Book Review: Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved

I read Kate Bowler’s new book in one sitting while a gurgling, nocturnal eight week old breathed into my neck. I am not sure I recommend reading another mother’s account of dying while still squinting through the haze of postpartum depression. But I am not sure I don’t recommend it, either. Sometimes solitary communion is just the thing for a dimmed heart. Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved is many, many things.

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Knock Once


red canna, georgia o’keeffe, 1924

It’s 3 am and I can’t sleep. Something woke me up. Something I ate or something I thought or something I hoped when my breath was deep and my eyes were closed or something I lost as my breath became shallow and my eyes flickered. I am either peaceful or discontent or just racked with heartburn.

It can be all three.

That’s allowed.

The baby kicked and I remembered she was there, somewhere inside of me, rolling and sucking and flailing and curling and cushioned and so I am somewhere inside of me, too. If I can sustain her, I suppose I can sustain me.

Nobody tells you that gestation, 40 weeks in the wilderness, is a time of mourning as well as expectation. I am a vessel of birth and so I am a vessel of death. My death. But her death, too.

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Sisterhood in the Seats

I’m two months away from giving birth to our third daughter. This means my husband and I will have three sisters living and loving just across the hall from us. Raising daughters is a joy containing all the shades of that word. Raising sisters is a work of wonder and wondering. Some aspects of sisterhood seem innate, others need to be learned. I’ve spent my daughters’ childhoods helping them navigate what sisterhood can mean, what it must mean, and what it doesn’t have to mean at all, not one little bit.

I’ve had to learn how to navigate these things myself. I’m still learning. [Read more…]