Year of the Family

The Poetic Invitation

By Well-Read Mom / May 16, 2022 /

My ten-year-old daughter, Josie, has been obsessed with the Anne of Green Gables books by L.M. Montgomery for two years. She dressed as Anne for Halloween, carries her pencils in an “I’d Rather Be in Avonlea” case, and has read the entire series three times. She tried to persuade me to read the books many times.

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The Extraordinary in the Ordinary; Finding Annunciation in Montgomery and Flannery

By Well-Read Mom / May 3, 2022 /

Flannery O’Connor and L.M.Montgomery, though their visions are so different, are both writers who urge the reader to awake to the beauty and meaning in reality that is illuminated with signs of God’s divine grace and even further to hear God’s call to us through these signs.

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Seeking Understanding: How Meaningful Relationship and The Study of Literature Encourage Empathy

By Well-Read Mom / April 27, 2022 /

More often than I would care to admit, particularly in the closing weeks, I found myself bitterly lamenting my emotional loneliness. In my hormonally-impacted state, the problems were undoubtedly exacerbated. I genuinely felt unheard by those within my own home as I struggled to contend with the chaos of a bustling household. I attempted to balance limitless baskets of laundry in addition to Cheerios strewed across my living room, countless errands, and a toddler in a leg cast while simultaneously being increasingly impeded by an ever-expanding belly and an ever-diminishing level of patience. Suffice to say, “nesting” is next to impossible when you have nine other children. Not only did the tranquility and rest I was naturally craving seem unattainable, but it also seemed hopeless to expect others to empathize with my weariness.

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Time to Read

By Well-Read Mom / April 19, 2022 /

As I spread a pile of books on the table at The Roadside Cafe, the waitress was curious, “What kind of work do you do?” She was surprised when I told her I run a national book club for women.

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Marilla Cuthbert and the Journey of Unconventional Motherhood

By Well-Read Mom / March 31, 2022 /

What does it mean to live out the generative capacity that all women are called to when you have borne no children? All women possess the calling to be fruitful, but each of us must ask what that means for us in particular. Some of us will continue working out the answer to this question for our entire lives, whether because of singleness, infertility, or a commitment to the religious life. A darling, fuzzy-headed toddler sleeps peacefully in the next room as I write this. Still, it took over a decade of marriage and a beautiful yet heartbreaking adoption journey for me to become a mother.

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In Praise of Useless Reading

By Well-Read Mom / March 21, 2022 /

In An Experiment in Criticism, C.S. Lewis asserts that there aren’t two types of books (good and bad), but instead, there are two types of readers: the “many” and the “few”. I feel confident that everyone reading this blog post falls into the second category.

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This Ordinary Life

By Well-Read Mom / March 14, 2022 /

Even in Christian culture we have a tendency to magnify the extraordinary and minimize the ordinary. It’s laughable, really, because Christ Himself lived a beautiful ordinary life.

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Starting a Book Club on Too Little Sleep

By Well-Read Mom / March 7, 2022 /

It seems like a questionable decision brought on by too few hours of consecutive sleep (not unlike when I put the ketchup bottle in the dishwasher or when I machine washed and dried my favorite wool sweater). According to lots of people who know me (and everyone who doesn’t know me but sees me at Costco), my hands are full. I don’t have time to start a book club. Maybe, just maybe, I could join a book club that someone else started (probably not, though, because I wouldn’t have time to keep up with the reading). That’s why I love Well-Read Mom.

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Wendell Berry’s Lessons in Stewardship for Us To Live By Today

By Well-Read Mom / February 28, 2022 /

Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow left a significant imprint on my heart and mind. My heart was captivated by his sincere interest in understanding people and the depths of their stories and discovering—through honest reflection—what it means to belong. But I also found such a strong moral vision in Jayber Crow. This story in particular teaches us more than statistics can about the beauty of the land and the necessary stewardship that follows. Having lost our collective memory of the land and our illiteracy when it comes to nature, we need to re-learn how to see the goodness and beauty of nature to know the moral limits of technological control.

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Anne of Green Gables and the Glorious Sanctity of Life

By Well-Read Mom / February 21, 2022 /

When I was a child, sprawled out across my bed, delighting in Anne for the first time, her quaint sense of melodrama (to which I completely related) and her yearning for beauty and love spoke to my very soul. As a teenager, I sought to emulate Anne’s sense of conviction, righteousness, and ambition, desiring to aspire to her lofty ideals of character and empathizing with her very human struggles. Now, as an adult, though I certainly revel in those aspects of the story, I find myself increasingly pondering Matthew and Marilla’s role in this poignant tale.

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