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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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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What Worked In August (SQT)

Blessed Brunch

If you have longed for good fellowship with other Catholic women, see if there’s a Blessed Brunch in your area. These are potluck meals fostering faith + friendship. Blessed is She coordinates emails, the hostess opens her home and follows the guide, the guests bring the food + fellowship. If there isn’t one near you, consider hosting it yourself!



An unsung benefit of having Catholic mom friends is all the babies =  all the birthday parties. Ergo, lots of cupcakes.

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Adventures in Crafting with an Uncrafty Mom

Welcome to another session of Seven Quick Takes. I’ll be recapping the highs and lows of 5 years of attempting to find my crafting niche. Get ready to laugh, y’all. If you make it to the end, check out that giveaway!

{Clothes}pin this! – B

No pictures remain, but I followed this tutorial to the letter. I only stabbed my fingers with chicken wire seventeen times. A rousing success!

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Top Picks for Your Catholic Book Club

A couple of readers have asked me for a list of suggestions for their Catholic book club. Choosing a new title for the whole group can be nerve wracking! Especially when it’s your first time leading such an event.

Here are some tried and true favorites for Catholic book clubs. For ease of use, I’ve separated them into three categories by level of difficulty. 

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Can You Fail Lent?


In addition to the established days of fasting and abstaining from meat, lots of Christians also choose to make a personal sacrifice during Lent. As a personal devotion, there aren’t really “rules” about it.  God welcomes our little attempts at redemptive suffering. But what do you do if you fall short of your set standards? Can you fail Lent?



There are 9 days left until Easter. That’s time enough for a recommittal. Write down your sacrifice. Tell your spouse your intentions. Pray about it. Just do it.



Maybe take a break on Sundays. Each and every Sunday is a mini-Easter. A celebration of the Resurrection. Our weak little bodies have an easier time keeping the days of fasting, if we also make full use of the days of feasting.


St. Francis and his friars faced a similar calendar dilemma when Christmas (feast day) fell on a Friday (fast day). When his brothers asked if they should celebrate the feast day with meat, St. Francis responded: “It is my wish that even the walls should eat meat on such a day”. Then he smeared meat on the wall. That’s legit, check my source. The Saints know how to fast, and they also know your fast needs an occasional feast.



Remember why we have this penitential season. 

Such believers know and hope that almsgiving will challenge and correct the greed in their hearts, that fasting will temper and balance the vanity in their souls, and that prayer will humble and mature the pride within their spirits. {Source}



Failures are actually great for you! They remind us that we can do nothing on our own. We are incapable of success apart from God’s undeserved gift of grace. Embrace this “failure” as a gift of humility, and you will have profited immensely from this Lenten season.

God welcomes our little attempts at redemptive suffering. But what do you do if you fall short of your set standards? Can you fail Lent?
This has been another Seven Quick Takes. For more information, and to read more entries, check out all of this week’s SQTs at This Ain’t The Lyceum.