Tuesday, April 5, 2016

About Blogging

Blogging seems peculiar these days.

I have a plethora of emotions that go through my head at any possible blog topic  and I am struggling to  write in good conscience right now.  It is probably part scrupulosity and part an actual question that really needs to be examined in the blogging world.  Anyone care to shed any light on the subject would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

1.  On Marriage:

Why would I write about marriage?  Why would I write about and show pictures of John and I (especially in an intimate setting) for the public to see?  Aren't those shared kisses and hugs between us only?   Even if one has a beautiful marriage and you view a picture of another couple enjoying a movie night by the fire, isn't that replicating a scene that is not authentic?  Fred and Jan go on date nights and have the time of their lives together.  So should we.  Why would I show us laughing and enjoying each other for the world to see?  Yes, those times are a plenty, but why blog about our marriage goals, our hopes and dreams, our personal conversations, and especially all the compliments and heartfelt acts of love we show each other?  For the majority of marital cases, women are the dreamers.  Usually.  They read something, see something, especially if it involves our children, and we MUST HAVE.  Why?  What is being accomplished?  Why would I share all of John's wonderful traits and habits?  Isn't telling HIM enough?  Isn't that called bragging?  Look what I have and you don't.

For the majority, most women write that THEIR MAN is so supportive of their dreams.  What if he wasn't?  What if his work was so consuming and by the end of the day, he was done.  He had nothing left to support THE DREAM.  Where does that leave you if my man supports my dreams, and your man doesn't have it in him to support yours?  LEFT BEHIND.
 What about those couples who are struggling and are dedicated to each other through the sacrament of marriage, but for one reason or another, they just don't get each other.  I have a friend who attended a wonderful conference on motherhood, marriage, and life in general.  She came away with so many ideas and was so eager to implement them into her home.  As she presented the idea to her husband, he nicely said, "That is not me."  She was crushed.  Her dreams of a blissful family life were met with a resounding "NO!"  So when my friend hears about other marriages or husbands who so excitedly embrace new ideas or whatnot, it really leaves her feeling LEFT BEHIND and thinking "My children will suffer because he won't lead the family rosary like so and so."   What accountability do I have towards her and others on the internet?  I am doing her NO favors by plastering John and his ways.

What about those women or men married to difficult to people due to broken childhood homes?  I think it very rare in the current climate that two people enter marriage without a load of baggage in some form. How does my attempted show of perfection help her?

Do we need more examples of happy couples (I think Hollywood does a good job at pretending they are in love)?  Love is tossed around so casually.  Commitment, dedication, fortitude through trial, endurance, and most importantly SACRIFICIAL LOVE (Death to MY needs, my desires, my wants) through life's storms, not so much?

What about those people clinging on to dear life in their difficult marriage?

 2.  On Homeschooling:

I have friends who want to homeschool, but their husbands or wives do not feel called to homeschool.  Where do my posts about our days leave them?  I know I have had numerous conversations with dear friends and it makes them feel LEFT BEHIND.  They read a small glimpse into our life and assume the fallacy of part to whole.  They see one thing, one nature hike and therefore the whole must be that wonderful all the time.  How am I helping her?

3.  On Children:

How do I write about their accomplishments without making a struggling mother with the same-aged child feel deflated?  If I post that our 3.5 year old is reading happily for hours on end at a 2nd grade level, who or what does that help?  Mothers are fiercely competitive and most will immediately look at their child that age, and feel BEHIND.  If I write about Dominic's academic achievements while a good friend confided that her son, who is Dominic's age, HATES school and actually confessed to them he has been addicted to pornography for 4 years now.  How am I helping her and other mother's battling for the soul of their child?

On the flip, how do I write about my own childrens' faults without doing a disservice to their future selves?  I can guess that they wouldn't want their sins or challenging temperaments plastered across the world wide web.

4.  On Style:

I really don't understand style blogging and what it achieves.  Doesn't it scream, "You are not skinny enough, not tan enough, wrong hair, wrong clothes, wrong shoes.  You are not enough THE WAY YOU ARE."   Am I all wrong on this?   I see you tired, worn mother.  I see your efforts and your attempts to be whole on the inside and outside. My beautiful friend just delivered her beautiful baby and sent a picture.  She said, "Please excuse my swollen face and pajamas." You just had a c-section.  You are beautiful.  Look closely on the inside.  You carried life within you for 9 months, throwing up most of them.  You are about to give of yourself the rest of his life.  You are enough the way you are.   Am I way off on this one? I had a conversation a couple weeks ago and my friend was commenting on certain styles certain people wear and how it is just not in.  I had a big question mark coming out of my head.  Who says it's not in?  Styles and fashion change with the wind.  In a world that SCREAMS, "BE YOU!!!"  Aren't clothing styles the epitome of NOT being you, but being what you are told is in?  If I like a certain pair of jeans, than why can't I wear them instead of wondering if they are in or not.  Don't get me wrong, I like style, but I like my style.  I enjoy dressing our family with dignity with the main attention of clothing to be the faces of the wonderful children God has given to us.  It is a rabbit trail, as it never ends and a world that cannot be kept up on. 

5. On Pictures:

Now, we all know that we only post pictures of ourselves that we like how we look.  Isn't that vanity?  Aren't I searching for compliments and my funny caption to the picture really is a cop-out of being out-right vain?  I have two sisters in college who have let me in on the game BIG TIME.   It is a game.  There usually is someone in mind when posting a picture of ourselves.  Is that true, good, and beautiful?  Have we made it about US, and not CHRIST by these games?  Isn't that disordered and what accountability do I have before God?

6.  On Suffering:

We all have many people in our lives suffering.  I have several friends right now carrying massive crosses.  HUGE.  The biggest you can carry.  They are barely holding on to life.  Very sick children, infertility, husbands without jobs for months, sick parents, depression.

I have witnessed first hand, the community that rally together to pray for each other.  My gratitude to those who prayed for my mother and Lourdes will only be measured in another lifetime.  I am so utterly grateful.  I see the fruits of grace and love.

It is easier to write about life's philosophies when life is well, but when the nails are being driven in, it hurts and not much makes sense. 

I seriously would love and appreciate any comments regarding what blogging accomplishes and how it promotes Christ.  I am not trying to be fiesty, I repeat, I am not trying to be fiesty.  I really would love insight.

 I start back at why I blogged in the first place.  I wanted to keep record of their lives and the times we shared together.

Thank you for your kind comments and insights.

So, why keep a public blog?






113 comments :

  1. Lindsay,
    What I have loved the most about your blog over the years is that I've been so encouraged by the way that you love and value each of your children as individuals. It has influenced, all for the better, the way that I try to mother my own children. It gives me great hope that if God continues to bless us with children that I will be able to slow down and value the goodness in each and every one of them. Also, in particular, your posts about adjusting to new life in the home have been invaluable to me and I share them and your ideas in them with many other women. When I had a rough time adjusting to having three children, I think I went back and read those every day. I agree with many of the points that you make in your post here, particularly the ones about style blogging. However, your blog is so unique and authentic, precisely because you seem to have stayed true to your focus of simply wanting to catalog your life with your children. Your blog has been a great gift to me in these early years of motherhood.

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    1. This is all so true! Thank you for articulating all of this. This is exactly how I feel.

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    2. I wholeheartedly agree with Margaret and Meghan.

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    3. Yes! Yes! This is exactly it. I save some of your blogs on mothering and refer back to them. They don't make me feel left behind, but instead encourage me to be better. You don't brag and you are honest about the tough along with the good. Your blogging has meant something to me, for what it's worth.

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    4. You celebrate the beauty of the family and of the openness to life. You 're an exemple of catholic life.

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    5. Yes! I completely agree. When I read Lindsay's blog, it reminds me to slow down and value each of my children for who they are. It is very encouraging!

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  2. Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I've never commented before, but I have enjoyed reading your blog immensely and check back frequently to see if you've uploaded anything new. I understand all your concerns with blogging and I think it's good to ask the questions you are asking. I just wanted to let you know that I've found your blog to be a blessing to me - I've enjoyed the little pieces of your family I get to see, I've rejoiced with you in the good gifts God has given to you in children, life, your mother's health, etc., and I've prayed and mourned with you in the difficult times you've shared. You have been an encouragement to me, another mom in the trenches - and you've been a tremendous advocate for the blessing of life. So I will miss you if you stop blogging, though I will understand why. :)

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  3. No other blogger has touched my heart the way you have. In every one of your posts I can feel the love you have for your family and for the Lord. You inspire me to focus more on the beauty and the joy that surrounds me. You remind me of how precious each moment is with my family. Please do not stop blogging. I agree with all the sentiments you wrote in this post, as regards every other blog I have read. But I honestly don't see those things with what you write.

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    1. Yes! I never come away from here feeling badly about myself, my mothering, my marriage, etc., which can and does often happen with other blogs. Only encouraged to do just as you said- focus more on the beauty and the joy that surrounds me.

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    2. Yes you have reminded me to find the beauty in the ordinary days. I always leave encouraged and challenged (in a good way)

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  4. Interesting thoughts to consider!

    With respect to style blogging I guess I'll say it's no different from enjoying reading Real Simple or paging through the latest J Crew or other magazines and catlogs. The women who write them are sharing their passion for style/fashion/design, and if a reader enjoys it, I don't see the harm. But it shouldn't put pressure on anyone. I agree that if you have a "style" you love, or just a particular pair of jeans you love, then you should wear them with confidence. But if you're looking for ideas for something new and fresh, it's nice to have a place to turn. You know me, though. I have no "style". I wear the same basic pieces I've worn for decades. I do enjoy reading about what's "in", though, and it might come in handy as my girls get older and start having opinions on these things.

    The others are more challenging - have greater depth, I think - because this world puts so much pressure on moms to be PERFECT and one more blog showing only the perfect side of a family's life could be inspiring, or it could be crushing, depending on the reader. I enjoy blogging but I have no great following... for me it's about keeping a record and allowing my family and friends to keep up with our family's activities and growth. I imagine the pressure feels very different if you have an actual readership... the responsibility you feel to those readers. I'm curious to read what others say.

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  5. All I can say is that your blog always draws me closer to Christ. There has never been a time where I felt jealous or envious. There are so many blogs that do quite the opposite. You inspire me to love my children more, love my husband more, love God more. With your recent walk with you mother and your youngest daughter, you have inspired me to trust God more. Every time my children wake from their nap, I am reminded to hold them and love them during that difficult transition time. The way you love your children reminds me how I need to love mine. I know I am a stranger looking into your world. And you have been very generous to share publicly. So, why keep a public blog? Maybe it is just to keep sharing the simplistic way you love. It feels so rare these days. And I know that you are not a saint, but what if St. Therese didn't share her little way. Or Bl. Mother Teresa, or Pope St. John Paul. God has blessed you with a beautiful way to love. And in 2016, maybe a public blog is the way to spread God's love. Whether you blog in the future or not, know that you have done a beautiful job of sharing God's love even if it was only for a short while in the blogging world. :)

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    1. Every time my children wake from their nap, I am reminded to hold them and love them during that difficult transition time.

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  6. I totally understand what you're saying. I am turned off by most blogs/blogging because they are either "keeping it real" (complaining, or fake attempts at showing a semi messy kitchen or laundry), or overly aspirational (especially with homeschooling). I will say yours was different because you have deep spiritual insight and joy towards motherhood that helps so many moms. I have read and reread and shared "adjusting to a new life in the home part I and II" so many times. I also just recently reread and pinned the spiritual books for motherhood. And I liked your family pictures with all the coordinated kids in swimsuits or Easter dresses because it made me feel validated when I did/do it lol! I made my blog private this year in order to protect my growing children's privacy. But I love your blog and miss it. I appreciate it for the parenting wisdom and marriage wisdom that just as you share with your kids, you can share with other young moms as well.

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  7. I have been reading your blog since I was expecting my first 5.5 years ago. Your blog has always been a source of encouragement and inspiration in godly womanhood, the vocation of marriage and most of all, mothering. You are so beautiful, and I often think to myself, how can I be more like Lindsay!? I was traveling with my children over Easter and drove through Nebraska...and when I finally made it to Lincoln, I looked around at your city and thought to myself, "here lives a great saint!" But I also feel like you are a friend - though we've never met - because you are so real in your writing. I am struggling to put into words how truly sad I would be if I was not able to learn from you and hear your voice in the noise of daily life, redirecting us to the eternal value of our daily tasks and the little souls we are forming to be disciples of Jesus. Your pictures, traditions you have shared, your thoughts on marriage and parenting, book recommendations, homeschooling tips, but especially the LOVE you put into words and pictures on this blog have given me as a new mama so many practical ideas to implement in our little family and make our home intentionally life-giving. I love that your blog is not about style, busy with ads, or challenging to navigate. The simplicity feels so much more homey to me than any other blog I have read. Please, know of my prayers for you and your beautiful family. I do hope you will consider keeping your blog public for the sake of those like me who desperately love learning from your wise and beautiful heart. Thank you for all your amazing posts over the years. Thank you a million times over. You have made such an impact in my life.

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    2. Yes! Exactly this! Your blog has never led me to get sucked into the comparison game...or the feeling that I am not enough or don't have enough, etc. You are a beautiful voice on the vocation of being a wife and a mother--one that is desperately needed I think. If anything, I feel more at peace with my life as a wife and mother after reading your blog. And seeing how you love and delight in each of your children is an inspiration. I hope you don't stop because your wisdom would be missed.

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  8. Dear Lindsay, when I come to my office each morning, on of the first things I do Is to check if you posted an update. There are several reasons why I love your blog: it is warm, upliftnig, inspiring - but not patronising. You share your love of your husband and your children that it makes me not think your husband is perfect or your children are perfect. I am old enough to know they aren't. But you are the one trying to give them perfect love. THAT is what inspires me to try to the same. My ways may be different then yours, but the love should be the same.

    In then end, you have made an enormous impact on the way I struggle with openness to life. Absolutely everyone I am surrounded with complains about children and how three is too much. On the other hand, I come to your blog to rest from those negativities. To see that, if you can have 12 (I am not sure if this is the correct number. I am always counting your children who live in heaven because I have a child living in heaven)children, I can have one more.

    If one more child born because of direct impact you made is not a reason to keep blog public, then please please do allow me to be the private follower :)

    Katarina

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  9. I will comment on the first question- I understand your point and I see what you mean. I, however, think it is a service to good fathers and husbands to acknowledge them. I love how you do that! I feel like men and dads in particular get maligned in blogs, in movies, books, by peers. There aren't a lot of dad blogs out there, but I have seen plenty where their faults are fodder for women's blogs. I may have a bad day full of disagreements here in my home, but I would never fault someone else true joy and a good day- that seems selfish. It is so easy nowadays for people to claim to be offended by every little thing, even someone else's happiness. Comparison is the theif of joy, that is true, but you can't control if other people constantly compare themselves to others. In my humble opinion, I LOVE reading about someone who is grateful for the blessings that they have, and doesn't complain constantly!

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  10. I will comment on the first question- I understand your point and I see what you mean. I, however, think it is a service to good fathers and husbands to acknowledge them. I love how you do that! I feel like men and dads in particular get maligned in blogs, in movies, books, by peers. There aren't a lot of dad blogs out there, but I have seen plenty where their faults are fodder for women's blogs. I may have a bad day full of disagreements here in my home, but I would never fault someone else true joy and a good day- that seems selfish. It is so easy nowadays for people to claim to be offended by every little thing, even someone else's happiness. Comparison is the theif of joy, that is true, but you can't control if other people constantly compare themselves to others. In my humble opinion, I LOVE reading about someone who is grateful for the blessings that they have, and doesn't complain constantly!

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  11. I will comment on the first question- I understand your point and I see what you mean. I, however, think it is a service to good fathers and husbands to acknowledge them. I love how you do that! I feel like men and dads in particular get maligned in blogs, in movies, books, by peers. There aren't a lot of dad blogs out there, but I have seen plenty where their faults are fodder for women's blogs. I may have a bad day full of disagreements here in my home, but I would never fault someone else true joy and a good day- that seems selfish. It is so easy nowadays for people to claim to be offended by every little thing, even someone else's happiness. Comparison is the theif of joy, that is true, but you can't control if other people constantly compare themselves to others. In my humble opinion, I LOVE reading about someone who is grateful for the blessings that they have, and doesn't complain constantly!

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  12. Lindsey-

    I've followed your blog for about 5 years. When I found it, it struck me as a rare and beautiful little jewel of a blog in a sea of conformity and negativity. Your writing voice is unique, and your love of home and family is something that has been an enormous blessing to witness via this blog. You've always been careful to share glimpses of life without revealing the whole, which is a good thing. Nobody is entitled to your private life except for your immediate family. But your impact through these "glimpses" is pretty huge. The love and devotion you exude for your children was massively instrumental in challenging some of my own struggles with family size. The sincere way you've discussed your lost children, Lourdes' difficulties before and after birth, and your beautiful regard for your mother during her fight with cancer have all been sources of inspiration and encouragement to me (and many others, it would seem).

    Yes, you can make the argument that blogging isn't good, because somebody, somewhere may covet your lifestyle or husband or children or close relationship with your sisters, and that it may cause them to feel "left behind". You can also make that argument about literally ANY facet of life! Should cereal boxes stop depicting smiling children? What if a parent sees that who has a child who is disabled, and who doesn't smile? Won't that make them feel bad? Should doctors have message boards featuring heart-felt cards from patients whose lives have been saved? What if someone who lost a loved one reads one of those cards in the waiting room, and feels resentful because THEIR family member died while someone else's lived? Should women leave the house with a baby? What if the baby smiles at a passing person, and reminds them of their own childlessness? Wouldn't that hurt them, too?

    I'm not trying to make light of your struggle with this topic, but I truly am at a loss to understand why you feel that it is your responsibility to keep someone from feeling bad about something positive in your life. Living well is an honor to Christ. Showing other people that you are able to enjoy the life you have is inspiring, and may help pull someone up "from the trenches". You don't owe anyone a blog, and if you are tired of blogging, I hope you put it aside and devote your free time to something that you find edifying. But if you enjoy having a blog, and savor collecting your words and thoughts for your future grandchildren to read, and if you feel a sense of purpose in capturing the quieter moments of motherhood, then please do not stop blogging. Please do not count your impact solely by the potential negative feelings that it may cause another person. And if you do tally the negative, please give equal weight to the manifold positive feelings you've inspired in people who come here.

    Blogging, like anything else, can be a lot of things. It's what you make of it. You've made something lovely here. I hope, after praying about it, you feel a sense of peace about continuing. If you decide not to continue, please accept my sincere gratitude for the many lessons you've taught me in patience and love through this blog.

    Alison

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    1. I agree with Alison. She made good points:) I love how you treasure your husband and children; people need to see and read that from us.
      Valerie

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  13. Lindsay, I have struggled with the same and have gone back and forth many times concerning even posting, and have wracked my brain with the same questions. So I don't have the answers-and I have a college aged daughter and see the same things your sisters do. I get it-I get how even more than my generation, and yours, our children are being changed, if not influenced, if not at least affected by social media (not blogs in particular, but images that aren't genuine, real or positive.)
    BUT I will say this-more of what everyone else says above-you are a shining light in the blog world. That might make you uncomfortable, but you are just being you-you are not being "an image" of who you want to portray, I don't think you are even trying to "be" anything. You have always always come across as genuine. Your love for your husband, (that you rarely speak of, it is just obvious and apparent), your love for being a mother, and the way you write of it, is Jesus working through you. I really believe that. You have a gift-you have a gift of wonderful peace, optimism, joy and gratefulness when it comes to motherhood and maybe you are called to share it this way in a world that needs to see it so so badly-many mothers are searching for this, seeking out some positive in a negative world. It is contagious as you can read above. It is ANYTHING but "put on". I know you know the Catholic hymn "Let your light shine for all the world to see". I think we are called to do that, and you are doing it this way-not even for that purpose, I know you blog to journal (and trust me as a mom of older children, you will treasure this little journal and so will your children) but your little online journal is influencing this small lucky corner of the universe that has found you, in such a positive beautiful light. You wrote six points above, and you are what is RIGHT about all six points. You are humble and quiet about your marriage, on homeschooling and your children, you never ever come across as bragging, once again humble and just totally in love with your children, and searching and praising the good, on style and pictures, gosh, you don't even go there and I think we all love that, the photos you show are always once again genuine and true and good and beautiful with the right time priority put into it, and on suffering-what perspective you bring to others, how many have you helped through your example?
    You have a unique rare light Lindsay, that I think maybe others yearn to see. You are doing no harm, but just the opposite, in a quiet genuine humble (so humble) way that feels very personal and small, you are sharing that light.

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  14. I think you are an amazing example of a Catholic family.

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  15. So many times I find myself asking these questions...I think we all do, and should to keep ourselves accountable. But I never think this way about your blog. I can always conjur up images of your home life and it inspires me. I'm a full time working mom of almost seven kids, and they go to Catholic school. It doesn't bother me in the least if you write about homeschooling or staying at home or a happy marriage. Even though I can't have some of those things, I like seeing others points of view. The blogs that turn me off are the ones that think certain ways of life are the only moral way to live. I'm pretty sure we have volumes and volumes of saint books because there are so many different personalities and approaches to life, and yet they all got to Heaven.

    Please don't overthink these reasons. We need good examples of family life, we need good examples of marriages, and sharing is how others (like myself) can be inspired. Nobody forces me to read your blog. I can stop anytime I want if I don't like it (which I have with plenty of other blogs).

    One time a friend wrote that she doesn't share pregnancy photos on her blog because she didn't want to offend anyone suffering from infertility. But isn't that kind of crazy? Like, why can't she be happy and excited for the gifts in her life without being worried about offending. If someone is offended by a happy pregnant woman, then that really is their issue to deal with, and I don't say that insensitively, I just feel that celebrating God's gifts (a new baby, a happy marriage, a new job) is not wrong. And like I said, if somebody does happen to get hurt feelings by it, then they can click away. Please remember that a public blog post and speaking to a person one-on-one are two very different things. I think a public blog gives you the freedom to write about what you want, but in real life, you would never discuss your happy marriage in detail to a friend who is divorced, or exclaim joy over your child's accomplishments to a friend whose child is struggling.

    All in all, please keep on writing, and read Simcha's article about scrupulosity that she wrote recently, to see if it helps.

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  16. I am a single woman (almost 30) and have been reading your blog for a few years. You have a gift for writing about family life in a way that is real but so inspiring. You show the beauties and difficulties of life, and it encourages me to keep my standards high, have hope, appreciate my life as it is now, and be thankful for people like you who are protecting the culture through your family. Thank you for doing this!

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  17. I would like to echo what many other readers have already expressed, which is that you are a light for Christ. By having a blog, you have an opportunity to share Christ with the world. You have touched and inspired me and so many others to love more deeply, to pray more fervently, to trust more wholeheartedly, and to thank God for His blessings more joyfully.

    My life is very different than yours in many ways - I work outside the home, my daughter is in private school, and we have suffered the pain of secondary infertility for years. However, I still feel such a kinship with you as a daughter of God and as a Catholic wife and mother. I never feel that you are flaunting what you have - you are grateful for the blessings in your life, and make me more grateful for mine. We all have crosses and we all have joys, and life is all about allowing the crosses to sanctify us and celebrating and appreciating the blessings, and your blog so perfectly expresses this truth.

    I want to thank you for the lessons you have taught me, and I pray that God will make it clear to you His will for your blog. Thank you for your ministry and for sharing the light of Christ with all of us who read. You have been a blessing and an inspiration by sharing the way you live out your faith in your every day life.

    -Kate

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  18. Lindsay I have read all you blog posts and i check daily to see if you have posted the next! I have learnt what it truly means to trust in God... to submit to him all your worries big and small and have the faith that he will answer! You inspire me daily in my journey as a Christian, a wife, a daughter, a mother. Please know that your blog is a source of inspiration to many. Talking about your relationships, your family, the way you write about them is a living testimony to Gods faithfulness and grace in your life and I dont see it as bragging at all. Please do keep writing. This is your story, this is your song and we are grateful to you for sharing it with us.

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  19. Lindsay, I have struggled - and still struggle - with the same questions. It has had me on and off Facebook in recent years because of those exact kind of thoughts about my motivation and how others might feel their lot in life is inferior. However, I must say that your blog has been a total inspiration to me. I did not grow up in a home with a stay-at-home mother or homeschooling. I appreciate that you have given me a glimpse of what Catholic family life can look like. I am grateful for your words. Thank you for sharing them. The world does need truth, goodness and beauty. We need holy examples to follow. Still, I understand if you are at a time in life where you desire more privacy. God bless you all! Adrienne

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  20. We need examples of families living a Christian life. The Internet and entertainment media are filled with examples of people living a worldly, if not immoral, lifestyle. Thank you for showing us that there is another way. We need bloggers like you who model something better. Don't stop!

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  21. I think you're wonderful. I stumbled upon your blog around a year ago. I felt an immediate connection. Maybe it is the fact that you're in Lincoln where I have family, or that you visited Steinaur where my grandmother was born and grew up (my mom grew up in Tecumseh). I spent so many summers in Nebraska with my grandparents and extended family, it's like my second home (I am from Vermont). But even more than that, I also got so much inspiration from you and your faith and love for your family. Please don't stop writing or sharing. When I read your words, I always feel joy and peace. God works through you, Lindsay. His love pours out in the words you share. You're an inspiration to those who keep coming back to read more. Thank you for sharing your little corner of the world with us and for putting so much of yourself out there to inspire your readers.

    Kate

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  22. I think you have raised some really great questions! I truly think that this comes down to the individual, how the blogger is blogging in regards to their walk with God and how the reader is reading in regards to their walk with God.

    Two people could read the same post and come away with totally different feelings. At the place I am at in my life with just a two year old and a baby on the way your blog gives me great hope about the fruits of being open to life, and how it is possible to have a large family and have kids that, I am sure are not perfect, but that are really great kids. It makes me want to keep fighting what the world tells us is ideal! And that there are others going before me that are holding true.

    I think it is fruitful to share the good, along with the real! I think you are an honest blogger. I don't consider sharing the good things to be bragging, it's almost like how we learn from the saints, it's not seen as bragging when we read about their victories because we know they were real people who also had their struggles!

    I try to stay true to myself and to have enough self knowledge to know which blogs help me in my vocation and path to holiness and which blogs don't, and yours is the former! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  23. I started reading your blog when my first child was a few months old and I was struggling with the sudden death to self that motherhood brings. I check almost everyday to see if you've posted something new. Every time I leave wanting to be holier and love better. I'm not exaggerating when I say your writing helped me to get over a tremendous hurdle of fear and embrace the Church's teachings on openness to life...and here I am, five children later (two in heaven). I understand if you decide to go private, but I truly hope you won't.

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  24. I remember Lindsay who's husband was in college, she lived in a tiny two bedroom apartment and welcomed their first colicky baby home. Oh how he cried at night! And yet, you did it all with a smile on your face! When you found out I was expecting, you brought me hope (I was on bedrest) and prayed for me. You seemed so excited for us, and my fear turned to joy. That moment changed my life. I've cheered for you with every step you let us see, a bigger house, a new baby, etc. And prayed for you through it all, the ups the downs, through the every day. You've changed the way I see my kids, my husband, my extended family. You've challenged me to be a better Catholic, to be a different kind of mother, to be more thankful for all my blessings, including my spouse. I love especially to see the books you're reading, little glimpses of the fun things you do, to see the pictures of the kids through the lens of your eye, the way you see them. We live in a different kind of challenging times, times of isolation and loneliness. Every time I step out of my house, I am attacked for my beliefs, ridiculed for my big family, spiritual warfare inside my head. You and your blog, you are the encouragement I need to keep going, the beacon of light of hope. We all need this kind of encouragement, to lift each other up, support for our vocations. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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  25. My two cents here are essentially repeats of other comments-- so I'll be brief. Tone is so important to a blog and yours has never come across in away that patronized its readership. You're intentional with the joy and struggle you share and that is meaningful. You're keeping these words for your children, and for grandchildren and that is beautiful. If you no longer feel this is edifying I suppose make it private. However, and I can only speak for myself I know that checking in on your family and your words even in times of struggle, positively effects me and my day. It offers me a Christ filled example, that I don't have in my life. Anyway, I would be sad if you left blogging, but I think that God is using you for a greater purpose, because you can say what others cannot, in a manner that isn't hurtful. But rather validates the crosses we all carry.

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    1. This is very true. You have a true gift in being able to share the joys of your family in a way that is not boastful. I always leave your blog feeling inspired, not defeated. Thank you for blogging. You really have helped so many families see the joy and beauty of every day life.

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  26. I think I agree with most of the commenters above. I read blogs and write my own to feel solidarity with other women who are like me -- striving to live a good and holy life, surrounded by most of our culture that doesn't celebrate the things I'm striving for. Blogs are some of the few places on the internet where I feel like I belong! And my "counter-cultural" ideas and goals are not seen as weird, but as things worth striving for. I also think writing about the things that happen to us, however small or insignificant - whether that's the joys of a toddler learning language, or the great things my husband does for me - allows me to step back and appreciate them in a deeper sense.

    But I do think it's always good to be re-examining our motivation for blogging, and making sure that it's what He wants. You have to feel confident that it's the way God is directing you to keep going! :)

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  27. Please don't stop blogging! I enjoy your blog so much. I never feel defeated leaving your blog either. I think you do a great job sharing the joys as well as the struggles. You have something fabulous here. Why blog? Because you are encouraging to other mothers and are a sense of community so to speak. Most of us mothers are probably a tad bit lonely during the day home with kids and diapers and dishes and endless laundry. Its encouraging to see another big Catholic family just doing their best, taking up their cross ( whether its small like lack of sleep, cranky babies, mountains of laundry etc or huge like your mother's struggle and Lourdes health issues). Its kinda sad that we don't have communities in our neighborhoods of other mother's home and around during the day to laugh and cry and have a cup of coffee with but its the truth that most of us are sort of on our own. Your blog is nothing but inspiring and I wish you would post more honestly. Don't over think it! You have been giving a beautiful heart and a beautiful family and a great way of writing. Share it because we benefit from it.

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  28. I feel the way you feel about blogging about facebook. I think that we all need something to aspire to. So it may feel like bragging to you but posting your joy in your children may help someone else to look at your life and see theirs differently. Like instead of wallowing in self pity because they might be stuck in the house with a load of children might say hey I get to see my babies grow up. Without other Catholic families/women to look up to or talk to you we will be left to try to figure it out or look at the world around us for help..... I sometimes feel like a crazy baby lady...because I truly desire to grow my family and love being a mom even in my imperfection. I love reading blogs about other moms of many because it not something I grew up with. I think God uses your voice to touch others in their need.

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  29. I think this post shows how much integrity and clarity you have, and THAT is why I read your blog.

    These are all such good points. I struggled with them too and wound up making my 'family' blog private and taking a couple years to study why I was blogging and what a public blog, for me, would look like. I decided it just had to be encouraging + real. I want both. There's a place for encouragement or inspiration but it has to be tempered with the "real" otherwise it just seems too self-satisfied, too arms'-length, too braggy. And there were other issues I considered and changed, too--mostly related to privacy.

    For what it's worth, your blog never comes across to me as self-satisfied bragging. Never. I think you are very real and I love the way you highlight the beauty of family life. In our culture, where family life is undervalued, this is important work. Perhaps your blog started as a personal documentation, and evolved into a ministry? Not in any flashy way, but by showing what it looks like to have a large family, to go through the struggles of life (ill babies, sick family members). I think you strike a really good balance b/w censorship of your own life and inspiration through sharing. I'm not Catholic (but my sister is--she converted last year!) and I have a small family (not by design so much as the things that have happened over the years)--but I just love your heart for your faith, your family, and the pro-life movement.

    I think you're doing a good thing here. And I don't think I ever commented on your post about your mom but it made me cry and cry. It was so moving and extraordinary. I am treating it as a miracle, too.

    God bless you. I know He has and He will.

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  30. Lindsay,
    I am a married Catholic woman raising our little family in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I found your blog five years ago we had just had our first child I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the task at hand and I knew with every bone in my body I needed Jesus and our amazing church if I could even attempt to serve my child well and get her to heaven. I was struggling finding a community of faithful Catholic families my husband and I could learn from and be supported by, but God in his goodness lead me to your ministry and it has forever changed my life. My prayer than became Lord send me a real life Lindsay and a year later God sent me a wonderful homeschool group of mothers. Yes With my one year old in tow we would join their field trips and park days silly I know , but I needed the support of faithful mothers and my husband and I for the first time in our lives had Catholic friends! Thank you seems such a small word for the thanks I have for you. I remember looking at one of your posts and thinking her house is a mess like mine toys are everywhere in the back ground it's ok I told myself if I just let my kids play. Your post about going around the house and admiring your children's handy work of how they set up their towns made me cry- I was looking at my children's messes all wrong. I now go around and look in the evenings at their handy work thanking and praising God. I thank you for taking the small moments of your family life, taking the messiness, the loud, and showing me the sacred. I am a better wife, mother, friend, daughter, and above all child of God because of your ministry.

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  31. This is so hard. And I've had many of the same thoughts you do, except I am the person that can start to doubt myself and my family. I've done may different things to combat this. I no longer use Facebook for this very reason. I've found I just have a weakness in comparing and a lifelong struggle with self-esteem. It shows so much self awareness and reflection that this is even on your radar if you don't fight against the things you mentioned. I, like the others, love your blog. It truly is the only one I can read and come away feeling inspired and none of the other ugly inferior emotions. I am hoping you will one day write a book about your life and thoughts. I also believe you have been gifted and that the Holy Spirit works through you.

    I'd also like to address the other points you made. Are there many wonderful women writing blogs and such? Of course, but publicly displaying one's life does something externally and internally. It HAS to because you are now receiving feedback on aspects that were once hidden. No one but my neighbors know what I wear when I'm just home all day (leggings ;) but if I had a popular blog/instagram/twitter/etc thousands of people could! And then the simple act of being dressed at home has changed somehow. It takes a mighty and humble person to not be influenced by their own popularity with others. I do think it has also heavily influenced the mothering culture. Where we were once more isolated, the internet and social media has allowed the semblance of community. The differences between real, human community and media related community are many, but I think one of the most acute, is the ability to feel the illusion of connecting. Friendships can of course be formed, but that usually means the friends connect on things other than social media, through text or email or phoning each other. I think social media is doing so much damage to the already fragile. Maybe most women can look at pretty pictures and read witty blogs and not feel inadequate or that something isn't missing in their own life. And while the world cannot, and does not, cater to the fragile among us, social media is particularly hurtful. I can read and scroll and all of that and never interact with another person. I can post a picture of my family and wonder why so-and-so has tons of comments and I have one. Does that mean the other mom has a cuter family, is prettier, or is just better than me? No, of course not. But one could start to think so. There's a fine line. Blogs can be helpful and inspiring. Instagram I like, but it's a fine line there as well. Staged photos are becoming the majority, and that gives a false sense of mothering or whatever the picture is of.

    These are just my thoughts on a tough, and largely new, subject. My comments are directed at Lindsay because she asked the questions, and not any other commenter.

    Blessings.

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  32. Just chiming in to echo everyone above. Just keep doing what you have been doing if you can do so with joy and love. You inspire so many of us and I am personally extremely thankful for the public witness you provide. It is a gift to get to share in your family life!

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  33. Hi, my name is Mary and I never have commented before. I lead a life much different than yours (different, not better or worse!). I cherish your blog, as does my 20-something daughter. I cherish your delight in your children, your openness to life, your work ethic, and your testimony to your faith. She and I talk periodically about your darling children and your positive outlook, both of us inspired by you. We prayed for your mom and rejoiced over her good news. I think that you do not compare, so I have never felt the sting of comparison. Only you can decide whether to blog or not, but I think that your readers find inspiration and comfort in this lovely place on the web.

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  34. I found myself wanting to “like” all the above comments (yes! yes! exactly that!) but then I remembered this wasn’t Facebook..... ;) There are a few people in my life that I have truly connected with when reading or listening to their words. Mother Angelica, St. Padre Pio, Father Corapi (way back when) and many others. Their love for God was real and palpable and inspirational. It wasn’t lofty or too hard to understand or unreachable. I know this will perhaps come off as a stretch to you, or even kind of strange, but I often put people like you in this category of saints on earth. God has given us all sorts of avenues to reach the hearts of others. I truly believe (in my opinion, because, come on, I have no idea what God’s plans are for your life) that He has called you to this kind of ministry. To speak of His love for all of us...and for mothers in particular. He speaks through you, all the comments above can attest to that. What you relate to others is real and authentic. We can all see that. Others might feel “left behind” or hurt because that’s what we do as human beings, we hurt sometimes. A commercial on tv may make us feel that way! I don’t think you facilitate this hurt or this pain. You present your life and your thoughts and we as readers can take from it what we will. That’s on us. But the content? I truly think that it is heaven-inspired. I know you’ve helped me so much in ironing out my thoughts on motherhood and finding my own way within it. I thank you for that...I think we all do.

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  35. Lindsey, I really hope you won't make the blog private, although I understand the considerations you note, especially about your children's privacy. But you encourage me so much. I have never -- never! -- felt discouraged by your blog. Even when our perspectives don't match up, I really benefit from hearing yours.

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  36. I think you have many people who read your blog and feel inspired and encouraged by your witness as a Catholic mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. Your blog is the only one I follow. I choose not to follow others for the reasons you listed and because I am often victim to "compare and despair". But your blog doesn't cause me to despair, it gives me hope. We can't change our husbands, our kids, our financial situations...but we can change our attitudes. What I've appreciated most about your blog is YOUR perspective on things. You are genuinely striving to please the Lord. Reading your blog is like reading the life of a saint in real-time. I'm not saying you are a saint because I don't want to put that kind of pressure on you. Life is hard and, unfortunately, doesn't come with an instruction booklet. In my opinion, blogging is a hobby, or, for some, a job. But, bottom line, you should enjoy doing it. If you aren't enjoying it anymore, then stop. Don't do it for anyone else but yourself. Of course, I would miss reading your posts, but, as a sister in Christ, I want what's best for you. Concerning how other people react to your blog: You are NOT leading others away from God. There is so much bad on the internet. If I can't look at or read what will help me become a better person, (and stay away from the bad) then I should give it up for a while (or for good). "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" -Eleanor Roosevelt.

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    1. I completely agree! "Reading your blog is like reading the life of a Saint in real-time." (More below...)

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    2. And again, not to say that you ARE a saint, as we are all striving for holiness, we are all sinners... But your devotion to our Lord does inspire me, and others to be better (sorry for all the comments! I wrote the one below before I read this comment by anonymous and thought it was so lovely!)

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    3. I agree!!! Please keep writing! You are a provision from God to me, and I always come away encouraged, inspired, and convicted to love God more. -Lily

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  37. Honestly, your blog has given me the hope and encouragement that I've often not found anywhere else with two little ones 2 and under and that I very much need. The days can be so long and isolating, but your words always lift me and challenge me to find joy in my babies' littleness. I've never once read your words and felt less than- perhaps it is because of your humility! I've bookmarked some of your posts that I hope to return to as our children get older, and, God willing as our family grows. I do sincerely hope and pray you'll keep blogging. Your witness here is such a ministry and it is a joy to learn from you!

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  38. Dear Lindsay,

    my name is Maria and I am one of your loyal readers from a tiny faraway Northern country. I sometimes try to cut down on spending time on blogs and, having thought things through, always come to the same conclusion: if I could keep just the one blog, it would be yours. Thank you so much for being so generous as to share the life of your family with brothers and sisters in Christ you have not (and probably never will) met in real life! Your posts have been a tremendous source of inspiration - with regard to depth of devotion to God, spouse and family. I am a "doer"-type of Mum, always busy in some household task or other. Reading your blog reminds me to really look at my children, notice them, spend time with them, enjoy them. There is a simplicity and humility in all of your posts that I find makes it impossible to come away from them anything but encouraged and edified.

    Having said that, I understand what you mean. I keep a small blog about celebrating the liturgical year myself and only very very occasionally post a picture or two of my children. Most of the time I take real pains to keep personal details out as much as possible. I am aware that this sometimes makes my blog dull! It is almost certain it would be livelier and more attractive if I shared more; possibly also drawing people more effectively to the Faith. But still I keep this policy for several reasons. First of all, we Estonians are a closed people. We don't talk to strangers in the street or public transport. We take a long time to form deep relationships. A lot of Estonians find oversharing on social media simply distasteful. The world and open style of blogs has come to Estonia, too, but to some it feels unnatural and to all it is a different scene than in the States! There are only 1.3 million people in this country. The communities we belong to are so small that openly blogging about my children is a serious breach of their privacy! People will know! You might meet a relative of a friend in the other end of the country who knows all about the antics of your sister's child. And this might even happen without blogging! I feel my children have a right not to have ANYTHING - not even a tiny little thing - about them up on the internet forever if they so prefer, so I try to keep reference to them to the minimum.

    In addition to all this, I often feel a deep reluctance to share anything about my interior and family life. Isn't that the oil I'm supposed to be gathering?! There is a grave temptation in the evangelisation through new media to "spread yourself thin" - scatter all of the riches; a great temptation to superficiality. At least there is to me. Sure we can help others through our witness on the internet (as you yourself have helped me and countless others), but why do we seem to think that it's the only way to do that?! I sometimes feel perhaps it would be wiser to give those impulses where we are, to the people who surround us where we live, and, what is most important, through PERSONAL, real, actual human contact instead of a virtual and impersonal one.

    So to summarise, thank you again for your blog, it has been a tremendous source of inspiration and comfort and I remain your reader for however long you decide to keep writing.
    On the other hand, the issues you raised are real and I would completely understand if you made your blog private.

    All the best and God bless you and your family.
    Maria

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  39. I look forward to your blog posts. My husband and I are Christians, and have a large - and growing - family in an area where that is very uncommon. I find solidarity and encouragement in your writing. I realize that a public blog opens you up to criticism, but I hope you know that you have been a blessing by sharing your life. I have commented only once before this, but I do follow faithfully and pray for you and your family frequently. :)

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  40. Lindsay, Your blog is a joy and inspiration to read. It is my favorite and a bright spot on the messy internet. I am always in awe of how you write with such humility, encouragement, and love. I have read your blog for over a year now, and it has made such a positive impact on my life. I will pray for discernment for you, but if you are perhaps taking a vote.... My vote is to keep up your wonderful, God-honoring blog! :)

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  41. Lindsay, Your blog is a joy and inspiration to read. It is my favorite and a bright spot on the messy internet. I am always in awe of how you write with such humility, encouragement, and love. I have read your blog for over a year now, and it has made such a positive impact on my life. I will pray for discernment for you, but if you are perhaps taking a vote.... My vote is to keep up your wonderful, God-honoring blog! :)

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  42. I don't have a blog for the above reasons, despite people asking me to write one. That said, I enjoy reading so much about your family, but as a frail human can only compare myself and feel inadequate at time. Perhaps this is only my failure. Living in this time, being isolated in our choice to have a large family and stay at home is lonely. Maybe our needs to connect online would be greatly diminished if we looked out our windows and saw other women in our neighborhoods undertaking the same crosses. But my neighborhood is empty from 8am till 5pm and I feel so very lonely. With number 6 on the way I have turned to your blog for comfort, but it does distract me from my vocation, truth be told. Again, probably my weakness. We live in difficult times. Dark times. Your world is a brilliant bit of light. Blessings with this difficult decision.

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  43. Please do not stop blogging. You are a wonderful role model for young Catholic wives/moms like myself, who otherwise feel lonely in a world that is so far from our Lord. God is using you in so many ways to bring others closer to Him - I hope you realize that. God bless you. - Mary

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  44. This blog has become a great blessing to me. It has helped me a lot to appreciate the time I spend with my children. I love the authenticity of your posts. Please, keep on. Just as a diary of your family life that you let us peek into :) Thank you so much for sharing your life with us, Lindsey!
    Ivanka, Ukraine

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  45. Why keep it public? Because I was going to share this post exactly, because I also have a blog and I have questioned myself the same things! But I think if God allowed you to have this many people checking on your blog is because He trusts you will be able to deliver his message! Is a responsibility I see as temptation what you are going through now! Don't be afraid to post your honest life. If there are trials, people can relate, and if your life is a happy one, there is a chance people will see that you have a happy life not because you homeschool or whatever, but because God is truly present in your family! So people who realizes it might want to search for God, too. And I agree with all the other comments: you have never left me feeling envious or depressed but rather happy for you, and there are many blogs that make you feel the opposite. And what really draws me to your blog is about learning to really enjoy my children, individually. The little motherhood moments. The beauty of your delicate soul and the soul of your husband and children! And I have a happy, God centered life, but I can easily forget to enjoy my children, to be selfish with my own things. I have a great husband but he can also be challenging to be more spiritual! I don't homeschool, but have lots of friends who do! I still don't think we are going that way, but I can see it working well for you!

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  46. I read your blog and one other, 18underoneroof. Check it out, it might give you some insight.

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  47. I just started reading your blog and I love it. The first post I read was about how most families just have two children... And I just had my second child two weeks ago. I'm currently struggling through the newborn stage and already doubting myself if I can handle more children although I know in my heart that I would love more. I think back to your beautiful words and they give me hope. You and your family are a wonderful example for me. The Holy Spirit will guide you as to whether you keep the blog public or private and I will support you either way. Thank you for everything you have shared and written so far! God bless you. And I'm so very happy about the good news regarding your mama. :)

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  49. Hi Lins! I'm thinking maybe some thoughts from JP2 would be helpful (from his "Letter to Artists"):

    "Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece."
    This is one of my favorite thoughts of all time. I think that you do this because of who you are (and, furthermore, I think I know where you got the knack!) and that authenticity is what draws people to your writing in the first place. In addition, obviously writing IS an art, and so you may find that the following apply to you as well:

    "In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by Christ, the Church needs art. Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God. It must therefore translate into meaningful terms that which is in itself ineffable. Art has a unique capacity to take one or other facet of the message and translate it into colours, shapes and sounds which nourish the intuition of those who look or listen. It does so without emptying the message itself of its transcendent value and its aura of mystery.
    The Church has need especially of those who can do this on the literary and figurative level, using the endless possibilities of images and their symbolic force. Christ himself made extensive use of images in his preaching, fully in keeping with his willingness to become, in the Incarnation, the icon of the unseen God."
    "It is in living and acting that man establishes his relationship with being, with the truth and with the good. The artist has a special relationship to beauty. In a very true sense it can be said that beauty is the vocation bestowed on him by the Creator in the gift of “artistic talent”. And, certainly, this too is a talent which ought to be made to bear fruit, in keeping with the sense of the Gospel parable of the talents (cf. Mt 25:14-30).
    Here we touch on an essential point. Those who perceive in themselves this kind of divine spark which is the artistic vocation—as poet, writer, sculptor, architect, musician, actor and so on—feel at the same time the obligation not to waste this talent but to develop it, in order to put it at the service of their neighbour and of humanity as a whole."

    Don't be ashamed or discouraged from simply creating something beautiful in whatever capacity you feel called to do so! Pax, Linny! :-)

    (Full text here: https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/letters/1999/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_23041999_artists.html)

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  50. I find your blog to be a source of encouragement. If one feels left behind after reading something it's because they chose to compare and allowed that comparison to make them feel that something was lacking in their life. I struggle with what to blog about at times. Personally, I feel blogging about my own marriage is probably not the most prudent thing to do. While it might be helpful to someone out there to hear from someone else who is in a marriage where husband and wife do not see eye to eye in matters of faith, it likely isn't going to help my spouse along the path to holiness. Same thing with blogging about some of the trials of motherhood. Discussing a child who struggles with a particular fault and making it public isn't doing them any favors either and is probably best kept within the privacy of the family. So I'd say keep blogging the beautiful things that you do and sharing how you and your family joyfully live out our Catholic faith and don't worry about how what you're writing makes someone else feel. Those who will read what you have to say have a choice to read or not read. They also have a choice to compare or not compare. If I were you, I'd pray on it and see where Our Lord leads you.

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  51. Love your honesty; I am about to abandon the Internet altogether and just go back to living In Real Life!! How many unnecessary pressures we put on ourselves through comparison with what we see online.

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  52. I think you have put your finger on the problem with most "mommy blogs" out there. But I think your blog has a lot of potential. I am new to following you, and have greatly appreciated your perspective as you journey with your mother through illness. I am a nurse and witness so much physical suffering day after day at work. Sometimes it is more than I can take. Your blog reminds me of the human and spiritual journey that happens at home, with loved ones, that truly can be beautiful, a part of the journey I don't get to witness on the job. So I thank you for your contribution to the blogosphere, and hope that you will continue to write the truth in love.

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  53. I have always loved your blog, and like many have already said, it is a shining gem in the blog world. I do hope you continue writing. Your perspective on children, family, openness to life have all been so inspiring to me, and clearly to so many!

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  54. I'm an old, childless Anglican in Canada. I'm not a super-regular reader but each time I come here I am touched by the obvious love you have for your family and your faith. Please don't go away. The world in general (and me in particular) needs to know that folks such as you are out there fighting the good fight.

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  55. I've never chimed in before but just wanted to add to what so many others have said here. Your blog is inspiring. You set an example for me. You have helped make me a better person. I admire you so much as a Mother, a Wife, a Daughter a Sister and most of all for the example you set with your faith. And as an interesting side note, your blog entry, "why most people only have two children", I just want you to know I read it as a Mother of two and at 41, had a third child. I passed it along to a close friend of mine who had a 9 and 11 year old and within a couple months of reading it, she became pregnant with her third! Then a third friend I gave it to, with an 8 and 15 year old, again within just a couple of months of reading it, announced she was expecting her third child! It just seemed to speak to all of us what was in our hearts. So while I think you set out to just make a record of your life with your children, without seeking to, you are actually accomplishing much more than that. And that is the beauty. Such a gem this blog is and will always be for them, but it is a gem for us too. Whatever your decision, thank you, it's been a pleasure, an honor and most of all, a true blessing, getting to know you and your adorable family.

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  56. Hi Lindsay, I just wanted to let you know that I love reading your blog. I'm 25 years old not married nor do I have children, but I have learned so much from you. Please keep sharing!

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  58. Lindsay! Oh please don't stop blogging! The internet and world well I've in is so full of awful and bad crap! Adding your light to the internet world brightens my life! It would be sad for others to compare themselves against you but don't swell on that. We need women of good examples to learn about! Reading that your 3.5 year actually reads sparks my brain to think "hey kimber, you CAN work on stuff like that with your 3 year old!" not at all do i feel bad for myself that mine is not. I think that you live a wonderful Christ centered life, and I love love love hearing about it, it brings me joy and goals to apply different characteristics to my own family, truly. I would love to hear more about your homeschooling life, the older my kids are getting and the more I learn from others (that's you!) the more I'm like "Oh THAT'S WHY people feel the pull to homeschool and that's how it can be done!" We need examples of Christ centered women teaching and raising families. I completely understand the words you wrote about about comparison, me me me, others feeling bad about themselves but think of all the good your words CAN DO for others! Like me! I'm the photographer in Lincoln who reached out to you about doing family pictures (I keep forgetting to email you back, yes May we can do!) because you've influenced my life for good through the internet! I hope the Lord leads you in the right way dear friend!

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  59. To me sharing things on a public blog is like sharing them in any other conversation ... to help others, perhaps to be helped by them, to build up community and relationships, etc. If I have something I could not in conscience tell a friend, or felt like I would only tell in order to brag etc, then I wouldn't blog about it. (Indeed I have not been blogging much lately because all that's been on my mind is highly personal.)

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  60. I totally understand why you are writing this blog post. I get it. I feel the exact same way about Facebook. My husband works in Law Enforcement. We post no photos of our children online because of his job. I have a hate/love relationship with Facebook. I feel like if you want to know how I am doing, I have a landline and an email account. That being said, you don't know me. I came across your blog from a friend who read a post about motherhood you wrote, thought it was beautiful and e-mailed me the link. I have been following you since. I love seeing the photos of your kids and how they are growing. I am simply amazed at how many children you have and how you make it work. I love reading about how you love each of your children with abandon. I love reading about all the questions you have. I grew up Catholic. I go to a Christian church now and married a non-Catholic. I love reading your views on Catholicism as I feel like I didn't learn all of the things you know about it when I was growing up. I grew up in Kansas like you did. I live in Nebraska now. So, even though I do not personally know you, I enjoy reading your blog. I hope you do not stop publishing, but I completely understand if you do. Great post!

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  61. I echo the sentiments of so many here who hope you do keep your blog public. You are an inspiration...a beautiful example of holiness and truth. I look forward to every post. God bless you always.

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  62. Dear Lindsay - Yours is the only blog I read anymore. Your pure heart and love for Christ and your family shine through. It is because of this focus that you never slip into bragging or inciting covetousness. Perhaps it is a particular gift of communication from God that enables you to do this. Long ago, a woman named Kristen had a blog, and I would read it because it refocused my thoughts on God, faith, and family. She stopped blogging, and I went searching for others to read. So often, I would leave feeling discouraged, envious, too old, too chubby, too poor, too rich, or too faithless. Then I found your blog, and I love it. It makes me want to be more...me. It refreshes me to refocus on those people and tasks God has given me. You have a calling here. If you can find time for it, I do hope you will continue sharing here. God bless you. -Jeannine

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  63. I've been reading your blog since Vianney was born. I, like many others, have never commented before. You're openness and perspective speaks directly to my heart. Never do I compare your situation to mine. Through your words...I've learned to see my own life differently. I'm always pondering what you write about, and finding ways to make it applicable. Although I know that keeping this blog is "one more thing to do", please know how much you're touching a small part of all of our hearts. You've been more impactful than you'll ever know. May God's blessings be upon you and your family always.

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  64. I agree with so much of the above commenters, particularly those who describe your blog as full of truth and integrity. I'd like to add, regarding your first point, that we women need a dream (I'd underline "need" if I could). The difficulty is finding the right dream and then finding how to live it. Your blog shows us the right kind of dream. We must figure out how to make it work in our lives. That's tough, of course, but the answer is not to stop dreaming. I think Conrad has it right in Lord Jim.

    I've benefited immensely from reading your writing over the last couple years and owe you a great deal for this vision you've gifted us.

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  65. Oh my. I'm reading the comments and smiling. Lindsay, you are such a gift to so many, don't you know that? I love your blog. I've often thought that maybe I should stop reading blogs because they distract me from my work at hand with a million ideas of ways to do xyz like the Smiths and Stevensons. But in the end, I like reading blogs. So instead I narrow it down and read the ones that are helpful and uplifting. Yours is one of those. If your purpose is simply to record your days for your children, then yes it doesn't make sense imo to keep a public blog. Your blog is more than that. You spread truth goodness and beauty all over the place. You share your heart and ask the tough questions even when you don't have the answers
    Blessed to know you, Lindsay.

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  66. Oh my. I'm reading the comments and smiling. Lindsay, you are such a gift to so many, don't you know that? I love your blog. I've often thought that maybe I should stop reading blogs because they distract me from my work at hand with a million ideas of ways to do xyz like the Smiths and Stevensons. But in the end, I like reading blogs. So instead I narrow it down and read the ones that are helpful and uplifting. Yours is one of those. If your purpose is simply to record your days for your children, then yes it doesn't make sense imo to keep a public blog. Your blog is more than that. You spread truth goodness and beauty all over the place. You share your heart and ask the tough questions even when you don't have the answers
    Blessed to know you, Lindsay.

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  67. Lindsay! You must do what you feel is God's will for you and your family. I must tell you though, you have been a beautiful example to me with your family. You make me realize that I too can answer God's call to generosity. We've had 4 babies in 5 years, and if God wills it, we will have 4 more in the next 5 years! It's a blessing to me to see other families raising their children in a Godly way. We attend the Traditional Latin Mass, and even in that community it can be hard to find an authentically Catholic home as you have. I smiled when I saw your post about the home enthronement! We are enthroned to Christ the King as well. Do you listen to Audio Sancto? It is now on a site called Regina Prophetorum. It's a collection of beautiful Catholic sermons. We NEED GOOD HOLY AUTHENTIC resources for our faith to flourish. We need to feel like we aren't alone. You are a light that glows in the filth of the internet. Being Catholic isn't just going to Mass on Sundays. We need to live and breathe Christ all day every day. Our homes and children need to be saturated with Christ. We need to be the light of the world without being OF the world. Don't put your light under a bushel. God Bless you and your family!

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  68. You have so many comments and I don't have time to read them so I'm sure what I will say has already been stated. But I love your blog more than any other blog. I love your blog because it gives me hope that having a large family can be joyous. It gives me hope that homeschooling can be joyous. That teaching your children your faith is possible. Your blog shows me what being a mom can be like. My family won't ever look like yours, and that's fine. I never feel left behind. Please don't stop blogging. Your blog is the most hopeful blog I read.

    A second reason to blog is for your own record. These precious years are flying by and you'll be able to look back and read about all these little moments that you blog about, and might have otherwise forgotten.

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  69. I blog, but I am not able to photograph and write like you can. I don't think you show off or depict unrealistic ideals. Love is what comes across. For weary mothers, it is a blessing to peek into the loving home of another mom like ourselves, and be reminded of what it is we are doing and of how beautiful that is. Your blog is a beacon of hope that encourages me every time I read. You share wisdom. You share the goodness of God. When you share your love of your family, I am inspired, and I take that into my own home and have someone to imitate. I don't have many encouraging role models, I don't have older sisters. (I hope you keep blogging!) God bless.

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    1. Yes yes yes! I agree with everything she said and am in the same boat. - needing role models and finding one in you. Thank you for blogging.

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  70. Lindsay, I understand the questions you're asking. But I must say, your blog is the ONLY one--even compared to some well-known Catholic bloggers out there--that has inspired me toward authentic holiness. You have a genuineness about you, and a true desire for God's will, that is utterly inspiring. I wonder if it must be a calling that you have. I know I'm not the only one you've inspired! And honestly, even when there are various opposite opinions on certain blogs when I'm discussing them with my friends, it ALWAYS seems that your blog is one that is universally loved and appreciated by all. I'm not even joking.

    I've heard many of the complaints that you bring up above being discussed about other blogs out there, and yes, those things surely happen and perhaps other blogs are stumbling blocks for the authors AND the people who read them. But there are others who truly have a gift for reaching others and spreading the love of Christ and the beauty of His Church through this means (Mother Angelica and EWTN comes to mind) and I truly, truly believe this is a gift you've been given and I do sincerely pray that you'll continue blogging.

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  71. Dear Lindsay, I understand the issues you are struggling with, and I think the very fact that you are considering them are part of what makes you so unique. I understand your need to keep your marriage sacred and your family holy, but please know what a light you shine in this world. I don't even remember how I found you, but you have inspired me so much in my own journey of motherhood. I have only one child, and may never have more. I am a Christian but not a Catholic. I probably won't homeschool. And yet, I love your blog. I believe you share from your heart, and your joy in motherhood, marriage, Christian life. You don't present a perfect life---of course you don't! You've shared with us your struggle as you watch your mom, and what you went through during your pregnancy with Lourdes, and your miscarriages. And yet, no matter what your struggle, you always point us back to God. You are living your life for HIM and that shows! I never feel like I compare myself to you, instead I always think, Here is another way someone can live as a beacon for Christ. I think you have always been tasteful in what you've shared about your marriage and your children's lives. I hope you continue to blog, I so look forward to new posts. I know you will make a good choice and you will prayerfully consider it as you do all major choices! God Bless you and your family!

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  72. Almost 10 years ago I'd had my first child and my husband I were in the midst of learning how to be Catholic. We had no idea how to be a Catholic family or how one raised children in a Catholic environment. Worse, we didn't know how to have a long and happy marriage or how to manage having more then one or two children. We didn't know anyone who had done or was doing these things in real life. It was blogs that gave a peek into lives that we could only imagine. It made it seem possible; that you could have a happy, loving marriage, that you could take your faith seriously, that you could forgo birth control, that you could delight in a multitude of children, that you could homeschool those children.

    Those blogs didn't make me feel left behind, they gave me hope. It took many years before we started to get into a situation where we were meeting like minded families and making a community of them. The internet got us through the interim.

    There is always a risk that people can feel beaten down by a perceived 'havingness' or achievement, but on the other hand you are also presenting a powerful and potentially life changing witness.

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  73. Dear Lindsay, I discovered your blog only a few months ago but I keep coming back, just because there's something more human, more real, more unique, more beautiful, more familial about it. It's been said better above but please know: you give the inspiration to create a holier family in at least one Belgian home;-).

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  74. As a Catholic, unmarried, child-free person in my late 20s, some family blogs (especially Catholic ones?) make me feel awful simply because I don't have children. Never here! I love reading about how delighted you are by your kids. I help out a lot with my nieces and nephews, and you inspire me to be patient with them and enjoy the stage each of them is in. I never take your positive stories to mean that your family is perfect, but that you don't want to denigrate your husband and kids online. I love that! It reminds me to see the best in people and report on them in the kindest honest light.

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  75. Two quick things that I must say:
    1. Any writing opens the writer up to scrutiny, jealousy by others, and criticism. But, where would YOU be if you had not read personal stories that have so shaped and inspired you? Like your favorite books you've mentioned before on the blog. Yes, they have encouraged you so much. But others have questioned their authenticity, criticised them, disbelieved their stories and been jealous of their testimony. Any writer will face the same. Your blog is no different. The comments above show though that your words are bringing life and meaning to many. If jealousy and criticism also come by a few, don't be surprised. It isn't about you, it's about them.
    2. I have been a faithful Christian for decades. Before I read your blog I had no interest in Catholicism or church history. I believed Catholics to be superficial and not serious about following Jesus or practicising their faith. After reading literally every blog post you've written, I am interested in Catholicism and church history, and know without a doubt that Catholics like family are not only sincere and serious, but on the road to Sainthood.

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  76. Love, love, love this blog entry! So many wonderful thoughts and questions!

    One Bible verse kept coming to mind over and over again though as I read your post. "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

    I think as long as you keep Christ at the center (which you always seem to do), it can be a beautiful thing to share your life with others. I think I remember seeing some CC memory work in some of your photos awhile back, so I take it you are a Classical home educator. So with that frame of reference, please allow me to say that I find so much goodness, truth, and beauty in your posts. And more importantly than that, you cause me to look for MY goodness, truth, and beauty in my day-to-day life with my little ones.
    God bless you Lindsay!

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  77. I am a mother and grandmother and I love reading your beautiful, faith-filled, sincere blog on occasion. Thank you! I'm in awe of what you do.
    If I were a young mother and felt discouraged and dejected by this or any other blog, I would definitely stop reading blogs.
    A mother's discouragement is poison to the children and husband and family. Turn away from the computer, and turn to your family. Look at them and cherish them. Take your own photos.
    "Comparison is the thief of joy."

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  78. I wish you would keep blogging because you are a source of encouragement to me, as a Catholic (convert) homeschooling mother of 4 and open to life. I was an only child, and as a convert, I have only know small families and have grown up with values very different from the ones I now endeavor to hold. Blogs like yours remind me of why I make these choices, the joys involved, acknowledge the sacrifices involved with an attitude of "WORTH IT!!", and sometimes give me ideas for celebrations, Catholic living, large family logistics, etc. Love your blog and was so happy when your mother was cleared of cancer!!! I was telling people about God's miraculous healing hand as though she was my own family member (well, she IS my sister in Christ) :) Blessings!

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  79. I think all your concerns are valid. I enjoy your blog but cannot counter any of the points you made. I think you should make your blog private and perhaps, down the road, you can compile and edit the posts into a retrospective that you may choose to share with the public. But until then, I say follow your heart, maybe go private for the rest of the year and see how it suits you, and as you reflect on 2016, if you feel called back to public, then do so.

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  80. My two cents:
    This is a community you have unintentionally built- one of prayer requests, sharing of life's joys and an example of a beautiful family in a world that would only see/point out the negatives. I think you've mentioned a few times how you don't have time for moms groups and volunteering like you'd like- I think this is your nitch. You've got a talent for writing in such a powerfully honest and sincere light. Your blogging brings others closer to Christ and is shared and loved by many. PLUS it has the benefit of being a journal your young ones will treasure when they get older. Your blog has grown to reach those across the globe- unintentionally and by no effort on your part. That, in my ever to be humble opinion, is all Christ's work. Evangelizing from your home :) Obviously, for selfish reasons I'd like you to keep blogging. But I would never read your blog again if it meant that you would continue. You have a gift of sharing the beauty in life. That's a rare thing these days. Pray and do what brings you peace...and if you're still undecided my vote would be to continue :)

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  81. Dear Lindsay,

    I haven't commented before, but I have been happily reading your blog for a few years. I am a single women (late 20's), and I teach at a Catholic classical school. I love reading your blog posts because you make a point to look for what is good, beautiful, and true in life. Even though I reasonably know that life is good, marriage is good, and family life is good because God is the author of it all, I sometimes have a hard time seeing it as good; therefore, when you write about it so sincerely and prayerfully, I feel as though I too get to see it for what it is---beautiful.

    Of course like all things sharing one's life via blogging can be used for evil, but I don't think you have to worry about that. If the intention of your blogging is good, then that is sufficient. I do not think you are culpable for someone else's envy just because you shared something desirable. If that were the case then all beautiful women would need to cover their beauty in public so as not to inspire envy in other women, but of course that would be ridiculous! Instead beautiful women must bear their beauty responsibly and modestly so as not to inspire lust, but after that they need not think of it as an evil, because all that is sincerely beautiful is good and leads to God. It is the responsibility of others--those viewing--to praise God for what they see and not to covet it.

    So, my long-winded point is that what you share is truly beautiful, and it leads me to contemplate God's beauty, and I am really grateful for it.


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  82. Thanks for this. I would respond by telling you what your blog - and a couple others like it - do for me. I am a 26-year-old single, female, Catholic convert, living with my brother in very-liberal New Jersey. I read your blog and others like it because as a convert, and as someone with a difficult childhood (divorced parents, etc.) I need to learn from more experienced Catholic women how to live a Catholic marriage and run a Catholic household and live a Catholic life with a husband and kids where divorce and birth control are off the table. My mother cannot teach me this. My stepmother cannot teach me this. My father cannot teach me this. My same-age Catholic friends cannot teach me this. You -and other women like you - can teach me this. It's not just about morality - though that, too, - it's about what it looks like on the ground. It's about your mistakes and your struggles and your successes. It's about knowing that I'm not nuts for the way I want to live my life and my marriage, even though it is so different than what I grew up with. Could it, in theory, inspire envy? I suppose it could. I am infertile, so in some ways seeing someone blessed with as many children as you, for example, could make me envious. But that's on me. Personally, I don't find that it does. I don't want your life, any more than a daughter wants her mother's exact life. I want to learn from your life. I'm going to adopt kids, some days, and reading blogs like this one is the only way I can build a framework for how I want to raise them, different from the way I was raised. God bless, and keep blogging, Anna

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  83. Dear Sweet Lindsay,
    Please, please know you have touched many souls with your blog. God has blessed you with a tender, insightful soul and many times your words have touched me and so many others in ways you may never know this side of Heaven. Beyond the impact you make on others through your blogging, you have also given us the blessed opportunity to pray for your family and loved ones by sharing your journey through life. You have forever impacted me by sharing your family's own Via Dolorosa with your precious baby girl and your dear, dear mother. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of meeting you along the Way. AnotherMom

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  84. I have learned more about mothering, parenting, and being a wife from your blog alone than from all the other blogs I have read combined. I have enjoyed so much seeing into your world and how your family does things. You are SUCH an inspiration to me. Not everyone has great examples like you as friends in real life and so we need to turn to the internet to "meet" people who inspire us in these ways. I could go on and on with how much your blog has helped me.

    Although I totally understand what you are saying-- nothing you have written has ever made me feel left behind! Just inspired!

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  85. I'm not a consistent blog reader but your blogs are inspiring as a "newer" mother (oldest is 5, youngest is in the womb ;) I appreciate your sharing in faith, family, need for prayers. I appreciate how you write from your heart and appear not to try to sell or get more views. You are just keeping up with your life and sharing it with us. I have connected with your morning sickness posts, having a wonderful mother who has to deal with medical issues and so on. You have a beautiful family! And the way you share your hope in the Christ through thick and thin is very encouraging. Thank you!

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  86. I'll be the broken record: you are completely inspiring. 100%.

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  87. If 100+ comments haven't convinced you, your blog is truly a unique and unrepeated source of inspiration. Your heart shines through this website like no other I have ever visited. The ONLY thing I have ever been jealous of when reading is your beautiful heart and the way it burns with love for your faith and family. Jealous in the best way, zealous to emulate you and love my God and my family better.

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  88. I love reading about your beautiful family. You inspire me to live my faith more fully and to persevere with homeschooling. I totally understand all your concerns, but I also believe with all my heart that your witness of your faith is reaching more people than you could ever know.

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  89. I come to your blog when I need to be reminded to delight in each of the precious, undeserved, good and perfect gifts that fill my home. Your pleasure in watching the little details in each of your children, your delight in their individual beauty encourages me to look more closely at my own children. To notice, to treasure, to be more present, to love them more selflessly. Thank you for the authenticity that displays Our Lord in your vocation.

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  90. This is surely a very good blog, thanks a lot for sharing such nice information here. healthform.org/

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  91. Just "happened" on your blog after not reading for a few years. It's 5:30 am and I am trying to get a few sips of coffee in before the troops wake up with their needs. I only have 2 with a 3rd on the way, but have felt so bogged down lately with the seemingly mundane of SAHM life. The posts I've read are the perspective I truly needed and craved. Thank you for being such a light, it's so encouraging to have someone who is in the treanches as well lift you up with words and tell you to keep going, and even more, remind you to enjoy the beauty you are surrounded by!

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