Big day! My first guest post (ever!) was published on Grow Christians, a blog currently under the guidance of a new editor who, in my ever so humble opinion, is a rockstar!
My great-grandmother was so influential in my spiritual formation, and this piece is a tribute to her.
My second post appeared in June, where I detail why we strive for consistency in taking our children to church, even when it’s not easy.
My third post appeared in August, which details why our church is such a special place for our youngest daughter to grow and thrive, even with her developmental delays.
My fourth post appeared in October, which relates to parents and children who find themselves uncomfortable with who God made them to be.
My fifth post followed at the beginning of 2019, where I discussed the simple ways we try to instill faith in our daughters’ lives, despite perceived failures along the way.
In a piece that rings true in many homes across our world, I related the story of The Prodigal Son to our dinnertime battles, and how this parable illuminated the importance of loving our children where they need us.
On a matter so close to my heart, Grow Christians published a piece in August 2019 on Hospitality.
Instead of trying to minimize unrealistic, and potentially damaging, standards of what hospitality looks like, it might benefit us all to simplify it down to the rudimentary level. Show up when it matters. Do something. And reflect God’s love back into the world.
In November 2019, we discussed our family’s strategy for keeping participation in church going strong, even in the midst of competing activities.
How do we protect our family’s time at church and keep it from becoming just another thing they have to do?
Do fellowship and service add too much pressure to our already over-booked children?
Is the alternative that church is relegated to the back burner, or is there an achievable middle ground?
In March 2020, in the heart of the Lenten Season, I published a piece about retreating into God’s presence before moving forward into our daily lives.
“Growing up, I remember the season of Lent as one of reflection and contemplation. Somewhere in young adulthood, the season lost its peacefulness for me…Approaching middle age has not allowed the space I anticipated. Instead of pockets of time for repentance and communion, I am (often happily) chasing four daughters through childhood, attempting to find a balance between my roles as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, nurse, teacher, and friend.”
In May 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote a piece on instilling compassion in our daughters. This was especially pertinent as I wrestled with my own desire to support my colleagues on the frontlines of the pandemic.
“I didn’t allow my children to sit with their pain. I didn’t give them the opportunity to find shared grieving space with their friends and our family. While on the grand scale, their suffering may seem minimal, but to them as individuals, their loss seemed insurmountable. By attempting to forgo their personal grief for the sake of a greater communal whole, I entered the dicey realm of comparative suffering. We can’t try to “one-up” everyone when it comes to pain.”
When our family finally returned to our beloved sanctuary after the first year of the pandemic, I joyfully published Returning to the Sanctuary.
As the pandemic forced our parish in and out of our sanctuary through Ordinary time and into Advent, I reflected on how God works to meet us in the middle of our daily struggles, as well as how the Advent season encourages us to put on God’s armor of light. As the pandemic waged on, I reflected on our places of peace in Weary and Burdened.