So I finally bought a book.
Yeah, you know…those things with the pages made out of paper, all filled with words and maybe even sometimes, but not often if you’re a grown up (or people mistake you for one), containing illustrations? Yep. After approximately six…SIX(!!!!!) years of reading only young adult lit out loud for my young adults or bored board books to my tiny ones, I finally bit the bullet and bought myself my very own book. And it’s pink! And it has a woman on it! And it has “Sex” right in the title! So nobody better put their grubby child-like and/or manly hands on it, ya hear?
Anyway, so I bought the book and then you know what I did? I READ the book. Oh yes I did! With the turning of the pages and the using of the eyeballs but the not using of the voice. It was pretty glorious. And with chapters on motherhood, friendship, sex, and marriage (just to name a few), I knew there was a lot of wisdom to be gained from this little gem, wisdom I so desperately yearn for at this season of my life.
Then I got to the last chapter, by Barbara R. Nicolosi, entitled “Plugging In and Embracing Discipleship in the Twenty-First Century.” And I’m going to be completely honest: I almost skipped it. I mean, hello? I have a blog, don’t I? And I use facebook. …
Seriously guys, what is the obsession with college?
“Everyone should have the opportunity to go to college!”
“You can’t get a good job without going to college, ya know.”
“Where are you going to go to college after you graduate?”
“You don’t have to know what you want to study. Just go ‘undecided’ and figure it out as you go along!”
“College isn’t about getting a job. College is about becoming a critical thinker.”
I bet you’ve heard all of these things. Maybe even said some of them. Because they were said to you. And, I mean, only some kind of complete jerk would discourage someone from going to college. College is Good! Right?
Now before you skip the rest of what I have to say, jump to the comments section and write something about how, you know, I must be a complete jerk or something, give me just a minute.
Some people enjoy things or have an aptitude for the kind of career that doesn’t require a degree from a four year institution.
Some people graduate from high school and have no idea what they enjoy or even have an aptitude for and shouldn’t be expected to start pursuing a career or training for a career right away.
Some people enjoy things and have an aptitude for the kind of career that does require a degree from a four year institution.
Some people believe that college has nothing to do with careers and poo-poo the idea that one should expect their university education to be directly linked to their future employment. …
Twelve years ago I sat on a couch, 19 short years of philosophizing and semantics and knowing everything under my belt. She asked us to close our eyes, to open our hearts and to listen. Then I heard the story of a Man who sat down to eat dinner with His very closest friends. His traveling companions. They trusted one another in their darkest moments, lifted each other up in times of uncertainty. They traveled a rough road together, constantly being challenged and reviled for preaching their message of love and servitude. Yet through it all they remained steadfast in their mission, became stronger in their journey.
He sat with His dear friends to share a meal, like they must have done so many times before, but this time…this time it was different. His heart was breaking. His heart was breaking that night because He knew that one of His beloved friends, with whom He shared His very life, would betray Him. That friend would deny everything they had gone through together. Would sacrifice their friendship, His love, and ultimately His life…for nothing. For a few measly pieces of silver, something that had almost no value at all.
And oh my friends, how I wailed that night, my body wracked with remorse and regret. Deep, heaving sobs of contrition. Because I, me, there in the flesh…I was Judas. How many times had I betrayed Him? How many times had I denied Him and sent Him to the cross? …
I know I’m late to the St. Joseph Post Party, that one I totally missed out on last week. Luckily this isn’t really about St. Joseph. Or leprechauns. Oh, please don’t make that super sad face. Stay with me just a little longer…
Last week, on St. Joseph’s feast day, my husband went to a meeting/speech/fried foods extravaganza for men at our parish.
They had him at “free kielbasa and beer”.
While there, among other things, he received a lovely St. Joseph holy card with a beautiful prayer on the back. Immediately following the words to the prayer were some instructions about saying it as a novena. And then, following that, added in by the publisher of this holy card was a warning. Something along these lines: “This novena has never been known to fail. So if you pray it, make sure you REALLY want what you’re asking for.”
At which point my husband shook his head, set the card on the kitchen counter and said “St. Joseph is not some kind of leprechaun.”
St. Joseph is not a leprechaun. Nor is he a genie in a lamp. Nor is he a fairy godmother. And not one of the other saints is any of these things, either. They are not standing by just to grant our wishes. They are not at our beck and call. We are not in charge of them, guys.
Yes we can, and should, pray for the intercession of the saints. …
The other day my two eldest girls had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad fight. It was awful. The kind of fight that makes you wonder what kind of derelict mother is raising them and/or pray that they have no younger siblings to ruin with their atrocious examples of behavior.
I don’t remember what it was about anymore. They barely remembered what it was about halfway through their brawl. And a brawl it was.
“She said this and then I did this and then she responded with this and….blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” The part that struck me, and stuck with me, is that the younger one, who is smaller and not as strong, was apparently doing something to the elder one, who is much larger and stronger, “for a really long time” and it “really hurt” and she “wouldn’t stop.”
And besides worrying for the fate of their immortal souls and praying for the Holy Spirit to intervene and somehow take control of the situation for me, all I could think was “If it really hurt so badly, why did you let her keep doing it?”
I’ll spare you the gruesome details of the discussions and apologies and prayers and consequences that followed but I’ll confess that my elder daughter’s willingness to be the victim weighed heavily on me. She could have easily pulled her arm away. If not that, she could have easily called for help- I was just two rooms away, after all. …
It’s been just over a week since Tommy started working with our parish friend during the day and I’ve made a surprising discovery: it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.
We’ve never really grown out of that college-kids-who-like-to-just-hang-out-together stage, which means it’s still fun for us to just sit around and discuss the subtle nuances of Enter the Dragon (yes, instead of doing housework). I know not everyone would enjoy wasting time to the degree that we do, but we have this particular cross to bear, this cross of too-much-fun-havin’ (I know. Pray for me, would you?), so I was a little sad to know that my partner in fun was going to be gone all day long again.
I mean, back in California, the weekdays sometimes stretched out before me like long roads into the desert.
It probably didn’t help that we actually lived in the desert.
An eight hour workday plus an hour for lunch plus two hours commuting means Tommy was gone for, let’s see…approximately three weeks at a time. Definitely an improvement over his days as a police officer (those dark, terrible days. Insert shudder here.), but still so long.
Why doesn’t it seem so long now? Why does all of this seem manageable? Why does it feel like we have all sorts of time together in the evening despite him working all day? Why do I feel fairly relaxed and together when he gets home instead of a harried mess of stress and unfunniness?…
The thing about getting to know your parish community is that your parish community knows you. They pray for you and ask how you’re doing with this-and-that project and come up with ideas for you when you hit sticky spots in your life. But when it’s time for the 40 Days for Life campaign, they also insist that you volunteer to participate once a week in the peaceful prayer vigil outside of Planned Parenthood, especially if you work from home. And when I say “but” it’s not because this is not a most worthy cause. No. I say “but” because it requires that we be a little extra selfless which is, you know, not usually that much fun.
Here’s the truth: my husband didn’t want to say yes. Because it’s a long drive and it’s another time commitment and he’s an introvert being asked to put himself in the middle of “the public” voluntarily. But he did say yes. Because he lives his faith and loves the Truth and appreciates the fact that during Lent, and in life, we’re asked to do a whole lot of important things we don’t want to do.
And because of that ‘yes’, I’m pretty sure, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that he saved someone’s life.
“After a particularly testing shift of prayer and witness outside of…Planned Parenthood (the previous) week, I began to ask Mary for her intercession to help reach more youth in the sadly hostile territory of the…college district,” he wrote in a recent email.…
You know, after almost 11 years of parenting, I’ve finally got it down. My kids all do their chores without complaining and each and every one of them, particularly the toddler, loves to participate respectfully throughout the entire Mass every Sunday and…
Oh, I’m sorry. Hadn’t you heard about today being opposite day?
Guys, the munchkin is turning two at the end of the month and apparently she just gotten the memo, because the child has taken to driving us NUTS. And she knows it! She. Knows. It.
The other day our eldest, who is almost 11, was reading her a sweet, little, pious, book .
“Dada and pretty windows and a baby.”
“I hear music and mama talking to me”
“I read a book and run around!”
“Don’t you pray?”
Dwija Borobia lives with her husband and their four (soon-to-be-five!) kids in rural southwest Michigan in a fixer-upper they bought sight-unseen off the internet. Between homeschooling and corralling chickens, she pretends her time on the internet doesn’t count because she uses the computer standing up. You can read more on her blog house unseen. life unscripted.…
When you are raised believing in reincarnation, it seems so natural. So fair and logical. And when I say “believing in” I mean to say that it was a main component of our faith system. It was integral to the theology. It wasn’t some vague notion of having been someone awesome in your past life which thus makes you somehow more awesome by some kind of cosmic association and then will you please pass the carrots.
No. It was, everyone was, quite serious.
When you are raised believing in a loving God who created a unique you, with all your marvelous talents and delicious quirks, your precious individuality that could never have existed and will never exist outside of you, that you, personally, are inherently worthy of respect and love merely by virtue of your existence, and you know it and believe it and love it, you will look at your mother with wide, incredulous eyes the first time she tries to explain the concept of reincarnation to you and you will say “that makes no sense!”.
Yes. You will say it and you will mean it.
And that is the problem with reincarnation. Either you, you, YOU, as an individual, the person you are, who God willed you to be, matter. And other people, themselves, those imperfect, flawed, regular people, people just like you and me, matter OR there is reincarnation. You can’t have it both ways.
Now before I go on (and to those of you whose heads are spinning and who wish I would stick to goat anecdotes, I’m truly sorry for delving into such a niche topic. …
When my kids get along and treat each other with kindness and refrain from doing the things they know will irritate each other and bite their tongues when they want to say something that will make them sound smart but is not kind, the world is a better place. Yes, I mean the entire world. Because you know that annoying ringing you sometimes get in your ears? Or the sudden migraine that swoops in from out of nowhere? Yeah, that’s the sound of me going ballistic when they intentionally instigate each other.
‘Cause I’m super good at setting an example, I tell ya what.
So they know they can get along, and they know how do it, and they’ve agreed that their lives are easier and better when they do. Yet there they are, fighting. Putting fairness ahead of love. Putting pride ahead of peace. Pursing those lips so an accidental smile doesn’t ruin such a glorious tantrum.
“You’re choosing to be miserable. It’s crazy. You have the knowledge and the ability to be happy and you’re turning your back on all that for…for what? For some imagined glory? Who cares if you’re the winner of whatever this ridiculousness is? Why does it even matter?”
And there it is. My own words are like a not-so-delectable slice of humble pie, waiting patiently to be eaten. Because at every glorious tantrum I throw, at every ridiculous grab at imagined glory, at every pursed-lip march down the hallway, God shakes His Head. …