June 4, 2012

Tess and I sat down at one of our yearly meetings a couple of months ago to talk about The Feminine Gift.  One main topic of conversation was how to reach more women – how to tell more women that they are beautiful, needed, unique, special, wanted and blessed by Our Heavenly Father.  This really has become a mission for us – as our conversation seemed to unconsciously reveal the passion we felt for femininity and the gift that every woman is to the world.  We also bantered about how to build an online community, whether or not to sign up for twitter and facebook, whether to register a domain name, but most important of all, we discussed how we are doing the Will of the Father just by being who we are and writing what we write. 

There was a lot of tea and cookies involved in this visit. 

Among the many conclusions we came to, one in particular has been sitting on my heart and that is the fact that I have been writing somewhat anonymously since we started.  Neither Tess nor myself have a bio on the site – in fact for a while we weren’t even posting under our names, but under “The Feminine Gift”.  But it seems to me that if we are looking to bring together a little community of sorts, I need to be known.  So what follows is a "short" bio of myself – who I am, what I like and why I write.  I have even included pictures!!  I hope this inspires you to make yourself known – especially for all our loyal readers, both men and women.  If you are receiving nourishment from this site, do let us know. Tess and I have noticed the Spirit working between the two of us, (often our posts will mirror what the other has been thinking – and we live a good 7 hour drive from each other!) so tell us how the Spirit has been working in your life. 

Shall we begin? 

I was born the year the Atari was introduced, Star Wars came out and 9 months before Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope John Paul II.  I hail from a large Catholic, homeschooling family (6 boys, 2 girls and I am second oldest).  We were that family – homeschooling when nobody did it or knew what it was, and doing crazy weird things like attending mass every day and singing and playing the violin in different church choirs around town.  When pressed, my parents admit that they were aiming for 12 children, so they shrug and regretfully say, “we only have 8”.  Growing up in a primarily ‘boy’ household had several different effects on me.  For one, I became obsessed with girly things – dolls, marriage, food and how to make it, laundry, tea and tea parties, Nancy Drew, babies and babysitting, etc. - after all, if I didn’t pay attention to these things and have them around, who would show the hooligans I lived with what really mattered in life?  I was the only girl until my sister was born when I was about 14 years old.  My childhood was happy – my parents loved their kids and were constantly thinking up new ways to do fun things – like buying a trampoline or taking us on camping trips across Canada.  We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had enough for what we needed, and a tiny bit extra. 

The Wilds of Northern Ontario
When it came time to apply to Universities, a friend got me to visit the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and I loved it.  Despairing that I’d ever be able to afford going there (the Canadian dollar at that time was worth half the American dollar), upon returning from the ‘come and see’ weekend, we found that an anonymous donor had left one thousand dollars cash in our mailbox.  That sealed the deal for my mom, and though I know they lived sparingly while they helped me through school (with 6 other kids at home), I graduated three years later with a major in biology and a minor in theology, but more importantly, with a deep understanding of God’s personal and everlasting love for me. 

Not one who really knew (nor still knows) what she wants to do when she grows up, I have worked at an assortment of eclectic jobs – the most recent being the Assistant Dean of Students at a small Catholic Liberal Arts Academy in the harsh-yet-beautiful wilds of Northern Ontario – Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy.  With 90 students between the ages of 17 and 28 enrolled, and a husband who’s the Dean of Students, last year was an adventure!

Oh, I forgot, we have a dog named Aowyn.
May 1, 2004 was the day I married him, the best man on the face of the earth, the "Dean".  We had both travelled a bit, dated a bit and were ready to settle down.  Incidentally, we met at the Academy at which we now work (at a friend's wedding...their 10 year anniversary, and our “meet-a-versary” is this coming June 8th).  I don’t remember a time without Jason. 

Generally speaking, I’m the type of gal who feels she should read more classics, but doesn’t understand words like “blunderbuss” or “jack-boots” and can't be bothered to look them up.  At present, my shelves are crammed with books on etiquette and the art and science of keeping house sidled up next to the Spiritual Exercise of St. Ignatius and Abandonment to Divine Providence and sandwiched in between the Shopaholic series and books called things like Suicide by Sugar.  Oh and I’m a movie-holic too – and should probably start a movie-holics anonymous group.

The day I got very badly sunburned - Caya Coco, Bahamas
There are few things I like better than clean, pressed, fresh-air-smelling sheets, tea almost too hot to drink and fresh, warm blueberry crumble muffins with butter (not that my sheets are always pressed and there’s always muffins – but I LOOOOVE when there are).  I have reached the point in my life where I am completely fascinated and slightly obsessed with all things feminine.  I’m interested in true feminism (not the type that unites in hatred of all things male) and I genuinely strive to become who I was meant to be.

So why blog? 

Well, it was my mom and dad that started my love for the written word.  Dad used to read aloud to us kids all the time – funny short stories mostly.  Mom would read novels like the Narnia Series to us on family vacations.  They made a deal with all 8 of us kids, that when we were in grade 6 they would pay us 50 cents for every book we read.   I believe I made somewhere in the vicinity of $36 – I don’t remember much of that year except for the exact layout of the library...which I can draw for you if you want.  I once tried to write a story when I was in grade 7.  It was curiously based on, and had the exact same plot as a book I had just read.  Even the main characters had the same name.  I know.  But hey, how does that saying go - immature poets imitate, mature poets steal?  Same goes for writers.  Although I’m not sure T.S. Eliot meant whole books.  That was probably the last bit of “creative” writing I did up until 2 years ago when my BFF started a blog.  And that was the proverbial beginning of the end.  I found myself lying awake at night putting together blog posts in my head – endlessly writing, something I’d not really done before – so I took the plunge and started blogging and haven’t looked back.  I have next to no experience in writing creatively (I have a biology degree, right?) and aside from a creative writing class I took last semester, I've got nothing except a drive to express myself with words.

Point Pelee, Ontario (did I mention Jason and I love photography?)
 And that is me, in a very large and ridiculously verbose nutshell.  I am so pleased to ‘meet’ you here.  If I could, I would reach through cyberspace and make you a cup of tea (or coffee if that’s your fancy…hazelnut cream…with frothy steamed milk…or maybe a chai tea latte with a few cookies?).  Food aside, I am thoroughly pleased you’re here.  Feel free to stay a while - and while you're here, tell me something about yourself!


  1. Wow, do I have a lot to live up to or what? (Best man in the world?!) Really?
    I love you babe! Jason.

  2. I loved it, Sarah! Thanks. Not that I learned a whole lot, it being consistent with everything I have hitherto known about you. (I might try the 50 cent per book thing, though, with Isaiah.) And not that I believe you about marrying the best man on the face of the earth. Anne-Marie already did that. Nevertheless, I am really glad you and Tess feel called to and are serving this ministry. It is important. Perhaps I too shall get cookies when I next visit...

  3. Thanks Kerr, I'm glad I'm being consistent in my portrayal of...myself. And the 50 cents per book thing really worked for us. I don't think I was the highest paid in the family either!

    And Jason. You are (despite what Colin says). And I love you too.

  4. Sarah, you and I are a generation apart (uh, no; I'm not 4...), but I am echo echo echoing. I LOVE "The Feminine Gift".. great variety, wonderful writing. And I have to say that my mouth dropped when you mentioned Franciscan University and the thousand dollar gift. One of my sons is a graduate of the University, and after HIS first visit there, he wanted to go nowhere else. His dad said there was no way, financially. Immediately afterward, we had an out of the blue $1,000 gift from someone. The money came in $1,000 at a time that first year, in some amazing ways. Exactly enough, no more, no less. Our whole family was in awe.

    Oh - and off that subject, your "comment" section of posts often does not appear on my screen. Anyone else ever have this happen?

  5. Nancy, thank you so much for your kind words re: TFG. Tess and I work hard at it - and the Holy Spirit does 'his thing'. :) As for the financial side of FUS, isn't the Lord marvellous in his workings? My mom used to say he owns all the money, so why do we worry?

    And yes, I have heard that the comment section sometimes doesn't pop up or load properly. Try reloading once or twice - and that has fixed the problem for me. If it persists though, let me know and i will go to blogger with it.

    Thanks for reading Nancy. By the way, your blog is like a breath of fresh air. Thank you for your writings too!

  6. Miss Sarah, (said she) you are a treasure. It has been an absolute delight getting to know you, and working with you here at TFG. I commend you on your boldness in stepping out and telling us about yourself so readers could know you a little, too.

    God bless you, and may your keyboard continue to be fruitful!

  7. Thanks Tess *blush*. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you better and working with you too.

  8. Just found your blog, looking forward to reading. I am the eldest in a Catholic homeschooling fam of 7 kids (graduated from FUS in 2004). I love growing, learning, and especially sharing the beauty of true femininity with other women. All my life I've dreamt of being a mother...after 4 years of infertility, my journey and understanding how God is calling me to live my femininity is constantly developing (in part thanks to St. Edith Stein, luv her). God bless you in your blog! :)



What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? There is softness and hardness, compassion and ferocity. There is contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We're conundrums, especially to ourselves, but we all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition and love. We were made for love, and we are loved, cellulite and all. Here we aim to show every woman the richness and beauty of her own femininity and explore current issues relating to women in our world. We also wish to share our own experiences - exploring the joys and challenges of stay-at-home moms and single professionals and everyone in between. Welcome! So glad you're here!


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