2012

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Christmas and the Broken Ballerina

This is a guest post by Nancy Jo Sullivan, author of Small Mercies. I will be celebrating Christmas with my family for the rest of this week, so please check back in next Monday for more.

During my first pregnancy, I dreamed of having a little girl.

In my imagination, she wore ...

For Those Who Mourn This Christmas

I have had a number of people ask me how I respond to the Sandy Hook shootings from a theological perspective. I've written a few responses over the past week, and I suspect I will write more. There is a time for mourning, for silence, for crying out to God, for refusing to ...

Joy All Year Long, and Even in the Midst of Sorrow"...this year, of all years, I want to celebrate the birth of love within our broken world."

I have a new post up on the Huffington Post religion page, reflecting on the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the sadness so many of us have felt this past week, and the anticipation of joy. It begins:

I was walking home from the playground on a warm spring afternoon. My oldest ...

What I will Teach my Children After Sandy HookI want goodness to triumph in my children's lives, and one thing I can do in a proactive way is to teach my children kindness

I have a new post on theatlantic.com that discusses the tragedy in Newtown last week and how I hope to respond when it comes to my own children. In the post, I mention my pastor's sermon on Sunday. It was an excellent, timely, and incredibly helpful sermon for me. So before ...

Sin, Sickness, and Sandy HookThe gospel offers a nuanced perspective on how we might explain Adam Lanza's actions.

I have a new post for hermeneutics today. It begins:

Like many parents across America, I spent the weekend shielding my children from news about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, even as I pored over reports that might offer some way to make sense of the horror. I saw comment ...

What the Fiscal Cliff Could Mean for our KidsI’ve never been a huge fan of child safety regulations, but the SafeKids report convinced me that government oversight of child safety is necessary and appropriate

It sounds as though President Obama and Speaker John Boehner are closing in on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Still, the specifics must be worked out, and parents have plenty to consider, especially when it comes to child safety, as Congress considers spending cuts to government ...

More to Read on the Sandy Hook ShootingThree posts that helped me reflect on the Sandy Hook shootings in relation to good and evil, grace, and being the proactive hands and feet of God in this broken world.

I will have more to post in response to the Sandy Hook shooting from my own perspective, but today I'd like to offer a few resources from other writers:

Rebecca Cusey's Why the Shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary Make me Believe in God offers both a personal story and a reflection ...

Where is God When Children are Murdered Down the Road?We are supposed to be a community of good cheer and good will and instead we brush up against evil and fear and darkness.

On the heels of Jesus' birth story comes a story of violence and death. The narrative moves, quickly, away from glorious rejoicing to the slaughter of the innocents, in which every baby boy near Jesus' birthplace was murdered.

Another slaughter of innocents happened this morning. ...

Is There Reason to be Averse to Down Syndrome?I started to write about medical problems and the social construction of disability. But I ended up back where I always go, to Penny. And she answered the question better than any philosophical ideas ever could.

A few weeks ago, I asked, "Is Down syndrome Abnormal?" Although that post focused upon the reasons we might or might not want to use the term abnormal to describe Down syndrome, it led into a conversation through the comments section about whether or not there is any reason ...

Advent ReadingOne big, and four small, suggestions for Advent reading.

I bring it up every year, but I'll say it again. If you even think you might like a daily devotional (that doesn't even have to be daily, by the way) during Advent, buy God with Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas. It includes reflections from the likes of Kathleen Norris ...

The God Who Walks Through the DoorIn my questions for God, I'm like my kids. Sometimes sincere in my doubts. Sometimes whiny, repetitive, insistent. Often not even asking God directly but allowing my doubts to protect me from talking to God, or listening to God, at all.

For the past decade or so, my brain has chipped away at my faith. I believe a credible intellectual defense of the basic tenets of Christianity exists. But I also think a credible intellectual defense of the basic tenets of atheism exists. And when I start to think about these ...

Investing in Hope

When Penny was born and we found out that she had Down syndrome, one of my earliest emotions was fear. In time, some of my specific fears abated. She didn't have any serious health problems or physical complications as an infant. We lived in New Jersey with easy access to the ...

I Wasn't Prepared for the Ordinary Hard Stuff, or Advent ArrivesIf I can make it through my mother-in-law's death, why does it feel as though I can't make it through my son's temper tantrum?

Our cat peed on our bed again last night.

Marilee had a fever over the weekend.

Penny dropped her glasses in the gravel outside our house last week, and it took all day to find them. She missed her bus.

William got mad that he needed to get dressed this morning and he whacked me ...

The Book I'm Giving Away This Christmas (an excerpt from Karen Swallow Prior's Booked)An excerpt (and book giveaway) with thoughts on disability, poetry, and faith from Karen Swallow Prior's gorgeous new memoir, Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me.

Spoiler alert for all my friends who were English majors in college: I'm buying you Karen Swallow Prior's Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me for Christmas this year. Karen is a fellow contributor to her.meneutics, the Christianity Today women's blog, and she is also the head ...

Worth Reading: On Parenting, TV, and Learning

I've written before about my recent experience in a parenting class based on Positive Discipline (rather than authoritative or permissive parenting). Apparently, this approach is really beneficial for kids with special needs. To read more, go to Parenting Style Has Big Impact ...

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