My 7 Most Influential Books Of 2017


So I didn’t read all 17 books on my 2017 reading list. I read lots of other books: new recommendations, book-club picks, and old favorites. I also give myself full permission to quit books, so that kicked a few off the list. And above all, my interests evolved.


The woman who wrote that list in December 2016 is not the same woman writing to you now. Her tastes have changed. Her schedule changed. Her family changed. And her heart changed.

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Self-Care or Self-Indulgence?

There’s always going to be one more thing on the to-do list. But you can’t pour from an empty cup! That’s why self-care is unquestionably necessary. I’m not making an argument against self-care. Rather, against the terrible amount of bad advice out there.

So often the big suggestions for self-care are something frivolous like “Use a bath bomb or go for a walk.”

It can also be just an excuse for all sorts of self-indulgent behavior, like copious amounts of wine and chocolate.

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Pre-Advent Preparation & Preparedness

I receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

I haven’t been on the blog lately. In the world of Catholic-mom-blogging, that usually means the author is pregnant. Unfortunately, I’m still infertile myrtle. But I have been busy with a similarly anticipatory process.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been immersed in work for Advent: the ancient season of expectant waiting. It doesn’t begin until December 3rd, but I had to get a jump on it for a top-secret project.

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#WorthRevisit Trusting God with St Therese

The month of October will center on St Thérèse. Email subscribers will receive a digital print from Story of a Soul throughout the month of October. I will post in-depth book reviews of my favorite books on the Little Flower here on the blog. You can read more on Facebook. Even Instagram will get a little sprinkle of roses with a flash sale each Sunday.


St. Thérèse of Lisieux, also known by her religious name, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, is one of the most widely-known Saints of the modern era. You might be familiar with the rough outlines of her life and veneration, but how much do you really know about this Saint and her “Little Way”? For an engaging, readable book on St. Thérèse and the essential necessity of trust, I highly recommend Trusting God With St. Thérèse by Connie Rossini.

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7 Ways St. Thérèse Can Change Your Life

St. Thérèse was the youngest child in a large, devout, French family. In 1888, she entered the cloistered convent of the Discalced Carmelites at only 15 years old. After many years as de facto novice mistress, in charge of the formation of the entering novices, St. Thérèse died of tuberculosis at age 24. Her canonization came less than 30 years later, and she is only one of four female Doctors of the Church.

St. Thérèse is the only female Doctor who is not a mystic. Perhaps that is one of the deciding factors in her popularity today. We find her story, her spirituality more accessible. She never experienced stigmata or levitation. She did not subscribe to lengthy methods of corporal mortification or purgation. Her way was a Little Way. A way of complete trust in the benevolence of God.

On her deathbed, St. Thérèse made a solemn promise. “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth.” Many have sought her aid and been answered. Not only with a resolution of their trial, but also with a literal rose!

Read on for more ways St. Thérèse can help you.

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