February 2014

Perfectly Human: Reflections on Disability and the Good LifeIntroducing a weekly series
Perfectly Human: Reflections on Disability and the Good Life
Image: Chris Cappozziello

Soon after our daughter Penny was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome, I started to ask questions about the spiritual implications of her disability. To give a glimpse of some of the questions I was asking, here's an excerpt from our time in the hospital, as related ...

What My Daughter Wants You To Know About Prenatal TestingYou don't need to worry.
What My Daughter Wants You To Know About Prenatal Testing
Image: Chris Cappozziello

At 5:00, my oldest daughter Penny finds me in bed. Cough drop wrappers, a used tea bag, and Dayquil packets surround me. "Come on up, sweetie," I say, and she climbs in next to me.

She has brought her spelling book. Her second grade assignment this week involves ...

Weekly Roundup 2.28.14 and Three Books to Read During LentFaith, Family, Disability, and what to read until Easter
Weekly Roundup 2.28.14 and Three Books to Read During Lent

I wrote A Defense of Lent earlier this week, and I promised to offer a few books to consider this Lenten season.

1. Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship in Letters (Loyola Press) began as two friends committed to write each other letters throughout the season of Lent. ...

What House of Cards, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men Get Right (and what they don't get)Our belovedness is more true than our sinfulness
What House of Cards, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men Get Right (and what they don't get)

Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times describes Netflix's House of Cards "the most joyless show on television." My husband and I have settled right in. I'm intrigued by the storyline—a powerful Congressman (Kevin Spacey) who becomes Vice President ...

In Defense of LentFive reasons to fast and feast until Easter arrives
In Defense of Lent
Image: Pimlico Badger, flickr

I used to feel some measure of disdain towards people who observed Lent, the religious season that begins next Wednesday and continues for forty days until Easter. For those who gave up candy or cheese, I figured it was just a religious excuse for a diet. For those who began ...

Holy DespondencyWhat my season of loneliness taught me about my identity in Christ
Holy Despondency
Image: flickr

A year ago, about six months after our move to Connecticut, loneliness pressed down on my torso as if I had donned a vest padded with weights. It came as a result of a series of conversations in which every person I talked to referred to me as a wife or a mother. I am both ...

Weekly Roundup 2.21.14Disability, single-motherhood, Barbie, and more
Weekly Roundup 2.21.14

Lot of great stuff to read this week:

Faith and Culture

As the first interview in a series of interviews about religion, Gary Gutting of The New York Times explores the question "Is Atheism Irrational?" with Alvin Plantinga.

"In a fractured and mobile ...

Mourn with Those who MournCompassionate opposition to Belgium's new law allowing the euthanasia of children
Mourn with Those who Mourn
Image: flickr

In the fall of 2003, I was with my mother-in-law as she died. In many ways, it was a good death. She died at home, surrounded by friends and family, with the scent of lavender oil and prayers from the Book of Common Prayer and a palpable love for her and grief over her passing. ...

The Importance of Black History MonthConversations with my five-year old about the Olympics, the inner-city, and the “Silver War”
The Importance of Black History Month
Image: Flickr

Last week my son William curled up against me on the couch as we watched the women's figure skating. "Which country is she from?" he asked.

"I don't know," I said, as she began what looked like an effortless glide across the ice.

"Well, ...

Why Person-First Language MattersJust because you know my daughter has Down syndrome doesn’t mean you know her.
Why Person-First Language Matters

A friend of mine read a prayer at church yesterday which included a reference to "the epileptic boy." She received criticism later on because she hadn't used "person-first" language. She hadn't put the boy first and his diagnosis second. She could ...

Weekly Roundup 2.14.14Novels, non-fiction, medical marijuana and more
Weekly Roundup 2.14.14

If your bedside table looks anything like mine, it holds a stack of books that continually threatens to tip over. So every week, I take a minute to give you a peek into the books I'm currently enjoying, as well as a list of articles on faith, family, disability, and culture ...

Introducing Thin PlacesWhat to expect from this blog in the weeks and months to come...
Introducing Thin Places

In addition to the video chat about this blog with Katelyn Beaty yesterday (and for those of you who might be like me and prefer reading words to watching conversations), I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on what to expect from this blog going forward.

The title of ...

Welcome Amy Julia Becker, CT's Newest BloggerThe author of three books and longtime Her.meneutics contributor talks about her hopes for the site.
Welcome Amy Julia Becker, CT's Newest Blogger

In early 2010, Amy Julia Becker was a wife and mother of two, an MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary, and the author of an unpublished book about raising a child with Down syndrome. The book had been rejected by 48 publishers. "I put the project away, focused ...

I Don't Love Valentine's Day, and That's OkayThree kids plus a not-so-crafty Mom plus 50 classmates equals a lot of work, and a little lesson about love.
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 Best Book About Writing Ever and other great reads this week

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 ...

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