It’s Ok to Dream: A Reflection on Educating Girls and Using One’s Potential

Lady Power!

My husband and I ran the seven mile block Sunday, which I haven't done since before I had kids. I didn't think I'd be able to finish it, couldn't utter more than two syllables at a time the entire way, so conversations went something like, "Tall corn," and "Dead bird," grunting verbalizations of the points of interest we passed along the way. It was very romantic.Years ago, when my husband and I were getting to know each other, we went for a four mile run together, and I kicked his butt … [Read more...]

Baling Hay For a Good Time


The drive to my parents' house includes a country road that pretends to have two lanes, but is really only wide enough for one car. It's a terribly tempting road on which to speed because of all the short hills that, when you accelerate just so, send your guts up to your ears.So, I was speeding on those blind hills this afternoon, when I crested a hill, guts a-flying, and came face to face with a twenty-foot wide farm implement. You always know it's a possibility on this road. You've seen … [Read more...]

The Idiot Experience of Righteous Anger

One toad was harmed most certainly in the making of this photograph.

Last night, I came home from the store after dark to find that someone had left the garage door hanging open again. This is a raw topic for me, because the garage door is left hanging open with uncanny frequency, no matter that I've reasonably requested closing the door many times after the children have extracted their bicycles and toys.So, in my righteous indignation, I stomped out to the garage, and slammed the door shut, then slammed it again when it didn't stay shut, and finally, I … [Read more...]

“Reality includes religion; realism should, too.”–Christopher Beha


Christopher Beha, novelist and Deputy Editor of Harper's Magazine, discusses the problematic absence of religion in American Literature in an interview with Jesse Barron in Haper's Magazine:  "On a more practical level: the majority of people in this country (and on this earth) have sincerely held religious beliefs that they’ve integrated into their thoroughly modern lives. A quarter of the U.S. population — and 40 percent of the population of New York, where my novel is set — self-iden … [Read more...]

The Mission of Families in Reconciling “The Family”


Is it possible, or even desirable, to shelter our children while also acting as witnesses to a wounded culture? I want to live in a world in which adults consider children and their innocence first, and strive to make their passage into adulthood as gentle as possible. In such a world, worship spaces, public places and popular culture would be, if not tailored to our nations youngest citizens, then at least mindful of their presence, respecting the role of parents to introduce … [Read more...]

Dune Climb, Northern Michigan, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore


The first rule of dune climbing is never do it on a sunny day.Every now and then, we've tried climbing Sleeping Bear dunes, and they are miserable. You think it's only a few miles to the shore of Lake Michigan, and that you can make it in no time, but you cannot. You cannot make it in an hour, or two or three. You will spend your whole life trying to get to Lake Michigan, and when you get there, you will have to turn around and spend another lifetime getting back.We've wised up, and now … [Read more...]

Slain in the Spirit


I've been on vacation with my family for the past week, and haven't quite gathered my thoughts about anything, but I'm still sort of meditating on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thought it might be interesting to repost this piece from one of my earliest encounters with the Catholic Charismatic movement in 2009, when I absolutely refused to be slain in the Spirit. At the time I was very skeptical of it, but one part of the following rings true in hindsight: “Preparation,” said Father Crotty. “T … [Read more...]