What does it mean to live justly in the world today? How does our faith invite us to work for peace and justice wherever we are - even at home? My friend Haley wrote a wonderful book on how her family embraced a counter-cultural lifestyle of seeking the Gospel more intentionally - The Grace of Enough: Pursuing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture. Inspired by her example (and wishing I could have read her book years ago), I've been reflecting on how Catholic social teaching has informed and inspired our parenting in big and small ways. I hesitated to share this because we struggle daily with living out these parts of our faith. (I'd rather tell you to go read Haley's book instead!) But what I loved most about The Grace of Enough were the practical ideas to start small in your own life. When I shared these thoughts on Instagram, many of you asked if I'd be willing to write them up - so voila! If you'd like to read Haley's book, check out the bottom of the post for … [Read more...] about justice for us: Catholic social teaching at home
"Here is your ice cream cone," he declares. Satisfied and soapy, he hands me a cup full of bubbles. He eyes me intently, underneath wet curls. "What flavor is it?" I know to ask. The joy sparks: she sees it, too! "It is chocolate-ish strawberry vanilla. It is served in a cone and a dish." "You are KIDDING," I gape. "That is my favorite flavor in the world." I slurp and snarf, devour the whole airy nothing in front of his damp beaming face, which dazzles into delight. "Ah-ha!" he shrieks, splashing. "Yes! We will make some more." He is three years old. He knows what adults have forgotten. Make-believe and truth are both sides of imagination's coin. Creation is our work of everyday. Here we are at bathtime. The Spirit still hovers over the water. Faucets are waterfalls, bubbles are beards, cups splash with soup, anything becomes a boat. Too often adults are mere spectators, flimsy facsimiles of what it means to witness. Distracted by phones, anxious … [Read more...] about childhood & creation: this sacred everyday
He goes in to look at them. Every night before we shut the door to our bedroom and declare the day done, he goes to see the sleeping boys. Too often I play the part of the tired mother. I have been with them all day. I do not feel the need to watch again, especially now that they are finally peaceful, finally quiet. Sleep is sacred, besides. Some days I am counting the minutes until this moment. When the house is hushed and I can hear myself think. So I am not naturally drawn to join him. Most nights I let him go alone as I turn down the hallway to our room. I crave the calm and rest that beckons beyond the bedroom door. Sleep is calling my name. But once in a while I join him. I do not know why I decide differently, but I do. I turn from my well-worn ways and set down the laundry basket or the laptop or the pile of books I have lugged upstairs. I follow him silently into their room. . . . Everything looks grainy in the dimmed dark. I hover over each bed, holding my … [Read more...] about see what you have done. know that it is good.
I do not like the experience of pregnancy. There. I said it. I like the fact of being pregnant. I love the gift of life, the sheer blessedness of getting to bring a child into this world. I love the answer to prayer brought by pregnancy after infertility and miscarriage, the undeserved grace that this is how our story turned out. I love the overwhelming abundance of a healthy pregnancy, knowing that – for now – everything looks good with the baby growing within me. But I hate the way I feel and think and act while pregnant. I hate morning sickness that drags months beyond what every expert tells you is “normal.” I hate taking medicine merely to function beyond the overwhelming nausea. I hate the exhaustion that sends me to bed at 8:30 most nights. I hate the nagging back pain and the chronic discomfort and the unmentionable side effects. I hate how big I get so quickly, how eyebrows raise when I tell my due date because it doesn’t fit anyone’s mental math of how I must be … [Read more...] about in which we are all – begrudgingly – images of God