Thin Places

Recently, my husband Peter was talking to a friend, and the friend mentioned that his wife had brought up some “character issues” he needed to deal with. And Peter asked me, “When’s the last time we challenged each other on “character issues”? Good question. When’s the last time someone challenged you about your character? The…

Caroline McGraw is currently serving as Program Director for L’Arche in Arlington. A graduate of Vassar College, she writes about ‘disability as opportunity’ at A wish come clear; her book of the same name is forthcoming. She is pictured with husband Jonathan McGraw and friend Michael Schaff on her wedding day in 2009.  There are times when…

Three interactions: Number one: Penny’s teacher says, “Many of the other kids in our class have never been around a child with a disability before.” Number two: an acquaintance says, “I have someone for you to meet. She has a son who is a lot like Penny. You know, different in the ways Penny is…

I have a large index card with different names for God written all over it. I pull it out during times of prayer when I want to remind myself of the different aspects of God’s being. It contains comfort: “Light of Light, Healer, Redeemer, Counselor, Spirit of Truth, Star of the Morning.” Some are philosophical:…

Last fall, I had the opportunity to preach a sermon at the Church of the Good Samaritan. In it, I look at the verse Matthew 5:48: “Be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect.”  Here’s a teaser in case you’re interested in hearing more:  …When I consider the “perfect” version of me, I automatically start…

From the looks of the photo, we’ve got it all under control. Happy kids. Happy dad. Happy mom holding the camera. But it’s totally deceptive.  I took this picture a few days ago, just after my first attempt to corral all three kids by myself from 5:00-6:00 in the evening. Up until then, I hadn’t…

I tend to think of Christian books as existing on a spectrum, with heavy theology on one end (that’s the I-should-try-to-understand-it-but-might-end-up-falling-asleep-end) and inspirational spirituality on the other end (that’s the easy-reading-that-feels-good-but-may-or-may-not-be-theologically-accurate-end). The Missional Mom by Helen Lee offers the best of both words: it is theologically rich and easy to digest all at the same…

Christmas is over, but having a newborn is always a reminder of the reality of the gift of life. By reality, of course I include the wonder and sweetness and joy, but also the sleeplessness and crying and mess of it all. After William was born, I wrote a reflection that still holds true. I…

Being the mom of a child with autism can have its challenges, to be sure, but I am constantly amazed by the wonderful blessings and lessons learned from my very special daughter. For the last ten years or so, each night we sat at dinner together, our family of five. My husband Scott, sons Joseph…

We bought a Swagger Wagon, otherwise known as the Toyota Sienna. Have you seen the video?  Up until baby Becker #3 became a reality, our Prius did just fine. But when we couldn’t fit the whole fam in the car any longer, it was time to trade in. Apparently the makers of the Sienna had…

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about

Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes about theology, disability, family, and culture. Two major life experiences have shaped her writing and her faith—caring for her mother-in-law as she battled cancer and welcoming her daughter Penny into the world after she was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. Both experiences expanded and enriched her understanding of what it means to be human and to receive each and every person as a gift.  A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, and the forthcoming A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House). Her essays have appeared in First Things, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Century, ChristianityToday.com, and Bloom, among other online venues.

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