The Three Worst Stories That “Me Before You” Tells About Disability

Me Before You tells three particularly damaging stories about life with a disability. [Read more…]

In Hamilton vs. Orlando, I Choose Hamilton

We can choose to harness history’s power—the power of the stories we tell—to claim hope and love as things that last, as the things that matter. We can choose to tell the better stories. And if we are fighting to make space for the better stories amid the bad news, if we are too sad or too angry to tell the stories ourselves, we listen to those who tell them for us. [Read more…]

Prince, Chronic Pain, Opioids & Why Dependence is Not a Pathology

On April 21, when my alarm clock radio blasted “Raspberry Beret” at 5:30 a.m., I let it play for a minute before turning the radio off. The familiar tune was an unexpectedly pleasant start to my day. Several hours later, I learned that Prince, the musical genius behind that song and so many others, was [Read More…]

God in My Gut

If God isn’t going to speak to me with a voice or in a dream or the clear movement of the Spirit, my gut is all I’ve got. [Read more…]

Consider the Birds: What happens to a writer (this writer) when words fail

The birds are trying to tell me something. If only I could figure out what. I have a thing for birds, live ones and otherwise. I drink my coffee every morning out of a chickadee mug—my favorite from the set of four bird mugs my husband gave me for Christmas. When I’m browsing for goods [Read More…]

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…]

This Lent, I’m Learning to Walk Again

When an early Easter will likely dawn gray and cold, snow still on the ground and kids still sniffling, when our colorful Easter clothes will be hidden under damp wool and dingy down jackets, when the earth’s transformation from winter to spring will appear only tentatively, obscured, then what of our transformation? Perhaps an early Easter is a truer reflection of how resurrection usually manifests, faltering and barely noticeable—a slightly higher slant of light, a whiff of damp soil carried on a chill wind, a patch of grass at the yard’s edge where the snow has begun to melt. I am desperate these days for transformation, for obvious and spectacular change in body, mind, and spirit. Especially body. But tenuous and equivocal transformation may be the best I can get.
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Chronic Pain, Shame, & Being Dependent (Not Addicted) to Opioids

The simple fact that I’ve found an effective treatment allowing me to live an active life with significant disability is obscured by the controversy, fear, stigma and caution that surround opioid prescribing.
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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…]


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