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...]

Parents-to-Be Have More Choices Than Ever, But We Can’t Choose Our Way Out of Pain

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Jennifer Gilmore’s story is enough to scare anyone away from open adoption. (It also provides the best supporting evidence ever for my contention that “Why don’t you just adopt?” might be one of the stupidest questions known to humankind.) After years of fertility treatments , Gilmore and her husband settled on an open domestic adoption. [Read More...]

Why I Don’t Call Myself a “Cancer Survivor” (& Why We Should All Think Twice Before Donning a Pink Ribbon)

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Three autumns ago, I walked into a radiologist’s office after a follow-up mammogram. He pointed to my films on a computer screen, and before he spoke, I knew I had cancer. I saw the trouble clearly—a cluster of opaque white dots in the upper portion of my right breast. My cancer, a type called ductal [Read More...]

A Different Take on Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

Questions around suffering and pain are stock in trade for me as a writer. I know that I can’t stand most Christian justifications (i.e., bullshit) for why terrible things happen. I know that even well-thought-out theological arguments around how God can be all-powerful, all-loving, and yet allow great suffering still fall far short for me. I [Read More...]

Questions Remain About the “Controversy in Candy Land”

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On Saturday, Jana Riess posted a piece on her Religion News Service blog raising questions about whether, in a recent blog post about the feminization and sexualization of characters in the Candy Land board game, writer Peggy Orenstein used images and ideas, without attribution, from blogger Rachel Marie Stone’s post on the same topic. Jana [Read More...]

[Me & My Naturopath] On Being Unfixable in a World Obsessed with Fixing

Even this standard yoga position? Ouch. I manage with blankets and blocks to get into something resembling this position. Sometimes.

A few weeks ago, I took a detour from my naturopathy focus to go see my orthopedist. My right knee (which I still thought of as my “good” knee, because unlike the other knee, it has never needed surgery) had become very painful, and I wanted to see if there was an acute injury that [Read More...]

On Silence and Simplicity & Their Opposites (Or, Why I Have Decided to Keep Writing Despite the Prospect of a “Real” Job and a Paycheck)

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My blog has been silent for several weeks now, and perhaps some of you have wondered why. (Perhaps you haven’t, in which case this post might not suit your fancy. I promise more substance in future posts). There are straightforward reasons for my silence, such as the kids’ week-long school vacation, preceded by a week [Read More...]

A Week When Families’ Stories Made the Difference

As regular readers of this blog know, I believe that storytelling is necessary for having fruitful conversations around our culture’s most troubling questions and issues. When we focus on talking points and “issues,” we get talking heads and shouting matches. When we tell and listen to stories, we get empathy and complexity and nuance. This [Read More...]

Meet David, as He Blogs His Way Through Alzheimer’s

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At the Potter’s House Church in Washington, D.C. (part of the former Church of the Saviour, founded by the late Gordon Cosby and his wife Mary), I worshipped with a physician named David Hilfiker. David and I were not particularly close. I was intimidated by his intellect. He once gave a sermon series parsing Rene [Read More...]

Last Night at Yoga

My teacher was showing us some really wild things she has learned to do with her abdominal muscles. She blows out all her breath, pulls her abs back toward her spine, then is able to release and contract individual muscles so that a wave ripples back and forth across her belly. It’s wild to watch. [Read More...]

Because I’m Not Funny Enough to Write My Own April Fool’s Post….

….I turn to my more humorous pals. My friend Rachel Stone (about whose new book Eat with Joy I blogged last week), covers the evangelical and Roman Catholic backlash to proposed measures to provide birth control to rats in the New York City subway. (The first paragraph—all true.) And fellow Patheos blogger David Hayward (a.k.a. [Read More...]

No, the Crucifixion is Not About Bloody Child Sacrifice Being Necessary for Forgiveness

In my post Message to the Nones, which countered some popular but wrong-headed notions of what Christians believe about suffering, one commenter said that his major beef with Christianity is the penal substitution theory of the atonement. The good news for that commenter, and many people who have struggled with that notion (including me) is [Read More...]


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