Depression, Anxiety and the Creative Writer

Creative writers often jokingly refer to the strangeness of the writing experience in terms of a mental illness. Multiple personalities (Characters that talk back? Say, whaaat?), obsessive behavior, the “tortured artist” stereotype, all the feels, etc. But there’s a darker underbelly beneath all the joking. The sensitive, artistic personality types who tend to express their…

Ice, rice, and paradise

No matter how hard I try, my life just can’t be normal. Sometimes it fools me for awhile. I start to have foolish ambitions of being the cool kid who actually has things together and enjoys a nice, boring, normal life where crazy, random things don’t happen on a regular basis. Despite a plethora of…

The key to thriving when you want to give up

Have you ever felt like giving up? Not just when life gets a little hard or you think it’d be easier to just quit. I’m talking about those times when you’ve not let yourself quit time after time, and you just start feeling like your situation is never going to change. You feel like you’re…

Be brave enough to tell your hard stories

A year ago Sunday, my beloved aunt tried to take her own life after a long battle with depression and anxiety. A year ago, I received a phone call from my younger cousin telling me her mom shot herself and would I please come and stay with her and her siblings. A year ago,  I…

My Goal for 2017: Live Well

‘Tis the season of New Year’s resolutions (although by now, most will have given up on theirs) and goal-setting. All around me my writer friends are setting word count goals and plotting how many novels they’re going to churn out this year. And there’s not necessarily anything wrong with setting those kinds of creative goals….

When you have no words (and that’s okay)

I ask my friend in the Dillons parking lot, shoppers passing by with carts full of riches untold for most of the people in this world. “Do you ever feel like you don’t have any words left, or maybe that there’s too much to say for words?” Like you just need to be with the people you…

Celebrating 2016 (*passes the champagne and popcorn*)

Have you ever noticed that Christians (creative ones in particular) aren’t very good at celebrating accomplishments? Making to-do lists, sure. Crossing things off the list, sure. Maybe even mentioning something to a close friend over coffee, as long as you’re careful to enumerate all the ways the accomplishment is imperfect in the process. But celebrating…

Courage to Laugh at the New Year

My best friend loves to give quirky and/or homemade gifts for Christmas, and this year was no exception. In addition to a hilarious photo book of our escapades the last couple years, she gave me a framed typography Scripture verse that she colored during one of our many nights watching movies together on the basement…

Finding joy in every season

Every season has its charms. The flowering trees and new warmth of spring. The carefree, lemonade-sipping dog days of summer. The crisp fall air, perfect for walks in brilliantly-colored leaves. And then the Christmas season, where the dark comes sooner and the days grow colder, yet all over the world people put up lights and…

The Power of Story

I’ve always thought there had to be a pretty compelling reason Jesus told stories all the time. I mean, He was God. He had infinite powers, infinite understanding, infinite ability to say just the right words to make people do what He wanted them to do. And He chose to tell us a story about an…

When you don’t have words

“Do you ever feel that way?” I ask my friend in the Dillons parking lot, shoppers passing by with carts full of riches untold for most of the people in this world. “Like you don’t have any words left, or maybe that there’s too much to say for words?” Like you just need to be with the…

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

I’ve said so many goodbyes this past year. I keep thinking it’ll get easier. I’ve said goodbye to friends and colleagues as I moved back to the United States. To the father of a long-time family friend who passed away suddenly from heart failure this past summer. To a young woman I discipled in my Bible…