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
His careful movements caught my attention out of the corner of my eye, as I emailed and meal-planned and sorted the mail and remembered wet laundry in the washer and half-checked the clock to see when we needed to leave. Slowly he lifted the oversized magnifying glass to his eyes, peering down at the book on the table in front of him. Gently he brought the glass down towards the page. Then raised it back up again. Turned slightly from where he stood. Saw a pencil next to the book. Peered down again. Brought the lens up towards his face. Then lowered it to watch the perspective change. For fifteen minutes he did this. Silently. Carefully. Moving gradually from table to chair to couch, inspecting anything and everything that might be of interest. The texture of fabric. The color of pictures. The edges of corners. At first I noticed. But then I stopped to see. Our spitfire boy - the stubborn strong-will, the coil of energy, the tough temper, the second child slapped with labels simply … [Read more...] about to witness: the toddler