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

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

When “carrying my cross” is code for “I’M A HUGE CONTROL FREAK WHO CAN’T LET GO!!!”

The other day I was talking with a friend of mine about the spiritual challenges that we face on a day-to-day basis (which is completely representative of all of our conversations; we only ever talk about how we might grow in holiness, and would never, ever spend 30 minutes complaining about the annoying things we saw on Twitter that morning). She asked me what my biggest struggle was, and I came up with this: Knowing the difference between difficult situations that are crosses that God is asking me to carry, and difficult situations that that are... Read More

An offering

Saturday morning got off to a grim start. As soon as I stepped into the girls’ bedroom, my sense of smell told me that my day just took a turn for the worst. Sure enough, my two-year-old had had an accident before she got out of bed. Though it was nothing close to the wrath of the poop fates, there was still quite a mess to clean up. I am not a morning person to begin with, so dealing with human waste before eight o’clock in the morning is pretty much my idea of hell. The girls were unphased by the biohazard, and happily made their way... Read More

How I learned to love housework

I am not a naturally tidy person. To put it bluntly: I’m kind of a slob. It’s hard to say whether this is due more to my laziness or to my lack of attention to detail, but I’m the type of person who can step over piles of dirty laundry without noticing them, who forgets to sweep the kitchen floor until there’s an audible crunch when I walk across it. So you can imagine that when I first left the career world to become a housewife after my son was born, things didn’t go smoothly. I found keeping house frustrating, since... Read More

Tell me about your plans for Lent!

What are your plans for Lent? (If you’re not familiar with this season, which starts Wednesday, Marcel Lejeune has the answers to all your questions here.) I know that some people don’t like discussing this publicly, since it can sometimes degenerate into a one-upsmanship contest in which the final commenter triumphs with her announcement that she shall retire to a cave and read Scripture 23 hours a day and eat nothing but beetles and wild grass while wearing a hair shirt throughout the entirety of Lent, but I ask only in the spirit... Read More

An idea for Sunday

A while back I read a thought-provoking post by Ouiz (one of my MegaMom interviewees) in which she mentioned an interesting idea she got from the How-To Book of the Mass: before Mass, she prays to ask God to help her hear a single word or phrase that she’s supposed to take with her and ponder throughout the day. She said that God has answered this prayer every time. I was intrigued, so I tried it. In my typical ADD, scattered way, my “prayer” was more like thinking that I would like to do that thing that Ouiz did the day before... Read More