20 September 2018

God Can Bring a Greater Good out Your Divorce

The other day I was on a radio interview for our local Catholic radio station.

I was sharing about a new divorce recovery group that begins tonight where I work.

Having gone through a divorce and the annulment process myself, I see a real need to better help Catholic men and women who are trying to figure out what to do and where to find help.

When I accepted the current job I have, the pastor asked me what were new, creative ideas that I wanted to try and offer at the parish. 

Almost immediately, I expressed the need to offer this type of group, as they are so needed today.

My own experience led me me to visit a support group once at a nearby, large Catholic church. But it was such a negative experience, I ended up going to a support group at a big non-denominational church in the area.

I was frustrated when I didn't see the Church doing more to help people who have been in this situation. 

If we want to be the Church Jesus desires, we have to be willing to walk with and accompany people through the painful, messy experiences of their lives.

Looking back on those years, one of the concepts that was difficult for me to accept was that (somehow) God could use the experience of a divorce for a greater good in my life. That doesn't mean I advocate for people to walk away from their marriage, though I do believe sometimes that is the best option.

As I talked and prayed through that concept with people in my life I began to see that, yes, God could even use my marriage ending for a greater good in my life and in the wider church community.

I share more about that experience over at the CatholicMatch Institute.


PS If you wouldn't mind saying a prayer for our group starting tonight, I would so appreciate it. :) 

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11 September 2018


Sunday, September 9th was my birthday. 

I was out of town the last few days, so I am just getting back in the swing of things. 

A few years ago I did a list of thirty-one things I wanted to do in my thirty first year. (You can read that list here, and last year's birthday follow-up that did not carry in consistency.) I wanted to do it again, with three more added.
So here it is:

My Thirty-Three Things 

1. Run Chicago Marathon.

2. Have at least five speaking gigs.

3. Lose 10 pounds.

4. Go to my Weight Watcher meeting every week.

5. Cook more frequently (and try new recipes!).

6. Pray the Examen each night.

7. Continue reading my Bible each day.

8. Go to a new European country (thinking about Austria, Switzerland, or Iceland). Or go back to Ireland.

9. Work on being less defensive and reactionary in relationships.

10. Organize special birthday celebration for my Dad's 60th birthday with my siblings.

11. Never miss an opportunity to say "I love you" or affirm those I care about in my life.

12. Keep asking for more of the Holy Spirit and to stay out of the way.

13. Get a book deal.

14. Learn more about my ancestry with 23andMe

15. Do a weekend away trip with Kevin and my parents.

16. Attend a silent retreat.

17. Regular Confession, at least every other month.

18. Drink more water, not just LaCroix.

19. Do more intermittent, water fasting.

20. Fast one day a week.

21. Make time to do things with my Dad, like going out to dinner together.

22. Have a visit with my friend Laura from California.

23. Attend a conference.

24. Do something special for Kevin's birthday.

25. Plan three surprise dates for us together.

26. Get back into regularly attending my weekly running group. 

27. Volunteer more often at my parish.

28. Attend a Bible Study.

29. Update my blog and get new head shots.

30. Nurture good rhythms of rest and work in my job. 

31. Be present, to whatever I am doing or whomever I am with. 

32. 15 minute pick-up every night before bed.

33. Pray the Rosary more frequently, start with one time a week.

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