Kids, Kidneys and Other Distractions

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It’s normal for me to be less productive in the final weeks of August, as we try to squeeze all the stuff we planned to do over the summer into the final few days. But I was more sidetracked than usual this August. Besides a calendar dominated by school supply shopping, orthodontist and haircut appointments, and [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...]

Separate Sex from Procreation….& End Up in Dystopia?

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We progressive Christians like to roll our eyes at the Roman Catholics for their official stance on reproductive issues, such as contraception and reproductive technology. Many of us assume that they are just old-fashioned, or out of it, or have a serious case of wishful thinking, or just don’t know what they’re talking about, seeing [Read More...]

On Valentine’s Day, Love (Not Romance) is What Matters

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Our Valentine’s Day celebrations are even more pathetic understated than usual this year. Many years, Daniel and I have purchased a premade four-course Valentine’s Day dinner from a local pasta shop. For about $60 and the minimal labor of assembling the salad and heating up the main course, we can eat a restaurant-quality meal in our [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...]

Our Home’s Resurrection Continues with a Kitchen Renovation

Our completely dysfunctional "coat closet"

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...]

God with Us, Even When Christmas Stinks

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Many things can get in the way of the happy, sparkling Christmas celebrations to which we aspire. The Dollar family has perfected one such thing—the Christmas stomach bug that tears its way through the family, leading to days of extra laundry, interrupted nights, and general nastiness. (Three years in a row, people—2010, 2011, and 2012. [Read More...]

What is Your Deep Gladness?

This past weekend, my church parish hall resonated with the voices of young actors and singers presenting a children’s theater production of a short musical, “The Castaways.” My son Benjamin played one of the castaways—a group of kids living on the streets of New York City at the turn of the century who are eventually [Read More...]


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