Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Weekly Photo Challenge | 0 comments


Jubilant is one of those words that sounds like what it is. This week’s photo challenge put a smile on my face just thinking about it.

Jubilant means all these things — (what would I do without Google?):

overjoyed, exultant, triumphant, joyful, rejoicing, exuberant, elated, thrilled, gleeful, euphoric, ecstatic, enraptured, in raptures, walking on air, in seventh heaven, on cloud nine; over the moon, on top of the world, tickled pink, on a high


This picture of a dear friend captures our jubilant mood as we walked along a beach on a rainy winter day. The weather did not deter her from taking off her shoes and jumping for joy! Even though the water was cold. Even though the rainy mist got into our very bones. It was warm, afterall.

There were three of us that day, enjoying a retreat of our making, rejoicing in each other’s company, praying together, worshipping together, being silly…together.

Then our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD had done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us; Oh, how happy we were! [Psalms 126:2-5]

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Review: Messy and Foolish

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in reviews | 2 comments

messyI received this wonderful little book for review from the author, Matthew Warner, months ago. MONTHS ago. I read it in an evening, lauded his vision, and then did the dreadful thing — the thing most of us who are book lovers know to be a bad move. I let someone borrow it.

It disappeared for all these months, until I got it back today. I didn’t think I would. In fact, I’ve started to give people books, instead of lending them, so I don’t fret over their return. But I was surprised to get this one back. I reread it, because it’s well-written, and then I remembered why I lent it, and that I hadn’t really properly reviewed it. So here’s the review.

And here’s why I lent it:

The message in this book is for all of us.

Are we measuring out our lives in coffee spoons, as Prufrock laments, content to live by-the-book instead of by-the-Word?

Matt encourages us to get messy. To take risks. To live our lives  fully. This means detaching ourselves from the meaningless markers we create for success. He reminds us that Jesus said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

The challenge is this — can we take the risk — do we allow ourselves the vulnerability of engaging, truly engaging with those who are around us, in our families, our friends, our neighbors? The fruit of it is, of course, finding our place in God. When we do this – we truly begin the work of evangelization.

I’m going to give the book away to someone I know, someone close to me, maybe a friend, or a family member. I get it, and I think more people need to get this simple message, too.


#21 on my on-going book challenge:

1. A totally gratuitous and vapid book that I’ll forget the moment I set it down after finishing it. I suspect this happened more than a few times last year.
2. A biography.
3. A history book. Preferably American history because I’m weak there.
4. A book about music. The Inextinguishable Symphony by Martin Goldsmith
5. A book about an artist.
6. A book of poetry.
7. A book about prayer.
8. A science-fiction novel. Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
9. A book about Catholic theology.
10. A book about writing.
11. A classic.
12. A New York Times best-seller.
13. A book in Spanish.
14. A romance.
15. A murder mystery.
16. A book about a Saint.
17. A book BY a Saint.
18. A book by a friend. A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac by Margaret Rose Really
19. A book about photography.
20. A book about science. Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century by Sean Patrick
21. A book with a pretty cover. Yes, I’m going to judge it. Messy and Foolish by Matthew Warner
22. A book with an ugly cover. I’ll stay open minded.
23. A banned book. Hey. It’s me we’re talking about here.
24. A book that’s been sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for years.
25. A book you recommend.

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retreating in the middle of the week

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in cool | 2 comments

This afternoon I took a drive down to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, one of my favorite places to go when I need a break. It’s so peaceful there, and the grounds are perfect for a stroll and rosary. I always make my way to the abbey church and take pictures. The stained glass is mostly blue, with some darker and lighter shades of blue and maybe a random purple. That means I always get a different color palate depending on the time of day.

Here are three pictures taken at different times. The blue goes from a gray cast, to blue, to purple. My favorite is #3. Which is yours?









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The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in good for the soul, Reading Challenge, reviews | 0 comments

Catholic Moms Prayer BookComing soon! The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion:A Book of Daily Reflections

Are you a Catholic mom who prays for the wisdom and patience to get through each day? Do you pray for your children, husband, family and friends, and sometimes even yourself? The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion offers a new, daily resource to make the most of those few, precious minutes you have to pause and reflect.

You’ll find encouragement when you’re struggling, reassurance when you feel alone, and comfort when you’re distracted by worry. Created by moms for moms, these hope-filled meditations touch on the issues and concerns you face as you try to get through the day with a sense of God’s presence in your life. 

I’m delighted to be a contributor to this great resource. Go ahead and pre-order so you’re ready for the new year!

Pre-order online today at:

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The Face of Love

Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Weekly Photo Challenge | 0 comments


The Daily Post’s photo challenge this week asks us to look at the word face for inspiration. The recommendation to post about a face “whose lines and creases you know well” captured my imagination. There are many faces I know well, loved ones near and far whose faces often press against mine in love — with the intimacy of a shared space, laughter, eye contact expressing a thousand thoughts without words.

And faces of those who are gone, fading into a mashup of memories to summon, once more, an image of a smile, a laugh, a knowing look.

This candid picture of my mom, taken on a cross-country trip through Cuba last fall, delights me. It doesn’t show her smile, which crinkles her eyes and makes me smile back. Instead, it captures her in the middle of something exciting, this unexpected gift of coconut milk. Her serious concentration masks the laughter that overtook her moments before when my uncle handed her the coconut. She couldn’t laugh and drink at the same time…but I can see a little bit of the residual smile in the purse of her lips and the raised brow, captured a split second before that huge sip she’s taking showered me in another burst of laughter.


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