A Little Lent Check-In

Spring has fully sprung here in Connecticut. I am a New Englander at heart who feels a bit cheated by the seasons this year. Our worst snowstorm came in October (and it was a doozy, knocking out power to our entire town for more than a week), after which we had a wimpy, coldish but [Read More...]

The Tyranny of the News Hook

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Here’s one of many hard lessons I’ve learned as a writer publishing primarily online: You can pen a gorgeous piece about some timeless topic—parenting or faith or health or grief. And if your piece doesn’t have a news hook—if it doesn’t mention some hot topic in the news up front and then go on to [Read More...]

Why I Still Watch “American Idol”

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Yes, I know American Idol is passe. The audience numbers are way down. The show hasn’t produced a true superstar for years now. It has become utterly predictable. Every year, contestants make the same mistakes (singing ballads week after week, refusing expert advice on song choices), engage in the same inane banter with the host, [Read More...]

Yes, Low-Tech Treatments for Infertility Do Exist

The cervical cap included in The Conception Kit

by Stacie Longwell Hill, guest blogger Editorial note from Ellen: I was thrilled to recently make the acquaintance of Stacie Longwell Hill, who has experience in both bioethics and as an embryologist in a fertility clinic.  She shares my Christian faith, and has worked alongside Christian physicians treating couples for infertility. Stacie currently works in [Read More...]

And Now, a Poem About Ice Cream

Ice Cream Water Park copy

Golly, things get heavy around here sometimes, don’t they? They do. I’m feeling the weight this week, of tackling these difficult, emotional, intimate, provocative, divisive concerns. So when my son’s teacher e-mailed me with his latest poem, I decided to share it, to lighten the mood a bit. My kids go to this fabulous, amazing [Read More...]

Patheos Peeps: Jana Riess on Facebook as Comfort for the Grieving

Every Friday, I post a link to a blog post written by one of my fellow bloggers at Patheos, a web portal devoted to religion and spirituality. I encourage my blog readers to click through to read these posts, comment, and if you like what you read, follow these bloggers as well. On Patheos’s Emergent [Read More...]

My Bottom Line on Abortion—and Why I’m Going to Stop Writing About It for a While

Several years ago, as I was just beginning to blog about reproductive ethics, I asked my editor whether I should proactively write about my pro-choice leanings on abortion, or just let the topic arise naturally. I decided on the latter course, in part because I feared that if I wrote explicitly about abortion, the divisive [Read More...]

Three Things I Admire About Catholic Reproductive Ethics

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As a lifelong Protestant, I’m always surprised to find myself defending Catholic positions on reproductive ethics when others criticize them. Often, people’s criticisms of Catholic teachings about reproduction and sex are based on laughably inaccurate assumptions. These are some of the most egregious criticisms I’ve heard: – Catholic leaders just want people to have more [Read More...]

Bloggers: What’s the Best Thing You’ve Ever Written? Want to Share It?

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A few weeks ago, a blogger friend sent me a link to something he wrote, saying he thinks it’s the best think he’s ever written. That got me thinking. I too have a “best thing,” a blog post that practically wrote itself and that I am particularly proud of. (Long-time readers probably know which post [Read More...]

Basic Info for New Readers Who Read About Me in the Hartford Courant

The photo accompanying the Courant column. Is it just me, or do Daniel and Leah (in back) have a sort of Addams family look to them? Need to tell them to lighten up a bit...

Hartford  Courant columnist Rick Green featured me and my book, No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith in an Age of Advanced Reproduction, in a column in today’s paper. He and I had a long and far-ranging conversation last week; I am grateful for his time and attention, and the way he [Read More...]

Patheos Peeps: Elizabeth Nordquist on Walking as Spiritual Discipline

Every Friday, I post a link to a blog post written by one of my fellow bloggers at Patheos, a web portal devoted to religion and spirituality. I encourage my blog readers to click through to read these posts, comment, and if you like what you read, follow these bloggers as well. I am 43 [Read More...]

Why I Wrote a Wishy-Washy Book

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In re-reading Kathleen Norris’s sort-of-memoir Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life, I came across this declaration: I am telling stories, not writing prescriptions. And I thought, Yes! Yes. Me too. In writing about her experience with acedia (a state of spiritual malaise and indifference), Norris might end up helping readers recognize [Read More...]


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