Why I Love Writing, But Don’t Always Like It

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I have been on an Alice Munro binge, gobbling up her latest collection of short stories titled Dear Life, and then rummaging through the pile of books on my nightstand to devour Runaway, which I purchased on a Borders discount table years ago and somehow never read. Alice Munro stories are about regular people, about [Read More...]

Things to Ponder Before Undergoing Prenatal Testing

My friend, colleague, and fellow Patheos blogger Amy Julia Becker has a new e-book titled What Every Woman Needs to Know about Prenatal Testing: Insights from a Mom Who Has Been There. My official endorsement of the book, which I include below, was heartfelt and genuine. Amy Julia’s book is in a similar vein to [Read More...]

A Message to the “Nones”: Don’t Reject God Because of Human Suffering or Christian Bullshit

It’s one of the most notable cultural statistics of our time: According to the The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the number of people claiming no religious affiliation—the so-called “nones”—is rising rapidly. About one-fifth of the U.S. population is either atheist/agnostic, or has no particular affiliation at all. A fair number of the [Read More...]

Is It Harder for Boys than Girls to Be Who They Really Are?

Ben enjoys a chocolate chip cake pop with raspberry frosting (his very specific request) at his birthday party.

As I have written before in contemplating my son’s nontraditional choices of toys and clothing, the double standard at work in how we respond to children who don’t conform to gender stereotypes is rooted in a culture that values men and male stereotypes (physical strength, earning power, toughness) over women and female stereotypes (emotion, empathy, [Read More...]

Top 10 Posts of 2012

A colleague told me yesterday that my post on “Why I am a Christian Democrat” was not only my most-read post ever, but was one of the most-read posts on the entire Patheos site in 2012. Wow. I’m pondering whether this post’s gratifying success might be pointing me toward my next book project. For now, [Read More...]

Let’s Change Our Gun Laws…and Preserve “Qualities of Heart and Spirit”

One month (actually, a month and a day) after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, issues around gun violence and gun control are still making headlines. Vice President Joe Biden’s policy recommendations will be shared today. As someone who has written and cared about gun control for many years, I can’t help but [Read More...]

“You Made Me Happy, Mom”: Christmas 2012

Just call her "Katniss"

I take Christmas gifts for my children very seriously, keeping a running list on my iPhone of gift ideas (some of their choosing, some my own brainstorm) and then sitting down in November to chart exactly what each child will receive, factoring in fairness and wants and needs and budget. I aim for each child [Read More...]

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (Including Me)

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According to the Mayans, the world was supposed to end on Friday. It didn’t. But it sure feels like a bit like the end of the world as we know it, doesn’t it? The afternoon of December 14, some friends and I remarked that it felt an awful lot like 9/11. We had that same [Read More...]

Broken Bones, School Shootings, Divine Intentions, and Why We Suffer

As the one-year anniversary of my book publication approaches in January, I’m devoting Fridays from now until the end of the year to revisiting the book’s major themes. Each Friday, I’ll post an excerpt from No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Suffering in an Age of Advanced Reproduction. This week’s excerpt focuses [Read More...]

What to Do Now? Teach Kindness, Work to Curb Violence, and Hug Each Other

There are so many valuable words coming from my writing friends and colleagues in the Sandy Hook shooting’s aftermath that I could sit at the computer, posting links to my Facebook page all day long. Here are three I’d like to share with you: Fellow Patheos blogger and my good friend Amy Julia Becker, like [Read More...]

Lessons from a Christmas Cactus

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It blooms every Christmas and every Easter. I don’t do anything to make that happen. I water it when I remember to. I keep it in an east-facing window where it gets some sun but not too much. Other than that, I put absolutely no effort into this little plant. And still, every Christmas, every [Read More...]

On Blogging in Response to Tragedy

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As I sat on the sunny bench in my front yard on Friday afternoon, where I had planned to tie up a few loose writing ends and was quickly waylaid by the awful news coming out of the small town not far west of here, I thought about whether and how to respond. I didn’t [Read More...]


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