15 Can’t-Miss Catholic eBooks Under $4



I absolutely love Kindle ebooks! Reading on my phone is my secret weapon to staying well-read as a busy Catholic mom. The app is free, it’s just the books you have to pay for.


Over half of these books are free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. I find the subscription pays for itself, but if you’re not sure, or you just want to check out one of these books, snag your free 30 day trial of Kindle Unlimited by clicking below (aff link).

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Everyday Sacrament: A Review



Perhaps you came into your motherhood with certain preconceptions. Since motherhood is your vocation, you know God is calling you to it, surely he will equip you? Yes, but not always in the ways you might think.

Laura Fanucci has an answer to beat all the too-pat solutions to spiritual practices. Instead of shoehorning in our old spiritual practices, embrace the new ones the Lord has given you. Common acts of service, love, and forgiveness are also imbued with God’s presence.


About the Author

Laura Fanucci has a Master of Divinity from Saint John’s School of Theology-Seminary. She is also the mother of 3 boys on earth, and 3 little ones in the arms of the Lord. Laura blogs at Mothering Spirit.

Please, if you only read one blog post today, make it hers, not mine. In February, the Fanucci’s lost their identical twin girls shortly after birth. Her love and grace is the face of such baffling loss is transcendent.


The Messy Grace of Parenting

I loved all of the sections. Truly loved. So to not give too much away, I’m going to focus on my top 3. The eucharist, reconciliation, and the anointing of the sick. As Laura says, their repeatable nature forms the rhythm of our spiritual lives. Just so, the little home moments form the rhythm and routines of our mothering lives.



Firstly, Laura explains her new understanding of corporeal sacrifice from being a mother. Whether your child grew in your womb or your heart, raising a child is physical.


Birth, breastfeeding, carrying a child in your arms for years, imparts a physical change on your body. Mothers give of themselves in an act of what St. John Paul II called self-donative love.


In the redemptive suffering of our flesh, God welcomes our human contributions. He gives us a beautiful opportunity to participate in the same kind of love that led Christ to the cross. The same kind of love that is made present in the Eucharist.



I love how Laura sums up the forgiveness. She recounts a homily heard at a penance service years ago. The priest emphasised the need for forgiveness in the home. That we come to church for the Sacrament of confession not to be better at church, but to bring the grace home. To live gracefully.  


How does reconciliation look from His perspective? I never thought about this before reading Everyday Sacrament.


Parenthood gives us a window into God’s view. When our children carelessly lash out, or purposefully hurt us. The answer isn’t to parent better and make our children perfect. God alone is perfect. All of us fall short of that glory. The answer is to love. And loving your human child takes forgiveness.


Anointing of the Sick

In 2012, my husband’s grandfather lost his lengthy battle with cancer. We drove 10 hours to spend what time we could with him, and tell him that we were finally expecting. His mental state was foggy with pain medication, but the joy in his eyes was crystal clear.


During our visit, we had the privilege of witnessing Ralph receive the anointing of the sick. This Sacrament, once called extreme unction, is not meant to heal the body.


Certainly the graces of God are efficacious to any ends He desires. But the intention of the prayers of anointing are not a mere physical respite. What good is a delay of our eventual death? The anointing, just like the terminal patient being anointed, sets its view upon the eternal.


Laura focuses on the non-sacramental analogues to the anointing of the sick. The caretaking hands of a mother, the strong arms of a massage therapist, and the sympathetic hands of a prayerful stranger.


All of her stories have a thread in common. A simple combination of  witness and physical touch, powerfully heals our spiritual wounds. I believe this is the heart of mothering. To minister to the broken human hearts of our family members, and knit them together with the love of God.


Why this book?

I appreciate Laura’s honesty. Her searing, brutal, views of the truth. Infertility sometimes gives way to hard, hard babies, who challenge everything you thought you knew of motherhood. But it is also worthy. Just like her book: there is no how-to, but there is a poetic beauty.


In the introduction, Laura reports throwing a parenting magazine in the trash. At 3 months postpartum, she wasn’t ready to reflect on the transcendent beauty of motherhood. But that is exactly what each page and paragraph of her book conveys. The timeless, bittersweet, raw beauty of co-creation.


I wish I had a time-traveling media mail envelope. If I could send one book back to pregnant-me, I would send Everyday Sacrament. In the flyleaf, I’d write myself a simple note: Buckle up, buttercup. You’re in for an awe-inspiring ride.

Feeding the Hungry with Mary’s Meals: MM#4


In 2002, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow had been leading Scottish International Relief for 10 years. Among other services, he:

  • provided material goods to war-torn Bosnia,
  • built orphanages for abandoned babies in Romania,
  • and brought emergency food supplies to famine-struck Africa.


It was on a famine relief mission to Malawi, that Magnus met a woman named Emma, and her 6 young children. As Emma lay dying of AIDs, she prayed for someone to care for her soon-to-be orphans.

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Make Everything Easier with Good Habits

How do you form good habits? Most of us say “I want a new habit, guess I just have to work out for a few weeks. If I stick with it, eventually it will become second nature.” Nope! Habits don’t magically appear out of repetition.


Here’s an example: Let’s say your New Year’s resolution for 2018, you wake up, and smack yourself in the face with a frying pan. It’s character building. You knuckle down, and keep doing it every.single.day. For 365 mornings in a row, you diligently whack yourself to uphold your yearly promise.


On January 1st, 2019, will you smack yourself again? I’m betting not.

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7 Ways My Fitbit Makes Me A Better Person

First of all, this isn’t a sponsored post or Fitbit review. Fitbit Inc doesn’t even know I exist. Links are affiliate, because it’s a product I personally bought and love. Glad we got that out of the way 🙂


My sweet husband, understanding my desire for practical gifts, bought me a Fitbit Alta for my birthday present this year. After getting it set up, I’ve had so much fun with it!


Yes, you will be more active and less of a couch potato. With a glance at your wrist, you see how much or how little you’ve moved today. But that’s barely half the functionality. Here are some unexpected ways a Fitbit can made you a better person.

Fitbit Aria

  1. Less snoozing, since the Fitbit Alta tracks your sleep. I  hop to it, when my silent, vibrating alarm goes off. If I don’t, there will be a digital record showing I hit snooze twice. Ok, 4 times. But now I’m beating the sloth-monster by rising on time!

  2. In the neverending quest to get more steps, I’ve become a park mom. Every day, my son plays on the community playground. The fresh air and exercise benefit him too!

  3. Among my friends, I’m a late adopter of the Fitbit technology. Now I have a new way to connect with them online. We’re in a private encouragement group on the Fitbit app. Plus, we compete in daily step challenges. You literally cheer each other on!

  4. Another consequence of the accurate sleep tracking. I’ve had to stop playing the “I’m more tired” game. You know when moms compare and basically brag about being tired?

    Radical honesty. I’m only tired because I stayed up until 12:19 last night. But not that tired, since I was restless a mere 3x, and slept 7 hours through the night. I’m not going to one-up anyone. My lack of sleep is my own fault.

  5. My dachshund, originally a reluctant partner for our long daily walks, is no longer one of the 53% of American dogs who are overweight. I’m a better pet parent!

  6. I’m building community. To many of my neighbors I’m “the walking lady.” We see each other every day on my walks, or as I circle the playground. I frequently stop for a quick chat, and really connect.

  7. As we learned from Legally Blonde, exercise creates endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. My husband hit a home-run with this gift!

How has your personal journey towards fitness and health improved others’ lives? Drop me a comment below!

What Food Pantries Need This Summer: MM#3

Did you know that summers are the hardest season for community food pantries? Donations run high during the holiday season (Thanksgiving through Christmas) with another surge during Lent and Easter. It’s wonderful to see Christians celebrating the birth and resurrection of our Savior by “feeding his sheep.” Sadly, donations fall just as the need for food rises each summer.

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4 Steps to Overcome Decision Paralysis

How many times have you been unable to make a simple decision?

It’s not that you were tired, hungry, cranky, or otherwise indisposed. You were just frozen, unable to choose between a variety of options. We have all been there.

The source of decision paralysis lies in anxiety! The best ways I have found to conquer decision paralysis are through changing a few negative thinking habits, and harnessing my little wins for future success.

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5 Facebook Groups for Christian Moms


If you’re still using Facebook as a giant time suck (hello, pictures of old college roommate’s cat) then you’re missing out. Private groups on Facebook are the 21st century way to fellowship with vast amounts of moms, who are only a click away! Build up the body of Christ online.

H/T to Lis Luwia of Catholic Mommy Blogs for first compiling The Ultimate Guide to Catholic Facebook Groups, with over 30 groups listed. Check it out!

The first two groups are Catholic communities I’ve enjoyed for some time. The final three groups are non denominational meetings of sisters.

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Feed The Hungry (From Home): MM #2


Charitable work is so easy with lots of little ones, isn’t it? As stay-at-home-moms, we have an overabundance of time. Plus our children are perfectly behaved on volunteering trips and family outings.

Just kidding!


When getting to the pediatrician, church on Sunday, or even just the grocery store feels like World War III, it’s hard to find ways to give back to others. Here are some ideas to get you contributing to feed the hungry, without ever leaving your home.

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Motherhood: Is It A Genuine Career?

What is your attitude towards motherhood? Some ways you may be treating motherhood as a casual job, and readjustments, for your mothering perspective .


We all know that motherhood is a vocation. How that plays out looks different from family to family, and changes as life goes on. There are working moms, at-home moms, single moms, homeschool moms, etc. and significant overlap between groups. I respect every woman filling the occupation God has called her to.

What we’re talking about today isn’t the station, it’s the attitude. What is your attitude towards motherhood? Are you living an accidental life like I was? Here are some red flags, and readjustments, for your mothering perspective.

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