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...]

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...]

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...]

My Most Popular Posts of 2013

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Here’s a round-up of my most popular blog posts of 2013. Perhaps there’s something here that you missed the first time around. [Read more...]

Books to Read and Give: My 2013 Favorites

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As many of you know, I fell on the ice a couple of weeks ago, and ended up with broken ribs and a few other injuries. So instead of spending the first weeks of December baking, shopping, and decorating while keeping up with my usual housekeeping and writing work, I’ve been spending many hours parked [Read More...]

Stuck in the Middle with Bonhoeffer

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So, this arrived on my doorstep about two weeks ago. I agreed to read and write on The Bonhoeffer Reader for the Patheos Book Club because I’ve always wanted to know more about Bonhoeffer and his theology. But I didn’t know the book would be so big. (The photo doesn’t quite convey its heft. It’s really, really big.) [Read More...]

“We can just love them”: Adoptive Parents on Their Kids with Special Needs

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In honor of National Adoption Month, I’m featuring below an excerpt from Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter by Jennifer Grant. Love You More tells the story of how Jen and her husband David adopted their fourth child, Mia, from Guatemala. The book also does an excellent job of addressing questions, concerns, and myths [Read More...]

How to Promote Yourself (& Others) Without Driving People Crazy

In my online group of women writers, we’ve been discussing Kat Stoeffel’s article on New York Magazine’s “The Cut” blog about women and online self-promotion. Aptly titled “Here’s This Thing I Wrote About Women and Self-Promotion,” Stoeffel’s piece outlines the tension between women needing to promote our work in a freelance, online economy and our discomfort with [Read More...]


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