Learning From Mary: Saying Yes to God With Cheerful Readiness

Learning From Mary: Saying Yes to God With Cheerful Readiness

In today’s Gospel, Mary sets out to visit Elizabeth “in haste” (Luke 1:39). Just a few verses back from the Visitation account, we remember that Mary also responds to the angel’s request with a cheerful readiness. Mary does not delay in giving her “yes” to God (v. 38). When God invites me to do something, however, I am a little slower in my response than Mary is. I am grateful for His invitation to be His servant, his handmaiden. But…

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Learning Life Lessons on a Paddleboard

Learning Life Lessons on a Paddleboard

“Some of us would be surprised if they knew what God could make of them if, in the decisive moments of their lives, they gave ear to the voice of grace!” —St. Ignatius of Loyola This summer, I checked something off my bucket list. I went paddleboarding for the very first time with eight women from my running group. Many of these ladies run marathons, and all of them workout way more than I do. I have not run longer…

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5 Catholic Novels to Read This Summer

5 Catholic Novels to Read This Summer

As August begins, are you planning one last road trip or weekend getaway to the beach or cabin? Before the kids head back to school, we often desire to soak up the sun and savor the last days of summer. Even if we don’t have school-aged children, we can still have a back-to-school mindset as fall approaches. For autumn seems to be the season when we return to a more organized routine, while summer permits more leisurely activities and lingering moments….

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An Open Book: What I’m Reading This August

An Open Book: What I’m Reading This August

Happy August, everyone! Can you believe we’ve reached this last month of summer? The kids’ activities are beginning to wind down, and we are gearing up to begin our back-to-school preparations. The supply lists are long, there are shoes and uniforms to purchase, and we have to squeeze in some haircut and dentist appointments, too. Even if it feels like summer is coming to an end, I am still savoring the later mornings, quieter afternoons, and longer evenings. And I…

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Parenting and Kites: Learning to Let Go and Watch Them Soar

Parenting and Kites: Learning to Let Go and Watch Them Soar

The alarm rings earlier than usual. The clock reads 3:30 a.m. As I slowly open my eyes, darkness surrounds me and beckons me to rest awhile longer. However, my mind starts to nudge me awake. Today begins differently than normal, because today is a special day. As the coffee brews, my oldest daughter slowly descends the stairs. She drops her suitcase, sleeping bag, and backpack on the floor, and I ask her a series of “Do you have …?” questions….

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Savoring Summer: 10 Things I Love About the Season

Savoring Summer: 10 Things I Love About the Season

Last week, one of my kids told me, “Summer is almost over.” Say what? When I shared this with Greg, he didn’t sound surprised. Apparently, one of his coworkers said something similar to him. Something along the lines of it being the end of July. On July 10. I returned to my child, and we counted the remaining days of summer. We discovered that we have a few more than 40 days left of summer break. I thought that would…

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Bless the Lord, O My Soul: Summer Reflections of God’s Goodness

Bless the Lord, O My Soul: Summer Reflections of God’s Goodness

It is Saturday. I sit on a bench in the garden, just after dinner. Lush trees surround me. The creek below flows freely. The cool breeze blows as the warm sun begins to set. Everything that surrounds me is full, ripe with goodness, extending up and out. The trees’ branches exhibit a fullness of green. The shining sun just celebrated its brightest day of the year. The gentle breeze rustles the grass and tickles my nose. And the colorful flowers cheerfully…

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Helping Each Other Even in Times of Struggle

Helping Each Other Even in Times of Struggle

Opening my inbox, I saw the email waiting for me. I knew what it would entail, before I even read it. Your deadline is approaching. Please submit your article ASAP. Panic set in. I could not even think about adding one more thing to my overflowing plate. In addition to the panic, I noticed that sadness set into my heart, too. I wanted to write that article. I wanted to do it, more than anything on my to-do list. And…

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“Secrets” Blog Tour Stops Here (and a Giveaway!)

“Secrets” Blog Tour Stops Here (and a Giveaway!)

“For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17) I am so honored to be part of the blog tour for Secrets: Visible and Invisible, a new short-story anthology for Catholic teens from some of the best Catholic fiction authors around. There is definitely a little something for everyone in this collection. Each of the seven short stories is written in a unique genre and…

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An Open Book: What I’m Reading This July

An Open Book: What I’m Reading This July

Summer has proven to be a wonderful time to catch up on one of my favorite past-times: reading. Except for one minor hiccup: I am not a fast reader. Therefore, I am never going to read all the books I hope to read in any given amount of time. If I am OK with that, and I think I am, then, yes, summer is a wonderful time to catch up on my reading! In June, I set out to read…

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