Group Writing Project: What are three things your parents did right?

October 4, 2007 | 31 comments

I recently ordered a bunch of CD’s of Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s The Rosary is a Place (which I was raving about here) to use for gifts for friends and relatives. I realized that I ordered one too many copies and was trying to think of what to do with the extra. And then it hit me: use it as a prize for a group writing project! I’ve been wanting to do one of those ever since I discovered the idea through MamaBlogga, and now I even have a prize (if you’re not Catholic, I assure you it makes a lovely coaster!)

What is a group writing project?

It’s where a bunch of bloggers write on the same topic and all their posts are consolidated in one place.

Why participate?

  • To get new readers to your site
  • To share your knowledge with others
  • To discover new blogs
  • To have a topic for a post that you didn’t have to come up with yourself 🙂

What’s the topic?

For this group writing project, the topic is: What are three things your parents did right?

How do I enter and what are the guidelines?

  • To let me know about your submission, leave a comment to this post or email me (a link to my address is here — include “group writing project” in the subject).
  • Your post can be in any format or have any title, so long as it addresses the topic.
  • It should be a new post (written on or after October 4, 2007) .
  • Please link to this page and reference the group writing project in your post.
  • The deadline is a week from today: Thursday, October 11th.

What’s the prize?

As I mentioned above, the prize is a CD that I cannot say enough good things about, Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s The Rosary is a Place. I apologize that this is Catholic in nature — it wasn’t my intention to have a specifically Catholic prize, it just happens to be the only thing prize-worthy that I have to give. It’s either that or a broken stapler and some old pacifiers. 🙂

The winner will the chosen at random.

I look forward to reading the entries!


  1. Kristen Laurence

    What a great idea. I purchased that cd after I read your first recommendation (and I love it!), but I may put a post together anyway. What a grateful topic!

  2. Jennifer F.

    Kristen – please do put together a post anyway! Maybe you could pass the CD along to someone else if you get it!

  3. el-e-e

    Ooh, I am excited. I could use that CD and my parents did lots of things right…. fun! I’ll try to enter! 🙂

  4. :o)

    I’m in!

  5. Tertium Quid


    You have a great blog. I think it is your sense of wonder that makes it worth reading.

    Count me in.


  6. SteveG

    I don’t have a blog so I hope you don’t mind to much if I borrow your comments to offer my own take.

    Initially I felt left out on this post. I come from a broken home where my most vivid memory from childhood is sitting at the living room window, looking out on the dark night, and watching my father carrying his suitcase to his girlfriend’s car for the final time.

    One of my greatest shocks was as a teenager, proofreading an essay my mother had written , discovering where she talked about the fact that she’d nearly aborted me.

    My childhood was filled with a lot of moving from place to place, a fair amount of violence, and an unimaginable amount of emotional abuse.

    It’s probably not a surprise that overall, my memories of my childhood are not particularly fond, and even those which are dear, are tinged with a sense of sadness…of what might have been.

    One of the most beautiful things about entering into Christ’s love is the reality of the healing that begins to take place. One of the greatest gifts I’ve been given is that despite the pain, I’ve been able to truly forgive my parents.

    I’ve been able to attempt to see them as the fallible human beings they are, to try to understand what crosses they bore that led them to make the choices they did. That has been transformative in my life.

    It even gives me the ability to find three things that they did right.

    1. They gave me life. This should go without saying, but in the modern Western world it does not. When a husband and wife are already on the verge of divorce, their relationship is already horribly broken, and they find out they are pregnant, they’ve got a ready excuse to eliminate such an unwanted problem. They didn’t use the excuse.

    Despite all the mess of their lives, they still saw me as worth bringing into the world. For that, I am thankful beyond words.

    2. My mother loved me without conditions. She was negligent, she was irresponsible, she moved away to another state when I was only 13 and I saw her only a couple times a year. Nonetheless, she somehow managed to convey to me that she loved me whether I was good in school or not, whether I was a star athlete or not, and regardless of my ‘accomplishments.’

    Her love was not performance or behavior dependent, and as little as we saw each other during my teen years, when we did, she conveyed a deep sense that she was just happy to be around me and accepted me for who I was. This was a great gift she gave me and it has served me well in the relationships I’ve participated in throughout my life.

    3. My Dad gave me a love of reading. One of those memories from childhood that was fond was dad taking me on a regular basis to the library. When I asked him a question about the moon, or any other topic I was interested in, it was off to the library we went. I loved having my own library card. I loved bringing a stack of books home to read. I loved it because it was one of the few tender times he provided. It engrained a deep love of reading in my being. Later, when I needed it, books would be my refuge and escape. As an adult, books would be crucial to bringing me into the love of Christ. My love of reading is another gift from my parents, and I thank them for it from the depths of my heart.

  7. Mary Poppins NOT

    Oo, I’m going to give this one a go. I’ve been a long time lurker around here, but this one just can’t be passed up.

    I’ll leave another comment once the post is up.


  8. Abigail

    Hurrah! An internet writing group sounds so fun. Will work on my essay this weekend, as we are having house guests from Australia come next week. Thanks for giving me something fun to do during my weekend of over-whelming cleaning & cooking tasks.

  9. Kate

    I’ll try to get my entry up during kiddo’s nap today (assuming he naps). I may have to take extra time for proofreading, as my mom reads your blog and my blog, and I want to make sure I don’t make any factual errors in my reminiscences! 😉

    It’s interesting that you would ask this, actually, as I wrote on the topic recently on another forum. A woman asked us what a good parent-child relationship looked like, since hers were so dysfunctional and she wanted a better model for her children. So the thoughts have been fermenting already.

  10. Michelle

    I have written a post on this topic. Good one.

  11. LilyBug

    Please count me in, Jen. I learned a lot about my parents and myself from writing this post. Many thanks to you for coming up with it.

  12. LilyBug

    By the way, I have two blogs. The one you are looking for is my “Just Another Catholic Blog.” I’m sure you are not interested in reading the post titled “Superboobs” over at my “Realist Mommy” blog.

  13. TwoSquareMeals

    I’ve been reading you for a while, but I just started a blog of my own. This sounded like a great topic for a post. I just posted mine! I’m not a Catholic, so please be sure to send the CD to someone who may use it more.

  14. Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin

    I’ve been reading and linking to your blog for a while now. But there is no way I can ignore this challenge. Please add my post to the list of entries.

  15. Elena

    Thanks for the opportunity Jen. My entry is here.

  16. Denise

    This has been great reading….

    I wrote mine on the 7th on my blog.

  17. el-e-e

    Oct 11th — I hope it isn’t too late to add my entry to the list! Can’t wait to read everyone else’s. 🙂 Thanks, Jen, for the great topic.

    Three Things my Parents Did Right.

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