Thank you Patheos! (And Continuing the Conversation at Christianity Today)

It is with both excitement and gratitude that I want to announce a new host for this blog. As of today, Thin Places will no longer be hosted by Patheos. This conversation about faith, family, and disability will continue as I move to Christianity Today. I hope you will continue to check in with the excellent writers here at Patheos (more on that below), and I also hope you will join me at CT.When Andy Crouch and Katelyn Beaty, editors for Christianity Today and now friends and colleagues of … [Read More...]

I Don’t Love Valentine’s Day, and That’s Okay

Last week I received two memos about Valentine's Day. One from William's teacher (in his class of 17 students) in which she requested that we send in our valentines--one for each student in the class--on Monday (today) so that they could appreciate them throughout the week. And one from Penny's teacher (in her class of 24 students) in which she announced that February 14th would be a "special day of kindness" in which each student would handwrite a kind thought about each other student in the … [Read More...]

The Best Book About Writing Ever (and other great reads)

I'm not sure if it's really the best ever, but I am LOVING Ann Patchett's This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. The title is deceptive, as at least so far I've just heard (I'm listening on audiobook) Patchett's series of essays about the craft and experience of writing both her fiction and her non-fiction. She is a wonderful storyteller with great advice for writers all around. Highly recommend.I've got Kate Atkinson's Life After Life on my bed stand right now, which, as far as I'm … [Read More...]

My Questions About the Ethics of Embryo Selection

It sounds pretty basic. A lovely young couple wants children, and they want those children to prosper and grow. They want to do as much as they reasonably can to ensure that those children have good, full lives. Happy lives. Lives that are as free from suffering and pain as possible. The problem is that they run the risk of bearing children with a gene that will probably cause a slow and painful death, albeit a death many decades in the future.What should they do? Never have children? Adopt? … [Read More...]

7 Thoughts on How to Survive Another Snow Day (and maybe even enjoy it)

1. If even a hint of snow is expected, turn off the ringer on your phone the night before. You do not need to know at 5:02 a.m. that your children will be home all day. You need to keep sleeping. They need to keep sleeping.2. When you wake up and discover that although it is not yet snowing there will be no school today, do not tell the children. It will take them a while (in my case, they still haven't put two and two together and it is almost 9 a.m.) to figure out that there is no school. … [Read More...]

Politics, Down Syndrome, and What I’m Reading

I have a new post at her.meneutics about politics and Down syndrome, with specific reference to Cathy McMorris Rodgers' response to President Obama's State of the Union address earlier this week. It begins: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers's response to the president's State of the Union address last night drew attention to her family, and specifically to her oldest son Cole, who has Down syndrome. Her speech implied her personal and political support for children with Down syndrome, but as a fellow … [Read More...]

Did I Come Home in a Box?

It is Marilee's third birthday today. We will celebrate with pink cupcakes and make-your-own-pizza night and gifts and singing.A few weeks ago, we were telling her about the day she was born. It was in the midst of a very snowy winter, and we drove home in the midst of an ice storm with two feet of snow already piled up on the ground. We also drove home from the hospital two days after she arrived, on her dad's birthday. "And so," we told her, "you were your dad's best birthday … [Read More...]

Peeking Into the Womb

When I was 20 weeks pregnant with our first child, I chatted with a friend about our upcoming ultrasound. "We find out whether we're having a boy or a girl tomorrow," I said.She nodded with a slight smile, and responded, "And you find out if your baby is healthy tomorrow. I hope it's good news."I later learned that my friend's previous two 20-week ultrasounds had displayed a baby with anencephaly and then a baby with a severe heart defect. Neither lived.But for me, that ultrasound … [Read More...]

What Are Your Anchors?

I started going to boot camp last April. I don't really know what got into me. Perhaps I was overwhelmed by the five or so pounds I had gained over the winter. Or inspired by the women I knew who went there and felt better and got stronger and enjoyed their time together. For whatever reason, I showed up one Thursday morning at 5:45 a.m. and I tried to keep up with a combination of kick-boxing, aerobics, pushups, situps, lunges and a sprint around the track at the end. I had a headache for three … [Read More...]

What’s Your Favorite Spiritual Memoir? (and other reading notes)

Some book and article notes in a sec, but first: What's your favorite spiritual memoir? I'm looking for a good one. I've enjoyed Mary Karr, Anne Lamott, Martha Beck, and Kate Braestrup, to give you a sense of what I like. Any other favorites out there? On the bedside table: I abandoned The Sun Also Rises a few weeks ago upon my second attempt. I had hoped that my enjoyment of The Paris Wife would turn me into a Hemingway fan. Alas, I still find it boring and repetitive. BUT then I was in … [Read More...]