Recent Posts

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 […]

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, Salesian 2, Friars 5, Salvation 7, and Ecclesiastes 8

–>Our school mascot: Honeybee (we are beekeepers)

–>Our school saint: Saint John (Don) Bosco

–>Our school colors: Red, white, and blue (we are a retired military family…Go Army!)

–>Curriculum we are using this year: Catholic Heritage (grades 1-7) + Tail Guide to Learning: Journey Through the Ancient World (grade 8) + Saxon Math (all grades)

–>Extra-curricular activities: Karate (1-7 grades), cross-country running (8th grade), Little Flowers Girl’s Club (1-2 grade), Troops of Saint George (5-7 grade), private music lessons (1 and 7th grades), and Religious Education Program (REP) at our local parish (all grades)

Saint Peter Chrysologus, Pray For Us!

Saint Peter Chrysologus, Pray For Us!

Motivation is a Mean, Mean Animal

Motivation is a Mean, Mean Animal

I’ve been having major motivation troubles lately…mostly in regard to mornings and running. I began this post a couple of years ago before a back injury set me b-a-c-k…way back!  Since then, I’ve learned a lot about mornings, motivation, and keeping fit. A disclaimer: I’ve […]

God, My Daily Habit

God, My Daily Habit

“These Jews were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all willingness and examined the scriptures daily to determine whether these things were so.”

READ: Acts 17:10-15

WRITE: Acts  17:11

REFLECT:

In today’s reading it is clear the crowd isn’t listening to god. What actions can you take daily to hear from God? How does this impact your daily plans?

RESPOND:

I take time for God first thing in the morning (even before coffee!!!!) because if I don’t, then I tend to get caught up too quickly in the day’s demands.  Putting God first also helps smooth out any rough edges along the way and help me “respond” rather than “react” when troubles arise.

In addition to prayer, meditation, and silent contemplation, I practice something called Lectio Divina (Divine reading), which involves reading the same passage over and over again in order to understand it more fully…from another perspective or at another time in which it might have a different meaning.

Using Bad to Do Good

Using Bad to Do Good

“And the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region” – Acts 13:49 READ: Acts 13:48-52 WRITE: Acts 13:49 REFLECT: When have you seen God transform something intended for harm into good? RESPOND: I really struggled with this question.  Although I’ve faced […]


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.