Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death Scares Me for a Different Reason

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The same medication that I take every day, in doses that would leave most of you passed out cold or hospitalized or dead, directly led to Hoffman being discovered in his apartment with a needle in his arm. [Read more...]

Ode to a Minivan

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I love my minivan for lots of reasons having to do with convenience, but also because of what my dependence on this questionably ethical material thing reveals about our lives in the kingdom that is both here and not here. [Read more...]

Lessons from the Renovation

Our kitchen renovation has been going on for one entire day, and I’m already tired of it. I just don’t enjoy feeding a family of five from a cramped corner of the living room, where food and utensils and the coffee maker are randomly piled on two card tables. OK – That right there is [Read More...]

God Does Not Make Me Happy (or Three Things I Learned About My Relationship with God)

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Last weekend, I went on a one-night retreat with my church’s vestry. (In an Episcopal church, the vestry is akin to a board of directors. We advise and collaborate with the clergy on big-picture questions around the church’s mission, and approve the annual budget. I am in my third year of a three-year vestry term.) [Read More...]

Our Home’s Resurrection Continues with a Kitchen Renovation

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Next week, we start a major kitchen renovation. I promise this will not morph into a DIY or home improvement blog, but I will occasionally write about our renovation here. So much of what I write focuses on our relationship with the material world—with our bodies, with clutter and Christmas gifts and food—and how material [Read More...]

What We Can and Can’t Know About Our Babies Before They are Born

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In using genetic screening to ensure that our baby would not inherit my painful bone condition, we understood that we could not control everything. But we could control this. [Read more...]

An Op Ed Loaded with Oversimplifications about Abortion & Adoption

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I’ve avoided writing about abortion for a while. It’s an issue tangential to my core concerns around disability, reproductive technology, and faith. The topic brings out the worst in some commenters. But this op ed on abortion, published by USA Today, was so chock full of poor word choices, faulty reasoning, and wrong assumptions that I had to write something [Read More...]

MLK’s “Single Garment of Destiny” & Slavery’s Legacy

My friend Kate was featured on NPR’s “Race Card” project last week, talking about her family’s history as slaveowners. Her grandmother upheld the “idea of the benevolent slave owner,” telling Kate proudly that their family’s slaves had been “trusted house servants,” rather than plantation laborers. Kate eventually realized, however, that such pride is sorely misplaced. Reading Kate’s [Read More...]

Painfully Aware of the Abyss: A Review of Holly Burkhalter’s “Good God, Lousy World, & Me”

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I once read a novel in which the protagonist divided humankind into two categories: those who are always aware of the “abyss,” and those who are not. “The abyss” referred to the darkness and suffering that pervade human life, the agony that screams from newspaper headlines and whimpers in lonely corners. I immediately recognized myself [Read More...]

Deep in a Place of Exile, Waiting for the Return

I don’t much like when people I care about are deep in the “exile” part and waiting for the return. But I have to believe that God will bring all of us who have times of exile to that promised place of abundance, community, and hope. [Read more...]

Christmas Lasts for Twelve Days, Not One

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As I wrote last year, I mourn the commercialization and hype of Christmas less than I mourn its lopsided timeframe. Our culture treats December 25th as a culmination and grand finale, rather than as the beginning of a 12-day holiday. My heart breaks on the 26th when I see Christmas trees on the curb, can [Read More...]

My (Unmeasurable) New Year’s Resolutions

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The time seems right for me to make some resolutions for 2014. Because I broke a few bones on December 1, the last month of 2013 was more about getting necessary things (wrapping Christmas presents, etc.) done at the last minute than about proactively ordering my household and life. Now that I’m feeling better and [Read More...]


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