Meet Ginny Kubitz Moyer
I'm a mom who writes about faith, real life, and how the two intersect. Check out my book Random MOMents of Grace: Experiencing God in the Adventures of Motherhood.
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Pray as you can, not as you can't.
-- Dom John Chapman
On my shelf
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“I have to say,” said Scott a few months ago, “as much as it would have been fun to have a daughter, I’m glad we dodged that whole princess thing.”
I know what he means. Even if you have a fondness for the classic Disney movies, there is something about the aggressive pink-and-purple princess marketing machine that is off-putting, to say the least. (Check out Peggy Orenstein’s book Cinderella Ate My Daughter for a fascinating sociological perspective on the subject). And yes, I know that there are modern Disney heroines who have real moxie and spunk. But it’s also fair to say that young girls deserve a more diverse range of female role models than the ones you’ll find dancing through most animated movies.
That’s why Women of the Bible by Margaret McAllister (illustrated by Alida Massari) is such a gem. It’s a picture book for older readers (7-11 says the press release, though younger kids could enjoy it with their parents), and it’s a great way to get ten fascinating historical women into your child’s imaginative life.
One thing I love about this book is the range of women represented. There are the expected figures, like Rachel and Ruth and Mary, but the book also features Mother Noah and the wife of Pilate and Lydia from Acts of the Apostles. The book moves chronologically through the women, telling each lady’s story in a short, first-person narrative. These stories are detailed and imaginative, fleshing out the ones in the Bible. Mary’s story, for example, is told through a description of five special objects she keeps in a box: a feather dropped by a dove right after the Annunciation, a stone she picked up on the journey to Bethlehem, a fleece offered by the shepherds, among others. This creativity makes even the most well-known of the stories feel fresh and engaging. (They are moving in places, too; the chapter told by Miriam, the sister of Moses, made me tear up a bit.)
And the illustrations? Well, they are truly gorgeous. They have a vaguely folk art feel about them, which suits the subject matter, but they are also wonderfully detailed and pretty to look at. Each woman has character and beauty and dignity. If your daughter is used to princess stories, these pictures will capture her imagination while providing a good break from pink ballgowns and tiaras.
In fact, while the subject matter makes me think of girls (and I can think of one niece of mine who will be receiving this as a gift!), this is a book that boys can learn a lot from, too. I intend to share it with my older son as I think it’s always good for boys to read stories about strong women. Even I, a forty-year-old woman, thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved having a chance to ponder the lives of these women more deeply. It’s an all-round winner, and a very welcome addition to the family bookshelf.
Want some tasty inspiration? Loyola Press is starting a new series of posts called Food and Faith, looking at the intersection of food (cooking and eating ) and spirituality. It’s a great way to get yourself in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
… you have to go to the ER for stomach pains, and it’s so relaxing there that you just don’t want to leave.
You can read more in my article “When the ER Feels Like the Spa, It’s Time to Re-evaluate” over at Power of Moms. Enjoy!
So the winner of the Small Steps for Catholic Moms giveaway drawing is….drumroll, please ….
Ruth Anne! (#27) Thanks to all who participated and congrats, Ruth Anne!
And just because they’re pretty and fun to share, here is a snapshot of my latest blooms. Rose season is almost over, so I’m savoring them even more than usual. Enjoy!
If I haven’t posted much lately, it’s because ‘Tis The Season for teachers to start setting up their classrooms and making lesson plans. I’ve been doing both [rather intensively] over the last week. So today’s post, honoring the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, will be a rerun. If you are new to this blog or missed the post last time, I hope you enjoy it.
And because teachers should always explain the terminology they’re using, let me add that the Feast of the Assumption celebrates the Catholic belief that when Mary’s time on earth was over, her son took her, body and soul, into heaven. In other words, Mary’s body didn’t have to be subjected to the process of decay that we all go through (ashes to ashes, and all that). She was assumed, both body and soul, into heavenly glory.
On to the post!
When I was younger, I never thought much about the Assumption. It’s always sounded like a nice event, and I’ve never had a problem accepting it, but it’s never been particularly meaningful to me.
Now, as a mom, I think it’s absolutely beautiful. I love it for what it says about Mary … but, even more, I love it for what it says about Jesus.
Here’s the thing that I’ve learned in the years since my oldest child’s birth: mothering is very, very, VERY physical. I take care of my boys’ bodies in countless ways. The same, of course, was true of Mary. She carried Jesus in her womb and felt him kick; she nursed him; she wrapped him in those famous swaddling clothes. When he got older, she helped him blow his nose and kissed his owies when he fell. She combed his hair, bathed him, urged him to eat when he’d rather get out and play. She mended the clothes that covered his changing body as he shot up into manhood. For years, she administered gentle touches, affectionately rumpled his hair, and constantly monitored and cared for his body (because, in the early years at least, moms know their kids’ bodies as well as they know their own). She did all this for her little guy, day in and day out, for years and years.
And so, at the end of her life, I can imagine Jesus remembering all those things. I see him looking at her with infinite gratitude and affection and saying, “Okay, Mom, you spent years taking care of my body. Now, I’m going to take care of yours.” And he does this in the best way he can: he spares her from having to lie in a tomb and instead takes that body up to heaven with him. In that way, he makes a special statement of love for the body that carried him and cared for him, the body that was his source of nourishment early on in his life and his source of comfort for years after that.
I’d say that’s the action of a very loving son.
Madonna with Child by Rizzoli
St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, famously wrote that you can find God in all things. And this week, Loyola Press is celebrating that idea with their second annual Find Your Inner Iggy contest.
Click over to their website FindYourInnerIggy.com, and check out the theme for the day, then write a post about where you found God (today’s theme: Where did you find God in decision-making?). Each day, there are prize winners; prizes include books and temporary “Iggy” tattoos and the oh-so-coveted Iggy bobblehead doll. Seriously, this swag is awesome.
The main goal of this, of course, is to help us recognize all the ways that God shows up in every area of our lives. That’s really the best prize of all, right?
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch … but there IS such a thing as a free book!
Starting today, you can enter the Goodreads giveaway and win a free copy of Random MOMents of Grace: Experiencing God in the Adventures of Motherhood.
Check it out and spread the word (and while you’re on Goodreads, feel free to friend me. I’d love to get all bookish with you!).