Poetry & Words, Theology

What We Lost When Blogging Became a Business

Before page-views were king, before influencers was common jargon, before the time of 5 Reasons my Words are Important Enough for you to Click, I might have opened a tab and written —

you’re impossible to me now
in a sea of lost Novembers.
the periwinkle fog has settled
over Paz, and the velvet chair.

Continue reading “What We Lost When Blogging Became a Business”

Life in Photos



“Something I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don’t have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice.

I can understand that…But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better — and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. …This results, then, in the courage to rejoice.” -Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger

Poetry & Words

Dear Internetz, I’m Done with the Negativity

Dear Mommy Blogs, I'm done with the negativity. I choose joy.

Dear Internetz Dwellers of the Mothering SubGenre,

I know, I know. I’ve read your weblogs. Mothering is hard. Our small people spill the milk, squeeze the juice boxes until they resemble Old Faithful, chew the corners of favorite books, and keep hours that make us wonder if they have second jobs as miniature convenience store clerks. There are too many choices when we shop, our kids won’t eat their leftovers and we went out with a melted Cheerio stuck to our heads again.

In the last decade, dear Internetz, I’ve watched your weblogs shift from GeoCities to LiveJournal to Xanga, and now to insta-infinity and beyond. And I’ve noticed something. I’ve noticed the chronicles slide down the negative path. Now, from where I stand in 2014, it seems the Mothering SubGenre is firmly entrenched in despair, doom, and dirty diapers — with a side of crude talk and bodily functions.

Haven’t you noticed, Internetz dwellers? The written pieces with the most clicks and comments — the ones your Facebook friends are sharing and your wifi-enabled friends are scrolling through while they’re sitting next to you — are the very blog posts raking the coals in the smoldering Mommy Wars. I watch as mothers sort themselves into teams; home vs. hospital vs. pool. vs cesarean section vs. octagonal hand-tanned artisanal reindeer leather yurts, then draw lines in the strewn toys and lob posts back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, until the child in the woven sling vs. structured carrier vs. five point harness vs. car? flex fuel? peddle bike? organic donkey of burden-seat screams in frustration. (And editors of mothering publications? I’ve seen the guidelines and the pitch suggestions for the kinds of articles you want us to write. You’re fanning the flames.)

I’ve been listening, dear Internetz Dwellers of the Mothering SubGenre. I’ve been listening, and I’ve been reading, and I’m done.

I’m done clicking into the negativity.

I want no part of the lie that mothering is nothing but a sticky-fingered, foul-mouthed, angering pile of negativity.

I’m done, and I raise you an armful of joy.

No, not the kind of joy you mock when you blog about that woman in your playgroup who smiles a lot. Real, honest-to-goodness joy that spills down from the heavens and over all of us and over our homes and over our child(ren). Real joy, joy with roots, roots that run deeper than the storms and deeper than the pain and deeper than these momentary tribulations which are preparing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory [1].

There is enough real horror in the world without manufacturing negativity. There’s enough actual tragedy in the world without perpetuating artificial debates. I don’t know about you, Internetz of the Mothering SubGenre, but when I read that Meriam Ibrahim’s tiny newborn daughter is permanently injured because Meriam gave birth in chainsin chains! — there wasn’t a single ounce of my strength that had any will to raise up a stink about plastic vs. wooden toys. There wasn’t any strength left in me to do anything but cry out, “Oh Lord! Have mercy on this bruised and battered and fallen world!” Hearing how this woman — our sister — brought life into this broken world while shackled, should scream louder into our collective consciousness than BPA-free plastic, the Golden Arches, and the woe-is-me laments of our gilded excess.

Friends, the world is broken. The world is full of pain, and there is more abject suffering outside our circles than most of us, thank God, will ever know. There’s more than enough lifetimes of tragedies to break our hearts thousands and thousands of times over.

But despite this all, because of this all, as for me and my house, I choose joy. As for me and my house, I choose to rejoice — choose to search out the hidden joys, lift them up, and shout — without shame, condemnation, guilt.

This doesn’t mean my heart doesn’t cry out for the hurting and the broken. This just means I know the brokenness can’t win. The Healer has already triumphed. This doesn’t mean I deny the suffering around me. This just means I know that the darkness can’t win. The light has already triumphed.

And so I choose joy.

What about you? “Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?” -C.S. Lewis

Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Aveline Turns Three

4 - Aveline Turns Three

Aveline’s birthday was on Sunday. Since she’s now three, she decided she would choose the pose for her birthday portrait. Alrighty, then! (She asked to wear that particular “pah-ty dwess” too.)

She’s literally been talking about “berfdays” for one whole year. She loved the party she had in California last year, so much so that it’s been a nearly daily topic of conversation. And then my dad celebrated his birthday here in October, which set off birthday fever again.

1 - Aveline Turns Three

But Sunday was Aveline’s day, and she was completely overwhelmed with excitement. She wished us “happy berfday” dozens and dozens of times throughout the day. And three balloons, she decided, could only mean one thing — one is for Aveline, one is for papa, and one is for mama.

2 - Aveline Turns Three

3 - Aveline Turns Three

5 - Aveline Turns Three

That night, she stayed awake in her bed for two hours after bedtime, happy as a lark, singing happy birthday to herself.

Oh, what a little beacon of light and joy she is! Thank you God, for allowing me to be her mother for such a time as this.

Poetry & Words, Theology

It’s Okay to be Happy with a Calm Life

It's Ok to be Happy with a Calm Life by Julie Kuberski

(Print via Julie Kuberski on Society6)

Are you comparing your life this morning with someone else’s? Perhaps you’re comparing yourself with someone you don’t know, except through perfect(ly edited) peeks (via social media). Maybe you feel discouraged this morning because, compared to all the pins and posts, your life is boring. Flat. Not bursting with adventure.

You’re not jetting off to some corner of the world. You’re not having your coffee in a wood+brick+ceramic cafe in the Pacific Northwest or brunching on a Mediterranean veranda. You’re not doing anything exciting. There’s nothing wrong with your own set of circumstances this morning except for the fact you feel they’re a bit…boring.

Don’t be discouraged.

There are a seasons of whirlwind and seasons of calm; there are people who need 4 hours of a sleep a night and people who need 9, and there are those who are called to be surrounded by others, and those who are called to seasons of repose.

Don’t let comparison steal away your joy.

Don’t be dragged down asking, “Am I doing as much as ___ is able to accomplish in a day?”; but rather, rest in this: “Am I doing what He has called me to do in this moment?”

Be encouraged.

“For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.” (I Samuel 30:24)

It’s ok to be happy with a calm life.

Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: You will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall…

August 2013 - Rain on a window pane - White curtain and greenery
August 2013 - Aveline plays iPod games in bed

It’s been a week of sick days here, and not a restful one, either. It’s been a week of maintenance repair people traipsing in and out, of interrupted sleep, of cancellations, of Josiah working very late, a week of rain and a week of exhaustion.

But this one’s always happy. Even at 3am, even with a fever, she’s full of joy.

I can learn a lot from her.

This morning wasn’t anything special, not to me anyway. It was another in a string of long, tired, days. But to Aveline, this morning was, “SUNNY DAY!”

To Aveline, this morning was “Blue hair wears (barrettes)! G’een hair wears! FLOWERS on pants! Sit he-ah! Hold dis! TAKE PIH-UH!! Drink kefir! Eat beh-uss (breakfast)! WEAR BIB WITH DOTS! PWAY GAMES!”

August 2013 - Aveline poses with duster

To Aveline, every day is a reason to be “gankful”. Every day is a reason to jump with joy (and pose with a duster, apparently.)

“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings ; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.” -Malachi 4:2

“Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and sound of a melody.” -Isaiah 51:3b

“So the ransomed of the Lord will return, and come with joyful shouting to Zion, and everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” -Isaiah 51:11

Thank you, Lord, for this reminder.

Poetry & Words

“For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.”

Aveline in Marc Ecko shirt holding felt feathers

It hasn’t quite been the weekend for sleep. But it’s been a good weekend for productivity. At 1 o’clock on Friday night? We finished filing taxes.

And tonight? We spontaneously rearranged all the furniture in our great room — at 10 pm.

Maybe we’re crazy.
Maybe we’re just celebrating being in the same house for nearly an entire year.

Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

Aveline in Marc Ecko shirt

A year ago, I was pale, dizzy, anemic, and could barely walk fifteen steps without holding on to the wall. Aveline wasn’t even two weeks old yet, and we* were packing to move to Florida. *my parents and my husband, i.e., angels

And here we are now, in a beautiful sunshine-y apartment, with a laughing, healthy toddler, and a full-time job for Josiah. Do we miss our families and our friends? Yes. (Does Florida seem like a soggy swamp sometimes? Yes. ;-) But, “the Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” -Psalm 126:3

So, so much joy!