One day, our parish priest approached her and shared his weighted disapproval of rosaries on display in cars. "They are a blessed tool for prayer, not an accessory!" I heard him exclaim. My mother promptly removed the guilty party. For many years, when I would see rosaries dangling from the mirrors of other cars, I'd be all: Uh oh, thaaas baaad.Read More
Blessed Jacinta had a fierce, determined spirit and a heart for sinners, especially those furthest from God's love: those closest to damnation. She had been horrified when Our Lady granted her and the other children a glimpse into Hell. It was vivid and heartbreaking, terrifying and cruel.Read More
Pope St. Pius X was second of eleven, St. Gianna Mola was number ten of thirteen, St. Faustian was third of ten, St. Louis de Montfort was one of eighteen, St. Catherine of Siena was the twenty-third of twenty-four, St. Joan of Arc was one of five, St. Casimir of Poland was number three of thirteen, and there are so many others who either came from large families or were the parent of numerous offspring (which gives me hope).Read More
My grandfather on the other hand, whom we called Pap Pap, seemed to have a special God-given gift, at least where I was concerned. He accurately predicted every gender (without dangling a ring over my belly or determining if I was "carrying high or low") for my first four babies. By the fifth baby, I decided to align my prediction with his and was finally right!
I asked him to reveal his secret. How did he know?Read More
"We need to weigh you!" was the chorus thrown in my direction as soon as I entered. "Of course," I stammered trying to hide the absolute horror of being weighed, "Sorry." I glanced around the room, "Do you have a scale in here?" They all stared at me like a group of alligators leering at a hippo in a tutu - clearly I am the tutu in this analogy.Read More
One morning, an older woman approached me and inquired as to whether or not I fed the children prior to Mass. I assured her they were well fed and she scrunched up her nose and shrieked, "Reeaally? 'Cause they're so loud and whiny, I was sure that they must be hungry or something. Maybe it would be better if you left them at home."
I was a little tenacious back then...Read More
He said that he was tired of a small percentage of radicals attempting to define the religion as a whole. I told him I thought that was unfair and that I understood. "How can you?" he asked, "If I had worn traditional Muslim attire today, many people on this plane would look at me in fear, making the worst assumptions."Read More
We have a family Christmas tradition that just played out last night: A Muppet Family Christmas movie night with our eleven children, garnished with a truckload of popcorn. This year my husband made an interesting comment: "This is what started it all!" I asked him to clarify...Read More
It isn't always in the over-the-top, extraordinary demonstrations of your love, it's in the little everyday things. Although most people have a particular language of love that they respond to more than others, here are some ideas that are universally welcome expressions of love and a powerful means of winning the heart of our spouse.Read More
I would imagine that the need to defame those who are holy is even greater than the need to point out the obvious faults in "ClinTrump". Because, if someone is definitively holy, then it would follow that their instruction or commentaries should be taken very seriously - and Mother Teresa did say that thing about respecting life at every stage that was pretty unpopular.Read More
With my up-sized family, I am a magnet for comments of the reproductive nature. "So, are you done?" as though I relish the opportunity to discuss my fertility choices with random strangers, or the most popular: "You've got your hands full!"Read More
As I peeled back Christian's diaper, I gasped. There was blood. I checked for lesions, but soon realized that the bleeding was coming from something internal. He had also developed a fever, so I was worried about a possible infection. I took him to a medical clinic and they sent us to the ER. An ultrasound revealed he had a tumor on his right kidney. They were quite certain it was what's called a Wilms tumor. Cancer.Read More
So, I suddenly found myself doing the very thing for which I frequently chastised my kids. I started drawing on the wall. I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome. Soon my kids found me and started screaming, "MOM'S WRITING ON THE WALL!!!"Read More
When I had five children in 5 years, there were times when I was exposed to a grotesque symphony of noise and whining that penetrated my brain, causing an internal vibration. Well beyond the phase of yelling or crying, my eyes glazed over, as I stood frozen with my mind throbbing, "MALFUNCTION, MALFUNCTION," over and over again.Read More
One morning as I caught my school bus, I turned back and waved to the little figure standing in my driveway, not realizing that it would be the last time I'd ever see her.
I haven't shared the story of my little sister's death here yet. She was a mischievous four year old, who we called Monkey, and at the time, I was an overly imaginative nine year old...Read More
As I write this and reflect on my "life choices", specifically my "open-to-life" choices, I'm interrupted (true story), by my son apologizing because he just broke my favorite mug and the chorus of this is why I can't have nice stuff is running through my head. I am an introvert. I appreciate silence. I like to have time and space to think. So why would I say heck yeah to filling my house with a verily insane amount of people? At all times. They never leave.
Well, love can make you do some crazy stuff. And believe it or not, I think this may be my path to becoming a contemplative. Hear me out.Read More
From the time I was twelve, I had ended my prayers with a simple request: "Please bless, strengthen and protect my future husband. Bring us together in such a way that we will both know it was Your will." I wanted clarity. I often told God that He would need to hit me over the head with it, as I knew I couldn't always trust my own feelings. He took me up on it. So without further ado:
How we met... and though highly biased, I think it's a pretty cool story.Read More
For me, Mass can sometimes feel like a war zone. Us verses them. I often spend the time trying to anticipate potential threats that could mean "Mass destruction" at the hands of our 5 under 5: Song books - potential weapons (or casualties), my clothing - potential wardrobe malfunction-in-waiting, the people sitting in front of us - potential victims susceptible to unsolicited back scratches and hair tugging.Read More
You can be an amazing parent with great strategies for motivating, disciplining and forming your children, but then you get that one kid (or two) who makes you feel like you have the parenting skills of a blind, disoriented buffoon.Read More
"I can't believe He's not answering my prayer," I told my husband. My husband's response was, "He always answers our prayers." My eyes were burning with tears at that point.
"But His answer is no, so it doesn't really feel like an 'answered prayer'."