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On Graduation—Completing and Beginning

Each year, I walk down the aisle in cap and gown, then watch and cheer for the graduating class. As I look out at the sea of young and not-so-young faces, I think about what lies behind and what lies ahead. Graduation is called commencement—it’s a completing and a beginning. I’ve completed and begun a few times in my life:…

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On Feeling Sexy

Spring has arrived, so hats, scarves and bulky coats are being replaced. . . with bare skin. There’s something I deeply love about feeling the sun and breeze on my skin after a hard winter—it makes me feel alive! But as I looked around the other day, I wondered why some show quite so much skin. Don’t get me wrong—I…

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Modesty Is For Me, Not You.

There it was, in the middle of a Christian book on young women’s sexuality. The Modesty Chapter. And there it was again, a call to dress for others. Mother told Daughter she couldn’t go out in public “like that” because the boys would be staring at her boobs. Now, I didn’t see what Daughter wore—perhaps it was totally inappropriate. But…

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Bittersweet: The Annunciation and Good Friday

March 25th. The day we always celebrate the Annunciation—that incredible day when Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she’d be pregnant, 9 months before we celebrate Jesus’ birth. But this year, the day of Annunciation is also Good Friday for the Western church. While we celebrate the Annunciation, we mourn the Good Friday. Bittersweet. Earthly beginning, and then an…

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Raise Your Voice With Me

Being silenced is terrible. I know too many who have been silenced by experiences that have taken their voice; some were not allowed to tell their story of abuse, others’ stories were stifled or not believed, and still others were silenced in different ways. And that silencing affects all uses of their voice. In order to regain the use of…

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Breaking Up Is Good (too)

The purity culture of my youth tells me that the best love story is the one where I marry the first man I ever date. To my chagrin, I have a messy break-up with that athletic high school boy that I loved. Will I forever have second best? My sister meets a man in college, dates and marries him. As…

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Hope is a VERB

Hope is a verb. It’s not something we have. It’s something we do. And sometimes it’s one of the hardest verbs—it ranks right up there with endure, persevere, suffer. In the midst of long singleness, we hope for a partner. . . Faced with infertility, we hope for a baby. . . In sickness, we hope for healing. . . When unemployed, we…

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Mary, Interrupted

Mary is probably an early teenager, promised to Joseph and awaiting her marriage, when the appearance of an angel interrupts her plans for her life. She is told not to be afraid (words angels always say) and that the Lord is with her (words God says to prophets in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)). She’s told she will be pregnant with God’s…

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Woman Testimonials

Janice Stewart Peterson

When I was a young woman, it was normal to take time to contemplate my purpose and explore my identity. As years advanced, however, bad habits and wrong thinking went unchecked; I found myself trapped in ruts, feeling discouraged and uninspired.  This is why Davis Abdallah’s book, The Book of Womanhood, is so important for women of all ages.  For me,…

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