Jul 282014
Our Messy, Beautiful Summer Week 6

A guest post by Rachel Haas

mirrorI cleaned the mirror last week. It had been a while.

Frankly, I was okay with the smudges and the fingerprints at toddler-height level and the lip-prints at momma-height level. Her fingers like to poke at her round belly in the glass. Her lips like to give the baby in the mirror a kiss every morning as we come down to start the day.

She sees differently than I do.

Because honestly? Me? I might never clean that mirror.

:: ::

I bought new jeans today. It had been a while.

I was pushed to the brink by the ripping sound right in the most unfortunate location, that mostly hidden spot where the seam glides up the leg. And I only have one other pair. It would not do to be without pants entirely. It’s nearly skirt weather in my corner of the United States, but not quite.

Under complete mental protest, I went shopping. My fingers flipped through the piles of stitching and denim that carelessness had allowed to muddle together, size 6s and 2s and 16s and 22s all playing together. They didn’t care, those perfectly folded pairs of pants. Only the people buying them cared.

Only the people who had to wear them cared.

And so I found myself standing in front of another mirror. This mirror was clean, no fingerprints and no baby-made smudges. But there was another kind of dirt clinging to the edges and seeping over the glass.

I could see a thousand little girls reflected in that glass. I could hear the words, see the downturned lips, feel the poking fingers.

Does this make me look fat?

Screen shot 2014-07-27 at 10.10.57 PM
:: ::

I held my daughter in my arms this morning, her hair shimmering golden-red in the sunlight. She curled against my chest as she nursed, her fingers idly straying down to the hem of my shirt. She pulled the fabric away and sat up with a grin.

Oh, may those words from her little lips never cease to turn my soul to water.

She leaned forward and planted a smacking kiss on my belly. Right there on the dappled purple stretch marks that she left behind. Right above the scar that cuts a jagged line across my stomach that shows how they pulled her from my body like Moses drawn from the water. It’s a life-mark, that scar.

:: ::

I stood in front of the mirror just a minute ago, the same one that I cleaned last week. I have my new jeans on, a perfect fit. The number on the back, nestled in the teens, is irrelevant. What matters is the way I see myself.

What matters is the way I refuse to let the Darkness convince me that my worth and that number are somehow connected.

Shame might have lived in that mirror. But I ran a Windex rag over the glass. I’m speaking Light and Life over that piece of glass. I’m revoking the lies in the name of the One who saw me before the dawning of time and whispered to the assembled angels,

oh, she. 

she is made in the Image.
I am God, and I call her good. 



 Rachel Haas is a Story-writing, caffeine-consuming, paint-flinging, wild-at-heart sojourner. She is four years married to Jonathon, momma to Marian, and wrangler of an oversized Great Dane and two cats who are relatively bonkers. She dwells in between Midwestern cornfields where she pours her heart out in lowercase abandon. Find her on her blog and on Facebook and Twitter.

This post is part of Momastery’s Our Messy, Beautiful Summer series.

Our Messy, Beautiful Summer

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest

Jul 252014

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”  – Fred Rogers

I have no idea what the future of immigration should look like.

I do know that if we are Americans, we should probably be mindful of the original plan:

Statue of Liberty

And that we if we are Christians, we should probably also be mindful that the Bible speaks frequently about caring for sojourners and strangers in our midst. And that Jesus himself was an immigrant when he was a child.

Matthew 25

And I know that this is happening right now:

CWS is receiving troubling reports that, in some instances, DHS is dealing with the developing crisis by dropping off women and children after initial screening in potentially vulnerable spaces, such as parking lots and bus stops. As one recent example, there have been reports of more than 50 children and women being dropped off at shopping center parking lots in Yuma, Ariz.

“Women and children are being dropped off with a notice to appear in court, and nothing else; no food, no water, no diapers, no money and without Identification or a phone to call their relatives. We have a responsibility to respond, if we don’t stand up for justice and peace, who will?” said Rev. Alberta Wallace of Yuma United Church of Christ.

Funds are urgently required to meet immediate needs including food, water, clothing, diapers, medical care, housing and bus tickets. The interfaith effort has been volunteer-based and although it has received wide community support, the effort needs additional resources to further organize this relief effort, which should include case management and volunteer coordination.

In several cases, CWS member communions are actively organizing responses to similar situations by coordinating hospitality, shelter, donations and mobilizing local congregations to advocate for policies that defend humanitarian protections.

–Excerpted from our partner CWS’s initial appeal in response to the Unaccompanied Children Crisis

It’s awful- but Instead of Looking Away, We Can Look For the Helpers. There are folks who are not just TALKING about immigration and right and wrong and who’s in and who’s out. They are on the ground, rolling up their sleeves and HELPING these children and families.

Thank you for helping instead of just talking, CWS. Thank you for rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. Thank you for being such incredible helpers.

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest

Jul 242014

Donald Miller is like the Pied Piper to me. He uses his words to create this curious, compelling music that forces me to abandon what I’m doing, lean forward, squint my eyes and turn my ear towards his voice. I am fascinated by his musicy, spacious faith that allows room for art, humor, doubt and differences. The first time I read Blue Like Jazz I thought: Wait a minute, here. You don’t have to be certain and loud to be a faith writer? You can work out a faith that sounds more like an incredible concert than a hostile courtroom? You can do that?  

A few months ago I was preparing to speak at a church conference and this dude who looked EXACTLY like Donald Miller walked backstage (back-altar?). Obviously, I couldn’t stop staring at him. Sister nudged me and said, “Why are you staring at that dude?” And I said, “So weird. He looks so much like Donald Miller.” Sister stepped on my foot but I still couldn’t stop staring and since it was a small room: awkward. She tried to rescue us all from the moment by engaging the guy directly. She said, “So sorry we’re staring. Apparently you look like this writer she loves named Donald Miller.” The dude smiled and waved and kept walking. AND THEN AFTER HE LEFT BACKALTAR I FOUND THIS NAME TAG ON THE TABLE.

don miller

*I don’t want to talk about my kitchen. Keep your eyes on the name tag, please.

And so IT TURNS OUT THAT the guy who looked exactly like Donald Miller backaltar WAS THE ACTUAL DONALD MILLER which really, when you think about it, is the most logical explanation for the entire situation. I stole the nametag and wear it around sometimes because I think it brings Donald and me closer.

Here’s the point. Donald Miller asked me to write for his blog, Storyline, and I’m just really truly over the moon scited (scared/excited) about it. And so now I’d like to invite you to hop on over there and read a response I wrote to an email that one of YOU sent me recently. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve written in a long while. Hope you enjoy.

You Don't Need More Talent or Time

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest