Recent Posts

The Most Amazing Race EVER!

The Most Amazing Race EVER!

I’m not amazing—YOU’re amazing! That’s how I want to respond to people who say that I’m amazing for having completed 4 marathons in 4 days in 4 states with Mainly Marathons. (For the record, I completed the last 4 marathons of the Heartland Series—a 7-marathon […]

Worry vs. Trust

Worry vs. Trust

Worry sits on one side, trust on the other. Two enemies that could (should??) be friends. Friends who have each other’s back when life gets complicated and crazy.

I find it disheartening—not sure if this is the right word or not—that I can experience both at the same time. Worrying about something not going right, while at the same time trusting God’s plan. Then worrying some more about whether the mere existence of worry means that I’m failing to truly trust God’s plan. This is the ‘enemy’ side of the issue for me.

On the ‘friend’ side of the issue, I recognize how worry creates space in which I embrace or acknowledge the struggle, slowly becoming aware of God’s presence in my life, then ultimately shifting my thoughts toward total surrender to God—His plan for my life.

It is by virtue of the very struggle, the all-consuming worry, that I am driven toward (redirected back into?) His awaiting arms. He, who never gives up, waits with outstretched arms to embrace me and my big, ugly human emotions.

 

-Jesus, I Trust in You!-

The Trees We Plant

The Trees We Plant

My kids were not having a good morning. My older kids were fighting with each other. My younger kids were following the not-so-excellent past actions of a couple of their older siblings.  I had had enough! Into my ‘War Room’ I went, knelt steadfastly in […]

Little Flowers Girls’ Club® & The Virtue of Cheerfulness

Little Flowers Girls’ Club® & The Virtue of Cheerfulness

  My youngest two daughters joined the Little Flowers Girls’ Club® this year, and it has been an absolutely wonderful…or should I say blessed…experience for them!  Based on the example of virtue modeled by St. Therese of Lisieux, there are four Wreaths [of flower badges] that can be earned altogether.  […]

Monday Morning Meditation

Every Monday morning, I receive a Monday Morning Meditation email from Salt of the Sound, a husband and wife music duo (a sensation, really) that I recently fell head-over-heels in love with.

Salt of the Sound is often featured at Pray As You Go, a daily prayer site (also an app) that is steeped deeply in Ignatian Spirituality.  I would love to start sharing these meditations with you, as they really bring a sense of calm to what could otherwise be ‘manic’ Mondays.

Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

// Francis of Assisi

Our Catholic Homeschool

Our Catholic Homeschool

We are in our 7th year as a homeschool family, so I just thought I’d share some fun facts about us! –>Name of our homeschool: Little Saints of Divine Grace Academy –>Grades we homeschool:  1st,  2nd, 5th, 7th, and 8th –>Home ‘room’ names: Fatima 1, […]

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Pray For Us!

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Pray For Us!


Dear Diary

My Catholic Conversion Story

My Catholic Conversion Story

 

I converted to Catholicism at the Easter Vigil in 2007, just days before running my first Boston Marathon. This is the short version of how that came to be.

Just after Thanksgiving in 2005, my Mother-in-Law passed away as a result of a tragic accident. My husband, who was Active Duty with the U.S. Army at the time, was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. As a result of his mother’s death, he received a delayed reporting date of March 2006.

At the time of my Mother-in-Law’s death, I was employed as a Human Resources Specialist at Fort Drum, NY. Feeling overwhelmed and wanting to be closer to family during my husband’s deployment, I sought out employment in the midwest (primarily Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan). As luck would have it, I secured a reassignment to Fort McCoy, WI, the interview for which came just a couple of days after my husband deployed.

Now, I must explain that going to Fort McCoy was like coming “home” for a couple of reasons. First, I was born in Wisconsin (in Burlington, closer to the Milwaukee side of the state). Second, the first duty station that my husband was assigned to after we married was Fort McCoy. We spent two years here before moving on to Fort Wainwright, AK (for three years) and then Fort Drum, NY (for eight years).

During his time at Fort McCoy in the 1990’s (1993-1995), my husband worked with a retired Army veteran turned civilian. As this was my only connection left to Fort McCoy, he…well, actually his wife…was the first person I contacted upon securing employment there. Although I hadn’t seen or been in contact with them for years, they opened both their hearts and home to me, as well as my two dogs, and one cat (luckily for me, they also run a kennel and grooming business :))

While I simultaneously sold our home in New York state and bought a new home in Wisconsin, I stayed with my old-new again friends and accompanied them to various events, including a barn dance sponsored by St. Patrick’s Parish in Sparta, WI. It turns out that this particular event – during the end summer of 2006 – would be absolutely life-changing!

You see, up until the night of that barn dance, I had come up with just about every excuse in the book to NOT to accept their invites to church. It just wasn’t my thing at the time – I was spiritual, but not religious – if you catch my drift. Then, came that barn dance.

Ah, yes, THAT barn dance. You see, I lost a jacket at that barn dance. Not just any jacket, but a Boilermaker 15K race jacket from a venue in New York state. At the time, it was nearly as coveted as the Boston Marathon jacket that I would eventually earn the right to wear in April 2007. I absolutely LOVED that jacket.

So, anyway, about the jacket. It wasn’t until we were getting ready to go that I noticed it was missing. We searched high and low to no avail. And while it seemed silly to think that someone would purposefully steal a jacket from a church-sponsored event, I couldn’t completely rule it out. After all, it WAS a pretty cool jacket!

Fast forward to the next day, which just happened to be Sunday. Again, the invite to church was extended and again I declined. But, something (someone?) prompted me to reply with the following challenge: “I tell you what, you find my jacket from last night, and I’ll go with you to church every week until I move into my new house.”

Upon their returning home from mass, I was greeted with the biggest, “You are NOT going to believe this” that I’ve ever heard in my life. It turns out that someone – whom they had never, ever seen before in THEIR lives – came up to them after mass and asked them if they had lost a jacket. They responded that they hadn’t, but they knew who had (meaning, me).

That, my friends, was the beginning of the end of my non-Catholic life. As promised, I attended church with my friends until I moved into my new house. But, it didn’t stop there, of course. I wouldn’t otherwise have a conversion story, right?

The message that I received at every Sunday’s homily turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear. I can’t explain it. I can’t deny it. I have no way to reason that it wasn’t meant to be – for me.

Now, seven years later, I am raising five kids in the Catholic faith while strengthening my own. This blog is my {im}perfect journey toward the goal of becoming a more Christ-centered Catholic.