The Scarlet A(lise)


When you drop off of the blogosphere for 4 months after 8 years of pretty consistent blogging, it’s usually an indication that something is amiss. Possibly something absolutely amazing is happening, but usually it’s not good. My absence was due to something not good. It’s all very confusing and hard to write about, which is why I went mostly silent all over the internet. But I don’t feel like I can move on without letting you know what’s been happening. In September, I moved out of my house because I became romantically involved with my best friend Rich. I genuinely did not see that as a possibility and prior to that time, nothing romantic had ever happened between us, but due to changes that occurred in our relationship coupled with realizations I had about my marriage to Jason, … [Read more...]

Stuff I’ve Been Reading

Stuff I've Been Reading graphic

Quick update - I actually finished the introduction and two sample chapters that I needed to get to my agent. She's going to be editing them, and then I will edit them, and then we'll start sending it out into the world. In the meantime, I'm focusing energy on my presentations (yes, TWO) for Wild Goose. So thank you for your patience while things are slow here on the blog. One of the most beautiful bits of writing I read this week came from John Blase. If you read nothing else, make sure you read this. A close second in the beautiful writing category is this short piece by my friend Andi about buying her wedding dress off the rack. If you like that, be sure to snag her ebook that is free right now! As I've been Very Busy (tm) lately, this piece by Jen Luitwieler reminded me to slow … [Read more...]

Passion, Life, Love

a love dare

Emily Wierenga is hosting a series on her blog called "The Love Dare." I'm participating today with a story of a season when it was difficult for me to love myself. I spent two years not touching a piano. And when playing music is where you feel the most like yourself, two years is a long time to go without feeling completely you. I was told that everything I was doing was wrong in the area where I was the most passionate and the most alive. I was told that I could still attend the church, but I could have nothing to do with music. I was told that my passion was self-serving and that what was life-giving was an idol. When you receive that news, it kills passion. It sucks life away. And when passion and life are missing, it can be difficult to love yourself. I'd love it if you'd head … [Read more...]

Featured at BlogHer


I'm honored to once again have a piece featured over at BlogHer. When I was feeling a bit despondent about the state of the blog, it was a nice bump in the old ego to get that email. Please head on over for any conversation happening there! This time, they are featuring my most recent post about cross-gender friendship. As we prepare for the Sacred Friendship Gathering, I love to see that this discussion about friendship is expanding. If you're interested in continuing this discussion with me and a whole slew of other amazing speakers, I invite you to register for the event. It's only $100 for two days with meals included. Plus, you get to hang out with me, so it's kind of a no-brainer. If you're new to my site, I invite you to take a look around. For more posts on cross-gender … [Read more...]

Shut Your Mouth


Yesterday a friend of mine wrote a piece about what it's like to be single on Valentine's day and to hear stories about "God's plan" for her life from married folks. It was a great post and addressed beautifully the whole problem of treating our lives like they're on some kind of path that has a happy end result (apparently marriage, in this case). It was thoughtful, well-written, and clear. One of the earliest comments just completely ignored all of that and gave basically the same advice that Emily was addressing in her post, while also calling her bitter. I shook my head, partly because it was kind of obnoxious, but mostly because this seems to be pretty par for the course. People talk while other people just wait for their turn to talk. What the first person has to say is of … [Read more...]

I’m Back…Tomorrow!

Hey all! Thanks for a great break. It's been a good couple of weeks and I'm feeling energized to write here again. I will probably keep a lighter posting schedule, but I'm looking forward to getting back into things here with a post for my friend Ed Cyzewski's synchroblog, celebrating the release of his new co-authored book, Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus. In the meantime, don't forget that Tamára, Sharideth, and I still have a bangin' podcast every Wednesday. If you haven't listened yet, you're missing out. Make sure you subscribe on iTunes (and please rate and review us there as well - we would really appreciate that!), or catch up on past episodes at our website. Thanks for the space. I look forward to connecting with you again in the coming … [Read more...]

Getting Readers Block

Many lovers of the written word will lament about the dreaded writers block. There's an ailment that is just as irritating though, if not more so. Readers block. That time when you cannot bring yourself to read anything, read past the first chapter of a book, read the blurb. Readers block is very detrimental to our health. Even magazines cannot be read at times. Are there ways to get over readers block? I've heard of a few methods, that have thus far been unsuccessful. I'm still more likely to concentrate on a game of Cheekybingo or eating MnM's colour by colour. You know, mindless things. I'll give you the list of things I've tried lately. Light and trashy books - Readers block apparently occurs when you're trying to take in something that is too tough to wrap your head around … [Read more...]

Stuff I’ve Been Reading

  Hello! Snagging a few minutes to share some of my favorite reads from the week. Be sure to click through and let the authors know what you think! So incredibly happy for my friend Elizabeth Esther and her book dealS. Absolutely wonderful news. Her story is amazing and I have no doubt that she will tell it with honesty and beauty. Shawn Smucker wrote all kinds of great stuff this week, but my favorite was his piece at Tamara Lunardo's blog, where he gave us the deets about how he and his wife managed sex on the bus with four young kids. This is a lovely, funny piece of writing. Loved this cartoon from David Hayward. His thoughts about labels were really good as well. Bryan Allain gives some really good creative advice. Worth the reminder. Joy Bennett asked a question … [Read more...]

Tell Me About You #7

I didn't realize it's been so long since I've asked you guys about you! I know that I told you about me last month, but it's been a while since we've found out more about you. Unless the questions themselves just reveal more about me? I'm not sure how that works. Anyway, here we go. In my area (and really, in much of the States), there were some record breaking temps last week. When it's really hot out, what is your favorite thing to drink to cool off? Brian Regan does a great bit about politics, where he suggests that the only two words on a billboard needed to make an informed decision about a candidate are "Leadership. Integrity." What two words would you want on your billboard to let people know why they should vote for you? Early bird? Night owl? (And isn't an owl a bird? So … [Read more...]

Repost: The Ugly Bride

I originally posted this in February 2011. Something Derek said yesterday in church reminded me of this, so I'm updating, expanding, and reposting it for folks who may have missed it back in the day.  ++++++++++ As a performer in a wedding band and a grown-up, I have attended a number of weddings. And in all of these weddings do you know what I've never seen? An ugly bride. She just doesn't exist. I've thought about what it is that makes every bride so gorgeous, even if she's not a conventional beauty most days, and there are probably a couple of reasons. Regardless of how extravagant or simple the ceremony, the bride is probably wearing something a little different from what she generally wears, which can make her appear more radiant. She probably spent a little more time … [Read more...]