Parenthood is all about “Pantsing”

Once, I was talking to a favorite uncle about life and all deep things. Because that’s what we do. (He’s a great uncle.) I said, “You know, when I was a kid, and something was bothering me, I’d think it through and make up my mind what to do about it, and that was it.…

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What I Learned About Myself While Traveling

I learned something about myself in traveling these past two weeks. When I’m in charge of travel, I’m susceptible to some pretty strong anxiety. I like traveling. I like experiencing the world, seeing new places. I like it a lot, in fact. But until last weekend, I didn’t realize how stressful I would find it…

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If You’re Not Outraged…

We’ve been angry a lot this calendar year. Last calendar year, too, truth be told. The world seems made for making us angry right now. But it came to a head in the last week, and in one of those convergences that can only be a sign of the Holy Spirit at work, for three…

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You say Self”ish”, I Say Self”less”

I’ll admit it: I totally blew it last summer. I tried to extend my “work-year” to ten months by putting kids in summer school, promising myself that it would be enough to do weekly field trips during July and August. But the first ten days of July were taken up with our triple-duty trip to…

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In Which A Conversation With A Homeless Man Shapes My Future Self

The light at the top of the exit ramp was red when I pulled up to it. There was a man there. Grizzled. Curly beard. I recognized him. I’ve given him protein bars before. I pulled one out of the box between the seats and rolled down my window. “Here you go,” I said. “Oh,…

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A Word With No Meaning?

I once attended a workshop on writing liturgical texts in which the presenter challenged us to take out all the church-y words and see if anything of substance remained. “Mercy” is one of those words. A throwaway word, overused into gibberish. At least, it has been for me. So when I heard about an extraordinary jubilee year…

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Small Things, Great Love (Reblog)

The past two weeks.  It has almost been too much to bear, all the heartache.  All the hatred and the hurting and brokenness everywhere we turn.  It is too much.  I am tempted to shut it out: turn off the news, avoid the rapid-fire of social media politicking.  Sink into my own comfortable life, where…

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The Deep, Dark Underbelly of Parenting (and how my attitude is still my own problem)

I was driving home last night from Julianna’s last horseback riding lesson of the year, and pondering what to write for a blog post today, when I realized Julianna and Michael were in the back seat, fighting over… …wait for it… …a dirty paper plate. This was not the first fight of the afternoon, either.…

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Suffering Isn’t Sexy, But It’s Been Good For Me

I was twenty-five when I got married, and I thought I was coming into it really late. By modern standards, of course, twenty-five is early, if anything, but I didn’t know that. In point of fact, I didn’t know much of anything when I got married. About, well, anything. I thought I was a pretty…

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Unrecognized Blessings

It was fifteen minutes until Mass started, and we couldn’t find Julianna’s shoes. Or more accurately, one of her shoes. Now, to understand the full significance of this, you have to realize, first, that Alex was serving and he was supposed to be at church fifteen minutes ahead of time—and second, that Julianna only owns…

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