“Take it, take another little piece of my heart now baby.”

I’ve always loved that Janis Joplin lyric. The grittiness in her voice, and the lyrics.

I’ve always been someone who has been the first to just say, just take it.

You like my sweatshirt? You can have it.

I’m a horrible salesperson. I just would assume giving things away to people. I’ve always been a good sharer. I’m not competitive. I always have thought the more the merrier, and I’ve never understood how someone had to be the best. How we separated ourselves from others. It’s why I love theater kids. And what’s funny is it can be competitive, but they don’t let competitive come in the way of how they love. Of course there’s always that one.

It was never me.

Love is meant to be shared. Life is meant to be shared.

Recently as the division in our country has become even more vast, and the lines even more distinct and I feel this need to just make people look at each other. Like, make eye contact and see each other. This is a person you are writing about. Hurting. This is another human being.

We have lost sight of each other.

This past weekend was the pits.


Nothing worked out how it was supposed to, and the plans I had for our family fell through. Not for my family, most of them went ahead and did their plans, but for me. I stayed home. I sat. A lot. I cried even more. I talked to a couple of friends. I went through a box of tissues. And I thought about some messages I received from two individuals in the last week, both who have not felt love because of who they are by their families. I cried some more. Then I read about the monstrosities done to indigenous children North of us, at schools run by my Church. By this time my hair was covered in snot.

Oh world, take another little piece of my heart.

Oh families, who hide under rules and behind rhetoric and forget to look at the children you carried in your womb and fail to see how fearfully and wonderfully made they are in God’s image.

Oh humans in my church, you cruel evil people who have hurt children time and time again – you break me.

“You know you got it, if it makes you feel good.”

You. Not God.

You. You. You.

We have forgotten each other.

We have forgotten to love. We have forgotten to cherish the lives of others beyond our own.

Many of you know I am pro-life, but I want to explain that it goes so much deeper than what the media portrays.

Recently I was talking to a dear friend who has walked through life with me since I was 16. We’ve sang together, celebrated life together. We’ve grieved great loss together, and both of our lives in the last couple years have been tricky. We are both called to big things, but they are things because we have been crushed by grief and loss. And she dropped a big truth bomb on me:

“The world is not ready to be pro-life. You are not ready to be pro-life.”

And I thought about it. She’s right. She is SO right.

Let me explain further. The Church is a Hospital for the Sick. As a Catholic, I believe we are receiving the most precious gift of the body of Christ at every Mass, and so in all honesty, most of us should not be receiving the Eucharist because in the words of Wayne from “Wayne’s World”…”We are NOT worthy.” We say special prayers before hand in order to prepare ourselves, but we aren’t worthy if we believe this is THE Jesus. And we do. So when we are discussing who should and shouldn’t receive the Eucharist, I feel like we need to focus first on solving the above topics, like how we can be a more pro-life society period. Because we are not ready.

It’s like going to a PTA meeting where there’s a lot of circling around, but nothing gets changed because the real problems, the root problems don’t ever get addressed…the HEART, and deep tissue issue. We need to go back to the basics of the Gospels and who Jesus was ministering to, have some serious “coming to Jesus” with anyone and who is adding division, the modern day Pharisee whether they work for the church, work for the public, work in media, because they are hurting people. They are causing deep irrevocable damaging wounds behind the guise of faith, behind the guise of love. And that is not pro-life. That has never been pro-life. We need to stop throwing stones, and start picking people up, and looking at them in the eye.

The hard truth is that we aren’t ready to be a pro-life nation. We aren’t. We say we are. But then we would need to embrace all of it.

We have to be willing to take care of the widow, and help take care of her family and her in her grief and beyond.

We need to take care of the prisoner, to make sure they have good care, and to be for programs that help their families and them succeed when they leave prison. We need to be against the death penalty, because that is being pro life.

We need to have good training for First Responders, and support for ptsd, and do proper care for their families if they are killed on duty.

We need to take care of the poor, and not just the poor that are convenient. We need to care for those who are on welfare, and those who make us uncomfortable, and who we refuse to look in the eye.

We need to care for the immigrants. We need to offer protection and not separate families. I grew up with migrant families. I grew up with the hardest working families, who worked for pennies for their families trying to make it here. I will always take care of them.

We need to take care of the mentally ill. We have failed them for so long, and now we need to add them to the addicts because many of them have become self medicated. And we need to take care of the addicts, and those who live in tents. We need to stop legalizing things but making programs affordable for addicts and giving them support to get help. And we need to support their families. That is being pro-life.

We need to have programs for Foster kids. Good long term programs for foster families. On going support, and lots of options for adoptive families, and teen moms.

We need to care for the dying. Truly care for them.

We need to listen to the marginalized. Those whose existence makes us uncomfortable, because they identify differently. Maybe we should just start letting people identify as human beings. Because truly that’s all anyone really wants is to feel human. To feel whole. And when we ignore and discount them – we discount how God sees them. He loves them, even if they make you uncomfortable. I get it makes you uncomfortable, but with suicide rates so high THAT makes me uncomfortable. Being pro-life means acknowledging their lives.

Those who are on the brink. The mentally disabled. Those who need good care. We need to care more.

And yes, of course it extends to the unborn, because yes, I lost a baby halfway through my pregnancy and she had fingernails and was fully formed and her life was precious and sacred. I love her with all my being, and I want to adopt all the babies! And I know someone is going to read this and get technical with their catechism, I know mine too, because that’s what we do these days, we pick and get technical, but you are also not ready to be truly pro-life.

Because 21 years ago someone I love very much got pregnant in High School during her senior year. The people who were the most judgmental were the community who had watched her grow up. Who sat in mass, and saw her every Sunday. The same group who marched in “Right to Life” Rallies with her. Who knelt and prayed the Rosary outside clinics wouldn’t even make eye contact with her. Because she was damaged. After the baby, who is my godchild was born, none of them offered to help. None of them offered to assist with childcare so a barely 18 year old could work and go to school.

And they missed out. She fought her way, and is an incredible Mom. And my goddaughter is living proof in the beauty of life.

But I won’t march in those rallies, because they don’t prove you are pro-life. They prove you can walk somewhere in groups.

Instead I will always make eye contact with a young mom and say Congratulations. When my kids know someone who gets pregnant I’ll ask what they may need. I will offer to help, I will offer to baby sit and make dinner. I will show up.

But this world isn’t ready.

I was messaging with a friend from childhood who said instead of moving from your state to get away from whatever you’re running from “Get off social media.” And I agree…Here is my advice right here right now..

  1. My husband said recently “Jesus is a difficult lover.” meaning when you love Jesus, and He comes in many different forms you show up and love him, even when it’s difficult. My husband attributed the quote to when he lived with the Missionaries of Charity Sisters. And so I’ve carried that with me through prayer every day since…if we want to change the world we need to love people even through the difficulties and see Jesus in them.

2. You don’t need to move, you need to TURN OFF THE NEWS. Turn off Fox. Turn off CNN. Get off Social Media, Seriously. If you do that and your life DOES NOT improve with that anxiety, I will buy you a HUGE Diet Dr Pepper. I pinky Promise. But seriously turn off the news. It’s becoming like a tabloid. I’ve started fact checking some popular people and it’s bad. And they are mean too. You don’t need that meanness.

3. Read your bible. Journal. Pray. The last couple months prayer has sustained me through so much and I just can’t recommend it enough. If you do that and it doesn’t work I will buy you a HUGE Diet Dr. Pepper as well. See Double Diet Dr. Pepper.

4. We’ve gotta love better. Stop looking for validation and start just loving those around you.

5. Right now, name five things you are grateful for. FIVE. Do that every day.

6. Don’t just text back. Have an actual conversation. Answer the phone. I think we have lost our connection. And it’s not healthy and it’s hurting us and others. Call someone. Facetime. Meet for coffee.

I read this quote today and it kinda hit me right in the gut:

“Church practice has been more influenced by Plato than by Jesus. We invariably prefer the universal synthesis, the answer that settles all the dust and resolves every question even when it is not entirely true over the mercy and grace of God.” -Richard Rohr

You can take another little piece of my heart now baby.

But still…

I’ll take mercy.

I’ll take grace.

I’ll take God.