Essays

prayers for birth: Spirit as intercessor

Prayers for Childbirth: Spirit as Intercessor and Groaner

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 15, 2011

The Holy Spirit can be hard to pin down. God’s presence with us, everywhere and always, sure. But many of us wonder what that means, what that looks like. Flames of fire? Speaking in tongues? Here’s what Scripture has to say, which speaks to the Spirit’s presence during labor: Brothers and sisters: The Spirit comes…

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prayers for birth: Christ as companion

Prayers for Childbirth: Christ as Companion

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 12, 2011

The prayer that got me through the toughest part of my labor with my first baby was—quite unexpectedly—part of the prayer of the breastplate of St. Patrick. This was a prayer that I was familiar with but never felt any particular affinity for. Yes, it was a lovely prayer; yes, it came from my Irish…

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prayers for birth

Prayers for Childbirth: God as Midwife

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 11, 2011

When I was pregnant with my first son, my newly-graduated-from-theological-school self wanted to compile a journal of prayers for childbirth. Given my fear of the pain and the unknown that lay ahead of me, I was convinced that having prayers to accompany me through labor and birth would keep me calm, centered, and cool. Then…

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God’s Fingerprints On The Hardest Days

By Shauna'h Fuegen | January 30, 2023 |
how to pray for child in hospital

“You need to leave from here and go directly to the hospital. He needs to be admitted tonight, and he will need surgery.”  There is so much I don’t remember about this moment. Was my 8-year-old son Andrew in the room with us when the orthopedist said these words to me? He must have been,…

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Never In A Million Years: Playing the Parenting Game

By Holly Forseth | January 23, 2023 |
video games kids

Most days, I pop into my teenage boys’ rooms to plant a kiss on their heads. Sometimes it’s because I walk by, see their sweet little (actually, big) selves at the computer, and have the urge to say hi. Other times I realize I haven’t seen them in awhile, so I stop what I’m doing…

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Why I Stay

By Laura Johnson | January 16, 2023 |
conflicted relationship with church as parent

There are days when I wonder why I’m still in the Church. Days when I am so jaded by the politics and hypocrisy and scandals that too often haunt our Christian communities that I wonder if there is anything left of the Church worth staying for. Is there anything left for my children to learn,…

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Fighting For Our Lives

By Justina Kopp | January 9, 2023 |
birth racial trauma

“I am very frustrated. I don’t understand why you can’t just be confident in our care!” My perinatal specialist yelled these words to me when I was around 24 weeks pregnant with quadruplets. Why? Because I was asking her questions about what my children’s birth might look like. Up to this point, no one had…

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Becoming Mama Bear: How losing my husband introduced me to a ferocious divine love

By Clarissa Moll | January 2, 2023 |
mama bear

When our children were young, my husband Rob and I often took them for hikes in the nearby Cascade Mountains outside our home in Seattle. Home to approximately 20,000 black bears, Washington’s mountains required a healthy respect for wilderness, and we taught our kids how to do it. A hearty “Hey, bear!” alerted furry neighbors…

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She Never Regretted Her Yes

By Anna Bonnema | December 26, 2022 |
letting go motherhood

During the June after my triplets’ junior year of high school, I signed up for a five-day silent retreat about three hours north of my home. Right off the bat, I thought twice about going since I knew we were heading into their senior year, the last year they would live at home. Part of me…

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Forever Intertwined: Generations Together through Birth and Death

By Jessica Mathisen | December 19, 2022 |
birth story and grief

2021 was a gut-wrenching year for our family, but it didn’t start that way. On a late January evening, my husband and I went on a much-needed date, talking over tacos and margaritas. I remember thinking that my period was late, and when we got home from our date, I took a pregnancy test “just…

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The Courage in My DNA

By Leticia Ochoa Adams | December 12, 2022 |
generational healing

I grew up as an only child, born to a single mother. For most of my life, until I became a mom at 16, it was just me and my mom. She grew up in extreme poverty raised by a mother who had been raised in even more extreme poverty, and each of us had…

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Befriending An Introvert

By Holly Forseth | December 5, 2022 |
making friends as mother

A handmade wooden sign hangs front and center in my living room with the words “we belong to each other”—a visible reminder that God created us for relationship. The snippet is from a longer quote attributed to Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa): “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that…

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Complicated Joy

By Katie Cassady | November 28, 2022 |
pregnancy complicated joy

For all of the beauty found in celebrating the liturgical year, I find that marking milestones by these holy seasons and rituals has a tendency to make whatever experience that much more intense and emotional for me. Pregnancy announcements during Advent—potent. Witnessing conversion and Baptism at Easter Vigil—stick a fork in me. Gifts of selflessness…

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Sacred Remnant: Discovering A Hidden Treasure in My Grandmother’s Life Story

By Alissa Molina | November 21, 2022 |
discovering grandmother's story

In the thick of the global pandemic when the whole world was wearied by the constant weight of pivoting to carry the newest very hard thing, our family lost its matriarch.   My maternal grandmother, Margarita “Mague” Moreno, passed away on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December of 2020. Although stricken with grief,…

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Finding Rocks on The Way

By Kimberly Knowle-Zeller | November 14, 2022 |
how to create with kids

No cloud in sight, the sun shines and sparkles on the water. Isaac runs ahead of me and perches on the side of the creek, his shoulders resting on his knees with his hands clasped together. He holds this posture, like a scientist pondering the workings of the world. I come beside him and sit…

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