My Year of Eating Crow


It’s funny how a year has its way of sneaking up on you. About a year ago I announced that I had made the decision to quit my job to become a stay at home parent. I was a ball of nerves this time last year about what our future would look like without me working. Now, a year later I just have to laugh at some of my idiotic notions.

I have to be honest. One of the reasons I was apprehensive about becoming a SAHM was because I used to silently resent my friends who stayed home with their children. Especially now, after coming out as egalitarian a part of me just felt like this was going to be the beginning of an avalanche of condemnation from my complementarian friends.

*Spoiler* alert: It wasn’t.


Oh yeah.

You see, before I remarried, I used to do it all. Not only was I a single parent, but I also had a full time job and was a full time college student (including an internship). I worked my tail off to ensure that my little one and I were well taken care of. When I would hear the woes of the “day in the life” of my SAHM friends, my typical inward response would be an eye roll followed by “it must be nice”.  Obviously, I now see what a load of bull that is.


The image we have created of mothers who stay at home lounging carefree in luxury is simply not the reality for most families with one income. Sacrifices are made. You realize very quickly that you can, in fact live your life with less. No way did I think that me staying at home would be an option. At the time I was making about 60% of our income and feeling pretty great about pushing back against the wage gap and defying stereotypical gender roles. However, I knew that in the season we were in as a family, this was the best choice for everyone. My Jesus Feminist self was not being oppressed just because I decided to take on a role that is more traditional.

We have to erase this mentality of superiority in how we choose to parent. It embarrasses me that I ever had that bitter mindset towards my other mommy friends. We don’t need to be pitted against each other.  *Stay at home moms, work at home moms, and working moms, hear me. We have to come together and be for each other.  My friend Jory Micah wrote a beautiful article about how as Christian Feminists we need to include all mothers into the fold. Being a SAHM doesn’t make one less egalitarian than a woman who is a CEO of a company. Just like I had to throw out my cookie cutter mentality in regards to my SAHM friends, we need to stop viewing our feminism as coming from one predictable, angry mold. Egalitarian means that we get to keep our autonomy in tact along with our equality.

This year has been a wild ride. I have seen breakthroughs with my child. I have experienced lows like you wouldn’t believe. I have lost friendships. I have gained community. My marriage is in a better place than it has ever been. I have a new fire in my bones to be an ally for the marginalized, and for the first time in a long time I no longer feel the need to justify why that’s ok. I found my voice that I have kept quiet for so long.  I have walked through some dark places, but I have come out with my feet firmly planted on the ground.

I’m exactly where I am supposed to be.

♥ MM

*Disclaimer: I do realize that there are also dads who stay home/work at home while their wives go to work, but I am just using the language and example of SAHM as it best relates to my situation. 


3 Picture Books That Promote Autism Acceptance

I read a lot of children’s books. A LOT. In fact, so far this year 84 out of the 95 books I have read  are children’s books. 80 of those 84 are picture books. However, it never occurred to me until recently to start searching for books about autism inclusion/acceptance (at least not children’s books). It turns out there are quite a few out there!

I will admit that I am more critical of anything written on the subject of Autism/Neurodiversity because as a neurotypical, even though my child is autistic,  I don’t see the full picture. Therefore,  I try my best to align myself with the ideals of actual autistics. Their voices are the most important for our world to embrace full inclusion and acceptance. I wanted to write a little bit about my top 3 favorites  that I have read this year.

1. Different Like Me by Jennifer Elder

diff like me

This book is geared towards ages 8-10 because there is a lot of text on the page. It is narrated by an autistic boy named Quinn. In the book you will learn about some famous people who he can identify with because they are “Different Like [Him]”. It’s not possible to know if every person that he talks about in this book had a black and white diagnosis on the spectrum due to time period that some of these people lived, but the significance of the book is how Quinn is able to see a part of himself in the lives of these inspiring people. Some of the “autism heroes” in this book include, but are not limited to: Lewis Carroll, Hans Christian Anderson, Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Temple Grandin, and others.

2. I Love Being My Own Autistic Self by Landon Bryce


I love, love, loved this book! I wish I could place this book in the hands of anyone who interacts with autistic adults or children on a regular basis and have difficulties understanding their challenges. The presentation of this book is geared more towards children, but I think that there are many adults that need to read these truths. What I love about this book is the honesty that there are differences in the autism spectrum both good and bad, and that’s a part of what makes us all human.

There is a common misconception that people who are pro neurodiversity and who push back against the grain of cure culture think that autistic people are superior to neurotypicals and allistics. This is simply not true. Above all the emphasis on inclusion of autistics especially when it comes to neurotypicals trying to further their understanding of autism is such a great component to this book.

3. Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap: NT is OK! by Clay & Gail Morton


I got this book as a gift for my son’s 5th birthday. It is usually difficult for me to find books that capture his attention, but this one did. So many times in books or in the media when it comes to minorities or the disabled, all energy and focus is geared toward the neurotypical (NT) person. I saw this a lot in some of the picture books that emphasize the relationship between siblings where one is NT and one is autistic.

This book makes you want to throw the word “normal” out the window because NT’s can seem just as unusual to someone on the spectrum even though it’s usually presented the other way around. When I first heard about this book, I thought it was a spoof of some sort. However, having read it, this book will seem a little humorous to NT’s but it actually is informative to kiddo’s on the spectrum. Not every person on the spectrum is going to fit exactly into the mold of the characteristics described in this book (for example my son is autistic but he loves to play with other kids). Overall I think that this is a great picture book to show autistic children that we are all different and that’s ok. We just need to accept each other.

♥ MM

*Disclaimer* While I loved Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap, I do not recommend following the book’s fb page because I did find some of the content ableist in nature and offensive.

What are your favorite picture books about acceptance and inclusion? Comment below!


When Emily Dickinson Puts You In Your Place

On Monday I had the pleasure of attending a talk hosted by the Forest Hills branch of the San Antonio Library with guest Dr. Glenn Hughes — newly appointed 1st Chair in Catholic Philosophy at St. Mary’s — on the topic of “Emily Dickinson and Spirituality”.


I really enjoyed the discussion at this event. I vaguely remembered her poems from high school and some college but I had been recently re-reading some of her work in honor of National Poetry Month. What struck me about Dickinson was her capacity to be authentic. She was true to herself, even when that self was so very conflicted. She is so transparent in her writing because it was hers and hers alone. I’m not sure what she would think about the fact that the whole world is reading some of her most private thoughts that she never intended to see published. Nonetheless,  I’m glad we have them for our sake.


I feel like I can relate to some of her motivations in writing and even some of her lifestyle choices. Dickinson is traditionally typed as an INFJ on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). As a fellow INFJ,  I can see the appeal of living what appears to be the life of a recluse even though the 1800 plus poems that she crafted in her space hardly speaks of the pigeon holed “spinster” that we have made her out to be. She was doing her life’s work in that room. She was someone that lived in her head and that is evident in much of her writing that wrestles with the idea of eternity.

What I love about her work is the humanity of it all. She is so effortlessly genuine, albeit messy at times. She seeks to appease no one. She is on a mission for understanding and she needs to write it out in order to come to find her resolve. It is no wonder that scholars have compared her writings to Job of the bible as he wrestled with God.

Dickinson was no stranger to what St. John of the cross refers to as the “dark night of the soul”.

I’m banished – now – you know it
How foreign that can be –
You’ll know – Sir – when the Savior’s face
Turns so – away from you –

Even in her doubt, she did not hide her contempt for those who utterly disregarded the divine.

How much the present moment means
To those who’ve nothing more —
The Fop — the Carp — the Atheist —
While their commuted Feet
The Torrents of Eternity
Do all but inundate —

Throughout the ebb and flow of this inner turmoil of questioning and seeking, she can’t seem to abandon her notion of the divine, as mysterious as it is to her.

I know that He exists.
Somewhere – in silence –
He has hid his rare life
From our gross eyes.

One of the themes that was discussed was Dickinson’s bravery in how she expressed herself. Even today in 2016 we see people at the opposite ends of two extremes when it comes to faith. You can either ignore the nagging questions, add more activity and “take it by faith” or you can throw your faith away, become jaded and rely solely on science, logic, and reason. But why not both? The bravery that we see in Dickinson is that she doesn’t give up the struggle for an easy “I’ll hang my hat on that” ending. She doesn’t care about being contradictory in her writing. She cares about finding the truth.

I dwell in Possibility

As a Christian, I try to err on the side of hope. I do have moments when I can feel jaded and skeptical, and that’s ok. Emily puts us in our place. Her writing seems to cry out, “never stop searching and don’t be afraid”. Let’s get messy! Let’s not be afraid to have a “taboo” conversation that may or *gasp* may not have a resolution! Don’t be afraid of your questions or doubts. Let them provoke you! I wish I knew what Emily’s last conclusions were when she died. All anyone can know for sure is that she never stopped having the conversation. She never stopped seeking. I think that is the greatest lesson she can teach us — greater than any eloquence or masterpiece her arrangement of words to the page may prove to be.

Life, theology, and faith are not always precise, color coded and by the book.

This World is not Conclusion.
A Species stands beyond –
Invisible, as Music –
But positive, as Sound –
It beckons, and it baffles –
Philosophy, don’t know –
And through a Riddle, at the last –
Sagacity, must go –
To guess it, puzzles scholars –
To gain it, Men have borne
Contempt of Generations
And Crucifixion, shown –
Faith slips – and laughs, and rallies –
Blushes, if any see –
Plucks at a twig of Evidence –
And asks a Vane, the way –
Much Gesture, from the Pulpit –
Strong Hallelujahs roll –
Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
That nibbles at the soul –

Sometimes you can’t be a Paul. Sometimes you need to be a  Job.

♥ MM

The One Where I Found Tall Man, or The Misadventures of a Tipless Finger

Almost 4 months ago I had a freak incident where my right middle finger was slammed in the bathroom door and the fingertip was severed clean off at the cuticle. It was a pretty traumatizing experience for me. Today my fingertip is mostly healed, so I would like to reflect on what the past few months have been like.

The ER is never fun whether it’s a fever that won’t go away or, you know a SEVERED FINGERTIP.


I spared FB with my ER pics.

Not so here.

This is your last chance to look away.

























When it first happened I didn’t even realize my finger tip was gone. I was in shock at the pain and looked down and noticed it was gone. Still in the door. I retrieved it and somehow managed to text this to my husband who was at work to take me to the hospital (no the pic isn’t upside down the bottom part was my cuticle).


After they soaked my hand in “monkey’s blood”.
Yes, I did take the tip with me to the ER.
In a Bowl.
On Ice.
Turns out fixing a finger tip is a little more complex then sewing a button back onto a shirt.
For shame.


Post Vicodin (obviously).


Christmas was the worst. Do you know how hard it is to wrap and unwrap presents with a hurty digit? On a more serious note, my grandfather passed away 8 days after my incident, on Christmas Eve, no less. It is so bizarre having to cope with physical pain and emotional pain at the same time.

Even though I am left handed,  I started to realize how much I truly have acclimated to using my right hand for most things aside from writing. At one point I actually started making a list of all the things that were near impossible since the incident but stopped around 11 because it was too depressing after a while. Here’s a sample.

  1. Opening a medicine bottle
  2. Opening an envelope
  3. Changing a diaper (the whole bathroom situation, really)
  4. Using a credit card reader
  5. Turning over the ignition switch
  6. Typing (10-keys were especially annoying)
  7. Showering (especially bathing my kid)
  8. Strapping in a car-seat
  9. Clapping
  10. Handshakes and Hi-fives
  11. Snapping your fingers

Funny thing, those last three.

In January I got the urge to snap my fingers when “Baby It’s You” suddenly got stuck in my head. It was incredibly annoying. Who doesn’t snap to that song? Seriously?

Then the whole church situation had me like…


for a good while.

You never truly realize how much touching is involved in a church service until it becomes (literally) painfully awkward to do so. Handshakes, high fives, shoulder pats, corporately shaking you’re neighbor awake (I kid you not) before during and post service really get you thinking “Should we be touching this much in church?” and also “Am I buying enough hand-sanitizer?”


I never really thought twice about clapping my hands in church until it hurt. I found myself compensating by trying to be extra smiley during worship because we all now that clapping hands and jumping around means you’re realllly worshiping (sarcasm, ha!)

beast smile

I couldn’t end this update without including some of the interesting dialogue from my husband who was completely supportive, loving and understanding through this whole healing process. My husband is also hilarious and is great at making connections with illustrations. So I wanted to share three comparisons that were mostly meant to make me feel better, but made me laugh instead.

When the incident first happened and we were driving home from the hospital, Angel says, “Hey Toni Iommi lost his fingers and it didn’t stop him from playing guitar! You can just put a thimble over your finger.”


One day I was asking Angel for the car keys and he tossed them to me from across the room and I caught them with my left hand. Even though I am left handed, I typically only use my left hand for writing, so it doesn’t come naturally for me to throw or catch with that hand. Surprised at my reflexes Angel said, “Hey, maybe now that you can’t use your right hand you will be like daredevil and your left hand will compensate for you.”


And more recently after I was mostly healed, my husband was like “Oh man I totally forgot about Frodo!!” Ironically I had my own little Gollum slam the door on my finger.


The human body is an amazing thing. The doctor told me that it was unlikely my nail would ever grow back because my nail-bed was completely severed. During the healing process my nail-bed somehow shifted down my finger and today the entire nail has grown back. I still have nerve damage and dull pain from time to time but I have regained most use. We had a brief dumpster-side ceremony to say goodbye to my dearly departed digit. Seems silly, but in a way, a literal part of me died that day and it just didn’t seem right to not say goodbye.


Welcome back, Tall Man.

♥ MM

5 Things I Learned During My Spring Break In Nebraska

This Spring Break I took a week long road trip with my mom and my son from here in San Antonio, TX all the way to the teeny tiny town of West Point, Nebraska to visit with some of our extended family. Even though this was a leisure trip there were some teachable moments. Other than the limits of a 4 year old riding in a car, I did learn a thing or two about a thing or two.

1. Boys Don’t Have Long Hair

Gender stereotypes are not only biased towards girls. Apparently once you pass Austin, TX all boys are expected to have nicely groomed crew cuts that are June Cleaver approved.



Matthias James, my long-haired love

I kid you not, every state north of TX someone assumed that Matthias was a girl just because of his hair, which is barely shoulder length (I’m guessing his full eyelashes didn’t help his case much either).

jesus hair

On our first day in West Point I was hauling a truck carrying, dirt covered, skin kneed boy home from the park (how stereotypically male, right?) and someone asked if “she” was exhausted from dance class. Sometimes you just have to laugh.

chet meme

2. Ice Machines

You will regret not going trigger happy on hotel ice machines. As a kid, my dad would compete out of state in power-lifting meets pretty frequently and my sister and I liked to tag along. Our on the road traditions were Gatorade and all the hotel ice we could muster. On this trip I passed the ice machines on the way to our hotel room (at both hotels we stayed at) with that look of longing in my eyes, but I didn’t take advantage of their frozen magic. I won’t be making that mistake again.

huge mistake

3. All The Freebies

You will go klepto on all things complimentary. If you think you won’t, you are only fooling yourself. In fact, you will end up using double extra hotel shampoo, conditioner, and soap to try and make yourself believe that you won’t go Gollum on the cute little toiletries. I have been home for over a week and I am still using the adorable paper coffee cups that were in our room. Awww.



4. Hugs & Kisses & Pie {Oh My!}

On a more serious note, this trip did teach me some real life lessons. My grandfather passed away this past Christmas Eve unexpectedly in a work related accident. I was not able to come up for the funeral and hadn’t really gotten closure (not that you really can when you lose someone you love). But one of the things that my Grandma kept saying when we were spending time together remembering my Grandpa was how she would give anything for just one more hug, one more kiss.

hug kiss

When my Grandpa would leave for work, hugs and kisses were their morning departure ritual. On the morning of the accident she said that he was going to leave for work and then came back in the house because he forgot something. There was a moment where he looked back before he left where my Grandmother recalls and just wishes she could go back and get that one last kiss.

On my visit I found out that my Grandma is a bit of a stockpiler as far as couponing and groceries go. It’s a small town so you have to get the deals when they are hot. In her pantry sat a can of apricot pie filling. She said that she bought it with Grandpa in mind since apricot was right up there with rhubarb as his favorites.


She never did get to make him that pie.
We ate the pie in his memory.

The lesson here is that you need to hug and kiss the one you love at every opportunity and when in doubt, eat dessert first and often (and you can’t go wrong with pie).

5. The “Good Old Days” Are Overrated

orig   1916747_10203838413319719_7269451400342025109_n

Everyone likes to reminisce and think back to the “good old days” at least every once in a while. Especially in a relationship when things start to get stagnant sometimes we get tempted to compare ourselves to other couples and resign to the “grass is greener” mentality.


The grass is greenest where it is watered. -Robert Fulghum

It’s undeniable that my grandma married an exceptional man. Even so, no one is perfect, no relationship is either. In our visit she was talking about how it was actually their more recent years before his passing that were their best years.


People always want to glorify what once was and revel in memories past, but all my Grandma wanted was more of the present.

Live Free.
Live for today and don’t look back.
Love and hold nothing back.

♥ MM

Daughters of Eve, You Get To Be Free!


I usually share this graphic at Christmastime (which you can buy here) however, I found it appropriate today as we reflect on the present reality of our Risen Lord. Here we see Eve being comforted by Mary (preggo with Jesus). This is such a powerful image. I especially love the fact that Mary is crushing the serpent with her feet.

Here stands Eve.


Feeling the sting of shame,
the costly burden of the fall.
Where sin is the chain and patriarchy is the ball.

Enter Mary.


Whose womb did contain,
the answer to sin, the cure for pain.
Baby boy, born to die.
Setting us free was His Holy design.

Today there are plenty of “daughters of Eve” downtrodden even in the wake of the resurrection. Jesus lived a life of radical humility. He challenged the status quo and went against the cultural grain. His life was spent on the least of these, the ones that the world loves to hate. Lifting the lowly from the mire and the muck is what He is famous for. His death broke the curse of sin and death which includes the curse of patriarchy over women.

It is so fitting that the first commissioning of the Risen Lord was to the women at the tomb to “Go and Tell”. How sad is it that our modern church culture would stifle those who he called. Even in 2016 there is work to be done that Jesus already paved a way for and obstacles to overcome that were already won by the victory of the Cross.

This Resurrection Sunday, let’s agree with Jesus that we ALL get to live free.

♥ MM


The One About Coming Out as Egalitarian

When I think about “coming out” as an Egalitarian I think about Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.


“It came without ribbons.

It came without tags.

It came without packages, boxes or bags.”

There were no bells. There were no whistles. I did not shout to the rooftops the praises of my righteously indignant people.  Much to my chagrin a booming light did not descend from heaven in Morgan Freeman-esque fashion to affirm my newfound revelation. Just a sober “Yes.” A deep breath of apprehensive relief, nervous hope — knowing I could never go back to being complacent about full gender equality. I would never be the same.

A year ago my world completely turned upside down and none was the wiser. I saw everyone around me going about their lives as if nothing happened. If you have ever read a spectacular work of fiction that has changed the core of your being then you get where I am coming from.


Even though everything inside of me was newly liberated and screaming a love song, I felt at a loss toward the world around me. Even though embracing egalitarianism was not as great a leap for me growing up in the Assemblies of God as it was for some of my ex-complementarian friends, I had a moment of clarity, like seeing with brand new eyes.


Unbeknownst to me at the time, my egalitarian journey actually started a long time ago. For me it was on a summer morning in 2002. I was having a candid conversation with a friend at the Summer discipleship program at my church. Even at 13 I knew something was not quite right with how us teenage girls were indoctrinated to view “our place” as women.

How is it that during the fancy-free Summer that two bubbly girls can talk optimistically about our futures in ministry just short of approaching the elephant in the room? I never realized the thinking aloud musings of a 13 year old girl would come to a halt at the mention of the taboo title of “pastor”.

Like the scratching of a needle on vinyl, the raising of my friend’s eyebrow followed up by “Don’t you mean pastor’s wife?” was the moment the scales fell from my eyes and I was heartbroken, seeing for the first time that gender would even be an issue among Christians (of all people).

That was the first time I really gave a second thought to gender being of any importance in the church. Sure, there were small sign posts along the way that brought to my attention that this issue was not the side issue that many make it out to be, but it wasn’t until I was engaged to my husband, Angel that I really started seeking out the scriptures on this matter.

Growing up AG I never questioned a woman’s authority in the church because I was surrounded by women in leadership positions. I did, however, begin to realize that I had subconsciously went along with some complementarian ideas on gender roles inside the home that I now see were the launching pads of abusive situations that I had found myself in years earlier. Furthermore, the self-concept that I had through the lens of these complementarian ideas led me to believe very false things about myself as a woman. I used to think I was broken because I didn’t fit that dainty, docile mold.


I can’t imagine the brokenness my life would be in if I didn’t challenge these false beliefs on gender. Falling into egalitarianism was like drifting into a whirlwind romance that caught me completely by surprise. Probably because being centered as an egalitarian Christian is to fall into the arms of Jesus, agreeing with Him that you are who He says you are.

I only wish I was brave enough to make my case public when I was in the glow of my “aha” moment with Jesus. My personal theme for 2016 is to Live Free. My hope is that anyone reading this that feels the weight of bondage from the chains of complementarianism and gender stereotypes would break free and cling to who Jesus says you are.

♥ MM

Some great places to start are:

Christians for Biblical Equality

The Junia Project

I found this this link especially helpful.

Marg’s Blog