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Being Present to November: It’s Not Christmas Yet

Being Present to November: It’s Not Christmas Yet

If I had to guess the calendar date based on my favorite store’s décor, I would get it wrong. Fall pumpkins, cornucopias, and leafy garlands are nowhere to be found. Only messy remnants of Halloween remain on the clearance racks. Instead, I see Christmas trees, twinkle lights, and stockings. Signs and symbols of December, not early November. Whenever I see Christmas coming too early, I feel rushed and anxious. Suddenly, I think I am behind, as if I’ve missed a…

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Six Things I Learned This Summer

Six Things I Learned This Summer

On the last day of August, I reflect back to the beginning of the month. We started August with Vacation Bible School; my oldest daughter was on her youth group pilgrimage. Now, at the end, we are wrapping up the first week of a new school year. In many ways VBS feels like it happened ages ago, especially now that we are immersed in class schedules and new routines. But before we get too wrapped up in all-things-fall, I want…

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Mary, Queen and Mother, Shows Us How to Open Our Hearts to Jesus

Mary, Queen and Mother, Shows Us How to Open Our Hearts to Jesus

“Close your eyes after Holy Communion,” Father Andrew instructed. “Let yourself feel the loving embrace of Jesus.” The time after Holy Communion is powerful, intimate, and sacred, if we allow it to be. I always try to remain present to the presence of Jesus, believing with all my heart that His precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity now rest in me. As a mom of six, however, I often have to spend this time with one eye open, making sure…

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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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Five Mother’s Day Gifts That Keep on Giving

Five Mother’s Day Gifts That Keep on Giving

The vocation of motherhood is a beautiful one. In Mulieris Dignitatem, St. John Paul II writes, “Each and every time that motherhood is repeated in human history, it is always related to the Covenant which God established with the human race through the motherhood of the Mother of God.” Wow! To think that every pregnancy points to the Incarnation is nothing less than amazing! As beautiful as motherhood is, it also can be difficult and even painful. [Motherhood] is constituted more…

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Keeping the Sabbath Holy: Six Tips for Living Sunday Differently

Keeping the Sabbath Holy: Six Tips for Living Sunday Differently

Remember the sabbath day — keep it holy. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh…

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The Genius of Women and Our Role in the Church

The Genius of Women and Our Role in the Church

Growing up, I heard all sorts of things about women and the church. Much of it was not positive. And I honestly did not understand why. As a cradle Catholic, I always felt well loved and well respected within the Catholic Church. Even before I learned the Church’s exact teaching on the dignity of women, I intuitively knew that God loved me. And as a little girl, I knew that if God loved me, than I was important. There was…

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A Day at the Beach: Learning to be at Peace With Myself

A Day at the Beach: Learning to be at Peace With Myself

Perfectionism is a struggle that comes in all shapes and sizes. It often accuses us of being less than and hinders us from being true to the unique creations God made us to be. And as a result, we put on masks, cover up flaws, and slowly and steadily forget who we truly are. One thing perfectionism is not, however: It is not from God. And He showed that to me quite clearly one day on the beach of Hilton Head Island,…

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Advent Lessons I Learned and How I Can Apply Them to My Ordinary Life

Advent Lessons I Learned and How I Can Apply Them to My Ordinary Life

Two and a half weeks ago, my family and I gathered around our Christmas tree. Excitement and joy mingled with the festive scents of hot coffee, cinnamon rolls, and pine needles. The kids piled their gifts next to them and eagerly wondered what was inside each wrapped box. As I sipped my coffee and breathed in Christmas goodness, I felt grateful. For the first time in forever, I felt like Christmas had arrived and I had arrived with it. I…

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