Cosplay Saints: Unmasking the Path to Holiness

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* My bad memories don't bother me much. They're tucked away back there somewhere, but mostly out of mind. It's my good memories I've spent half my lifetime trying to overcome.All of high school, and most of college are in the vaults, but every time I listen to Gregorian Chant, I'm back in 1997 putting on my plastic headphones and tape deck to go for a walk along the Thames river near Port Meadow, happily anticipating that around any bend in the path I'm likely to run into a pub, a church or … [Read more...]

Book Recommendation: “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down”

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Wow. Good book to read if you're looking for one: "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" by Anne Fadiman. A child from the Hmong immigrant community in Merced, California presents at the County Hospital with a severe form of epilepsy. Due to cultural differences, failures in translation between the medical community and the child's family, and constant misunderstanding about the roles of medical intervention and traditional Hmong spiritual healing arts, the child's life and health go … [Read more...]

The Pleasures of Non-Ownership

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We've been the beneficiary of many generosities this summer while my husband renovated the kitchen. Any time he kicked up dust, I'd schlep off to Mom and Dad's with the kids, ask what's for dinner, throw our laundry into their laundry pile, and dirty some more dishes.As things stand, there is no possible room in the inn for ingratitude, and whenever I detect it in myself, I'm pretty repulsed by it. If it's hard to be away from home for extended periods with six kids, it's even harder to have … [Read more...]

Make the Hole Bigger, and Eventually, It Disappears: Finding God in the Kitchen Renovation

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 This has been a beautiful summer. The kids think it's been boring, but if this is boring, I don't think anything could satisfy them.We've been to Michigan. We spent a couple weeks with siblings and cousins at Mom and Dad's. We had about a week of rest. And my husband has renovated our kitchen.He began over a year ago, milling boards of quarter sawn white oak for our floor. He cut tongue and groove into each one, stacking the pile in his work shop to rest until the appropriate … [Read more...]

Back to the Virtual Chalkboard

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My children go back to school on Monday, which feels ridiculously early. I always associate the return to school with the return of Fall. So it seems, having barely experienced summer at all (last night it was 40 degrees in Indiana), that the seasons are turning again, and that winter will be here again all too soon.There's so much to do. The older boys need physicals. Everyone needs registering, and the school system has switched to online registration, which means sitting at the computer … [Read more...]

The Art of Mothering

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I just realized that mothering is an art-form. Today, actually. After fourteen years of being a mother. This is blowing my mind.I was watching my niece and nephew yesterday, since their dad (my husband's brother) and my older boys were helping my husband demolish and lay a new floor in the kitchen. We had to stay out of the house so the kids wouldn't fall through the subfloor into the crawlspace. I was down two kids and up two kids, and all day long I kept losing count of the children, even … [Read more...]

…And One Day You Shall Die: A Life Lesson From Mommy Killjoy

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I took my daughter on a walk yesterday, and she was starting to get tired. "What do you do when you're walking?" she asked. "Don't you get bored?"I told her that I listen to books, or I pray, or I look at the sky and think about things I want to write down."How do we know that Heaven is up and hell is down?" she asked. We'd been talking a little about death, and how she doesn't have to worry about it--because it's life that hurts, not death.She'd been taking her pulse a lot lately … [Read more...]


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