parenting

Interview with Working Mother Emily Davis

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us.  Let’s meet working mother, Emily Davis!

What’s your name?

Emily Davis

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

I am married to Marque Davis, an RF Engineer. He spent 22 years in the Army and still works for the Defense Industry. I left my career in 2005 to stay home with our son (Marque has three children from a previous marriage). I had Christopher at 40 and he has Aspergers. I homeschool him and run our home. I teach a Saints Class @ Co-Op and am looking for a PT job to do at home after the first of the year.

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

I worked in corporate America for 15+ years. Now, I’m a wife, mom and teacher. I think my job now is harder and WAY more beautifully time-consuming.

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

Through homeschooling, I get to revisit our Faith. It’s so enlightening and beautiful to teach my child and be called to live my Faith in a different way. It’s about being a good example. When your child is Aspy, they hold you to the exacts. So please – don’t break a Commandment or you’ll be scolded. HA

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

I do not work away from home [now]…. But when I did work away from home, the obvious benefits were my paycheck and the fact we could take a vacation, not stress about money and in some ways, just being away from my child on occasion, rather the memory of it, sounds great.

How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

When we lived in MD, I had to work. My child was very young and I knew there would be a someday I could stay home. I was so blessed to have an understanding boss and could work from home from time to time, when my child was sick.  I am odd, I never really felt guilty. I just didn’t. And if I had to go back to work tomorrow, I’m sure I’d have a period of guilt, but it would wane. Life is what it is. Though I am called to be home now, I look forward to a day when I can put my child into a Private School and go back to work… SERIOUSLY!

What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

Give me time to rest. Everyone needs it. Sure, I’m superwoman. I went back to work while Christopher was in public school. And I realized how hard it was to work all day and come home and clean. I think when both people work, it’s about pitching in and everyone doing their part.

Thank you, Emily!  

Are you a working mother?  So was (and is) the Blessed Mother!  If you enjoyed this interview and would like to celebrate working motherhood some more, please consider getting a copy of my $.99 historical fiction ebook, “Working Mother.”  

Interview with Working Mother Ashley Anderson

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us.  Let’s meet working mother, Ashley Anderson!

 

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Ashley Anderson

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

My husband, Paul, and I have been married for six and a half years.  We met my last year, his sophomore year, at Missouri State University and have been planting our roots here in Springfield, MO, ever since.  He’s a senior manager at Accenture and my understanding of this position is that his brain is so full with technical knowledge about computers and programming that they pay him to perpetuate his nerd status.  Don’t tell him I told you that though because I’m sure he would like to offer a more accurate depiction of his job. I taught high school English for six years but am currently at home with our three wild boys: Thomas (nearly 5) and identical twins, Alistair and Emerick (18 months).

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

I’m home with the kids right now busy with lots of fun things.  I homeschool Thomas, tackle home maintenance stuff, feed all my guys as much good stuff as I can, and squeeze in freelance work in the margins.

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

My job here at home strips me of my selfishness.  Who doesn’t need more of that?

 

On a practical level, I teach my sons all day.  Almost all of the teaching is natural and prompted by the boys, but I’m also able to draw on my experiences as an educator to provide resources for my kids, and that part of my work at home is incredibly rewarding.

 

In addition, I do a bit of freelance work for the company where my husband works.  I’m contracted to essentially grade tests. It’s not a ton of work and the work is not steady income. However, I’m a firm believer that every little bit counts.  When I see the money I earn deposited into our account, I am joyful to have the opportunity to help us out with flex funds for things like extra traveling, big medical bills, or maybe a gift for someone.

 

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

I taught for six years with three of those years as a mommy to my firstborn.  I’m grateful that we were blessed with six years of dual-income so that we could pay down debt and experience a great deal of financial freedom as well.

 

My freelance work, my “work away from work” (even if I’m doing it during naps and late nights), is a wonderful experience for me.  Transitioning to full time mom has been difficult for me.  My role feels overwhelming and at times, even invisible.  I’m working on my heart and my humility. In the meantime though, having a side job that I can feel really great about, that has parameters of work I can walk away from because it is “done” feels really gratifying.

How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

Now that there is primarily one breadwinner and one homemaker, the tension looks different than when my husband and I were both working.  When I feel overwhelmed at all there is to balance at home, some things turning over quickly like dishes and toys carried across the house by toddlers and other things very slowly like projects chipped away at day by day, I think of how overwhelmed by husband could feel being the one we are all relying on financially.  I try my best to first think of how I can show my husband appreciation for the big role he wakes up to each day.

 

I also have learned that it is extremely effective to privately, honestly, and calmly tell my husband what is on my heart.  There is nothing I have once brought to him that he has not responded to with gentleness and action.  But barking orders and complaining when everyone is searching for socks and trying to get out the door (which I’ve also been guilty of committing)–it just doesn’t work.

 

From what we’ve experienced with our different roles, it’s that tension sneaks up when we aren’t actively trusting each other.  Sometimes I just say:  “We both work hard.  We both are stressed. If we need something, we should say it and we should be eager to both help and accept help.”  I think that reminder cools our jets a bit.
What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

I have the most supportive family and friends. My cup is completely full when it comes to having a good network of people who I can be honest and real with about the joys and struggles of my life right now.

 

Maybe I can use this space as my opportunity to send out a bit of support to other moms:

 

Moms with full-time jobs: Please cut yourself some slack.  Buy semi-prepped food. Hire a house cleaner from time to time. Unfollow groups on Facebook or blogs that are advertising a lifestyle that is not part of your family culture and plan.  Rejoice in the gift that you have to provide for your family in the way that you do and rest in God’s provision and wild, unforeseen plans for your life!

 

Moms at home: It’s okay to pray for and seek out friendships.  That’s not a waste of time: it’s important.  Call out to Jesus in the messiness and close your eyes and think of Mary’s beautiful humility when you feel your invisible work begin to drain your joy.  Your work matters and maybe you should look in the mirror and say it.  It really does! Rejoice in the simple blessings as if you are harvesting fruit from the field and be joyful know that God has wild, unforeseen plans for your life!

 

Thank you, Ashley!  

Are you a working mother?  So was (and is) the Blessed Mother!  If you enjoyed this interview and would like to celebrate working motherhood some more, please consider getting a copy of my $.99 historical fiction ebook, “Working Mother.”  

Interview with Working Mother Jane Lebak

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us.  Le’s meet Jane Lebak!

What’s your name?

Jane Lebak

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have four living children, ages 17 through 6, and one baby who died two hours after birth from a fatal birth defect.

 

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

I’m a freelance writer.” Generally people follow that up with, “What do you write?” so I reply, “Anything they’ll pay me to write,” which leads to some general laughter and sometimes a partial list of the things I’ve written. Lately I’ve been writing for a local newspaper, and that’s the most respectable and familiar thing for them so I talk about that. If you tell people you write books, they get a deer-in-the-headlights look if they don’t read, and if they do read they ask if they’ve read anything you’ve written and you have to tell them no.

Depending on the context, I may talk to people about my publishing company. I formed my own publisher this year just so I could get my work out there after years of Manhattan publishers saying it was good enough but wouldn’t be popular enough to land on the bestseller lists. You don’t want me to start talking about that, though — not if you want to enjoy the rest of the dinner party. I’m sure people would start nervously scanning for exits if I got on a roll about that subject, so I try not to get started.

 

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

I feel much more alive and closer to God when I’m writing. God gave me a skill with words and the opportunity to develop that skill. When I can leverage that skill on behalf of other people, that’s just an amazing experience. Especially with my newspaper work, I feel as if I’m able to capture everyday successes, joys, and dreams and put them out there for the greater community to experience.

Also, when I’m writing fiction, I feel as if I’m going deeper into myself, learning more about people and experiences and thoughts. Oftentimes in fiction I’m working out the answers to questions I haven’t even gotten a chance yet to ask myself, and when I find the answers, they take me by surprise: this is what I needed to learn all along. If the Holy Spirit is using my characters’ adversity to shape me, that’s awesome.

But one other way God shapes me through my writing is that I begin to get a sense of how God interacts with us. Obviously this is an imperfect model because my characters aren’t alive and never can become self-aware, but on the other hand, I’ve learned about God as not having disposable people or the way God can love even people who are engaged in the most reprehensible actions. I like to think of the Creative side of God kind of as an author, and then writing makes me closer to Him.
What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

I’m not quite so much of a grump when I’m able to get into my own head for a while and put my energy into something outside of us. I learn a lot from my research or interviews and can carry those tidbits back into our everyday life. I’m happier when I’m working on a book, and that benefits everyone. Also, I no longer feel incompetent because I have affirmation in my products that I’m absolutely competent. I’m pushing my comfort zone every time I try something new, and that has to make me a better parent and a better advocate for my family.
How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

I try to keep some time work-free for my children because (as I learned early on ) when you work from home, you could let your work engulf your daily life if you’re not careful, especially if it’s something you love to do. Therefore I keep Sunday work-free, and I try not to be working on my books when my children are home. At this point, I’m still at home all the time when my children are, and my work output is entirely controlled by how much time I want to give it, so I haven’t been prey to guilty feelings. The only time I really felt guilty was when one of my promotions went live unexpectedly and I spent the next two hours trying to get to work on that — and ended up forgetting to pick up my daughter early from school to take her to an appointment. She had to call me, and even then I didn’t realize what time it was.
What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

My immediate family has been very supportive, so I can’t ask for more from them. I have time to work and free time when I need to get away for an event or meetings with my local writing group. Overall I’d ask my friends and family to help promote my books, either by buying them, reading them, reviewing them, or giving them to other people. None of my extended family read my books. My biggest supporters have come from real-life friends and online friends, and I’m really thankful for them.

 

Thank you, Jane!  

Are you a working mother?  So was (and is) the Blessed Mother!  If you enjoyed this interview and would like to celebrate working motherhood some more, please consider getting a copy of my $.99 historical fiction ebook, “Working Mother.”  

Interview with Working Mother Colleen Gledhill

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us. Today is the Feast of St. John Neumann, the first saint out of Philadelphia.  It’s the perfect day to interview Philly Girl Colleen Gledhill!

 

What’s your name?

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Tell us a little bit about your family. 

My husband, Bill and I have been married for almost 27 years.  We have two children (who are now young men) and we have two beautiful grandchildren.

 

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

I would say that I am a wife, mother and a Legal Administrative Assistant.

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

In the job of “Mother”, I believe God shapes me through both challenges and tenderness.  Recently, my family has been challenged with experiences that we never thought we would ever face- not in a million years.  This required great faith, patience, forgiveness and acceptance.  Through it all, I definitely felt that I was being shaped and molded into the woman that God created and not the image that I was portraying on my own.  But God is gentle and merciful, which allows me to show kindness and tenderness in even the most disappointing of situations.  In the job of “Administrative Assistant”, God uses diversity to shape me.  I have worked with so many interesting, beautiful and different types of people.  It has really broadened my view of the world and helped me to think out of the self-imposed box that I often found myself in.

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

One of the biggest benefits of working outside of the home that I’ve seen in my family is cooperation.  There is definitely a sense of community and helping each other out.  Each of us realizes that we all are working hard and we are a team, (most of the time:-)…Utopia does not exist in the Gledhill household- but mutual respect does.
How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

In full disclosure, I did not work outside of the home when my children were infants/babies.  I returned to work when they were pre-schoolers, but guilt was still present.  Guilt is a tough one.  I believe it is supposed to be a feeling that lasts only a moment or two when our conscience recognizes something that is contrary to God’s will.  It should be a spiritual nudge- not the gnawing torment that it can turn into at times.  The way I deal with it is through prayer and discussion.  I ask God to help me and my family to be balanced.  I have honest conversations with my family members which are important and helpful.  Time spent in the car driving to events, running errands and the kid’s activities usually prove to be enlightening and informative.  There is something about a car ride that makes it easier for children to open up.  Also, no matter what else is going on, we try to always have dinner together.  That is where much of the ‘guilt’ subsides.  We regroup, bond, debate, converse and laugh.  For years at dinnertime, we have asked each other “what was your high point today…what was your low point?”  This question helps you to remain in touch with your family, which in turn decreases any guilt that may build up from time spent apart.

What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

I know this probably sounds so cliche, but the one thing I ask the people in my life to do to support me more is to pray for me.  That is the honest truth.  Years ago, my husband began to say the Rosary on his way to work each morning, and there is no better means of support for our family than that of him praying to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother!  I firmly believe that his praying the Rosary has helped our family get through the toughest and most tragic of times.  When others are praying for me I feel very supported, which in turn gives me the ability to reciprocate that support to my family and friends.

Thank you, Colleen!  

Are you a working mother?  So was (and is) the Blessed Mother!  If you enjoyed this interview and would like to celebrate working motherhood some more, please consider getting a copy of my $.99 historical fiction ebook, “Working Mother.”  

Interview with Working Mother Erica Goppold

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us.  Today is the feast of St. Basil the Great, patron saint of hospital administrators and other sorts who branched out into multiple fields based on where God wants him.  In honor of this day, let’s meet working mother Erica Goppold!

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Erica Goppold

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

We are a family of 3, including my husband, me, and our 9 year-old son, Matthew. We also have 2 small dogs and 3 fish. I am a degreed educator and registered nurse, my husband is an electrical engineer, and Matthew is a 4th grader at a Montessori school. We keep ourselves busy with Matthew’s nearly year-round travel baseball schedule, and love to travel to different amusement parks and beaches in our “free” time. My husband often travels for his work, so it is a lot of just Matthew and I during the week. It works for us, as we are all 3 used to it.

 

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

Honestly, just as when I just read this question, I literally LOL. Simply put, I am an aide in an emotional/Autistic support classroom of our local elementary school. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you what I “do” or encounter in the course of a day. Some days I am run pretty ragged by the time I get my own darling off the school bus in the afternoon….AND I am not utilizing any of my 3 college degrees to do it!! I work as support staff for right now, so I do not have the extra responsibilities that come with a professional role. I get to walk out at 3:30 and be truly done with my work for the day. I need that at this point in family life.

 

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

I often am asked “how” or “why” I do the job I do. Why don’t I pursue the professional roles I have trained so hard for and work to maintain licensure in? I truly feel called to the school and job I am in. I landed in the position by chance, while I was not even looking for work (I know, some people would give their right arm for a job.) I took it, and the children just grew on me in a way I could have never imagined. I do not make a lot of money, but I can tell you the rewards are bountiful. I like to think I make a positive difference in the days of some of these children as well. I identify as more spiritual rather than religious, and I feel that something bigger than I can explain has put me where I am supposed to be right now.
What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

My son is diagnosed with Aspergers (high-funcitoning Autism) and ADHD. Through my job, I work alongside professionals in the fields of special education and various other areas of expertise, whom I learn volumes from. I take home many ideas in dealing with certain behaviors, goal-setting, driving motivation, etc. I feel empowered by what I learn and experience in a day and can apply at home. I also enjoy being surrounded by other individuals who care for and embrace these children. The love and acceptance they show, gives me hope in a sometimes harsh world that my son will be ok.
How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

Mommy guilt is the worst kind of guilt. I miss out on volunteering in my son’s school during the day, which he reminds me of since I used to be there a lot before taking this job. Mostly, I just tell myself to shut up when it kicks in. I feel like no matter which path I choose as a mom, the guilt will find me in some way. I can be home and involved in his every move (he’s my only one–he would be hyper-focused upon), and what service does that do him? I can work, and maybe miss some school functions, but I am spreading my wings and being myself for several hours each day. The benefits outweigh the negativity for me.
What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

I wish I had support in the sense that I have friends and family who like to comment on the fact that I work despite that fact that I “do not have to.” Admittedly, our pantry would still be well-stocked and our vehicles full of gas if I did not work. However, my choice to work is a personal one, and it certainly does not bring us any undo harm. That and “mommy wars” need to stop. The grass is always greener. Whether you choose to stay home or “lean in,” we are all equal as moms caring for our children. Let us embrace each other’s’ differences and choices.

 

Thank you, Erica!  

Are you a working mother?  So was (and is) the Blessed Mother!  If you enjoyed this interview and would like to celebrate working motherhood some more, please consider getting a copy of my $.99 historical fiction ebook, “Working Mother.”  

Interview with Working Mother Laura Nelson

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother” by celebrating the working mothers among us.  Let’s meet working mother, Laura Nelson​!

 

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Laura Nelson

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

M​​other of three, ages ranging from 11-18 plus one small but mighty dog.

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

I’m a preschool music and movement teacher but I’m also a blogger and speaker.

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

I believe that God gave me the gift for teaching others and that I can use those gifts with my preschoolers as well as with my readers and those that I speak to. By actively using those gifts, I think I become more of the person that God intended when He created me.

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

Teaching has definitely made me a better parent.  I see examples of great parenting all the time through the parents at my school.  That coupled with the continuing education I complete yearly gived me a better understanding of the developing person at different stages of life.  Don’t tell my teens but preschoolers and teens aren’t very different.

My writing and speaking has deepened my spiritual life and made it more present in every part of my life.  As a mother, my attitudes and behaviors regarding my spiritual really affect my family.  It keeps the conversation going about our faith and how we live it.

How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

​This is something that every mother struggles with-even those who don’t work outside of the home.  As my children (and I) have gotten older, I’ve learned to make choices and be at peace with them. The most important thing is to recognize and accept the fact that you can’t do everything.  Once you do that, it’s a lot easier to prioritize your time.

What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

​ Be enthusiastic about what I do.  That enthusiasm shows me that you care about me beyond my role as “Mom” and that what I’m doing matters.

Thank you, Laura!   Readers, be sure to visit Laura at BOTH of her blogs: www.suburbansainthood.com and www.greenforgod.blogspot.com

Are you a working mother?  So was (and is) the Blessed Mother!  If you enjoyed this interview and would like to celebrate working motherhood some more, please consider getting a copy of my $.99 historical fiction ebook, “Working Mother.”  

7 Quick Takes Friday, the Accidental Writing Prompt Edition

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  I am so excited that Kelly of This Ain’t the Lyceum is the new hostess-with-the-mostess for 7QT!  She’s one of those folks whose blog I follow and who makes me feel like she’s my smarter-and-funnier-than-me little sister, only she doesn’t know that we’re related, and if I were to fangirl on her in person, it would be one of those awkward things where the police might get involved, and so on and so on.

I am grateful to Jennifer F. for hosting 7QT for so many moons, and I wish her much continued success in the world of memoir-writing and radio-hosting-in-her-living-room and otherwise becoming a real live celebrity.  Though I’m sure she’ll miss us now that she’s broken it off with us…

… but somehow I’m sure the ONEHUNDREDMEEELIONDOLLARS that she’s undoubtedly making in the world of Catholic culture will be a balm to her heartbroken soul over losing us to Kelly.

Ahem.  And now, back to my 7QT.  Things are a kind of busy around here that we don’t often suffer.  Pft.  Who am I kidding?  We’re usually this kind of busy.  But I have an ebook coming out on Holy Family Sunday and am doing a reverse-blog tour (interviewing people here at my place) to share the joy of “Working Mother,” and we’re still homeschooling and trying to Advent and thinking about Christmas… you know how it goes.  Anyway.  Anyway.  What was I saying?  Oh, yes.  7QT.  I’m about to put the Quick in that Q there.

On my personal FB page, I often, sometimes several times a day, post the funny, awkward, and COMPLETELY BIZARRE things that come out of the mouth of Second Shift of Kid, age 4.  The fabulous Amy M. Bennett commented on one, “You never run out of story prompts, do you?” I responded, “Second Shift of Kid is a walking, squawking story prompt.”  And to put that to the test, I bring you a 7QT made up entirely of Second Shift Story Prompt Lines.

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“Raccoons have terrible ideas.”

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“Can you watch my baby while I’m gone?  If she starts crying, don’t call me, okay?”

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“Christmas is even the worst time to go butterfly-catching.”

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“I don’t think spiders have necks, but cats definitely do.”

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“Mommy, I’m writing a book that you can read!”

How exciting! What’s it about?

“I don’t know. I can’t read yet. You’ll have to read it to me.”

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“Cats don’t get sunburn.”

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“You can’t be real if you never go to the bathroom.”  

Feeling inspired?  You should be.  I know I am.  Feel free to comment with your responses to said story prompts.

ETA: BONUS!

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I wish we were bears.  Then no bears would eat us.  

“I Am the Lost Princess”: A Respect Life 7QT

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7 Quick Takes Friday, brought to you by ConversionDiary.com

This is one of those things that has been banging around in my head, demanding to get out of its tower, and every time I try to work on writing stuff that actually has a deadline, this won’t leave me alone.  I’m going to trust that’s because God wants it shared, so I place it in Mary’s hands to clean it up before presenting it to Him.  I’m also going to lay aside my fears about sharing this much, because (a) it might help someone, and (b) chances are it won’t because the Internet is a hugely anonymous place, and the vast majority of people—like, vast majority and I’m not even saying this to be self-deprecating—don’t even know I exist.  There’s great freedom in the humility of that.

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Last Sunday, I took First Shift to the Mother-Daughter Fertility Appreciation Tea and Fashion Show, sponsored by our nearest group of Fertility Care Friends.

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We’ve also watched Disney’s Tangled twice in the past month-ish.

Stay with me.  There’s a connection.

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In Tangled, we see that Rapunzel’s been kept from Truth in order to keep someone else happy.  It’s a false happy (because we’re all going to get old and die) and it’s a temporary happy (see previous “because”), but Rapunzel doesn’t know that.  She’s only ever gotten Mother Gothel’s version of reality (see: relativism), and that’s the version that keeps Rapunzel up in a tower, raised by lies.  As soon as Rapunzel wants to see the Truth for herself (the floating lights), Gothel tells her that she can’t handle the Truth (Disney’s Jack Nicholson), and then she proceeds to twist what Truth is.

But, Truth eventually finds us, because it’s all around us, and even if we stay in our towers, sometimes it accidentally climbs to find us.  Rapunzel’s encounter and then adventure with Truth (led by a thief of all people) gives her the chance to find the clues of who she really is.  Finally, even when Gothel re-traps her with lies, the clues fall into place, and Rapunzel claims her identity.  She claims the Truth.

“I’m the lost princess.”

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I participated in a support group a long time ago.  One thing I remember about that group was that I was one of only a very small handful who wanted or had children.  “I don’t want to repeat the past,” the others said.  “I could never have kids.  I’m too damaged.”

Then I had kids.  I have never done a more healing thing.  See, up in my tower, I was told things like, “You’re making a big deal out of nothing.  You can’t take proper care of yourself, so that’s why I have to do these things.”  There were co-morbid lies, including but not limited to, “Fat people can’t do things like be loved, dress nicely, or exercise.”

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I didn’t realize it until last Sunday’s Mother-Daughter Tea, but my whole parenting style has been like this:  I work for a security system company, and it’s my job to install in my kids’ amazing brains a series of security alarms.  Whenever they hear something that is not objective Truth, an alarm goes off.

Whether the lie is, “Long division is too hard to learn.  I’ll never get it.”  BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

…or something more like, “I need to be the center of attention, and getting people to look at me for my body will make that happen.” BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Because I’m Catholic and teaching them to be so, we have objective Truth available to us and cannot be threatened by it.  Frightened by it, sure, but we know it’s there to get us to the eternal embrace in the arms of our heavenly King, so the fear is something we can move past.

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Here’s what’s been so healing about being Security System Servicemom.  As I set those alarms in my kids’ heads, they’re being reset in mine.

“Fat people can’t do things like be loved…” BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

“…dress nicely…” BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

“…or exercise.” BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! (Dude, that one’s so obvious, it doesn’t even need a link.)

I recently had a close relative from the tower demonstrate to me that the first thing you should notice about a person is how much weight he’s gained.  That would’ve seemed right and proper to me before.  Now?  BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

I have another close relative from the tower demonstrate to me that he still relishes telling people how wrong they are.  Before I would’ve just gotten down on myself.  Now 1 Cor 13 rings in my head, and it rings with a loud, loving, Truthful BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

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October is Respect Life month.  So many of us, raised in the tower and raised by lies, have bought the lie that we are too damaged, either by the past or the present, to be good parents. And so, come heck or high water, we’d better make sure we never have to parent.  Well guess what Security System Servicemom does?  She sets the alarms so well that even if she herself tells the lie

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! (The lie I seem to tell most is “I should yell at you like a banshee for your mistakes—sinful ones or not.”)

If you join up with the Truth in parenting, and if the Truth is the person of God Himself… how can you possibly be too damaged?  You can’t.  And if you tell yourself that you are, guess what you’ll hear resounding in all four corners of your mind?

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

“You’re making a big deal out of nothing.  You couldn’t take proper care of yourself, so that’s why I had to do these things.”

Nope.  BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

You were wrong about the world, and you were wrong about me, and I will never let you use my hair again.

Then I run back into the arms of my true Mother, and the King, my True Father, embraces us both.

How did you get out of your tower?  

Assets & Liabilities: 7 Quick Takes Friday

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Come check out Seven Quick Takes Friday with Jennifer over at Conversion Diary.  

In case you’ve been reading here and haven’t noticed lately, I’ve been a bit down on myself. That is in no small part due to my lack of progress on the sequel to Don’t You Forget About Me.  I even made a list of all the assets to time I had when I wrote my first book (without kids) and then my second book (with two in school and one non-verbal who took two naps a day).  Then I wrote a list of all the assets I DON’T HAVE this time around (homeschooling 3, 0 naps, demanding preschooler).  It was kind of grim.  It was kind of hopeless.

And then my clumsy fingers accidentally fed those lists to my computer.

So I’m taking that as a sign that God wants me not to list my problems but to list the gifts I do have that will help me write the next book, as long as I start looking for gifts instead of focusing on the hardships.

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I have a well-established morning wake time.  I wake up about an hour and a half before the troops come down for breakfast.  This was a hard-fought-and-won habit.  That battle to tackle the day before the day tackles me is already won.  I think I just need to change tactics and use that time for something else.

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First Shift is now old enough to keep Second Shift busy and answer her INCESSANT questions.  I just need to schedule in time for them to do this. I need to figure out how much time isn’t too much.  An incentive of money if they keep their time with her relatively conflict-free may be in order.  Which brings me to…

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My husband just got a promotion that makes us a little more financially comfortable, so that an extra bit of hush-money to the kids won’t push our budget past the point of no return.    Even without the promotion and the wiggle room that provides, my husband is awesome.  We have our rocky moments, but in the end, we rock.  It’s all about the end, anyway.  Thank you to him.  And thank God for him.  I won’t say any more because praise makes him squirm.

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I have people who know what it’s like to be in these no-time shoes.  Go check out the 10-Minute Writer.  There’s nothing I could say that she couldn’t say better.  I just got welcomed into the 10-Minute Writer Facebook group as well as a couple of FB groups for Catholic bloggers, Catholic women bloggers, and so on.  I have support for when I get stuck.  All I have to do is get my own ball rolling a little bit here.

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I have people who like my work and want me to succeed.  I don’t want to drop too many names, but I have to give out the most major of props to Cristina at Filling My Prayer Closet.  She is being an absolute darling and putting together a Street Team for my writing schtuff.  I feel like, because I’m drowning in life, I can’t support her as much as she supports me, and that makes me feel unbalanced.  I’m trying to let that go and just be grateful.  Believe me, I am grateful.  It’s the “just be” that trips me up.

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I have a great relationship with a great, integrity-driven publisher who shares my view of what fiction is supposed to be.

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I’VE ALREADY WRITTEN TWO BOOKS!  The me from ten years ago is looking at the me now and going, “SRSLY?  Dude, you’re what I want to be when I grow up.  You are LIVING THE DREAM, DUDE!”

Even putting that aside, I have the experience that comes with, you know, having written two books.  That’s gotta help out somehow.  I’ve done it before.  What’s to stop me from doing it one more time?

So now I just have to pull it together, take my own stinking advice, suck it up and get writing.  Butt in seat.  Fingers on keys.

I expect to take a few weeks off from blogging so I can get a little more caught up.  I’m sure you understand.  Have a great time.