Indulge or Deny

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34

Gospel-Reflections-800x800-gold-outline-400x400Always curious about other people’s traditions, I’ve asked a lot of women if they exchange gifts with their husbands on birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard: “No. Since we each get ourselves whatever we want all year long, there’s really nothing left to give.”

My husband and I are no different. We’re not extravagant in our spending, but we never deny ourselves. Continue reading

A Vision of Flowers

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?… Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Luke 12:25, 27-28

2.19.20 A Vision of Flowers

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Each morning, before writing my book, I’ve been going to Eucharistic Adoration. As I kneel before God, I hear the deafening roar in my head as thoughts battle and vie for my attention. When someone else comes into the small chapel and kneels, I imagine the same thing happening in their head.

I picture the room filling with all those thought bubbles, and the clamor grows louder. I question how God can handle it. Why He would welcome all that noise, all that emotion, all of it directed at Him, all at once, all with urgency? Continue reading

Getting Ready for Lent

I’m thrilled to announce that my Lenten devotional, “With Our Savior,” is on sale again! Published by Creative Communications for the Parish, “With Our Savior” is a 48-page Lenten devotional for families. For each day of Lent there is a little, family-friendly story to help parents and kids connect to that day’s scripture passage. The story is followed by a short prayer, and then an activity to help prepare everyone for Easter.

For individual purchases, click here. For bulk orders, click here.

Read on to see what readers are saying about “With Our Savior.” Continue reading

First-Hand Faith

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“By hearsay I had heard of you, but now my eye has seen you.” Job 42:5

2.5.20 First-Hand Faith2

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My husband and I are now in constant training mode: not being trained, but doing the training. At fifteen, thirteen and nine-years-of-age, our kids need to be participating more in household chores. In order to do that, they need to be taught – repeatedly.

As the snow blower buzzes, or the washing machine sloshes, we’re routinely imparting our techniques on how to clear the snow, fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, etc. Although my kids moan and groan, this transference of information is so important.

There’s learning to be had on both sides of the process. As a control freak and drill sergeant, I want my kids to do things my way. That’s been an ugly battle with both sides getting frustrated and demotivated.

What I’m learning is: Unless they take ownership, they’re not going to care about the end result. The only way they can get to that point is for us to allow them to do it their own way.

Faith, and our relationship with God, are no different. Continue reading

Venting vs. Slandering

Whoever slanders a neighbor in secret I will reduce to silence. Haughty eyes and arrogant hearts I cannot endure.   Psalm 101:5

1.30.20 Venting vs. Slandering Pixabay

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Jocelyn is now in fourth grade. As early as last year, a pattern developed between two of her friends where they would fight and put Jocelyn in the middle. The first girl would speak badly of the second to Jocelyn, and swear Jocelyn to secrecy. Then, the second girl would try to pry out of Jocelyn what the first girl said about her, and vice versa.

It kills me that the girl-drama already exists at this age. However, I’m trying to see the good in that. Continue reading

Stretch Out Your Hand

… He (Jesus) said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.   Mark 3:5

OSV Author Information bookletI recently got a contract with Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) to write my first full-length book! The working title, for now, is: All is Blessing: Finding God in the Tensions of Life. It’s due out in the fall of 2021.

The book will address the fact that we all have stress and tension in our lives. God doesn’t create any of it. But because He loves us so much, and only wants what’s best for us, He shows up in the middle of it, wanting to guide us through. Using the story of the Biblical sisters, Martha and Mary, I’ll show how seeking Him out, and letting Him lead us to the changes we need to make, will melt the tension away.

Writing a book has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. It’s funny, though, how striving for your dream is so very different from actually achieving it. Continue reading

Lowering Them Down Through the Roof

Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.    Mark 2:4

1.17.20 Lowering Them Down Through the Roof (2)

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My mom is a devout pray-er. If anyone asks her to pray for them, or she hears of anyone in trouble, that person goes onto her list and never comes off. To date, she prays for over 400 people, by name, each and every day. Her faith and prayers have had an immense impact on so many people.

She knows there is power in numbers. So, a few years ago, she began asking others to pray with her for special intentions. Her Prayer Warrior email group is now over 40 people strong.

A new request came out this week that is tearing at my heart. Continue reading