Your patron saint for 2014!


It’s that time of year again! I used my week of being under the weather to touch up the Saint’s Name Generator, so it’s all set for another round of saint choosing. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the Saint’s Name Generator is a simple program I created to choose a saint’s name at random. I like to use it to find saints to for each year, as well as for other causes and events for which I could use some extra prayers. There are about 300 names in the database, so it’s a great way to discover... Read More

A saint for the year

It’s that time of year again! I just used my little Saint’s Name Generator program to have a saint chosen at random to be my patron for the year. So, umm, should I be concerned that this is who I got? St. Michael the Archangel  Patron of (among other things): people in danger at sea, ambulance drivers, bankers, dying people, the sick, swordsmiths (What on earth does God have in store for me this year?) Click here if you’d like the generator to choose a saint for you! Note that you have to click twice to get your saint (I wanted... Read More

Forgiving the unforgivable: A conversation with Dawn Eden

For many of you, Dawn Eden needs no introduction. She’s a popular blogger, a former rock journalist, Catholic convert, and author of the bestselling book The Thrill of the Chaste. I recently had the honor of interviewing her for the National Catholic Register, where she spoke for the first time publicly about her own experience as a victim of childhood sexual abuse. When I talked with her for that interview, I was overwhelmed by the amount of wisdom Dawn has gained on the subjects of healing and forgiveness. It was immediately clear that there... Read More

The Saint’s Name Generator

Check it out! I used some of my holiday free time to create a little program that will choose a saint’s name at random. (Yes, writing code is how I relax. Yes, I am a hopeless nerd.) Why would you want to choose a saint’s name at random? I got the idea from the “saint for the year” devotion, where people have a patron saint for the new year chosen for them at random (usually by a priest or religious, who prays over each choice). I’ve had saints chosen for me this way before, and it’s always been a great experience.... Read More

Finding home

The ride home from the airport after we picked up our Kidsave child Rita was a little tense. We quickly found out that when they said in her bio that she speaks some English, by “some” they meant “not a single word.” A Colombian social worker named Maria was with us as well, and she didn’t speak much English either. “Is hot too where you live?” I asked in broken Spanish. They barely managed to nod and smile. They had arrived a day late after getting stuck in Atlanta overnight, and were too exhausted to strain... Read More

A name for baby Joy

As I mention in #2 here, my older children insist that the new baby’s name is “Joy.” It was the strangest thing: my four-year-old son got it into his head one day when I was still pregnant that that was the baby’s name, and has not backed down since then. When guests refer to her by her real name, he or my two-year-old will adamantly correct them that she is to be called “Joy.” They’ve been so insistent that our family has just given up and officially given her that nickname. Meanwhile, her real name is... Read More

Crying because I can’t follow God’s will…or my will?

A couple months ago I got it into my head that I was called to go to daily Mass. I’d been going to Adoration a lot and had repeatedly felt a strong prompting that I needed to receive the Eucharist more than just once a week, so I decided to try it. It sounded really difficult to pull that off while in the third trimester of pregnancy with three kids under five, but it was also kind of exciting to feel called to do something so unusual and challenging. I’d also heard about the great graces that my friend Abigail had seen after taking... Read More

Knock, knock. Who’s there? A clue.

My post from Friday about St. Frances of Rome was supposed to be up on Thursday. After a fun but completely mentally and physically exhausting day, Thursday afternoon I put the kids down for their naps and flopped into my desk chair for my daily quiet time. It was like a taste of heaven itself to sink into the comfy chair and experience the placid silence of the house. All the cares of the day melted away as I opened up a new document to share yet another way in which God has worked in my life. As usual, the practice of putting the words together,... Read More

Anxiety is easier

Last week St. Francis de Sales and some bad programming at Google Maps led me to one of the biggest realizations I’ve had this year: that anxiety = not trusting God. For a long time I knew that stress about certain individual matters was due to a prideful insistence that I had the best plan for how this or that situation needed to turn out. But it has been quite stunning to realize that every single time I am anxious, it is due to a lack of trust in God. So, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been trying to work on this by making a conscious... Read More

St. Monica

I am taking the name Monica as my confirmation name, after St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine. Because of my spiritual immaturity, I felt like it was important to choose someone who was also a mother and lived in the world. I occasionally grouse that I could be a whole lot more saint-like if I lived in a convent, if I weren’t surrounded by the demands of being a wife and a mother and life in the world. I chose St. Monica so that she can remind me always that these are just lazy excuses and there is absolutely nothing about my station in life... Read More