Saturday, November 2, 2013

Seven Seven Seven

Seven Quick ones a la Jen.

With the change of entering into youth group again, I find myself facing a new set of challenges. Work to do with a baby underfoot! Youth ministry is, in large part, developing a relationship with teens and then introducing them to Christ. This takes work - time spent listening, playing, listening, hanging out. Hours of silence, grunts, mindless chatter...and then suddenly it blossoms into something beautiful, a deeper relationship where hearts are unburdened and souls comforted. 
When I was single and then newly married, I loved to do this with them - I loved listening to them talk, I loved clucking over them and teasing them. Now, I'm divided - I want to be silly with them, but my heart isn't always fully present - I'm always thinking, "I hope Zuzu's okay" even when I know she's perfectly happy strapped to my back. 
Please pray for a great deal of grace for Tom and I to care for these teens. So many of them are so lonely and need so much love and grace! 

I have no phone. Did I mention that? My phone finally gave out and I haven't been able to save it and no one knows why. Hopefully I'll get a new one soon! But since I read most blogs on my phone while Zuzu nurses to sleep, I am a bit...behind. However! I have set some new records on housecleaning, so maybe this is a sign I need to put. the. phone. down. 

Our Diocese is having a youth rally today (right now, really) - I stepped out to give Zuzu a nap (luckily the rally is just 2 miles from our house!). Chris Stefanick and Jackie Francois are both there. These are 'Catholic celebrities' that I'm familiar with, but they obviously do not know who I am. I said hi to Chris and he was all cool, "oh hey!" but I'm sure he was like "yep have no clue who you are." But the best was when he tried to go into the Rally and a very eager ticket checker retiree said, "Excuse me, you can't go in - you must have a wrist band." He was like, "oh well, uh..." I stepped over and kindly said "He's our key speaker, I don't think they gave him a wrist band!" Everybody was cracking up over that one.

Now that I'm a parent, some things about my own childhood are beginning to make sense. Like why my sisters never wanted to go out to eat (they had young children - gosh, restaurants are just not so fun now) or why my mom didn't want me to talk in the mornings (toddler volume level is set on LOUD and left there aaall day). But mostly what makes sense to me now is why the other church families didn't like me. I tagged along at church because my friends went, and then because I fell in love with Jesus, but nobody ever really liked me. The moms especially - and I could tell. Now as a mom, and as someone who works in youth ministry, I realize that kids that come from unchurched homes are not 'in' on the Christian culture. They stick out because of their clothes, their speech, and their absent families. And moms don't want their kids hanging out with these nonchurched kids because...well, what crap might these kids track in with them? 

Although I get it now, remembering my own childhood - that feeling of loneliness, of wanting a real Christian community - will hopefully make me more compassionate as my child(ren) grow up. I hope I'll try to draw this child into our home, to be welcoming, to give them the love and acceptance they crave while still maintaining a firm line against behaviors or attitudes that are unbefitting children of God. 
I hope a meet a child like me and welcome her into my Christian community, so that she doesn't waste years of her life searching elsewhere for her identity - like I did. 

After reading an old review by Laura, I really want to get my hands on A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother by Rachel Cusk. Anybody else read it? I'm also dying to grab Simscha Fischer's newest The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning and Cari Donaldson's Pope Awesome and Other Stories. Anybody read any good lately? I re-read both of Miriam Grossman's books - Unprotected and You're Teaching My Child What? They are so so good - terrifying, but very good.

Gotta get back to the Rally now - have a good week!!


  1. No phone explains how Matt texted you from the youth rally to say hi and no response. :) He says hi now :).

    1. oh no!! I'm so sorry! Yeah my phone died over a week ago, so I'm sure I'm dissing a lot of people - please tell him hi from me!!


Comments make me feel like I'm not just talking to myself or the government (because I know the government secretly reads my blog). Help me feel less crazy - comment away!