Finding Belonging Between Two Worlds

Out of Place – Jolene’s Story 2020 has been a year!  I committed to writing this piece about “not fitting in” earlier in 2020 and it has been a challenge to put into words something that summarizes my experiences and shares how vulnerable I feel when sharing my story.  Every time I sat down to […]

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Finding Belonging During Life Transitions

Out of Place – Kari’s Story Moving to a new town is always a challenge, but moving to a town to pastor a church whose previous pastor was staying on staff was harder than I could have imagined.  The church was moving from a video venue to an autonomous church, and they needed a lead […]

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Finding Belonging on the Far Side of the Sea

Out of Place – Amy’s Story Looking back, it is hilarious how naïve we were when we moved with our four kids from our home in Pennsylvania to England.  The common language, the lifelong crush I had on all things British, and the beckoning call of adventure led me to dowse the entire endeavour with a […]

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Shedding Labels to Find Belonging in God’s Family

Out of Place – Shawna’s Story “What are you?” he asked nonchalantly.  The solid wood bookshelf behind him provided an intimidating backdrop as I thought curiously how to answer. He occupied the coveted position of Partner in our New York City firm. Between his Brooklyn accent and abrupt demeanor, it resembled a scene from The […]

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Becoming a Place of Belonging for Others

Out of Place – Jennie’s Story “We really don’t fit in anywhere, do we?” I finally admitted it out loud to my husband. We never quite fit the mold provided for us by society. Looking back over the years we’ve been married, we have tended to run from the mold, which has made it difficult […]

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Finding Belonging When God Takes Away Your Community

Out of Place – Rachel’s Story It was the 5th Starbucks trip that finalized it for me; I was no longer part of the circle and I needed to accept it.  The women who I had spent hours doing life together with the prior three years walked by me in the hallway of the church […]

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It’s Time to Act Like a Village

“So, are these two extra kids mine now?” She gestured to a five year-old splashing water in the shallow end of the pool and his little sister toddling dangerously close to the edge without a swim vest. Meanwhile, her own three year-old played with pool toys on a towel nearby. “I don’t know,” I told […]

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Finding Belonging in a New Stage of Life

Out of Place – Elise’s Story It was the fall of 2012. I was attending Allume, a blogging/writing conference. I was so excited!  Blogging was still newish, along with online magazines, contributor websites and the like. My friend Kimberly Amici and I had recently started CirclesOfFaith.org – Where Life, Faith, and Community Intersect. Our site […]

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How to belong when you’re planted somewhere new

Out of Place Series – Kassie’s Story I flew to visit my friend in his home state of Kansas. The difference between Northwest Kansas and Northern Michigan shocked me. While flying from the Mitten State to the nearest airport and driving towards his family’s farm, I wondered: “Where are all the trees and water?” Under […]

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How to Find Your Village

It’s Spring Break here in San Diego, and since my husband still has to work, I am tasked with entertaining two boys instead of just one. Thankfully, I have friends in the same boat. Earlier this week, a neighbor and I were bemoaning the fact that we had to do our grocery shopping with two […]

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