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Lent: How are you doing one week into the journey? Listen now for encouragement from yours truly

We’re one week into our season of Lent. How have you been doing with your plans to sacrifice more, give more, pray more? I have to admit, I’m doing just okay. I need a little more work in the prayer department, for sure. (My daughter gave me some encouragement by leaving this random Lenten Post-it note over my desk. Thanks, Liv!)

I talked about all of this over on the Morning Air Show on Relevant Radio this week. If you missed the show yesterday, you can listen here today. I’m up first, so you can just click play and my interview will come up right after the intro.

Changing your meals from mindless to mindful

It’s not just what we eat but how we eat. During Lent, when so many of us are making food-related sacrifices, from fasting regularly to giving up favorite treats, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the method to our mealtime madness. Do we watch TV while we eat? Check email or Facebook? Argue with our kids? Stand at the counter? Fish our hand into a take-out bag as we drive? Read more

Manic Monday: Our main goal is staying warm

It’s a Lenten Manic Monday, and it’s going to be a cold one. We’re starting at 12 degrees and working our way down to -11 by end of today. That’s -11 without any windchill. Why did we leave Texas again? It will be a busy week here at the Poust House both personally and professionally, but here’s what went down over the past few days. Hint: It included lots of sledding, as you tell by the photo over there on the left. That’s me coming down the big hill near our house. Read more

Lent: It’s not all about giving up chocolate and beer

So, I walked into my bathroom last night and found this message on my make-up mirror: “You’re beautiful!” I smiled because this wasn’t just any random note, this was the work of the Masked Lenten Post-It Bandit. Okay, that’s not what she calls herself, but that’s how I’m starting to think of her. Read more

My CRS Rice Bowl has arrived! Lent now feels official.

Every year our family looks forward to participating in the CRS Rice Bowl program, but for the past couple of years our local parish hasn’t made the cardboard bowls and accompanying calendar available to parishioners. So I have to get creative to get my Rice Bowl. One year I called CRS directly and had some shipped to our home in record time. This year I found a friend (Thanks, Theresa!) in a nearby parish and had her bring some Rice Bowls across county lines. Contraband Rice Bowls. That’s how we roll at the Poust House. Read more

You Can’t Fail Lent: 5 tips learned the hard way

My Lenten post over at HuffPost Religion:

Lent is one of those seasons that always begins with the best of intentions and rapidly goes downhill, at least that’s how it usually plays out for me. I plan to pray more, eat less, and find creative ways to make my favorite time in the Church year more meaningful. Unfortunately, the ashes hardly have time to settle into the wrinkles on my forehead before I’m feeling like I’ve already failed.

But Lent is a journey, not a pass-fail test. Trust me, if it were at all possible to fail Lent, I would have long ago been expelled from this spiritual school. Fortunately, the goal here is not a perfect score at the end of 40 days. In fact, let’s throw out the word “goal” and focus instead on practice — spiritual practice.

Here are five tips for shifting your Lenten journey from total spiritual makeover to subtle interior transformation:

Read more HERE.

 

A new twist on the Ash Wednesday #ashtag

If you scroll through Facebook or Twitter today (if you haven’t given up social media for Lent), you’ll find a minor debate on the blogosphere over whether Ash Wednesday selfies are appropriate or in direct opposition to today’s Gospel reading about not standing on street corners so everyone can see how holy you are. Of course, we could ask the same question about the very act of walking around in public with ashes on your forehead, with or without a selfie, but that’s a blog post for another day. As for Ash Wednesday selfies, my husband, Dennis, and I have come up with a really great twist on the current trend toward the #ashtag. (Updated to show our double selfie because what’s good for the students is good for the teachers!)

Read more

Happy Valentine’s Day: Love is ON the air

Yesterday I was doing one of my regular appearances on the Morning Air Show on Relevant Radio and was scheduled to talk about Valentine’s Day, marriage, and true love, when a surprise “mystery caller” phoned in and asked me to be his Valentine. If you go to the 29-minute mark on the recording below, you’ll be able to hear the 30-minute spontaneous segment Dennis and I did with host John Harper. So much fun. Plus I got a Valentine’s dinner date out of it!

P.S. The photo to the left is actually our own love lock. (Ours is the small one in the center.) You can find it locked to the stair railing in the tunnel leading up to St. Peter in Chains in Rome. I’m happy to take you there to see it.

 

 

Give your Valentine more than flowers and chocolate

So everyone is talking about romance and love as Valentine’s Day approaches, but what about the other 364 days a year? Are we making time for romance — or at least the occasional night out without the kids — in our marriage on a regular basis? In honor of this holiday (which I don’t particularly like, by the way), here’s a column I wrote in the spring (obvious by the fact that there is no picnicking in Albany at this time of year!). It seemed like a good day to share it again. Here you go. And Happy Valentine’s Day!

Prescription for a better marriage? Start dating.

About eight or nine years ago, my aunt gave me a lovely picnic basket backpack, complete with cloth napkins, plastic wine glasses, everything you’d need for a romantic al fresco meal in a park or on a beach. And every year since then I have considered donating it to a school garage sale because, quite frankly, romantic picnics just weren’t on our “to do” list.

But something stopped me from throwing that backpack into the Hefty bags along with old puzzles and board games bound for the bargain bin. I had a tiny glimmer of hope that some day we would dust off that backpack and take it for a spin. Read more

The soul finds what the soul needs

I always say that every book I write, every retreat I lead, every workshop I present takes me to the next place I need to go on my spiritual journey. I never seem to realize that going in because I’m a little thick, and God needs to get my attention, and not always subtly. But I recognize it in hindsight, so I guess that’s something. Read more