Do You Risk Reaching Out?

Have you ever received an invitation that made your heart say YES before your mind could even catch up? Ever had such a strong gut feeling that you needed to be at this exact place, doing this exact thing?

That’s how I felt when I was asked to give the keynote speech at this year’s Heart of L’Arche Fundraising Breakfast in Arlington, Virginia on April 25, 2018.

Titled, “Risk Reaching Out,” this talk was part of a program that helped raise over $135,000 to support the L’Arche Greater Washington DC community.

L’Arche is a worldwide nonprofit that creates homes where people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities share life together.

(I served in various roles there for five years, and it’s where my husband Jonathan and I met. The people there are family, and they are with me wherever I go.)

Click here to watch the keynote talk on YouTube, or press play below. I also include the approximate text of the talk, so you can read along.

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The Theology of Audrey Hepburn and Pippin the Deer

Recently I was at a medical appointment and the nurse asked me about my religious affiliation.

The question took me aback, in part because I wasn’t expecting it and in part because I didn’t know how to answer it.

How could I be honest and also fit my answer into a box on the intake form? The words stuck in my throat.

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For You, When You’re Facing Internal Conflict

Have you ever felt yourself deadlocked in internal conflict, bouncing back and forth between the comfort of staying put and the lure of letting go?

Ever struggled to choose because part of you wanted something new, while another part of you needed to keep everything the same?

I have. Once upon a time, I worked as a nonprofit program director in DC. It was a stable, undeniably meaningful job, one that connected me to a caring community and supported my deepest values.

Those things were true, but there were other truths, too.

There were the tears that prickled behind my eyes on my morning commute. There was the relentless thrum of exhaustion, the drumbeat of my jam-packed days.

And there was the whisper of my true self, the one who wanted so badly to be a writer.

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