WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: Here's a few posts that really spoke to my heart.
Those People: This gets to the heart of what I mean by "we need to love better." I love Cate's heart and honesty. We are ALL "those people."
Once a Mom, Always a Mom: Kim writes so beautifully about the loss of her child, and why Mother's Day still holds deep meaning for her. At a time when there are many who aren't so sure we should celebrate Mother's Day quite so fervently, Kim provides a great reason why we should.
How Do I Love Thee?: In a world where the meaning of love is as diluted at my toddler's juice, Pope Francis continues to challenge us to love authentically, to remind us what - or rather who - the face of love is, and share it boldly in this world.
Mother's Day. There has been quite a lot written and spoken this year about how difficult this day is and how we might best celebrate while still honoring that struggle. For too many, it is a day filled with heartache. Whether it is from the loss of a mother, the loss of a child, the inability to conceive a child, longing for a vocation that has yet to be fulfilled, or a terribly broken maternal relationship, Mother’s Day is not always a joyful day.
In reality, it is impossible to escape the day. From the commercials and the cards, to the celebrations at church, Mother’s Day is everywhere. People want to celebrate the gift of life and life-giving, and that is not a bad thing. We need to be proclaiming the bringing forth of life as a good thing in a culture that does what it can to suppress motherhood. How do we celebrate that and still walk with those whose hearts are still breaking? Maybe, just maybe, the answer lies in the celebration itself. It is a day to celebrate motherhood. It isn't about the presents or the food or what I want. It is a day to honor the gift of giving our lives for someone else, to recognize the sacrifice of those who nurture life in another, the ache of those who long to nurture that life within them.
This Mother's Day, what if we started a windfall of blessings for all those women who are struggling? Sure, I would love a quiet day with noise cancelling headphones. I know too many women, though, who would give anything to have a houseful of noise but live in silence instead. Sure, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to celebrate in our own family, while still honoring our mothers too. Sadly, I know too many who no longer have that struggle because their moms are no longer with them. Can we pick up the phone or write a note to our grieving friends to remind them we haven't forgotten them? Can we in our own festivities really embrace how much we have to celebrate? Let's love each other better this year instead of battling about how much is too much Mother's Day.
If you asked me what my favorite season was, I would normally have said Autumn. I say this in the past tense, because as I have been out and about over the past few weeks, the beauty of spring has wooed me and stolen my heart. There is something this year that is reassuring about the budding of trees that were once bare for far too long, the flowers that adorn those trees and lawns, like jewels shimmering in a sea of green. People are out and about, the parks and yards are full of children...life blooms along with the flora. I'm not quitting autumn, but spring has certainly done a good job of flirting with me this year. Once my allergies hit, the love affair may be over though.
Have you pre-ordered Audrey Assad's upcoming Hymns album yet? There is still time! I love Audrey's heart. She writes about how this hymns album came about:
Making a record of hymns (which will be mostly traditionals but also some originals) will be a way in which I can, once again, nail the stakes of my tent down a little deeper into the ground, arm my heart with words of life, and say to the black vacuum of unbelief, you will not have me.
How many of us vacillate in that space between faith and despair? Art and music are such a powerful way for us to rekindle that connection to the something that exists beyond ourselves, to remind our souls of their lover. I can't wait for this new album (or to see her at Edel in July)! By the way, if you pre-order, she is making the creation of this new record very interactive - "a gift of the church to the church." Love.
FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES: The kids came home from Nonna's on Sunday, and of all the post-surgery struggles, the biggest one is chasing these hooligans around. I was trying to explain why mommy can't snuggle with them or pick them up, and why they need to perhaps be a little better at listening. Judah, boy that he is, wanted to see my stitches. So I showed him. Then he kissed my "boo boo" (well, not exactly, but near it). That boy is a lover. An almost three year old crazy toddler lover.
This was after Gianna wanted to pick mommy flowers from the yard on their way in. She looooves to pick those flowers.
LIFE IN A FEW THOUSAND WORDS
In my convalescence, the time I wasn't passed out from the pain medication (which are awful by the way), I might have been guilty of a little impulse buying. A credit on the card and a book about mixed media techniques were just too dangerous a combination. It made for some fun times this afternoon!
That's all for this week. For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't The Lyceum!
Until next time, get out there and love 'em like Jesus!
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