How Screens are NOT Ruining My Family’s Life (& Maybe Even Making It Better)


This headline from the Huffington Post: “8 Ways Screens are Ruining Your Family’s Life.” Ah, nothing like a good dose of hyperbolic hysteria to get an audience riled up! You, with the TVs and laptops and smartphones: Betcha didn’t know you were ruining your family’s life, did you? This is a popular bandwagon to climb [Read More...]

The Brilliance and Beauty of a Marriage, Lost (& Found) in the Mess of Everyday Life


My lost-then-found diamond has become a metaphor for our marriage—lasting and solid and brilliant even when months and years go by when its shine, quality, and distinctiveness are hidden in the scrum of everyday life, obscured by groceries and vacuuming and the many loads we carry. [Read more...]

Grappling for a Christian Response to Syria

Oh, but this is an uncomfortable place to be, this place of uncertainty, where we are confronted with the grave suffering of God’s beloved children and want to do something but suspect that there is nothing we can do to make it better, now. [Read more...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


The kids went back to school on Wednesday, all smiles and energy. (The teenager left too early to be photographed, and wouldn’t have wanted to be anyway.) We had a truly terrific summer—summer camp, the 4H Fair, swim lessons, a final camping trip last weekend. And now we’re all ready to plunge back into the [Read More...]

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...]