I have no shame in confessing: I love New Year's. It's a holiday that many love to hate, artificial or over-hyped. But I adore looking back and looking forward, pondering what was and planning for what might be. (I also love champagne, resolutions, countdowns, goofy party hats, and cheesy crowd songs at midnight. So this time of year is my JAM.) As part of my New Year's affection, I will read any top-10 round-up. Movies I didn't see, books I didn't read, sports I didn't follow? Who cares. I love a good best-of. So for my own amusement, I pulled together a review of the most-read posts on Mothering Spirit in 2019. But first: a preview of what's new for 2020 Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash Big changes are on the horizon. A new baby due in March, and lots of shifting our lives around to make room for him. As our family grows, I've been deep in discernment. How can I keep making time for the writing I love while still caring for the family that also calls … [Read more...] about looking back, looking forward
Remember that manuscript I told you about? The draft of a memoir, the story of our daughters. I wrote tens of thousands of words in the years after they died, words I never shared with a soul. Then I shoved them in a drawer and plowed into another book, two. Anything to hold off on the hardest story I had to tell. I pulled that manuscript out last year. On Instagram I told you how I dusted it off, skimmed through, heart sinking, and thought: ugh. No good. All wrong. I decided I had to let it go, trash it again, start over fresh. So I did. Started clean last spring with a brand new document, brand new folder, brand new ambition, brand new determination. Guess what? Wrong again. Turns out I couldn't read my own words with true eyes. One night in prayer, I told God I was ready to jump in and start this brand-new book—and clear as day, I heard one word. No. No? NO?! What do you mean NO? I was ready for this, I protested. I had a plan for starting anew, … [Read more...] about the wonder of wrong
A beloved theology professor of mine in college used to start each class with a simple prayer, repeating, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). One line spoken slowly, one word dropped each time until there was only "be." Years later, a favorite writing teacher did the same during a week-long workshop. Let us pause each day to breathe into the spaces between the words. I took their wisdom to heart, prayed these lines with children and adults. Always searching for more Scripture that can be stair-stepped with perfect simplicity. Now I've found another. . . . Beloved, we are God's children now. (1 John 3:2) The first Scripture I ever memorized, for an all-school Mass. The first time I ever got to proclaim the Word, second grade if memory serves. White mimeographed reading pasted onto construction paper. I had to yank the microphone all the way down and perch on pink saddle-shoed tip-toes, and even then I could barely see over the ambo. But the thrill … [Read more...] about beloved. be loved.
Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. "The Lord, your God, is in your midst" (Zep 3:17). Do we remember this, when we're together at table or party? Do we call the truth to mind, as we're racing through airport or freeway? Wherever two or three are gathered, there is God in our midst. Even a family of two - a married couple, a single parent with child, a grandparent and grandchild - are full family. And, Scripture says, full presence. "For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!" (Isa 12:6) The space between us is sacred, then. We hug and kiss, or jostle and fight, or bristle and ignore. Dynamics between family members are hyper-charged this time of year, Hallmark movies and holiday cards plastering perfect smiles on our edgy expectations. Can we measure up to our own hopes, let alone our culture's commercialized … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: God with us