Essays

a mother's prayers

Keep Me Awake: Prayer as a Mother

By Erin Strybis | May 15, 2023

“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed”  — Mary Oliver, from “The Summer Day” I stand in an open field, watching for signs of rain. An hour…

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resurrection waiting

Lament for a Tree

By Stephanie Duncan Smith | May 8, 2023

It was a morning like any other, except for the chainsaws. They started early—before my two-year-old was even up—and continued on well past her afternoon nap. While the coffee brewed, I peeked out the back window and saw them: hard hats in highlighter yellow dotting the tree line, and our tree in particular. Our urban…

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neurodivergent parenting

Love That Overcomes Darkness

By Jenni Ho-Huan | April 24, 2023

In the Chinese language, the word for good is made up of two parts: the word for feminine and the word for son or child. I am considered thoroughly lucky and blessed to have borne a daughter, followed five and a half years later by a plucky son. 好 It is good. It was good,…

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bedtime rituals

Grace at Night: A Bedtime Diary

By Kimberly Knowle-Zeller | April 17, 2023

Outside the nursery, darkness sets. Behind the red black-out curtains, not a hint of light breaks through. I rock back and forth with my head against the chair, newborn Charlotte’s small body leaning into mine, the only light coming from a small night light across the room. Together we close our eyes to the sound…

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God in Anxiety

God’s Abundance in Anxiety

By Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm | April 10, 2023

The mattress sags beside me as my husband sits down, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. My puffy face reveals an evening spent crying, but by now there are no tears left. My hands are balled in my lap, and the evidence of my anxiety is the half-moon indentations from my nails against my palms.…

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On Holy Saturday God longs to gather us close like a mother hen

Lingering on Saturday: As a Hen Gathers Her Brood

By Sarah Bahiraei | April 3, 2023

I lean back at the bottom of the blue plastic slide, aware of my hair sticking to the static, the sandburs piercing the soles of my shoes, and our English words echoing off the wall that lines the perimeter of the park, our clunky foreignness flittering up to the open windows. The playground in this…

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To be created is to be good

Joy Shows Her Finest

By Claire McKeever-Burgett | March 27, 2023

Lessons on Goodness from the Basketball Court and Beyond And God saw everything that was created, and, indeed, it was very good. Translation inspired by Genesis 1:31 (The New Interpreters’ Study Bible)  I stand at center court in an old, smelly elementary school gym as eight first-grade boys stand along the baseline, squirming with energy,…

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mothering God

A Turn of the Kaleidoscope

By Cameron Bellm | March 20, 2023

It was a long-overdue dermatologist appointment. With my pale skin and family history of melanoma, I really need to be checked every year, but it had been more than five since I’d donned an open-backed gown; this was just one of many things that got lost in the shuffle of mothering small children. When I…

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c-section christ

Our Undoing is Our Becoming

By Rakhi McCormick | March 13, 2023

This is my body, broken for you. This is my blood, shed for you. How many times had I heard these words at Mass, even though I had converted only in young adulthood? The passion narrative punched me in the gut every Palm Sunday with the retelling of Jesus’s suffering and death.1 The same crowds…

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finding God in troubling times

Love and Hope in Troubling Times

By Lauren Nizol | March 6, 2023

“Let’s be present in the rain.”  It was the end of May: precisely that time of year where I’m reeling from the exhaustion of both teaching and parenting. There is so much that happens in May; it’s the busy culmination of the school year where the days get longer and evenings are peppered with band…

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Finding God in all parts of parenting

You’re Doing Great (and Other Truths from God and Bluey)

By Sarah Rose | February 27, 2023

“You’re doing great.” Three words from a cartoon dog were all it took to wreck me. They’re said in an episode of my son’s favorite cartoon, Bluey. (Ok, my favorite too.) The title of the episode is “Baby Race,” and in short, it’s a seven-minute emotional roller coaster where Bluey’s mom, Chili, shares the story…

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walking with your child through a traumatic experience

Ferocious Motherlove

By Amber Haines | February 20, 2023

It was my second-born son’s first date night, and the cute couple had planned an evening at the Washington County Fair with his big brother and friends. That night, I couldn’t wait to hear how it went. I envisioned them leaning close in their baggy jeans standing in lines below bright jolting rides, drinking torso-sized…

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