In her writing, Marlena reflects on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus amid the beauty, wonder, and tragedy of this God-haunted world. She desires to offer a taste of the beauty and goodness and the hospitality of God through what she writes and how she lives. At the same time, she thinks about this: if Jesus reserved his harshest words for the religious people of his day, challenging their attitudes, in what way is Jesus challenging her and others within the Church? She is a bylined contributor for Christianity Today's Her.meneutics and Gifted for Leadership blogs. She has contributed to Christianity Today, Relevant, the Conversations Journal, Rachel Held Evans's blog, Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith, and other venues. She is married to her favorite person in existence, Shawn Graves. He's a philosopher. Together they have three children. They enjoy their life together and always desire to welcome others into it. She's on staff at her church offering and coordinating pastoral care for their beloved seniors. Her first book, A Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness (Brazos Press - Baker Books), will be out in June 2014.