Book Review–Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality

Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations about Sexuality and SpiritualityRedeeming Sex: Naked Conversations about Sexuality and Spirituality by Debra Hirsch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s All About The Love

Redeeming Sex is a book that will transform the conversations in the evangelical world and beyond about sexuality and how we can embrace and love one another wherever we are on our journey toward redemption. Seriously– This book is a game changer, and I love it.

Deb’s thoughtful insight, impeccable research and theological perspectives on human sexuality are so right on, and resonate so deeply with everything in my soul, I know I will use this book as a reference for years to come to guide and help others in love and grace who have been so wounded by well meaning “Church” people, trying to make everyone look alike, think alike, and act alike.

So much irrevocable damage has been done in the name of Christ to anyone who does not fit the “Normal” paradigm of sexuality (whatever that is). Redeeming Sex sends a message loud and clear that there is no one, not one person who does not bear the image on God brightly on their soul. I think this book will give us all a greater understanding of ourselves and each other as we move forward into a more Jesus loving, Jesus believing, Jesus acting kind of people.

I am excited for pretty much all of humanity to read Deb’s book.

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David and Joseph


David and Joseph

Joseph was royalty.
He had the blood of kings in his veins.
A chosen king.
As improbable David’s anointing
Was Joseph becoming the Father of the King of Kings.

Carpenters and shepherds. Shepherds and carpenters. Blue collar workers with royalty in their veins because the God of the universe knew

No one
Could achieve true Greatness with their own strength

No one

could earn status in God’s kingdom without His secret ways, His blessings, His miracles

No one is wise enough, powerful enough, perfect enough

To end up the King of Israel
Or the unintended Father to the King

God smiled,
moved some impossible
parts and pieces together
And blew divinity into the line of David. Knocked him to His knees
And to Joseph
He Whispered a similar task
To be the shepherd to the king of kings
David fell, Joseph nodded, God smiled
and a King was born.

When Christmas Cannot Be Merry and Bright

IMG_0577.JPGI’m in a quandary this Christmas season.  We’ve been through the most difficult transition year of our married lives, our girls have said goodbye to all of their childhood friends, we sat in a room with a dozen friends we raised our babies with and sobbed.  Gut wrenching, heart aching, sobs.  I’ve never cried harder in my life than that evening, saying goodbye to lifelong friends.

In May we made the move from Granger, In. to Shawnee, Ks.  The best, but most difficult family decision we’ve ever made.  I’ve felt like an ocean has been moving under my feet since we landed, trying to get acclimated myself, get my girls acclimated, figuring out how to fix a new bathtub with new problems, how to keep the hot sun from killing my plants, and all that normal stuff.

And then in September, my precious Uncle died.  How do I tell my aunt, who spent years of her life dedicated to him, to Jesus, to their children…translating the bible into unwritten languages, whom she loved…how do I tell her to be merry this christmas?

In November, my cousin died.  He was too young.  Only 5 years older than me.  The thought of losing him does not ring true with “Merry and Bright” or a cup of Christmas cheer.

A mamma lost not one, but three babies, triplets, born too early this week.  They suffered through the trauma of the funeral of the first two, held out hope for the third.  He died.  Now another funeral.

The news…the news.  I cannot even bare to watch it with my children asking questions about atrocities committed against children their own ages.  I cannot even watch the news alone.

But I can walk in the darkness of this Advent hour.  I can walk in peace, with lots and lots of tears, but with peace.  Knowing my Savior was born.  He came to save a fool like me.  He came to abolish slavery, to set the prisoners free.  He came to love.  He came to forgive.  To teach us to love and forgive by what He did for us.  Born humbly.  Walked through His ordinary days like an ordinary guy, but holy.  Perfect.  Full of love.  Never casting the poor or needy aside if they did not match up with His holy critera for those worthy of His time.  He walked slowly.  He touched.  He held.  He healed.  He lifted heads.  He gave new names.  He brought joy.  He brought mystery.  He brought laughter.  He brought light.  He embraced the unembraceable.

He was the light.  And He is.  He is the lifter of our heads, the light in our darkness.  Forever.

Jesus is our hope in a very dark place.


What Makes A House A Home.

Girls in Jammies

We sold our home in Granger, In. this week.  Done deal, handed the keys over, said our goodbyes from Kansas.  Starting over in a new home is a strange experience, especially since so many “firsts” happened in Granger.  The finality of it made me think, “What makes a house a home?”

What makes a house a home?


A thousand memories .

Laughing, first steps, first bike rides, first days of school,  secret club houses and fairies in the bushes.

Flashlight hikes, hide and seek, bubble baths and dress up games. Monsters in the closet and under the bed.  Captured toads, snakes, and butterflies.


Tears, trials, slammed doors, quiet moments.  Hugs of confidence, apologies, forgiveness, honor.

Open doors, summer breezes, shared meals, inside, outside, around the fire.

After dinner dance parties, esteemed guests-pretend and real.

Secret hideouts. Secret handshakes.

Thunderstorm watching on the front porch, star gazing from the backyard hammock.

Sad endings, closed doors, goodbyes, see you laters.

What makes a house a home is the love that holds the walls up when everything’s pressing in.  What makes a house a home is the people that are there at the end of the day when everyone else is gone.

What makes a house a home is family.

Granger House

Goodbye Granger house.  Thanks for the memories.

Belle Jumping

Beside The Still Waters And The War of the Worlds



Most of us know or have heard reference at some point in our lives to Psalm 23.  Bits and pieces come to us when we are feeling afraid, alone, or like we are being attacked by alien spaceships in War of the Worlds.  Ha–I am not joking that part of my subconscious sees the Priest in the old War of the Worlds movie walking toward the evil-eyed spaceship quoting the 23rd psalm. Then he gets zapped and turns to dust.   It scared me to death as a kid.  I always wondered why he was not using his brain and kept walking toward the ship instead of away.  At that point in the movie, I think the behavior of the aliens pretty consistently proved they were bad guys…so, while all of you are reading through psalm 23 with floating streams and quiet places and vivid images of gentle shepherds leading their sheep through grassy knolls, I’m thinking about the poor priest who got turned to dust.


I’m thinking that alien space ships were not on King David’s radar when he wrote his prayer to God, but maybe something like it.  A deeply distressing time that brought him to his knees, seeking the comfort his true Shepherd could bring.

So, however we get to Psalm 23 and whatever makes us think about it, the truth is the same.  God, our good, good God, will lead us in quiet places and walk with us in silence while the peace of the streams bring life back into our weary souls.  Nowhere in Psalm 23 does it say “Then God shouted at me because I’ve been such an idiot”, or “God threw me into the quiet stream and held my head under until I gurggled” I give up!”

IMG_5824 IMG_5794 IMG_5803

What this Psalm DOES say, all our own vivid imagery and associations with this familiar passage aside, is:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Take a deep breath, breath in the Hope of a loving God who will walk quietly with you wherever you are on your path.  Know He’s with you.  Breathe and Hope.


*Grace and Peace*

All Things New


A few weeks ago while the girls were at school, I jumped in the jeep, drove down long country roads until I found a piece of Heaven on Earth–The most amazing sunflower field I’ve ever seen–well, the only sunflower field I’ve ever seen, but that’s beside the point.  I  knew there was no way I could capture the vastness of the yellows and greens meeting the clouds with their tips standing tall all the way to the horizon.  Being a photographer, that was a little disappointing.  I wanted to share it all with everybody.  Some things just are not reproducible.  I had to let it go.  I just stood for a long, long time and stared, allowing all of my senses to take in the glory of it all.  Breathing it in, I realized I was breathing in joy, and new life.

Everything around me in Kansas is new.  The sunflower fields, the white, fluffy clouds, the stunning sunsets and sunrises that surprise me almost every day…the giant spiders, frogs in my garden, the Royals, Chiefs, and lots and lots of old barns and pioneer settlements.

I.  Love.  Kansas.  Really, I do.  Breathing new air has been good for my soul.  I find myself coming alive a bit more every day.  I’m grateful for new friends, a new church and the schools our girls attend.

Do I miss Indiana? Every single day.  I miss my friends who are like family.  I miss the familiarity of everything and not having to figure out new stuff every day.  I miss apple orchards and blueberry picking.  I miss Lake Michigan, the rolling dunes, and the lighthouses most of all.

The bright memories of our old home mixed with the awakening of my soul in a new place are good indeed.

Sunflower Field

Standing in the sunflower fields made me fall in love with my Creator God all over again.  When I see what an amazing artist He is, I am humbled and I feel loved, knowing that He made things like sunflower fields for me to breathe new air and make my soul come alive.

Yellow Jeep. Yellow Sunflowers


Three Sunflowers

I am so grateful for new life.  Grateful for the hope that change can bring.

Look around you…even if it’s not a ginormous sunflower field…look at the clouds.  Marvel at the sky.  Catch a frog and look her eye to eye, and then kindly let her go back to whatever girl frogs do in gardens.

Feel the Creator’s love for you in the endless beauty that is Nature, that is the air you breathe everyday.

*Grace and Peace*


Us!  The Wegner’s.

Wegner JeepWe moved from Indiana to Kansas on May 2.  Every single day since then, I have had a lesson in the form of humility from one source or another.  Every place I go, I have to rely on Siri or my instincts to figure out where I am and where I am going, and how to get there.  The days I rely on my instincts, I get lost.

Other than daily getting lost or finding myself driving down the wrong way on a one way street, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Kansas.  Our new church family, Westside Family Church, has welcomed us with grace and peace and so, so much kindness.

Every day is a new introduction.  A new something somewhere.  I am a deeply settled person.  I enjoy roots, predictability, and the peace that comes from knowing what happens next.  Learning the in’s and outs and shortcuts will take time, I’m sure.  

As I am being humbled by learning all things new, I thought I’d take a minute to blog about what I DO know. These are the people I know best in the world–their in’s and out’s, their shortcuts, what makes them who they are.  I’d like to introduce my family.  Understand these are bird’s-eye-view introductions. Each one of us is incredibly complex.  Our girls are very spirited–The dynamics of raising three girls in one family are intense, insanely fun, and keep Rob and I on an incredibly high learning curve .

Rob and got married 21 years ago when he was 21 and I was 19.  We were close friends from the time I was 12 and he was 14.  I still remember clear as day the first time I saw him.  He radiated joy and warmth and he was the funniest person I knew (besides myself, of course)

Rob at Jenny LakeRob is a phenomenally gifted communicator and teacher of Jesus and His ways.  He is a wonderful husband and amazing father to our three girls.  He is patient and kind with them, leading them by his example and courage to follow Jesus wherever He leads.  Rob is a guitarist and musician. Music oozes out of him wherever he goes.  It’s in his soul and spirit.  He’s a dreamer of really big dreams, and a huge believer in helping others implement their own.  I’m proud to be his wife.

Maddie-CameraMadeline (Nick names:Maddie, Madalina, Madeliney, Mads, Matt, Mattie Mick…etc)

Maddie is 15. She is an old soul in a young body. She’s an introvert, a Noticer, and deeply compassionate.  Maddie is wise beyond her years and can spot a faker in a second (someone who says they are one thing but really are not who they say they are).  She’s deeply intuitive and an amazing photographer.  She’s hilarious and fun, practical and precise.  She is a wonderful role model to her younger sisters.  I am so proud to be her mom.


Whitney (Nick names Whit, Whitster, Whitaker, Wick)

Whitney is 14.  She is the tallest of our girls, and is made of solid muscle.  She’s a strawberry blonde beauty.  She’s intense, incredibly fun, an extremely strong leader, bold, loud, confident, and courageous.  Whit is the kind of kid who is a friend to literally everyone she knows and an underdog for the outcast kind of kids.  She has a gift for making those around her feel loved, included and important.  Whitney makes me laugh every day.  I’m so proud to be her Mamma.

BelleIsabelle  Joy(Belle, Isabob, Corndog, LIttle Mac, Is., Peanut)

Belle is 10.  She exudes joy and life like no one I’ve ever known.  From the minute she wakes up until her head hits the pillow at night, she oozes life and radiates joy.  She is so much fun, non-stop.  She is a Rainbow Loom genius, making bracelets and crafts several hours a day.  She is deeply sensitive, is easily hurt, but comes alongside those who hurt because she knows how it feels.  Belle is a best friend and buddy to whomever she is with.  She is the definition of joy.  Her smile and laugh light up a room like magic.  I’m so proud to be Belle’s Mamma.

Michelle-HeadbandMe – I’m 41.  I’ve written for several magazine publications over the past 10 or so years about family life and spiritual matters.  I am a mega introvert.  I need lots and lots of time alone, and people often misunderstand this part of me as snobbishness or aloofness.  I promise I am neither of those.  I love people.  I love Jesus.

I love my family with all of my heart.  I love anything artsy or creative or fun.  Driving my Jeep with the top down, taking photos along the way with the sun on my face (or even in the pouring rain) fills me up.  I’m often in nature alone, photographing stuff that point me to my Creator.  I see Him through my camera lens, and hear His voice in the wind.

That’s enough introducing for now. Your eyeballs are probably tired from this very, very long post.  Go take a nap and give your eyes a break.  It’s been so lovely getting to know you all.  Thanks for being gracious and kind as we humbly get to know you back.

~Grace and Peace.

Over The Rainbow

So, suddenly here we are, over the rainbow…in Kansas! Who would have ever thought that we would end up in Kansas? I wouldn’t have! For all the people that live here in Kansas, I am ashamed to say the only perception I had of Kansas was a black and white one from my childhood-Dorothy’s Kansas with farms and cyclones and crazy wizards living in trailers in the middle of nowhere.

I have been overwhelmed by the beauty of this place, the blue’s are more blue, the green’s are more green. We live a few miles from several parks that are breathtaking in their beauty.  There are bluebirds everywhere, coyotes, and SNAKES!  We’ve had so many adventures in the month that we’ve lived here.  It’s been wild and wonderful.

Before Rob and I came to Westside to interview for his position, a friend texted me and said, “What do you think about moving to Kansas?” I replied sarcastically “I am NOT moving to Kansas”.

Famous last words.  Ha.

The girls enjoyed getting to know their new schools for the last few weeks of the school year. It was a bit hectic exiting their old schools and entering the new, all at the end of the school year and during a cross country move, but on the other side of it all, we are glad we made the decision.  They were each able to make some friends, as well as learn their way around their new schools and our neighborhood.

We love our new house.  Belle’s school is just outside of our back gate, which means she can get to school in under a minute in the mornings, but it also means we have a gigantic playground in our back yard, and a beautiful path to walk in the evenings.  We are beyond grateful.

We have also been getting to know our new church, Westside Family Church.  It is one amazing place, with a wonderful staff and tons of extremely friendly people.  Learning everyone’s names has been a challenge, especially in my now old age of 41, but people have been very gracious and patient.  :)

We are still waiting for our house in Granger to sell, so if you know anyone who is interested in a fabulous house in Granger in an amazing school district, let us know!  Also, if you are a person who prays, ask God to send the right family to love that house and neighborhood as much as we did.

We are grateful for all the love and support of our friends and family in this time of transition.  It’s been an amazing ride to the other side of the rainbow, but we are happy, settling in, and finding our footing here as we march forward together as a family on this new adventure.

Shawnee Mission Tower


Here’s The Scoop…

Michelle Wegner

 So, last time I blogged was in January when I was still languishing on my bed post surgery. My foot hurt–A lot–It still does, but the good news is that I can walk again. I’m not quite where I want to be (hiking the Appalachian Trail), but I can get around the house and go for short walks, giving me a whole new appreciation for walking.  I’ve always loved to walk, and it’s been a very long winter stuck inside, but it’s given me a lot of time to think, focus, pray, doodle, practice being nice when I don’t want to be, etc.

I’ve gotten outside by myself a few times and taken in the beauty around me that isn’t the four walls of my bedroom. I have to say, everything is shiny and new to me.  Breathing fresh air, seeing the blue sky, letting the cold air fill my lungs and the sun shine on my face has literally breathed new life into me.

IMG_0678 IMG_1446This time of focus and change brings us from the end of one season to the beginning of the next.  I feel awakened, renewed, and ready to start our new season of life together as a family in Shawnee, Kansas.  We have a home there, and we will be packing up our home here in Granger, Indiana on the weekend of May 2.  We close on our new home on May 5 (and no, we have not sold our current home, so really…please pray the right family buys this beautiful, well-loved home soon).

Rob will be working at Westside Family Church in Lenexa, Kansas as one of the teaching pastors, and will have some other responsibilities as well.  I am not sure of his official title, you’ll have to ask him that, but we are excited about serving with this seriously amazing church.  Rob starts working there June 1st, so we will have a little transition time after we move and before he officially gets to work.

We will miss our Granger friends and family more than we could ever say.  We know this is right, the timing and God’s direction are clear, and we are ready to jump in head first to this new adventure.

So…there you have it. That’s the scoop.

(And if you know anyone who wants to buy a fabulous home in Granger, let me know! We are having all shiny new appliances put in today for some lucky new home buyer looking for a very easy-to-move-into home)  :)

Living On Purpose, Writing On Purpose