By Mary Machalec
Special to The Texas Catholic
All moms are superheroes, and Kelsey Gillespy is no exception. As mom to five children aged 10 and younger, she not only manages the normal duties of a mother and a wife, but also takes on the great task of education by homeschooling her children. As if that wasn’t already a lot, she recently added on to her impressive list of accomplishments: published author.
Gillespy, who was born and raised in St. Louis but moved to Duncanville eight years ago with her husband, would have never imagined life this way. She admits she never planned to live in Texas, never thought she would have five children and never dreamed she would write a book, but readily concedes the Lord’s plans have far surpassed her own.
“God has surprised us many times along the way,” Gillespy said. “He always knows better than we do what we need and what is in store.”
She has always had the heart of an author.
“As a kid, I would always be off somewhere writing stories,” she said. “I found I had this creative itch inside of me, and anytime I would write it would fill me with life.”
The creative impulse formally took root eight years ago when Gillespy and her husband moved to Dallas, and she became pregnant with her first daughter. Starting off as a blog, she would write posts about the day-to-day activities of being a mother and how she saw the Lord in her daily life.
“When I had my first child, I realized I had no idea what I was doing, but I felt this pressure to do everything ‘right.’ I thought her life and her salvation relied on me doing motherhood perfectly, so I would constantly pray and ask God, ‘What does a good mom do, what am I supposed to do?’” Gillespy recalled. “Then one day my daughter was having a meltdown, and instead of asking how to do it ‘right’, I asked, ‘Lord, give me You.’”
She said that prayer opened up a whole new way of thinking and experiencing God in her role as a mother.
“I came to realize that God is firstly a father, and a far greater parent than I could ever be,” Gillespy said. “In the shared vocation of parenthood, I felt invited into a deeper relationship with Him, and I wanted to communicate that to others.”
And so, the blog was born.
Although content with the blog, over the years she would occasionally have friends tell her she should turn the content into a book, but thought they were just being nice. Then, on the urging of a friend, she took advantage of the extended time at home and began writing what would be the beginnings of her book during the COVID lockdowns.
Published in March of 2023, the book is titled, “In the Trenches,” and is a collection of 30 vignettes about how God is present and can reveal himself in the vocation of motherhood. Gillespy said she has been overwhelmed with the response she has received from all over the world and is incredibly honored and humbled her book has already touched lives.
“You hope and pray that it will impact people, but I never thought I would hear back from them,” said Gillespy. “They share their stories on how the book has changed motherhood for them and been a source of encouragement. It has blown me away.”
She hopes her book will continue to bless mothers in all stages of life and inspire them to search for God in the mundane moments of motherhood.
Editor’s Note: “Faces of Faith” is a regular feature that highlights parishioners at the various parishes throughout the Diocese of Dallas and how their faith has impacted their lives and the lives of others. Know someone who you’d like to see featured, let us know by submitting their name, parish and a little bit about them to email@example.com.