Making Home: Katie–Part I

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(We believe in Home-Centered Living.  We believe it’s good for women, men, children, society, the earth. This post is part of an on-going series we are calling, “Making Home” looking at the diverse lives of homemakers and those striving to live Home-Centered Lives. )

Making Home

We met Katie a year ago online. It was providential. Our hearts immediately felt a kinship, and we had to hold the reigns on our enthusiasm so as not to appear like crazy stalkers. We have been wanting to interview her for a year! So, this piece is a long time coming and much anticipated! Katie inspires us in our faith, in our femininity, and in our homemaking. And really, how many people drop John Paul II quotes in regular conversation? What’s not to love?! She has recently started a new website called MomClothes. She’s a fashionista who has this passion for helping women look and feel their best, honoring their whole person–body and soul.  ENJOY!

Making Home: Katie

Katie Rose of Mom Clothes

 The Provision Room: Welcome Katie! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Katie: I grew up in the dusty borderlands of New Mexico, spent my undergrad years in Indiana at the University of Notre Dame, and now live in Texas with my family. My wonderful husband, Devin, is a software engineer by day and an author by night; he’s written “The Protestant’s Dilemma” and “Farm Flop.” We are blessed with five children. Edmund is five and Josephine is two and the other three are with Jesus. I am excited about permaculture gardening, beekeeping, and pottery on a kick wheel.

Devin, Katie and their lovely children

 The Provision Room:  Well, let’s jump right in! There’s a stereotype about homemakers and moms in general that a lot of strong women have tried to dispel over recent years. Do you feel there is a stereotype about homemakers?

Katie: Good question. In my experience, most people are more open minded than the media portrays; certainly, words from people like President Obama and Cosmo magazine that denigrate full-time moms make me roll my eyes, but they are the minority. The moms who I know who hold full-time jobs outside the home aren’t dismissive of me as a full-time mom; no one asks if I spend my days getting pedicures and watching soap operas. It can be awkward at a social party, when I meet a new person and am asked, “So, what do you do?” I’ve learned to laugh and make a joke about working overtime but not getting paid for it. In my experience, most people seem to understand that all moms love their kids, whether they are full-time moms or full-time employees.

The Provision Room: It’s rather expected that the greater culture may misunderstand the role of a woman in the family, do you feel that this misunderstanding extends into the Church? How about in the woman herself? Do you feel most women understand their importance in the family and greater culture?

Katie: I am Catholic, so when I speak of the Church, I am speaking of the Catholic church, comprised of her teaching authority (Pope and bishops), doctrine, and her people in the pews. Catholic doctrine describing the precious value of women and their maternity is the most beautiful that I have ever found. I have studied Hinduism, evangelical Christian theology, and Buddhist teachings, and the Catholic understanding of what motherhood is and its fundamental value for the family and human society is the most rich and positive. This same attitude of treasuring mothers extends to Pope Francis and the bishops in general; Pope Francis has emphasized the right of mothers to nurse their babies in his presence and repeatedly praises the sacrifices of mothers. Parish life, however, does not always mirror the richness of Catholic doctrine. People get busy and moms sometimes are viewed merely as chauffeurs, chaperones, volunteers, and lay ministers. But, most parishes try to have groups for moms, to offer support and doctrinal formation. Many Catholics don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus and don’t know the rich beauty of feminine and maternal doctrine, so lay evangelists have much work to do.

Making Home: Katie

The Provision Room: We appreciate your (brutal) honesty and the challenge for us to share the truth better! How can we as Christian women help in that work?  What steps can we take to share the beauty of feminine and maternal doctrine?

Katie: We as women are most potent evangelizers when we are most fully ourselves. So, let’s start with answering the question, “Who is woman?” Woman is always Beloved Creation, Wife/Helpmate, and Mother. We see these archetypal truths written into our very bodies, and, since our bodies witness to the “shape” of our souls, as Saint Thomas Aquinas taught, then we can learn about our spiritual/emotional/psychological life from our bodies. The body expresses the person, as Pope John Paul II said. What I have just said is very deep and requires entire books to be written, but we don’t have space for that here, so I’ll briefly sum it up by saying it this way: Every woman is created by God for her own sake, as a precious daughter of the Father who is His most treasured beloved. However, we only find our lives by laying them down, in the example of Jesus, so we are only fully known in relation to the masculine; whether a woman is married to a man or consecrates her femininity to Jesus, she is only fully alive in relation to masculinity. Pope John Paul II called this masculine-feminine dynamism “complementarity.” And, as our bodies attest, when we receive the gift from our husband/Jesus (whether spiritual or physical), we bear new life through maternity. We women are always mothers, whether we are blessed with physical children or with hundreds of spiritual children. Sorry! I know that’s a lot of really deep philosophy in one paragraph.

Okay, so let’s look at evangelization through the lens of “truth about women”. First, if woman is a most treasured creation, then she can witness that reality to every person she meets and invite them into that relationship with God; woman, in herself, is the icon of all humanity. Think about the prophet Hosea and how the words that he spoke about his unfaithful wife were really the words of God for the entire people of Israel. Woman, when she joyfully participates in the creature-Creator relationship, is a very powerful missionary. Second, woman as Wife/Helpmate is an icon for every person of receiving God’s gift of love, of being welcoming and docile; Mother Mary is the most deeply alive and rich example of the Bride. She was so totally welcoming to the Holy Spirit that her “let it be done unto me” bore new life in Jesus Christ. So, women witness in a potent way, in their persons, to hearts that are soft and malleable to the Holy Spirit. And, finally, women as mothers offer a wonderful gift that is desperately needed in our lonely and machine-driven world. That gift is an awareness, always and fundamentally, of the importance of the person. Pope John Paul II called this intuitive awareness of the person the “feminine genius”; it means that, no matter where she is–in a physics laboratory, on a construction site, in the kitchen making dinner while nursing the baby, in the classroom, and so forth–that woman makes it personal. She is able to take abstract issues, such as a cancer diagnosis, and see the person behind it and reach that person’s pain. That feminine genius for personal values is fundamental in evangelization because, if people don’t feel like they are loved, then they won’t be open to Christ. Sharing the Gospel has to be first about the heart before it can be about doctrinal truth, and women are geniuses when it comes to the human heart.

As for sharing the truth about feminine and maternal doctrine, in my experience, a woman who is living from the depths of her richness is the most potent book that there is. So, first, a woman who lets Jesus reveal her to herself is incredibly powerful. And, second, intellectual formation is helpful, through reading Song of Songs, for example, and reading the accounts of Jesus’ interaction with women (how He loved women!); also, as a Catholic, I recommend doctrinal documents like John Paul II’s “Letter to Women”, “Mulieris Dignitatem (On the dignity of women)”, and “Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body”.

Making Home: Katie

Living that Maternal Doctrine

The Provision Room: That right there is a lot to digest!  (Mulieris Dignitatem is on our Must Read list for our children!) And the interview just keeps getting better! So, we are going to share this in two parts! Stay tuned for the second half of our special interview with Katie of Mom Clothes! In the meantime, go follow her on Facebook and Instagram! And visit her website: Mom Clothes.  [READ PART TWO HERE.]

Mom Clothes

Tulle and Leather, Mom Clothes

(All photos property of Katie Rose. This post contains affiliate links. Purchases through affiliate links help support this blogs and the families who love it!)

 


  1. Thanks, Daja and Kristina! I feel just as happy to know you.

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