It’s #GraceofYesDay!

Yes to my students!
Yes to my students!

Here I am with Fiat, the adorable little fish on the cover of Lisa Hendey’s book, The Grace of Yes. Today, folks all over the internet are posting pictures of themselves, tagging them #graceofyes, and being witnesses to saying YES to God’s will in their lives.

Here are mine:

  • yes to my darling husband — for our love, and all the yeses that spring from his support
  • yes to my kids —  they changed my life in a beautiful way
  • yes to my career in education — I’m not going to lie, it is the biggest pain in my neck ever, and a magnificent return on the power of this yes
  • yes to my involvement in the new evangelization, first through Rosary Army and then SQPN, and all the subsequent opportunities to write and share, teach … and learn about our Lord, Jesus Christ.

To think that one fiat given 2000 years ago would have grown into all the yeses expressed today, and how those yeses continue to convert into more and more.

You can say YES in a number of ways. Here are some suggestions at Ave Maria Press’ Grace of Yes Day:

What are some ways you can say yes to God?

  • Give to a charity.
  • Being extra generous with your time.
  • Help someone in need.
  • Sharing your creativity with others.
  • Saying no so you can say yes.

What is your Yes?

Review: The Grace of Yes

yesOccasionally I’ll pick up a book with the intention of reading it slowly, to really savor it and reread passages that resonate deeply within me.

The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living by Lisa Hendey could be that kind of book.

Or it could be the kind of book you start reading a little before dinner and before you know it the doorbell is ringing because you got so caught up in it that your husband gave up on promises of pot roast and ordered pizza.

It could be that kind of book.

It is that kind of book.

I’ve enjoyed Hendey’s books in the past — they are practical and offer all kinds of wonderful activities and reflections for the Catholic life, but this one, The Grace of Yes, is something more. We’re invited behind the scenes and into an intimate conversation with the author. She doesn’t pop us over the head and tell us how and when to Yes to God. Instead, she shares her journey. It’s like being invited into her living room for some coffee, and then you don’t want to go.

I heartily recommend this book for those of you who have trouble saying Yes, not because you don’t want to, but because you’re unsure of yourself. And for those of you who don’t know how to say No, there’s something in there for you, too.

Get a copy for yourself, and a copy for a friend. Then, get together and discuss it.

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press (November 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159471472X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594714726

Go ahead and judge this book by its cover!

yesI just pre-ordered it myself and can’t wait to get it and read it.

You’ll want to do the same; I promise.

I’ve been a longtime fan of Lisa’s work, starting with, through two other books — The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, her blog at, and now this exciting new book, The Grace of Yes.

You can read all about it at Here.

Oh Boy! I’m Interviewed by Lisa Hendey!

Some weeks ago I got a delightful email request from Lisa Hendey to interview me for the Catholic Podcaster series she has at I have a tough act to follow, with two of the sweetest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet leading this series, from Catholic Vitamins: Deacon Tom Fox and his charming wife, Dee. Go check them out — you’ll discover we share a favorite podcast 🙂

Anyway, life happens, you know, and I totally forgot about this interview until this afternoon, when my phone exploded with a series of Tweets. I use push notifications sparingly, but now the cat is out of the bag. The whole world (or the three people who read this blog) now know I get Lisa’s tweets on my phone. Oops.

So I get this hilarious message:

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 7.20.37 PM

I’m like, wut? The last thing I wrote for Lisa was a couple of weeks ago, Glad for Glads, and I sure haven’t done anything exciting since then — classes started! So of course, I immediately go see, because, well, she said I was a star.

Here’s the interview.

She used the goofiest picture she could find, too, with me in a tarnished halo. At least she didn’t use this one:



Review: A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms

When I received my copy of Lisa Hendey’s new book, A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, I did a little dance in the driveway. I’m nerdy that way — who doesn’t love to get stuff in the mail? When it’s a book — JOY!

Of course, I immediately sat down to read it, but rather than starting on page one, I flipped around, stopping to read when I recognized a favorite Saint, but also when I ran across a Saint that I didn’t know.

I spent about an hour reading in this manner, and I didn’t realize how much time had passed until my husband asked if I had picked up the mail.

Oh! I was that engrossed!

One of the things that I like about Lisa’s writing is that it comes from a practical place. Her first book, The Handbook for Catholic Moms, is a resource that can be used, re-used, and adapted to mothers’ needs. A Book of Saints takes that to the next spiritual level. As mothers, we are well-aware of our responsibilities to provide sound instruction for our children, but we also need to nourish ourselves spirtually along the way.

In spite of my enthusiastic jump into the book and the sporadic jumping around to get a feel for the contents, I recognized a different gift in the book. Lisa presents us with companions on a faith journey that spans a year.

One part history, one part reflection, and one part mini-retreat, A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms will slow me down. I love that. It meets me where I am (needing some spiritual growth) and asks of me something I can easily work into my busy schedule (52 saints instead of a daunting 365).

Whether I sit down with my new companions for a little while every day, or in a weekly marathon session to get everything read at once, I know I’ll be a better mom and a better Christian for spending time in the company of Saints.

Thanks Lisa!

Did I make it to Quick Takes Friday?

Oh! I remembered before midnight!

Check out the collection of other 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, hosted at Jennifer Fulwiler’s blog, Conversion Diary


I can’t believe what a slacker I’ve been, specifically with the Quick Takes, but generally with the poor little ole blog. The upside is that I have posted some things elsewhere, so at least I’ve been doing some of that. Sarah Reinhard so sweetly encourages me to play at her blog, Snoring Scholar, so I wrote this about the #gratefultweets campaign. And then my review of The Mighty Macs that isn’t quite a review because I chat it up about how it stirs up old memories for me is at Patheos, which, by the way, you should check out if you’ve never seen the eclectic collection of bloggers featured there.


It wouldn’t be Friday if I wasn’t complaining about laundry. So, grumble grumble laundry grumble.


I started the week (or ended the weekend, I guess everything is relative) at the beach. You can see the pictures on this post.


I’m getting ready for yet another round of NaNoWriMo. While I’ve actually produced a few books that started during NaNoWriMo, I’ve never finished in the 30 days. It’s only 50K words. Only. One of these years I’m gonna do it. Could this be the year?


I’m a little bit outside my comfort zone right now…did I say I’m applying for a doctoral program? In creative writing? Maybe I’ve told a few people, you know, like friends who won’t laugh or think I’m crazy. Anyway, it feels a little scary saying it here publicly, but there you go. You might want to pray for me…obviously to get accepted, but practically, for me to actually finish the arduous application in time.


It’s the last weekend in October! I’m all stocked with candy for the little ones in the neighborhood, but besides the fun of Halloween, have you considered that it’s also the month when we celebrate the Rosary? I have a little story to tell about the rosary on Pat Gohn’s Among Women episode 112. You’ll want to hear all the beautiful stories shared in that episode!


Finally, I’m reading a new book. Maybe you’ve heard about it? It’s Lisa Hendey’s A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms . I’ll be reviewing it in a couple of days. Get it. It’s awesome!