A Foreign Land: navigating motherhood

A Foreign Land - theloveliesthour.com a reflection on parenthood

I sat there, in my living room tonight, feeding my children quesadillas at the coffee table while my husband was away teaching RCIA. I chose a Netflix documentary for the evening's entertainment: Wild China. They watched the first few moments and my daughter said, "Wow mom, it's so different from everything we know!" "Yes," I agreed. And it reminded me of what I've been pondering lately. How this stage of life is unlike anything I thought it would be. It's totally foreign and completely intriguing. As I've said before, when I was a younger mother I thought I had it all figured out. And as many have said before me, the older you get, the more you realize you really have Continue Reading

Real comfort

Staying at home for real comfort Jane Austen

So glad to be home right now, so I devoted a few minutes to some design therapy. I've always loved this quote, and now more than ever. A dozen wild horses couldn't pull me away from my red chair in the living room right now! Jane Austen, via 'Emma', is spot on, as always! Continue Reading

Listen, daughter

listen daughter - blessed is she

I'm starting something new today! I'll be writing monthly over at Blessed is She - daily devotionals for women. I am so honored to be a small part of this amazing group of ladies from all walks of life. I hope that you'll subscribe to receive the devotionals each morning in your inbox and join our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more! To celebrate my post today, "See and Bend Your Ear", I made something pretty. Have a lovely day! Continue Reading

a Back to School Prayer

a parent's back to school prayer

A parent's back to school prayer. We want them to know so much, to find passion, to rise to the top, to stand out and excel and cause their teachers to non with approval. But really, in the end, what we want is much simpler and more eternally meaningful. We want them to be holy. We want them to be a light in places that have become dim. We want them to be strong enough to have faith and let it change them - affect what they do and say and how they treat others. We want them to be safe. We want them to learn what they need to learn to become God's vision of who He has created them to be. That's all. May the Lord bless your children in their learning this year! Continue Reading

The true, beautiful, wide, wise face of motherhood

the true face of motherhood - theloveliesthour.com

  I'm still reeling. Even two days later, I have that buzz of excitement about me. That walking-on-air feeling. I've just come home from Jen and Hallie's Edel Gathering in Austin. Usually, after any fabulous trip or event, there is that feeling of euphoria. The 'top of the mountain' high. The "But Lord, it is GOOD to be here." Coupled with the "Please. Please, don't make me leave!" Except, the strange thing is, I don't mind being back home. I don't mind one bit. Unlike when I was young and picked up from the Texas Hill Country after several weeks at summer camp, or after a total grown-up, get-away vacation, where we all trudge through the doorway and wish with all our Continue Reading

To those who have left the Church:

to all those who have left the church. theloveliesthour.com

. . I think of those, especially the young, who have left the Church. Some that I know, so many that I don't. Many come from families built on solid Catholic Christian foundations. And it breaks my heart that they're leaving the Church. These are not errant deviants. They're not idiots or self-indulgent Millennials or money-mongering thirty- and forty-year-olds. These are good people, with good hearts, who want to be happy and do good for others. But I think that maybe they've never seen what the Church really is. How real and very relevant it can be for them in their lives. Maybe some have been through hard times with their families so they doubt everything. Maybe others see the Continue Reading

why I deleted facebook


. . You'll still see me there. I'm not gone. But I'm not there. It's as if God Himself reached down out of heaven, took hold of my finger with his very large, warm, strong hand and pressed it down on that app button 'till all the iPhone icons started doing that little frantic wiggle. The 'you're about the delete stuff' wiggle. And then, with no thought at all (on my part - God certainly had a plan), I touched that little dancing 'x'. My dear iPhone told me "Deleting 'Facebook' will also delete all of its data." And there was no hesitation. It was gone, buh-bye. History. Delete. The. Data. No more little red alert numbers, no more messages appearing at the top of my Continue Reading

What I’ve learned in fifteen years

what I've learned in fifteen years - marriage - theloveliesthour.com

. . As I sit here, at my kitchen table, I feel Oreo crumbs under my toes from my children's impromptu snack this afternoon. It's almost seven in the evening, and the sun is just beginning to dim. The grass in our backyard is tall - tall enough to make little legs scratchy on their way to the trampoline. There is a roast in the oven and brown rice on the stove and a small variety of vegetables in the refrigerator, willing to be offered up for dinner tonight. Katherine and Colleen are playing 'kitchen' with plastic dishes and food on the living room coffee table. Jonathan is reading Harry Potter, on the couch, with his favorite pillow. Emelie is in her room, vacuuming Continue Reading

Five things to love

st. augustine quote graphic

. . I've read and listened to a few things these past few weeks that I thought I'd share with you. I apologize for not writing more frequently - but we're in the full swing of summer over here. And while it's not the same kind of busy as the school year, it's still busy. Every day, every week, a new schedule, a new driving route for mom, a new job or activity for a child, new chores, many many more dirty dishes, much time spent thinking up activities that do not involve a screen of any kind. Or whining. Just say no to the whining. It's a break, but not a lazy break! But it's very nice to see their faces around more often! Love those faces! So, here are a few things that have Continue Reading

a day for the fearful and confused

pentecost poem - the loveliest hour

. . . Today could be a day for the fearful and confused. The ones who think there is no hope, no way, no answer, no light, no happy ending. We who feel bound up and unmovable, frightened stiff or insignificant, whose dreams have faded like the late summer sun whose hearts are broken and trampled. This is the day for those who have cowered and doubted and stumbled and mumbled, who wonder how any good can come of it at all. This is the day for us to hear the answer of our God. Echoing still from ages ago, as the men from many nations stumbled about as the followers hid where the doors were locked. He comes and stands in our midst. He unlocks doors, mends Continue Reading

Falling Into Ecumenicism, or what I never thought I’d learn from the public schools


. .   When I was 18, I became Catholic. For months, leading up to the day of my entrance into the Church, I sat in the pew, in awe of this beautiful Church which had shown me so much in so little a time. I was amazed by the depth, the beauty, the wisdom, the overwhelming love. The dozens of questions I had asked, for my entire life, which had been so easily answered. Finally. I was love-struck, after a very long race. My heart’s desire was finally here. So, naturally I was protective. And fiercely loyal. I wanted everyone to join me, holding hands like the ‘We Are the World’ video of my youth, traipsing through the doors together, all united, all loving my same Jesus. All Continue Reading

Easter Vigil and How to Help Your Kids Fall Head Over Heels in Love with the Church

How to Help your Kids Fall in Love with the Church - theloveliesthour.com

. . Imagine the dark night and a grassy street corner, surrounded by gently swaying trees. Imagine fifty-plus men and women, some in gray robes, others in formal attire, standing around a raised metal pit. There is a group of men, dressed in beautiful embroidered robes standing in the center. A huge candle - so large that the robed man holding it up high in the air seems at moments like he might drop it. He doesn't. One man comes forward out of the dark, out of the group of all the others, and takes up flint and steel, and with barely two strikes there is a spark. Then, gently, as if no one is watching, as if there is no timetable, as if he might be out in the country sitting Continue Reading

the heart of the world’s love – part 4 of 7

kapaun - the heart of the world's love - theloveliesthour.com

. . Part 4 of 7 in my “Holy Week with Caryll Houselander” series. You can find all the posts in this series here.} In honor of this most beautiful of day, Holy Thursday. And in thanksgiving for our priests. (Excerpts from Mass for the People by Caryll Houselander, found at Imprisoned in my Bones - Thank you for sharing this beautiful gem of writing from Caryll): "The priest was on the side of life, he had no other work, no other raison d'etre but to give life, and the life he gave could not be killed. He was not outside of the world's love because he was a priest and alone, he was the heart of the world's love, its core, because the Life of the World is born every day in His Continue Reading

He is not even a superman, part 3 of 7


. . Part 3 of 7 in my “Holy Week with Caryll Houselander” series. You can find all the posts in this series here.} Jesus falling. I used to wonder if all this falling was necessary. He could have been crucified, died, risen, without the falling. This fortuitous humiliation. Wasn't the crucifixion enough? Couldn't that alone have paid the bill? Could we just spare the man a little bit of this all-consuming grief? Yes, it could have been spared, certainly. Jesus is God. He did say He could have just called down his angels and stopped everything in its tracks. But he didn't. And he wasn't an accidental man. There was a purpose for all that falling down. The humiliation. That total Continue Reading