This way comes

March 4th, 2008

All this week I’m introducing you to mothers of mercy in the order of soul sisterhood. In today’s installment with Jen Lemen, we consider both small and large matters underfoot. And remember to comment here or any day this week to enter my weekend giveaway of inspirational art by Jen and others.

What is the predominant color of clothing in your closet? Why do you suppose that is?

I can’t resist the color brown – even though my little urban family often campaigns for any other color, I wear it so much. I love the way brown can feel earthy and rich at the same time, depending on the texture and the fabric.

Describe your favorite pair of shoes.

I live in a pair of chocolate brown Pumas with light lavender stripes. They’re nice and squishy and they don’t look like ordinary sneakers. When these wear out, I’ll go buy another just like them.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?

I have dreams of living for a year in Cape Town, New York or some European city, but the truth is it’s hard to beat where I live right now. My little city is a melting pot of African immigrants and every day friends from faraway places come to my house to cook or visit or tell stories. Nothing makes me happier than being with refugees or immigrants, so I feel incredibly blessed to live here.

What one thing are you going to do this year that could set it apart from any other time of your life?

International travel is not out of the question for me this year. I have a dear friend from Rwanda who would like me to go to Africa to visit the children she left behind. I can only imagine how that kind of journey would alter the landscape of my heart. In the meantime, I’ve always wanted to publish a book, and I think this is the year to do it.

* * *

Oops! She said it out loud.

And for all you seekers: here’s the link for purchasing your own copies of the poster featured above. (One of the not-so-secret prizes I’ll award later this week!)

Be greedy for love! Leave any comment this week and a sudden gust of inspiration from Jen or others could come your way. Enter your name or enter the name of one of your own sisters who could use some soul support. (And hey: the sister could be a mister too.) Prize winners drawn after 6 p.m. PST this Friday and announced on Saturday. Keep entering to win, and make sure you leave a way for me to reach you with the good news.


  1. I’m enjoying the interview. The questions are wonderfully different.

    Comment by marta — March 4, 2008 @ 5:50 am

  2. nice blog. i just finished reading your book (MommaZen). it was amazing! thank you.
    i’ve been lurking around Jen”s blog for a while and i love it. how serendipitous that i should find this interview on your blog that i only just found after completing your book. perfect timing.
    you are both an inspiration.

    Comment by ladybug-zen — March 4, 2008 @ 7:42 am

  3. Just found your blog. Love it. Am excited each day I click in to see what you have written about. So uplifting and inspirational.
    Thank you. I do not have a blog.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 4, 2008 @ 9:31 am

  4. Mae,
    This is amazing!

    Comment by Wendy — March 4, 2008 @ 11:49 am

  5. oops! i did say that outloud, didn’t i???

    Comment by jen lemen — March 4, 2008 @ 11:57 am

  6. Great stuff! I linked to your mutual interviews from my blog – I’m really enjoying your book. I’m a mom of 2-yr-old twin boys and an infant boy and am working on learning how to calm down.

    Comment by Jenell — March 4, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

  7. This site is great, have a 4 month old, and got “Mama Zen” rush delivered shortly after she was delivered to help keep my sanity!

    Don’t always get to read it every day, but look forward to the reflections, etc

    Thank you!

    Comment by Shurn — March 4, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

  8. Oh, I’m greedy for love! And for inspiration. I’m kind of hungry to create something art-like. I haven’t in many months.

    Comment by kathryn — March 4, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

  9. She did say it! She did!

    Great questions!

    Comment by Mama Zen — March 4, 2008 @ 4:09 pm

  10. Where can we purchase the print featured in today’s post. I love it.

    Comment by Joan — March 4, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  11. Joan,
    I’ll be giving one away at week’s end, but I suggest you buy one or a dozen in the meantime from

    Comment by Karen — March 4, 2008 @ 4:22 pm

  12. I love your site, it inspires me every day. I would love to purchase the poster you have shown today on your site, but I cannot find any on etsy. Let me know if any are available, it would be great inspiration for my 17 year old daughter who struggles with the stresses of grade 12, university application, and life.
    Thank you for continually inspiring me with hope every day.

    Janet Thomson

    Comment by Anonymous — March 4, 2008 @ 5:42 pm

  13. Two awesome bloggers “talking” to each other? Just fantastic!

    Comment by Megan — March 4, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

  14. Thank you so much for introducing me to Jen! The two of you inspire me to be me.

    Comment by RocketMom — March 4, 2008 @ 8:20 pm

  15. I’m so glad to have found Jen’s blog. It’s great. I’m loving these interviews and am looking forward to the rest of them. Thank you!

    Comment by Moanna — March 4, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

  16. Inspiring interview — thank you.

    Comment by Missy k — March 4, 2008 @ 9:07 pm

  17. Ah – publishing a book (she said it and I’ve no doubt she can do it), traveling, great family and friends – sounds like the perfect life. And how wonderful to be exposed to all these uplifting and supportive women (and I suspect a few men too!). How lucky we all are!

    Comment by Shalet — March 4, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

  18. a book from jen lemen is most definetly one that would be always within arms reach.

    Comment by jessamyn — March 4, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  19. wow…i really enjoy this interview format that has been around of late…and i’m looking forward to more from both of you!


    Comment by blissful* — March 4, 2008 @ 11:40 pm

  20. Love your blog; I’m a reader of Jen’s site as well. I’m the eldest of 4 girls in my family, so I know sisterhood!

    Comment by Susan — March 5, 2008 @ 12:18 am

  21. Wonderful questions! Especially about the shoes.

    Comment by Shelli — March 5, 2008 @ 2:41 am

  22. I am 20 pages from finishing your book and am reluctant for it to end. Now that I’ve found your blog, perhaps I can finish your book after all.
    The art was beautiful both in its message and appearance. Thanks!

    Comment by shanspec — March 5, 2008 @ 4:13 am

  23. i’m here to attest that she’s all that, and so much more.

    Comment by Kyran — March 5, 2008 @ 4:22 am

  24. Jen was the first blogger I read faithfully. So many of her posts kick me in high gear to be a better person, to keep reaching for that ultimate American urban family I dream of myself.

    Comment by Shawn — March 5, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  25. i love that with all of jen’s bright colors in her artwork, brown is her favorite color to wear. i am also a big fan of brown these days…i turn to brown especially on days when it’s cold…i think it’s such a nice warm color. thanks for these great interviews!

    Comment by Phyllis Sommer — March 5, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

  26. I adore Jen…every day I hope there will be a new post on her blog…she knows just what to say to me, or show me or when to cry with me.

    She led me here. It’s great here, too. 🙂

    Fabulous interviews.

    Comment by melody is slurping life — March 5, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

  27. I absolutely love this poster of Jen’s…it’s up in my house and I read it daily as a loving and hope*full reminder.

    Comment by Kirsten Michelle — March 8, 2008 @ 1:13 am

  28. loving this interview with a dear and soulful heart. learned some new things like the love of the color brown (me too!).

    Comment by kelly rae — March 10, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

archives by month