I Have a Kid Hangover (But Manage to Write Anyway)

The past thirteen-plus years for me have been one long exercise in welcoming the messy, noisy, needy people who are my children. They make it hard to get anything much done, especially writing. But without them, I’m not sure I’d have much of value to write. [Read more...]

Instead of Judging Our Fellow Parents, How About Offering Empathy & Respect?

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Parents love to judge each other for all kinds of perceived failures. Here are some common ways in which parents judge other parents harshly—and suggestions for replacing judgment with empathy and respect. [Read more...]

Gratitude in an Overscheduled Season

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As the school year winds down, my calendar greets me each morning with its list of assemblies and ceremonies and recitals and final thises and thats. Reminders about teacher and coach gifts to be group funded and bought, of summer camp bills to be paid and paperwork to be completed. My brain greets me each [Read More...]

How Poverty Affects Vaccination Rates

Last fall I pointed blog readers to my colleague Rachel Stone’s post on vaccination as an expression of neighborly love. Today, Rachel has a follow-up post of sorts, commenting on a Mother Jones article indicating that poverty and other family issues (such as working parents who struggle to get their kids to the doctor’s office [Read More...]

The Kingdom Comes One Lonely Step at a Time—Until We Are Not Lonely Any More

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Significant lifestyle changes (or even small changes) for the good of our earth and its inhabitants become sustainable and adoptable by a large population only when communal values change enough that healthier, more humane practices become the norm. Big lifestyle changes for ethical reasons are best done in community. [Read more...]

Factory Disasters in Bangladesh, Consumerism, and Original Sin

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I approach buying clothes for my children with the same compulsive attention to my kids’ individual needs and wants that I bring to Christmas gift buying. Focused attention to my kids’ clothing needs is, for me, as much an embodiment of maternal love as cooking is for some moms. Finding a shirt that I just [Read More...]

Does God Hate Clutter? I Used to Think So, But Now I’m Not So Sure

All of our stuff can distract and overwhelm us, but it can also provide context. Our clutter can remind us that matter matters, that the bodies we inhabit and tend, the food we make and eat, the clothes and toys and mementos made or given or used with love can bind us to each other, and to those who came before and come after. [Read more...]

At Home in a Place Where Imperfect Bodies Are the Norm

At my local pool, people with limps and spots and wrinkles are the norm, and it’s the statuesque blonde in a bikini who raises eyebrows. This is my kind of place. [Read more...]

The Summer When I Didn’t Cherish Time with My Kids

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Note: I wrote this in the summer of 2009. I am reposting it here as summer approaches, as a reminder (to myself, above all) of how radically life can change us in surprising ways. I used to despise the summertime, for reasons I explain in this post. Now, I have become like a cat, chasing [Read More...]

Articulating the Mystery of Faith: Christian Wiman’s “My Bright Abyss”

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We Christians are sometimes taken to task for the way that we, when embroiled in difficult conversations about whether or not God exists, chalk things up to “mystery.” Our atheist/agnostic conversation partners see this (rightly, in some cases) as a cop out, as a way of saying, “I don’t really understand why I believe, but [Read More...]

Progressive Christians Do Care About Abortion: A Response to Rachel Held Evans

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Blogger/author Rachel Held Evans wrote an excellent post last week titled Why Progressive Christians Should Care About Abortion. She traced her own history, from embracing an evangelical pro-life stance to her gradual understanding of abortion’s complexities, and recognition that those who are “pro-life” do not always support policies that sustain non-fetal lives, such as those [Read More...]

How Mother’s Day 2006 Was the Beginning of the Rest of My Life

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This is the story I told at this past weekend’s inaugural Speak Up storytelling event in Hartford. In my next email newsletter, I will include a link to the Speak Up podcast, which includes my telling this story to a live audience (with considerable more humor than comes through in the written version), along with [Read More...]


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