Posts written by Michelle Van Loon

If ever there was a question that fit our Perennial Gen July/August theme of the empty nest, it’s the title of Brenda Poinsett’s book, What Will I Do With The Rest Of My Life? The subtitle hints at the answer: A Woman’s Guide To Discovering Peace, Power, and Purpose After 40.  Though the empty nest […]

When I was in sixth grade, a teacher divided the three or four classes by gender. One of the teachers came into the girls’ room and gave us a talk about our changing bodies and a sample box of mattress-sized Kotex sanitary napkins. It wasn’t quite the rite of passage at which other cultures seem […]

There is a poignancy in the process of preparing to launch a young adult child into the great blue – to college, into a first apartment, or to begin military service. The questions bubble: Have I prepared him well? Is she ready? Am I? (The answer to the final one is almost always “no”, by […]

I thought we were friends. At midlife I learned that I might have overstated some of these relationships a tad. It seemed that my BFFs had really been church and parenting co-workers. Inspirational speaker Barbara Bartocci parsed the difference, noting, “People frequently think they have friends at work—or church or the tennis club or any location […]

The language of “seasons” in our lives is a familiar and useful, if tired, metaphor. If familiarity doesn’t breed contempt, it certainly does cause us to stop thinking about what we might really be saying when we throw it out there. When we talk about the seasons of our lives, it is a way in […]

As we finish up this month’s focus on faith shifts, I’m including some words from my book If Only: Letting Go Of Regret here because they apply. Midlife started for me with confronting a regret I thought I’d successfully ducked for years. I suspect it might have to do with launching the process of coming to […]

…stuff we wore in the 1970’s. Stuff like: I loved my gaucho pants (or are they skirts? so hard to tell!), especially when paired with a natty vest and a pair of fake Frye boots. But let’s be honest. These are really bell bottoms that shriveled in the wash. *** Speaking of vests…who thought that a […]

Poet Christian Wiman penned these words in his book My Bright Abyss about how faith shifts as we move through life: In fact, there is no way to ‘return to the faith of your childhood,’ not really, not unless you’ve just woken up from a decades-long and absolutely literal coma. Faith is not some half-remembered […]

I’ve had a faith shift. I hope you have, too. Our theme this month at The Perennial blog has been “Faith Shift”. While the words may conjure images of abandoning the faith of your youth at midlife to some readers, it is just as likely that if you’re growing spiritually and emotionally, you’ve moved beyond […]

Many Evangelicals were shocked to hear that one of their own, broadcaster Hank Hanegraff, host of The Bible Answer Man syndicated radio program, had joined the Orthodox Church. Hanegraff’s faith shift is another account of a former Evangelical moving to a different stream of the Church. When former Evangelical Theological Society president Francis Beckwith joined […]