Lenten Approach #1 (aka The First-Time Mother): Step 1: Read everything you can to prepare. Stock up on all the experts' manuals. Consult all the conflicting schools of thought. Aim to stack at least five sizable books on your nightstand. Step 2: Consult everyone you know for their advice. When in doubt, turn to the Internet. Start a Pinterest board for inspiration. Post Facebook statuses asking for suggestions. Email every trusted friend to find out what worked for them. Step 3: Chart daily progress. Check off each to-do. Secretly compare your progress with others. Start to feel guilty. Worry that you're doing this all wrong. Entertain temptations of giving up. Lenten Approach #2 (aka The Second-Time-Around Mother): Step 1: Check the calendar to confirm that weeks are indeed flying by. Resolve to do something to prepare. Step 2: Dig out something that worked last time. Try to remember what you liked about it. Decide to use it again anyway. Step 3: Marvel at how the same … [Read more...] about how to live lent as a pregnant mother
We're back in the tundra today, snow heaped so high by the mailbox you can barely see to inch the car onto the icy street. Wind whips through the front door when I crack it to let the dog limp inside, paws frozen by the sub-zero ground. The forecast for the foreseeable future goes like this: freezing, bitter, worse, terrible, painful, record-breaking, complete surrender. "Isn't March supposed to be spring soon?" he sighs when he looks up from his coloring book. 24 hours ago we were beach-side, bare feet in the sugary white sand, skin browning in delicious sun. Hours in the pool every morning watching our frozen children melt into slippery fish. Blue skies and palm trees and a taste of life where winter doesn't hurt. A day into our southern sojourn, my latest piece ran at Practicing Families. One of the many to-dos that never got done before we snapped the suitcases shut was to write something here that would tease you to read it, because I was surprised by how much I ended up loving … [Read more...] about here is the prayer
First, thanks to all of you who sent so much love with my big announcement last week! I'm floored by your support and can't wait to share my "baby" with you very soon. Second, I've been getting lots of questions on the details (apparently cryptic reflections on liturgical feasts aren't enough to satisfy your curiosity?) so I wanted to answer the questions I've been getting via email and social media. What's the title? What's it all about? The book is called Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting. I call it a spiritual-memoir-meets-parenting-memoir with a twist. It takes the seven Catholic sacraments as a lens for looking at life with little ones in a whole new light. So it's a sacramental theology from the ground up - the sticky, Lego-strewn, does-anyone-ever-mop-this-floor? ground zero of parenting. But the book can perhaps be best summed up by this hysterical - unofficial! - trailer that my brother made me. (Ok, actually it's nothing like this, but I can't … [Read more...] about introducing…the book!
This is the moment I've been trying to imagine. When she unwraps her baby from where she's been carrying him close to her heart for the miles and miles it took to get here. When he stretches his arms and legs in that instant, jerky way that newborns do, shocked by the sudden shift of space. When the old man reaches out his gnarled hands, trembling at the thought that this could be the One he has been waiting a lifetime to see. When the mother hands the child over to the stranger. When she lets her heart go. . . . I used to think the Gospel of the presentation in the temple was all about Simeon and Anna. Those marvelous wisdom figures, the prophetic pair, the ancient elders, the seers seeking their savior. Simeon whispers such strange words to Mary, how her heart will be pierced. Anna can barely contain all eighty-four years of her joy, rushing out to tell anyone who would listen that the long-awaited anointed one was finally here. But I wonder now about Mary and Joseph, too. The … [Read more...] about on the presentation: a big announcement