A Charism of Hospitality and Unbelievable Apple Crisp Muffins

A recipe for the best muffins ever, and a reflection on charisms to go with it.

Well, we did it.

We made the big move. Thankfully, we had a plethora of family and friends available to help us over the weekend.

On Saturday, everyone got together at our old apartment and helped us load the moving truck. You should have seen it, we got the job done in 2 hours. I couldn’t believe how quickly it went.

Then on Sunday, we hit the early Mass, and a caravan of cars made the drive to our rental house. We unloaded the truck, put everything in the right rooms, and even assembled beds and got furniture set up.

By the end of the day, our house felt like home. Continue reading “A Charism of Hospitality and Unbelievable Apple Crisp Muffins”

Finding Jesus in a Springtime Walk

A meditation on discovering God through nature.

I pull the laces tight on my sneakers and stretch my legs for a springtime walk in the woods.

As I follow the dirt path, hard packed by many feet before me, I keep my eyes fixed downward to avoid tripping.

My focus is on the path before me. Bumps and twists fill my view. Rocks crop up out of the ground, threatening to stub my toes. Continue reading “Finding Jesus in a Springtime Walk”

Family Move? How to Pray the Joyful Mysteries

A meditation on the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary for a family who will be moving soon.

We’re counting down the days until the big move.

Everyone has something to be excited for: a new job, a new house, a lovely yard, and a welcoming neighborhood. We have an ice cream store and a beach right down the road. Five plus parishes to choose from.

But the upheaval in our life is undeniable. We’re all feeling the stress of moving away from family and friends. The house is a mess. And our emotions can be even messier. Continue reading “Family Move? How to Pray the Joyful Mysteries”

It Sounds Like Home

The Mass is the heartbeat of the Church.

We called her Bamas.

She was my dad’s mom. She had a collection of unique accents in her home that I always loved as a kid. Her blown-glass balls sparkling in the windows. Her vintage Mrs. Butterworths jars lining the shelf in the foyer. Her statues of portly friars adorning the living room.

By my favorite was the tangle of brass bells hanging on her door. Continue reading “It Sounds Like Home”

Tweak Your Holy Week – 5 simple ideas

5 Simple Ideas to bring Christ into the everyday moments of your life throughout Holy Week.

St. Paul says we make up for what’s lacking in Christ’s sufferings (see Col 1:24). This isn’t because Christ’s Passion is in any way incomplete, but because Jesus offers us an opportunity to share in His Cross. What’s “lacking” is our participation – not Christ’s deficiency, but ours.

Here are 5 simple ways we can participate in Christ’s passion, by offering everyday moments of our life in union with His suffering. Continue reading “Tweak Your Holy Week – 5 simple ideas”

Why Does Everyone Want to Touch Pregnant Ladies?

The irresistible call of a baby belly: a miracle you can touch.

“I don’t know what it is…” admitted my lab tech (a young, not-so-bad-looking guy), “but some part of me just needs to connect with that part of you.”

Please, try to be more awkward as you stand there with your hand on my belly and a needle shoved in my arm…

“Do you get that a lot?”

Um yeah, usually from the old ladies at the grocery store. They hardly ever ask first. They just stretch out their old wrinkled hands and go for it.

What is it about pregnant ladies and their giant bellies? How is my stomach all of a sudden an acceptable place to put your hands? Continue reading “Why Does Everyone Want to Touch Pregnant Ladies?”

Life is Sacred in its Living

Life is sacred in its creation.

It’s sacred from the moment it springs into existence. The very moment a human sperm fertilizes a human egg, and God blesses it with the gift of a soul.

Life is sacred in its vulnerability. It’s sacred while at the mercy of its mother for 9 months in the womb. It’s sacred in the helplessness of old age. And in the beautiful needs of illness and disability.

Life is sacred when it needs protection.

The least of these stir up our love and compassion. They exude unspoken pleas for protection. We fight for their rights.

But our fight doesn’t end there.

Life is also sacred in its living. Continue reading “Life is Sacred in its Living”

Inspired to be the Heart of the Home

Lessons from Mary: how I reconciled with “A mother is the heart of the home.” 

My birthday was coming up and I had big plans.

I was going to do all the things I wanted to do for me. It was going to be a whole day of me-ness. I planned to take off first thing in the morning, meet a friend for breakfast, do some shopping by myself, have a nice lunch in a coffee shop, maybe even do some writing, and come home to a quiet dinner with my husband.

I had been feeling overwhelmed with meeting everybody else’s needs, and I was sick of it. For once I wanted to just do what I want. To not have to answer to anyone else. I was becoming more and more short-tempered. Less engaged in effective discipline. More shouty than problem-solvey.

So I was going to escape. For an entire day. Happy birthday to me. Continue reading “Inspired to be the Heart of the Home”