The Grace of Subordination


*Before bedtime, I make rounds to find out where all of my children have landed. They have a distinct bedtime, but there's still a lot of shifting that occurs once the lights are out. I've found children bundled up in a nest in the closet, lying horizontally across a shelf with the linens, crouched down in the narrow space between the wall and their beds, and occasionally, nestled up with each other.How do they do this? I always wonder at the seeming effortlessness with which they sleep, … [Read more...]

Indecency: In the eye of the beholder?


My extended family is half Catholic, half Protestant. When the Catholics get together, there are numerous children and babies. As a consequence, there's a lot of breastfeeding going on. A couple of the women have mastered the art of breastfeeding with one arm while walking around the kitchen preparing food. Others prefer to sit around talking, often with the men, while nursing a child. We're discrete about it--not exposing more than necessary to get the job done, but most of us have lost … [Read more...]

Vote with your gut

elephant cookie cutter from

I live in a small town in a red state with a fantastic bakery on our town square. The owner/baker is a grouchy old man who wears a flour dusted apron with a pistol on his belt. He's a bit intimidating, but the donuts are good--possibly worth risking one's life for.He's conducting an informal election this week, where you can place a pretend vote for your favorite candidate by purchasing either an elephant cookie or a donkey cookie. It's perhaps not surprising that the elephants are winning … [Read more...]

How to like women

In conferences, my daughter's third grade teacher mentioned that the girls in her classroom have developed a small kingdom with hierarchy and ranks that cause distractions in class. She laid out the structure for me like this:Queen Bee--rules the roost Sidekick--supports her Banker--controls the currency--keeps track of information, gossip and tattle tales Floaters--move among the different groups Wannabes--strive to the upper tiers through negative immitation and the … [Read more...]

Joining the Conversation on Faith

Well, here we go. A fresh start. Many of you may know my old blog, Betty Duffy. I've loved it long, but over the past year or so, Elizabeth Scalia's offer to let me blog here at Patheos has become more and more attractive. Having a personal blog on which to post one's thoughts and ramblings is very cathartic, but after four or so years, it seemed I had said everything I wanted to say there. I had expressed all my opinions. I had made some good friends. I had documented several years of family … [Read more...]