• Motherhood

    Three Generations, One Roof

    I was three months pregnant when I moved back in with my mother. Even though I was twenty-four and married, I felt like a knocked-up teenager running home to mommy. Our living situation was so clearly “not normal” to American culture that it bordered on embarrassing.Β Eyebrows raise when a twenty-something moves back home after college. Multiply that times a hundred if she brings her husband and unborn child with her. Initially, Sam and I had planned to stay a few months while we transitioned from Kosovo to France. We’d done this arrangement before, visiting family for a couple months before heading back to our own apartment abroad. But this time, we had no…

  • Faith,  Motherhood

    Resurrection for Mamas

    Today is Easter Sunday.Β Today, Jesus rips out of the grave in a wham-bam display of divine power and love.Β It’s a day for big God gestures, the way men pull out all the stops to propose to their future wives. And the church, like a surprised bride, jumps up and down, says, Yes. But today, I’m staying home. Somewhere between planning car arrangements and thinking about how many people would try to touch my baby’s hands, I decided not to go to church. I simply wasn’t up for it. The big-gesture, big-response event sounded exhausting. Today, I don’t just want Jesus of the Easter resurrection. I want Jesus of the everyday resurrection. I want…

  • Motherhood,  Personal Updates

    Birth, Faith, and Feeling It All

    On February 3, we welcomed James Robert Steere into our family. He was himself from the very first moment: wide-eyed, curious, expressive. Six weeks later, we’re still getting to know him and finding joy in his little personality. We’re exhausted, of course, and I’ve been too hands-full to blog, but life is also incredibly sweet with James now in it. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about his birth and how that winter morning changed everything for me. I knew early on in my pregnancy that I wanted a natural birth. I was well-read on the benefits of unmedicated labor for both mom and baby, but there was also…

  • Motherhood,  Personal Updates

    One Word 2015: Rise

    If you followed my previous blog, you may remember my One Word post from last year. After a difficult season, I chose RECLAIM as my vision word for 2014, and it turned out to be more than fitting. Since writing that post, I’ve reclaimed my health, creativity, and identity. I left behind oppressive systems and theologies, and I walked into a new understanding of God’s last-will-be-first kingdom. Everything blossomed again. This year, with all kinds of exciting opportunities on the horizon, I’m finding it easier to choose a vision word and expect good things to come of it. My One Word for 2015 is RISE. I love its various definitions: To move upward, to increase, to get…

  • Faith,  Motherhood

    The Joy of the Unplanned

    In a gas station bathroom in Kosovo, I finally said what I’d suspected for weeks: I think I’m pregnant.Β It was the strangest confessional, with my friend in one stall and me holding back nausea in the other. She gasped at the words and came out beaming at me. Weeks before, she and I had been talking about birth control. She was planning a wedding and felt a little stuck when it came to her reproductive options. There seemed to be two basic paths: either avoid pregnancy like the plague or have babies right away. I told her how I’d felt roped into the same binary, and how I hadn’t wanted to do either.…

  • Faith,  Motherhood

    Pregnancy, Mystery, and God

    From the start of the pregnancy, my husband and I assumed we would find out the gender of our baby. My midwife doesn’t offer ultrasounds, so we started saving up to have one at a local clinic, and I anxiously awaited the weeks when Baby would make him or herself visible. This time just happened to fall during a month-long stay in a tiny French village. I shrugged it off, thinking I could be patient until we got back to the States. What I didn’t expect is that, by the time we got home, I didn’t want the ultrasound anymore. Somewhere between baguettes and the millionth person asking “Do you know what you’re…