Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you. Luke 6:38
Some of my friends and loved ones may be logging onto this brand new “baby blog”, empty of posts and shiny clean, and saying to themselves, “What the heck is she thinking?!” (Yep, they say “heck”.)
“She’s so busy already. She’s flying all over the country, she’s got that other blog — that Mom thing — and she can barely keep up with what she’s got going on. And have you seen her kitchen and laundry room? Her poor husband. She’s nuts…”
And you know what? I think so too.
And yet, here I am.
My presence in this place — undeserved though it may be — is a gift from my friend Elizabeth. I’m delighted to call this place a “gift” and to call Elizabeth Scalia (aka “The Anchoress” and the undisputed empress of Patheos’ Catholic Channel) my “friend”. For a few years now, I’ve been a “Scalia groupie girl”. I have watched her grow this place and marveled at the names she attracted, but also at the voices she’s tapped which were new to me — voices in whom she’d found exactly what I needed to hear. I sat in the audience at the Vatican Bloggers Meeting a few years back — long before we met in person — listening to Elizabeth speaking to the assembled crowd of international Catholic pundits and thinking I’d die to have one tenth of her self assurance, poise, and faith. I’ve read her posts the way a student studies a master, for the content they contained, but also for the way in which they were delivered.
And in the mean time I have learned something pretty amazing — actually from Elizabeth herself (and it may or may not have happened in a Myrtle Beach watering hole over a few cocktails). It’s good to have mentors you admire, but what really matters in this New Evangelization is to be yourself. Authentically you, scars and all, sinful and yet striving constantly.
When Elizabeth first invited me to have a presence here, I put her off. I am crazy busy with my current commitments. I didn’t actually say, “No” but rather asked her for a bit of time, which she graciously gave.
In that time, I pondered the possibility of adding one more spinning plate on the top of a stick to my balancing act. Could I do it? Maybe. But one of the things that kept nagging at me was the “tone” of my work — I’m not a controversy hound. I tend to err on the side of “niceness”, perhaps to a fault. Combox wars make my skin crawl and keep me up at night. So what on earth could I possibly contribute to a place like Patheos, where the conversation is intelligent, current, and never pulls any punches? Elizabeth’s assurances that I don’t need to try to blog boldly like Mark Shea or to be as holy and wise as Pat Gohn or Deacon Greg Kandra put some of those fears to rest.
And yet over the past few months there’s been a nagging sense of change afoot in my own soul. My “baby”, our second-born son Adam, has one foot out the door. His brother Eric is already a twenty-one year old junior in college and Adam’s busily filling out college apps as we speak. My days as a hands-on Mom are numbered. As I know from my own mother’s amazing devotion to her five children, you are never “finished” being a mom. She carries a freshly charged Android to field phone calls and texts at all hours from her brood.
But things change, and people do too.
So while I still love a good conversation about “how on earth to get your two year old to sit through Mass“, I’m ready to take on a few new topics too. For the past few weeks, since Elizabeth and I had our last chat, I have been keeping an Evernote file full of topic ideas to share with you here. I’ve watched the debates and pondered how I might blog about them in this space. My own Year of Faith will also blessedly be inaugurated in these pages. I have a lot of non-Mom stuff to share, and I’m thrilled to have this place to test my wings.
And about that, “how will I find time?” issue, I share with you the following bit of wisdom from Luke’s 6th chapter:
Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.
I like to give. I love sharing the good news about authors, musicians, and just generally cool people doing totally awesome stuff to share their faith. I like my life to be full of adventure, of loved ones and of busyness. My “measure” is ready to be packed together to make room for a bit more goodness. Its ready to be shaken down to welcome new friends, new thoughts, and new memories. I welcome that moment of overflowing, and invite you to join me in considering the possibilities of “yes” when the logical option is “no”. Guess what: He will provide, according to His plan, not Lisa’s.
Unimaginable gifts have already been given me, so abundant that I sometimes marvel at my life. How is it possible? Don’t ask me. But Luke’s exhortation to “Give and gifts will be given to you” sometimes feels like the theme of my life. I don’t give nearly enough to ever merit what I’ve been given, but I’ll keep trying.
Our call — each of ours — to be a part of the New Evangelization doesn’t come based upon our talents or abilities. It’s universal. We have the greatest gift ever to give: our faith in a God who loves us so unconditionally and a Church who — despite her flaws — acts every day to draw us closer in relationship with Jesus Christ and with one another. I’m thrilled to have this little corner of Patheos to do my best to share the joy (and occasional frustration) I find in being a Catholic.
So that’s it. It’s not rocket science. I’m not having a nervous breakdown (yet), not crazy (well, maybe I am) or giving up on my other work.
I’m just packing together, shaking down, and getting ready to overflow.