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

The least of these

As many of you probably already know, the Dobrovits family lost their special little boy named Henry last week. The story of his short two years on earth, and of how he ended up in their family, is an amazing one that needs to be shared. I had the honor of meeting Henry’s mother, Carla, at the Behold Conference both in 2011 and this year, and was profoundly impacted by the story of her discernment to adopt, and the journey they’ve been on since then. I’m glad Carla has been keeping a blog the whole time, so I can let her tell you... Read More

“Joy is not a flag Jesus plants in us; it is a fruit he grows in us”

I received a copy of a new book while I was at the monastery this week. I planned to read it when I got home, but as soon as I glanced at the first page, I knew I’d been given something special. I ended up spending hours poring over its pages, soaking up its insights and nodding and just about saying out loud, “Finally, someone is explaining this in a way I understand!” That book is Choosing Joy by Dan Lord, and you just have to read it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dan, he was once the lead singer of a popular... Read More

Museum life

Back in July of 2006 I wrote a post¬†marveling at a family friend who always managed to be cheerful and loving, even though she worked five times as hard as I did and had significant problems in her life. I didn’t have a take in the post; I just relayed the story, and promised at the end that I would write a Part 2 with further thoughts. I have never forgotten that I didn’t write that second post. By Grabthar’s Hammer, when I say that I will write a follow-up to a post, I SHALL DO IT! …Sometimes it just takes me six years... 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

Life doesn’t have to be easy to be joyful

Remember my little mention last week that a film crew is coming to capture my every move this Wednesday? My remorse has only grown deeper, my despair more multi-layered, my impending sense of doom more distinct (I now hear the Jaws theme every time I look at that day on the calendar). As of yesterday afternoon, I’d decided that my decision to agree to this must have been a subconscious attempt to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for the WORST IDEA EVER category. Yesterday evening I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror, and my... Read More

My life changing diapers

Now that I’m visibly pregnant, I get asked more and more often for a detailed plan of how many more children I’ll have and when I’ll be “done.” Much of the time, “Congratulations” is swiftly followed by one of the following questions: “So, is this the last one?” “How many more are you going to have?!” “When are you going to be done?” These are usually well-intended statements, expressed out of a concern for me. An old friend whose youngest just started kindergarten said... Read More

The secret to a life of YES

A while back I posted a link to this fantastic post by Carrien, in which she suggests that the secret to an extraordinary life is simply saying YES. The whole thing is well worth reading, but here’s an excerpt: That got me thinking about other people I admire. I found the same theme. They said yes, when they could have said no. […] In 1976, at the age of 60, a woman by the name of Pauline Fell began walking the streets in the downtown eastside of Vancouver. Although she was a new Christian she asked God what He wanted her to do with... Read More

My answer to “Do you want more children?”

When people see me out and about with my four young children, one of the most common questions I get is, “Do you want more?” (Or, more accurately, “DO YOU WANT MORE?!?!?!?!“) I’m never sure what to say. “Yes” doesn’t sound quite right. Our fourth baby in four-and-a-half years is only eighteen months old, so I can’t say that I’ve spent a lot of time yearning for another baby lately. In fact, I’ve never really been a baby person. I’ve never had that moment other women talk about... Read More

The story of a beautiful Mass

After all the austerity of Lent, I was really looking forward to experiencing the beauty of the Easter Mass this morning. I couldn’t wait to behold the visual feast of our breathtaking sanctuary filled with freshly cut white flowers, rich white and gold fabrics, and other decorations that symbolize a season of life and hope. I looked forward to settling into the comfort of our usual pew and listen to the choir proclaim joyful hymns that they’d undoubtedly perfected over weeks of practice. But as we neared the church and policemen in... Read More

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