Praying my way through Lent

For the past few years my dad prayed the rosary daily during Lent and saw it as a time to not give up something, but to give more of ourselves. It is a time to be more aware and intentional with our actions and our prayer. In honor of my dad this Lenten season, I’ll be praying the rosary daily, give more of myself, and strive to emulate the kindness and selflessness of Jesus. One of the last days with my dad before he died was spent praying the rosary together side by side. I take comfort in this tradition we shared. A Catholic and a Baptist sharing our unwavering faith in meditation on the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am not a Catholic but was raised in the Catholic Church. The tradition of saying the rosary is life giving for me right now. It is like comfort food for my soul.

And, yes, today on this second day of Lent I prayed the rosary in the parking lot of the dentist’s office as my oldest was at an appointment. Call it strange, but I could almost feel Dad sitting right there next to me today.

A little more about the rosary:

In the first centuries of Christianity there were many people who could not read the psalms in the psalter. So they substitute one Our Father and one Hail Mary for each psalm. To note the number, they made use of stones, or seeds strung on a cord. The word Rosary means a garland or wreath of roses. Each prayer said in the Rosary is a spiritual rose offered to Mary. This time of prayer is used to meditate on the life of Jesus and to pay respect to Mary His mother for her sacrifice.

I have been using the Hallow App (I highly suggest this app, it is well worth the price) on my phone, even though I don’t really need prompts or leading for the rosary any longer, it is just nice to hear another voice along with my own while praying. Strength in numbers and all…

You can find more information on praying the rosary (and the Hallow app) here:


It’s been a long year. It’s been just over a year since I finished graduate school, I should be settled into a good job, paying off a new car, and saving for an epic vacation. COVID-19 threw a wrench in my plans…along with the plans of every other adult in the world.

I am busy applying for jobs along with 48,000 other Oregonians. Not knowing what my future holds is hard. Waiting and trusting is hard. Making do with a smaller income for far longer than planned is hard.

I worry about my kids, how they are doing in this distance learning model, their lack of social interaction, the amount of time they spend looking at a screen. The Mom Guilt is hitting harder than it has in a long time. Am I doing everything possible to help them to grow into well adjusted adults as we navigate our way through this pandemic? This is hard.

Okay, time for logic.

I am doing fine. My kids are fed, clean, doing fine in school. Ever other kid in the whole world is living this too.

A job will come. The right one at the right time.

Just breathe. Have faith. Trust the process. This season in live is just a season and will change again someday. Worrying isn’t useful or helpful. Enjoy the now. Pay attention to things up close, savor the details, be present in today’s beauty.

30 days of gratitude

Over the month of November the girls and I are going to add a little something to our gratitude jar daily— something we are thankful for small or large—to help us regain focus on what is important as we enter the the advent season.

This time of year is always hard on me as I see the “I wants” start to dominate. Part of it is that I can’t afford to give my kids everything they want. Secondly, because people around me have become so materialistic. I find humility somewhat lacking from humanity lately, myself included, and it is a bummer.

Hopefully a daily reminder of what I do have and the people who grace my life will be a great jumpstart to the new liturgical year.


“God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.”

C.S. Lewis

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last little while about how we live in both pain and gratitude. Pain, grief, worry, heartache and incompleteness live alongside faith, love, life, gratitude, and blessings. Highs and lows always come together and we find balance in the ups and downs of life.

I haven’t quite figured out balance. I don’t know exactly how to climb out of my rock bottom gracefully, or how to find gratitude in my grieving or how to be grateful for the fall.

Someday…maybe. For now all I can do is have faith, cry out and do my best to find the & in life, to embrace life’s duality, and to sit in the present.