Last week was Micha-week, and we cheered our dear friend on in the release of her first book, Found. Well, this week, me, myself and I proudly present Ginny-week! You heard from Ginny Kubitz Moyer on Tuesday when she talked about those sacred words her high school English teacher said to her: “I have faith in you.” Today, as promised, we get to hear from Ginny again in an interview about her new book, Random MOMents of Grace.
1. However do you find time to be a high school English teacher, a writer, a wife, a mama, a friend, and a fill-in-the-blank on everything else you probably do?
Quick answer: My house is a mess.
I’m only half-joking there. Honestly, it is impossible to do everything, so every mom compromises in some area of her life. What I compromise on may not be what another mom compromises on, but we all give up something in order to do what we do.
I actually wrote a blog post on this very subject last year (I get asked this question a lot). In five and a half years of blogging, it is the second most “liked” post I’ve ever written. It clearly strikes a chord!
2. How has your Catholic upbringing and continued pursuit of spirituality given you a distinct lens through which you view the world?
All those years of Catholic school taught me a lot, everything from how to diagram a sentence (a dying art, alas) to a way of seeing humanity. I grew up being taught that every human life has dignity, no exceptions, and that social justice matters.
Another thing I’ve learned is that you can find evidence of God’s grace in all things. There’s a prayer called the Examen which includes reviewing the day with God, looking for evidence of God’s presence in your life. It invites you to notice the little things – the way someone let you go first in the coffee line at Peet’s, or the blossoms outside the doctor’s office window, or the comfort of snuggling with your kids on the sofa. This prayer helps you see how God’s goodness saturates the world.
That’s really what Random MOMents of Grace is about: finding beauty and spiritual insights in the daily work of parenting. It’s not obvious sometimes, but it’s there.
3. My favorite chapter was the very last, “Heaven,” in which you talk about losing Mary, one of your dear friends, to cancer. Is there anything you’d add to that chapter, to those thoughts, now that even more time has passed?
I just keep being more and more grateful that she was in my life. Our former pastor used to say that life is a school for learning how to love. If that’s true, Mary had that lesson down pat. When our first son was born, Scott and I immediately knew we wanted her as his godmother because you want your kids to have a special relationship with someone with a heart like hers. Mary had suffered a lot, but she let that suffering make her open to others instead of closed. That taught me so much.
Also, something interesting has happened since she died: I notice beauty more, especially in unexpected places. Mary was a photographer with an eye for the beauty that flies below the radar. She’d see red strawberries in a blue bowl and not just notice the vivid colors, she’d actually get her camera and snap a picture. I’m starting to do that, too, and when I shared this with some of our mutual friends not long ago, I found that I’m not the only one who is experiencing this. It’s as if Mary has left us the gift of her way of seeing.
4. What nuggets of wisdom would you pass on to new moms?
If you are overwhelmed and wondering where your life went, join the club. Sometimes people seem to expect you to be all radiant with gratitude over the gift of this baby, and you are more like, “I feel like crying with exhaustion every moment.” Don’t feel bad. You’ll find your stride, I promise.
There’s a chapter in Random MOMents about my grandma’s favorite saying: “This, too, shall pass.” The hard times will pass. The flip side is that the sweet newborn smiles pass, too, and once they are gone, you don’t get them back. Motherhood is teaching me how bittersweet the passage of time really is. It teaches me not to want to rush too far ahead.
5. You’ve written two books now; are there plans for a third? Do tell!
I’ve actually written three (the last one is Daily Inspiration for Women, which I wrote with three other women). I have a book idea I’m writing my way into at the moment. It’s too early to talk about it yet, but I’m having fun seeing where it goes.
6. What random MOMent of grace have you seen recently with your boys, Matthew and Luke?
Okay, here are two: we were driving to the mall and there was a guy standing on a street corner with one of those big arrow-shaped signs for a mattress store. I’ve always thought that would be one of the worst ways to earn a buck, but this guy was flipping it, twirling it around his head like a big flat baton, spinning it here and there. My older son said, “Wow, that guy has a lot of cool moves.” I loved that he didn’t see a stranger with a really lousy job; he saw an artist at work.
And this: last week my younger son was running and jumping into bed and he whacked his forehead on the bottom of the top bunk. There was a huge gash, and a lot of blood, and it was awful. But there was grace, too: We called 911 and they sent some fabulous firefighters who were so gentle and encouraging not just with Luke, but with his older brother, who was freaking out. And there was grace in the skill and knowledge of the ER doctor who stitched him up, and in the kind neighbor who came over to make sure we were okay.
In the book I wrote that “Grace shows up everywhere, in random places and at random moments.” I just keep finding that motherhood is easier – and life in general is better – when we notice and savor it.
She’s a keeper, I’d say! Ginny, thank you for being here with us again today. If you’d like to read more of Ginny’s words, click on the link below and win a copy of the book. Winner will be drawn at random Sunday evening.
Congrats Heather Sebastian and Stuart, each winners of a copy of Ginny’s book. Email me if you haven’t already, and we’ll pop that book in the mail!