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The Kingdom of Heaven is Like a Playground

The Kingdom of Heaven is Like a Playground

The invitation is real. His eyes dance with delight as He beckons me to join Him. “On a playground, Lord?” I ask. And all He does is laugh and extend His hand. The magnetic pull is strong. It’s as if one part of the magnet is Jesus’ heart, and the other is my heart. They are not meant to be separate but together. He is asking for my yes, my fiat. And He really hopes I don’t keep Him waiting…

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Don’t Ask More Than God Does

Don’t Ask More Than God Does

I am preparing for my annual silent retreat weekend, and I have been thinking about my past retreat experiences. Sometimes I doubt that they are doing any good. Have I really grown spiritually in the past 2, 4, 6 years? I know that discouragement can be normal in the spiritual life, which is why I’m trying not to pay too much attention to the nagging voice. Still, as I reflect back on the post I wrote for CatholicMom.com three years…

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Catholic T-Shirt Club Offers Ways to Live, Share Our Faith

Catholic T-Shirt Club Offers Ways to Live, Share Our Faith

When I was a little girl, I loved the mail. I heard the mail truck, with its distinct clunky noises, much sooner than I saw it, and when it finally came into view, I waited by the window until the mailman drove to our mailbox to deliver the mail. Then, I rushed out the front door to collect it. I am not sure what it was about the mail that I loved. Most days, it was nothing but bills and…

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Open Book: What I’m Reading This July

Open Book: What I’m Reading This July

So, the summer is flying by for me and my family. June was a whirlwind of activities with three sleepover camps, VBS, typing class, tutoring, and a couple trips to the pool. The Fourth of July was spent grilling out, watching fireworks, and spending time with good friends. As I gear up to take a beach vacation with my family, I am taking a break from my planning to join Carolyn Astfalk’s Open Book feature on CatholicMom.com. Here is a sampling…

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How I Reconnected With God Through a “Grown-up VBS”

How I Reconnected With God Through a “Grown-up VBS”

Have you heard the Christmas song “Grown-Up Christmas List”? Many singers have recorded it, but the version I am most familiar with is on Amy Grant’s Home for Christmas album. The lyrics reflect back on childhood when Christmas included writing out a wish list and sending it to Santa Claus. As children, we hope for the magical appearance of presents underneath the tree on Christmas morning. However, as we grow up, our Christmas wishes change. We realize that we care…

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Why I Love My Catholic Faith … Let Me Count the Ways

Why I Love My Catholic Faith … Let Me Count the Ways

Less than one month after I was born, my parents brought me to our local parish and asked the Catholic Church for a gift on my behalf. They asked that I receive the sacramental grace of Baptism, to become a daughter of God and a member of the Catholic family. Growing up, I loved Jesus. I was one of those kids who enjoyed Mass and Sunday school. Church was a familiar, comfortable place. Looking back, I didn’t attend a particularly…

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How I am Learning to Fly in the Midst of Transition

How I am Learning to Fly in the Midst of Transition

It is 8 AM. I walk into my quiet house, and I stand in the kitchen. Breakfast dishes are piled next to the sink, waiting to be loaded into the dishwasher. The stools around the kitchen island are pushed out, a reminder of the people sitting on them an hour ago. I can hear the hum of the refrigerator; I can hear my own footsteps. When is my house ever this still? With no one around, I wonder what I…

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Three Simple Ways to Honor Mary on Mother’s Day

Three Simple Ways to Honor Mary on Mother’s Day

As a mom, I look forward to a little pampering on Mother’s Day. Of course, I don’t expect lavish gifts or for my kids to wait on me while I lounge around eating truffles. Rather, I look forward to seeing the excitement they have to give generously. Their handmade cards are filled with love, and I can see the effort they put into them. They are excited to shop for brunch ingredients and flowers with Dad. It’s sweet and enduring, and no matter…

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Hello, Mom: Mary’s Constant Presence in Our Lives

Hello, Mom: Mary’s Constant Presence in Our Lives

Today, I am joining the #WorthRevisitWednesday link-up, hosted by Allison of Reconciled to You and Elizabeth of Theology is a Verb. Since May is the month of Mary, I am sharing a piece I wrote for a 31-day series on the Blessed Mother. I pray that it will inspire you in your own relationship with the Mother of God, the Mother of us all. It is a bright, sunny fall day. (Do you notice how on the sunniest fall day the…

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Lenten Weariness: How to Avoid the Temptation to Quit

Lenten Weariness: How to Avoid the Temptation to Quit

It was January 1, and I was gung-ho to begin my New Year’s resolution. My plan was to start a rigorous elimination diet in the hope of feeling better. I purchased ingredients to make healthy meals, and I set aside time to cook for the week. I knew it was going to be hard, but I reached a tipping point in my chronic illness and knew I had to try more drastic measures. After a week, I started to regain…

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