Category: Guest Post

A few months ago when I was arranging for these summer guest posts (by the way, aren’t we so proud of me for planning ahead?) I was thrilled when Melissa generously offered to contribute her words. I know personally how difficult it can be to keep up with our own projects, so I don’t take it for granted when other writers go out of their way to collaborate. Also, yay for a new friend! I connected with her writing style right away because she’s got just enough sass and humor to keep things interesting. I knew she’d fit right in over here, so please make sure you head over to her website when you’re done reading this and check it out.

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Once I was a bridesmaid at a fancy wedding at a fancy country club. I had no business in this place but I loved my friend so much and I committed to her so I wore that periwinkle taffeta with a smile as pinched as my shoes. I ran to the restroom before the ceremony because fancy makes me nervous. Afterwards, I grabbed a cool drink and took a quick stroll by the pool.

I noticed some admiring glances from inside and it made me feel beautiful and confident. Smiling coyly, I tucked my hair behind my ear to let everyone know I was cool with the attention. As it turns out, some sweet older lady let me know the back of my dress was tucked up into my pantyhose.

I bless that woman to this day.

Hiding in the bathroom for the rest of the night was the only logical thought I had but the bride kept calling to me from the other side of the door. The sound of my precious friend’s sweet voice made me have to think hard about things. There were many reasons why I could’ve stayed perched on the commode fussing over my pride like a brand new baby.

But…I was really only there for one reason.

And I also really wanted to dance.

The feelings I had the night of that wedding remind me a lot about how it feels to do what God calls us to: a little naked, vulnerable, and sometimes foolish and drafty. Read More…

Today’s guest post is by my new friend and fellow hope*writer, Carrie Stephens. I connected  with Carrie right away because I could tell she’s a person who likes to laugh, but also isn’t afraid to get deep. I’m thrilled to share my space with her because I just know you guys will appreciate her words.

After you’re done reading this post, head on over to her blog and show her some love! (Sorry, did I just get bossy?) I didn’t mean to. It’s just that I’m still on the road-trip, its past midnight, and I’ve technically walked over 45,000 steps in the last two days, so once again I’ve lost all ability to be genteel.

I know you’ll understand. Because we’re comfortable with each other like that.

Without further ado, here is Carrie’s post!

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When I was six years old, my friend Dayna and I liked to play hospital. One of us was the pregnant woman, the other was the nurse/Doctor/entire hospital staff. I had seen an episode of General Hospital at a friend’s house (yes, my mother was appropriately horrified), so I knew everyone made very dramatic faces in hospitals. We made sure to do likewise.

Nurse: No! No food for you! [insert maniacal laughter]
Patient: [Languishing with hand over forehead] Surely this will be the end of me!
Doctor: [Heroic face] “Don’t worry…I will save you and your baby!” [Pulls baby from under the blanket over my stomach.]

The narrative always went this same way. Mean nurse. Heroic doctor. Easy-to-deliver baby. What we lacked in our understanding of reality, we made up for in imaginary awesomeness. Read More…

Today I’m sharing the second in a series of guest posts, a piece by Paul Heggie. He’s discussing pain, and the correlating temptation to view people as monsters, which is something I’m sure we can all relate to on some level.

Here is what he had to say:

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If you’re in the market to make a monster movie, here are some tips:

Make a monster who lurks in the dark, the shadows, or the murky depths. Think of Dracula, who moves in and out of the shadows as if he was one with them, or Jaws rising out of the blackness of the ocean, or those creepy zombie/vampire/mutant creatures from I Am Legend.
Make a monster who is relentless and never gives up on the chase. Think of Jason and the black holes in his mask, the robotic steel will of the Terminator, or those raptors and their door-opening skills in Jurassic Park.

You can give a monster some terrifying features- the head and teeth of the Xenomorph alien from the Alien films, the cringe-worthy cranium of Pinhead from Hellraiser, or the straight-out-of-a-bad-taco-induced-nightmare Pale Man from Pan’s Labrynth (check him out only if you’re okay with not sleeping for the next three months).

Or you just make a monster with an incredible appetite for destruction. Godzilla. Every single superhero-movie villain from this decade. Me, at your nearest all-you-can-eat buffet. (It’s ugly, and I’m not proud.)

Hollywood studios have given us hundreds and hundreds of monsters big and small. They churn them out at a rate almost as high as the rate at which I re-watch all of the seasons of Parks and Rec. (Read: All. The. Time.) The art of creating a monster doesn’t have to be confined to the lot of a studio in L.A., though.

We can make monsters in real life just as easily. Read More…

As you guys know, I’ve arranged to host some guest posts here throughout the summer and I’m so excited because today I finally get to share the first one with you!

It’s a dandy, too.

You guys are going to love this one.

Steve Wiens is a writer-friend, as well as a pastor, and today he’s pulling back the curtain and giving us a behind-the-scenes peek into the reality of life as a pastor. Growing up as a preacher’s kid myself, I can relate so much to his words, as well as the personal struggles and rewards that are so closely entwined with life in the ministry.

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Being a pastor is the best, worst job ever.

First of all, you have the dubious honor of attempting to speak for God on Sundays, and most of the rest of the week, too. When it comes to a layup like John 3:16, we come out smelling pretty good. God loves everyone, everywhere! I love that one, and I try to sneak it into just about every sermon I can.

But what about when it comes to the one where God piles one family in a large boat, along with all the animals, except the unicorns (who apparently were having coffee or frolicking in the hills or didn’t print their boarding passes on time) while the rest of the world drowns? I’m not sure where the hope is in that one. And why is it that this story is the one that gets painted on the walls of every kids ministry room in every church in the northern hemisphere?

Which brings me to the babies. Whenever I get to dedicate or baptize one of them, I cry great big pastor-tears. Whether they gurgle and coo when I hold them or let out a blood-curdling scream of anguish, I love them all. I baptized one of them recently who was wearing a little baby-sized fedora and bowtie. For reals. Babies are cute, but babies with fedoras? You had me at hello. Read More…

As you guys know, I’m a firm believer in hospitality and inviting people in. In the last year I’ve made it a priority for this blog to be a continuation of that; a place where I make room for others to share their stories. For someone else’s voice to be heard here from time to time. Today I’m honored to be sharing my space with Janna Reid.

Janna is a soul sister. A lifer. The kind of friend that you treasure and keep when you find them, because Lord knows they are rare. She is a light and a truth-teller, and her words are never wasted. Here is her story.

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I have a problem with productivity. It’s my dragon. No big deal, except, big deal. These days dragons are fierce, bullying creatures that come in all shapes and sizes. Chances are, you have some of your own and you may even be, unbeknownst to your conscious wanderings, feeding them scraps from Life’s table.

You, undoubtedly, are fighting some species of Dragon and are either so exhausted from it or conditioned to it that the uphill battle feels normal. Let me explain.

You could perhaps be feeding (or fighting) the Dragon of Anxiety. It’s a small, but relentless dragon that sits on the shoulder and engages itself in everything that you are looking at or thinking about. Anxiety rarely sleeps, but is always pestering and breathing fire on the smallest of situations. It feeds on the tiniest fears and lies, taking in every little, “what if” and building it up to certain doom. Not needing much food to grow, yet always hungry, Anxiety creates a ghostly host and if not fought off immediately, will continue to consume and constrict.

The Dragon of Discontent is a breeding beast. It feeds on attention and it doesn’t require much of yours before it will breed a whole brood of Baby Discontents to run rampant. It really doesn’t need much of your energy, attention, and care to grow. At first.

You may soon grow so accustomed to this beast that it becomes normal to go out of your way to feed and care for your Discontents, and any other Discontents of your friends and family along the way.  Discontent runs in herd, and the mob mentality is strong in this particular breed of dragon.

Maybe you are feeding or fighting a dragon that preys on groups of women- The Dragon of Comparison. She is one ugly and persistent beast. She picks and pecks at the victims’ dreams, obscuring their vision. The weight of Comparison causes the victims to stumble along their way, only seeing a bit of their own unkempt and dirty path, but allowing the view of other lush and green paths to be clearly seen and desired. The Dragon of Comparison spits out fire of insecurity and ineffectiveness. But the worst part of Comparison is the aftermath. Read More…