This is My Body

“…  Slowly it happens, and despite our best efforts or lame efforts, we see the signs of age, and signs of wear on these beautiful baby making machines that we walk around in. I remember after baby number five I was trying on some clothes in a dressing room and in the multiple full length mirrors I saw… my bum.  I didn’t recognize it. It looked more like the rear end of one of the lunch ladies that I had stood behind as a kid in public school, than something that belonged to me…” read more

Kitchen Sink Prayers

“… Like a drug addict or an alcoholic on their knees, or a man lost in his travels turning to a map, or a starving person begging for food, I am there, too— genuflecting in my heart as I wash the dishes; kneeling at the tabernacle; bowing down in my heart as I bathe my children; lying down at night saying novenas while I sip my herbal tea in bed, eyes closed…” read more 


“… When I became pregnant with my fifth child, I had just gone through two back-to-back miscarriages. I was in a dark place, mentally. The pregnancy was fairly rough on me physically. I didn’t feel a sense of bonding with the baby the entire time. I confessed to my midwife toward the end that I was feeling a “pre-partum depression” if there was such a thing… she said there was. I was terrified to go through labor again and I honestly dreaded his birth…” read more

So I Will Comfort You

“… Had Levi not needed me so much, where would I have found those moments to be still, quiet, prayerful? Mothers need these pauses, punctuating their day, to sit, to sustain life— the baby’s and their own. If we let God’s grace move us, that baby’s hungry cry can be a call to prayer. A hungry cry mirroring the hungry cry of our very soul…” read more

Fermentation and the Future

“…  God doesn’t call us to be successful, but to be faithful, as the saying goes. We might not feel it, but being faithful to the duty of the moment is the yeast that changes the world. We can’t always see it happening; it’s not for now. It’s for the future. This past March, when Will and I took our first deep draft of creamy-smooth, richly-alcoholic apple cider, our eyes popped open in surprise and the rosy glow came to our cheeks. What magic was this?…” read more

Root Children: Back to Basics

“… I don’t know any mother who knows the names of ALL the plants, trees or little rodents around her home, let alone which constellations are where in the night sky throughout the year. I think most of us are stumbling along our way just trying to get matching socks on the childrens’ feet and to Mass on time. But one thing we all have in common is that we all have an inner ear: a deep sense of yearning for quiet, for peace, for stillness in a busy, plugged-in world. It is important to be able to listen and hear Jesus’ voice amid our busy lives. In this fast-paced world of instant connectivity,  I think we all continually need to put solid roots down… to unplug and get rooted…” read more

The Veil is Thin

“…   While my courageous Grandma died as she had lived; stoically, uncomplaining, even with calm anticipation, I on the other hand, have always been terrified of death. It’s not the ‘afterlife’ that scares me. In fact, the thought of Heaven seems at the very least dreamy, at best, unfathomably glorious.  It doesn’t scare me. Purgatory, mildly. I’ll totally be looking to get out, but it’s doable.  Hell?…hell yes!  But really, for me, it’s the actual act of dying; the physical reality of not being able to breathe, or walk, or sing, or talk…”  read more

St. Catherine, The Miraculous Medal and Me

“… Firstly, that our relationships with the saints are REAL. I’ve heard it said that saints have a habit of choosing us. In recent years I have felt that a certain saint was revealing to me his desire to be my patron, and reading the story of St. Catherine Laboure, I’ve come to believe it’s not all in my head. Whether it’s finding a holy card in a random place, having a dream, seeing his or her name on a street sign, these heavenly patrons are longing to tell us that they want our friendship and communion, and like our earthly friends, certain people just “click” with one another…” read more

Proof of (a) Life: the photography conundrum

“… I want to stay in the moment. I want to be here. I want to live a rich and full life, not prove I have a rich and full life. And part of that means sometimes leaving the camera at home and being okay with missing a killer shot or sweet moment. I think in the end, it’ll be worth knowing that just because something would make for a great photo, doesn’t mean it should…” read more

Homespun: Whipping Up a Feast Day

“… Now that I have a family of my own, I am overwhelmed by the lavishness of Holy Mother Church in giving us so many feast days (a different one each day of the year for heaven’s sake!). Not to mention my mother’s artistic model, my Waldorf books, my Pinterest boards, my mental picture of that impossible scenario, happy children quietly awaiting dessert. With all these lovely things calling out for attention, where do I start? Do I celebrate 365 days of holy men and women? It’s too much! And yet I feel the need to go beyond Christmas stockings and the Easter bunny…” read more

Working at Playing

“… One summer before I was married, I took over the last few weeks of a nanny job for my sister who was entering a convent. One of the girls in the family asked me to roll down a hill with her, tumbling over and over down the lawn. My first reaction was “No way!” but I thought I was being stuffy and wanted to prove how much fun I could be. So trying not to take myself too seriously, I consented. It was awkward. I forced myself over every bump of dirt and straw-grass until I rolled into the gentle slope of the bottom, sat up and sneezed, and thought, I don’t care to do that again. Ever…” read more 

These sample articles and all artwork is the property of Soul Gardening Journal. If you wish to share, we ask that you honorably give credit where credit is due; on social media please link folks to this page/website. In email or paper form, please include the name of our publication so as to direct folks to the source. Always include author’s name. Illustrations on this website are all original illustrations from the inside pages of the journal, by Mary Pemberton or Sia Hoyt. Thank you!