How to Embrace Your Differences to Belong

Out of Place – Melissa’s Story A stare comes from the person across from me with raised eyebrows and squinted eyes as they try to smile. A feeling of awkwardness comes over me. “Oh, I was too much!” I think to myself. “Why am I so excited talking about buying vegetables for a new recipe […]

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How to put the “BE” in Belonging

Out of Place Series – Sarah E. Westfall’s Story Involvement makes acquaintances, but often fails to produce soulful relationships. Connections are many, but thin, and we end up fitting in everywhere and nowhere at the same time. At least that’s my story. As far back as grade school, I can remember feeling almost “in,” but […]

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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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The truth about belonging that opened a callous heart

Out of Place Series – Abby’s Story “You’ve changed in the short time I’ve known you.” My friend made the observation as we drove up the windy road through the mountains, chatting on our way home from a moms’ night out. I smiled because I knew she meant the statement in a positive way. After […]

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How to Love Across Social Boundaries

How do you take your coffee? Your answer may reveal a lot about you. Are you a purist, only drinking it black? Do you pour over, use a french press, or use a standard coffee maker? Do you grind your own beans? Do you use flavored creamers? I started drinking coffee at 14, when I […]

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Thrifted: a love story

I’ve had a long love affair with thrift stores. It started by my mother’s side, before I ever stepped foot in a kindergarten classroom. I held her hand as we walked through the arch into our local thrift shop in San Juan Capistrano. It was in a small strip mall, a long and low mission […]

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