close friend called to tell me that I had a new religion in the family. After nearly 20 years as a strong atheist-identified family, my family scratched one member off the list. “Have you heard about Jessica?” she asked. “She just announced on facebook that she’s a Christian.”The new Christian, it would seem, is my sister.My sister is 12 years younger than me, and grew up loving science and being a part of her girl scout troop. She beamed with pride when she won that “Future Leader Award” in highschool.Today, though, Jessica identifies as a Christian. “I am not an atheist,” she declared in her facebook announcement. She is legally changing her name to Jael after the Biblical cha … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 6: Never the same, and that’s OK

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This post is part of a seven part series. To start with the introduction click here.We went to visit for the first time about a year after coming out, it had been almost 2 years since I had seen any of my younger siblings. It was so scary, knowing that just your existence caused so much drama makes it really nerve-wracking  to voluntarily hang out. It makes you second guess each thing you say or do, worrying that something could inadvertently offend or enrage people who have to work so hard to tolerate you. On the other hand, you just want to relax and be yourself, and not try to be something you’re not just to keep the peace. The words from my mom about love mattering more than who was r … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 5: Tolerance

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This post is part of a series, to start with the introduction, please click here.Mere weeks after the phone call that prompted the silence between me and my parents, I received a card from them for Haley and my wedding Anniversary, along with a beautiful queen size quilt. Any other time I would have been thrilled to get them, in the wake of our interaction it just made me feel confused. If they were this upset with me, and did not approve of my marriage, than why the affirmation of it with a card and gift? I couldn’t bring myself to use the quilt, it felt so dirty somehow to put a blanket on our bed when it had been sent by people who believed we were sinning every time we slept under i … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 3: The Other Shoe Drops

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This post is part of a series, click here to start with the introduction.We’d been putting in applications for weeks and not having much luck. It wasn’t really surprising, after growing up the way I did, and then having 4 kids I had basically no resume, and Haley’s was entirely ministerial stuff and we couldn’t exactly list them as a reference. We were also in the middle of changing addresses on everything, and getting all of our other paperwork in order. I passed a local coffee shop and noticed a hiring sign in the window, so I printed out my sad little resume and dropped it off.Haley was restless and not getting any bites, we’d been talking about maybe getting her some short-term jo … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 1: Into the Unknown

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This post is part of a series. Click here to read the introduction.Like I said in my coming out series, when at the end of 2011, we had realized that transition was going to happen, and that our beliefs were not really fitting in the church we were serving anymore, we knew we needed to move on.This wasn’t easy. We had moved everything we owned 1000 miles and over an international border to take the call to this church, with the intention of staying for some time. We’d had 2 more children for a total of 4. We loved the people we were serving, our kids had friends and we had a home in the parsonage. We had our favorite haunts, walking to the park near our house, attempting sledding wit … [Read more...]

No Blurred Lines

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We were picking up toys in the living room, and the radio switched to Robin Thicke’s song “blurred lines.” After a minute I walked over and changed the station, MS Action stopped her be-bopping and asked “Why’d you turn off that song mom? It’s good for dancing.”I thought about it, “It is a good beat for dancing isn’t it, I just don’t really like the words in that song.”“Oh, why don’t you like the words mom?” My 7 year old persisted.“Well, he sings about doing stuff to people that they don’t want him to do, and… he thinks it’s OK.”  I tried to explain.“That’s not OK!” piped up 5 year old MS Drama.” “You shouldn’t do things to people that they don’t want you to do."“Definite … [Read more...]


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