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


Looking up the word "Epiphany" in the thesaurus, I found similar words such as  "inspiration", "insight", "realization" and "vision".  Secondary words seem even more fitting in trying to describe the amazing story of the Magi traveling a great distance to pay homage to a tiny baby who represented a new age; a dawn of salvation: … Continue reading Epiphany

Advent-ageous Prayer

This Advent, our "Advent By Candlelight" evening of reflection for women included a formation talk entitled "Let Yourself Be Loved".  We included advent calendar bookmarks with scriptures for each day of December leading to Christmas about God's love for us. Letting ourselves be loved sounds pretty easy.  But sometimes humans find many hurdles to real … Continue reading Advent-ageous Prayer

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

I am sitting and watching a cartoon of some pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a meal together in the woods on a sunny but cool day centuries ago, the first Thanksgiving Day.  I am watching the cartoon, and smelling a real turkey, and then I am pulled away from watching the show ("But wait! It's … Continue reading Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

The Temple

Having a "business meeting" (the "busy-ness" of God is always good!) we did not have our Encounter With Christ, but my daily meditation on the church's readings were fruitful and offered a new glimpse into where I needed to move next in my quest for spiritual growth. The first reading from Ezekiel 47; Every month … Continue reading The Temple

Serve It Up

Hurricane Harvey arrived for dinner.  Although "his" entrance into middle Tennessee was gradual, and not as uncivil as his arrival into Texas, he wasn't yet bold enough to prevent us from having our Encounter with Christ this week, since we met earlier in the day.  The people of Texas and everyone affected by the flooding … Continue reading Serve It Up

Peace Seeking

Yesterday was a small but mighty burst of Christ for our group.  I was told to report that we spent much time "lovin' on each other".  What is more Christ-like than that? We had a birthday to celebrate, and LOTS of babies coming into the world through our empowered home-schooling moms with clans of four … Continue reading Peace Seeking

Zip It

I was privileged the other day to have a chat with Lovely Ms. Lala about many things, and always faith-based, but the lingering fruit of which was the topic of sins against words.  Right speech is always a powerful topic with me because I struggle so much with being a blabbermouth. Almost 20 years ago, … Continue reading Zip It

A Cure For Discouragement

Discouragement is a universal topic.  It relates to every human being; every culture, race and gender.  In our recent monthly retreat we watched Fr John Bartunek's Retreat for Easter, "A Cure for Discouragement".  Easter, usually being a season of joy and hope, seemed like a strange time to present the topic of discouragement, but in … Continue reading A Cure For Discouragement

Only Grace

This upcoming Sunday's gospel, John 14:1-2, Jesus is again reminding his audience (the disciples) that he and The Father are ONE.  John's gospel so convincingly explains to us how Jesus and God, the Father, are one in the same, connected and inseparable.  Some of the disciples characteristically struggle with the understanding of Jesus' relationship with God … Continue reading Only Grace

“Your Brother Will Rise”

Today's Encounter with Christ was well-attended and although we again had a short meeting (schools were being released early for incoming storms) the upcoming Sunday's gospel was made priority and we spent extra time on this beautiful reading. This coming fifth Sunday of Lent, we will read John 11:1-45, The Raising of Lazarus. (We used … Continue reading “Your Brother Will Rise”

Jeanne the Archangel talks Medjugorje

Jeanne came to town at the invitation of the Lovely Ms Lala and the ladies in charge of the fabulous Lent/Advent by Candlelight events here in Nashville. When discussing this year's speaker, the Holy Spirit tapped Ms Lala on the shoulder and she had a suggestion.  The next thing you know, Jeanne was headed to … Continue reading Jeanne the Archangel talks Medjugorje

A Heart that is Searching for God and Obedience

Recently I was listening to a podcast meditation about the gospel where Jesus calls the Apostles (Matthew chapter 4) and they dropped what they were doing and followed him into a life of discipleship and public ministry.  I often try to imagine this scene, and cannot get past two things; why he chose who he … Continue reading A Heart that is Searching for God and Obedience

The Rock and The Stone

During our spiritual exercises weekend, Fr William told so many awesome stories to illustrate his points on our spiritual journey toward Christ.  One story that affected me greatly was the story of the stones.  Women who had suffered through an abortion were invited on a spiritual retreat weekend, whereby they were given a stone to … Continue reading The Rock and The Stone


Recently I had a conversation with a relative and dear friend about religion. Being raised in faith that felt to her to be heavily tainted with superstition, she often uses the word "religion" as she might any other distasteful thing that gets in our way of knowing and loving Jesus and God, Our Father. I … Continue reading RELIGION VS. CHURCH; MORE “POLITICAL CORRECTION”

Dignity of America

 "That is the dignity of America, the reason she exists, the condition of her survival, yes, the ultimate test of her greatness: to respect every human person, especially the weak and most defenseless ones, those as yet unborn." Pope John Paul II

Clean Your House; Make Way for Grace

We now interrupt this irregularly scheduled program to bring you the usual commercial for the sacrament of Pennance, or CONFESSION!! Everyone's favorite topic. Not because I am on my high horse, but because I need it so much.... Ok, so you are perfect and you don't need forgiveness. You didn't do anything. OR you did … Continue reading Clean Your House; Make Way for Grace

Just Buy the Dress

A friend of mine is struggling with her oldest daughter, who continues to be in a bad relationship where neither the daughter, nor her fiance, has a steady job or medical insurance. These are the parents of my friend's only grand baby and  have recently decided to get married, despite lack of income and a harried existence looming around them. … Continue reading Just Buy the Dress

First Family Communion

We got the dress on clearance at a very "fru fru" store. We practiced the hair style, shopped for shoes--10 stores and perhaps 27 pairs tried on--and bought tights. We discussed jewelry, and it was decided that pearls were the most appropriate and flattering. Even little complimentary earrings were purchased. But meeting Jesus for the first … Continue reading First Family Communion

Confessions of a Shop-a-holic

"I got these tettoos for 30 cents Mom! Isn't that great? I am ready for the next spirit day!" Cirque chirped as she glided the "Go Green!" tattoos before my eyes quickly. "It isn't 'tettoos', it is "Tattoos", as in T-a-t-t-o-o-s...." retorted JD, with his annoyed big brother voice and a shake of his head. "Whatever! Aren't … Continue reading Confessions of a Shop-a-holic

Humility Granted: an Ash Wednesday to Remember

I have many memorable moments from Ash Wednesdays past. It seems to me that perhaps every year begins Lent with a new spiritual growth theme for me, which becomes clear and evident on Ash Wednesday. I took a big gulp and said it. I asked for it. I said the words "Lord, let me feel … Continue reading Humility Granted: an Ash Wednesday to Remember

Paris 36

I caught a flick today (actually yesterday and today, divided among the folding of about 12 loads of laundry).   Knowing very little about the movie "Paris 36", which was in fact in French with English subtitles, I had little expectation on selecting it from our "On-Demand" list, except a slight hope of seeing a bit of Europe … Continue reading Paris 36

Grateful to Contribute

Grammy's Thanksgiving has always been a bit special. It is the catch-all dinner. By that, I don't mean a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving where we eat popcorn, toast, and whatever else the cupboard has to offer--no, I mean it is the place where every lonely heart is welcome. It has become a slow-grown tradition over the years that … Continue reading Grateful to Contribute

A Feast Fit for Christ the King

A prayer meeting the other day began with a brief bit of formation on Christ the King. This beautiful feast day which takes place the last Sunday of Ordinary Time before Advent in the Catholic church, was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI.  Ironically, 80+years ago he felt that the world was in a decline … Continue reading A Feast Fit for Christ the King

Queen for a Day…

Jeanne checked in at the conference hotel a few hours early. She wanted to unload her luggage and freshen up after the long drive. As she checked Jeanne into her room, the front desk clerk squealed with excitement "OOHH! You are our 1000th guest! You have won a free room upgrade, free breakfast buffet, complimentary appetizer during our … Continue reading Queen for a Day…

Jeanne the Archangle Earns Her Wings

New to the neighborhood, a zealous Jeanne skimmed the church bulletin looking for opportunities to become involved. Alas! An opportunity that sounded perfect for her vibrant spirit and excellent communication skills. The parish was in need of small group leaders. These leaders would help coordinate services from different parish groups. The participants in the groups were … Continue reading Jeanne the Archangle Earns Her Wings