New Name, New Home, Same Me

For those who haven't heard the news yet, I'm closing up shop here at Shoved to Them and at Patheos. I have enjoyed my time here as a member of the Patheos team, it is just time for me to take my writing in a new direction.I'd like to take a moment and thank Elizabeth Scalia who hired me, and then Sam Rocha who took over as the new boss when she left for supporting my writing, praying for my family, and pushing me to succeed. The fact that you allowed me to stand up here on this big platform … [Read more...]

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Confirmation – Passing the Flame

When he was just a baby at his Baptism, the priest handed a candle to his father, entrusting his parents and godparents with protecting the Light of Faith for our then tiny son.A few years later, we glowed with pride as he stood in front of a different priest, looked at the Eucharist before him, and said "Amen" to all that was being offered to him.He had fought hard against vision and learning disabilities, studying and struggling to learn everything a second grader needs to know … [Read more...]

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The Meaning of Friendship

Ella and Erika met at their little brothers' preschool playgroup. Ella was a shy 6-year-old in bright colors and glitter, and Erika a friendly 5-year-old who only liked to wear black. One born on the summer solstice and the other the winter solstice, they were instantly two sides of the same coin and immediately inseparable.When Ella developed Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis the next year, Erika slowed her pace to the speed of a girl on crutches and carried the things Ella couldn't. When the do … [Read more...]

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Go buy the Pope’s new book!!

I was recently sent a copy of the new book Dear Pope Francis to review. Since it's a children's book, and I haven't been a child for a few years, I'm turning my blog over to my  6-year-old son for his opinion on the Pope's new book:I think this book is really good. It has pictures of kids and letters. The kids use the letters to ask Pope Francis stuff. He answers their questions. I think it was funny that he said the devil was  a loser. I like that he said that it feels good being a dad. T … [Read more...]

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A Letter to My Daughter – Two Years In

Dear Ella,I forgot you in the car yesterday. I carried in the groceries, and left you sitting there. When I came back out a few minutes later, you were laughing at me. "Mom, did you forget that I couldn't walk?" You were teasing, but the truth is that I had. We were talking, and I expected you to just get out of the car and come into the house with me.This week marks two years since this whole journey began. You'd think getting the wheelchair in and out of the car would be routine for t … [Read more...]

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My Son’s Secret Life

As our 16-year-old son slipped away after dinner to sit in his dark bedroom with only the light of his laptop for company, my husband shook his head and asked, “Porn?”When his grades dropped and he started missing homework assignments and blowing off his friends, I looked at my husband and said, “Maybe drugs?”We ransacked his room and dug through his computer history, and found nothing other than a half-eaten sandwich under his bed that we think used to be turkey, and that he watched a lo … [Read more...]

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Four-Year-Old Theology

This morning at Mass, my four-year-old sat on my lap staring up at the Crucifix. With a small sigh, she asked, "Mommy, why did those bad men make Jesus dead on the cross?"I leaned down and whispered in her tiny ear, "He died on the cross so that we could go to Heaven.""Where's Heaven?" She whispered back."It's with God," I told her.She sat quietly for a while, watching the Liturgy of the Eucharist. As Father raised the Host into the air, she asked, "Is that Jesus?""Yes," I … [Read more...]

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Welcome Home to the Reverts

As I watched the new Catholics enter the Church on Saturday night, I wept during the Baptisms and choked up during the Confirmations. Nothing makes me happier than the sight of so many (64 total at our parish) accepting Jesus Christ and entering into full communion with His Church. As I looked at the standing-room-only crowd of over 1,300 people, I wondered how many of them were back at Church for the first time, and remembered the Lent and Easter of sixteen years ago that saw my own return to … [Read more...]

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A Penance of Mercy

I took my older children to Confession this afternoon. The lines were long with well over 100 people in attendance, and our wait for the Confessional was way beyond an hour and a half.The kids (ages 16, 14, 11, and 8) started off well, but by the end of the first half hour they were fidgeting and fussing with each other. An hour into the wait, I was hissing at them to be quiet, and their repressed laughter was echoing off the walls in the tight, crowded space outside the Confessional. When … [Read more...]

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Need Ideas For Holy Week With Teenagers?

I'm a day late in sharing here, but that's pretty par for the course.Holy Week started on Sunday, and with it the holiest time of the year. As I scan through the Easter pages on Pinterest and look at all of the clever crafts and ideas on the “Mommy blogs,” I notice that all of those ideas seem to run out once the children are too big for coloring pages and gluing popsicle sticks. How, then, do we make the week leading up to Easter one of greater meaning for our older children? How do we keep … [Read more...]

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