my mirror is Dirty.

When it comes to household cleanliness, I tend to think I’m pretty high up there. The kitchen is clean, the bathrooms get cleaned regularly, and the dishes never sit in the sink ‘soaking’ for more than 24 hours. With the grand exception of dusting (which I loathe), my house is clean.

But somehow my bathroom mirror is dirty. It has been for months. And I have no plans to clean it anytime soon. Continue reading

wintery Activities.

More often than not, I describe myself as an “introverted extrovert”. On the spectrum of introvert to extrovert, I fall pretty close to the middle, though I fall on the introverted side of the middle ground. Practically that means that I am a home-body. I can function and get some enjoyment out of large-group activities without being incredibly overwhelmed – so long as I know how long the engagement will last, and that I knew about it in advance. But at the end of the day, I thoroughly enjoy my time at home, unwinding and relaxing, reflecting and rejuvenating.  Continue reading

into the Arena.

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve been re-reading (and hoping to actually finish) Daring Greatly by Brené Brown and it has me thinking a lot about my own book. Not only do we both use some of the same language, but the ideas she hits on make me realize part of why I’ve been putting off actually editing the book for so long. Continue reading

my husband, my Cross.

Dear Current and Future Husband (one in the same, though we’ll be different people in the future),

Before we met I wrote to you, I wrote to you of love and the life we would share. What I didn’t realize for all the romance and dreams of walking down the aisle was how difficult some of our days together would be.

My focus was on walking down the aisle to my husband, not realizing that at the same time, that walk was our own walk to Calvary, to laying down our lives for each other. Marriage is a sanctifying vocation, and the only way we find salvation is through the Cross. You are my cross to bear and I am yours. There are and will be days that this cross is light, that the burden is heavy as a feather. But there are and will be days that this cross is heavy, so heavy that we’ll wonder where our Simon is. The cross that is this sanctifying vocation will seem to crush one or both of us. In all of my daydreaming and praying for our life together, I didn’t understand that marriage could be so utterly trying.

Christopher West describes it well,

There’s no getting around it. We express our wedding vows in a church, under a crucifix, in front of an altar of sacrifice. The vows themselves are a solemn promise to love as Christ loves. That means there will be times in married life when the nails are being driven through our palms, the thorns are being pressed into our scalps, and the lance is being thrust through our sides. And we, understandably, will want to exclaim: “This is horrible!”

I’m constantly confronted with how marriage, by its very design, confronts me with the cross. The temptation in those moments is always to look for a detour.

This is the stuff that movies and TV and the like don’t tell you about – or maybe I just ignored it in favor of all the fairytales of how blissful marriage would be. I was sure we’d have struggles, but I’d never imagine they could be so painful, so horrible, as West says. The temptation is to look for an easy way out, a shortcut of some sort. Years ago as I was watching a documentary on John Paul II, I was struck by something that was said as people were encouraging him to resign from the papacy given his declining health: “You don’t get off the cross.”

Christ didn’t get off the cross. God knows He could have. He could have called on the angels, said enough was enough, and tried to find another way to save us – one that involved less pain, less shame, less sacrifice. But on the cross He stayed.

In the difficult days, in the days when we feel the thorns and the lance and the nails, let us remember this: Christ didn’t get off the cross. It was painful, shameful, and humiliating, but He didn’t get off – He stayed through to the bitter end, and to the glory of the Resurrection. When we cling to the cross, when we sacrifice for each other as Christ did for His Bride, rather than running from the cross, there will be pain, shame, struggle and strife beyond our wildest dreams. But so too will there be a new day, a new dawn, a new temple, hope, and joy beyond all telling.

If love were merely about feelings, Jesus would have been hugged to death. With true love comes suffering. With true love comes the Cross, in all of its horror, shame, humiliation, pain, and sacrifice. Yet this is the sanctifying vocation we’ve chosen, and we’ve chosen it with one another. You are my cross and I am yours, now and forever until we reach Heaven’s shores. Embrace the cross and the sacrifice with me, won’t you?


Your wife, your cross

for the sleepless Nights.

As I sit and write, my sweet daughter is playing by herself on the floor. She’s found a laminated poster that makes a fun noise and she’s perfectly content to wave it around and slap it to hear all the fun sounds it can make. If only she were this quiet and content all the time.

Lately she’s hit a streak of nights that sleep is difficult to come by. Getting her down is no easy task, and once she’s down, she’s not usually down for long. Two to three hours later she’s up for a feeding, lather, rinse, repeat, until about 4am when she’s decided it most certainly is time to play. If it isn’t time to play, then it must be Scream Like It Is The End Of The World O’Clock. In those wee, dark hours it is hard to hold on to sanity with a baby screaming (sometimes in your ear). Some nights it seems as though nothing will comfort or calm her. It is in these times that I struggle to keep my cool. Then I wonder what it must be like for God when we act like this. Continue reading

never say Never.

I alluded to it, and now it is time for the big reveal!

It is such a cliché phrase, never say never, but it is so true. Far too often in my life I’ve said I’ll never ______, and then months or years later I turn around and do just that. I once said I’d never be a Director of Religious Education because I never wanted to deal with that Restored Order of the Sacraments business. Less than a year after saying that, I took a job as Director of Faith Formation. (So technically, *technically*, I never was a Director of Religious Education. But I digress.) Continue reading

when vanity goes too Far.

In high school when it was time to pick a Confirmation saint, I picked the one I did for one reason, and one reason only: her name went smoothly with mine. I didn’t want to have some out there name stuck in the middle of mine. When I went through Confirmation I could have cared less. Each week, going to class was a constant battle with my parents. Even though it was a huge struggle at the time, I’m glad my parents made me go, dragged me out of my closet hiding space (that was a thing, even as a freshman in high school) and took me to class. As it turns out, that saint has had even more of an impact on my life than I ever thought she would.

The saint? St. Rose of Lima. Continue reading