Defiant Hope

It’s midnight. Dark except the gentle glow of lights wrapped round a tree. We’ve brought a tree inside, strange as it is. Speckled it with lights in the midst of the year’s growing dark. It’s madness, this indoor tree. What right has life like this inside brick and mortar?

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What’s Next

If anyone is curious about what I’m doing next and why I’m not going to grad school, check out this blog post. In short, I’m starting a nonprofit cafe in Cincinnati, and I’d love to have you along for what is shaping up to be quite an adventure.

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When Freedom is Chains

A few weeks ago, I was at a Women’s Conference in Michigan. The theme was “Celebrate Your Freedom,” and that’s exactly what we were doing. All around me women were being freed from sin, from fear, from lies, and most of all from self-centeredness. Jesus really did come and set captives free.

But there I was, feeling the very opposite of free. In fact, all I could feel for sure was the subtle weight of an old, familiar chain.

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Literature and Courage

This afternoon I opened a brand new Norton Critical Edition of Howard’s End. Though I’ve never read the book before, the familiar typeface and smooth pages that so clearly identify a Norton text brought back a flood of memory. How many hours did I spend studying similar pages? Countless hours, working my way through the canon from “The Wanderer” to Wordsworth, sifting through footnotes that served more to slacken my pace than actually illuminate the work (except in the case of The Canterbury Tales, during which I needed those notes very much). Toward the end of my undergraduate tenure I always read with a pen in my hand, ready to underline or add marginalia as need arose.

That felt blasphemous at first—defacing a book, adding my own thought to an author’s words. But eventually I learned to interact with literature, conversing with the text instead of just listening to it. Of course my contribution to the conversation was primarily a series of unanswered questions or ponderous “mmhmm”s, but still, I’d come a long way.

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Order from Chaos

I just spent half an hour cleaning my air conditioner. Before that I was scrubbing the tops of my bathroom cabinets. Why, you may ask? Well, partly because I have a new roommate moving in this weekend, and standing on the toilet in sports bra with bluegrass blaring at 10:00 at night is the sort of thing you need to do while you live alone. But also because I love doing it.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized I love to clean for the same reason I love to write: it’s an attack on chaos. See, I believe God created with purpose and precision. He brought beautiful order out of overwhelming disorder, sense from confusion. But then (too tragic for words), sin flung the entire cosmos into disarray. And now the whole world, it seems, is bent on collapsing into chaos—from children living in city dumps, to broken marriages, to persistent dust bunnies.

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Introvert Fridays

It’s 9:04 on a Friday night. As I understand it, many of my peers are just waking up from naps and getting ready to go out. Some of them won’t even think about showing up to their favorite spots until 11:00. My more conservative friends will probably be getting home around that time, but they are nevertheless out and about right now, celebrating the end of their week by, I dunno, doing stuff. This is all crazy to me.

Just like most weeks, this Friday evening finds me chillaxing in my pajamas. I may watch a movie in a bit. I may eat a bowl of cereal. But you better believe I’m not venturing past these four walls.

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Missing Someone

And I have penned the words
I made a vow, my heart is yours
But we have yet to meet
You and I

-Blake Stratton, “Leave on a Light”

I didn’t want to write this post. Even now, I’m not sure this isn’t a dumb idea. Doesn’t it seem hopelessly predictable to write about being single on Valentine’s Day? Predictable and slightly pitiful. My plan was to play it cool, let this day pass like any other day, write about Harry Potter or something. But would you like to know what I’m really going to do this evening? I’m going to cook a nice dinner for myself, maybe read through some old Facebook messages from men who shall remain nameless (don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about), then lay on my back and listen to “Love Song for No One.” And I’ll wonder again just how John Mayer got to the bottom of my soul … but that’s beside the point.

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Some Political Considerations

I’m Erin. I’m a woman, a millennial, and an Evangelical Christian. I’m an academic and a creative. I recycle and usually buy organic. I’m passionately pro-life. I love supporting small businesses and local economies. I care deeply about social justice. I’m theologically conservative. I can’t stand corporate greed or the myth of the self-made man. I believe war is sometimes (not often) necessary and just.

Now, which political party would you put me in? Next week, if I had to cast my vote for the candidate who’s most closely aligned with my values, who would it be? The answer, I think, is neither.

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The Not Yet

Sometimes I wonder at how fundamentally alone we all are.

I have a caring family, wonderful friends, people who get me. And yet, at the end of the day, it’s just me in my head. Never mind the walls of calculated self-presentation I build — there is a chasm even those who see through all my crap can’t cross. Sometimes, despite a history of smiles and tears and shared experiences, I just can’t get you to see what I mean. We talk past each other. We misunderstand. And I wonder why.

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