Pride Month

“I’m not looking to change your mind. I’m not trying to convert you to my way of thinking. I just want to know that you love me.”

The other day a dear friend of mine came out to me as gay. It’s obviously not my story to tell, nor is this the first time I’ve had this experience with a friend, but it is the most recent and the first time I’ve had a friend tell me they’re gay since I became Catholic. 

We had a really beautiful talk. I cannot fathom the bravery and vulnerability and trauma and confusion my friend carries. Except that I can because I’ve been on the giving end of it. Growing up in Bible Belt culture made me guilty by association and complicit in the commission of many sins, I’m sorry to say. And for that I ask forgiveness. 

“I’m not looking to change your mind. I’m not trying to convert you to my way of thinking. I just want to know that you love me.”

I am a Catholic, faithful to the teachings of the Church and loyal to the Pope. I accept the Church’s teaching on sexuality, but I reject the methods in which Her children carry out those teachings. 

It’s Gay Pride Month. Do you know what the queer community wants? They just want you to love them. You don’t have to accept or condone every action or decision a community makes in order to love people. You don’t have to agree in order to love people. 

Alienation and isolation and hate and hurt are not part of the Gospel of Christ. In my experience, “love the sinner, hate the sin” looks an awful lot like shaming and repressing. Only specific sinners are left walking away from church feeling unwanted while those of us with “more acceptable” sins sit in the cat bird’s seat. 

Every person is fearfully and wonderfully made. Every person. I believe that the queer community has so much to offer the church, so much to offer the world. I know there’s a wide spectrum of belief on this, that we affirm and support our gay brothers and sisters in different ways. This is a conversation that’s hard for all of us because we’re all in different places. That’s okay. 

But, guys, it’s time to get past the rhetoric and just simply love God’s people. That’s it. You don’t need to worry about micromanaging their salvation. God’s got that. I’m not saying you’re required to attend a pride parade this month. But what I am saying is that our best witness to Christ’s love is simply accepting people and loving them. It is vital to people’s very lives that we in the church show up and love them right here in the present, in the hard, confusing, uncomfortable moment right where they are. Unconditionally. The way the Father loves us all. 

I honestly don’t know the best way for that to all play out on a practical level. I know I’ll screw it up and make a mess of things. But I also know that I won’t hurt me to try to understand the experience of others. Even in my failures, it won’t hurt me to listen – just listen – to the story and experience of someone who believes differently than I do.

I am called by Christ to love my brother. I am capable of listening and reading and learning. I am a recipient of God’s grace through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and that grace allows me to follow the Church while simultaneously loving the queer community. Grace does the impossible, after all.

Water into wine, deniers into popes, bread into the Body.

If He can do all that, then surely He can soften our hearts to do this, too.

Pride Comes Before the Fractions

We’re deep into the weeds of homeschool around here. I mean, we’ve been at this for a week and a half, and it feels like a lifetime. Now obviously I’m a newbie and I’ll be the first to say that I’m no expert, but…like, at what point in this homeschooling gig will suggestions and gentle corrections not be met with eye rolling and/or aggression from the pupils??

Asking for a friend.

J/k, it’s me.

I’m the friend.

I’m trying real hard lately to pay attention to my strong emotions and trace them back to their roots. It’s this new thing I’m doing called self-awareness. I highly suggest it, but also it sucks.

The situations that get my blood boiling most these days (aside from medical atrocities being investigated at the border and general worldwide awfulness) stem from semi-regular moments in instruction with the kids. (I’m not naming names here because the team is getting older and I think they deserve their privacy.)

It feels like there are moments when literally everything I say is dumb and every gentle correction is a personal attack. It also doesn’t help that their father can do no wrong. Dad is brilliant! Dad is funny! Dad is cool! Dad explains so much better! Dad buys us fruit roll ups!

Dad teaches them the exact same math lesson that Mom attempted (but cut short due to tears and theatrics) using the exact same examples that Mom used and they listen to him as though his words drip honey and claim they’re hearing them for the very first time.

If I sound like I’m jealous, it’s because I am.

I admit it, I am horribly jealous of the camaraderie the kids have with their father, especially when it comes to school. If I’m not careful I start believing the lies my jealousy is telling me so the jealousy grows into anger, then resentment.

It hurts that they don’t listen to me the way I think they ought to. It hurts to feel misunderstood and second rate. It hurts when the message I’m receiving from the kids is that what I’m offering is garbage.

I recognize that this sort of thing is a completely normal facet of the mother/child relationship. I grated against my own mother when I was their age. Shoot, I still do it if she offers me a suggestion! It’s growing pains and tough transitions and I get that. The kids are stuck in a house with me all dang day. Of course a different voice is easier to listen to; it’s literally the only diversity in teaching they’re getting so it makes perfect sense. Of course they resent my criticisms. No one likes to be told they’re wrong, especially by their mother.

But I’m still resentful. I’m still jealous.

When I dig even deeper, I see that there’s a part of me that struggles with what I can only identify as the “moms are dumb” vibe. Culturally, it seems like moms are always the butt of the joke. Moms are the overlooked, overworked ones and it feels like dads get to sweep in and have the fun and be exciting. Dad is novel and Mom is humdrum and I resent that a lot. I want to be fun. I want to be exciting. I want to be the one that everyone is thrilled to see. I want to be special, and listened to, and loved.


Just writing that out and stepping back is so helpful. Again I’m tracing these feelings back to their root and remembering what’s true. Upon further reflection, it’s easy to see how hollow that “moms are dumb” argument is. It’s just as culturally acceptable to present dads as the useless, bumbling ones. I mean, watch any sitcom dad ever, right?

I also have to recognize the other side of the coin, to give weight to the fact that my husband sacrifices time at home to provide for us, purely so that I can stay home and have the opportunity to teach our children. He is a novelty to them precisely because he’s not able to be here all the time like he’d rather be.

And honestly there are plenty of times that the kids do prefer me. My sweet husband has endured literal years of babies refusing to be comforted except by me, fed by me, cuddled by me. They come to me with their emotional wounds and worries while they connect with him in different ways. It’s completely fair and right that there are times when I’m not the best person for the job.

He can have math and video games, I guess, and I’ll take my heart to heart bedtime chats and book reading snuggles.

The truth is, these children need both of us. I am not enough on my own because I was not designed to do this alone. I have been gifted a partner who loves us all and who shows up daily to do this soul wearying work alongside me without complaint. What an absolute gift he is.

So the problem is not the children or the husband, but my own disordered desires for control and approval. This thing that’s causing me grief, these little moments in my day that cause me to boil over in frustration are mirrors into my soul, opportunities for me to examine my motives.

Am I teaching my children so that I will be liked or so that they grow in intellect and holiness? Am I allowing myself to believe a lie that pits me against my children and my husband? Or am I noticing the places in my heart that lack holiness and taking these as opportunities to do better? Am I quick to anger when my children push back, or am I leaning in to learn a new way to connect with them? Do I receive their contrary attitudes with my own eye rolls and impatience or do I view their pushback as a barometer of where they themselves are feeing inadequate and vulnerable? Am I praying for my family as I ought to be?

I’m not going to nail it every time. I think the desire to be approved of and appreciated will always be a struggle for me. Yet, motherhood is sanctifying. My ultimate goal and deepest desire is to get my kids, my spouse, and myself to heaven. If that requires less of me, more of my spouse, sharing the spotlight, deeply appreciating the souls in my care, and heaping lesson upon lesson of humility, then so be it.

Yes, this vocation is sanctifying me, but only if I let it.


When I’m particularly struggling with the sin of pride, I like to go over the Litany of Humility. It is hard to pray and even harder to pray with true sincerity. I often find it necessary to add, “Lord, help my unbelief,” to the end. You can find the prayer here. You are so loved my friends, even in your pride and your jealousy, even in your less than pretty moments, you are indescribably loved.

No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide you a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13