A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self

To my 16-year-old self: When people tell you that your scars are a kind of beauty mark, that they don’t even notice your physical impairments any more, that you are beautiful and loved, believe them. Believe them the first time they say these things, and every time after. [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

A Christian Response to Genetically Modified Babies

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An New York Times op ed by Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society cautions against FDA approval of a technique that could produce genetically modified babies. The FDA is considering mitochondrial manipulation technologies, which would allow women at risk of bearing children with mitochondrial disease to have healthy, genetically related children. In mitochondrial [Read More...]

Why Do Parents Choose to Screen for Disabilities?

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Imagine you are standing at an intersection with your child, waiting for a walk light so you can safely cross the street. The traffic light turns red, the “walk” sign lights up, you grab your child’s hand, and just as you are about to step off the curb, a mysterious voice from above says, “Stop! [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...]


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