Motherhood and Writing

One of my favorite parts about this strange blog space is the friendships I’ve formed because of it. One of my readers-turned-pals emailed me the other day and asked me how I think motherhood has changed me as a writer. She herself is a writer and we’ve often talked about the give-and-take involved in “the professional vale of soul making that a life in literature can become,” as Christian Wiman — one of our favorite authors would describe it. Writing is so influenced and yet influential.

I’m trying to embrace imperfection and sharing my response to that question is part of it. Typically, I’d try to turn my email into a blog post and it would sit, never-perfect, in my drafts folder for weeks. But I’m learning that an imperfect SOMETHING is usually better than the “work-in-progress” nothing. As Liz Gilbert says,

Done is better than good.

So here’s an imperfect but DONE email response to an excellent question. Thanks for asking and thanks for reading. Read more…

There is an enormous contingent of thoughtful people in this country who, though they are frustrated with the language and forms of contemporary American religion, nevertheless feel that burn of being that drives us out of ourselves, that insistent, persistent gravity of the ghost called God. I wanted to try to speak to these people more directly. I wanted to write a book that might help someone who is at once as confused and certain about the source of life and consciousness as I am.

Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss


Um, I live in Nashville now.

What a freaking whirlwind.

At this time, eight days ago, I was riding shotgun with my hair undone and a constipated toddler in the backseat. As Aidah was working hard on her own specific set of problems, I was furiously typing away on my smartphone, just trying to keep up with the insanity that has been our lives these past few months.

-We put our house on the market and after 40 days and 19 showings, we got an offer.

-We packed up all of our stuff and shipped it off to Tennessee.

-We had our offer accepted on an amazing Nashville house within eight hours of Facetime touring it.

-We piled into the trusty Kia and started our drive across the country.

We were somewhere between Cleveland and Louisville when I got the text from Brian, our Boston realtor.

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Hijacking that Zen.

You all know I like to get my zen on. I like my yoga and my mindfulness and my visualizations and intention-setting. So you can imagine my delight when good friends share their visions. My friend Lindsay emailed me this visualization she has been using and I absolutely love it:

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Frozen in Familiarity

There’s always such a teasing conglomeration of feelings when it comes to reading about God’s people in the Old Testament.

On the one hand, they’re such frightened little lemmings. With the objectivity of thousands of years, I’m constantly rolling my eyes. These people freak out about everything. They’re like a bunch of nomadic toddlers, with their tantrums and terrible long-term memory. Oh, what a surprise, you’re grumbling again. Cue the fire of judgment, ya dummies. 

But on the other hand, I (begrudgingly) see my bumbling, fearful self in their every breakdown. I can picture myself, running in panicked circles in the desert, tearing my robes and falling down oh-so-dramatically. I see it playing out like an Old Testament version of Oregon Trail:

oregon trail

Jewhosebuh has suffered a snakebite and died. 

Neshebuseth grumbled against the Lord and has been burned by fire from on high. 

Mariko succumbed to a hangry paroxysm and killed everyone in her tent. 

I am so much like these people and it is such a comfort and yet such a disappointment.

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There are times — when we eat cookies for breakfast because we’re too lazy to cook (they had oatmeal in them? )

or when we wave Drew’s sock across Aidah’s face to see if she’ll react to the smell (she cried)

— when Drew and I wonder why we’re allowed to have a child.

Who authorized this?

When are the real adults stepping in to relieve us?


I’m not qualified to parent, much less to blog about parenting.

Read more…

French Pressing This Week

Ok, big moment for me. Big enough for me to drop other equally important parenting tasks to teach Aidah how to say, “YEA GURL GET IT GURRRRLLLL” just to emphasize the moment. After some rigorous training, she finally spit out “gahgogehgooooo!”, complete with sassy snapping motions and I let her return to eating fridge magnets and prying the grout from between the kitchen tiles. (#strengthbuilding #educational)

I’m guest blogging over at French Pressed Fridays.


If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ve seen me repost Todd’s wisdom multiple times. I love this blog – Todd is one of my favorite thinkers and writers — so when he asked me to guest post I almost cried. Like, in the way that preteens cry when they’re within spitting distance of One Direction.

Todd is Lindsay’s pastor and has been patiently reading drafts of my work for years. Once upon a time, Todd bet me that if I lost a game of mini-basketball to him, I had to call Bob Goff and force him to read my manuscript. Little did Todd know that I am freakishly good at miniball…I never had to make that call, but Todd’s continued to challenge me ever since.

Like with this offer to guest post on his site. I was all Wah, but I’m rusty and busy and not learned enough…And he was like boom, how about I write you this introduction to honor you and make you laughcry. 

I tell you guys, the people God puts in my corner. I don’t deserve them but I sure am grateful.

So thank you to Todd for the opportunity and now you should all go over and read my post and also these french-pressed favorites:

Dissecting Prayer – Part 2 // 3 Prayers We Can Stop Praying, Pronto

How to Handle the Trump Card

An Emotional Advent 4: Picking Teams



A Year Later…

I know, it’s been months. I know, I know, I know.

Let’s get the update out of the way and dive right back into blogging. Here’s what you missed:

1.We’re back! (Sort of.)

As you may have read on Facebook, or even seen when you tried to visit here…Drew accidentally deleted MY ENTIRE WEBSITE. The Internet People said that it couldn’t be recovered…but God is bigger than the internet and by a technological miracle, we are making our way back, slowly but surely. Some of the pictures still don’t work and some of the links are wonky. But we’re live. Praise the Lord.

2. Aidah is a year old.


I didn’t expect to love her this way. I read the scary mommy blogs and saw the exhausted parents in Target and I assumed that I would mostly love Aidah in an obligatory or sacrificial way. I expected to love her because it was my responsibility to and because she was adorable and needed me.

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That you can be lonely in a crowd, maybe especially there, is readily observable. You can also be lonely with your oldest friends, or your family, even with the person you love most in the world. To be lonely is to be aware of an emptiness that takes more than people to fill. It is to sense that something is missing which you cannot name. 'By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion,' sings the Psalmist (137:1). Maybe in the end it is Zion that we're lonely for, the place we know best by longing for it, where at last we become who we are, where finally we find home.

Frederick Beuchner

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