You may have seen this hashtag floating around on the interwebs over the past couple of days.In case you aren’t sure what it’s all about, it’s inviting women to share if they’ve ever experienced a sexual assault, to bring awareness to how widespread this problem is in our world (and not just in Hollywood, big businesses, or public forum).As I saw posted in someone’s status earlier, “If you think you don’t know anyone who’s been sexually assaulted, you’re wrong.”
Ever since the issue of sexual assault has come to the forefront, beginning heavily in the election year last year, it’s been on my mind a lot.I’ve hesitated to share my story mostly because, until this became a big talking point, I honestly didn’t realize I HAD been sexually assaulted.Which is why this story will come as a surprise to my family and friends – I’ve never talked about it because it took me until i was 37 years old, approximately 15 years after it happened, to be able to name it what it was. Read More
Earlier this week, we celebrated our daughter’s 1st heavenly birthday.
My son decided that Seraphina needed “balloons & hearts for her birthday”
On May 2, 2016, our 2nd baby went directly to heaven, a miscarriage that yanked the rug out from under me and sent me into a tailspin for the following year. You can read all about our loss of Seraphina here.(And, our first loss, Gale, here.)
The time following pregnancy loss, specifically when you had seen your baby on an ultrasound, who’s heartbeat you heard and cherished, and who’s presence you shared with loves ones aren’t easy.And, you don’t move on from the physical pain and emotional & spiritual suffering, as quickly many people think or assume you do or should.
Your entire world is now operating from this point of reference.You’re carrying this burden around with you that is unseen by the world at large.You think about it daily, especially during the time when your body is recovering from the trauma it has been through.It’s a daily reminder that your child is now gone.
I have a friend who’s baby was born about 10 days before my miscarriage.I was due to bring them a meal and meet the baby (and was planning to tell them about our pregnancy).That was the first big hurdle that was in front of me.The thought of seeing that newborn and having to tell them of my own loss was too much for me at that time.
And, that was just the beginning of a very dark year for me.Read More
If you have children of a certain age range and you’re people who consume some amount of media, specifically on TV, then you are probably familiar with the Disney Channel. And, most specifically on the Disney Channel, you are familiar with the “Dream Big, Princess” commercial/songs/campaign. If you aren’t, I’ll indulge you for a moment here:
Now, listen. I love these little inspirational videos. I love that Disney has somewhat let go of the typical “princess” party line (you know – fancy dresses, crowns, jewelry, etc….although, those ain’t gone and you can pay big bucks at the parks to have your daughter all dolled up like a fancy fairy tale princess in the Disney parks if you want that). I think it was a genius idea to juxtapose girls of all ages, races, and abilities with all the different types of “princess” or female leads from their movies who are also of various ages and ethnicities. I love that they encourage young girls to be leaders, follow dreams, achieve great things, pursue whatever it is that they love, etc. The first time I watched one of these with my girls, I teared up because I was like, “Yes, my beautiful girls, I want you to be as individual and unique and strong as the Father in Heaven intended you to be!” Read More
Y’all, I’m literally to the point of feeling sick over this election.
Like, I’m reading things that are posted by family and friends (and even strangers) and I feel physically ill. I can’t take the arguing, the “fact-checking” back and forth, the he-said-she-said, the “who’s a worse person”, the “the Church says this, not that” and “the Church DOESN’T say this, it says that”, quoting from questionable sources, blogs, & opinions. Etc, etc, etc.
I’m over all the arm-chair politicians and moralists and theologians and philosophers of social media.
I’m tired of reading things and being surprised and saddened and shocked at what the people who I know and love are spewing that seem so out of character for them; that seem inconsistent with how I’ve seen them live and speak; that are just not well-thought-out before being spoken.
When we found out we were pregnant again, 4 months after losing our baby Gale, I was excited.The likelihood of miscarrying again, back to back, was very low.My doctor had me come in within a couple of days of my initial call to check my HGC levels to make sure the pregnancy was strong.I registered “low”, but passable and was put on progesterone supplements.A couple of days later, my HGC levels were checked again and were soaring.
At 8 weeks, we loaded up the whole crew and waited to see the newest member of our family up on the “big screen”.After waiting through a “full work-up” OB appointment for me, the kids running through halls and the staff being kind enough to put up with all the noise, we finally got to see the baby.Her heart was beating like a champ, the kids were thrilled to discover they were going to have a new sibling (“Please, not another girl, Mom,” said our 5 year old, only son), and I felt confident that we’d be celebrating another birthday around Thanksgiving.My doctor scheduled me for another ultrasound at 11 weeks “just to be sure of things”. Read More
It’s really hard to discuss miscarriage. It’s not that it’s taboo, exactly. It’s just that it’s not something that’s usually very public unless your pregnancy was already public. And, when you lose a baby early in a pregnancy, many people don’t even really consider it much of a loss. In fact, I was one of those people. I mean, there has never been any question that once you conceive, that is a life with a unique soul. But, I always thought, “If the pregnancy is lost early, how could you even feel very attached to that baby?” I truly did not understand because I did not have a frame of reference for that type of loss.
“Continue to pray the Rosary every day.” (Our Lady of Fatima to Sister Lucia)
I don’t think there’s any practicing Catholic out there who would deny the importance of daily recitation of the rosary. The saints, the Popes, and even the Blessed Mother herself invites us to pray it on a regular basis, promising great spiritual wealth and growth as a result of it. And, I have no doubt at all that that is true.
But, for the vast majority of us, praying the Rosary daily is actually rather challenging. Or, maybe that’s just me. I am not sure if it’s that I lack focus or the ability to sit still that long, but when I am attempting to pray it alone (which, let me tell you, happens about 0.1% of the time of my life) or when I am driving (which is more realistic), I easily get distracted. I do much better when I pray it aloud with other people.
But, the only people I am with on a regular daily basis are these tiny human beings that I call my children. Which, hey, is GREAT! Because, praying the FAMILY rosary is possibly an even more beneficial and spiritually efficacious type of prayer than praying it alone.
Maybe efficacious isn’t the right word. Perhaps saying it’s a source of “great sanctification” is more appropriate. Especially when your prayer partners are 5, 3, and 20 months old.
I just received word through the social media grapevine that a couple that I knew only distantly in college suffered a great tragedy – the husband was killed in a car wreck late last night and she is now widowed with 6 young children and a 7th on the way.
Tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of death of another friend from college who was diagnosed, fought, and died valiantly from an intense form of cancer all in a couple of months time. His wife was also left widowed with 3 young children, pregnant with their 4th.
On Dec. 12, a lovely young mother here in town also died from cancer, after 6 months of fighting, leaving behind her husband and 3 daughters who are 3, 2, and 6 months old. She was only 32.
Poor Martha. She always gets such a bad rap for “being worried and bothered about many things” (Lk. 10:41). She was a doer, perhaps a slightly Type A personality (though, not all of us Marthas are actually complete Type As).
Though many people skip over it, previous verses indicate that “MARTHA welcomed Him [Jesus] into her home.” (emphasis added) Not “Martha AND Mary welcomed Him.” Just Martha welcomed him. She was the hostess who was presumably doing things like making the meal, setting out the food, filling drinks, keeping up with everyone’s things, cleaning off dirty feet, etc.
We Marthas know that we are worried and bothered by many things. We see the overflowing trash, the mess on the floor, the sink full of dishes, the dirty laundry, the toilet that needs scrubbing, the sticky fingers on kids. We are the ones doing the majority of the chores and keeping the household in order. We take action, get the job done, and our love language is most likely “acts of service.”
We’re also the ones who get stressed out when visitors are coming over to the house – not because we have an “image” to uphold or that we are trying so much to “impress” the guests. But, more because we want everyone to have a pleasant experience. We want the food to satisfy, the seats to be comfortable, the drinks to be cold, and the friends to feel at home.
But, we feel like we get a bad wrap thanks to this particular verse in Luke’s gospel. Read More
There’s never a lack of tragic situations happening in the world at large as well in our specific communities, families, and churches. Sometimes, though, it seems like certain communities are hit really hard in relation to others.
One of my “circles” of people is my alma mater, Franciscan University of Steubenville. Being that it’s a university, my connections and friendships spread much wider there than some of my smaller, more personal circles. Though it is not a large university, there’s been a specific contingency of people (Catholic young families) overwhelmingly affected by hardships in the past year.