The Antagonist

Our family in 2004 -- the time period during which I met the antagonist in SOTG.

I’m in NYC doing book tour stuff this week! You can follow along with my adventures on Twitter and Instagram. While I’m out running around, I wanted to re-run an updated version of a post I originally wrote back in March 2012, when I had finished the final big re-write of the book. It’s about Chapter 16 in Something Other than God — the chapter where I encounter my antagonist. . . . When I sat down to write this final draft of my book, I thought I knew a lot about story. My bookshelves jammed with tomes about the craft... Read More

The Our Father, one word at a time


Back in 2011, a bunch of wonderful writers gathered here to reflect on the Lord’s Prayer, one word at a time. It turned out even better than I could have imagined, and these beautiful posts continue to provide me with a feast of food for thought. Since I know that many folks weren’t reading back then, I wanted to dig up those old posts and highlight them again so that you don’t miss all this good stuff. Enjoy! BY WORD OUR | FATHER | WHO | ART | IN | HEAVEN (#1) | HALLOWED BE | THY | NAME | THY | KINGDOM | COME |... Read More

Heat, Slip N’ Slides, and other things that ruin my life

This is a post from 2008, but since my children are jumping up and down and begging me to get out the Slip N’ Slide today, I thought I’d run it again. The neighbor girls wanted to play with the Slip N’ Slide today. I tried to talk them out of it, but when I realized that my argument essentially boiled down to “I would rather sit on the couch in the cocoon of my darkened house than frolic outside in the fresh summer air” I decided to just go with it. I do not have fond memories of the Slip N’ Slide. As a child,... Read More

Readers talk about the religious climates in their countries

I’ve been looking for an excuse to re-run this post, since it took me a looooong time to put it together, and it generated a fascinating discussion. As I get everything back in order from filming week, I thought this would be the perfect time to run it again. It was originally published on February 14, 2011. .  In February of 2011 I asked readers to tell me about the religious climate in their countries by answering a series of seven questions. Below is a distillation of the 100+ comments that I received from readers all over the world,... Read More

The God who becomes dust

I’m off to the CNMC! This post was originally published on August 4, 2010. I made an early-morning holy hour a couple weeks ago. The stars were still out when I pulled into the Adoration chapel’s parking lot, but the first row was almost full; there was only one space left. When I walked into the entry hall I was deeply moved, as I always am, to see that the sign-in registry was full all through the night. The Lord is never left alone; weekends, weekdays, holidays, the middle of the night during a bad storm — someone is always... Read More

What St. Francis gathering stones taught me about discernment

This post was originally published on November 3, 2010. St. Francis at San Damiano I’ve been thinking about the topic of discernment again lately. How do I know what God wants me to do in this or that situation? If I have a bunch of good options in front of me, which one do I choose? This is the sort of thing I ponder when I’m loading the dishwasher. Of all the stacks of books I’ve read on this subject, one vignette keeps coming to mind: the famous story of St. Francis of Assisi receiving the message from God in the church at San... Read More

Buying a Cookie at Whole Foods: The story of an epic voyage

Every now and then I have one of those moments when I realize just how much life has changed since my conversion. One such occasion occurred earlier this week when I made a trip to Whole Foods. It was a spontaneous decision, based on vague positive associations of the organic foods chain rather than any kind of rational thought process. You see, the last time I had been in a Whole Foods was back when I had one child and lived downtown, a short walk from the flagship location. I have these fond memories of relaxing strolls down to the store with... Read More

Getting older…getting younger

This post was originally published on April 9, 2008. My husband and I came across some old photos the other day. It was fun to take a trip down memory lane as we glanced through our pictures from a 2003 vacation, but I was surprisingly caught off guard when he made the passing comment, “We look a lot younger there!” We happened to be looking at a photo of me, and my initial reaction was to think: I was younger there? I did a quick double-take and noticed that I was indeed chronologically less old when I stood on that street in Prague.... Read More

Good drama, bad drama (and how to know the difference)

This post was originally published on July 12, 2010. I recently finished the fascinating book The War of Art by bestselling author Steven Pressfield, which is a sort of field guide to spiritual warfare. He goes through practical tactics for defeating what he calls “Resistance,” i.e. the malevolent force that works to prevent anything good from happening in the world (what a Christian might call “the devil” or “the enemy.”) In the section called Resistance and Self-Dramatization, Pressfield writes: Creating soap... Read More

How I was reminded that focusing on Christ keeps you sane

This post was originally published on April 14, 2010. I originally called it “The Rosary: I’ve been doing it wrong!” but commenters rightfully pointed out that there’s no “wrong” way to pray. When I was researching Catholicism I constantly heard about the astounding power of the Rosary, so I decided to give it a shot. I’d sit next to my son’s bed at night with the beads in my hand; the only problem was that I didn’t have any of the prayers memorized. Undeterred, I’d make my best guess when... Read More

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