An Open Book: What I’m Reading This September

An Open Book: What I’m Reading This September

September is here! And I don’t know about you, but this month feels like a mini-new year of sorts. I think it has a lot to do with the new academic year beginning. What says “fresh start” better than opening a new notebook and writing with a newly sharpened #2 pencil? Plus, the beginning of a new season stirs up the desire to change my wardrobe, try a new recipe, and refresh my home’s decor. The beginning of September also…

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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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Standing Strong With Mary: A Woman’s Response During Devastation

Standing Strong With Mary: A Woman’s Response During Devastation

Yesterday, I opened my Magnificat and prayed Psalm 15. O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?  The Lord clearly answered: He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right, and speaks truth from his heart; who does not slander with his tongue, and does no evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to…

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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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