In case you missed the memo, Peter Matthias was born on June 2nd - which means I'm currently spending my days resting and cuddling a newborn as much as I can while getting acquainted with the juggling act that is being a mother to two children under the age of two. Thankfully, some wonderful ladies have agreed to share some of their writings with all of you while I take a mini blogging hiatus during this time of transition. Today it is with great pleasure that I welcome Emily of Raising Barnes!
After you read what she's written here, you should seriously take a little virtual trip over to Raising Barnes. Not only is she a fellow Hoosier (so you know she's bound to be pretty great), but she has excellent taste in television shows and movies, writes beautiful reflections on motherhood and/or her Catholic faith, and is such a kind-hearted woman that she deservedly got nominated for "Miss Congeniality" in this year's Sheenazing Awards. If you enjoy what I write you'll undoubtedly like her, too. Welcome, Emily!
I am so honored that Stephanie asked me to write a little something to help fill her space while she enjoys some much deserved “maternity leave.” I hope you enjoy!
I have been thinking a lot about women lately. I’m not sure why this particular topic has been on my mind and heart lately. Perhaps it’s the second child that I’m currently gestating. Or that Mother’s Day wasn’t really all that long ago. Or the fact that my best friend is expecting her first baby any day now. Or that Stephanie (my gracious hostess) is already cuddling her second son. Or that I have had several opportunities to spend some quality time with some amazing women that I feel lucky to know. Regardless of the reasons, I have been spending quite a bit of time thinking about women, both women that I know and women in general. Our roles, our lives, our responsibilities. Really, just what being a woman in the 21st century is all about. And, let me tell you, sometimes all of that thinking can get overwhelming.
Luckily (or more likely, divinely), much of my spiritual reading lately has been reflecting on these thoughts that I’ve been mulling over. I figure that I can’t be the only one who thinks about these types of things. And if I am, please don’t tell me. I don’t want to know if I’m a loner with my thoughts. So, I wanted to share some of the spiritual books that have been helping me with my thought processing.
My Sisters the Saints
It seems fitting that I start with this book, since sweet Stephanie actually gave it to me! I had mentioned quite a while ago that this book was on my wish list and she happened to have 2 copies. And I am so thankful that she was willing to share it with me. I’m still in the midst of it, but this memoir is really speaking to my heart. On the surface, the author and I have very little in common; our life experiences are vastly different. Yet, I am coming to find that this is one of the beauties of being a woman: we may be different, but we can still help each other and relate to each other. Even if you happen to be doing it from heaven. :)
When I converted to Catholicism, I of course understood and appreciated Mary, but there was so much I didn’t know. Then I met Our Lady of Lourdes, and I began to understand that there is a lot more to Mary than I ever realized. I know that apparitions are not necessarily a “required” part of our Catholic faith, but they have become a very real thing to me. I have loved learning about the times that Mary has chosen to visit us here on Earth, as well as learning more about the people she has chosen to appear to. I know not all the visionaries are women, but I have found that there are many lessons to be learned from every apparition. Especially when it comes to how we should be living our earthly lives.
The Imitation of Mary
I just started this book recently, but I still wanted to include it. The book may be small and the chapters short, but it definitely packs a punch. The title really says it all. The friend who loaned it to me told me it has made such a difference in her life; I’m hoping to get the same result.
This is another book that I am just beginning. Its focus is the few words that Mary actually speaks in the Scriptures. It is true that Mary does not speak much, but the things she does say should cause us to pause and listen. It has been nice to really reflect on those words and what Mary meant when she said them. I’m really looking forward to digging into this book further. Something tells me that the Blessed Mother has a lot to teach me about words. Or, the lack of them…
Our Catholic faith is full of so many beautiful teachings about femininity. Added to that are the countless amazing women of faith who have set such beautiful examples for us to try and follow and imitate. For me, these women, especially Mary, were very intimidating at first; they are saints, after all. But, now that I’ve really taken some time to read, pray and get to know all these women better, I’m not as intimidated as I used to be. I look at them as older, experienced friends who are there when I need some help or advice about a situation. I hope you can feel that way too.
Who are some of your favorite saintly women? What about some of your favorite spiritual reads? I’m always looking for new friends and books!