I am an author, editor and (occasional) poet. I blog semi-regularly at www.anamcara.com, and guest post across the web. I am the author of Embracing the Body: Finding God In Our Flesh & Bone (IVP, March 2015), and I am contracted with Franciscan Media for a grown-up coloring book tentatively titled A Colorful Communion. I also edit a spiritual formation publication called Conversations Journal (www.conversationsjournal.com) which is published twice a year by Richmont Graduate University.
I wrote my first book when I was seven (a Shakespearean tragedy about a caterpillar named Squishy—you can guess what happens to him in the end). My first poem was published (The Jaguar of Badness) when I was in grade 2, but please don't ever read it. I've been processing the world through words as soon as I was able to write (and a little bit before). I'm passionate about the Oxford comma and guilty of the overuse of parentheticals. I love creative non-fiction and write to discover what I know and live into the mystery of what I don't. Outside of creating, I enjoy Dr. Who, being alongside others in their journeys with God (I'm a spiritual director), and cooking a delicious meal for friends. I also practice martial arts and the occasional bout of photography.
About my Faith
I'm really over cliches about God, but I have to start with telling you that I love Jesus. I've been a believer for more than 14 years now, but I still feel like a beginner in many ways. I didn't grow up in a Christian home, but one that nonetheless allowed me the freedom to explore the deep spiritual urges I found inside of me. I lack the lexicon that many of my peers and friends have absorbed from years in youth groups and Bible camps, but I also came to relationship with the Triune God without a lot of the baggage that upbringing sometimes engenders. In addition to being an artist, I am also a spiritual director by vocation, so I love journeying with others as they journey with God. It is a gift to me to be able to hold space and silence for others as they wrestle, commune, and listen to the Divine. I'm a contemplative at heart, but my new motherhood has challenged my ways of being with God more deeply than I had anticipated in this past year. I find the Word most deeply in words, and have been shaped recently by a practice of scriptural study with a traveling rabbi who I consider to be a spiritual father in many ways.
In terms of the details, I'm currently a member of International Anglican Church, having found my way into Anglicanism after coming to Christ in a Southern Baptist Church, learning the Word in a large Bible Chapel, and gaining a heart for the world in a Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. Since I was baptized as an infant in an Anglican church in Montreal, Anglicanism feels like coming home.
The biggest problem facing Christian artists today?
I struggle to call what is produced in mass-media Christendom as "art." It's usually thinly veiled propaganda or overt evangelism (without any actual witnessing, i.e., telling of a real story). I find that the current Christian arts scene either (1) gets co-opted by the church to make Sunday morning a little more "cool" or "arts-y", without an accompanying theology of beauty and creativity that permeates the church culture itself. Or (2), artists who are Christian (I don't like the term "Christian artist") feel the pressure to take on Biblical themes in their art when that isn't necessary to steward their gifts well or bring glory to God.
I also think that we lack real patrons for artists and an understanding that the pursuit of craft isn't lazy or indulgent in a world that emphasizes efficiency or production, and that fame is too often equated with artistic success. So...lots of problems, just not one big one.