Daily Spirituality

What kneeling on a department store floor taught me about gratitude

As regular readers know, I am a gratitude ignoramus. This concept that flows so easily through the lives of others never fails to leave me confounded; I stand around scratching my head and analyzing what it means to count your blessings, while other people are actually counting their blessings. Ann Voskamp (whose blog I’m pretty sure the Bible specifically commands us to read) was the first person to get me thinking about this concept. I would read through her 1,000 Gifts posts and feel the Holy Spirit pouring through my computer screen,... Read More

A Hallmark card for God

It was Yaya‘s birthday a couple of weeks ago, and when the time came to write up a card, I froze. How could I possibly express my appreciation for all that she does for us? This was when I was bad-busy, when I’d gotten myself in over my head with so many commitments that I considered the day a success if I remembered to feed the kids lunch. So finding the right words to tell her what I wanted her to know for her birthday seemed impossible. I went down to the store, and headed for the greeting card section. I felt immediate relief as... Read More

What a spiritual director and an MBA taught me about being overwhelmed

I have a personality type that leads me to feel overwhelmed a lot. I’m ambitious but lazy; I have a latent perfectionist streak that comes out at unexpected times; I’m an Olympian procrastinator; and I’m so non-confrontational that I often find myself saying “Yes, I’d love to help with that” when what I should be saying is, “I CANNOT EVEN FIND TIME TO BRUSH MY HAIR RIGHT NOW, LET ALONE SIGN UP FOR ONE MORE FREAKING THING.” Because God looks out for people like me, I’ve had some very wise counsel... Read More

The week in pictures

Who’s up for a photo post? I actually did things this week outside the three-foot radius that surrounds my couch, so I thought I’d share photographic evidence. On Wednesday I went to my first Theology on Tap get-together. I love the concept for this group: they host informal gatherings to chat about Catholic philosophy over drinks. The casual nature of the events lends a welcoming atmosphere, so people of all backgrounds feel comfortable attending. Usually there’s a speaker, and then a chance for Q&A and socializing afterwards.... Read More

Prayer: Because sometimes you need to be dog-whispered

Back when we had cable, I used to be a big fan of the Dog Whisperer show. I don’t even have a dog, but it was fascinating to see how Cesar Millan could take all these bad dogs and turn them into happy, obedient pets. One of his most common techniques is to pinch a dog quickly on the side of its neck while making a sound that is hard to convey in writing, but goes something like, PRSSSSCHT!!! By mimicking the corrective nip that the top dog in a pack might use to keep his subordinate canines in line, Millan gets the dog’s attention and... Read More

How I pray when I don’t have time to pray

There’s nothing like daily prayer time. Over and over again, I’ve found that when I make the necessary sacrifices to structure my schedule around prayer (instead of vice versa), my small efforts are repaid tenfold by the tremendous graces I receive. But I can’t always get there. I usually blame it on not having time, though that excuse is a little suspect since I always manage to find abundant time to mess around on the internet. Anyway, whether it’s due to laziness, fatigue, a lack of faith, being overwhelmed, truly not... Read More

Living an awesome story

A good nickname for me would be “Inertia,” because, like the dictionary definition of the word, I tend to “exist in a state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.” If my choice is accepting an invitation to go to an interesting social event or continuing to sit in front of my computer, I’ll choose the latter. If I had an idea for a new way to decorate the living room, I wouldn’t do it, even if I had the time or money. In other words, left to my own devices,... Read More

How to keep the internet from driving you crazy

Image from xkcd.com There’s been a fair amount of smack directed my way on the ol’ internet lately. For those of you who haven’t been following the fun over at my Register blog, there was was this, then this, and this, and this, and this. I could list a bunch more examples, but you get the idea. Between all the posts, their comments, and the comments to some of my posts, I’ve read at least 1,000 nasty remarks directed at me in the past month alone. A friend of mine recently marveled that I don’t seem bothered by it.... Read More

6 Questions My Spiritual Director Would Ask

I’ve mentioned a few times that I had an amazing spiritual director named Christie. Unfortunately, she’s gotten busy with other commitments and I haven’t been able to meet with her lately, so I’ve been without a spiritual director for a while now. I hope to find a new person soon, but in the meantime I’ve been thinking back on my conversations with her, particularly when I’m trying to discern the right path for some big decision where there’s no clear right answer. When recalling our meetings, I realized... Read More

4 Steps for Starting Your Day the Right Way

You know what should be against the law? Having to deal with insomnia while you have a newborn. Last night I woke to feed the baby around 3:30 AM, and she went right back to sleep. I, however, did not. I would describe what went through my head as I lay awake glaring at the ceiling, but Simcha Fisher did it for me. That’s what it was like — complete with distress about rhubarb. Anyway, after a couple hours of the baby sleeping soundly while I engaged in the downward spiral of “I can’t sleep!” –> “I’m... Read More

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