Holy Week

I know I said I’d put up the form for us to talk about fabulous things to do in NYC and DC this week, but I’m going to hold off until next week. Things are about to get crazy — in a good and very fun way — and it feels right to spend most of this week offline, just praying and resting.

I won’t be hosting 7 Quick Takes this week in honor of Good Friday, but I look forward to seeing you all again next week.

I leave you with the perfect Holy Week song, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite pieces of music. It’s called Dum Transisset Sabbatum, which means After the Sabbath Had Passed. Treat yourself to a listen:

7 Quick Takes about going to the East Coast, embarrassing myself in interviews, and losing my ability to write the letter F


— 1 — People of New York City and Washington DC, get your margarita glasses out and dust off your dress banana suits, because I’m headed your way! I have the all-clear from my publisher to visit your area, so now we just need to decide what we want to do while I’m there! Dates are still up in the air, but it’ll be sometime soon. I get the impression that the good folks at Ignatius Press are open to pretty much any activity that would involve promoting the book, so let’s start thinking! Book signings? Speaking... Read More

The saint of the NICU


Today is my youngest child’s first birthday! Those of you who were reading a year ago might recall that that wasn’t the best day. It was a rough pregnancy, involving bilateral pulmonary embolisms, hospitalization, and getting stabbed in the neck by doctors (UNNECESSARILY). The birth was not a ton of fun either — without going into detail, let’s just say that getting 12 blood draws in the same arm in one day was one of the better parts of the experience. Then, only minutes after the baby arrived, he was taken away due to... Read More

7 Quick Takes about interviews, crazy toddlers, and why my hand is probably going to fall off by the end of the week


— 1 — The Amazon “Look Inside” feature went live at 1:48 PM today, so you can now read the first pages of my book! There is a lot of material in the preview, so it should give you a good feel for it. (Did you think I listed the exact time for literary effect, and did not actually know to the minute when the feature went live because I’m not a data nerd and a publishing nerd who spends a ridiculous amount of time on my own Amazon page? God bless you, charitable reader.) Go check it out, and don’t forget that anyone... Read More

5 big ideas that changed my life

Combat peer orientation by raising shut-ins!

Every now and then I like to take a step back and examine my worldview. I ask: What core beliefs define my outlook? What are the characteristics of the lens through which I see the world? I was pondering the subject while putting away laundry yesterday, and I came up with a list of key ideas that fundamentally shape the way I evaluate life. (Yes, this is really what I think about while I’m putting away laundry. It’s sad.) I thought it would be fun to post a list of these concepts, then have you tell me which ideas have been most transformative... Read More

Here it is! The free ebook!


AAAAH! I AM SO EXCITED! For those of you who pre-order my memoir, step right up and get your free ebook! –> Once you have pre-ordered Something Other than God, click here to get your free copy of The Family-First Creative instantly! <– You can see a 10-page preview of The Family-First Creative here. Three important notes: 1. The form you’ll fill out to get the ebook will subscribe you to receive my blog posts by email. I tried to make that part optional, but after spending an obscene amount of time on it and almost throwing... Read More

I said the ebook would be ready on Monday. And I note that Monday does not end until 11:59 PM.

Getting my mic on.

Behold, my staggering lack of attention to detail works its wonders again! Last week, before I wrote that I’d have the free ebook ready today (which implies first thing this morning), I paused for a moment to make sure that would work. The following data points came to mind: I had a few hours of work left to do on the technical end before I could launch it. I had a crazy-busy weekend of flying to Raleigh for Ignited by Truth to give three talks, each an hour long, in front of thousands of people. I would be getting back from Raleigh on... Read More

7 Quick Takes on a plane!!!

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 9.28.43 PM

— 1 — I’m on my way to Raleigh for Ignited by Truth, so this edition of 7 Quick Takes will be written 30,000 feet over the southeast United States. As if #TWEETSONAPLANE!!! wasn’t enough to make you wish the internet didn’t exist, I hereby bring you #7QUICKTAKESONAPLANE!!! — 2 — I’m not going to turn this into a litany of complaints about flying. I would not use my blog to wonder aloud what kind of moral state one must be in to use a seat to hold one’s gossip magazines and scarf when there are... Read More

The Family-First Creative: A little thank-you gift from me, to you

The Family-First Creative

Guys! You are NEVER going to believe what I did. Actually, you’re totally going to believe it. Easily. Okay, it might be the least surprising thing you have heard in weeks. But I’m still delighted to tell you: I wrote an ebook for you! It’s going to be my gift to anyone who pre-orders my memoir. It’s called The Family-First Creative: 42 Tips for Following Your Dreams While Putting Your Family First, and I am ridiculously excited for you to check it out. CLICK HERE FOR A 10-PAGE PREVIEW I knew I wanted to offer a free ebook... Read More

1 Quick Take in which I do an imitation of a responsible adult


Guys, I’m going to take a pass this time around. I was at a Texas Center for the Defense of Life dinner tonight where I had the pleasure of meeting Governor Mike Huckabee, and getting a picture with him that was so blurry and unflattering of both of us that I cannot bring myself to post it here no matter how badly I want to make it seem like it’s a normal part of my daily life to hang out with esteemed public figures (though I did put it on Twitter, of course). Here is a better shot with some of the lovely ladies of the Central Texas... Read More

What I’m learning about choice and gratitude from not skipping songs on my iPod

Blossoms on trees: the kind of thing I've begun to notice now that I'm not fixating on song choices when I'm running.

One of my Lenten sacrifices is not skipping songs on my iPod. I can choose the playlist, but if a song does not fit my mood, I can’t skip it. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, part of my inspiration was this 2009 post from Betty Duffy. The excerpt that has stuck with me all these years is this: I set [the iPod] on “shuffle” and skip song after song that appears on the screen. “No. Not that. Can’t tolerate this one right now. Does not match my mood.” Music must serve me by sustaining desired feelings or changing... Read More

7 Quick Takes about Snoop Dogg concerts, awesome nuns, and almost having the most epic book tour fail in the history of the world


— 1 — Wow, there were a ton of great responses to the form about the possibility of a book tour! And the notes that people wrote in are pretty much the best. But the real excitement came when I mapped the data. I took all the zip codes and input them into a program that plots them on a map, then Joe and I pored over the data. We were surprised that nobody from Connecticut or Massachusetts was interested in me coming to that area, but we were delighted to find that my blog seems to have a small cult following in Luxembourg! The map... Read More