Why I Stopped Feeling Guilty for Wanting a Beautiful Home

For years, I pored over magazine spreads and home catalogs, made graph-paper renderings of kitchen plans, and daydreamed of white Shaker cabinets, the perfect sectional sofa, and a sun-drenched window seat. I felt guilty for my materialism, for how much I cared about such superficial things, because I believed that a good Christian shouldn’t (not [Read More...]

A Broken Body, Redeemed

Eight years ago, when my three children were still very young, we traveled to Omaha for an Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) Foundation conference. Both I and my oldest daughter have OI, a genetic collagen disorder that causes brittle bones, short stature, and other symptoms. As we were checking in at the conference hotel, I glanced up [Read More...]

Resemblances

“Look at those fingers! And her toes! So long and skinny…just like yours, Ellen.” I don’t recall how many people uttered those words during the early weeks of my firstborn’s life. Maybe only two or three. But I felt bombarded by this innocent observation. Shortly after my daughter’s birth, my husband, who accompanied her for [Read More...]

When a Viral Blog Post Doesn’t Change Much of Anything

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Being a writer is primarily about writing—not about following some social media guru’s five-step system for getting the most attention for each blog post, or about keywords and SEO. [Read more...]

20 Minutes on Facebook

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It occurs to me that nothing is simple—no matter how pithy or clever or heartfelt our words about it. In forums like Facebook, we speak as if all sorts of things, all the –isms and how to be present to our families and connected-but-not-too-much and our reaction to injustices occurring half a world away, are simple. [Read more...]

Troll-Proofing Our Online Writing

If only Internet trolls were as appealing and harmless as this guy.

At the Festival of Faith and Writing two weeks ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan, my friend Jennifer Grant and I co-led a discussion group titled “Troll-Proofing Your Online Writing.” Based on our conversations and my own reading and musing, here are a few thoughts about what we can and can’t do about trolls, and why [Read More...]

How My Daughter (“the Mensch”) Taught Me About God’s Love

Saturday night, as we drove south on Route 9  in the rainy twilight, a billboard shone out from the gloom. In huge white letters on a red background were the words, “Jesus, I Love You.” Although I’ve seen this billboard before, this time the words struck me as seriously off base. “No,” I thought. “My [Read More...]

Yes, We Can Change Cultural Assumptions About Disabilities. Here’s How.

Last night, I gave a lecture at the University of Hartford to students in a humanities seminar studying ideas of utopia and dystopia. I gave my usual talk about my story as told in my book, No Easy Choice, and included some reflections on how dystopian novels, particularly Lois Lowry’s The Giver, can illuminate the purposes and pitfalls [Read More...]

I Don’t Like God’s Seating Chart

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As you know from my last post, I was devastated by World Vision’s reversal, under pressure, of a previous policy decision to welcome people in legal same-sex marriages as employees. Today’s post is less about the decisions themselves than how they made me feel about many of my fellow Christians—those at World Vision and those whose [Read More...]

Why I’m Grieving World Vision’s Decision

A colleague expressed frustration yesterday at the accusatory back-and-forth that has resulted from World Vision’s initial decision earlier this week to allow people in legal same-sex marriages to work for their organization, and reversal of that decision two days later. Certainly there is some of that happening. But as I explained to her, my grief [Read More...]

Why I Support the Ordination of Women & LGBTQ People

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I support the ordination of women and LGBTQ people because if I didn’t, I would have to look people in the eye and tell them that I don’t believe that their call to ministry is real. [Read more...]

What Happens When We Pray

I don’t understand how prayer works. But I believe in a God who is good, a God who is love. I keep praying because I believe that prayer, somehow, makes that goodness and love more real and accessible in the midst of whatever nightmares mark our days. [Read more...]


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