Personal Litany of Truth

I stumbled upon an Instagram post the other day that was especially great, greater even than the posts of cats being scared by cucumbers or those people I watched doing a frantic mini trampoline workout, believe it or not.

The writer, Lauren De Witt, introduced the idea of writing your own litany of truths. Apparently she learned about it from a Moms in Peace workshop, which I know nothing about, but I’m determined to give credit where credit is due because girl power is a thing and I am here for it.

The basic premise is something that I preach to my doula clients all the time, but oooobviously neglect to practice in my own life. I’m real good at offering sage advice to others, but real sucky at taking it myself. C’est la vie.

Any time my clients are feeling worried, doubtful, or afraid I always tell them to remember what’s true. It’s so easy to let our worry and anxiety snowball until it gets bigger and bigger and buries us completely. But we can stop that shiz right in its tracks just by naming what’s true. Once you start naming what’s true, it’s amazing to see how many falsehoods you were starting to believe.

What reminded me of the idea of making a personal litany of truth is that yesterday I ill-advisedly watched an Insta-stories post by someone detailing their homeschool work load. Y’all, is there anything that’ll make you feel like crap more than accidentally stumbling upon someone who’s doing “life” better than you? (Clearly I need to take a break from Instagram, that’s what.)

Here’s the thing: the homeschooling mom I saw is doing an incredible job with her kids. She wasn’t even pretentious or ass-holey about her homeschooling success. She was really lovely and genuinely proud of herself for homeschooling for the first time ever during the time of Covid and ain’t nobody going to fault her for that!

But for some reason her post just hit me right in the most sensitive spot in my jealous gut, the place where I’m already predisposed to feeling like a failure or at least a fraud. Y’all, this woman could’ve chronicled her own clean laundry mountain and I’d have felt like mine wasn’t good enough (and we all know my mountain of clean laundry is the best, duh).

So, as I felt myself spiraling into a pit of comparison and negative self talk, I remembered the litany of truths! For once in my life, I genuinely took my own advice and that of wonderful Lauren from the internet and wrote down a list of solid truth.

I ended up breaking it down into sections because I can’t not be verbose. Here’s what it looks like:

Parenting/Home Relationships

  • My children and my husband are not my report card.
  • I am not responsible for making everyone happy, but rather I am responsible for loving well the souls left to my care.
  • My parenting and homeschooling are mine alone. I am not competing or comparing, not better or less than, just walking my own path.
  • I am not solely responsible for how my children turn out. I am a guardian and a guide on their way, but I am not ultimately in control of who they become.
  • My children are not a product I am turning out. They are people with their own free will.
  • I am not responsible for other people’s emotions. I can see their emotions and try to help them, but I am not responsible for the speed at which they process or whether or not they accept my offer of help.
  • Most things are not about me anyway.
  • I am one person. I cannot do it all. But I can ask for help and accept it.

Mental/Emotional Health

  • My body is the dwelling place of the eternal God. When I abuse it, I abuse His temple. When I protect and care for it, I am worshipping Him.
  • My anger cannot overcome or overpower me because it comes from me. Like a labor contraction, I can see it coming and ride it until it ebbs. It will subside just as quickly as it rises.
  • I do not have to give space to frantic, worried thoughts. When I feel them I can stop, be still, and know that He is God. I can do this through Christ who gives me strength.
  • Being a good steward of my gifts means I am allowed to devote time to my talents without feeling guilty.
  • Discipline is an act of faith.

Fundamental Faith Truths:

  • I need Jesus in the Sacraments to be whole.
  • When I am weak, He is strong. My growth is found in humility.
  • I am beloved, created by love, for love, with the mission to love while on this earth. Nothing I can do or accomplish can change that truth.
  • The forces of Resistance cannot overpower the One who is in me.
  • Every moment is an opportunity to choose love, to die to myself and my will, to step out in faith believing that while I am not in control, He is.

So, that’s my personal litany of truths. I’m going to keep it and maybe put it on my white board and probably sleep with it and tattoo it to my face. If you see me looking like Post Malone, you’ll know I just really need to remember what’s true, mkay?

I’ll probably add to and take stuff away, but I’m pretty jazzed about how good it made me feel to just write all that out. I highly recommend it as a simple, concrete way to feel better about life. This has been my PSA, please go write true things down and be good to yourself.

You can find Lauren De Witt’s original post on Instagram @thecontemplativehomemaker…she’s a real good follow and her own litany is just beautiful.

As always, I hope you know how wonderful you are, my friends. You’re really important and even more loved. So go put that on your own list of truth. That’s an order!


You Matter

Guys, I’m struggling a lot lately and I know a lot of other people who are, too. It just seems like so many of us can’t catch a break. We don’t feel seen, we don’t feel heard. A myriad of big and little hurts has piled up and we can’t catch our breath for the weight of life pressing down on us. This is hard.


But here is what I know to be true: We matter. You matter.


flowers stock photo


Pope Benedict XVI said,

We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.


You are necessary, friend. You are valuable. You were thought up and planned out and you are important.


I’m going to take some time today to meditate on that truth, the truth that I’m necessary and I’m loved. I’m going to dig deep and breath deep and do my damnedest to feel it deep in my core that I am a remarkable creation, deeply loved by God, redeemed by Christ, and pursued by the Holy Spirit. And you are, too.


You are so incredible. I hope you know that.



Mary Susan













Photo via

The Holiday Barometer: A Guide for the Discerning Adult

As a parent of small children, sometimes the days just run together and the calendar eludes me. I never know what day of the week it is, much less the month, and all of a sudden it’s a week till Christmas and I have no idea how I got here. If you’re like me and can’t keep up with a calendar, I have a solution. Instead of bothering with that boring Julian calendar, which is so lame anyway, why not try my method? It’s simple, really. All you have to do is to observe the biological and environmental markers that appear mid-November and increase in both frequency and intensity the closer you get to Christmas. 


The Signs and Symptoms of Imminent Festivity are pretty obvious once you know what to look for. They include but are not limited to:


1.) The discovery of Darth Vader in the Nativity Scene. This will begin as soon as you decorate, but you’ll know the holiday is nigh when Vader is joined by Boba Fett, Lighting McQueen, Grumpy, Princess Jasmine, and a shoe. O come let us adore Him, indeed. (At least Jasmine is geographically relevant…)


2.) Glitter in the diaper. Just as the presentation of crayon poop reflects the recent purchase of school supplies, so does glitter poop reflect (literally, in some cases) the coming of our Savior. You’ll know it’s the third week of Advent if there are actual strands of tinsel present.


3.) Pine needles in the diaper. This is only an accurate barometer if you have a real tree. The more needles in the diaper, the older your tree is…or maybe it’s just a reminder that you should water that thing. Either way it tells you something.


4.) The disappearance and subsequent rediscovery of cookies. These’ll go walk-about just as soon as you’ve said something like, “Don’t eat those cookies they’re for your father’s work put them down I said noooooo!” Later, you’ll find the cookies hidden in the couch cushions in the basement. I don’t pretend to know why there will be seven half-eaten cookies down there, but when you find them, examine them closely. If it’s an un-iced cookie, you’ve still probably got a couple of weeks to go. If the cookie has had icing licked off of it, then Christmas is probably tomorrow.


5.) The state of the Jesse Tree. If you happen to have a Jesse Tree around, how does it look? If it still looks bright and hopeful with carefully placed ornaments on it, it’s early December. If your Jesse Tree is scraggly, ornaments flung haphazardly, and you haven’t noticed any new ones appearing, it’s likely that you’re nearing the end of December. Congratulate yourself that you took some good advice and “calmed-the-Jesse-Tree-down” then go make your morning cup ‘o Advent Baileys and coffee.


6.) The State of your living room. Are your kids making snow angels out of packing peanuts? If yes, it’s mid-December. If you’re finding them in your underwear drawer and in your shoes and don’t care, Christmas is next week. If the packing peanuts are less like snow angels and more like “holy geez, what’d you do to your house?” Christmas is tomorrow.


7.) The cheese in the gift basket. If, while fluffing the bow on the basket of cookies for the neighbors, you discover a half-eaten piece of cheese in the cellophane, Christmas is probably still like two weeks out. If, by “basket” you really mean “silver coffee can that I’m pretending is Pinterest-y enough to reuse as gift packaging” then Christmas is one week out. If, upon discovery, you eat the cheese because it’s the first meal you’ve had all day (Bailey’s coffee, notwithstanding), Christmas is tomorrow.



See? Super-simple and way better than a regular calendar! You can thank me later…