About Ellen Painter Dollar

Ellen Painter Dollar is a writer focusing on faith, parenting, family, disability, and ethics. She is the author of No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Faith, and Parenthood in an Age of Advanced Reproduction (Westminster John Knox, 2012). Visit her web site at http://ellenpainterdollar.com for more on her writing and speaking, and to sign up for a (very) occasional email newsletter.

I Have Three Things to Say About “The Dress”

A viral social media phenomenon that helps us understand just how fundamental and deep our differences in perception can be—and that those perceptions have nothing to do with whether we are good, thoughtful, and wise or bad, shallow, and silly—is more than a meaningless distraction. [Read more...]

Believing with Our Bodies

I go back to the paradox that our bodies both betray us and reflect our deepest, God-given self. I think of the broken, brutalized body of Christ on the cross, as he suffered through pain that was both horrific—a reflection of all that is wrong with this world—and redeemed—a means for God’s grace to be revealed in a new, world-changing way. [Read more...]

Why Even the Smallest Good Work is Worth Doing

Jesus showed us how even small acts of care are multiplied in God’s economy, so that ultimately all are filled and satisfied—not because the economists and politicians and voters focus on big problems at the expense of little ones, but because every act of mercy, justice, and love is born in the heart of our infinite God and is therefore infinitely powerful, capable of bringing about change far beyond our limited vision of what’s possible and prudent. [Read more...]

Why I Believe Native American Mascots Should Go

My husband and I are fans of Washington, D.C.’s football team, which means we (especially my husband—I’m a fan because he’s a fan) have spent two decades of football seasons being disappointed.  We are grateful, however, for the increasing pressure being put on the NFL and the team’s owners to get rid of the team [Read More...]

The Perfect Pair of Boots and the Essential Work of Parenting

I wonder if, as our children grow and their increasingly complicated needs outgrow our capacities to easily meet them, the physical care we offer actually becomes more important, not less. We love people by engaging in basic acts of care for them. That is the essential, sometimes undervalued, foundation of parental love. It’s also the essential foundation of Christian love. [Read more...]

Surviving January with Help from the Danes, the Japanese, and Jesus

On whom can we pin the blame for January, I wonder? It doesn’t seem quite fair to blame Janus, the God of beginnings and transitions, after whom the month is named, for this month’s long misery. Although, the pressure to embrace new beginnings (all those resolutions!) during the year’s most miserable month is likely part of our [Read More...]

14 Blog Posts from 2014 That You Need to Read

These are the posts written in 2014 for which I had immediate recall because they were so wise, moving, funny, or all of the above. [Read more...]

On Assisted Suicide and Chronic Pain, Sex and Prayer, DNA and Ice Buckets: Top 10 Posts of 2014

The 10 most-read blog posts of 2014—a list that provides a good snapshot of topics I regularly cover, such as genetics, chronic pain, medical decision making, parenting, and Christianity. [Read more...]


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