Tag Archives: motherhood

Observing a Sabbath

I found such beauty in these words found in today’s church’s bulletin that I had to write them, share them, reflect on them so I can come back to them again and again.


Many of us know what it means to lose a sense of that essential rhythm between creation and recreation, to discover that place of sanctuary we call respite is just out of reach. We know from experience that when there is no space for rest our work suffers, our sense of balance is disturbed and we grow anxious. Weariness overcomes us and we begin to doubt our intrinsic value. For our own sake and the sake of our children, we must learn to cherish that breaking space we call Sabbath – to become mindful of the restorative blessings that accompany rest. We must find ways to pass on the wisdom that we all need rest, time to breathe, time to give thanks, and teach that to our children lest they grow anxious. 

We are not the first to let the blessing of the Sabbath slip through our fingers in a desire to do more; nor are we the first to feel that there are not enough hours in a day or days in a week. We will not be the last to ask for relief from work that drains and disheartens us. The great Jewish scholar, Abraham Heschel, reminds us that in those difficult times God offers us the gift of the Sabbath as a sign of love – a time to lay our burdens down and appreciate what God is creating in each of us. Rabbi Heschel urges us to make the Sabbath a time of delight and rejoicing, a time to remember God’s goodness and enter into the fullness of God’s presence and help our children to do the same. He counsels us to adopt or reclaim such Sabbath practices as: 

  • a regular weekly rhythm of rest
  • time for reconnecting with the sacred
  • festive meals with loved ones
  • the nurturing of community life
  • study of holy wisdom and sacred text
  • attention to beauty, and
  • honoring intimacy


“The Sabbath is a metaphor for paradise and a testimony to God’s presence . . .” Rabbi Abraham Heschel

The decision to put God first in our lives is never easy. It requires we rearrange our priorities. Perhaps that is another blessing of the Sabbath – a weekly opportunity to put things in perspective. 

Pictures are from today’s Sabbath which included Kid Church, a twice-a-month worship experience that our Catholic parish offers designed to meet the needs of families with young children (ages 0-4). It includes lots of singing, clapping, and participation, which they love. It also includes a craft or outdoor play time after worship. Highly recommended!

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Mother’s Day Links

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My husband says he doesn’t need a distinct day to feel honored or showered with love. Every day for him is about this (wee yah! we are doing our job!) and finding the small joys of parenting in every moment. For the most part I agree, but there is something so beautiful about a day when all mothers around the country are celebrated and we are given a moment in time to remember all the mothers who have come before and all the mothers who inspire and all the mothers who we don’t know but are raising children who will be in our children’s generation. For me it is a day of unity and also one to pause in the midst of the chaos to fill up my heart in gratitude for this job I get to do.

  1. I am so in love with this documentary-like video, titled Working Mom. I often think how lovely my days would look if some jaunty music was piped over the mundane routine of my days with little ones. the exhaustion might be more poetic. the meltdowns might be more lyrical. this is basically the equivalent some how. there is no music but the way it is shot is magical for me who is in the very same stage of motherhood as the mother featured. and this towards the end: “happiness is love. full stop.” i love how this mother loves her children.
  2. Have you discovered Dr. Shefali, author of The Conscious Parent? She is brilliant and her message is revolutionary, which is — it is not the child that must be raised but that parent that must evolve. She releases the archaic notion of parenting as a hierarchical relationship and instead describes it as a relationship of mutual learning and understanding, entering into communion with our children by re-discovering our very own essence.  If you have 20 minutes, this is a must watch talk from Oprah’s Super Soul Session Series. “We want nothing more than to feel the deepest connection within ourselves and with others. To touch upon the wonder and abundance that we know is our sovereign right. To rediscover who we once were. To reclaim the purpose for why we were born,” she says.
  3. And finally, this beautiful read from Glennon and my favorite part: “And we will always remember that the most world-changing work we can do is this: We can live in a way so that our children will be able to say, ‘Not one moment of my life did I wonder if I was adored. Never, ever did I feel alone.’ And they will pass it on.

And they will pass it on.

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A Second Pregnancy Reflection

 

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At 39 weeks pregnant with baby number two, I can’t help but think about all the ways, despite the discomfort and aches of these last days, that pregnancy is such a beautiful connection with our world, a time of community and coming together, and a time of unity with the world around us.  Pregnancy the second time around has certainly felt less glamorous for me, even though I’ve felt less swollen, had better skin, treated myself to more maternity clothes, and have been drinking decaf coffees (with a splash of the caff!).   The first pregnancy was just different in how new and precious it felt. Everything glistened with hope and promise. My world was about to completely change. And I’m sure it shone through my face like the radiant sun. My dream of becoming a mother was coming truer with every inch that my belly grew.  During this second pregnancy, I know full well the immensity of infinite love that lies ahead. But it seems buried underneath the everyday things that already consume me like keeping up with a toddler and keeping some semblance of organization in our lives as they are about to be changed again.

But despite feeling less together, less glowing, the world around me reminds me of the absolute beauty of it all.  I feel completely in awe at the sense of connection that pregnancy brings. At 39 weeks, friends and family call more frequently than usual and text just to check in. Aunts and uncles (okay mostly aunts) are checking in by phone and email.  Curious neighbors ask if the baby is here yet when Mike takes Tiki for his walks.  Families we see regularly at church tell me they will be praying for me….weeks before my due date! And days before. One week the priest even said a special blessing over me as we left that morning. It brought me to tears (naturally, these days).  Strangers offer their seat and hold the door.  Regular faces on my commute offer their “Congratulations!” and “Good luck!” as they know time is nearing.

And every time I go outside it seems as if the birds are calling to me, speaking directly at me with their “caws” and “tweets” and sweet songs, serenading me at this time of connection with our universe because as mothers we draw on all the universe has to offer to bring these spirits into our physical world.  We call on all those around us, those who have come before us, and creatures great and small to be a witness to the life-giving event of pregnancy and ultimately, share in this new life with us.

On my walk with Tiki today, I felt the sun cover my shoulders and back like a warm embrace, clouds dotted the sky, what a beautiful June day it would be to birth a child.

But the mystery of it all is that we just have no control over the miracle of life.  So I wait, in joyful hope.  I pray.  I take in the abundance, the blessings offered by those around us.  Not taking one bit of it for granted.

And in the wait, I remind myself of Ann Voskamp’s beautiful words,  that “You don’t get to demand your life, like a given. You get to receive your life, like a gift.”  So I meditate on these words as we wait. Knowing that God is always good and we are always loved.

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