Essays

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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emotional load single parenting

Me, the Emotional Metronome

By Colleen Connell | February 13, 2023

I stared at my work calendar on the computer as a sinking feeling washed over me. I had opened the calendar to place an important appointment for a child only to realize I was already scheduled for an all-day training. I quickly dialed the doctor’s office. No open appointments for weeks. I quickly called older…

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mother anger

Shadow Revelations

By Marina Gross-Hoy | February 6, 2023

Everything felt heavy. My eyelids, the child in my arms, the unrelenting stretch of time before dinner.  I lugged my son over to the swing set, managing to convince him that this would be an acceptable next step in our park experience. I stood behind him and pushed, the effort demanding the last dregs of…

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how to pray for child in hospital

God’s Fingerprints On The Hardest Days

By Shauna'h Fuegen | January 30, 2023

“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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video games kids

Never In A Million Years: Playing the Parenting Game

By Holly Forseth | January 23, 2023

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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conflicted relationship with church as parent

Why I Stay

By Laura Johnson | January 16, 2023

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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birth racial trauma

Fighting For Our Lives

By Justina Kopp | January 9, 2023

“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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Forgiving when you want to burn the world down

By Karianna Frey | November 7, 2022 |
forgiving your mother

We live in a world that is based on relationships. Not many of us are called to live the life of a hermit, and that means that we interact with people on a daily basis. Most of those interactions are favorable and bring us nothing but joy and good feelings. Other interactions are more transactional…

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Who is Our Neighbor?

By Cameron Bellm | October 31, 2022 |
how do we teach children who is our neighbor

I was hurrying, for no reason, really, except that that’s what grown-ups do. My four-year-old and I were taking another pandemic-necessitated walk around the block, passing houses, gardens, and cars we’d already seen dozens of times. Maybe hundreds. Judging by my son’s exclamations and endless stops to examine things, though, it may as well have…

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Antidepressants Ushered Me Into Deeper Communion with God and with Myself

By Gina Dadaglo | October 24, 2022 |
antidepressants and my relationship with God

I grew up in a family that was very mental health literate. Both of my parents have experience with mental health challenges, in their own lives and in the lives of people they love. When a doctor suggested that I might be struggling with depression at 14, my parents were eager to facilitate access to…

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Reading Micah While the World Burns

By Stina Kielsmeier-Cook | October 17, 2022 |
reading Scripture

This past summer some women from church decided to gather on Wednesday evenings to read Scripture. We rotated hosting responsibilities and, after the initial chit-chat and snack table perusal, settled into backyard lawn chairs to read a chapter aloud from the book of Micah. Yes, that Micah. The Biblical minor prophet, the “do justly, love…

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