Justice in the Family, Justice in the World

When I set out to write this blog, nearly four years ago, I did not have a clearly defined focus. I was in grad school and about to be married. Obviously a lot has changed. Atticus and I have been married almost four years, I finished grad school with my MA, have been pregnant twice, and have one lovely little almost 2 year old girl.

Over the past four years I’ve written about the seasons of the Church year in the home, cooking, books, miscarriage, sub-fertility, pregnancy, being a new mom, love, loss, and just a little bit about this faith which is the center of our lives. In short, I wrote about anything which tickled my fancy.

I will continue doing this, as least some of the time. But for the last several months, I have felt that God wanted me to incorporate more of the truth of social justice and Catholic social teaching into my blogging world. I have resisted this tooth and nail. Mostly because I was thinking about it all wrong. I assumed that God wanted me to turn my blog into an academic place where I would essentially write articles about Catholic social teaching theories and then hash it out with haters in the com-box. This sort of blog is as unappealing as possible. In short, I said “Thanks but no thanks.”

And I haven’t been able to write anything worth a damn in the last few months, because I didn’t know what to say.

Talking about NFP makes me tired. Talking about politics gives me migraines. And the only thing I really want to talk about (how I, no, am not pregnant yet, and yes, am trying my best not to freak out) is not really worth talking a whole lot about just yet.

I tried the whole “keepin’ it real” blog for a while, and that worked out well when I thought I was losing my mind every.single.day.

Then I discovered something in the last few months. There isn’t a lot to keep real anymore. I have one kid, she’s almost two and just figured out how to climb steps last week. She’s mellow, she entertains herself while I make dinner (most of the time), she’s not a picky eater, and she sleeps 12 hours every night. This is not the stuff of which comedy gold is made. I’m not saying she never acts like a toddler, or drives me crazy, but I guess I’m just used to it or something. Perhaps the meds are working too well. Anyway, I love “keepin’ it real”, and I’m sure I will from time to time, but these days, if I kept it real many of you would probably want to hurt me.

By now you might be wondering what any of this has to do with social justice. I’m getting there.

It all started with my Dorothy Day post for Ignitum Today. I was writing that post and I thought to myself, “Self, this is the kind of thing it is exciting to write. Do this more.”

That thought, and a lot of prayer, became this new mission and focus.

This blog is no longer just about me, or just about my family. My vision for this blog is to become a place where we can all think and talk about what it means to live justice as a family, and how that can bring about justice in the world.

I believe with every fiber of my being that as goes the family, so goes the nation, and eventually, the world.

I am convinced that justice within and as it regards the family is the vital element to creating sustainable social change.

I am equally convinced that Catholic social teaching provides the best blueprint for living justily in and with families.

I am also sure that our family has much, much progress to make towards living out justice with each other and the world around us. I want this blog to be a place where families like ours, imperfect and striving, can work together to “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God”.

If you have ever wondered how your family can live a just life, if that’s even possible in a world of such injustice, I have too. If you have wondered, “What difference can we possibly make, we are just one family?”, we have too.

I want this page to be a space where we can explore and reflect on those questions together, maybe not always agreeing, maybe not always finding a solution, but being willing to “live the questions” together, knowing that the ultimate answer lies in Christ.

My first assignment is this: What questions do you have? What topics pertaining to families and justice would you like to explore? I have some ideas in formation, but two (or more!) heads are better than one, so please, please let me know what kind of posts you’d most like to see!

Welcome to the quasi-new Fumbling Toward Grace, I hope you’ll stay around.

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  • http://learningtobeanewlywed.blogspot.com Bonnie

    Sarah, I am excited to read what you’ll be writing.

    I confess, when I hear “social justice” coming from a Catholic it conjurs up a lot of negative images for me of Catholics who are not orthodox and only embrace the social justice aspect of the faith, while even twisting that out of orthodoxy. I know it is so much more than that and perhaps that can be one of the topics you tackle – how to reclaim the idea of Catholc social justice so more conservative Catholics don’t roll their eyes – so to speak. (I feel like I just ruffled a bunch of feathers.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/joymhbailey Joy Bailey

    Excited and happy that you found the new focus you were seeking, and about having a place to discuss these questions of social justice.

    Most of my questions center around balance ~ how many clothes, toys, books ‘should’ a child have and when am I spending money that ‘should’ be donated, put in her college fund, etc. Though on the flip-side by having a bit of excess that I can now include her in purging I have the opportunity to teach her about donating and sharing with others.

  • http://www.noweternityandbetween.blogspot.com Lianna

    What a great idea! I am looking forward to reading these posts. One idea could be service projects to do as a family and different ways to teach service.

  • Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    I’ll stay around!

  • http://motheringspirit.wordpress.com mothering spirit

    I LOVE this idea! Definitely not enough good resources out there on CST & family life! (And as a fellow Domer, I feel this same tug at my heartstrings – the CSC ruined me!) One of my biggest frustrations is not having enough time to be involved in justice or service activities in my life post-kids as I did pre-kids. I would love to learn about creative ways that families actively raise their kids into a life of justice work and service for others. With two little ones underfoot, we can’t serve at the food shelf or even be involved in the social justice committee in our parish (which of course meets right at bedtime!) as we used to do. But I want to think about more ways to intergrate this faith-in-action work into my children’s lives as they grow.

  • http://www.theroadhomewv.blogspot.com Rebecca

    Um, can I say that I want to be you when I grow up without it being weird?

    “Talking about NFP makes me tired. Talking about politics gives me migraines.” Um, yes. yes. and more yes.

    SO SO SO looking forward to this Sarah! (And I am praying for you daily that you are celebrating a pregnancy very soon – even if you aren’t blogging about it.)

  • http://thatmarriedcouple.blogspot.com/ That Married Couple

    Ooh, this sounds like a great topic, Sarah! I know diddly squat about social justice (with the important exception of what I’ve read by you before), so to be honest when you mentioned the topic before I wasn’t sure exactly what that would consist of or whether it would be interesting. But it actually sounds like something that is fascinating!! I think it’s going to pull together all these efforts I’m making that sometimes seem random – from conscientious consumption to focusing on real food for a myriad of reasons (not least of which includes the treatment of illegal immigrants (is there a more appropriate Catholic term I should use for that?)) to simply simplifying our life. I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out – I’m going to learn so much!

    (Um, and ditto on the no, I am not pregnant yet sentiment. Ugh.)

  • http://Www.graceandpressure.blogspot.com Grace

    We went round and round about social justice as well. We’ve decided, for us, the best way to make a difference (at least within ourselves, and hopefully for others) is through volunteer work. So if at some point, you want to chat volunteer work with charities, non profits, whether they are nationwide or Indianapolis specific, I’m around. We’ve really been loving it.

  • Bill

    I sort of accidentally stumbled onto your site while searching for something on Greg and Lisa Popcak’s site, exceptionalmarriages.com.

    I hope it’s OK for a male Catholic person to post. So many of you great Catholic women have wonderful blogs out there. Thank you for sharing your faith with everyone out there.

    I am another one for whom the term “social justice” kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I appreciate your efforts to take “social justice” back from those who only pick and choose the Catholic moral and social teaching that suits themselves and express the full justice to which all of God’s children, born and unborn, are given by our creator.

    As a lawyer, I too, like “Atticus” share a devotion to St. Thomas More, a model for anyone who takes up the legal profession.

    God Bless you and your family!

  • Anita

    I’ve been reading for awhile and your new focus makes me really happy. I’m a teacher and I did a social justice class in the education faculty. It was a real eye-opener as to how strong people’s opinions can be about social justice. I’m curious about what a Catholic social justice perspective would be (mostly because I found it hard to articulate that to me social justice means that every person has value and deserves just treatment, but to me a lot of proposed social justice actions seemed wrong). So, I’m interesting in reading what the Catholic Church actually teaches about it and how to explain it without be called a bigot (or worse).

  • http://coppertopkitchen.blogspot.com Elizabeth @ Coppertop Kitchen

    Exciting! I am excited to see what’s to come.

  • elizaraxi

    Exciting! Looking forward to what’s to come!!