The Dumbing-Down of Bravery

bebraveOf course, the title caught my attention.  The opening paragraph raised my ire.

“THIS WAS NOT BRAVE, declared fashion blogger Jessica Kane, as she posted a photo of herself in a swimsuit. “I’ve been told how brave I am for not having a coverup,” she said, “but going without a wrap would only take bravery if I cared what others thought of me, but I don’t.”

The second paragraph made me shout “amen.”

“Kane added, “Things that DO take bravery? A family battling tragic illness, a mother trying to beat addiction, a person trying to break free of domestic violence, reaching out for help when you have already planned your suicide and feel like you can’t breath one more day. THAT is brave.”

So please read the entire thing.  There will be no dumbed-down bravery on this site.

The Dumbing-Down of Bravery



Things Go Stale

crazywriterBread. Water. Things become stale over time.  There’s science to back that up–chemical reactions and such. But science can’t explain everything. It can’t explain the gradual deterioration of non-material things.

Take a marriage, for instance. Obviously, I know nothing about it firsthand, but I can make assumptions. Everything starts out wonderfully. Holding hands on long, moonlit walks. Bringing home roses for no reason. Going on drives to nowhere. Hugging on the couch and sharing popcorn while watching a stupid movie. Sex. Laughing at each other’s dumb jokes. Surprise kisses. Somehow, as time wears on, things become like old bread. There’s no more affection or desire. They stop trying to win each other’s hearts; instead, they just bitch about the last piece of meatloaf and how much their jobs suck.

School is another example; this one I can attest to. At the beginning of the year, everything is in order. Pencils are lined up, folders are shiny, homework is turned in right on time. Then things go stale. Papers are shoved at the bottom of backpacks. Every due date is missed. Pencils are broken and collected from the floor. The motivation is gone.

Another–writing stories. At the beginning, inspiration is plentiful. Fingers race across the keyboard until late in the night. Plot lines lie just a daydream away. Characters come alive. Then things go stale. The ideas wither away. Characters breathe their last. Sleep comes quicker. Pages of writing sit in a dusty notebook or a never-used folder on a desktop.

Everything good seems to spoil. Why? Why can’t we hold on to good things? Why is everything so fleeting? It all slips away, and there’s no chemical equation to explain it. All beautiful things just crumble to dust, and there’s nothing we can really do…

is there?


Why Christians Should Kiss Courtship Goodbye

bebraveI have already shared how I never was on the courting bandwagon.  I never read I Kissed Dating Goodbye.  I never taught it in a youth ministry context.  I don’t have a background in this belief to offer a comparative perspective to brave coach

Some of you do.  Hence I pass on this article to give you that comparative perspective.

Why Christians Should Kiss Courtship Goodbye

“I thought we were way past the “Courtship vs. Dating” debates.

“I thought that was old news, that we’d laid to rest the I Kissed Dating Goodbye era and moved on to new topics.

“But apparently, I was wrong. Maybe you’ve noticed, but the Courtship movement has recently received some major attention from both national television and recent entertainment. To be honest, I have no problem with Courtship. I am not putting down the concept of courtship, and I never will. The truth is, different personalities need different approaches to relationships. And for some people, Courtship is what works!

My only problem comes, then, with how “Dating” gets compared to ‘Courtship’ in such a flawed and negative way. As far as the Courtship movement is concerned, saying that you’re in a ‘dating’ relationship is almost like declaring out loud that you’re living in sin.”

Read the rest at


Live Original

bebraveWhat a brave thought.  Live original.  But this thought does not originate with me.  It does with Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame—whom God seems to be granting a special platform.

I work with a lot of teen girls and body image issues are prevalent. They always have been. It doesn’t matter what decade. Yet every decade something new must be hated about our bodies. Now we have the “thigh gap.” “What?” says all of the “old folks.” Thigh gap is too much a part of today’s teen conversations. And how is one to increase their thigh gap when this is yet another feature that relies heavily on DNA. Some thigh-gappers are bow-legged (like Sadie) and is that the real answer? #thigh gap is stupid.

Unfortunately, body image issues are not just a teen girl problem. Teen boys are also feeling the pressure. Young men are too. And women—no matter how old we grow we still deal with issues of hating our body.

Jesus came down and put on this same flesh that we have to give us all a chance. This same imperfect flesh. He wore it proudly and humbly. I doubt Jesus had the broad-shoulders, 6-pack abs, perfect V-shape that haunts men. Continue reading


Just Strangers

crazywriterI lied on a sloping hill and stared up at a dark, starless sky. A few yards up the hill was a large soccer field. Those few yards and a fence were the only things separating me from that field, and thus the players on it. As I listened to the cheering and the blowing of the whistle, I drifted off into a world of speculation. I went home with each of those soccer players. One boy loved orange Gatorade and relaxing in denim bean bag chairs. His parents were divorced. Another had Batman posters in his room, because he loved comic books. Every time he played in a game, he always had a nagging thought that he just wasn’t good enough.

I didn’t want to be on that hill anymore. I wanted to be on the other side of the fence, in the bleachers, under the blinding stadium lights. I wanted to be drinking orange Gatorade and reading Batman comics. I wanted to look into the eyes of each one of those players and tell them that yes, they are enough. I wanted to meet their families, to understand to their hurts, to know them deeply and personally. My heart was filled with loneliness and longing. In an hour, those players would be gone. Back to their denim bean bag chairs. Back to their posters. I would never be on the other side of the fence with them. I would never be able to unravel their needs and speak life into them. They would forever be just soccer players, just faces. Forever strangers, up the hill and behind the fence.


Contorting Yourself to Figure Out if You Are Loveable

bebraveI received this message from a senior in high school:

“I’m being an idiot about this, but I’ve considered telling him. If it’d turn out that he didn’t feel the same, I’d say someone took my phone. That’s what I’ve been thinking about. I’m prolly not going to say anything…I’m so confused right now.”dating coach

I’m honored to be asked this question. I have a lot of strong opinions about guy/girl relationships (you think?!!) so I certainly had an answer. It is always an honor to be trusted with this vulnerability.

Can you figure out what is at the core wrong about this question?

The brave step is being made to change the relationship. This always requires bravery and is encouraged. Taking this brave step through text is not recommended. Text is not personal enough for this personal of a question. If you are taking this brave step, be brave and do it in person. There is risk of rejection–but this is why it is a brave decision. You will gain a bit of respect on either side of the result.

The problem with this question is the lie that would be told. This present and future relationship is okay to this person if a lie is at the foundation. This is the plan that was made.

Sadly beginning a relationship on a lie—or many lies—is all too common. We believe to get a certain someone’s attention we have to contort or distort ourselves. We willingly do it so we can have his attention. Because possibly having his attention means that something is not wrong with me and that I may be loveable. The contortion is worth it to receive this validation. Continue reading


Reading Nemo

Crazy Scotty“I watched Finding Nemo the other day.”



nemo movie“About time.  That thing’s been out for awhile.”

“No, I’d seen it before.  But this time I analyzed it.”
“Not this crap again.”
“Hear me out.  Why does Marlin love Nemo?”
“Don’t you have a paper to write?”
Why does Marlin love Nemo?
“…because he’s his son.  You heartless monster.”
“Yes.  That.  But also because Nemo symbolizes the past.”

I’ll never let anything happen to you…because you’re symbolic of the life I once had, and all that.

Continue reading


You Don’t Complete Me – Camp Theme for 2015

bebraveThis character has a lot to do with the teaching theme for the camps I will be teaching at this summer.

promo warp

To believe you are worthy of love and belonging, so many believe that you must contort yourself to stay in relationships believing that it is the relationship that makes you loveable. The result of this is a lot of numbing behaviors.

We do the same thing in our relationship with Jesus. Because of shame we contort Jesus into an image that makes sense to help us cope.

jesus warp

Actual coloring page

Colossians 2:10 states “You are complete through your union with Christ.” A relationship cannot complete you—unless it is with Jesus. A Jesus true to the word of God, not the creation of your contorted image. You are worthy of love and belonging because God’s desire is to complete you. Continue reading


Still So Loved

crazywriterMy name is Abigail, and I am a deeply flawed individual. I am self-absorbed. Too often, I put myself before others and become oblivious to anything other than my own thoughts. I am lazy. I’m too preoccupied to complete my tasks. I shirk my duties. I am a hypocrite. There are times when I catch myself in prejudice. I claim to be tolerant, but that isn’t always so. I am insecure. Many times, I rely on others for validation. I am neglectful of my relationship with God. I become caught up in my pursuits, and I forget to pray or read my Bible. I am a frequent sinner. I am and have been greedy, gluttonous, envious, lustful, wrathful, slothful, and prideful. I have fallen short of the glory of God.

I am Abigail, a deeply flawed individual. Deeply flawed, and deeply loved.

Yes, I am selfish, but I have been granted mercy. Yes, I am lazy and a hypocrite, but I have been cleansed by Jesus. Yes, I fail to remember my relationship with God, but time and time again, He welcomes me back. Yes, I am a sinner–greedy, gluttonous, envious, lustful, wrathful, slothful, prideful–but I am made new in God, and nothing in the world can take that away. I’m a sinner, but I am accepted.

I am still so loved.


The Devil’s in the Details

Crazy ScottyI’ve been watching Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix. I like it, despite the fact that it has some pretty bloody scenes in it. Actually, it has some really bloody scenes in it. In fact, if you know me, and you see me suddenly jump back from my laptop, squeal, and avert my eyes, it’s probably because I’m watching Daredevil.

And as you may or may not have seen from my filler post earlier, I like applying literary criticism to the stuff I watch. I blame my fantastic American Lit professor…and this book:

lit bookIncludes a chapter entitled “Everything’s About Sex” followed by the chapter “…Except When it’s Sex”.

We had to read it for American Literature I.  If you want an accessible, cleverly-written way to gain a better appreciation of books, movies, and just narrative in general, I recommend this read.

Before we can analyze Daredevil, however, I should give you a brief synopsis of the show: Matt Murdock is a blind, small-time lawyer in the New York slums of Hell’s Kitchen. As a boy, Matt was hit by a truck carrying hazardous materials.  Though he recovered from the impact, the toxic waste blinded Matt  But toxic waste did what it does in comic-book-land, and now all of Matt’s other senses are supernaturally heightened.  Plus he has a new “radar” sense which lets him know the proximity of nearby objects.  When not lawyer-ing, Matt uses these abilities to fight crime in Hell’s Kitchen as the vigilante Daredevil.


Dare-DEVIL?  HELL’S Kitchen?  Yes, you noticed, and you’re very clever.

Continue reading