• encouragement,  Fellowship

    The Offense of Failed Empathy

    By Vanessa Rasanen There’s perhaps a point in each of our lives when even the most docile and genial of us have wanted to firmly kick another person in the shin. Hard. If I were a betting woman — which, who are we kidding, I totally am if there’s a blackjack table and a babysitter nearby — I’d wager that more often than not this urge is due, in no small part, to the other person’s less than tactful comments. In short, “Oh no, they didn’t!” Of course we live in the age of offense, where even those of us who mock it become offended just as easily. (Even if…

  • encouragement,  Katie Luther Posts

    Finding Help Shouldn’t Be This Hard, Should It?

    By Vanessa Rasanen I am not the most private person — classic oversharer, here. It’s pretty easy to open up, to let people in, and to yammer on about even the hardest of situations with others, and I have always processed situations — especially difficult ones — by talking. If I try to keep it inside and handle it on my own, it seems stifling, suffocating. Yet, I have also spent years upon years individually processing and analyzing my life experiences and the resulting scars. Tirelessly. Endlessly. That horse? It was beaten to death long ago. After years of self reflection, some growth, and much prayer many of my scars…

  • encouragement,  Motherhood

    I’m Failing to Parent in the Pew

    By Vanessa Rasanen That Sunday was pretty much like any other, except my husband actually had the day off work and was able to join us for church. I don’t know if having him there with us caused me to drop my guard or what, but shortly after the Lord’s Supper had concluded and our pastors were returning the chalice and such to the altar, I looked up to see our almost three year old little girl smiling at me from the other side of the chancel railing. Somehow she had slipped away from me and her Godmother while my husband was out in the narthex disciplining the five year…