A Mother’s Call to Care for Other People’s Children

My good friend Sally has been traveling to the West Bank for a dozen years as a volunteer with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). I’m thrilled to share her story here. Sally Hunsberger used to think that as her children grew into more self-reliant teens, she would feel less conflicted about her regular trips to the West Bank [Read More…]

Lenten Compline for the Weary Parent

I need to make room for confession that goes deeper than my grimy kitchen floor and messy desk, for love that starts with the mundane work that sustains my family and my career but ends somewhere else—somewhere less cluttered, with more room for possibility. [Read more…]

Please Don’t Post a Photo of Your Kid’s Broken Arm, For Her Sake (& Mine)

We can help people understand what it means to live with a disability without shining too bright a beam on someone else’s life story—particularly when that someone is a child either incapable of giving consent or of understanding the long-term implications of having his or her worst, most painful, and most vulnerable moments preserved online. [Read more…]

The Limits of Gratitude

Gratitude is having a moment in our culture. Lifestyle gurus, including Oprah, tout the positive effects of expressing gratitude through letters or journal entries. Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts spent 60 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and spawned journals, notepads, and other tools with which you can literally count your blessings. [Read More…]

My Christmas Pageant Moment

This post was originally published on the Episcopal Café web site on January 21, 2010, and has been reprinted in my church bulletin for several Christmases. When I wrote it, my kids were much smaller, Christmas Eve more challenging as we aimed to do all the important things—prepare food, pick up those last few groceries—while shepherding three [Read More…]

Redefining “Fruitful”: Is Procreation a Divine Mandate?

I have an article in the latest issue of Sojourners magazine, looking at fresh theology questioning the oh-so-American notion that traditional nuclear families consisting of a heterosexual couple and biological or adopted children is God’s ideal. What if, in fact, the New Testament undermines the primacy of biological family, rather than holding it up as ideal? What [Read More…]

On Marriage, Church, and Sticking Around When Things Get Hard

In both marriages and churches, sometimes the challenge is to stay in the aftermath of serious hurts and major betrayals. More often, the challenge is to stay when things have become dull and predictable and exhausting. [Read more…]

Our Alleged “Contraceptive Mentality” is a Straw Man That Needs to Die

The way forward on abortion requires seeking common ground with those on a different side of abortion debates, and paying more attention to stories of individuals (realizing that such stories rarely conform to stereotypes) than to questionable “mentalities” that make it far too easy to categorize and then dismiss the valid concerns of those for whom these debates are far from hypothetical. [Read more…]