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I thought it was about time that I share some more of the best finds with you! These are some of the things that really resonated with me this week, and a lot of them have to do with who we are — with our identity, with how we see ourselves & how others see us… 

1) Laura over at Mothering Spirit wrote a beautiful reflection over the weekend on her Facebook page that reminded me that we are all much more beautiful than we think — and I’m not simply talking about our bodies. I mean our beings. I mean our entirety. Our… us. I’m sorry for the bad grammar here, but her message is such a good reminder of how our Lord sees us. And maybe it can be a good reminder for how we can look at ourselves too… with gentler eyes.

I sit in Starbucks on Saturdays and I write. I watch teenagers walk in and out as I work. I watch them watch each other….

Posted by Mothering Spirit on Saturday, June 3, 2017

 

2) Alanna Boudreau also shared a reflection over the weekend on her Instagram page that struck a chord with me (bad pun that I had to use because she’s an amaaaazing musician). She was writing about being seen for who you are — as that, “single, unique, and unrepeatable” woman — someone, “thought of and chosen from eternity, someone called and identified by name.” (St. JP II).

That is just one of my favorite quotes ever, and Alanna’s words about using each other’s names really made me think about how easily I forget that I am this unique being — this woman named Annie — before I am a wife, before I am a writer, before I am a producer… and after I’m a wife, after I’m a writer, after I’m a producer…

When I left my job as a TV producer years ago, I remember feeling like I was floundering a little bit with my identity: “Who am I now that I am no longer a producer?” But my job — and even my vocation as wife (and a future mother) — is not my sole identity. I existed before I was a producer and before I was a wife. And even though I’ve wanted to be called many other things — mom, for instance — when I take on that role, I will not leave me behind… so I thought Alanna’s post was a beautiful reminder to look at the women in our lives as the women that they are, and to call them by name. And to see them not for what they do or who they serve everyday, but for who they are: beloved women, women with a name, women with an identity, women who are worth getting to know. 

I've noticed that many women call expectant mothers and women with kids just "mama", almost as if a legal name-change has taken place – as if their unique given name and all that it entails isn't relevant anymore. "Way to go mama!" "Looking good, mama!" "You're such a great mama!" etc. I get that it comes from a genuine place of excitement, love and encouragement, but – nothing beats the specificity and intentionality of being called by my name. Nicknames and terms of endearment are sweet. Titles and formalities are meaningful and at times most appropriate. But being called by your name is a reminder that you're seen and loved for who you are essentially, as a person – not for what you do, how many hats you wear, who you married, what you wear, how many humans you've grown and raised, how expertly you can polish hedgehog paws or sniff out the posh undertones of wine (crucial and foundational as these things are, don't get me wrong) – but just as you, little you in a massive universe full of other beautiful souls who need the same kind of specific love and recognition. Whether you're single, married, have children, don't have children but desire them, there's something powerful about using peoples' names when speaking to them – at the very least, now and then. It's one of the most every-day, startling expressions of intimacy that can help them remember who they are, and that that's worth being recognized.

A post shared by Alanna Boudreau (@lanna_bou) on

I’ve also written about a similar sentiment here:

To Be Seen, To Be Loved, and To Be Known

4) Lastly, I thought that Nell’s Friday Introduction from last week was just so good & honest — a real reminder to be okay with what today looks like, to embrace the place we’re standing and the life circumstances we’re living out — and that sometimes these things are temporary, and that it’s okay if the picture of what’s around us doesn’t look like we wish it did. It’s about being present, and being intentional, and doing what needs to be done today. And for all of that… to be enough

It's time for #fridayintroductions 🙋🏼 hi, friends! This is me, five months post partum with my fourth. I'm all squishy in the middle and only wearing shorts because it's so hot and the baby took a big old potty on my draping cotton pants. My ombré is going bye bye along with my creeping grays on Wednesday and yet, despite feeling so frumpy and dumpy, this is my best postpartum in so many ways. I don't expect to "bounce" anywhere much less back. I know these long days of unbrushed hair and mismatched clothing aren't forever. And I no longer feel like I have to answer to anyone about how long it's going to take me to "be on top of things." I'm nursing on demand, ref'ing my older kids, and I ate four donuts. I'm on top of what I really have to be right now. Wherever you are, I hope you can embrace it. Even if it's temporary. Or come over. I'll share my donuts. #postpartum #mombod #lovewhereyouare

A post shared by Nell (@whole_parenting) on

Which reminded me of this:

“Wherever life takes you, the place that you stand at any given moment is holy ground. Love hard, and love wide and love long and you will find the goodness in it.” – Susan Vreeland

That’s all for this week! ♥