Recently my husband had an interaction with someone where he felt extremely patronized. As he was processing it with me, I noticed that my gut reaction was a pretty unsympathetic “get over it and move on”. (The actual words that came out were marginally more supportive.) As I’ve sat with my feelings about it today I’ve realized that the sad truth is, as a woman, I’ve gotten used to being spoken to that way. As a man, it’s a relatively rare experience for him; one deemed grave enough to merit an intentional conversation with the offender. A friend of mine just posted something on her stories yesterday about discovering that her purpose in life was not to make herself as small, convenient, and accommodating as possible—and that is really sticking with me. It’s a message for everyone but particularly applicable to women, as we’ve been subtlety conditioned to expect less respect and less of a voice. In the second half of my life, I hope to stand up for my own dignity and equality the way I would for another. I hope to call people out when they patronize, belittle, or attempt to disempower me. I’ll still be striving for humility, but I hope to stop confusing it with silently accepting treatment that is anything less than equal. I don’t owe anyone a “convenient” engagement with me, I simply owe them a respectful one—and I can expect to receive respect myself as well, AND speak up when I don’t. It’s been said that none of us are free until we’re all free, and women, I think most of us have some work to do here. Let’s break our own chains so we can show others how to break theirs. 🔗🎀
Motherhood through the eyes of a three-year-old photographer. 📸 The day he took this was a hard one for me, full of weariness and resentment about this season of life, full of feelings of failing left and right. I didn’t notice he’d snapped this until that night, and it’s one of my favorite captures ever. The training potty and the laundry basket: symbols of my prison. But the intimacy with which I’m smiling at my son: a symbol of my pleasure. What more freedom is there than the freedom to give yourself fully to another, even while becoming more of your own self at the same time? Motherhood and liberation is not an either/or. There is always room for the “and”.
Because I’m deciding what my next writing project should be // because I need empowering voices preparing me for childbirth // because I’m learning to embrace life’s seeming incongruities as a whole // because compassion is the most true thing I know of the Gospel // because I want my prayers to find themselves in the God of the mundane 📚 What are you reading—and, more importantly, why?
In praise of public spaces, where even here in Whitebread, USA we hear a half dozen languages shouted across the pool, we notice the kimchi snuck out of a bag to supplement the free library meal, we see the PTO mom in a hijab at school, we witness the lesbian couple doting on their toddler at the city gym. It is in these sacred spaces, tucked into one of the whitest states in the country, where my children are learning that we have no enemies, only differences—and when differences have faces and families, they’re a lot less scary. It is here where my own hidden biases are exposed and chipped away; it is here where we are, each of us, going about the slow work of peacemaking. And so I will forever live in praise of public spaces.
If you’re feeling stuck in your spiritual life, finding an astute spiritual director could be the greatest gift you’ve ever given yourself. When I first heard the term years ago, the concept was completely foreign to me and to be honest I was pretty put off by the idea of someone “directing” my spiritual life. But it turns out, it’s really not directing as much as it is accompanying (can we get a name change up in here please?), and it’s been revolutionary for understanding and living out my own spirituality. ✨ My hubs is in the middle of a two year certification process through St. John’s University to become a spiritual director (a path I might decide to take myself someday!), so I’ve been picking his brain for advice on how to help people find the right one. Keep an eye out in my stories for that—I’m hoping to post today, but we’ll see how nap time goes! 😉 ✨ In the meantime, I’d love to hear your questions about spiritual direction. What do you need to know in order to move forward? What are you curious about? What are your hesitations?
My book isn’t a memoir, but it does contain a deeply personal story arc from my life. And without Dorothy Day, there would be no story. Her pioneering work of solidarity with the poor both healed my soul and changed my vision. So there seemed no better way to celebrate the launch of this book than to celebrate the woman whose influence permeates it. • In that spirit, let’s do a Dorothy Day inspired giveaway! 🥳 One lucky winner will receive: • this brand new print from @heatherschiederillustrates_ • a bold Dorothy Day t-shirt from @brickhouseinthecity • a copy of The Reckless Way of Love, a compilation of Dorothy’s writings with a forward by @d_l_mayfield • a copy of Embracing Weakness: The Unlikely Secret to Changing the World by @shannonkevans • To enter: - follow all accounts listed - like this photo - leave a comment - optional: tag up to 3 friends for bonus entries • Giveaway ends Friday, July 5th at 1 CST. 🎉
Motherhood has been harder and more, um, fertile than expected for me. Motherhood has been long awaited and still unrealized for her. I became Catholic as an adult, she most definitely did not. Her adamance about things like makeup and shaving makes me roll my eyes, and she’s still trying to convince me to wear deodorant and brush my hair. She’s a full-time elementary teacher, I’m a write-from-home mom. We probably wouldn’t be close friends if we met each other today, but sisterhood makes even opposites attract, and we are both better people for it. My sister has been my best friend since the day I was born, and will be til the day I die. I’m a bit sad that this daughter of mine won’t have that... but not sad enough to try for it. 🤣
I’m not certain if it was Plato or Socrates who said, “if you’re gonna write about tough stuff, do it with a whimsical summer picture of your iced tea”, but I’m sure it was one of them. 💡 • I once saw a tragically uninspired movie about the life of Jesus in which the dullness of the “cleansing the temple” scene was almost comical. In it, Jesus moved slowly and calmly through the room, casually knocking coins to the floor and upending a single table with a gentle flick of the wrist. His speech was disinterested and his face showed no trace of emotion. My roommates and I used to rewatch the scene just for a laugh, but there was an unmistakeable melancholy to it, too. How tragic it would be had Jesus really been like that. • But there is a reason such depictions exist and it’s because deep down many of us believe that’s what we should be—emotionless, pious, above being swayed by circumstance or feeling. Somehow we have believed the lie that this is what God is like, and so feel it would be better if we were like this too. We are ashamed of our humanity—perhaps because we haven’t taken any time to contemplatively imagine the humanity of God on earth. • I would love to accompany you on such a journey, and am doing so with two dozen others over on my Patreon page. If you’re interested in supporting my writing (even in a small way), it would be my joy to offer you the monthly reflections in this 8 part series. Hit the Patreon link in my profile to find out more!
They say Saint Francis used to pick worms off sidewalks and move them to safety from being stepped on. It’s a cute story when we tell it but a radical life when he lived it. Imagine caring so much about the Divine spark in every living thing that the homeliest one received all your present thought and action, every single day, every single day, every single day. 🐛 “I found a worm! Can I kiss it, mama?” And I said yes because it couldn’t be any dirtier than he already was and I said yes because across our nation grown adults are dismissing the sanctity of the lives of children just like him and I said yes because I don’t understand how such a gnarled growth happens. How do we begin like this, caring for worms, and end like that, caring for no one but ourselves? O God, preserve my children’s humanity. O God, preserve mine. 🐛 Either Christ is in everything or Christ is in nothing and we preach with our actions every day which truth we believe. 🐛 Today Jesus is in a detention facility, a child in disguise. In addition to contacting your representatives, please make whatever size donation you are able to one of the following: @together.rising @raicestexas @kino_border_initiative @ccharitiesusa