When we were little, my dad gave us a chance to earn money around Christmas time so that we could buy gifts for others. He called them "Christmas Bucks" and even drew out little dollar bills with funny little pictures on them, cut them out in the shape of monopoly money, and gave them to … Continue reading Care-isms

Grammy Gabs

Lots of people say Grammy (my mom) is like Mary Poppins, or Auntie Mame, but to her daughters she is more like the guy running the roller coaster ride at the park who loves to say "Buckle up!" and watch as your face takes on a look that lands somewhere between terror and excitement, with … Continue reading Grammy Gabs

Ask Yourself…

The other day, after a deluge of personal bad news (even after the bad News on TV and in the media), my heart was moved to pity when my husband asked for maybe the 10th time that day “What’s wrong?” With anxiety raining down around us, I confess I have deeper lines in my forehead … Continue reading Ask Yourself…

I Showed Up

This week's prayer group called us to focus on those who have been entrusted to our care, and the case of a selfless young woman.

How to Increase Our Trust in Times of Desperation

A text popped up on my phone the other night, "Jesus, I trust in you." One of my bestie's pics popped up with her name. "Everything ok?" I texted back. The response was not surprising, that anxieties are mounting. Sometimes, all we can do is muster a short act of faith like one prayer St. … Continue reading How to Increase Our Trust in Times of Desperation

Three Important Things St. John Bosco Told Us Before He Died

It's Boscoworld's Patron Saint Day! "Do not ever forget these three things: devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, devotion to Mary Help of Christians, and devotion to (always be in support and come to the defense of) the Holy Father!"  This year, for Boscoworld's feast day, I want to focus on the last directives that St. … Continue reading Three Important Things St. John Bosco Told Us Before He Died


“Turn me inside out”…”This is the meaning of true love; to give until it hurts.” St Teresa of Calcutta.
Beautiful reflection.

Reflections from the Pew

Surely it is foolishness
That to be fulfilled
I must empty myself
That to be esteemed
I must humbly serve others
That to taste the nectar of freedom
I must be wholly obedient

So it is for those who are perishing
The wise see the Cross as folly
But believers see His saving power
So shred my worldly wisdom
Do not cast me aside
Turn me inside out
So to live in Your Truth

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O Come! King of all Nations!

My brother-in-law makes these beautiful nativity scenes out of old mint tins. None of them are the same. Each has a unique posturing of the Holy Family. The tiny gestures of hands, tilted heads, and open arms all pray in me a most profound peace and worship of the newborn King.

A Letter of Support and Hopefulness to Pope Francis — The Simple Catholic

Dear Pope Francis, God bless you and your priesthood, dear Holy Father. For it is in this mysterious gift the papacy rests in your hands, stirs in your heart, and witnesses with your life. Providence has brought you to us. I am always grateful for Providence. I am a spiritual daughter of St. Mother Theodore… via … Continue reading A Letter of Support and Hopefulness to Pope Francis — The Simple Catholic

Three Virtues I have Learned From Ohio State Fans

Here in Music City, we get over 14 million visitors a year, many of which hope to grab that coveted ticket to the Bluebird, drink a beer at Tootsie's, or walk the hallowed halls of The Ryman. Ironically, questions about visiting these places often rank second to the all-time number one question we get from … Continue reading Three Virtues I have Learned From Ohio State Fans

These Words From Mother Teresa Will Give You Hope

By Kristine Bruce, founder of "Praying for Our Prodigals" When thinking about my kids who are away from the church, my “prodigals”, I so want to wake them up to the urgency of getting back into the fold of faith.  I know many parents feel this pressing desire.  I often feel so burdened not only … Continue reading These Words From Mother Teresa Will Give You Hope

Three Worthy Reactions from the Man in the Tree

Zacchaeus, which means "clean, pure" in Hebrew, may not have seemed to be aptly named to those who knew him.  He was a small man with big greed; like most tax collectors during the time of Christ, he was most likely despised for extorting money from people thereby making himself a wealthy man.  Choosing physical … Continue reading Three Worthy Reactions from the Man in the Tree

Peace and Division

Back to school week for most of us means back to business, including meeting to Encounter Christ in the upcoming Sunday gospel together as a group.  Usually one of our well-attended gatherings, we were happy there were a few more than normal in attendance for digesting the challenging nature of this gospel passage.  Christ explains … Continue reading Peace and Division

Bedtime Stories

When my children were little, we would have what was called a "Book Picnic".  Sometimes we would read together in an elaborate "fort" made from kitchen chairs, couch cushions and blankets.  Sometimes we would pile all the blankets and pillows on the floor and lay on our tummies together reading our favorite books. My personal … Continue reading Bedtime Stories

Get Out Of The Way

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. --Romans 8:28 While juggling graduations, women's retreats, surprise visitors and more, I worried.  I worried about everyone.  I didn't want anyone to feel overwhelmed, overextended or anxious.  So, I stepped in. In order to soften any inconveniences for … Continue reading Get Out Of The Way

Good Friday

"The cross represents all of the love of God, which is greater than our iniquities and our betrayals. In the cross we see the monstrosity of a man, when he allows evil to guide him; but we also see the immensity of the mercy of God, who does not treat us according to our sins … Continue reading Good Friday

“Bad Moms” and Fire-Fighting Storks

As we reflected on this Sunday's gospel about the woman caught in the act of adultery,  the current headlines involving rich and famous parents trying to buy their kids' way into reputable colleges lingered in my mind.   Like the media frenzy in this "bad moms" of college students scenario, I could similarly envision the ruckus … Continue reading “Bad Moms” and Fire-Fighting Storks

Vanity of Vanities

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! (Ecc 1) I used to think these words were Shakespeare's, and even then, their truth rattled my ears.  Now knowing that these words are from the book of Ecclesiastes, they are even more sobering.  Indicating perhaps meaningless time and effort we waste in our lives on that … Continue reading Vanity of Vanities

Put Out Into The Deep Water

This weekend's gospel teaches us about the abundant blessings that await us in the "deep water", a timely indication of the need for deep prayer, especially just having finished our silent retreat which was themed around hope. Traditionally, we use the first Encounter With Christ meeting after our retreat to talk about the beautiful things … Continue reading Put Out Into The Deep Water

All That I Have Is Yours

HEB 6:10-20 Brothers and sisters:God is not unjust so as to overlook your workand the love you have demonstrated for his nameby having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagernessfor the fulfillment of hope until the end,so that you may not become sluggish, but … Continue reading All That I Have Is Yours

Encountering Resolutions: The Best of 2018

Celebrating the New Year has always meant a stream of old movies or opening a new book, and of course, getting organized.  I guess the best thing about New Year's is the sense of personal renewal we all feel, making resolutions to better people; physically, financially, and personally.  I also feel the blessing of renewal … Continue reading Encountering Resolutions: The Best of 2018

Make Haste Not Bustle

Looking up "haste" on , ("extreme speed, hurry") I noticed an almost perfectly divided list of 43 synonyms that have nearly as many negative connotations as positive.   I was thinking about "haste" as I reflected on this upcoming gospel reading for the fourth Sunday in Advent, and I have to ask myself the question, … Continue reading Make Haste Not Bustle

Watching Verses Waiting

Rounding the second Sunday of Advent, and on the beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, we held our annual Advent By Candlelight.  These evenings of reflection for women during seasons of Advent (and Lent) provide women with a peace-filled fellowship in an elegant, candle-lit atmosphere. Fr Peter Hopkins, LC, joined us this year, … Continue reading Watching Verses Waiting

Spiritual Muscle Memory

As a dancer, my daughter spends hours each day developing what is called "muscle memory".  Her muscles are being trained to engage together for a specific reactive form that becomes a skill which plays out on a stage as art.  Requiring thousands of hours of strengthening particular muscles so they create the perfect ballet form … Continue reading Spiritual Muscle Memory

These Belong To You

I once read a beautiful story about a woman who was very attractive.  She received many compliments during her days.  Graciously, she took each compliment and imagined it was a lovely rose.  She envisioned putting each complimenting "flower" to her nose, luxuriating in its sweet scent. Next, she added the "flower" to a "bouquet" of … Continue reading These Belong To You


My First Understanding of Vacancy; A Happy Memory Four girls ages 8-19 stuffed into a car, bags packed with swimsuits and excitement, round the West Virginia turnpike while counting mile markers on the road until the next mountain tunnel on the trip tic; three tunnels means progress. The static on the radio occasionally breaks to … Continue reading Vacancy

Florence, Falls and Feeding the Hungry

  September is the month of recounting some big disasters.  The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and hurricanes past have been on my heart lately, and seem to evoke the same sense of looming that we have been experiencing in news reports of the Catholic Church.  I have ready many related articles and posts … Continue reading Florence, Falls and Feeding the Hungry

Be Opened

Riding through the desert nearing Palm Springs, we noticed the field of often photographed wind turbines.  I was transfixed by their soothing flow; all coming from wind and solar energy, but spinning at different speeds and even different directions. These turbines stand together in a crowd but starkly individual, drawing their power from the same source.  … Continue reading Be Opened

Caution: Fog Ahead: Reduce Speed and Put on Lights

Six states.  Four schools.  Three days.  Two worn out people. One thousand miles. I have been blessed to have a mother/son adventure with both of my boys to investigate colleges.  This summer, it was JD's turn and he was honing in on schools that were "driving-distance".  We have always taken long road trips in our … Continue reading Caution: Fog Ahead: Reduce Speed and Put on Lights

Bloggers Support Bloggers Award

I want to thank Valerie Cullers for nominating me for this award!  I love to read Valerie's conversational posts about situations in her life that have lead to inspirational revelations or "life lessons".  They are entertaining and meaningful and pair up perfectly with a cup of coffee, like chatting with a friend. Please check out Valerie's … Continue reading Bloggers Support Bloggers Award

Candlelight Events

Elegant and Contemplative   When we lived near Toledo, my dear friend Susan masterfully put together "Candlelight" events for Lent and Advent, in which women would come together for a night of prayerful meditation and a formation talk/presentation.  Designed around fellowship and homemade desserts, these beautiful candlelit evenings grew to be popular for Catholic women in … Continue reading Candlelight Events


On a recent trip for a family vacation, we met up with some special friends and spent some quality time together near the beach.  One of the things people do when they go to a beach resort is order an expensive frothy drink with a cute little umbrella and some fruit on the rim of … Continue reading Choices


My mother-in-law was a beautiful, faith-filled woman who loved and served her family  well.  When my husband and I were getting ready to be married, I proclaimed a caveat: "I can't be just like her.  She is one of a kind.  I am not that good!" But when her health began to fail, I wondered … Continue reading FROG

By The Shade of the Joshua Tree

One of my favorite family vacations with our kids was a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona that included driving to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona.  It was an amazing trip filled with scenery that changed by the minute and seemed to be from another planet.  One particular species of the yucca plant drew our … Continue reading By The Shade of the Joshua Tree

13 Reasons Why You Should Watch Joe Verses The Volcano Instead

My kids forewarned me that a new season of "13 Reasons Why" just came out on Netflix, knowing how I felt when this series originally came out.  The schools and youth groups were sending texts and emails warning us that this suicidal story aimed at youth audiences was a talking point, if not a warning … Continue reading 13 Reasons Why You Should Watch Joe Verses The Volcano Instead

Jesus Revealed in Breaking of Bread and A “Prom-posal”

Before we met this morning, one member of our group had gone to mass and heard about the importance of focusing our words and thoughts toward the things of heaven. To speak goodness, see goodness and do good things in our everyday conversations and interactions. Sometimes our world wants us to be selective and choose … Continue reading Jesus Revealed in Breaking of Bread and A “Prom-posal”

The Presence of Evil Doesn’t Mean the Absence of God

I drafted this article in the wake of the horrific Stoneman Douglas shooting in Florida, and for some reason I kept it in draft because so many souls are hurting and looking for answers, and God wants us to know He will never forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).  Since first drafting my thoughts, I received three … Continue reading The Presence of Evil Doesn’t Mean the Absence of God

Who We Are

My beautiful sister.

A Faith So Simple

thinlineThis one hit hard. And so close to home. Because it is the community where my husband grew up, where our extended family still lives.  Because our son is an officer in an adjacent community. And our nephew (soon to become an officer) trained in the junior academy with the same department … the same band of brothers who lost those two seasoned officers last Saturday. They were just doing what they do every day, responded to a 911 call. Serving the public.

Then they were ambushed.  And so were our hearts.

Hate-filled crime is senseless. Paralyzing.

I can’t even look at the photo of the killer.  I’m battling so much anger.

Every day since Saturday, our hearts break a little more.

I can’t sleep, thinking of those wives left behind. And their babies. Who will take them to daddy/daughter dances? Who will walk them down the aisle on their wedding…

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You Are So Much Stronger Than You Know

Always after a spiritual exercise weekend, our numbers for Encounter with Christ double.  Why? Everyone is seeking the peace and depth of love they felt over the weekend.  Much of it is sacramental, but the rest of it is the companionship in eating of the BREAD OF LIFE (John 6:22), the eternal and living word … Continue reading You Are So Much Stronger Than You Know