non-practicing Catholics.

Perhaps it is what I get for being married to an English major. Perhaps it is my theology degree coming out. Either way, I tend to be pretty picky when it comes to words related to the Faith, and this is one of those terms.

Here’s the thing that a surprising number of people don’t know about their baptism: it means you are Catholic forever. And ever. Amen. Baptism leaves an indelible mark on your soul. You don’t wash that away when you stop going to Mass or live in a way that is contrary to Church teaching. You are – for all intents and purposes – still a Catholic. And you always will be. Continue reading

not Sparing.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

-How Great Thou Art

News flash: life is hard. Life is also filled – sometimes unbearably so – with suffering. We live in a valley of tears. Occasionally we get to experience glimpses of heaven on earth: the feeling of holding a new child in our arms, a proposal of marriage, landing the perfect job, and the like. But then there are times the suffering seems overwhelming: financial distress, strife in the family, friendships lost, the death of a loved one. In the midst of this suffering it is easy to wonder, as we all do, why? Continue reading

depths of Desire.

I stood in line for communion at daily Mass, same as always. My daughter was on my hip, smiling and making faces at the person behind us. The altar grew closer, and I genuflected in anticipation of receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. The person in front of me received and there I stood, right before the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, ready to hear her say “The Body of Christ” – only that wasn’t what she said.

She said something to my daughter about how Jesus loves her, then she looked at me and said, “I can tell you are not of age. Jesus loves you.” Then she looked at the person behind me in line. I refused to move.

“I am not underage. I’m 27, and I have a daughter. I am most certainly of age, would you like to see my ID? I’m also in a state of grace and would like to receive the Eucharist.”

“You are not of age. Please step aside.” Continue reading

living out the Vows.

There are days when living out those wedding vows can be difficult. In richer and poorer? In good times and bad? So often when we make those vows, all dressed up, tears in our eyes, we focus on the good parts: richness, good times, health, and the like. We stand up there on the altar but we never quite know exactly how those vows will play out.

This past weekend, however, I saw my husband live them out so perfectly, so selflessly, that I’m sure I got the better end of this marriage deal. Saturday night, after putting our daughter to bed, I felt not quite right. I popped a couple of Tums and sat down to watch something on TV and relax with my husband. Before long, we concluded that we needed to completely throw out what we’d had for dinner that night.  Continue reading

babies and loving like Jesus.

My sweet daughter, in her wonderfully innocent way, never fails to teach me profound life lessons. Recently we were at daily Mass and an older lady came in late. The lady, to be honest, gave me the creeps. I can’t even put my finger on it, but something just didn’t sit quite right.

Regardless of how I felt about her, as my daughter played on the floor, she looked up, saw the lady, smiled her huge smile and waved at her. The lady beamed and walked closer. And closer. My daughter waved even more feverishly. The lady was so overjoyed at how happy and playful my daughter was that she sat next to us.  Continue reading

setting Goals. {2015 recap and 2016 plan}

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m generally not a fan of new year’s resolutions, I much prefer more tangible goals – so that’s what I did for last year. Before I move on to planning for a fabulous 2016, I should probably finish checking in on how last year turned out:

January

-Get over my preconceived notions about pregnancy blogging and blog about my pregnancy, my thoughts – the good, the bad, and the ugly. – CHECK.

-Edit the typos in my book and get the cover changed to say Amanda Sloan instead of Amanda Mortus. I’d love to say I’m going to overhaul the book – which I’ve been dreaming of – but I’m trying to be realistic ;-) – NOT SO MUCH. Continue reading

more than Pictures.

While I’m certainly no professional photographer, I tend to take approximately one boatload of pictures. Monkey is doing something cute? Take a picture. Crying? Take a picture. Sleeping soundly? Take a picture. Date night? Take a picture. Actually showered and did my hair? Take a picture. You get the idea.

Recently, however, I was – gasp – without my phone (a.k.a. camera). I was laying on the floor in our hallway, playing with our sweet daughter. She was sitting on my stomach in nothing but a diaper and smiling in her perfect little way. Then, all at once, she laid her head on my chest and snuggled up to me. My heart melted and I instinctively reached for my phone, though it wasn’t in my pocket. Continue reading