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Mary and Marvel and Muslims, O My
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In Rewilding Motherhood, I detail a bit of my history with Mary, the mother of Jesus: namely, that I didn’t really have a history with her. She wasn’t a part of my faith life as a Protestant and when I became Catholic at age 30 it was more in spite of Mary than because of her. And yet eventually, I fell in love. Now she is one of the most compelling parts of the Christian tradition to me, and certainly an important part of my own spiritual life.
When my friend Erica, who owns a Catholic goods company, decided to create a Mary doll for children, she asked me to write a little poem she could enclose with it. Neither of us planned on turning it into a children’s book, but now nearly two years later that’s exactly what has happened, and I am so proud to be a part of it. This book is a tender, comforting, and affirming resource for the littlest among us, and the illustrations are simply perfect, thanks to Erica. Here is a peek:
“Mary will show you the way to God. She will teach you how to find God in babies and trees, in animals and in the breeze.”
“Mary will always be with you, whispering that you are good and you are loved and you are never, ever alone.”
I hope you’ll pick one up for the kid in your life! My email subscribers can use the code Shannon10 at checkout to get 10% off the book. Thanks for supporting writers and small business owners!
We traveled to visit family in Texas a few weeks ago—which was a blast!—so between that trip and preparing for the launch of Rewilding Motherhood I haven’t been writing as much. But I did write a piece for Jesuits.org about spiritual applications from the latest Marvel film, Black Widow. You can read it here.
Which is a perfect segue into a list of things I’ve been enjoying lately, and that I think you might enjoy too. Here goes…
Reservation Dogs (on Hulu) is created, written, directed and acted by Native Americans. There’s only three episodes so far so you haven’t missed much yet. It’s a somber show, but the longer you watch the more you appreciate the unfurling character development and subtle moments of tenderness. Heads up for lots of F bombs.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (also on Hulu) I didn’t love the book, but turns out I do love the movie! It’s a great exploration of women returning to themselves in midlife after getting lost in motherhood.
Abuelita Faith an accessible theology book about what women on the margins can teach us about wisdom, persistence, and strength, written by a young Latina theologian, Kat Armas. It’s wonderful!
Women Talking a novel based on a true story of women in a Mennonite colony looking to escape sexual assault and protect their daughters’ futures while knowing nothing of the outside world and unsure if they would be able to survive escaping. It’s very good but also very heavy. Trigger warning: talk of sexual assault of women and children (not graphic).
I’m not usually a podcast person but this summer we road tripped to Texas and back, so I embraced the ear buds! My friend Whitney Logan, who is a Jungian trained therapist, has a fascinating podcast called The Hidden World. My favorite episode is The Hidden World of Motherhood as an Individuation Path. Definitely check that one out if you’re a mom of any age.
Parents, you definitely need to be tuning in to NPR’s Circle Round, which features folk tales from all over the world. My kiddos often fall asleep listening to it. The older ones also really enjoy Brains On!, which is funny and educational.
With the news about Afghanistan, I’ve been trying to do as much listening as possible to people who actually live in or have direct ties to that area. As with any justice issue, I’m learning to step back and ask, “Who are the ACTUAL experts in this situation? Who are the marginalized and silenced ones? Who has been using power for personal gain? When I’m listening to a voice on this, do I know what they stand to benefit? Am I okay with what they will benefit?” On this particular issue I know very little, but those are some questions that are guiding me as I learn.
We are finally rounding the corner on the release of Rewilding Motherhood. In fact, I’ve heard that folks who preordered straight from the publisher are already beginning to receive theirs—eeeek! Here is the gorgeous book trailer that the team at Brazos created. I love how it captures the spirit of the book:
If you haven’t preordered yet, would you please do so? You can order from any bookseller you prefer, and it really does make a difference for book sales, algorithms, marketing, and the whole nine yards. Why not grab one for a friend, too? Thank you from the bottom of my heart for every single order placed!
As a perk, if you’ve preordered you are eligible to enter a giveaway for a Rewilding Motherhood tote bag! They are super cute and convenient and just the right size for carrying a few books and a journal to your favorite coffee shop. Fill out the entry form here for a chance to win.
Wishing you all grace and peace,