Passing on the Faith: Community Trumps Theology

My daughter at choir camp last week.

In church choir, my children are learning what it means not just to go to church, but what it is to be church for one another—what it means to be in a fellowship of people with a common faith, where standards are high and all are accepted, with a common goal of worshipping God with their best efforts and talents. [Read more...]

On Disquiet Time and Chickens


Hello friends. I am popping in to say that I will be blogging minimally between now and September 1st. I will be devoting much time to writing a chapter for the upcoming genre-busting Disquiet Time, which will be like no devotional book you’ve ever read (and will include chapters from some of my favorite blogging colleagues [Read More...]

Mainline Churches—A New Home for Disaffected Evangelicals?

By now, it’s old news that one in five Americans, including one-third of adults under 30, claim no religious affiliation. Popular blogger and author Rachel Held Evans, who identifies primarily as an evangelical, wrote a much-shared CNN blog post about how churches can attract disaffected “millennials,” or young adults, back to church. (She is talking mostly about young [Read More...]

The Redemption of the Mundane: My Post at Convergent Books

There’s a new imprint in town! Convergent Books is a division of Penguin Random House dedicated to books on progressive Christianity. I am thrilled and honored to have been invited to contribute to their new blog. My first post, on the redemption of the mundane (how I glimpse God’s goodness in the banal details of [Read More...]

Why “Sophia” is My Favorite Word for Praying

One of the great pleasures of the past year has been getting to know Micha Boyett (a.k.a. “Mama Monk”), a writer, poet, and fellow blogger on Patheos. Micha has a series of guest posts titled “One Good Phrase,” in which she invites writers to explain a particular word or phrase that has power in their [Read More...]

The Only Really Honest Ones? Addiction and Grace in “Sober Mercies”

I recently reviewed Heather Kopp’s memoir, Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk for the Englewood Review of Books. My review begins: In a recent interview, popular blogger, author, and recovering alcoholic and bulimic Glennon Melton said this: I think addicts are the only really honest ones. Life is hard, and everyone thinks [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] Married 16 Years Today


We fill our walls here on Oak Ridge Lane not with fine art (we have neither the money nor the passion for collecting), but with things that speak to the life we have built together—posters bought on trips to Italy and California; a limited edition print of the Washington National Cathedral (I lived in the [Read More...]

Why I’m Celebrating the Royal Birth


Oy. So much cynicism. Ever since Kate Middleton gave birth to the new prince, George Alexander Louis, earlier this week, the cynics have been having their day. My Facebook feed is thick with curmudgeonly rants about the inordinate attention given to a celebrity infant, along with smug affirmations from some that they, unlike their more frivolous [Read More...]

My Kids Are All Gone, and I Don’t Miss ‘Em

Forty-eight hours. That’s how long I have without one. single. child. in my home requiring food or their missing sandal or an arbiter for sibling warfare or a warm body at which to aim a stream of nonstop chatter. Well, I had forty-eight hours as of 4 p.m. yesterday. I’m already down to 29 hours. [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] My Writing Companion


When I sit outside to write, my dog Sunday insists on being nearby, even when she doesn’t particularly want to be because it’s very hot, as it was when I took this photo. She crawls into the shade under the car or right under the bench where I sit, ready to bounce up and follow [Read More...]

I am Pro-Choice, But Jezebel Does Not Speak for Me


My friend and colleague Amy Julia Becker wrote a lovely post on the Christianity Today women’s blog making the simple but vital observation that life for people with Down syndrome is not tragic and hopeless, but rather just as full of “good and bad things” as other people’s lives. Besides offering a glimpse into life in her [Read More...]

College Hookup Sex is Built on a Troubling Ethic of Achievement at Any Cost


After reading Kate Taylor’s New York Times article on the culture of casual hookup sex at elite colleges, I had to fight the urge to call my two daughters into the room issuing dire warnings of the world that awaits them in college. The world Taylor describes, in which driven young women drink their anxieties [Read More...]