About my Speaking Style
I’m a practical theologian + engaging storyteller.
I love to speak at conferences, events, MOPs groups, and on podcasts about how Jesus transforms us in practical, ordinary ways, on the ground-floor of our lives.
I speak to women about what matters most with empathy + candor.
With deep thinking, theology, storytelling, and humor, I use my experience as fodder to explore topics that matter to women and mothers, particularly topics that relate to my training as a birth doula and practical theological issues such as Christian sexuality, suffering, the character of God, and emotional healing.
I provide relational connection for groups of women + resources to continue the conversation after I’m gone.
My aim is to open a conversation for your women about a topic that matters. For all my talks, I provide resources for groups to have connection time: I give coordinators PDFs of ice breaker questions for women to use before my talk, discussion questions for directly after the talk, and reflection worksheets for individuals to to bring home to engage topics in their own time.
I adhere to historic Christian orthodoxy, as laid out by the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds.
Heal from Your Birth Story
As mothers, we often do not know where to turn with our birth story. Our birth stories often contain both the highest joys and griefs of our lives, and the scientific research has consistently shown that our childbirth experiences affect mothers for the rest of their lives. So how do we heal? Through sharing one of my own birth stories and in my experience attending births as a birth doula, I discuss three ways we often tell our stories – and why those ways do not bring us the healing we’re searching for. I then invite mothers to turn to God for that healing.
I can tailor the conclusion of my talk to your group:
1. I can walk you through an exercise (the "Story behind the story" exercise) designed to help mothers heal from their birth experiences by examining core beliefs about themselves and God that they learned from their birth experience, OR
2. I can lead your group through an Ignatian reflection inspired by the passage where Jesus heals the hemorrhaging woman in the gospels.
For this talk I provide both icebreaker questions about childbirth to being our time and then discussion questions to guide processing among groups of women after my teaching has concluded.
How to Be Your Own Health Advocate
With gender bias rampant in every single area of medicine in the U.S., we can be certain that our healthcare system was not made for us. Yet we, as women, step into the moving stream of healthcare as soon as we are born. For many women, though, their first serious encounter with healthcare comes with a visit to the OB-GYN for birth control, and then, to have a baby. Yet after those experiences, many women are left wondering, how can this be better?
As a former birth doula, and with my own personal experiences of chronic illness (legal blindness in one eye) and mental illness (depression/anxiety), I share a unique perspective on what it means to advocate for ourselves as women - and how we can support our friends as they walk their own health journeys.
How Do People Change?
According to the Bible, how do people change? The gospel tells us we are justified by Jesus's death and resurrection, but to many Christians, "sanctification" feels unclear and ethereal. We understand what it takes to get into heaven, but do not know what’s expected of us today. Can we expect to be transformed into sanctified people in the blink of an eye, like the apostle Paul on the road to Emmaus, or does change take time? And who brings about that change, anyway—me or God?
Though the theology of sanctification is weighty, I keep things lighthearted and down-to-earth for my listeners, incorporating many personal stories and examples to bring the truths of Scripture home. I also emphasize the ways the spiritual disciplines bring Christians into a space where God changes us, examining how reading the Bible, praying, and repenting of sin bring us into greater community and intimacy with God.
For discussion and personal reflection, I provide a worksheet called "Pursuing Intimacy with God" for my listeners to engage more deeply with the content of my talk.
Jesus Was A Crier: Our Emotional God
Many Christians grew up believing our negative emotions were wrong and bad, that when we felt anger or sadness we were not obeying God. Yet Scripture gives us a very different picture of God. The prophet Elijah is met by God in the desert when he has lost all hope; Elizabeth is given a child, John the Baptist, like many childless women before her; and Mary and Martha are met at Lazarus’s tomb by a compassionate and weeping Jesus. Even the apostle Paul in the misery of the “thorn in his flesh,” is met by God. Through examining these texts, we come to understand that God has made ALL of our emotions, even the negative ones, and we discuss how we can bring even these emotions before our emotional God.
For discussion and personal reflection, I provide a worksheet that helps my listeners to engage more deeply with the content of my talk.
Saying No: Setting Boundaries Like Jesus
Christians are natural helpers: we desire to serve God with our YES, with our doing. But what if what if saying yes is not always good for us?
Let’s embrace the word “NO” because God himself says no.
After all, God has woven boundaries into his world, starting in the creation account in Genesis when God separates and divides matter, creating earth and water, light and dark, land and sky. God creates different days for different purposes, including a day for rest, the Sabbath.
God also creates distance between himself and sin.
And most important of all, God creates one specific way for us to reach him—the one way, Jesus Christ, the god-man.
By examining the way God initiated boundaries in our universe, and the way that even Jesus sets boundaries in his own ministry, I hope to inspire listeners with theology before moving into very practical steps for setting boundaries in our lives.
I ask listeners to reflect on their own hearts:
Where are you, right now, resisting God’s NO in your life?
Why do you resist setting boundaries with others?
Do you believe that boundaries are a good gift from a good God? Why or why not?
I ask them to think through the boundaries they need to set today, and how they can stick to it. I invite them to live out a true YES that allows them to be limited, finite beings, that tells the truth with their NO in their relationships, and that mirrors God’s loving interdependence and wholeness at the same time.
And by the way, through the boundary-setting, they will find more space and freedom to live into their own purpose—sounds like a dream, right? This is the reality God invites us into as we pursue our relationships (yes, even motherhood).
At the end of my talk, I provide a worksheet that women can take home with them for personal reflection, or that may be used as discussion questions in groups to give attendees a chance to connect with their fellow participants.
Emotionally-Healthy Faith Conference (3 Talks)
This conference combines the three talks below (“How Do People Change?”, “Jesus Was a Crier: Our Emotional God,” and “Saying No: Setting Boundaries Like Jesus”) to create a conference experience centered around healing, developing, and/or maintaining healthy relationships as a person of faith. The pricing and timing for this conference is different than the others, so please reach out to hear more about it.
How to Have Awesome Christian Sex
Culture would tell us that sex has one purpose: to make you feel good. And oh, perhaps to have children if you want them. But its theology of sex stops there. The Bible, however, gives Christians a robust theology of sex:
Sex is for our pleasure (Song of Solomon, Proverbs 5:18-19),
Sex is for procreation (Genesis 1:28, 2:7; Luke 1:35), and
Sex is for intimacy and unity between a married man and woman (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:18-25; Ephesians 5:22-32).
Developed for teaching the premarital class at Park Church in Denver, CO, this talk is meant to be practical, ending with a list of normative practices that I believe should exist in any healthy sexual relationship within Christian marriage.
The teaching concludes with a time of Q&A (questions submitted anonymously through note cards collected from the audience), in which I field questions with candor and humor - not as a “sexpert” but as a frank storyteller who is unembarassed about sharing details of my sex life with an audience. ;-)
Biblical Exegesis or Custom Topic:
If your conference is themed around a certain Scripture or topic, I can write you a teaching from scratch! Through my education at one of the best Christian institutions in the country (Wheaton College, IL), I learned how to dive deeply into Scripture using commentaries, church history, and historical interpretations of Biblical texts to create compelling, orthodox, narrative-style teachings that will give you a deeper appreciation for the relevance of Jesus’ gospel to us today.
Colorado MOPs groups: $25-75 (sliding scale)
National MOPs groups (in US, outside of Colorado): $200, plus travel costs reimbursed (flight, rental car, gas) and a $50 per diem
Church conferences: from $500, plus travel costs reimbursed (flight, rental car, gas) and a $50 per diem
*If funds are an issue: I’m willing to discuss your budget and come to a mutually agreed upon fee.