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Advent’s Gift of Silence and Stillness … Open It and Receive

Advent’s Gift of Silence and Stillness … Open It and Receive

Today’s post is the second in a four-part Advent series. To read the first post in the series, click HERE. *** I open my planner and see all of the “to-dos” on my list, many more than usual. Each task, in and of itself, is a delightful privilege to do for my family. As a mom, I know I am instrumental in making the magic of Christmas come alive in our home. What an honor! The joy on my kids’ faces,…

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Waiting and Watching With Mary This Advent

Waiting and Watching With Mary This Advent

This article was originally published on the WINE: Women In the New Evangelization blog, as a reflection on the readings for the first Sunday of Advent. Since that was just a few days ago, I thought I would share it here, too, as part of the #WorthRevisit series. Seven years ago, I had the beautiful privilege of being pregnant during the Advent season. I was anticipating a Christmas baby, so I couldn’t help but think a lot about the Blessed…

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Be Still: A Free Advent Prayer Journal for the Weary Woman

Be Still: A Free Advent Prayer Journal for the Weary Woman

It is midway through this week of limbo. This week that feels like I am on hold. Thanksgiving is over, but Advent hasn’t begun. I wanted this week to be a time to prayerfully consider how I wanted to enter into the four weeks of Advent. But like so often it does, life hijacked that prayerful plan. Some of it was out of my control, like my husband coming down with the flu. But other things were definitely in my control,…

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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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