Why I Don’t Pray or Study the Bible (Much)

While I grew up in the Episcopal Church (the same Episcopal Church I currently attend, in fact), I didn’t start thinking proactively about my Christian faith until I got involved with an evangelical fellowship in college. I learned a lot of unfamiliar evangelical lingo, including “quiet time” (sometimes shortened to “QT”) to refer to time [Read More...]

“A Beautiful Disaster”: Marlena Graves on Suffering, God, & a Child-Like Faith

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When people get all in a tizzy about how the Internet is ruining real human relationships, I get exasperated. Because thanks to Facebook and online journalism, I have a cadre of writing colleagues with whom I have almost daily contact, and whom I also consider friends. One colleague/friend is Marlena Graves, who is one of [Read More...]

Evangelizing with Strawberries

Every Memorial Day, families in our suburb of Hartford, Conn., gather in the town center for a parade. Our church takes advantage of our location on the parade route to invite passers-by to stop for bowls of strawberry shortcake (with hot dogs and drinks also available). It’s a modest fundraiser for the church, but also [Read More...]

Abiding with the Living and the Dying: Thoughts on “Holding Silvan”

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This assumption—that a life marked by suffering is not worth living—leads us to believe that bodies subject to pain and limitation ought to either be heroically rescued or hastened to death, rather than embraced and abided as they are, in their living and their dying. [Read more...]

“Inspiration Porn” Objectifies People with Disabilities

Admire me for what I do—for writing well or raising decent kids or having a lovely garden. But don’t admire me just for existing, just because I live a mostly unremarkable life with scars and a limp and a history of dozens of broken bones. [Read more...]

We Know God Through Scripture…and So Much More

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Shortly after we were married, Daniel and I traveled to Boone, North Carolina—home of Daniel’s alma mater, Appalachian State University—so he could introduce me to his college stomping grounds. Our weekend included a Sunday morning service at the Baptist church Daniel had attended during college. The pastor closed the service with a prayer that, according [Read More...]

The God of Laundry and Transformation

It makes sense that God became incarnate as a man. Not because God is one gender or the other, but because in Jesus’s Palestine, a woman would not have gotten the public attention that Jesus got. A woman’s wisdom, acts of compassion, and miracles would likely have been noticed only by her immediate family and [Read More...]

In Defense of Social Media

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To dismiss the online world as a repository for irrelevant banter by narcissistic blowhards who are ignoring their families is both inaccurate and unfair to those for whom social media enables valuable, life-giving work. [Read more...]

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...]


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