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Girlfriends (A Podcast for Catholic Women)

English, Christianity, 1 season, 416 episodes, 5 days, 18 hours, 35 minutes
About
Danielle shares advice, encouragement, and connection for Catholic women in all walks of life.
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How to Have Fun Together as a Family (with Dan Bean)

This week we are thrilled to be launching the Dan & Danielle Bean podcast, exclusively available through subscription at daniellebean.com. After more than 7 years of podcasting on her own with Girlfriends, Danielle is overjoyed to be working on this project with her husband Dan and can’t wait to share it with you!Dan and Danielle have been married almost 30 years (this July!) and they have eight awesome kids. In this new show, they share stories, thoughts, fun, and wisdom that we have gathered through faith and family living. Whether you’re a seasoned parent, a newlywed couple, or someone seeking inspiration in your faith journey, this podcast is your go-to source for genuine insights, relatable stories, wisdom, love, and laughter.Our first episode, How to Have Fun Together as a Family, is shared here this week as a special episode of Girlfriends, but all future shows will be available exclusively to upgraded subscribers. Make sure you don’t miss a thing! Subscribe right now at daniellebean.com 🌿TakeawaysCreating a joyful and fun environment is important for familiesFlexibility and not over-planning are key to family funParents should not take family life too seriouslyFeedback and topic suggestions are welcomeANNOUNCEMENTSGo beyond the podcast! For bonus podcasts, weekly columns, exclusive live events, and more, subscribe here!Contact:Email Danielle BeanDanielle Bean on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Voxer* For complete episode shownotes and more information, visit https://daniellebean.com/
1/16/202445 minutes, 22 seconds
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Find the Healing You Need (with Dr. Bob Schuchts)

Danielle Bean chats with Dr. Bob Schuchts, the bestselling author of Be Healed and the founder of the John Paul II Healing Center in Tallahassee, Florida.Danielle and Dr. Schuchts discuss every person's need for healing, some ways that we sometimes seek healing in all the wrong places, and Jesus as the source of all healing. They also explore the importance of belief in God's healing power and the challenge of overcoming self-sufficiency. Bob explains the tree and the apple analogy for understanding woundedness and offers practical advice for forgiveness and healing. They also discuss the dangers of navigating new age healing practices and highlight the mission of the St. John Paul II Healing Center.Takeaways:Healing ministry is essential in the Church and the world.Belief in God's healing power is crucial for experiencing miracles.Self-sufficiency can hinder our openness to God's healing.Practicing forgiveness and addressing woundedness are key to personal healing.At the end of today's show, Danielle reads an email from listener, Katie, a non-Catholic who shares what she appreciates about the Girlfriends podcast.Dr. Bob Schuchts' newest book is Real Suffering: Finding Hope & Healing in the Trials of Life.Learn more about the John Paul II Healing Center.ANNOUNCEMENTSGo beyond the podcast! For bonus podcasts, weekly columns, exclusive live events, and more, subscribe here!Contact: Email Danielle BeanDanielle Bean on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Voxer* For complete episode shownotes and more information, visit https://daniellebean.com/This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/6026189/advertisement
1/9/202437 minutes, 48 seconds
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The Only New Year Resolution You Need to Make in 2024

Did you make any resolutions this year? In case you need a little inspiration and encouragement, Danielle shares her idea for the ONLY resolution you need to make.If you do nothing else this year, consider working on this--letting God love you. Three things to keep in mind as you do that:1. Take the time.It takes time to get to know God and let him enter more deeply into your life. Time and again, Jesus "went away to pray" and we need to do likewise.2. Screen your thoughts.What are some of your habits of thinking or talking to yourself and how might these get in the way of your relationship with God? Screen your thoughts and influences!3. Let go of fear.Many of us are afraid of being still in the presence of God. it requires a level of openness and vulnerability that might make you uncomfortable. Consider how this might apply to you and how you can let go of that fear that is holding you back.At the end of today's show, Danielle answers a question from "Anna" who is going through a stressful time in her marriage and seeking support.ANNOUNCEMENTSGo beyond the podcast! For bonus podcasts, weekly columns, exclusive live events, and more, subscribe here!Contact:Email Danielle BeanDanielle Bean on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Voxer* For complete episode shownotes visit https://daniellebean.com/This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/6026189/advertisement
1/2/202445 minutes
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5 Things to Give Up in the New Year [Throwback]

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We are taking a break and using this opportunity to revisit this popular episode where Danielle shares 5 innovative ideas for things to give up in the new year. 1. Undisciplined phone useAre you constantly checking your phone throughout your day? Do you spend too much time mindlessly scrolling through social media? Consider setting limits to when, where, and how you use your phone, and your mental health will be better for it.2. Stuff you don’t needWhat things are taking up space in your home and work spaces? Too much clothing, extra appliances, or piles of books? Declutter your spaces and give some of your extra “stuff” to others who can use it.3. Ignoring your healthMany of us put others first and neglect our own healthcare. Do you need to make an appointment for a check up, a screening, or a trip to the dentist? For your family’s benefit, you need to take better care of yourself in these most basic ways. Make the call today!4. Negative relationshipsWho in your life brings you down, saps you of energy, or tempts you to sin? There are some relationships (like family) that we can’t cut out, but if you have friendships or acquaintances that are a continual source of negativity for you, consider limiting them or cutting them out altogether.5. Saying you don’t have timeWe all use this excuse from time to time, but if you find yourself saying this about important things in your life, it’s time for a change. If you can’t find time to pray, to work on your marriage, to exercise or do other things you think are important, then you need to make some changes. Stop saying you don’t have time and find better ways to use the time you have.How about you? What will you be giving up in 2024?This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/6026189/advertisement
12/26/202341 minutes, 59 seconds
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Christmas-Proof Your Marriage

“Your marriage is the foundation on which your entire family life is built. Anytime you've got extra pressure in your outside lives, it can really add to the pressure that you experience in your relationship.”In the weeks that lead up to Christmas, financial stress, social pressure, and endless to-do lists can add up to a tense situation in your marriage. We need to take steps to protect and nurture our marriages during the busy season of Advent.Danielle shares some ideas:Pause.Take a breath before responding to your spouse in a challenging situation. Spend time together.It’s always important for couples to make time for each other, but even more so during stressful times. Enjoy the holidays together!Talk. A little communication ahead of time goes a long way toward avoiding misunderstandings and conflict.Give in. Compromise whenever you can, and convince yourself to let little things go. See the big picture. Ask yourself: Will any of these stresses and annoyances matter a hundred years from now? Next month? Next week? Even the day after tomorrow? Turn the whole mess over to Baby Jesus and pray for the gift of perspective.At the end of this week’s show, Danielle replies to Alyssa who wrote in to say how much she enjoyed our recent episode about finding more time in your day.* For episode shownotes visit https://daniellebean.com/. This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/6026189/advertisement
12/19/202333 minutes, 33 seconds
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6 Ways to Nurture Your Kids’ Faith in Advent

“Give your kids the gift of Scripture that's going to be imprinted on their hearts forever. Put it into their hearts and minds. Make that what's filling their little hearts during this season of Advent.”Here we are, in the thick of Advent! Are you stressed yet? Let’s stay focused on the things that are truly important and help our kids to do the same. Danielle is sharing 6 ideas for ways to nurture your kids’ faith lives this Advent season:Scripture VersesYou might add some relevant Scripture to an Advent calendar or spend some time reading the Book of Luke.Nativity ScenesThere are lots of kid-friendly options to choose from! Here are a couple of them to get you started, from Fisher Price and Bible toys.Jesse TreeThis doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can check out places like Etsy for beautiful ornaments or search online for printable versions.Advent WreathThis could not be simpler– even just small candles in holders with ribbons can help mark the season. Pray together when you light them!Community ServiceThink of someone you know who could use a visit, some service, or a surprise gift. Enlist your kids’ help in getting it done!Advent StorytimeMake bedtime rituals extra special in the weeks before Christmas by reading some Advent-themed children’s books. Tomie DePaoloa is a favorite!At the end of today’s show, Danielle shares a message from listener Karen who offers feedback on our recent episode about hospitality.* For episode shownotes and links visit https://daniellebean.com/podcast.This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/6026189/advertisement
12/12/202333 minutes, 48 seconds
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Celebrating 400 Episodes With Your Questions

Snippet From the Show “I do this podcast for you, so it makes sense that I would answer your questions to celebrate the 400th episode. I’m so grateful you’re here. ” Crazy, but true! This is the 400th episode of the Girlfriends podcast and to mark the occasion, Danielle asked for your questions and she answers many of them in today’s show. From work/life balance to raising Catholic kids, Danielle offers ideas and insight on the topics that are on your mind. Thank you for being part of the community of Girlfriends listeners. Here’s to the next 400 episodes! For episode shownotes visit https://daniellebean.com/
12/5/202342 minutes, 26 seconds
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Find Joy in Advent

Snippet From the Show “The holiday season can be a hard time for many people. If you are grieving or struggling, it can be hard to feel pressured to be joyful.” Ready or not, Advent is here! Are you looking forward to this crazy-busy season, or approaching the holidays with some sadness this year? The good news is that joy is not something that depends on your outer circumstances or even your feelings. Authentic joy is something we can choose every day, and especially something we can choose during Advent, as we prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus. This week, Danielle shares 5 ways to find joy, even you are going through something hard, this Advent season: 1) Connect with God. 2) Be present. 3) Reach out. 4) Control your thoughts. 5) Soak up some grace. For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
11/28/202337 minutes, 37 seconds
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What is Love? (with Anne Marie Bollman)

Snippet From the Show “I think that the question of love is something really pressing today and the hearts and minds of everyone, especially of young people.” – Anne Marie Bollman Today’s special guest is Anne Marie Bollman, a senior at the University of Notre Dame studying the Program of Liberal Studies and Theology with a minor in history. On campus, she is a student worker for the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture and is deeply involved in Right to Life, coordinating its annual adopt-a-mom fundraiser. Previously, she has worked for Paradisus Dei on the What is Love? project (https://www.whatislove.org/) and is thrilled to see the impact it will have on young people's lives. After studying abroad in France and volunteering at Lourdes, she is now putting her love of the French language and culture to use in a thesis exploring Mary's Immaculate Conception as a response to Enlightenment thought. Anne Marie is also proud to call Texas home. In today’s conversation, Anne Marie shares what it’s like being a student on a Catholic campus today as well as some insights into how young people approach the subject of love, dating, and relationships. For more information about the new film What Is Love?, visit whatislove.org. (https://www.whatislove.org/) Watch the trailer here. (https://youtu.be/smYWfuWfbtM) At the end of today’s show, Danielle answers Ann-Margaret who has a question about guardian angels. More information about angels: Angelic Battle Pack at Good Catholic (https://www.goodcatholic.com/product/the-angelic-battle-pack/) Angels and the Supernatural series (https://www.goodcatholic.com/series/angels-the-supernatural/) For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
11/21/202333 minutes, 12 seconds
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7 Ways to Save Money This Month

Snippet From the Show “When it comes to our spending habits, sometimes the most important thing we need is information.” Whether it’s because of inflation or your growing family, as we look ahead to Thanksgiving and Christmas, many of us are facing tighter budgets this year. Danielle is sharing some reminders of simple ways that we cut back a bit and save some money this month: No-Spend Challenge Challenge yourself to not spend money (beyond essentials) for a set period of time. You might try a week, 10 days or a month. An inspiring book on this topic is The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. Wait If you think you want to buy something non-essential, just wait 30 days before purchasing it. You might be surprised to find you no longer want it. Use an app Whether you use an app that automatically moves some of your money into savings, one that finds bargains for you, or one that shows you what subscriptions you can cancel, technology is a great tool for saving money. De-clutter and sell Go through your closets and garage, find items you no longer need or use, and sell them on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Bonus is that you get free clean space in your home! Meatless Mondays If you usually eat meat, pick a day of the week to plan one more meatless meal and save on groceries. Plan meals Do a little work ahead of time to plan budget-friendly meals and reduce the number of times you go to the grocery store or order take out. Check out the library Many libraries offer more than just books! Stop by and see what free offerings you might be missing. At the end of today’s show, Danielle shares a voice message from listener Lisa who listened to our recent episode 5 Ways to Make Every Day More Catholic and has an idea of her own to share. Other links from today’s show: Son Rise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio Relevant Radio Contact: Email Danielle Bean Rate and Review Girlfriends in iTunes Danielle Bean on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Voxer For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
11/14/202337 minutes, 20 seconds
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Teaching Girls to Love Themselves (with Grace Emily Stark)

Snippet From the Show “We have resources to help moms identify how they feel about themselves and to get in their right mind and hearts over it, and then we give them all the materials in a step by step way.” –Grace Emily Stark There is so much in our culture today that makes young women feel uncomfortable in their own bodies. Moms want resources to help their girls navigate the emotional and physical changes of their teen years and encourage a positive outlook on their own womanhood. Today’s special guest, grace Emily Stark, editor of Natural Womanhood (https://naturalwomanhood.org/), shares about resources they are creating to help moms do exactly that. Other links mentioned in today’s episode: Mothers of (Pre) Teens online course (https://naturalwomanhood.org/mothers-of-pre-teens-online-course/) Fertility Awareness for Health Professionals (https://naturalwomanhood.org/topic/fertility-awareness-for-health-professionals/) also: The Care and Keeping of You (https://www.amazon.com/Care-Keeping-You-Younger-American/dp/1609580834/ref=sr_1_1?crid=11IL4RK5P7HAO&keywords=body+book+american+girl&qid=1696001968&sprefix=body+book+american+girl%2Caps%2C114&sr=8-1) by American Girl At the end of today’s show, Danielle shares an email from listener Tricia who wanted to say thank you for our recent episode about how to deal with negative people. (https://www.goodcatholic.com/podcast/7-ways-to-deal-with-negative-people-389/) For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
11/7/202345 minutes, 25 seconds
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Getting Better at Hospitality

Snippet From the Show “Having people over is about so much more than just entertaining. It’s about truly connecting with one another and building real community.” The holiday season is right around the corner, and maybe you are giving some thought to holiday hospitality. Do you dread having people over? Or do you avoid it altogether because it just takes so much effort? Danielle shares some tips to help you overcome some of those obstacles and truly get better at hospitality. Have a plan. Think ahead about the things you might talk about with your guests or interesting topics of conversation. Just do it. A lot. If you are anxious about hosting, the simplest way to get over yourself is to just start doing it. The more you do it, the easier it will become. Start small. You don’t have to host a giant event or fancy dinner party. Just invite some friends for coffee or games. Let others help. Share the load! You can make things simpler by allowing guests to bring some of the food or otherwise help you prepare. Stay within your budget. It can be tempting to spend a lot of money trying to pull off the “perfect” event, but remember this is about connecting with others, not showing off. Plan a simple budget and stick with it. Don’t apologize. Don’t make the awkward mistake of pointing out all the things that are wrong with your home or your food to your guests. Be gracious and humble and authentically yourself. Be present. Make sure to truly listen and connect with your guests. That’s what it all about! At the end of today’s show, Danielle answers a question from Jessie who is looking for help in breaking her habit of drinking too much coffee. For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
10/31/202331 minutes, 42 seconds
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Navigating Infertility (with Jamie Rathjen and Teresa Kenney)

Snippet From the Show “Like everything in healthcare, with infertility, you become a detective, taking a really good history from both the woman and the man. We need to remember always that it takes two people to create life. So we want to make sure we address right away male fertility and not leave that for down the road.” Jamie Rathjen Today’s special guests are Jamie Rathjen and Teresa Kenney, hosts of The Hormone Genius podcast (https://www.hormonegenius.com/). Jamie is founder of the Fiat Institute (https://www.fiatinstitute.com/), a hormone coach certification program, and Teresa is Women’s health Nurse Practitioner and author of The Happy Girl’s Guide to Being Whole. (https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Girls-Guide-Being-Whole/dp/1735223727) Together, they discuss the topic of male and female infertility and some practical ways to create a safe environment for your hormonal health and fertility. At the end of today’s show, Danielle shares a voicemail from Vanessa who shares about the Duo Lingo app. More links from today’s show: Free offer from Teresa and Jamie at The Hormone Genius podcast. (https://www.hormonegenius.com/freebie) Cleanish by Gin Stephens (https://www.amazon.com/Clean-ish-Natural-Ability-Self-Clean/dp/125082415X) Water Consciousness study (https://thewellnessenterprise.com/emoto/) The Hormone Genius podcast episode on male infertility (https://soundcloud.com/thehormonegenius/s3-ep-31-male-infertility) For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
10/24/202339 minutes, 37 seconds
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Find More Time in your Day

Snippet From the Show “Be sure you are not discerning your self-worth in the things you accomplish each day. You have worth as a child of God, not matter how productive you are.” Would you like an extra 3 or 4 hours in each day? We all feel overwhelmed and crunched for time sometimes. This week, Danielle shares some ideas for ways to make the most of the 24 hours we do have each day. Some of these include: Clarify your priorities. Block your time and batch similar tasks. Create a daily schedule. Eliminate time wasters. Learn to say “No” and “Not now.” Delegate tasks. Set time limits and take breaks. Take care of yourself. Set realistic goals. Another podcast where we discussed a similar topic was 5 ways to Be More Productive. (https://girlfriends.fireside.fm/351) Other links mentioned in this week’s show: Pomodoro Technique (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique) The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock (https://a.co/d/ac8Wkzw) A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot (https://a.co/d/4ocOIr8) At the end of today’s show, Danielle shares an email from listener Sarah who was inspired by a recent podcast and offers a book recommendation. For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
10/17/202340 minutes, 7 seconds
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Many Paths to Holiness (with Marie Mazzanti)

Snippet From the Show “You have all these varying degrees of women becoming saints in such different circumstances … If you look at another woman and say she's not listening to God because her life doesn't look the same as yours. Well, then you're not really understanding, one, the saints and two, the Gospel.” – Marie Mazzanti Our guest this week is Marie Mazzanti, a wife, mother, and media creator at Catholic Caritas on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/catholiccaritas/). Marie joins Danielle to discuss the variety of ways that we are called to holiness and the truth that we are not all called in the same way. They share about marriage, gender roles, Theology of the Body. Marie shares from her experience of living a mixed faith marriage and candidly discusses the challenges and joys of her own vocation. Marie Mazzanti’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@CatholicCaritas) For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
10/10/202349 minutes, 7 seconds
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5 Ways to Make Your Day More Catholic

Snippet From the Show “Praying without ceasing really means always seeing things and experiencing things in reference to our relationship with God – understanding that God the Father created you and He desires this ongoing relationship with you.” The inspiration for today’s topic comes to us from Scripture. In 1 Thessalonians, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” That’s what we mean by making every day more Catholic, but how do we do that? Danielle shares five ideas: 1. Go beyond Sunday. Find a way to extend your experience of your faith beyond Sunday Mass. You might add more prayer to your days, receive the sacraments more often, or learn a new devotion. 2. Fill your day with Catholic imagery. There are all kinds of things you can use to decorate your home with Catholic items (Check out The Catholic Company) (https://www.catholiccompany.com/home-goods-c5381/) or you might want to consider enthroning the Sacred Heart of Jesus in your home. (https://girlfriends.fireside.fm/131) 3. Practice fasting and abstinence. Fasting isn’t just for Lent! Find a way to go deeper in your prayer life by incorporating sacrifice on a regular basis. We took on the topic of fasting in a previous episode (https://podcasts.apple.com/mn/podcast/spiritual-benefits-of-fasting/id1073361940?i=1000434541925), and we had a great conversation with Beth Bubik (https://girlfriends.fireside.fm/356) on this topic as well. 4. Read a Catholic book. Whether you revisit a classic Catholic book or read something from a modern author, make going deeper in your Catholic faith part of your reading practice. 5. Do a Catholic thing. Make a pilgrimage, visit a shrine, sign up for a Bible Study or sign up for a virtual Catholic event (https://www.goodcatholic.com/product-category/events/). One more link from today’s episode: Masstimes.org (https://masstimes.org/) At the end of today’s show, Danielle answers an email from a listener Kendra who is having a tough time with her two small children during Mass. A previous episode devoted to this topic was How to Survive Mass With Little Kids (https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/how-to-survive-mass-with-little-kids/id1073361940?i=1000598537943). For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
10/3/202347 minutes, 43 seconds
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Your Friends in Heaven (with Becca Corbell)

Snippet From the Show “St. Elizabeth Seton is a really faithful friend. If you're praying to her, things will happen and she will show up. She's a really powerful intercessor.” – Becca Corbell Our special guest this week is Becca Corbell. Becca has worked at the Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg Maryland for the last 10 years where she is Associate Director of Programs. Becca has worked in many aspects of the Shrine’s programming, most notably in the Basilica and Liturgical life at the Shrine for seven years, directed the Shrine’s popular faith-drama “Back from the Dead” for six years, and helped to found the Shrine’s Prayer Line Ministry. Some links from today’s conversation: National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (https://setonshrine.org/) Seton Shrine Book Clubs (https://setonshrine.org/bookclub/) Seton Shrine museum (https://setonshrine.org/museum/) At the end of today’s show, Danielle answers an email from a listener Emily who struggles with how to talk with her husband about his physical health. For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
9/26/202337 minutes, 55 seconds
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7 Ways to Deal With Negative People

Snippet From the Show “You don’t owe everyone your time and energy. It can be very reasonable, and even responsible, to set boundaries with certain people.” Do you deal with negative people in your life? It can be so draining to handle negativity, but we all run into people like this from time to time. This week, Danielle shares 7 ideas for ways to handle negative people: Be confident. If you have prayerfully and carefully decided something, don;t let someone else’s negativity derail you. Listen. Sometimes, a negative person just needs to vent. Perhaps they just want a sympathetic ear. Guard your time. You don’t owe everyone your time and energy. You can set some limits on how much time you spend with a negative person. Don’t be reactive. Do your best to stay calm and not emotional with a negative person. Resist the temptation to jump in and argue. Set boundaries. You can limit the amount of time and energy you give people, but also which topics you will talk with them about. You might even need to cut ties with some people. Ask questions. Ask things like “Can you explain that?” or “Why do you feel that way?” to help the person examine how they are really feeling in an honest way. Examine yourself. Are you a negative person? What are your habits of communication? Bring this to prayer and ask God to help you grow. At the end of the show, Danielle answers a question from Julie who wants to go back to confession but is finding it hard to do. For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
9/19/202337 minutes, 50 seconds
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Find Your Peace (with Dr. Mario Sacasa)

Snippet From the Show “Particularly among young people, we see correlation between the amount of time spent online and an increase in anxiety and in stress.” Dr. Mario Sacasa So many of us struggle with stress and anxiety in our lives. Navigating work, relationships, finances, and health issues can really take a toll on our mental health. Dr. Mario Sacasa joins us to discuss what really happens when we feel stressed and share some practical ways we can manage it. He also shares about things we should know as parents to best support our kids’ mental health. To go deeper on this topic with Dr. Mario Sacasa, check out his Good Catholic Series. Overcoming Stress and Anxiety. At the end of the show, Danielle answers a question from Jen who is doing her best to establish a daily prayer routine but meeting some obstacles along the way. For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
9/12/202351 minutes, 24 seconds
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How to Thrive When Life Changes

Snippet From the Show “Look for the good. Even when you are going through something very hard, there is always good. God works all things together for our good.” Feel your feelings. It’s important to be honest about how you are feeling and really process all that you are experiencing. Give yourself grace. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself the time and space you need to adjust to new things. Focus on the good. Look for the good things that are happening in your life or the blessings you are experiencing as a result of change. Give thanks. Pause, reflect, give thanks for what you have been given, and then let go –meaning give everything over to God. Pray. If you are struggling to adjust to something new, ask God “What now?” or “What next?” Ask Him to reveal His plan for your life right now. At the end of the show, Danielle answers a question from Meghan who feels out of place in her parish community and wonders if she should leave. For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
9/5/202338 minutes, 31 seconds
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Standing on the Rock (with Fr. Dwight Longenecker)

Snippet From the Show “If you're so convinced that you're right you've got the wrong attitude. Because being right at all costs is a symptom of pride, and at the core of the Christian belief, the very first step in getting things right is to say I'm wrong.” – Fr. Dwight Longenecker Our special guest on Girlfriends is Fr. Dwight Longenecker, author, speaker, Catholic priest, and pastor of Our lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. Fr. Dwight will be a featured presenter at the Good Catholic event, How to Find Peace in Political Times. Fr. Longenecker shares thoughts and observations from his experience as a pastor and in online debates and offers encouragement for loving our fellow human beings, even in the face of “cancel culture.” At the end of the show, Danielle answers an email from Jessica, a mom of four young children, who would like her mother to be a greater source of support with childcare and housework. Should she ask her mom for more? Other links from this episode: Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s website (https://dwightlongenecker.com/) Fr. Dwight’s book, Beheading Hydra (https://sophiainstitute.com/product/beheading-hydra/) Register for How to Find Peace in Political Times (https://www.goodcatholic.com/product/how-to-find-peace-in-political-times/) For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
8/29/202342 minutes, 3 seconds
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How to Unlock the Power of Prayer

Snippet From the Show “If you make time for daily prayer, you can practice sitting at the feet of Jesus in your own heart and mind, even during times in life when you are very busy.” This week, we are focusing on unlocking the power of prayer. We all know that we should pray and we should make it a daily priority, but many things can get in the way of that. We have work, kids, and crammed calendars that threaten to pull us away from regular times to pray. Danielle shares thoughts about how to change our approach to prayer and new ideas for ways to make it a daily habit – one that you are made for and will thrive in. Danielle offers ideas to help reshape your prayer routine and cultivate a daily habit that will help grow in relationship with God. At the end of the show, Danielle answers an email from 15-year-old Elizabeth who wonders about whether a Catholic woman can become a fighter pilot. Is this a sticky question? Yes and no! Other links from this episode: How to Make a Personal Prayer Space Register for our summer series! For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
8/22/202353 minutes, 8 seconds
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Make Room for Jesus (with Ambrose Bean)

Our special guest this week is Ambrose Bean, none other than Danielle Bean’s own son! Ambrose, a theologian, author, and teacher, shares about a new project he has been working on called The Bethlehem Society, a group of Catholics united under the common conviction that the Church is longing for a return to Christ in modern times. They publish a digital magazine featuring articles, reflections, poetry, and other written works produced by Society members. As writers, speakers, teachers, students, public servants, tradesmen, parents, religious, and professionals of all kinds, they seek to reintroduce Christ to the world, at a time when there is “no place” for him in the inn. At the end of the show, Danielle answers an email from Diane, a woman who is having difficulty forgiving her sister-in-law after a painful experience. For more information and encouragement on this topic, check out How to Forgive When It’s Hard from our archives. Snippet From the Show “In the Church, we need to return to very simple telling of the story, and that’s what the Bethlehem Society is trying to do. We’re forging a new path, which is really the old path, to get back to the basics, get back to the fundamentals, and simply tell the story as beautifully as possible.” – Ambrose Bean For episode shownotes visit www.goodcatholic.com.
8/15/202344 minutes, 21 seconds
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Try Mini Habits and Start Winning

Mini goals work because they help you feel like you are “winning” in small ways that can readily translate into larger ways. Danielle discusses small goals she set in healthy habits of eating and exercise and describes how even very small successes have motivated her to find larger success in other ways as well. If you decide to try some mini habits, here are some tips to keep in mind: Don’t set too many mini goals, or you might overwhelm yourself and give up. Make sure your goals are small enough to be do-able even on your worst days. Keep track of your progress and enjoy the sense of accomplishment as you go. How about you? Let us know if you try some mini goals and how this concept works for you! At the end of the show, Danielle answers a question from Nicole, a new wife and mom who wonders about her ability to have another child. Snippet From the Show “Mini habits are tiny steps in the right direction, small, winnable goals that move you closer to where you want to be.” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.goodcatholic.com.
8/8/202345 minutes, 2 seconds
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How to Raise Catholic Kids (with John Bosio)

Our special guest this week is author John Bosio. Married 50 years, John and his wife, Teri, are parents of two daughters. He has led religious education and marriage enrichment programs at the parish and diocesan level for many years. John has a Master’s Degree in Theology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling. For 13 years he served three parishes in Kansas as a marriage and family therapist. In the fall 2022 John published Raising a Catholic Family: Building a Domestic Church – a handbook for parents. The book was awarded second place at the annual book awards of the Catholic Media Association in June 2023. At the end of the show, Danielle answers a question from Melissa, a listener who struggles with her husband’s work schedule. Other links from this episode: John Bosio's website Register for our summer series! Snippet From the Show “Little habits are so critical to the relationships within the family and that's how we talk about love. Love is made up of little actions.” – John Bosio” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.goodcatholic.com.
8/1/202347 minutes, 30 seconds
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9 Things to Do Every Day

Do ever think about what your priorities are and wonder if your days are lining up with them. Danielle is sharing ideas for small, basic things we can and should do every day to take care of ourselves and love and serve others. Pray. Duh! We know this one, but let’s make sure we are deliberately setting aside time for daily prayer. Move your body. It doesn’t matter if it’s an official exercise program or just turning up the music and dancing in your living room, make sure you are moving every day. Enjoy something. It might be a conversation with a friend or a glass of iced tea. Be present to small pleasures in your life. Connect. Hug your kids! Kiss your husband! Text a friend! We are built for community, so make sure you are engaging with yours. Create! Whether it’s a berry pie, a poem, or a piece of music, you can boost your happiness by looking for ways to be creative every day. Make a healthy swap. This idea is based on a concept I learned about in Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. Make one tiny healthy each day, like drinking water instead of soda. Say thank you. Gratitude makes you happy! Pray a daily examen or find another way to incorporate deliberate gratefulness in every day. Go outside. Human beings are meant to be part of the natural world. Take at least a small break and step outside! Learn something new. Take a class, read a book, or use YouTube or an app, keep your brain alive by learning, at least a little bit, each day. At the end of today’s show, Danielle answers a question from Jennifer who asks about encouraging and supporting her children as they discern their vocations. Other links from this episode: Register for our summer series! Snippet From the Show “What are some of these basic little things that we should be thinking about, and making time and space for, every day? I’ve got a list of 9 things to share with you!” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.goodcatholic.com.
7/25/202346 minutes, 2 seconds
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Start Your Day With God (and Father Kirby)

Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, an author, speaker, and host of Morning Offering With Fr. Kirby, joins us this week to talk about the power of prayer, especially the power of praying the Morning Offering every day and offering your day as a gift to God. Fr. Kirby shares especially about the value of offering up our suffering, something that praying every morning can help us to do. At the end of today’s show, Danielle shares emails from Cheryl and Barb who, after listening to the recent episode about life-changing books, have titles they want to recommend for summer reading. Other links from this episode: Learn more about Fr. Kirby, his work, and ministry Morning Offering With Fr. Kirby on YouTube Snippet From the Show “If we take these sufferings and anxieties and we offer them to the Lord, then it's called redemptive suffering, and they're not wasted. Moments of anxiety, frustration, concern, whatever it might be – they're given to the Lord and they actually have spiritual power.” - Fr. Jeffrey Kirby For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.goodcatholic.com.
7/18/202333 minutes, 10 seconds
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How to Make Time for Your Marriage

We are focused on ways to make time for your marriage this week. Are you deliberate about setting aside time to focus on your marriage every day and every week? If we are not careful, other priorities like work, kids, and social activities can fill up our calendars, and without meaning to, married couples can begin to drift apart. Some ideas Danielle shares in today’s episode: Snippet From the Show We need to be deliberate about choosing the other person, about choosing the other person, choosing marriage, and saying YES to our spouse again, every single day. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.goodcatholic.com.
7/12/202335 minutes, 58 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: How to Handle Your Husband

After a special announcement, Danielle shares a throwback episode. In fact, this is one of the most popular Girlfriends episodes ever. Do you cringe when Ephesians 5 gets read at Mass? Many people are uncomfortable with this Scripture passage which can seem politically incorrect in today’s world. Men are the heads of their wives? Wives should submit to their husbands? What on earth can this mean? Snippet From the Show Snippet from the Show You can’t understand the passage of Ephesians 5 outside the context of love. You can’t. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t sound right. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/4/202340 minutes, 17 seconds
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5 Books That Changed My Life

Do you have plans for reading this summer? What books are on your list? Danielle shares books that have had a lasting impact on her life. She also encourages you to share your reading list with her and others. Snippet From the Show There are some books that you can return to again and again because of the impact they have on your life. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/27/202345 minutes, 20 seconds
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Writing Inspired by Scripture (with Maureen O’Brien)

Danielle is joined by special guest Maureen O’Brien to discuss Maureen’s new book Gather the Fragments: My Year of Finding God’s Love. Maureen shares how she came to write the book and the ways in which she has come to know God and understand love more deeply through Scripture. Snippet From the Show God not only gives us enough, but in fact, he gives us more than we need. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/20/202344 minutes, 7 seconds
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How to Stand Up for Yourself

Do you struggle to stand up for yourself? Many women don’t like to cause conflict and tend to be reserved when it comes to setting boundaries or speaking out against things that are offensive or disrespectful. This week, Danielle discusses why this is so hard and ways to meet the challenge of standing up for ourselves. Snippet From the Show Seek clarity on what is just and what is charitable and how to find the balance between the two. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/13/202335 minutes, 35 seconds
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Holy Habits of the Sacred Heart (with Emily Jaminet)

The month of June is devoted to the Sacred Heart, so there is no better time to chat with Emily Jaminet, author of Secrets of the Sacred Heart and her newest book, Holy Habits From the Sacred Heart. Emily shares some of her own stories of devotion to the Sacred Heart and ways that focusing on the heart of Jesus has changed her life. Snippet From the Show People want to find more stability in their faith. They want to find consolation and love. All of this can be found in Christ's Sacred Heart. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/6/202335 minutes, 28 seconds
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How to Overcome Anxiety

Do you struggle with worry and anxiety? We all do from time to time, but it’s important to know that God specifically commands us not to worry and not to be anxious. But sometimes that’s easier said than done! This week, Danielle shares advice that can help you resist the temptation to worry and instead choose to trust in God. Snippet From the Show For whatever good we want to accomplish in our lives, we must seek the help of God. We must ask for his grace. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/30/202343 minutes, 18 seconds
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A Catholic Response to Addiction and Recovery (with Keaton Douglas)

Danielle is joined by special guest Keaton Douglas to discuss the struggle of addiction and how each of us can help people on the road to recovery. Keaton shares about her work with I THIRST Initiative. She also tells the story of her conversion and how she ended up working with those struggling with addiction. Snippet From the Show When we hold onto unforgiveness, it is like a poisonous snake lives within us. It is such a burden to hold onto resentment! For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/23/202332 minutes, 5 seconds
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Are You Ready for Another Baby?

Are you ready to have another baby? Danielle dives into this question after hearing from listener Catherine who is struggling to come to terms with a new and unexpected pregnancy. Danielle discusses helpful ways to address the different feelings women may have in response to getting pregnant. Snippet From the Show You were made for this. It is not easy, but God will give you the grace you need. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/16/202339 minutes, 56 seconds
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Catholic All Year (with Kendra Tierney)

How can we bring our faith more into our daily lives? Danielle is joined by guest Kendra Tierney who is the founder of Catholic All Year and the author of The Catholic All Year Compendium. Together they discuss the different ways you can make liturgical living do-able in your home. Snippet From the Show When you incorporate liturgical living into your home, the point isn’t perfection, the point is relationship and having conversations about faith. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/9/202336 minutes, 10 seconds
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How to Thrive as a Work-at-Home Mom

How do you manage being a mom who works from home? Sometimes it can be very difficult to balance mom life and work life. Danielle offers six tips to help you thrive as a work-at-home mom. Snippet From the Show All things should be done for the glory of God. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/2/202340 minutes, 13 seconds
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God’s Plan for Your Fertility (with Jamie Rathjen)

Let’s talk about hormones! Danielle Bean is joined by guest Jamie Rathjen to discuss fertility, Natural Family Planning, hormones, and more. Jamie shares her positive outlook on these topics and provides a refreshing and realistic understanding of them. Snippet From the Show In order to accept that fertility truly is a gift, we must understand why it is a gift. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/25/202341 minutes, 32 seconds
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9 Ways to Be More Creative

Are you a creative person? Don’t say no! All of us are meant to be creative. But in case you don’t feel creative, Danielle shares nine ideas for how to be more creative in your everyday life. Snippet From the Show We are made in the image and likeness of the Creator. We too are meant to be creative. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/18/202336 minutes, 39 seconds
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Mass Class (with Fr. Dave Dwyer)

Do you have questions about Mass? Danielle is joined by guest Fr. Dave Dwyer CSP to discuss his new book Mass Class: Your Questions Answered. Danielle and Fr. Dwyer answer some of the questions he has been asked about the Mass on his radio show. They also discuss Fr. Dwyer's journey to the priesthood. Snippet From the Show “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass.” -St. Padre Pio For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/11/202347 minutes, 15 seconds
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8 Little Ideas for Holy Week

Holy Week is here! Whether Lent went well for you or not, Danielle brings eight small ideas for you to consider doing this Holy Week. Hopefully, acting on one of these ideas will help you enter more deeply into this Holy Week so that you can grow closer to the Lord. Snippet From the Show Going to confession and receiving God’s mercy is a wonderful way to prepare yourself for Easter, for Jesus. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/4/202334 minutes, 21 seconds
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Hearts of Joy (with Lauren Costabile)

Danielle is joined by guest Lauren Costabile. Lauren is the founder of Hearts of Joy International, a non-profit that provides life saving surgery to individuals with Down Syndrome. Lauren shares the story of how she began the organization and the incredible impact it has had on many. Snippet From the Show Every person has value and dignity because each person is created and loved by God. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/28/202333 minutes, 39 seconds
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5 Things to Do When You Feel Helpless

Do you ever feel helpless or anxious? It is common to face difficult situations and feel helpless in the face of them. Today, Danielle shares five things you can do in these situations. She offers advice and encouragement for times of anxiety or discouragement. Snippet From the Show We can have peace in fulfilling our duty of the present moment. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/21/202339 minutes, 2 seconds
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Improve Your Marriage Daily (with Kathleen Billings)

Danielle is joined by Kathleen Billings, a wife, a mom, and co-author of the new book Simply Love: Catholic Marriage Day by Day. Kathleen shares the harrowing story of how she came to write the book. Danielle and Kathleen also discuss simple ideas for improving your marriage and getting started with prayer as a couple. Snippet From the Show It is so important to take time for prayer as a couple. It will enrich your marriage by deepening your love for one another by deepening your love for the Lord. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/14/202338 minutes, 20 seconds
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How to Get Over the Blues

Are you tired of winter or feeling a little blue? Throughout life, we all experience times where we feel down or lethargic, sometimes for no apparent reason. Danielle offers ideas to “pick yourself up” when you are feeling down. She offers both spiritual and practical advice. Snippet From the Show Prayer can give us the proper perspective on whatever it is we are going through in life. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/7/202342 minutes, 57 seconds
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Creating Home (with Blair Saiz)

How do you make a house a home? Today, Danielle is joined by special guest Blair Saiz. Along with her husband, Blair is founder of The Village Green, an online shop for beautiful handmade goods and decor for your home. Blair and Danielle talk about the importance of filling your house with beautiful things and creating a home. Snippet From the Show It is so important to fill our homes with goodness and beauty. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/28/202329 minutes, 32 seconds
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Last Minute Ideas for Lent

Are you ready for Lent? Ready or not, here it comes! Danielle shares some of her plans for this Lent and offers encouragement for others to plan their Lent as well. She also shares advice on how to think about Lent and setting expectations for it. Snippet From the Show We need to open ourselves up to the work God wants to do in our hearts and in our souls. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/21/202338 minutes, 39 seconds
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All About Spiritual Direction (with Deanna Bartalini)

What is spiritual direction? Who is it for? Does it cost money? Spiritual direction can be incredibly beneficial, but a lot of us don’t understand all that it entails. To help you gain a better understanding, Danielle is joined by Deanna Bartalini to discuss some of the basics of spiritual direction. Snippet From the Show A good spiritual director strives to serve the Lord by always willing your good. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/14/202345 minutes, 8 seconds
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How to Survive Mass With Little Kids

Are you having a hard time surviving Mass each Sunday with your kids? Today, Danielle responds to a listener question asking for tips and ideas on how to survive Mass with young children. She shares encouragement for every family out there that is struggling through Mass. Snippet From the Show You and your kids belong at Mass. Some days may be better than others, but trust that God loves you and your kids. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/7/202336 minutes, 59 seconds
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Women Made New (with Crystalina Evert)

Danielle is joined by special guest Crystalina Evert. Crystalina shares about her new book titled Women Made New: Reflections on Adversity, Transformation, and Healing. She shares about what led her to write this book and why she believes it is such an important topic. Snippet From the Show To be a force for God on earth, we need to be obedient and say “Yes” to him. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/31/202342 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Secret Power of Showing Up

There is power in showing up. Today, Danielle shares about a recent experience in her own life where she felt God calling her to show up. She shares some of the ways God might be asking us to show up and how we can trust in him and his graces. Snippet From the Show When we step out to do the will of God, we have to trust that God will be there and will give us the graces we need. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/24/202342 minutes, 31 seconds
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Scents of the Saints (with Anna Camacho)

Danielle is joined by special guest Anna Camacho. Anna is the founder and owner of CORDA Candles. The company makes beautiful scented candles in honor of the saints. Anna shares how the company came into existence. Danielle and Anna also share their experiences of keeping a work-life balance. Snippet From the Show We have to learn more than a soundbite about a person, even a saint, before we make a judgment about them. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/17/202337 minutes, 6 seconds
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23 Things for 2023

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Danielle shares about a different method for setting goals in the new year. Not only does Danielle share the method, but she also shares some of her own goals for this year. Snippet From the Show Make your goals deliberately doable. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/10/202342 minutes, 43 seconds
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How to Fall in Love With Your Catholic Faith (with Sarah Swafford)

Danielle is joined this week by Sarah Swafford. Sarah shares about how she came to love her Catholic faith and what she has done in her life to help others do the same. She also shares about her brand new series called What We Believe. Snippet From the Show God does not judge you based on your performance. He wants you to sit with him and live in his love. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/20/202248 minutes, 52 seconds
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Finding Peace in Advent

Does peace seem especially illusive this time of year? Amidst the business of the season with shopping, cooking, baking, hosting and more, how are we supposed to find peace? Danielle shares six ideas to find peace during this Advent season. Snippet From the Show We all need to take a moment away from being “Martha’s” and be like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/13/202240 minutes, 58 seconds
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Why Our History Matters (with Anna Mitchell)

This week’s guest is Anna Mitchell, producer and host of the Son Rise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio. Anna is a dear friend and longtime colleague, and today she shares about Our Lady of Sorrows, teaching kids about redemptive suffering and more! Snippet From the Show If we know how God has operated in the past, if we know how his faithful have operated in the past, we can more easily recognize when he or they are operating today and we can recognize the power of their intercession in our lives. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/7/202245 minutes, 14 seconds
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6 Ways to Dive Into Advent

Ready or not, here is Advent! This week, Danielle shares six simple ideas to encourage you not to look at Advent as an exhausting season that you need to create, but as an invitation from God to grow deeper in your relationship with him. Snippet From the Show How are you going to prepare your heart to receive Jesus? In what ways is God calling you closer to him during the season of Advent? For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/29/202240 minutes, 6 seconds
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Learning and Growing With Your Kids (with Dr. Jordan Alamzar)

To support Ascension’s free media, please click here! To find out more about how your gift will be used, please click here! This week’s special guest is Dr. Jordan Almanzar, a professor at Magdalen College in Warner, New Hampshire, who also teaches Greek and Latin at Kolbe Academy. He is author of When the Earth Was Flat : One Boy’s Life at the Edge of the Millennium. Jordan and I discuss homeschooling, and ways that all parents are called to be the primary educators of their children. Snippet From the Show Don’t stress over not fitting the mold: the mold you’re meant to be is a gift to your kids. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/22/202245 minutes, 17 seconds
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How to Grow in Gratitude

In anticipation of Thanksgiving next week, we are focusing on gratitude. How can we be more grateful for the many blessings we receive from God? How can we practice gratitude for the many ways people love us and serve us? In this episode Danielle leads us into the holiday season reminding us of four practical ways we can give thanks to God and give back to others. Snippet From the Show It's not hard to find the things to be grateful for, but you do have to be deliberate about it.   For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/15/202237 minutes, 22 seconds
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Gaining Strength with Fasting (with Beth Bubik)

This week’s special guest is Catholic Fasting Coach Beth Bubik. Beth shares how she came to understand the benefits of fasting in a very personal way and how she came to work full time in helping others to benefit from it as well. Snippet From the Show When you make space within yourself in fasting and hunger, you're allowing the Lord to make space for himself. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/8/202246 minutes, 37 seconds
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Here’s Why You Should Push Yourself

This week, we are talking about important reasons why you should consider stepping outside your comfort zone, challenging yourself, and trying something new and scary. When I first began this podcast, I was terrified to try something new, and yet I have learned and grown so much through this experience and I am so glad I pushed myself. Snippet From the Show “The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness”― Pope Benedict XVI For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/1/202235 minutes, 11 seconds
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Praying With Music (with Sarah Hart)

Today’s special guest is wife, mom, singer, and songwriter Sarah Hart. Sarah has been making music for decades and all of her work is inspired by and fed by her Catholic faith and family life. She shares how her life informs her music and what she wishes every mother knew. Talking with Sarah is like sitting down with a dear friend and sister of the heart. I know you will enjoy this conversation! At the end of today’s show, Sarah generously shares one of her favorite songs with us: Do No Harm. Snippet From the Show Songwriting is letting people into the inner conversations of your heart and mind. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/25/202241 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ways to Grow in Humility

This week we are talking about that unpopular virtue – HUMILITY – and ways to grow in it. Humility is something we think we don’t want, but let’s really examine what it is and some of the ways that God calls us to greater holiness through its practice. Snippet From the Show Humility doesn’t mean crawling around in the dirt or looking for ways to humiliate yourself. It means accepting your weaknesses and realizing that you are not God. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/18/202245 minutes, 34 seconds
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Make Your Home a Holy Place (with Pamela Niles and Haylee Minihan)

Many of us want to make our home a holy place and build a “domestic church” that will encourage our kids to grow in their faith, but we get stuck on the “how” to do that. It might seem like everyone else is living liturgically and praying as a family, but we don’t know where to begin. Today’s guests are here to help with that! Snippet From the Show Take what you have been given in the Mass beyond the doors of the parish and into your home. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/11/202233 minutes, 16 seconds
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5 Ways to Be More Productive

Do you want to be more productive? Productivity is not an indication of our worth nor does it define who we are. However, learning how to be productive can be very helpful for our daily lives. Danielle offers five ways to become more productive. Snippet From the Show Your self-worth comes from who God made you to be: his beloved child. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/4/202241 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Joys of Reading Aloud with Sarah Mackenzie

Danielle is joined by guest Sarah Mackenzie from Read Aloud Revival. Sarah shares about the purpose of the organization and all the benefits to reading aloud with your family. She also gives an inside look at her new children’s book A Little More Beautiful. Snippet From the Show Each of us is called to discover a peace that transcends all understanding For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/27/202235 minutes, 17 seconds
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How to Know and Do God’s Will

Do you struggle to know and do God’s will? It can be so hard to understand what God wants us to do and it can be even more difficult to do it. Danielle shares five ideas to help you grow in understanding and persevering in God’s will. Snippet From the Show Make sure you have room in your daily prayer life for silence. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/20/202235 minutes, 53 seconds
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How Busy Moms Can Find Peace (with Lisa Canning)

Do you have peace in your vocation? Danielle is joined by Lisa Canning to discuss the truth about women’s worth, discernment, and how to find peace in our vocations. Lisa offers great insight from her role as wife, mom, entrepreneur and business coach. Snippet From the Show To make yourself receptive to what the Lord wants is a choice. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/13/202240 minutes, 33 seconds
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9 Back-to-School Tips for Moms

Are your kids back in school or preparing to go back? Whether you have kids going back to school this fall or not, this time of year can feel like an opportunity to reset. Danielle shares 9 tips to help you make the most of this season. Snippet From the Show The back to school season is a great time to pause and assess where we’re at and what we’re hoping for in the coming months. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/6/202240 minutes, 59 seconds
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Getting Real About the Messiness of Marriage (with Beth Sri)

Danielle welcomes special guest Beth Sri to discuss her new book The Good, the Messy, and the Beautiful: The Joys and Struggles of Real Married Life. Beth shares how her idea of marriage changed over time and the ways she has grown in faith due to the challenges of marriage. Snippet From the Show When you commit to your spouse, you are in it to win it. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/30/202239 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ideas and Help for Working Moms

Are you struggling with the balance of work and motherhood? Danielle shares ideas and encouragement for any woman who finds herself in the role of working mother. Snippet From the Show Every mom is called to serve her family, but what that looks like, will look different for everyone. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/23/202243 minutes, 11 seconds
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Finding Hope When Kids Leave the Faith (with Roxane Salonen and Patti Maguire Armstrong)

Danielle is joined this week by authors Patti Maguire Armstrong and Roxane Salonen. Patti and Roxane share about their new book What Would Monica Do?. Together they discuss how to navigate the heartbreak of loved ones leaving the Catholic faith. Snippet From the Show We are cooperators with God’s grace in our children’s lives. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/16/202246 minutes, 37 seconds
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How to Forgive When It’s Hard

Is there someone you are struggling to forgive? Are you tempted to hold onto bitterness and resentment? Danielle shares ideas to help you forgive even when it’s hard. Snippet From the Show Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a choice. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/9/202239 minutes, 37 seconds
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A Call to Christian Boldness (with Rebecca Ryskind Teti)

Danielle is joined by popular speaker and writer Rebecca Teti. Danielle and Rebecca discuss the intersection of faith and culture and how we are called to be bold in our Christian faith. Snippet From the Show Share your testimony boldly because the unique elements of your story could be very relevant to someone else. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/2/202243 minutes, 32 seconds
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Forming Authentic Online Communities

Is it possible to form authentic community online? What if online communities could be a real source of support and encouragement in matters of faith and family? Danielle shares about a new online community she has founded to do just this! Snippet From the Show If we can’t be vulnerable, we will never find real connection with others. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/26/202240 minutes, 48 seconds
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The Gift of Personal Connection (with Ashley Slavik)

Do you desire personal connection? In this episode, Danielle welcomes guest Ashley Slavik, who shares about her mission to form personal connections through handwritten letters. Snippet From the Show We are made for community and we are called to connect with one another. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/20/202239 minutes, 22 seconds
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Multi-Tasking Is a Myth (and How to Stop It)

Do you feel yourself getting pulled in multiple directions and ending your day exhausted? So many of us are perpetually busy and don’t realize that multi-tasking is a myth. In this episode, Danielle gives six ideas on how you can start “single-tasking” this summer. Snippet From the Show Start your day by connecting with God. Offer your day to God. Be rooted in prayer. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/12/202240 minutes, 40 seconds
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What Does a Mom’s Prayer Life Look Like (with Rachel Balducci)

Danielle is joined by author Rachel Balducci to discuss the prayer life of a mother. Rachel shares how she came to write her new book as well as some of the real challenges to growing in relationship with Jesus while living a busy life and raising a family. Snippet From the Show The more you show up in prayer, the more you are going to reap the benefits of it. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/5/202239 minutes
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How to Increase Your Willpower

Do you struggle with willpower? There are a lot of areas in our lives that require willpower: diet, exercise, budget, prayer, and so many more. Danielle shares ideas on how to help you increase your willpower. Snippet From the Show It is not our own strength, but the grace of God that helps us to accomplish good things. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/28/202235 minutes, 24 seconds
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Every Kind of Saint (with Meg Hunter-Kilmer)

This week, Danielle is joined by author Meg Hunter-Kilmer. Meg shares stories and inspiration from the lives of little-known saints that can also be found in her new book Pray For Us: 75 Saints Who Sinned, Suffered, and Struggled Their Way to Holiness. Snippet From the Show The lives of the saints help us to know the reality of God’s love for every single one of us. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/21/202248 minutes, 41 seconds
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3 Things to Do When You’re Burned Out

Are you feeling burned out? This time of year can be especially exhausting with weddings, graduations, sacraments and so much more. Danielle offers encouragement and three things that can help you in the face of burn out. Snippet From the Show When we prioritize prayer, everything else will fall into place. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/14/202233 minutes, 6 seconds
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Living the Feminine Genius (with Lisa Cotter)

This week’s guest is author and speaker Lisa Cotter. Lisa and Danielle discuss topics from Lisa’s new book Reveal the Gift: Living the Feminine Genius. Lisa also shares some of her own experiences as a woman in today’s culture, especially as a wife and mother. Snippet From the Show When both genders are working together, that is when we experience the fullness of humanity. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/7/202243 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ideas to Help You Savor Summer

Are you ready for summer? Well, ready or not, here it comes! Summer can easily fill up with activities, projects, and trips, so in today’s episode, Danielle offers ideas on how to really savor these summer months. Snippet From the Show Find times to be truly present wherever you are and with the people around you. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/31/202240 minutes, 42 seconds
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Navigating Engagement (with Emily Wilson)

This week’s guest is Emily Wilson, author, speaker, and host of the Emily Wilson YouTube channel. In this episode, Emily shares about her new video series for engaged women. Danielle and Emily also reflect on their own engagements and offer encouragement for anyone who is currently engaged. Snippet From the Show The most important thing you can do during engagement is to internally prepare yourselves, not just for a wedding day, but for a lifelong marriage. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/24/202232 minutes, 41 seconds
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3 Ways God Whispers

Do you struggle to hear God’s voice? Oftentimes, we need to slow down, be still, and pay attention in order to hear the voice of God. Danielle shares three ways that God will often “whisper” us. Snippet From the Show Whatever is burdening you, bring it to Jesus. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/17/202238 minutes, 45 seconds
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Catholic Women in Business (with Elise Gallagher)

This week’s guest is Elise Gallagher, founder of Catholic Women in Business and founder and CEO of Ringlet Studio. Elise shares how she got started in business as well as the way her Catholic faith informs her perspective of the workplace. Snippet From the Show "Vulnerability builds strong relationships, and strong relationships build successful companies." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/10/202236 minutes, 31 seconds
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Embracing Your Life (with Julia Hogan)

This week’s guest is Julia Hogan, author of A Work in Progress: Embracing the Life God Gave You. Danielle and Julia discuss boundaries, self-care, social media, comparison and so much more. This conversation is sure to help you figure out ways to live your vocation more intentionally. Snippet From the Show There is so much beauty in the variety of ways each person lives out their vocation. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/3/202246 minutes, 27 seconds
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How to Make a Big Decision

Are you struggling to make a big decision? It can be so distressing to weigh pros and cons and worry about the consequences of an important decision. Danielle shares ideas to assist you in your decision making. Snippet From the Show Do not allow indecision to steal your peace. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/26/202229 minutes, 32 seconds
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Sharing the Faith With Kids (with Claudia Cangilla McAdams)

This week’s guest is children’s book author Claudia Cangilla McAdam. Claudia shares about how she got started writing books for kids and why she began to write faith-based books. Snippet From the Show We want to help our children to learn, live, and love the faith more deeply. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/19/202233 minutes, 23 seconds
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9 Ideas for a Blessed Holy Week

Are you ready for Holy Week? Holy Week is a wonderful opportunity to grow in virtue and go deeper in relationship with God. Here are 9 simple ideas to make Holy Week a blessed and fruitful time for yourself and your family. Snippet From the Show Give yourself the gift of forgiveness this Holy Week. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/12/202242 minutes, 6 seconds
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From Worry to Wonder (with Melissa Overmyer)

This week’s guest is Melissa Overmyer, author of From Worry to Wonder: A Catholic Guide to Finding Peace Through Scripture. Melissa discusses the modern habits of worry and anxiety and shares the ways that God has a better plan for us. Snippet From the Show "Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds!" Luke 12:24 For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/5/202237 minutes, 8 seconds
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5 Ways to Make Time for God

Do you struggle to find time to pray? Many of us lead busy lives and we have many obligations which can make it hard to find time. Here are 5 small ways that can help you find more time for prayer. Snippet From the Show When we make a conscious decision to make time for prayer, God will bless that time. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/29/202239 minutes, 14 seconds
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Finding Hope in God's Plan (with Julieanne Bartlett)

Our guest this week is Julieanne Bartlett, founder of Passion of Hope Ministries. Danielle and Julieanne discuss the trial of “prolonged singleness” and the challenge of living your life when you feel like God is not answering your prayer. Snippet From the Show God sees us in our struggle and he does not abandon us. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/22/202239 minutes, 17 seconds
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When God Says No

Whether we are praying for good health, healing, an improvement in our relationships or for a new job, it can be so hard to feel like God is saying “No” to the good things we want. This week Danielle shares her thoughts on what we can do when we struggle in this way. Snippet From the Show Trust in God’s goodness and rest in him. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/15/202240 minutes, 13 seconds
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Our Lady of Good Help (with Theoni Bell)

Today’s guest is children’s book author Theoni Bell. Theoni joins Danielle to talk about her book, The Woman in the Trees, a novel about America’s first approved Marian apparition. Snippet From the Show “How am I to teach them when I know so little myself?” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/8/202244 minutes, 32 seconds
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6 Ideas for Your Best Lent Ever

Are you ready for Lent? What’s your plan? This week Danielle shares 6 simple ideas to inspire you to make a plan for your best Lent ever. Snippet From the Show Recognize your state in life and embrace it. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/1/202238 minutes, 44 seconds
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In the Desert (with Fr. Mark-Mary Ames, CFR)

Our guest this week is Fr. Mark-Mary Ames, CFR, director of communications for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Fr. Mark-Mary shares about a new devotional called Born of Fire written by him and his brother friars. We also discuss how to plan your Lent this year and what pitfalls you may face. Snippet From the Show This Lent, be renewed in your identity as a son or daughter of God. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/22/202239 minutes, 56 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: At Home in the Church with Jessica Ptomey

This week, we are doing a throwback episode! This episode is from when I had Jessica Ptomey, author of Home in the Church: Living an Embodied Catholic Faith, on the podcast. Jessica and I talked about her conversion and her journey to a more embodied Christian faith inside the Catholic Church. Jessica also recommends another book during our conversation: Abandonment to Divine Providence. Jessica shares the miraculous story of her son’s healing and we grapple with the idea that God hears our prayers but does not always answer them as we wish he would. What can we learn about the nature of God, his unfathomable love, and our place in the universe from unanswered prayers? Snippet From the Show The Catholic faith is not a distant intellectual idea, it is an embodied faith that is lived through the physical realities created by prayer and the sacraments. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/15/202246 minutes, 29 seconds
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7 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Are you feeling the winter blah’s yet? Have you already given up on your New Year’s resolutions? Here are 7 ideas for ways to help you get motivated to exercise – even in these cold dark winter days. Snippet From the Show We have so many different obligations that make it hard to find the motivation to workout. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/8/202238 minutes, 57 seconds
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Catholic Dating, Discernment, and Marriage Preparation (with Juliette Bean)

This week’s special guest is Juliette Bean, daughter of our host Danielle Bean! She joins us to discuss dating, discernment, and marriage preparation from a Catholic perspective. Snippet From the Show God can bring good out of even our simplest choices. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/1/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
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Grace in Tension (with Claire McGarry)

This week’s guest is Claire McGarry, author of Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary. Claire and I discuss ways that all women struggle to find a balance between our inner Martha and Mary. Claire shares her own experience and insight in ways that are sure to inspire you! Snippet From the Show Let God be your shelter. Let him be your comfort. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/25/202241 minutes, 18 seconds
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What to Do When You Mess Up

We all mess up sometimes, but what do we do about it? I heard from a listener this week who is struggling with self-loathing after messing up in a big way. She is having trouble getting past this big mistake and seeking help. In addition to offering prayers for this listener, I share my thoughts on 5 steps for anyone who has messed up in a big way or small way. Snippet From the Show “Allow God to be glorified in your need.” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/18/202241 minutes, 49 seconds
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Sacred Art in Your Home (with Kate Capato)

Our guest this week is Kate Capato, a Catholic contemporary sacred art painter, speaker, and dancer rooted in tradition. Kate shares with us about her work and about ways that beauty is an important part of our Catholic faith experience. Learn more about Kate and her important work at her website, and consider adding some of her beautiful work to your Catholic home. Snippet From the Show Having sacred art in your home that portrays the divine is a way of bringing Scripture to life. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/11/202240 minutes, 32 seconds
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5 Things to Give Up in the New Year

Do you make New Year resolutions? Even if you don’t, today’s conversation is all about some things you might consider giving up in 2022. Snippet From the Show Although cliché, the new year is a great time to pause and evaluate bad habits, goals, new habits we want to establish, what's working and what's not working. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/4/202241 minutes, 29 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: 9 Ways to Make Every Day More Catholic

This week I’m sharing 9 little ways that you can make every day more Catholic. With sacramentals and small prayers, every day we can work at growing closer to God. Snippet from the Show Praying the Angelus during the day gives us the beautiful opportunity to pause, remember our the mystery of the Incarnation, and honor our Blessed Mother. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/28/202138 minutes, 5 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: 6 Last-Minute Low-Budget Gift Ideas

This time of year can be extra stressful as we try to find gifts for people who are hard to shop for, or we struggle with a tight budget for gifts. Can we give meaningful gifts that won’t cost too much? This week I’m sharing 6 ideas for doing just that. I hope these might inspire you and alleviate some of that last-minute stress! Snippet From the Show “When you’re struggling with a low budget, and you want to give people gifts, and you want them to be meaningful, that’s okay! It’s really encouraging to remember that it’s the thought that counts.” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/21/202134 minutes, 40 seconds
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Faith-Filled Toys for Kids (with Maggie Jetty)

This week our guest is Maggie Jetty, a wife, mom, speech pathologist, and small business owner of Saintly Heart, a family owned and operated Catholic toy company. Maggie shares how she got started in this business, what inspires her to keep going, and how she comes up with new ideas for faith-based toys. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/14/202133 minutes, 7 seconds
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Answering Your Questions

We are celebrating 300 episodes of Girlfriends this week! As part of the fun, I asked listeners for their questions and I devote this episode entirely to answering your questions. Snippet From the Show How you were raised and the traditions you had growing up, will play a large role in how you create traditions for your children. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/7/202149 minutes, 36 seconds
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Advent Traditions with Gracie Jagla

Our guest this week is children’s book author Gracie Jagla. Gracie is author of God the Father and the Best Day Ever, and the newly released The Night the Saints Saved Christmas. **_Snippet From the Show_** You may not have the time or the energy to follow through with all of your Advent plans, but something as simple as an Advent wreath can mark the season and absolutely counts as liturgical living. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/30/202134 minutes, 54 seconds
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Prioritize Your Marriage

This week I am encouraging you to make time for your marriage and sharing ideas for simple ways you can prioritize your marriage more. Snippet From the Show "What a gift to have that built in time to reconnect." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/23/202134 minutes, 36 seconds
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Mamas Can Be Saints (with Kelly Guest)

This week I am joined by Catholic mom and author Kelly Guest whose first book, Saintly Moms: 25 Stories of Holiness, is newly available. In the book, Kelly shares the stories of moms who are saints in ways that are sure to inspire you on your own path toward heaven.  Snippet From the Show For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/16/202146 minutes, 42 seconds
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10 Ways to Be a More Thankful Person

With Thanksgiving on the way and Advent just around the corner, now is the time to think about thankfulness. We can reflect on the reminder from St. Paul: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Snippet From the Show Build gratitude around you. Practice small acts of love. When we focus on doing small things with great love, we will cultivate an attitude of gratitude all around us. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/9/202137 minutes, 26 seconds
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Seeking Rest (with Sonja Corbitt)

eek we are joined by Catholic author, podcaster, and retreat leader Sonja Corbitt. Sonja shares with us about her new book, Just Rest: Receiving God’s Renewing Presence in the Deserts of Your Life. Snippet From the Show _One of the fruits of rest is being able to reevaluate what is important and to be present to those around you. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/2/202142 minutes, 4 seconds
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Hope and Healing After Enormous Loss (with Kelly Breaux)

Kelly Breaux, founder of Red bird Ministries, joins us on today’s show. Kelly shares how the unimaginable suffering she experienced when she and her husband lost two of their very young children has transformed her life of faith. This is a tough and emotional topic for many, so if you are sensitive to this subject, please be warned that this might be a difficult interview for you to listen to. Snippet From the Show By looking at Jesus' Passion you realize, although his suffering was for our salvation, there's a way his story manifests our healing of grief. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/26/202154 minutes, 43 seconds
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How to Handle Your Husband

Snippet From the Show For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/19/202138 minutes, 21 seconds
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Standing at the Foot of the Cross (with Laura Phelps)

My guest this week is author and mother Laura Phelps. Laura shares her horrific experience of being a mom of kids present during the school shootings in Newtown, CT and her growth in trusting in God in the years since. She offers practical help for those who struggle to understand suffering and encourages all of us to look to the Blessed Mother as an example of embracing the suffering God allows us to experience. Snippet From the Show Three lessons from Our Lady: 1) Say, ‘Yes’ 2) Do whatever God says 3) Stand at the foot of the Cross For episode shownotes visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/12/202154 minutes, 34 seconds
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What’s Holding You Back From Trusting God?

Do you struggle to trust in God? Join the club! I heard from so many people after our recent episode about the Surrender Novena that I thought this would be a good topic for us to discuss right now. Today, I share some things I think hold many of us back from fully trusting in God. Snippet From the Show "God asks for everything, but he doesn’t necessarily take everything." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/5/202144 minutes, 7 seconds
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Chicken Soup for the Soul (with Leann Thieman)

Today’s guest is Leann Thieman, a nationally acclaimed professional speaker, author, and nurse. Her devotion to nursing for more than 30 years made her the ideal co-author of the New York Times best-seller, Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul and Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul: Second Dose, then the third edition, Inspiration for Nurses. Snippet From the Show We are moved by the truth, goodness, and beauty of other people's stories. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/28/202133 minutes, 20 seconds
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A Saint Joseph Summit for All of Us

Today’s guest is Christin Jezak who is part of the team working on the upcoming Saint Joseph Summit, a virtual event, featuring dozens of talented speakers, focused on St. Joseph for this, the Year of St. Joseph. Christin shares the idea behind the summit, who some of the speakers are, and how you can access this inspiring and prayerful content for free. Snippet From the Show "St. Joseph is such a quiet saint, yet his example speaks volumes." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/21/202136 minutes, 51 seconds
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Raising Catholic Kids (with Rachel Schluenderfritz)

Our special guest this week is Rachel Schluenderfritz who joins us to discuss her family’s new apostolate 5 Sparrows. Rachel shares about how the website got started as well as describing many of the resources available there. We discuss her hopes for the future, the growing of a community online, and the kinds of resources that really nurture kids in their personal prayer lives. Snippet From the Show "Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!"- 1 Corinthians 9:16 For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/14/202132 minutes, 52 seconds
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Learn to Love Your Body

Do you have a complicated relationship with your body? Join the club! Every woman struggles with this from time to time, and some of us seem to struggle all of the time. But God wants better for you. He made you good, and your body is a gift, right now in whatever size or shape you find yourself in. Let’s talk about ways to improve your relationship with your own body and nurture a healthy, balanced body image. Snippet From the Show God gave you life by giving you the body you are in, and he desires for you to have a good relationship with your unique body. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/7/202141 minutes, 37 seconds
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A Saint for Our Times (with Christine Wohar)

This week’s guest is Christine Wohar, author of Finding Frassati and Following His Path to Holiness, all about the young saint Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Do you know his life story? Christine Wohar shares insights from her life and her book about ways that Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is indeed a “saint for our times.” Snippet From the Show Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati shows us that the ordinariness of life is where holiness is possible. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/31/202141 minutes, 42 seconds
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3 Ways to Get Through a Big Change

Are you going through a big change in your life right now? Many families experience transition this time of year -- as kids go back to school or move out and start jobs or go to college. If that is you and you are struggling with the change -- I feel you! Snippet From the Show "Whatever amount of time you normally spend in prayer, if you're going through a big change, you need to be spending more time in prayer." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/24/202128 minutes, 6 seconds
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Saints Around the World (with Meg Hunter-Kilmer)

This week’s guest is Meg Hunter-Kilmer, a self-professed “Hobo for Christ,” and author of the beautiful new children’s book Saints Around the World. Meg shares what she means by “Hobo for Christ,” and how she came to live this unusual lifestyle, living out of her car and sharing the Gospel all over the world. Snippet From the Show God desires to transform our unique personality by grace, not wash it away. He wants every one of us, with our irreplaceable story and personality to become a saint. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/17/202147 minutes, 33 seconds
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4 Ways the Surrender Novena Can Change Your Life

Are you familiar with the Surrender Novena? This novena is based on private revelations from Servant of God Don Dolindo Ruotolo. It is a very simple prayer with a short text, the words of Jesus as told to Fr. Dolindo, and then the repetition of the phrase “Oh Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.” Snippet From the Show “Oh Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/10/202139 minutes, 4 seconds
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Conversation with an Exorcist (with Monsignor Stephen Rossetti)

Our guest this week is Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, author of Diary of an American Exorcist: Demons, Possession, and the Modern-Day Battle Against Ancient Evil. Monsignor Rossetti explains what an exorcism is, what his work is like, and things we need to know about the presence and dangers of evil forces in the world. He encourages us all to have confidence in the goodness and power of God. Snippet From the Show “When Our Lady shows up in an exorcism, the demons can’t get out of the room fast enough, they can’t stand her presence because she’s a brilliant light of grace.” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/3/202138 minutes, 52 seconds
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Exodus 90 and Authentic Masculinity (with Nathaniel Binversie)

Our guest this week is Nathaniel Binversie, Exodus 90 director of content host of the Exodus 90 podcast. Nathaniel joins me to discuss masculinity -- what it is, what it isn’t, and how our culture gets much of it wrong. He discusses Exodus 90, a popular and challenging program of commitment for Catholic men. Snippet From the Show Prayer, fraternity, and asceticism dispose men to receive the graces God wants to give them to become men of great holiness. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/27/202144 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Philosophy of Motherhood (with Dr. Janice Breidenbach)

Our guest this week is Dr. Janice Chik Breidenbach, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ave Maria University. Dr. Breidenbach joins us to share about her new course, Philosophy of Motherhood. She shares about the motivation to create this course and the important conversations it is sparking on campus in the culture. Snippet From the Show The sacrifice of motherly love, and how it nourishes the most utterly dependent and helpless being, is one of the most beautiful and powerful icons of God's love in this world. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/20/202152 minutes, 4 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: 3 Ways You’re Wasting Your Time (and how to stop)

It's time for a throwback! I'm on vacation this week but I would like to share with you again one of my most popular episodes from last year. This week we are talking about some ways we waste our time — and it’s not Netflix! Here are some things you might be doing that are robbing you of joy, along with ways to break these bad habits. Snippet From the Show “Worrying is talking to yourself about things you cannot control while prayer is talking to God about things he can control.” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/13/202151 minutes, 37 seconds
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How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online (with Sean Clifford)

Do you worry about your kids’ use of smartphones? Today we are diving into one of the most important parenting challenges of our times -- how to keep our kids safe online. Worrying about access to pornography and evil content on social media leaves many parents feeling helpless and hopeless in the face of a powerful force. Today’s guest, Sean Clifford, is here to offer us a message of hope. Sean is a husband, father of 4, and CEO of Canopy, a powerful new technology that helps parents in the battle for their kids’ souls online. Seam shares about how Canopy works and the reasons why he founded this revolutionary company. Snippet From the Show It's time to recognize that the internet is profoundly shaping the minds, hearts, and souls of our children. While keeping your child child safe online can seem challenging, you are the parent and you are not powerless. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/6/202152 minutes, 32 seconds
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4 Ways Mary Found God in the Everyday

When we want to know God and love him better, we should follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary loves God with perfection! In today’s episode, we talk about four ways Mary connected with God in the everyday and consider how we can do the same. Snippet From the Show Mary teaches all of us how to ponder life's moments of beauty, joy, sorrow, and pain in our hearts. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/29/202137 minutes, 45 seconds
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Life Transformations with Liv Harrison

My guest this week is Liv Harrison, a wife, mom, motivational speaker and inspiration. Liv shares with us her story of dramatic weight loss and life transformation. You will be encouraged and inspired by all that she has to share! Snippet From the Show We are all wounded multifaceted human beings with spiritual, emotional, and physical struggles. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/22/202151 minutes, 55 seconds
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7 Things to Love About Getting Older

Getting older gets a bad rap. We worry about extra wounds, graying hair, wrinkles, and sagging skin. But I am turning 49 today, and so I decided now would be a good time to reflect on some of the very real blessings of growing older. Snippet From the Show "I have grown to know who I am and accept the way God made me. I know my strengths, my weaknesses, and what God has called me to with greater clarity than when I was younger." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/15/202145 minutes, 39 seconds
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Diving Deep Into the Feminine Genius (with Chloe Langr)

This week’s guest is podcaster and author Chlow Langr who joins us to share about her new book, Letters to Women: Embracing the Feminine Genius in Everyday Life. Chloe loves to highlight all the varied ways women live out their vocations as wives and mothers in the Church. Snippet From the Show "God invites us to celebrate the gifts other women have, not to compete with them." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/8/202136 minutes, 28 seconds
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Jesus’ Five Love Languages

Are you familiar with the Five Love Languages, a concept popularized by author Dr. Gary Chapman? Today, let’s look at the love languages in terms of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus is fully God and fully human. We sometimes forget that Jesus is truly human, though. It can be helpful sometimes to reflect on the very human ways that he loves us and wants to connect with us. Let’s do that today with the idea of the five love languages. How does Jesus want you to love him in each of these ways? Snippet From the Show Do we ever stop to realize that Jesus delights in being loved back? Jesus is fully God and fully human, our love consoles his heart. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/1/202133 minutes, 22 seconds
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Worthy of Wearing (with Nicole Caruso)

Today’s special guest is Nicole Caruso, a professional makeup artist and beauty consultant, former Beauty Editor of Verily Magazine, and homeschooling mother of 3. Nicole’s mission is to inspire women to invest in their self-worth with her movement #worthyofwearing. She wants women to live an integrated life where faith and style meet. Snippet From the Show Personal style can be a beautiful expression of a woman's unique feminine genius. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/25/202139 minutes, 22 seconds
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7 Easy Ways to Relieve Stress

Are you feeling stressed? Stress has a way of creeping up on you. Family and work obligations can pile up and increase our workload until suddenly we find ourselves maxed out and losing our patience or experiencing physical symptoms like headaches or neck pain. Stress affects our physical and emotional health in many ways! So let’s talk about some healthy easy to manage it. Snippet From the Show "Remember Jesus’ agony in the garden? He knows about stress and anxiety. Turn to God in your moments of stress and find peace and stillness inside of your relationship with your Creator." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/18/202134 minutes, 26 seconds
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Big Family Finances (with Sam and Rob Fatzinger)

My guests this week are Sam and Rob Fatzinger. Sam and Rob are parents of 14 kids and co-authors of the new book, A Catholic Guide to Spending Less and Living More: Advice From a Debt-free Family of 16. Sam and Rob share about what writing this book together was like, as well as some inspiring stories of life together as a frugal family. Snippet From the Show "There is great joy in letting God provide." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/11/202144 minutes, 39 seconds
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5 Personal Finance Rules for Everyone

I am not an expert in this week’s topic -- personal finances. But I think that’s why it’s important for me to share my perspective. There are some basic ideas about ways we think about and manage our money that can apply to all of us -- even those of us who are not financial geniuses or Dave Ramsey graduates. Snippet From the Show Remember that God is the source of every good thing,and everything we own, from our homes to our cars to our clothes, comes from him and belongs to him. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/4/202136 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Joy of Parenting a Child with Down Syndrome (with Erin Thielman)

My guest this week is Erin Thielman, a disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force before and after 9/11. She later met her husband Jason and they have been married for almost 13 years. Together, they have three children- Alexander, Abby and Andrew. Erin was a teacher until her youngest child, Andrew was prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Erin is a Down syndrome advocate, a pro-life advocate and especially enjoys speaking to youth and young adults. You can learn more about Erin by visiting her website at ErinThielman.com. (http://www.erinthielman.com/) Snippet From the Show A child with Down Syndrome is a precious gift from God that softens the heart of humanity. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/27/202138 minutes, 56 seconds
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Hope and Healing After Postpartum Depression (with Danielle Lerner)

My guest this week is Danielle Lerner, a wife, mom, and Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist currently working as a news anchor and reporter in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. After telling other people's stories for more than a decade, Danielle felt compelled to share her own family's story navigating postpartum depression and anxiety after the birth of their younger daughter, Harper. She is a passionate advocate for maternal mental health and credits her recovery to professional treatment, an incredible support system and her Catholic faith. Snippet From the Show The Blessed Virgin Mother's visit to her cousin Elizabeth reminds us that the joyful and sorrowful parts of motherhood should never be experienced in isolation. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/20/202143 minutes, 59 seconds
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Interrupt Your Marriage

Our discussion this week is about “interrupting your marriage.” What does that mean and why do I think it’s a good idea? I share about a recent impromptu overnight “getaway” Dan and I had, and how it reminded me of the importance of disrupting our relationship sometimes. Snippet From the Show Marriage is more than a business partnership, it's a covenant of love that needs to be nourished intentionally. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/13/202132 minutes, 40 seconds
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Simple Ways to Make Daily Prayer a Habit (with Anna Mitchell)

Anna Mitchell, host of the Son Rise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio, joins me to talk about daily prayer. Anna shares an innovative idea for making a habit of daily prayer -- an audio recording of simple prayers she created with her co-host Matt Swaim. Snippet From the Show We don't have to have it all together when we approach the Lord in prayer, he receives us just as we are. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
4/6/202138 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ideas for a Holy Holy Week

Are you ready for Holy Week? Here it is, ready or not! This week we are sharing some simple ideas for ways you can make Holy Week a sacred and meaningful time, even inside of your own home with your family. Nothing, fancy, no stressful crafts or complicated prayer practices! These are do-able ways to set this season apart. Snippet From the Show Holy Week is a sacred time when we remember that no matter what our lent was like, Jesus will still rise from the dead. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/30/202142 minutes, 3 seconds
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5 Skills to Work on Now, If You Want to Get Married Later

This week I am sharing 5 skills I think every young person should work on now, if they want to get married later. These are skills that will be helpful to you no matter what vocation you are called to, but I think especially to those who are planning to be married and have families. Snippet From the Show Your worth does not come from being in a relationship or being married, and your “real life” does not begin at some point in the future. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/23/202141 minutes, 28 seconds
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A Bold Challenge for the Laity (with Bishop Strickland)

This week, we have a Girlfriends first -- our very first guest who is a bishop! Bishop Joseph Strickland, Bishop of Tyler, joins me for a great conversation about his new book, Light and Leaven: The Challenge of the Laity in the Twenty-First Century. We discuss ways that families can create domestic churches in their homes, how we can find more reverence and quiet in our busy lives, and what exactly it means to have “a personal relationship with Jesus.” Bishop Strickland also shares thoughts on good ways we can use social media, and why the world needs the gift of the truth more than ever. Join us for an encouraging and inspiring conversation! Snippet From the Show "Jesus Christ in the Eucharist feeds us. We are not to only look at him, we are to consume him." - Bishop Strickland For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/16/202143 minutes, 8 seconds
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6 Ways to Brighten Your Day

Are you feeling BLAH these days? The end of winter can be a tough time to feeling joyful. The days are still cold and dreary in many parts of the country, Lent is dragging on, and we can begin to feel restless and unhappy. This week I am offering 6 ideas for ways to add just a little brightness to your days. Snippet From the Show "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose."- Romans 8:28 For episode shownotes visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/9/202139 minutes, 48 seconds
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Holiness is for Everyone (with Claire Dwyer)

Today my guest is Claire Dwyer, author and editor at the Avila Institute. Claire writes for CatholicMom.com (https://www.catholicmom.com/) and is a contributor at SpiritualDirection.com (https://spiritualdirection.com/). Her new book is This Present Paradise: A Spiritual Journey with St. Elizabeth of the Trinity (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1644132877/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1644132877&linkCode=as2&tag=daniellebea07-20&linkId=9cf7b4e3912d1723ed6866e7b69c669a). In our conversation, Claire shares why she feels like St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is a great saint for our times, and the ways in which we are all called to holiness. Ascension is proud to partner with authentically Catholic institutions and organizations committed to spreading the Gospel. Learn more about the sponsor of this episode, Ave Maria University (https://tinyurl.com/yyh7bodr) Snippet From the Show The communion of saints shows us that no two saints were they same. Each saint bloomed right where they were planted and told their own story. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
3/2/202140 minutes, 59 seconds
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How to Make a Personal Prayer Space

Do you have a space in your home that is devoted to prayer? A quiet spot you can retreat to daily and spend time with God? This week, I am encouraging you to make one if you don’t already have such a place. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it can be a wonderful way to enhance your habit of daily prayer. Ascension is proud to partner with authentically Catholic institutions and organizations committed to spreading the Gospel. Learn more about the sponsor of this episode, Ave Maria University (https://tinyurl.com/yyh7bodr) Snippet From the Show Just as Jesus withdrew to pray in a quiet place, we too can make a personal prayer space where we can rest in God. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/23/202135 minutes, 18 seconds
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Why We Need Catholic Fiction for Teens

My guests this week are Catholic fiction authors Carolyn Astfalk and Leslea Wahl who can’t wait to share about some fantastic literature options for Catholic teens. We discuss why it’s important to have a genre of fiction devoted to Catholic teens, what that means, and what some of the best resources are for teens and young adults who love to read. CatholicTeenBooks.com is a great place to learn more about the variety of works available for teens and find out more about the new anthology of books on the subject of St. Patrick. Do yourself and your teens a favor, and check it out! Ascension is proud to partner with authentically Catholic institutions and organizations committed to spreading the Gospel. Learn more about the sponsor of this episode, Ave Maria University (https://tinyurl.com/yyh7bodr) Snippet From the Show We need stories that are fun, well-written, and rooted in the truth God reveals to us. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/16/202138 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ready, Set, Lent!

Are you ready for Lent? This week, I thought it might be helpful to look at the 3 aspects of Lent, read some Scripture on each of them, and ask ourselves how God might be calling us to grow closer to him through them this Lenten season. Snippet From the Show "Our time doesn't belong to us, it belongs to God." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/9/202145 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Rich Beauty of Liturgical Living (with Genie Shaw)

My guest this week is Genie Shaw, a wife, mom,and liturgical loving coach who shares the inspiring story of her life and work. Genie offers encouragement and support to moms who are juggling many responsibilities but also looking for ways to encourage and enrich their children’s faith lives. Snippet From the Show "It's really about recognizing that you are a domestic church, and bringing some of those faith practices into your own little church inside of your home and family." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
2/2/202144 minutes
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Motherhood Redeemed (with Kimberly Cook)

Kimberly Cook and I chat about her personal experience of feminism as well as some of the history of the feminist movement in the United States. Snippet From the Show "At the heart of authentic feminism, is motherhood." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/26/202150 minutes, 38 seconds
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10 In-House Date Night Ideas

This week we are focused on ways to enjoy romantic time together as a couple -- without having to leave your home or spend a lot of money. Snippet From the Show "The idea of creating together is a really beautiful and inspiring way to truly connect with your spouse and remember who you are." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/19/202151 minutes, 18 seconds
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Using Your Gifts (with Samantha Stephenson)

My guest this week is Samantha Stephenson, host of the Brave New Us podcast all about faith and bioethics. At the end of today’s show, I answer a question from Listener Kate who wonders about getting started as a freelance writer while she is a busy mom. Snippet From the Show "All creativity contributes to the image of God." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/12/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 37 seconds
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Hearing God’s Voice (with Teresa Tomeo)

My guest this week is author and radio show host Teresa Tomeo. We talk about some of the stories from her new book and ways we can all pay more attention to the ways God intervenes in our lives and communicates his will for us. Snippet From the Show "God didn't promise he'd lay it all out for us, he promised us his daily bread." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
1/5/202139 minutes, 35 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: Making Family Prayer Time Happen

Do you struggle to make family prayer time happen in your home? This week, I answer a question from listener Amy who is struggling to make family time happen, especially with a change in schedules as the kids have gone back to school. Snippet From the Show “Prayer is a very intimate thing. Sometimes people struggle to pray as a family or as a couple because it’s very intimate. There are parts that will remain very personal, but family prayer is a beautiful way to bond together as a family.” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/29/202042 minutes, 50 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: Don't Hide Your Light

It’s easy to think we’re being humble when we’re really just being down on ourselves. Don’t hide your light! Let’s talk about some of our struggles in embracing the talents God has given us and allowing him to work through us to inspire and bless others. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/22/202048 minutes, 36 seconds
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6 Last-Minute Low-Budget Gift Ideas

Can we give meaningful gifts that won’t cost too much? This week I’m sharing 6 ideas for doing just that. Snippet From the Show "When you're struggling with a low budget, and you want to give people gifts, and you want them to be meaningful, that's okay! It's really encouraging to remember that it's the thought that counts." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/15/202034 minutes, 25 seconds
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Finding Joy in a Covid Advent

How does your Advent look different this year? Many of us are dealing with being flexible in the face of an Advent season that is limited in many ways. Here are some ideas I want to share to help you find more joy this season. Snippet From the Show Never more so than in the year 2020 have we had the opportunity to let go of what should be, and embrace instead, what is and what can be. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/8/202041 minutes, 16 seconds
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Biblical Wisdom for Your Motherhood (with Kimberly Hahn)

Kimberly is a Catholic convert married to Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn. In today’s show, she shares about her series of Biblical Wisdom books that are being re-published, her new podcast Beloved and Blessed, and her upcoming radio show on EWTN that will be launching in January 2021. Snippet From the Show We need to choose Christ, every day, to make that ongoing conversion, and then I would really encourage us to choose our spouse, every day, and say "Lord, he is your gift to me." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
12/1/202047 minutes, 37 seconds
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Building Your Domestic Church (with Nancy Bandzuch)

My guest this week is Nancy Bandzuch, host of the Catholic Sprouts podcast for kids. She and her husband have been hard at work creating a brand new resource for Catholic families -- the Domestic Church Project. This project is a 6-week program to help young families have real conversations about their faith and answer kids’ questions as together they build their domestic church. If you are not even sure what that means, this program is for you! It’s for Catholic families of all different experiences and backgrounds. It was so innovative, in fact, that it won this year’s OSV Catholic Innovation Challenge. Nancy shares about the need for a program like this one, especially in the age of Covid when many religious education programs are no longer meeting in person. You can learn more about this new project and how your family can benefit from it at DomesticChurchProject.com. Snippet From the Show "Catholic parents must learn to form their family as a "domestic Church", a church in the home as it were, where God is honored, his law is respected, prayer is a normal event, virtue is transmitted by word and example, and everyone shares the hopes, the problems and sufferings of everyone else. "- Pope St. John Paul II For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/24/202047 minutes, 57 seconds
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Real Talk About Self Care

I recently realized that I had been neglecting to care for myself in some pretty basic ways. The end result was that I was suffering chronic headaches and neck and back pain. This is unusual for me, and so I thought a bit about what might be causing it. That was when I realized that I have been avoiding working out and not getting enough rest. This is easy to do when life gets stressful, but sometimes we all need a nudge to do better for ourselves. Sometimes, self care looks more like everyday discipline in caring for ourselves so that we are well enough to care for others. Snippet From the Show Sometimes, self care looks more like everyday discipline in caring for ourselves so that we are well enough to care for others. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/17/202048 minutes, 2 seconds
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Making Connections and Building Community (with Rachel Balducci)

My guest this week is Rachel Balducci, my longtime friend and colleague (and co-host on CatholicTV’s The Gist!). Rachel is author of How to Tuck in a Superhero, Make My Life Simple, and Overcommitted. She and I chat about the intentional Christian community that she and her family are part of, but also everyday ways all moms can foster community and make meaningful personal connections in everyday life. We discuss some of the challenges of social media as well as some of the distractions that can get in the way of friendships among women, especially inside of the Church. Snippet From the Show We live in a world where it is much easier to be alone and to be focused on ourselves. God invites to something much greater though- to love in community where we grow into saints. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/10/202040 minutes, 21 seconds
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9 Ways to Make Every Day More Catholic

This week I’m sharing 9 little ways that you can make every day more Catholic. With sacramentals and small prayers, every day we can work at growing closer to God. Snippet From the Show Praying the Angelus during the day gives us the beautiful opportunity to pause, remember our the mystery of the Incarnation, and honor our Blessed Mother. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
11/3/202040 minutes, 18 seconds
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Family Prayer and Catholic Moms (with Fr. Jim Phalan)

My guest this week is Fr. Jim Phalan, CSC, national director of Family Rosary with Holy Cross Family Ministries. Fr.Jim is my boss in the work I do over at CatholicMom.com. Together, we discuss family prayer, unique spiritual needs of Catholic moms in the world today, and PRAY, the newly-released film about the life of Ven. Patrick Peyton. Snippet From the Show The family is meant to be a relflection of the Holy Trinity and when the family prays together, it opens the door for Christ to be born in the hearts of each of its members. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/27/202042 minutes, 11 seconds
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Not Lukewarm (with Deanna Bartalini)

My guest this week is Deanna Bartalini, a wife, mom, writer, speaker, retreat leader, and educator. Deanna and I talk about growing in faith, the struggles moms sometimes face in establishing a daily prayer life, and the benefits of having a spiritual director. At the end of our conversation, Deanna shares a beautiful prayer from Thomas Merton. It’s called the Prayer of Abandonment. Deanna’s podcast is Not Lukewarm where she shares her faith life and encourages others to grow in theirs. Her website is DeannaBartalini.com where you can learn more about her courses and connect with her about retreats, both virtual and in person. Snippet From the Show Spiritual direction is a place where we can learn to identify the invitations of Christ in our lives For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/20/202041 minutes, 21 seconds
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Saints in the Making (with Lisa Hendey and Katie Broussard)

Snippet From the Show For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/13/202035 minutes, 8 seconds
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Survival Guide for the Sleep-Deprived

This is an evergreen topic for us, isn’t it? This week we are talking about how to survive when you are sleep-deprived. Whether it’s a newborn, toddler, teenager or work situation that is robbing you of sleep these days, we will share some strategies for how to cope when you are just plain exhausted. Snippet From the Show "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."- Matthew 11:28 For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
10/6/202046 minutes, 19 seconds
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At Home in the Church with Jessica Ptomey

My guest this week is Jessica Ptomey, author of Home in the Church: home in the church Living an Embodied Catholic Faith. Jessica and I chat about her conversion and her journey to a more embodied Christian faith inside the Catholic Church. Jessica shares the miraculous story of her son’s healing and we grapple with the idea that God hears our prayers but does not always answer them as we wish he would. What can we learn about the nature of God, his unfathomable love, and our place in the universe from unanswered prayers?Jessica also recommends another book during our conversation: Abandonment to Divine Providence. Snippet From the Show The Catholic faith is not a distant intellectual idea, it is an embodied faith that is lived in the heart and body through the physical realities created by prayer and the sacraments. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/29/202053 minutes, 59 seconds
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6 Ways to Find the Friends You Need

This week we are talking about female friendships -- this is a topic I hear from women about all the time. We struggle inside of our relationships with other women. We struggle to find friends, make friends, and maintain meaningful friendships with other women. Things like jealousy and competition and cattiness can get in the way. But God wants you to have meaningful friendships with other women! Snippet From the Show Don't be afraid to be vulnerable in friendships, God wants us to know that we are not alone. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/22/202044 minutes, 15 seconds
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How Mary’s Magnificat Can Change Your Life (with Sonja Corbitt)

My guest this week is Sonja Corbitt, wife, mom, author, speaker, podcaster, retreat leader, television show host and more. Sonja is a woman on fire with her faith and in love with God’s word, with a passion for sharing that love with others. Snippet From the Show Mary herself is the magnificat, her whole life is a song that glorifies the Lord. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/15/202050 minutes, 29 seconds
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Making Daily Prayer a Habit (with Abby Fredrickson)

My guest this week is Abby Fredricksoon, Head of Content at Hallow, a Catholic meditation app. Abby is a wife and mom, and one of the prayer guides you will hear on the innovative prayer app, Hallow. I have shared about my love for this app on the show before, so I am thrilled to bring you this conversation about all the ways that Hallow can support you in your daily prayer life. Snippet From the Show Prayer doesn't have be separate from other parts of our lives, we can integrate prayer in our daily activities by speaking to God in the silence of our hearts. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/8/202045 minutes
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Getting Organized (with Chiara Finaldi)

My guest this week is Chaira Finaldi, wife, mom, and creator of the Catholic Mother’s Planner. Chiara shares about how she felt called to begin a ministry for Catholic women who were devoted to their vocations as moms. From her ministry with mothers she was inspired to create the Catholic Mother’s Planner, a beautiful resource that can help you get organized, but so much more than that -- this planner will teach you about your Catholic faith, and inspire you to grow in virtue every day. You will want to check out this gorgeous resource for yourself or consider giving it as a gift to a friend. To get a copy of the Catholic Mother's Planner, visit: https://ascensionpress.com/products/catholic-mothers-planner-2021 Snippet From the Show To be a mother is to nurture mankind, it is an honorable and heroic vocation. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
9/1/202047 minutes, 42 seconds
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3 Ways You’re Wasting Your Time (and how to stop)

This week we are talking about some ways we waste our time -- and it’s not Netflix! Here are some things you might be doing that are robbing you of joy, along with ways to break these bad habits. Snippet From the Show “Worrying is talking to yourself about things you cannot control while prayer is talking to God about things he can control” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/25/202049 minutes, 9 seconds
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Is Homeschooling Right for You?

Are you freaking out about the school year? What will it look like? How will you manage? How can you possibly make it work? With masks and social distance at school? With homeschooling for real for the first time? With managing your kids’ remote learning while also working and running your household? With … you fill in the blank with your own anxiety-producing scenario? Snippet From the Show "Whenever you are making important decisions, you will find peace by connecting with God about them. Bring your worries and dilemmas to prayer and ask God for wisdom and guidance." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/18/202042 minutes, 53 seconds
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Healing After Miscarriage (with Karen Edmisten)

My guest this week is Karen Edmisten, my dear friend and colleague for many years, writing together and sharing about Catholic family life and homeschooling online. One of Karen’s multiple published books is After Miscarriage: A Catholic Woman’s Companion to Healing and Hope. Karen and I share a conversation about a Catholic approach to miscarriage, and she shares from her own experiences of multiple losses. Why is this a rare conversation in the Church today? What are there so few resources available to support women through the grief of miscarriage? We also discuss family size and some of the ways women might tend to compare themselves to others or judge people based on family size. We talk about ways we can avoid hurting ourselves and others in these ways. Snippet From the Show "Although there was great suffering in these losses, there was also incredible growth in my faith and in my relationship with God." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/11/202054 minutes, 9 seconds
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The Plans God Has for You (with Amy Smith)

My guest this week is Amy Smith, author of The Plans God Has for You: Hopeful Lessons for Young Women. Amy speaks to the hearts of young women about God’s unique love for them and the plans he has for their lives, all based on her favorite Scripture passage, Jeremiah 29:11. Snippet From the Show “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”- Jeremiah 29:11 For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
8/4/202034 minutes, 38 seconds
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How to Plan an Epic Family Vacation

I’m back from our family trip to Cape Cod with lots of ideas for ways you can plan a fun family trip this summer, even if your other plans have been changed or cancelled because of Covid. Snippet From the Show “Enjoying what you’re doing in the moment and having a positive mindset is huge.” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/28/202034 minutes, 28 seconds
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Sharing Conversion Stories with Rachel Smith

My guest this week is Rachel Smith, host of the To Grow Good podcast. In To Grow Good, Rachel shares her guests’ stories of conversion and their personal encounters with God. In our conversation, she discusses her own story of reversion to the Catholic faith and ways that the Holy Spirit has led her to make new connections and grow in her faith since that time. Together, we talk about the life-changing idea of the Feminine Genius and simple ways to begin exploring a personal relationship with God. Learn more about Rachel Smith and her work at ToGrowGood.com (https://www.togrowgood.com/)and follow her on Instagram. (https://www.instagram.com/togrowgood/) Snippet From the Show “ I just had a restless heart, something was missing and I couldn’t place it.” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/21/202047 minutes, 9 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: What Are You Keeping from God?

Are you all in for Jesus? Or is there something you are keeping from God? It has been my experience that we like to think we’re doing God’s will, but when it comes down to it, we struggle to turn over our lives to God and accept his will over our own. I share some of my recent struggles with this, along with some thoughts about various areas of life where you might be tempted to hold something back from God and keep control for yourself. Snippet From the Show "Jesus is asking for everything, he wants us to give all to him." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/14/202037 minutes, 41 seconds
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Fitting In Fitness with Brittany Pearson

My guest this week is wife, mom, and fitness professional, Brittany Pearson who runs a health coaching business at FitMomLifetotheFullest.com. Brittany and I talk about some of the obstacles that get in the way of women caring for themselves and having a healthy relationship with their bodies. We also discuss how to find time for fitness, why it’s important to do so, and where to start if you are completely out of shape. My favorite takeaways were how to break up with your scale and why BMI charts are truly evil (just kidding … kind of!). Join us for an encouraging and inspiring conversation about how real-life women can make real-life fitness an everyday reality. Snippet From the Show The reason for fitness and to take care of your physical body, is to enhance your quality of life and to be able to serve others. However, it is not the end all be all, we know we are leaving these physical bodies. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
7/7/202051 minutes, 39 seconds
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4 Ways to Be Jesus Right Now

This week we are talking about how we can be Jesus in our lives today. This is what every one of us is called to do -- be Jesus to the people God places in our life. Here are 4 ways I am thinking about these days. How might they apply to your life, starting right now? Snippet From the Show “The people that God places in your life are living, breathing manifestations of God’s will for you, he speaks to us through the people that he puts in our lives” For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/30/202043 minutes, 24 seconds
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3 Things to Do When God Feels Far Away

Sometimes, because of unrest in the world or unrest in our souls or unrest in our personal lives, it can feel like God is far away. Where is God when we suffer a global pandemic, racial injustice, political violence, and war? We all sometimes feel that God is distant, or it is hard to see his presence in our lives. This week, I am sharing three things we can do when we feel God is far away. Snippet From the Show Wherever you are in your life, if you are feeling like God isn't there for you, God isn't with you, I invite you to read the passage of Jesus in the garden. He speaks these words when he felt alone: "Not my will, but your will be done." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/23/202040 minutes, 50 seconds
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Faith and Hope When Facing Infertility (with Debra Vermeer)

This week, Girlfriends connects across the globe with author Debra Vermeer, Australian author of Life to the Full: Stories of Infertility, Faith, and a Hope-filled Future. Snippet From the Show "We are called to be fruitful. There are many ways that we are called to fruitfulness. Sometimes they aren't the ways we thought at all." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/16/202050 minutes, 2 seconds
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Putting out Our Nets

In a world filled with violence, division, and fear, it can be hard to know just how God wants us to do his work today. How is God calling us to grow in relationship with him while leading others to know and love him? Snippet From the Show _What is your alabaster jar that you're holding onto that you're not allowing God to break open? What holds you back from giving everything to God? He calls us daily to leave everything and follow him. _ For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/9/202041 minutes, 39 seconds
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4 Ways to Support Your Kids’ Faith Lives

This is a question I hear from moms all the time - whether they are parenting a kindergartner or a college kid gone astray: “How can I support my kids in their Catholic faith?” Of course, we would all love a magic answer here, but alas! God has given our children free will and they may sometimes make choices we do not want for them. But I can share some ideas for ways to be encouraging and supportive of our kids’ faith lives. _Snippet From the Show Be an example to your children. You can be saying all you want to your kids about the importance of having a prayer life, going to Mass, and receiving the sacraments, but if you are not doing those things, none of what you say matters. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
6/2/202045 minutes, 52 seconds
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How Busy Is Too Busy? (with Rachel Balducci)

Rachel’s new book is all about busy schedules and how we can find balance -- and this time of quarantine is a wonderful opportunity to think about all those things and make a plan for personal and family schedules after quarantine. Rachel and I discuss ways to do that, how we can make prayer a priority, and how to discern those things that are truly important to us as a family. _Snippet From the Show It all starts with prayer. If you're missing that element, forget it. You could have a Martha Stewart perfect home, a perfect work life, etc., and none of it will matter without a life centered in prayer. For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/26/202055 minutes, 1 second
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Sanctify Your Home (with Andrea Zachman)

Today I have guest, Andrea Zachman, on the show. She is author of The Sacred That Surrounds Us, a beautiful book for kids and parents that details all of the items in a church and how each of them points us toward heaven. _Snippet From the Show Our homes are supposed to be a domestic church. We always say that, but never more so than now are we being called to really sanctify our living spaces._ For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit www.ascensionpress.com/girlfriends.
5/19/202045 minutes, 4 seconds
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Our Friend Faustina (with Emily Jaminet and Michele Faehnle)

I recently had the chance to sit down with two dear friends, Emily Jaminet and Michele Faehnle. These two inspiring ladies are authors of several books together. One of their most recent books is Our Friend Faustina: Life Lessons in Divine Mercy. This book is a collection of personal stories from women about ways in which they have been blessed by St. Faustina and Jesus’ message of Divine Mercy. **Snippet From the Show _ _"Being Catholic is not about how beautiful our Catholic resume looks like, or what we do for the church, or how perfect we are. It's about being who you are, and going before the Lord and letting him transform you." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit media.ascensionpress.com.
5/12/202048 minutes, 44 seconds
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How to Cultivate Contentment

Do you suffer with discontent? In what way do you feel like you fall short, or your life falls short of your expectations? What things or status do you long for and wind up feeling disillusioned or disappointed? This week we are talking about those feelings of discontent, where they come from, and how we can cultivate a greater sense of contentment with what we have and who we are. For full shownotes, visit media.ascensionpress.com
5/5/202047 minutes, 29 seconds
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It’s OK to Not Be OK

How are you doing? Not so great? Me too. This week, I’m sharing from my heart about some of the ways this time of quarantine and social isolation has been challenging for me and my family. I want to encourage you to know that if you are struggling, it’s alright to admit that. It’s OK to not be “quarantining well.” Whatever that means. Snippet From the Show "If you're looking and saying, 'What's wrong with me? I'm not happily baking bread and giving thanks that my kids are schooling at home right now...' I'm here to tell you, nothing is wrong with you." For full shownotes, visit media.ascensionpress.com
4/28/202030 minutes, 24 seconds
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5 Ways to Make Working From Home Work for You

With the threat of COVID-19 and the importance of self quarantining, many of us find ourselves working from home in new and unusual ways. Maybe your office job has shifted to your home. Or your spouse is now working from home or your kids are doing school work from home. Since I have worked from home in various capacities, on and off, over the course of the last 10+ years, I thought I might share some things I have learned along the way. I hope they will be helpful to you in whatever way you are working at home these days.
4/21/202045 minutes, 40 seconds
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Coping in a Time of COVID-19 (with Dr. Jacqueline Brown)

Dr. Jacqueline Brown has been on the show before. A couple of months ago, she came on to talk about the importance of Catholic fiction and her popular series of books, The Light Series. But this time, she is joining us in a different capacity, as she is also a psychologist. Dr. Jacqueline Brown and I discuss coping mechanisms for a time of quarantine, some of the complicated emotions many of us are feeling, and how to best take care of our kids, our marriages, our work, and ourselves in these uncertain times. Snippet from the Show Turn off the news. If you can be in nature, be in nature. It's amazing just how much being around trees, grass, and flowers helps our mental health, and even our physical health.
4/14/202058 minutes, 2 seconds
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7 Ways to Find Peace in Quarantine

How are you holding up? Are you adjusting to a new “normal”? A new way to getting up every day and doing your job, supporting your husband, and helping your kids with schoolwork? All without the usual social events and connections we are used to? These are challenging times, and it’s normal if you are feeling some worry or anxiety these days. This week, I want to help you find some peace -- even in quarantine. Here are my ideas. Snippet From the Show "Worrying is having a conversation with yourself about things you cannot change. Prayer is having a conversation with God about things he can change." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit AscensionPress.com (media.ascensionpress.com).
4/7/202043 minutes, 23 seconds
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How Fasting Can Help Your Marriage (with Colleen Duggan)

Author Colleen Duggan joins us for today’s show, sharing about some of the surprising ways that the practice of fasting has blessed her marriage. We have talked about some of the spiritual benefits of fasting before, but Colleen is passionate about its strength as a spiritual tool specifically for marriage. At the end of today’s show, I shared a little bit of feedback from Katherine, a listener who has a son who was born without an immune system. She shares these quick tips for social distancing as a family. Snippet From the Show "The emptying makes us realize the abundant life that we have." For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit AscensionPress.com (media.ascensionpress.com).
3/31/202054 minutes, 37 seconds
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How to Set Healthy Boundaries

Do you struggle to set healthy boundaries in your relationships with strangers, co-workers, extended and immediate family? If so, join the club! This week, I share some ways I have recently struggled to set boundaries in my own life, along with ideas for how you can get better at setting boundaries in your life as well. All relationships are improved by setting reasonable boundaries. It is not mean or selfish to stand up for ourselves and say what our personal preferences and limitations are. I also share some feedback I received from listener Deirdre who is worried and anxious about the Coronavirus with her young children and aging parents. How can we manage our worries about illness and other things that are beyond our control? For episode shownotes, text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 or visit AscensionPress.com.
3/25/202043 minutes, 33 seconds
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6 Tips for Parenting Your Children Through COVID-19

We are all facing many unknowns these days as we struggle to adjust to changes in work, school, and home schedules as a result of COVID-19. How can we make sure we are caring for our children well through anxiety, stress, and worry? This week, I am sharing six ideas for ways we can focus on being the parents our kids need us to be in the days and weeks that lie ahead. For full episode shownotes, visit AscensionPress.com or text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777.
3/17/202040 minutes, 12 seconds
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4 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Are you anxious? Are you worried? If so, know you are not alone in experiencing anxiety. Many of us worry about many things, but God wants better for us—he wants us to grow in trust in him to provide for everything we ever need. And yet it’s hard, and we struggle sometimes with worry and fear. This week, I’m sharing four things that can help. For full episode shownotes, visit AscensionPress.com (http://media.ascensionpress.com/?post_type=podcast&p=34993) or text GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777.
3/10/202044 minutes, 16 seconds
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Bible Study for Catholic Women (with Lisa Brenninkmeyer)

This week’s Girlfriends guest is Lisa Brenninkmeyer, founder of Walking With Purpose. Lisa creates beautiful Bible studies that bring Catholic women together to read and study Scripture, all over the US, Europe, and Canada. In our conversation, Lisa shares about how and why she founded the ministry as well some of her most recent projects and plans she has for the future. She is a joy-filled, inspiring woman, and I just know you will appreciate all that she shares.
3/3/202048 minutes, 54 seconds
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Living Memento Mori (with Emily Deardo)

This week’s Girlfriends guest is Emily Deardo, author of the newly-released Living Memento Mori: My Journey Through the Stations of the Cross. Emily shares about her diagnosis with serious illness at the age of 11 and the ways in which her struggles and health challenges have shaped her faith life. Her book is an inspiring read any time, but an especially great pick for Lent this year. The Tradition of Memento Mori Watch this video from Father Mike Schmitz to learn more about the tradition of memento mori, whereby Christians would meditate on the reality of human mortality. This practice would bring much needed perspective on the relationship between the eternal and the passing things of this world. Listener Feedback This week, I also share feedback on NFP from listener Liz who writes, in part:“I’ve only been practicing this past year so I’m by no means a pro, but we started practicing the Couple to Couple League method then we ended up learning the Marquette method as well. For the Marquette method we use a fertility monitor, specifically the Clearblue monitor that says if your estrogen and LH are “low,” “high” or at its “peak” for your cycle. For both methods I’ve used two different apps. I’ve used the “p tracker” app to track period symptoms, but it also had the ability to track temperature and mucus and cervix symptoms. When we started CCL we started using the “CycleProGo” app, which I’ve still been using after we switched to Marquette.” At the end of last week’s show, I read the first chapter of my newest book.  Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood is a book in which I share from my heart about the very real changes, challenges, triumphs, and joys of being a mom in an “emptying nest.” You can read that sample chapter at Ave Maria Press. More from Emily Deardo Emily’s websiteEmily on InstagramEmily on Twitter Emily’s Amazon page
2/25/202043 minutes, 52 seconds
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6 Tips for Parenting Big Kids

As our kids grow up, become teenagers, go away to school, and become young adults who work and live lives of their own, parenting them becomes different—and in some ways, harder. This week’s topic is inspired by the content of my newest book, Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood, newly available on Amazon and at Ave Maria Press.
2/18/202048 minutes, 38 seconds
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5 Creative Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? It can be a tricky date on the calendar for some of us who have high expectations and wind up feeling disappointed and unappreciated when things don’t go as planned. One antidote to that is to find creative new ways to celebrate love on February 14! Snippet from the Show “You shouldn’t have to wait for this one day (out of 365) to feel loved and appreciated inside of your relationships.” SHOWNOTES Text the word GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 to get the full shownotes! Pray for someone anonymously. Choose someone in your life that you don’t regularly pray for and pray for them on Valentine’s day. Bonus points if you leave them an anonymous note letting them know you prayed for them. Thank a priest. Our priests need our prayers, but they also need to know how much we love and appreciate them. Valentine’s day is a great opportunity to do just that. Send a priest a note or a gift to let them know you love them, appreciate them, and are grateful for their service to the Church. Visit a single person in your life (or at least send them a Valentine note). It might be the widow who lives in your neighborhood or the 20-something who goes to your church. Reach out to someone single who might be feeling lonely on a day that celebrates romantic love. Be randomly generous at a diner. It goes like this: Meet friends for lunch. You each bring a $100 bill. Order lunch and then when it’s time to pay, give the server all of the cash as a generous tip. You can adjust the amounts to what makes sense for you, but I love this fun and creative idea! Send “I love you because” notes. Let your family members and friends know what you love and appreciate about them. Send small notes of appreciation for them on this day set aside for love—a great excuse to get a little mushy!
2/11/202038 minutes, 28 seconds
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How to Love Annoying People

We all deal with annoying people sometimes. Whether the annoying person is a stranger at Mass, a co-worker, or your own husband, here are some ideas for ways we can answer God’s call to love every human being, even if they are getting on our nerves. 1) Pray to see them as God does. Every person is a precious child of God. It can be hard to see that when they are getting on your nerves, though. Ask God for the grace of seeing each person as he does, in all their dignity and worth. 2) Recall a time when you were annoying. We all have bad days. It can help you be kind to someone else who is having an “off day” to recall a time when you were annoying yourself. We all need love and kindness and an extra dose of mercy at times. 3) Know they are probably hurting. Hurt people hurt people. Especially if someone is being angry, rude, or unfair in a way that does not make sense to you, recognize that they are probably wounded and suffering. It’s not an excuse for bad behavior, but it can go a long way toward helping you be more patient with it. 4) Offer to help. Are they complaining or acting up about something you can help them with? Find a way to help them with whatever they are struggling with, or at least offer to help so they know they are not alone. 5) Ignore what you can. If you can possibly ignore their annoying behavior, DO IT. Keep pulling your mind away and onto other, more important things. 6) Remember what you can control. You cannot control others’ words and behaviors, but you can control how you respond to them. When faced with a challenging person, reciting your Morning Offering or using the Jesus Prayer can be a great way to offer up the challenge to God. 7) Reduce contact with them if you reasonably can. You can always give someone space when they are in a bad mood, or reduce the amount of time you spend with someone who is a negative influence in your life. Resources and Announcements At the start of the show, I mention that the March for Life in Washington DC is an official Pilgrimage site with the opportunity for a plenary indulgence attached to it. Here is more information about that. This week I also share my response to an email from listener Jessie who is struggling with using NFP to space pregnancies in her marriage. My newest book, Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood is available for pre-order. Until January 31, 2020, use code “BEAN” at checkout and get twenty percent off! Events February 20-23, 2020: Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Anaheim, CASaturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, INSaturday, March 14, 2020: Women’s Conference, Fresno, CASaturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CTWant me to come to your community to speak or give my retreat, You Are Enough, based on the themes in my book? Get all the information here! Subscribe Text the word GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 to get the shownotes!Subscribe to Girlfriends in iTunesSubscribe to Girlfriends in Stitcher Contact EmailLeave voice feedbackFacebookTwitterInstagramVoxer
2/4/202046 minutes, 21 seconds
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Why Catholic Fiction Matters (with Jacqueline Brown)

Our guest this week is Jacqueline Brown, (https://jacqueline-brown.com)author of the Catholic fiction series The Light Series. Jacqueline tells about her journey from a practicing clinical psychologist to Catholic fiction writer. Jacqueline shares about making time for beauty and art in everyday lives and the importance of Catholic fiction as a genre. When you order Jacqueline’s books, be sure to use the code GIRLFRIENDS to receive 20% off the paperbacks here. (https://jacqueline-brown.com/books/) Also, the e-book of The Light, the first book in the series, will be available for just 99 cents (https://www.amazon.com/Light-become-when-world-falls-ebook/dp/B01I2IRIY2) January 27-February 2, 2020. And finally, the audio books are available on Chirp for just $2.99 and on Audible. This week, I also share some feedback from Liz who shares some helpful resources for women who want to make reading Scripture part of their everyday routine. Liz suggests: Blessed Is She and Every Sacred Sunday. I add a recommendation for Take Up and Read. Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you! Announcements My newest book, Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood (https://www.avemariapress.com/product/1-59471-945-4/Giving-Thanks-and-Letting-Go/) is available for pre-order. Until January 31, 2020, use code “BEAN” at checkout and get twenty percent off! Events February 20-23, 2020: Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Anaheim, CA Saturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, IN Saturday, March 14, 2020: Women’s Conference, Fresno, CA Saturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CT Want me to come to your community to speak or give my retreat, You Are Enough, based on the themes in my book? Get all the information here! Subscribe Text the word GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 to get the shownotes!
1/28/202051 minutes, 12 seconds
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Don’t Hide Your Light

It’s easy to think we’re being humble when we’re really just being down on ourselves. Don’t hide your light! Let’s talk about some of our struggles in embracing the talents God has given us and allowing him to work through us to inspire and bless others. Of course, the idea of letting your light shine comes from the words of Jesus himself in Matthew 5:13-16: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” This week, I also share some feedback from Margaret, a wannabe writer who is looking for advice on how to manage her time as a mom. Text the word “girlfriends” to 33-777 to get the full shownotes!
1/21/202048 minutes, 10 seconds
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5 Spiritual Goals for the New Year

Happy New Year!  Have you made spiritual goals for the year yet? What are they? This week, I want to share a few ideas to inspire you:1. Penance on Fridays Did you know every Friday of the year is meant to be penitential, not just during Lent? An easy way to make sure you adhere to this practice is to consider going meatless on Fridays year-round. But even if not, consider how you might be more intentional about making a sacrifice every Friday. 2. Read a spiritual book. If you are like me, you probably have a lot of good Catholic books lying around that you have not gotten around to reading. Keep a book on your bedside table or in the bathroom or in the car, so it is ready when you might find yourself with a few moments of downtime. 3. Start a daily reading practice. My book, Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act, is a do-able daily devotional, but there are many out there. Find a daily page-a-day book that appeals to you and commit to working your way through it in 2020. 4. Read the Bible every day. Are you familiar with the Bible? Do you have a copy that you can browse through easily? Whether it’s reading through the Psalms or reading the daily Mass readings, find a way to make reading a bit of Scripture part of your daily routine. 5. Begin and end your day with deliberate prayer. We have talked about praying a Morning offering many times before, but now I want to not only remind of the importance of the morning offering, but also encourage you to make the Examen part of your daily prayer practice at the end of the day. With all of these suggestions, it’s important to start small and make steady progress toward your goals. Pick one or maybe two of these ideas to get you started, and then let me know how it is going for you! This week, I also share some happy updates from listener Dawn who was going through RCIA and waiting for an annulment to go through.  My newest book will be available in February 2020, but it  is already available for pre-order. Check out Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood on Amazon and pre-order your copy today. Until January 31, 2020, use code “BEAN” at checkout and get 20% off your pre-order! 
1/14/202045 minutes, 59 seconds
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Amazing Women Saints (with Claire Swinarski)

Claire Swinarski joins me to talk about some of her favorite women saints (and saints to be), including St. Therese of Lisieux and Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, who founded the Oblate Sisters in order to allow African-American women to enter religious life in the US. Claire Swinarski is the creator and host of The Catholic Feminist podcast and author of Girl, Arise!: A Catholic Feminist's Invitation to Live Boldly, Love Your Faith, and Change the World. Claire has degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Wisconsin and lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two kids. Claire also tells us about an exciting pilgrimage she is planning, going to France in 2020. The trip will include sites such as Lisieux, where St. Therese was raised, and Rouen, where St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The trip will wrap up with an optional extension to Lourdes. You can get more information at Claire’s website. My newest book will be available in February 2020, but it is already available for pre-order. Check out Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood on Amazon and pre-order your copy today.
1/7/202037 minutes, 9 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: How to Find out Your Gifts

Happy New Years Girlfriends! Today I share another popular episode from the Girlfriend’s archive: How to Find Out Your Gifts. The New Year is a great time to reassess and reflect on what unique gifts God has blessed you with, and how you can use them in the coming year. On a personal note, I’m in the midst of preparing for my son Ambrose’s wedding on January 3rd, so I’m taking another week off from my usual recording schedule. Please say a prayer for him and his fiancé as they get closer to their special day! _Snippet from the Show: Vocation is not WHAT you do—it’s who you are. _ There has been a lot of conversation recently about finding out your gifts, and I have been hearing from women who are seeking to know what their gifts are. They particularly want to know how God wants them to use their gifts in their lives. How do we do that? First of all, I think it’s important that we have these conversations in light of the idea of “vocation,” which is a counter-cultural concept. Some ways I recommend finding out what your gifts are include: 1) What are you good at? This one is obvious, but sometimes we don’t pay attention to our natural skills. What comes easy for you that is difficult for others? 2) What do others say? What do the people in your life tell you your gifts are? Ask them! 3) Pray about it. 4) Ask God what your gifts are, and the ways in which he wants you to use them in service to others. 5) Remember the idea of hidden talents. The gifts that God has given you might not be obvious and/or glamorous. Be open to the idea that your skills may be a hidden part of your service to God and others, rather than obvious “talents” that others readily appreciate. Finally, I answer a question from listener Karen who shares about her struggle with making fitness a regular part of her everyday routine. Thank you to those of you who have left iTunes reviews! If you haven’t already, please consider leaving Girlfriends a review, or sharing the podcast with friends or family might enjoy it. Thank you!
12/31/201941 minutes, 58 seconds
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Throwback Tuesday: 6 Things You Should Do Every Day

This week we are getting back to basics. We always talk about how we can find peace, balance, and joy in family living, so here are six basic things to do every day to get there. Snippet from the Show There are times in your life when you don’t feel like you can go to God…If that’s you, know that you’re in my heart and in my prayers. I understand that struggle. But don’t let yourself stay there. SHOWNOTES Pray. We are made for relationship with God, and you can’t have one if you aren’t talking to him! Connect. Look for meaningful ways to love and connect with others in your life, from strangers to family members. Create. We are all made to be creative and to enjoy creative things, so make some time for just that every day. (Here is the link to the novel I mentioned, All the Light We cannot See) Move. I am always saying this, and guess what? It’s still true! Your body is an important part of who you are, and it was made for movement. Plan. Thinking about the future and planning ahead can be a great way to improve your mood and keep your daily struggles in perspective. Learn. Look for ways you can grow your brain and expand your knowledge by reading, talking, and asking questions every day. Here is the link to A Mother’s Rule of Life (https://media.ascensionpress.com/podcast/gf136/) by Holly Pierlot, the helpful book I mentioned at the start of the show.
12/24/201952 minutes, 50 seconds
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Preparing for Christmas in Your Heart and Home

Preparing for Christmas during advent shouldn't be that different from preparing for the arrival of a new baby. In today's episode, I reflect on the ways that our Advent waiting mirrors the kind of waiting we do while pregnant and expecting. Here are three simple ways we can focus on preparing for Jesus this Advent season. Clean. When we “nest” while pregnant, we prepare our homes and living spaces to welcome a new baby. While preparing for Jesus during Advent, we can get rid of some of our clutter and clean our homes, but even more importantly, we can clean our hearts and souls for him. We can go to confession, forgive those we need to forgive, and look for ways to let go of anger and resentment over the past. Choose. Just like we must choose what we will buy for a new baby, we need to choose how we will spend our money during Advent. What will we buy and how will it add to (not detract from) our celebration of Jesus during the upcoming Christmas season? We also must choose how we will spend our time. What things will we say “no” to in order to preserve our peace and sanity and really enjoy the upcoming family gatherings and celebrations? Savor. Not every moment of being pregnant is bliss, and neither is the Advent season, but there is peace, beauty, and joy in waiting if we look for it. Look for small moments to soak up the season, relax, pray, and connect with Jesus, even in the midst of the crazy-busy times ahead. *News and Updates: * My newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, is available for order! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to receive ten percent off your order. Don’t miss out on this special available exclusively to listeners of the Girlfriends podcast. I can’t wait to share this book with you! Upcoming Events: Saturday, January 11, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat St. Michael Church Exeter, NH February 20-23, 2020 Speaking at Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Anaheim, CA Saturday, March 7, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat Precious Blood Parish Jasper, IN Saturday, March 28, 2020 Women’s Conference Norwich, CT
12/17/201933 minutes, 34 seconds
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Easy Advent Ideas for Busy Moms

Happy Advent! Are you feeling too busy and overwhelmed? Here’s help! This week, I am sharing some easy Advent ideas that are practical and do-able for even the busiest of moms. Paper Chain of Prayer Make a paper chain with a link for each day until Christmas. Write a different prayer intention or fun activity on each link and then every day take off a link, read it, and pray for that intention or do that fun activity. It’s so simple! You can do this. *Use Scripture * You might consider reading from the Bible each day, perhaps a few lines from Luke or Isaiah that are Advent or Christmas-themed. Or, memorize a passage of Scripture with your kids as a way of making God’s word about Jesus’ coming part of your heart and mind every day. Make a treat to save Advent is a time of watching, waiting, and preparing for Jesus. One fun way to underscore this idea in your family is to make a Christmas treat, like candy or cookies, and freeze it to enjoy at Christmas. I mentioned my recipe for cream cheese mints as a fun and easy one to try with kids, and you can find that here. Celebrate feast days! There are so many feasts in the season of Advent. Pick one and celebrate with a special treat or activity on that day. St. Nicholas Dec 6 Juan Diego Dec 9 Guadalupe Dec 12 St. Lucy Dec 13 Also, consider reading the O Antiphons during the last 7 days before Christmas. ** Make snowflakes!** Follow this easy list of instructions to make gorgeous paper snowflakes to decorate your home or just have some fun with your kids. No crafting expertise necessary! Pray a Christmas Novena There is the St. Andrew Christmas Novena that lasts through all of Advent, but you might also just pray the simpler, shorter Christmas Novena with Pray More Novenas this year. Play Advent music You might already be listening to Christmas music, but consider adding some Advent music to your days as well. Here is an Advent playlist on Spotify that I enjoy. Do you have one you like? Send it to me! ** Go to something at your parish** Whether it be a Reconciliation service, choir concert, craft fair, or nativity play, consider participating in something as part of your parish life this Advent season. This week I also answer a question from listener Nina who is exhausted from long bouts of illness with her 3 young children. Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you! I recently recorded an audio version of my newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth. More to come! My newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, is available for order! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to receive ten percent off your order. Don’t miss out on this special available exclusively to listeners of the Girlfriends podcast. I can’t wait to share this book with you! Upcoming Events: Saturday, January 11, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat St. Michael Church Exeter, NH February 20-23, 2020 Speaking at Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Anaheim, CA Saturday, March 7, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat Precious Blood Parish Jasper, IN Saturday, March 28, 2020 Women’s Conference Norwich, CT
12/10/201936 minutes, 2 seconds
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Spend Advent in the Word of God (with Elizabeth Foss)

My guest this week is Elizabeth Foss, wife, mother, author, and founder of the women’s ministry Take Up and Read. Join us as we talk about how to immerse ourselves in the Word of God this Advent. Elizabeth also shares about the newest journal available from Take Up and Read, O Radiant Dawn: An Advent and Christmas Journal, which focuses on daily Scripture study through the seasons of Advent and Christmas. We chat about the challenges of busy Advent seasons in family life as well the very real importance of taking time for daily prayer, especially during phases of life that are extra busy. We also discuss some of the ways we can become distracted and discouraged by the things we read and see online and how we can instead focus on real progress in our own homes and hearts.
12/3/201947 minutes, 8 seconds
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6 Tips on How to Be More Grateful

It’s Thanksgiving week! Are you practicing an attitude of gratitude? Even though this is a special time for us to remember the importance of gratitude, being grateful in the everyday is something we can all work on improving. This week, I’m sharing 6 tips on how to be more grateful every day. Snippet from the Show 1. Write it and speak it. You might consider keeping a gratitude journal or using an app, but even if that’s not your style, you can practice saying out loud the things you are thankful for. “I’m so glad I have a working dishwasher!” or “I am so grateful for my job!” Speak these things about loud as a reminder to yourself that you are grateful, but also as a good example to people around you. 2. Say grace. This idea comes from this great quote from G.K. Chesterton: “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” What a wonderful idea to say “grace” not only before meals, but before enjoying any good thing that comes from God! 3. Remember tougher times. Call to mind times when you really were struggling, personally, professionally, physically or financially, and give thanks to God for getting you through those tough times. But then, also be sure to focus for a moment on being grateful that you are not currently going through those tough things right now. God got you through it, and you are probably a stringer, wiser, more compassionate person because of it. 4. Pray. Make gratitude a focused part of your daily prayer time. At the start of your day, or at the end of your day, pause and give thanks for the good things in your life, those things you especially appreciated or are looking forward to. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you toward gratitude in all things. 5. Be grateful in response to negative things. This is hard! But so worth working on! Try to get in the habit of thinking of something to be grateful for whenever you face a negative situation. Did your car break down on the way to work? Thank God you have a car! Thank God you have a job! Thank God you have a mother-in-law who can come pick you up! The more you do this, the more it will become your reflexive response. 6. Reach out to others. It’s hard to throw a pity party for yourself when you are focused on the needs of others. Look for a way to volunteer your time in service to other people who may ot have all the blessings you enjoy. This is a way of reminding yourself of the many blessings you have, but also a way to cultivate a generous habit of reaching out to others instead of focusing on yourself. In feedback this week, I share a question from Diane about starting a women’s group at her parish. Some resources I mention: Momnipotent, an 8-week study for women You Are Enough (email me for the companion journal!) You’re Worth It! Website for discussion questions based on the Sunday readings
11/26/201946 minutes, 39 seconds
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The Gift of Sacred Art (with Melissa Girard)

Melissa Girard joins us on Girlfriends to talk about the power of sacred art to reveal universal truths about humanity, the sacred, and man’s relationship with God. **_Snippet from the Show: _ Works of sacred art don’t simply draw you into themselves—they draw you into the greatness of God. We discuss the book, Looking at a Masterpiece by Madelynn Stebbins, a collection of reflections that explore the themes of more than forty of the world’s finest artistic treasures—from masters such as Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and more. The book includes full color, high-quality reproductions of these great works of art. Stebbins writes about the universal truths these classic works illuminate, infusing her commentary with the wisdom of saints, popes, theologians, historians, and poets. Melissa shares about the importance of incorporating inspiring art in our everyday lives and in our children’s lives. The companion book, aimed at children, is Let’s Look at a Masterpiece. Melissa Girard is editor for Emmaus Road Publishing. She has edited books by Scott Hahn, Emily Stimpson Chapman, and the recent bestseller Why Celibacy? by Fr. Carter Griffin. Melissa is also the editor of the award-winning Old and New children's book series by Maura Roan McKeegan. Also mentioned in this week’s show is the related book, The Sacred That Surrounds Us by Andrea Zachman. I recently recorded an audio version of my newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth. More to come! Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!
11/19/201938 minutes, 2 seconds
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How to Do Difficult Things

I was inspired to take on this topic by my recent reading of Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins. (I did not finish reading because of the insane levels of foul language, so I do not necessarily recommend it!). In it, the author tells his life story of overcoming many obstacles and accomplishing great things. In my reading, I found myself agreeing that many of us can do hard things—sometimes much harder things than we think we can—but I was bothered that God seemed to be left out of the equation. And so I thought we might talk about how to do difficult things, why we do them, and how God is part of that process. You have already done hard things. I know you can do hard things because you have already done some: going to college, getting married, having children, working a job, buying a house, etc. I know you can do hard things. Sometimes, though, we need someone to say that out loud so we can recognize what we are capable of. Break down hard things into smaller steps. Do you want to run a marathon? Start with just a couple of miles. Do you want to write a book? Start with one chapter at a time. Make a daunting tasks into much smaller, more do-able tasks and then … get started! Check in with someone. For many of us, this would be a loving friend or our spouse - someone who knows us and can remind us of why we set the goal in the first place, and that we are strong enough to accomplish it. You are going to have weaker moments on the way to your hard things. Find a source of encouragement and support before you even start. Rely on God. It is only by the grace of God that any of us can accomplish anything in our lives - let alone something hard! Figure out what hard things God might be calling you to through prayer, and then turn to God for the strength you need to do them. I recently recorded an audio version of my newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth. More to come! Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you! My newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, is available for order! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to receive ten percent off your order. Don’t miss out on this special available exclusively to listeners of the Girlfriends podcast. I can’t wait to share this book with you! Upcoming Events: Saturday, November 16, 2019 You Are Enough Retreat Holy Family Catholic Church Orlando, FL Saturday, January 11, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat St. Michael Church Exeter, NH February 20-23, 2020 Speaking at Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Anaheim, CA Saturday, March 7, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat Precious Blood Parish Jasper, IN Saturday, March 28, 2020 Women’s Conference Norwich, CT Would you like to have me come to your community to speak or give my retreat, You Are Enough, based on the themes in my newest book? Get all the information here! ANNOUNCEMENTS Join our Girlfriends Podcast Facebook group! Check out the Catholic Momcast featuring Lisa Hendey and me, available on iTunes! RETREAT The You're Worth It! Retreat for Women Find out more about bringing this unique event for women to your parish, group, or community. Read more and request more information here. Or find out more about having me come speak at your parish or conference. Subscribe to Girlfriends in iTunes Subscribe to Girlfriends in Stitcher About Danielle Bean Danielle's Books on Amazon CatholicMom.com Contact: Email Danielle Bean Rate and Review Girlfriends in iTunes Leave voice feedback Girlfriends on Facebook Danielle Bean on Facebook Danielle Bean on Twitter Danielle Bean on Instagram Connect with me on Voxer!
11/12/201941 minutes, 45 seconds
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Reclaiming the Art of Homemaking with Dr. Carrie Gress

It’s easy to downplay the art of homemaking as home decor, but it’s so much more. In fact, one of the greatest capabilities of the feminine genius is the ability to make a place feel like home. Today I’m sitting down with Dr. Carrie Gress, author of Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday to discuss the power of creating a home both physically and spiritually and how we can more fully embrace our ability to build our homes for the sake of our families. Learn more about Dr. Carrie Gress at her website (http://www.carriegress.com). Snippet from the Show Home doesn’t happen because you have beautiful throw pillows, it happens because there are people making sacrifices and giving of themselves to their loved ones. See more at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
11/5/201942 minutes, 24 seconds
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Hacks for Empty Nesters

After our recent episode on "Toddler Hacks for Weary Moms," I heard from listener Cathy in the Girlfriends facebook group (join the group here (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1139431999546566/)!). Cathy writes: “Danielle - I just listened to the podcast on Toddler Hacks. You had a lot of good suggestions. I used to do the reading and the quiet time with my kids. We read about 30-45 min twice a day. They loved me reading to them. So I have a podcast idea for the other end of the spectrum. I am an empty nester now. I have been for a while (my children are 29, 31 and 33). Sometimes I get this empty feeling. As hard as it was raising them there was a structure to it. I knew where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing. It was preset for me. Now sometimes I feel a little lost. I have a full life. I work full time, exercise, play golf, teach religious formation, spend time with my kids and Mom. Yet I still miss the comfort of the schedule when all the kids were home. So any thoughts?” I can really relate to Cathy’s question as my “emptying nest” is something I have given a lot of thought to recently, as I have an upcoming book with Ave Maria Press on the topic: Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood. Some ideas I want to share with Cathy and others: 1) It’s OK to feel sad or lost. This is a time of change, and none of us will ever find perfect happiness here on earth. It’s OK to feel sad and acknowledge some of the negative feelings you have. 2) Give yourself some structure. Perhaps you might consider adding some work or other activities to your days, but maybe you simply would benefit from being more structured in the things you ar3e already doing. Think of giving yourself a daily or weekly schedule that you stick to. 3) Offer it up. Suffering and feeling loss at this stage in your life can have great value and meaning, especially if you offer it up for others. You might consider offering up the pain of your kids moving away FOR your kids and their intentions. 4) Find new ways to “mother.” Might God be calling you to nurture your marriage or be a “mother” to people in your workplace in need of love and caring. Where can you practice your feminine gifts of compassion, sensitivity, and generosity in your life these days? 5) Think of this time as an opportunity. Though some discomfort is normal, think of this time as an invitation from God to grow closer to him and perhaps accomplish some “deep digging” in your spiritual life. It’s an opportunity to grow. I recently recorded an audio version of my newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth. More to come! Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you! My newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, is available for order! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to receive ten percent off your order. Don’t miss out on this special available exclusively to listeners of the Girlfriends podcast. I can’t wait to share this book with you! *Upcoming Events: * Saturday, November 16, 2019 You Are Enough Retreat Holy Family Catholic Church Orlando, FL Saturday, January 11, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat St. Michael Church Exeter, NH February 20-23, 2020 Speaking at Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Anaheim, CA Saturday, March 7, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat Precious Blood Parish Jasper, IN Saturday, March 28, 2020 Women’s Conference Norwich, CT
10/29/201939 minutes, 34 seconds
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When Prayers Go Unanswered

It can be so hard to pray for something very good and very specific and then feel like God is letting your prayers go unanswered. Or worse, like he is ignoring our prayers altogether. How can we handle feelings of discouragement and frustration when this happens? Was Jesus lying when he told us, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7)? Well, no, but prayer is not like a gumball machine in the sky where you put your money in, turn the handle, and collect your prize. It’s more complicated than that. In this week’s show, I encourage you to consider that our prayer petitions need to be in accordance with God’s will, that we must trust in God’s goodness, and that our lives on earth will never be free from suffering. In addition, I invite you to consider 3 things when it seems that your prayers are going unanswered: 1) God might be answering a bigger prayer. God’s ways are not our ways, and he knows what we need and what is good for us even better than we do. When we pray for something very specific, i our shortsightedness, we might not realize the much better thing God is planning for us in the long run. 2) Important work is done in the waiting. We may not like it, but when we must wait for God’s answer to our prayers, we are being called to grow in love and trust. We are practicing humility and patience in ways that help us to grow more holy. We are learning to love and trust and know God as he truly is. 3) God never promised us pain-free living. The world is full of suffering and suffering is an inevitable part of the human experience. God never promised to make us happy in this life, but in the next. He set the example for us first, by suffering and dying on the cross out of love for each of us. If Jesus did not merit a pain-free life, why should we? I recently recorded an audio version of my newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth. More to come! Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you! My newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, is available for order! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to receive ten percent off your order. Don’t miss out on this special available exclusively to listeners of the Girlfriends podcast. I can’t wait to share this book with you! Upcoming Events: Saturday, November 16, 2019 You Are Enough Retreat Holy Family Catholic Church Orlando, FL Saturday, January 11, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat St. Michael Church Exeter, NH Saturday, March 7, 2020 You’re Worth It Retreat Precious Blood Parish Jasper, IN Saturday, March 28, 2020 Women’s Conference Norwich, CT
10/22/201942 minutes, 33 seconds
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Help for Catholic Brides with Chloe Langr

This week my guest is Chloe Langr, mom, wife, author, and podcaster. Chloe is author of the recently published journal for Catholic brides, Created For Love: Reflections for the Catholic Bride-to-Be. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681923777?pf_rd_p=183f5289-9dc0-416f-942e-e8f213ef368b&pf_rd_r=6VPSBDM6152JDG7G6M45) Chloe shares her own experiences as a young bride preparing for her wedding day, as well as her experiences in early marriage and motherhood. "There are as many ways to live the Feminine Genius as there are women walking the earth, each as beautiful as the next."
10/15/201940 minutes, 19 seconds
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A Year With the Mystics: Interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez

This week my guest is Kathryn Jean Lopez, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and author of many books, including her most recent, [A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living](https://www.amazon.com/Year-Mystics-Visionary-Wisdom-Living/dp/1505109043/ref=sr11?keywords=a+year+with+the+mystics&qid=1569515744&sr=8-1). Kathryn shares how she came to write this inspirational, page-a-day spiritual resource, and the ways in which her own faith life was enriched by her work on the book. She also discusses the idea of mysticism itself, what that means, and the ways in which we are all called to nurture our relationship with God every day.
10/8/201941 minutes, 30 seconds
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6 Toddler Hacks for Weary Moms

Are you a mom of a toddler? Are you exhausted? I recently asked for people to send me questions on Instagram, and more than one listener requested that I do a show about surviving the toddler years. So I spent some time thinking about what things I would share that helped me the most when my kids were small and ended up with six hacks that can help! "God made you the parent of your child on purpose. He picked you and that child from all of eternity for each other. He knows all about your weaknesses and your flaws and your failures and all the unique ways your child is challenging you. He knows all about it and he called you to it anyway.” SHOWNOTES 1. Make a sleep space in your bedroom. Small children have a way of disrupting our sleep even long after the baby years are over. When I found myself struggling with kids who would wake up at night and want to come into our bed, I put a crib mattress on the floor in our room. Any small person who wanted to was welcome to come to our room at night and sleep near us, but not to wake us up. It really worked great, for many years and with many of our children. 2. Have quiet time every day. Even if your child is no longer napping, you can still enforce quiet time each day. At least an hour each afternoon where you are doing some quiet independent activity, like reading or drawing. This is a great way to teach them the need for rest, but also to teach them that you have a need for rest and they should respect Mommy’s boundaries. 3. Read to them. Read lots together! Reading bonds you together and is a pleasant way to learn new things and be inspired by beautiful things while instilling in them a love for reading. Read to them before bed or before naps, but also any time when you are having a tough time together. Reading is a simple way to enjoy something together. 4. Remember today is not forever. Give yourself the gift of a broader perspective and don’t give in to the temptation of thinking that this is hard and it will be hard forever. It will not. Toddlers do grow up. And there are so many great and freeing things that will happen for you as they change and grow. 5. Connect with others. Find friends who are in a similar stage of parenting and connect with them to commiserate and laugh about some of the tough stuff. Also look for friendships with people who might have kids a little older than yours so you can be encouraged by their example. 6. Pray for their futures. Pray for your young children with an eye to their futures. Pray for their vocations, pray for their future spouses, pray to be a help to them in all that God has planned for their lives. It’s always good to pray for our kids, but praying with a forward-looking focus is very encouraging and hopeful for struggling moms. Resources * How to Pray Like Mary (https://ascensionpress.com/collections/collection-book/products/how-to-pray-like-mary) * Guardian Angel Prayers Angel sent by God to guide me, Be my light and walk beside me. Be my guardian and protect me. On the paths of life direct me. Amen. Angel of God my guardian dear, To whom God’s love entrusts me here, Ever this day be at my side To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen. And the prayer I shared from my own childhood, in answer to Carly who wanted a family prayer time script to follow: Thank you God for my happy day. Take care of me tonight. I’m sorry if I did something wrong today. God bless me, and God bless my whole family. Take us all to heaven one day. I love you Jesus. I love you Mary Teach me to love you more. Amen. Events Saturday, November 16, 2019: You Are Enough Retreat at Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando, FL Saturday, January 11, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat, St. Michael Church, Exeter, NH Saturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, IN Saturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CT Want me to come to your community to speak or give my retreat, You Are Enough, based on the themes in my newest book? Get all the information at daniellebean.com (http://daniellebean.com/retreats/)
10/1/201938 minutes, 10 seconds
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How to Manage Social Media for Teens

This is a scary topic for many parents—how can we manage our teens on social media? I am here to offer some help and encouragement, first of all that you can be of help to your kids with regard to social media, and second of all, it is your right and your responsibility to do so as their parents. I also share feedback from listener Marisa who found the confidence she needed to make a lifestyle change after our episode on being more confident. Way to go, Marisa! “We worry all the time about what kinds of media our kids are being exposed to … There is a very real challenge Catholics parents have in this culture that is so opposed to many of our values.” SHOWNOTES 1. Start with their phones. Do they need a phone? Should they have a smart phone? What kind of phone, with what kind of access, and when are they allowed to use it? All legitimate questions, and the answers will vary kid by kid, but please know that your child does not need to have a smartphone simply because everyone else their age has one. You are the parent, and you get to decide. 2. Look at their social media. What apps do they want to use and why? How will they use them? Should you have access to their accounts at all times? If you are not familiar with the apps they are using, can you enlist the help of someone who is? 3. Talk with them about social media. Ask why they like it, what they do there. Ask how other kids use it. Does anyone every use it in a mean or inappropriate way? What are some of the “unwritten rules” for ways that kids use this media and why do those exist? Step into this part of the world with your kids and engage them there. 4. Know you are going to mess up. No filter is perfect, no parent is perfect, no rule is foolproof. Your kids are going to work around your rules, you are going to neglect to ask something, they are going to accidentally access something they should not, and you are going to be devastated. Well, I pray that won’t happen, but it very likely will at some point. It’s not the end of the world. In fact, it is an opportunity to teach your kids why we believe certain things are wrong, how they hurt us, and what God’s plan is and how it’s different. Also, this is an opportunity for you to show them what we can do when we mess up. The ways in which we can seek and receive forgiveness from one another and from God teach them about God’s merciful love. Resources * The Museum of Family Prayer (https://www.museumoffamilyprayer.org)in Easton, Massachusetts * Girlfriends Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/girlfriendspodcast/)
9/24/201948 minutes, 41 seconds
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Discerning God’s Will with Jackie Angel

My guest this week is Jackie Angel, singer/songwriter, wife, mother, worship leader, and now co-author of Pray, Decide, and Don’t Worry: 5 Steps to Discerning God’s Will (https://ascensionpress.com/products/pray-decide-and-don-t-worry-five-steps-to-discerning-god-s-will?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=media&utm_campaign=discernment&utm_content=gfangel). This book is available for pre-order now at ascensionpress.com. Jackie co-wrote the book with her husband Bobby Angel, as well as Fr. Mike Schmitz! The book is a practical and encouraging look at how to make important decisions and get over the fear and paralysis that sometimes hold us back. For more information about Jackie’s work in music and ministry, check our her website: JackieFrancois.com (http://www.jackiefrancois.com) In this show, I also respond to listener feedback from Cassi who is opening her home and building a family in a unique way, and Jill who is considering re-entering the workplace after twenty years as an at-home mom. Snippet from the Show “If we’re not bearing fruit (peace, joy, kindness, love, chastity, modest, self-control) then we’re not in the right place, and maybe God’s calling you to something else.” Resources * Bobby Angel’s video, Trying to Be Perfect? (https://media.ascensionpress.com/video/trying-to-be-perfect/) * Pray, Decide, and Don’t Worry: 5 Steps to Discerning God’s Will (https://ascensionpress.com/products/pray-decide-and-don-t-worry-five-steps-to-discerning-god-s-will?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=media&utm_campaign=discernment&utm_content=gfangel)
9/17/201937 minutes
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Personal Finance How-To’s with Victoria Sechrist

My guest this week helps us take on an important topic that many of us avoid—personal finances. Victoria Sechrist is a financial trainer and a newly-married Catholic (she and her husband met on CatholicMatch!). She and I discuss planning for retirement, managing debt, making investments, and talking about money in marriage. Victoria’s website is ConsumerCatholic, and she also recommends many of the tools and resources available at Compass Catholic Ministries. This week I also respond to listener feedback from Sarah who is a new aunt and godmother to Matthew and wanting to be the best aunt and godmother she can be. _Snippet from the Show “Everything in finances is fixable. There’s always a solution, there’s always a strategy.” _ RESOURCES * Compass Catholic Ministries (https://compasscatholic.org/) * Consumer Catholic (https://www.consumercatholic.com/) * Nerdwallet (https://www.nerdwallet.com/) * Credit Karma (https://www.creditkarma.com/)
9/10/201940 minutes, 16 seconds
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Making Family Prayer Time Happen

Do you struggle to make family prayer time happen in your home? Is it a goal of yours to pray together as a family, and yet you find yourself failing to make it happen? This week, I answer a question from listener Amy who is struggling to make family time happen, especially with a change in schedules as the kids have gone back to school. I also respond to listener feedback about getting started with running (Jillian), and about coping with hard changes (Eleanor). Snippet from the Show “Prayer is a very intimate thing. Sometimes people struggle to pray as a family or as a couple because it’s very intimate. There are parts that will remain very personal, but family prayer is a beautiful way to bond together as a family.” SHOWNOTES Here are my thoughts for ways to make family prayer happen in your home and your family on a regular basis: 1) Plan ahead. It’s not going to happen if you don’t schedule it and make a plan for when it can happen in the first place. Take a look at your daily schedule and find a place where you can make prayer part of your family routine. 2) Know that it doesn’t have to look a certain way. Your family is unique, and so that means the way your family prays together will also be unique. Don’t compare yourselves to what others do. Do what makes sense for you and your family. 3) Know that family prayer changes over time. As your kids grow and your family life changes, so will the ways and times that you pray together. Don’t hold on to some outdated idea of what you should be doing. Do what makes sense for you, right now, with the kind of family you are, right now. 4) Start small and start where you are. Here comes that Girlfriends theme where I remind you: Do not let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Start where you are and make a small commitment to family prayer. Just starting is the hardest part! 5) Be creative. Vary the ways that you pray, the kinds of prayers you pray together, who leads the prayers, what books you might use, etc. There are so many different kinds of prayers in our Catholic tradition. Introduce your kids (and yourself!) to some of them during family prayer times. 6) Take advantage of small moments in your day. Driving to school? Waiting in a parking lot? Folding laundry together? Cooking dinner? Look for small opportunities in your day to offer a word or two of prayer. Thank God for good things, ask God for help, offer your work to him. This is ultimately what prayer is all about—cultivating a natural relationship with God whom we turn to throughout our busy days.
9/3/201942 minutes, 18 seconds
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Growing Closer to God through Parenting (with Lindsay Schlegel)

Author Lindsay Schlegel joins us this week for a show where we discuss how parenting can help us grow closer to God. That is the theme of Lindsay’s book, [Don’t Forget to Say Thank You: And Other Parenting Lessons That Brought Me Closer to God](https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Forget-Say-Thank-CatholicMom-com/dp/1594718091/ref=sr11?crid=3QCGKARKIO9VS&keywords=don%27t+forget+to+say+thank+you&qid=1565968942&s=gateway&sprefix=don%27t+forget+to+say+%2Caps%2C194&sr=8-1). You can learn more about Lindsay and her work at her website, LindsaySchlegel.com. Also, look for a new podcast Lindsay will be launching very soon, called Quote Me. I also share feedback from listener Ann-Marie who shared pictures of her Mary garden and a Litany of Kindness that she wrote. Check out her prayer below. Snippet from the Show “All of the things we want for our kids, God wants for us in an even more perfect way.” SHOWNOTES LITANY OF KINDNESS . . . When I meet with those I have an aversion towards, Jesus help me to choose kindness. When I compose bitter responses to others, Jesus help me silence my thoughts and turn to your heart. When I am tempted to bear a grudge, Help me see myself as I am: a pouting, childish weakling. When I am tempted to be envious of others, Help me be thankful and content with the many gifts you’ve given me. When I am tempted to judge another by their outward actions, Remind me I know not of her motives. When I find myself in a difficult situation, Help me to lovingly accept whatever you send into my life. When I am impatient and angered by those around me, Jesus, deflate my pride and help me choose humility. When there is a lack of trust in a relationship, Help me not to be suspicious of him/her, but to turn my thoughts to you. When I am given to over sensitivity, Help me avoid brooding over real or imagined slights. When I am with an overly sensitive person, Help me choose to exercise patience and charity. When I am self seeking and full of pride, Help me remember and consider my own sins. When I perform a kind deed, Help me offer it to you and not dwell or boast about it. When I perform little actions of consideration, Help me remember that God sees my sacrifice and is pleased. When I have pain, sorrow and suffering, Help me hide it in You, and be kind and cheerful to others. When I am irritated by those around me, Help me bear their burdens, as Christ bears mine. When I am frustrated by another, Help me to love them because I love Christ in them. When I am tired and discouraged, Help me choose to carry out my vocation as helper. When I am contentious and find fault with others, Help me cultivate an agreement as it is not all about me. Give me the grace to offer you a heart free from resentment, And the strength to pray for those who have hurt me. Train my eyes to be kind, recognizing faults, but seeing past them for love of you, Jesus. For all I see and hear, give me the grace to put on a kind interpretation, Which will help destroy the bitterness of my judgments. Help me forgo some trifling right, bear offenses, and renounce having the last word, So that I cultivate kind thoughts in my heart instead of an argument. To give joy to others, I must have it myself. Help me possess simple loving thoughts to dispel the clouds of depression, as you are the source of all joy. When I am weary and know not what to do, remind me that my vocation is to put on love and do my own tasks well. When trying to cooperate with others, help me put aside my own views when justice is not violated, in deference to those of others. Give me the grace of heroic self denial. In all occasions, around all people, remind me that I am not bound to speak out at all. Kindness, good will, charity, and forgiveness may run directly contrary to my feelings and inclinations—help me do them anyway. The obligation to undo the hurt caused by my unkind words does not disappear by my ignoring it. Help me to silence my overgrown sense of curiosity and resist the urge to give unsolicited advice. Help me to never say behind a person’s back what I would not say to his/her face, and to mind my own business. Help me remember that harsh words cause wounds that are hard to heal, and that the best remedy to angry words is silence. When I observe human weakness and am tempted to be sarcastic, remind me it does not glorify God. Remind me that destructive criticism is foolish and futile, and that it says more about me than the person I criticize. Help me always look for the good in the world and in your children and speak of it frequently. When I am wrong, help me admit it quickly and emphatically. Remind me that kindness and warm responses help people far more than anger and harsh words. Help me be receptive to the hurt feelings of others, and to swallow my hurt feelings and my vanity to avoid a quarrel. Please help me exercise love and the right of charity. Help me learn to be silent—to avoid sin, to safeguard virtue, and to grow in union with God. Assist me in holding my tongue to hold my peace. Remind me that a perfectly adjusted tongue always runs slower than my mind. Jesus, give me the grace of your wisdom to know when and what to say at the right time. Help me pray before correcting others, and remember that unless it springs from charity it cannot be justified before God. When I am corrected, help me accept it graciously, and cheerfully, and to give it consideration. Help me choose kindness since there is no substitute for charity. Help me spread joy by praising my neighbor which is an act of charity. May my words be kind, to spread the peace of Christ, which blesses me first. Give me your grace to be a kind listener and to humbly deny myself by being genuinely interested in others. Help my charity to be strong, energetic, and abundant—nourished by a vigorous spiritual life. Remind me to give of what I have, after all, it is not really mine. Amen.
8/27/201935 minutes, 7 seconds
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How to Cope with Hard Change

This week we are talking about seasons of change in motherhood, and how we can best cope with them. Whether you are sending a child off to college or to kindergarten, moving into a new neighborhood or starting a new job, change can be a challenging thing to cope with. Snippet from the Show “A change may be hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. The more we focus on our gratitude, the more we can see the positives of that change.” SHOWNOTES Here are some ideas that can help: Let yourself feel the feelings. Don’t “stuff” your feelings, but allow yourself to feel them. Be honest about the fact that when a child moves out, there are parts of that change that are a loss to you, and it hurts. But don’t “sit down” in there. Do not wallow in your feelings. Make sure you know that your thoughts are the boss of your feelings. In other words, you cannot control how you feel, but you can control how you think and act on those feelings. Be gentle with yourself. Build margin into your days, let go of some more demanding things in your life and in your schedule to allow yourself the time and energy you need to make this transition. (Here is the homeschooling book I mentioned in this part : Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie) Start something new. Think of a new habit you might like to begin and attach it to this time of change. Look for ways that this time of transition might be an opportunity for new, positive things in your life. Give thanks. So many of the changes we struggle with are also enormous blessings. Remember to pause and give thanks for your children, for your motherhood, for your home and family, even as you struggle with changes inside of those relationships. This week, I also share feedback from listeners Lillian and Jenay, and I answer a question from Taylor about vaccines. RESOURCES My episode on The Art of Letting Go (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-36-the-art-of-letting-go-035/id1073361940?i=1000374713722) EVENTS Saturday, November 16, 2019: You Are Enough Retreat at Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando, FL Saturday, January 11, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat, St. Michael Church, Exeter, NH Saturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, IN Saturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CT
8/20/201943 minutes, 42 seconds
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Live Big, Love Bigger with Kathryn Whitaker

This week’s guest is my friend Kathryn Whitaker, author of Live Big, Love Bigger: Getting Real with BBQ, Sweet Tea, and a Whole Lotta Jesus (https://www.amazon.com/Live-Big-Love-Bigger-Getting/dp/1594719144/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=live+big+love+bigger&qid=1565106842&s=gateway&sr=8-1). Kathryn shares beautifully about how this book came to be, and also about her struggles with faith, marriage, parenting, and trusting in God’s goodness. Kathryn is such a real and authentic voice in the Church today; you are not going to want to miss all that she shares in her book, on social media, and in this conversation. When you pre-order her book, be sure to get all your bonus content (https://teamwhitaker.org/live-big-love-bigger-book/)! Snippet from the Show “Sacrifice is an important component of love. Teaching our kids about sacrifice is a countercultural (but necessary) part of living a Christ-centered life.” Connect with Kathryn Whitaker: * Kathryn’s website (https://teamwhitaker.org) * Kathryn on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kwhitaker96/) * Kathryn on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TeamWhitaker) * Kathryn on Twitter (https://twitter.com/home) RESOURCES Also mentioned in this week’s show was my recent conversation with Emily Jaminet (https://media.ascensionpress.com/podcast/gf131/) about devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. You can learn more about Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Enthronements.com (https://enthronements.com). EVENTS * Saturday, November 16, 2019: You Are Enough Retreat at Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando, FL * Saturday, January 11, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat, St. Michael Church, Exeter, NH * Saturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, IN * Saturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CT
8/13/201941 minutes, 2 seconds
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5 Ways to Be More Confident

Do you struggle with confidence? I think many of us feel alone in our anxieties and insecurities, but it’s very common to lack confidence sometimes. Whether you are starting a new work project, or building a friendship, or growing in your marriage or spiritual life, or setting health goals, many of us worry that we will fail and struggle to feel like we are in control of our circumstances. Snippet from the Show “We think people who are confident don’t feel afraid. But that’s not true. Confident people feel afraid, but they don’t let it stop them.” Shownotes This week, I am sharing five things I think can help you feel more confident: 1) Be discerning about which opinions matter. Some people you will never please, and some people do not share your values and so you wouldn’t want to please them. Be discerning about which opinions and feedback you pay attention to, and don’t waste time on opinions that don’t matter. 2) Take responsibility for yourself. You are in charge of you! Don’t think of yourself as a victim of your circumstances or other people. Decide what you want to change and then get busy doing it. 3) Do not dwell in the past. It’s natural to think about past failures sometimes and feel paralyzed by them. But you are not your past. Your past is something you can learn from and move forward from. You need to make the choice to do that. 4) Watch your language. Do you speak negatively, even just inside your own head? Pay attention to the ways you talk about yourself and about your goals and assess if they are positive or negative. Choose positive language over the negative language that leaves you spiraling downward and never reaching your goals. 5) Do not let fear stop you. Confident people are not people who never feel afraid. Confident people are people who know how to put fear in its place. When you feel afraid, look at it as an opportunity to try something new and learn and grow. We sometimes grow fearful because we think our decisions are permanent and cannot be undone. Know that you can try something, fail, learn from it, and move on. How do you grow your confidence? What struggles or triumphs do you have when it comes to feeling confident and achieving your goals? Send me your feedback and I will share it on a future show! Resources - _The Activated Disciple _ (https://ascensionpress.com/collections/collection-book/products/the-activated-disciple?utm_source=website&utm_medium=media&utm_campaign=activateddisciple&utm_term=gf-podcast-186)by Jeff Cavins
8/6/201942 minutes, 1 second
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Sorting Your Stuff with Lisa Lawmaster Hess

Are you working on organization this summer? Or thinking about ways to approach the fall season with a fresh, new, de-cluttered home or workplace? Today’s guest is here to help. Without guilt or any measure of negativity, Lisa Lawmaster Hess gives you the tools you need to get organized at last. Lisa’s new book is Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist’s Guide to Sorting Your Stuff (https://www.amazon.com/Know-Thyself-Imperfectionists-Guide-Sorting/dp/1681923238), newly available from Our Sunday Visitor. In the book, Hess outlines different personalities and the varying ways we approach working and organizing our stuff. With humility, humor, and a healthy dose of realism, Lisa encourages us all to learn more about ourselves so we can have happier, more functional homes and work spaces. Snippet from the Show “It [organization] is not about beating yourself up, it’s about figuring out what system is going to work to have a more functional life. Find Lisa online in these places: The Porch Swing Chronicles (http://l2hess.blogspot.com) Organizing By Style (http://orgbystyle.blogspot.com) * CatholicMom.com (http://catholicmom.com/author/lhess/) Lisa on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/L2Hess/?ref=hl) Lisa on Twitter (https://twitter.com/L2Hess)
7/30/201948 minutes, 9 seconds
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Taking on the World with Olivia Colombo

I can’t wait for you to meet Olivia Colombo! She is going to encourage you! Olivia is a young adult podcaster, speaker, and activist who is making changes and encouraging others with her positive energy in the Church and in her community. She and I chat about young adults in the Church, being a pro-life witness on college campuses, and the importance of striving for holiness, no matter what your age or stage of life. I also answer listeners’ feedback about handling failure and how to deal with anxiety over our children’s health. Snippet from the Show “We’re thirsting for truth. We don’t want the watered-down Faith, we want the full truth of the Faith.” Connect with Olivia * Olivia on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/oliviarose_art/) * Olivia’s blog (https://www.oliviaroseart.com/blog) * Olivia on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYoJ6DEtdJRW6nOxGl3YYzg?sub_confirmation=1) * Olivia’s podcast: To the Heights (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/to-the-heights/id1467991891) EVENTS * July 30-August 2: Catholic Marketing Network in Lancaster, PA * Saturday, November 16, 2019:You Are Enough Retreat at Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando, FL * Saturday, January 11, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat, St. Michael Church, Exeter, NH * Saturday, March 7, 2020:You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, IN * Saturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CT
7/23/201943 minutes, 3 seconds
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So You Want to Change Your Husband

Who among us doesn’t want to influence our significant other? And this is not always a bad thing! We want good things for our husbands and we want them to become all that God has planned for them to be, and so we … nudge, nag, suggest, and criticize. But these are not great ways to communicate. Let’s talk about some ways you can work with your husband to unite you both in common goals, instead of dividing you. Snippet from the Show "Whatever your goal is for your husband, it's not a greater good than him knowing that you love him and accept him." 1) Make a deal. Especially for smaller topics, this can be a light-hearted way to encourage and motivate your husband to do something you want by doing something HE wants in exchange. Make a deal! Tell him if he brings the boys to soccer practice tonight, he can sleep in while you cover rides tomorrow morning. This is especially helpful in encouraging you to consider your husband’s perspective, instead of only your own. 2) Find out what he wants. You know what your goals are for your husband, but do you know what his are? With his health, work, parenting, or spiritual life? Ask him about what his goals are and then look for ways you can support him in achieving them. 3) Ask, don’t tell. Don’t tell him what to do. Ask his opinion of various things. What do you think about that men’s group at our parish? Would you ever enjoy camping with the kids? What is your idea of fun Saturday afternoon? What are some ways you would like for us to spend time together? 4) Be aware of your tone. Sometimes our “hidden agendas” have a way of coloring what we say, even when we don’t mean for them to. Be careful when approaching your husband about a sensitive topic and know that he might feel insecure about some of the ways he knows you want him to change. You might just need to focus on building him up and reassuring him of your unconditional love first. 5) Set the example. Ultimately, you can’t control what your husband does or doesn’t do, but you can control yourself. If you want him to do certain things, like going to daily Mass, eating healthy meals, or taking the kids hiking, go ahead and do those things yourself. Allow him to feel the gentle nudge of your positive example with your having to nag or cajole him into doing what you want. 6) Know that you might be wrong. Your agenda for your husband might not match up with God’s plan for his life. Humbly accept that you don’t have the “perfect plan” for your husband. 7) Pray. Pray to know God’s goals for your husband and the ways in which you can support him. Pray for your husband as well, and offer sacrifices for his benefit. Put your money where your mouth is! Offer up something for your husband’s benefit.
7/16/201947 minutes, 12 seconds
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How to Make Schooling Choices for Your Kids

Should you homeschool, or send your kids to public school, private school, online school, charter school, or some combination of these things? These are hard decisions we have to make as parents, and at the end of this school year is an opportune time to think about how you will educate your children in the coming year. Listener Carol recently asked if I would share the reasons why we chose to homeschool our kids, and I share those thoughts at the beginning of this episode. Snippet from the Show “Whether you’re deciding to homeschool or send your child to school, we have a lot of emotion attached to these decisions because they matter. Because we love our kids so much and we want what’s best for them.” SHOWNOTES Regardless of what educational choices you are making for your kids, here are some helpful things to keep in mind. 1) Pray about it. You absolutely need to ask for God’s grace when it comes to making important parenting decisions. Also, consider praying to Mary for guidance as well. 2) Get on the same page as your spouse. This is too big a decision to go alone. Make sure you and your spouse can come to an agreement, at least for the coming year. 3) Talk with your kids about it. Different kids have different needs, wants, preferences, and learning styles. Talk with your kids about what works and what doesn;t work for them when it comes to their education. You get to call the shots, but you need their input! 4) Be honest about the investment. Every educational choice has its own pros and cons. Don’t give in to some fantasy about the “perfect” alternate choice for educating your kids. Talk to others and be honest with yourself about what each choice will cost you and other members of your family. 5) Know you can “un-do” your decision if it turns out to be a bad one. Have confidence in whatever you choose, knowing there is “no one right way” to educate your children and also knowing you can change your mind if needed.
7/9/201945 minutes, 12 seconds
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Mary, Our Queen and Our Mother (with Marge Fenelon)

What is your relationship with Mary like? Do you struggle sometimes to feel close to our mother in heaven? Author Marge Fenelon writes extensively about Mary, from personal experience and from a historical perspective. Her newest book is My Queen, My Mother: A Living Novena. She joins me for a conversation about this book and others this week. Check out all of Marge’s work at her website, MargeFenelon.com (https://margefenelon.com) Snippet from the Show “Whether you’re anxious about your work, or your children, or your marriage–Mary cares about that.” RESOURCES * Praymorenovenas.com (https://www.praymorenovenas.com/) * MargeFenelon.com (https://margefenelon.com) * How to Pray Like Mary (https://ascensionpress.com/collections/collection-book/products/how-to-pray-like-mary) EVENTS * July 30-August 2: Catholic Marketing Network in Lancaster, PA * Saturday, November 16, 2019: You Are Enough Retreat at Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando, FL * Saturday, January 11, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat, St. Michael Church, Exeter, NH * Saturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, IN * Saturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CT Check out this episode at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends for more!
7/2/201944 minutes, 48 seconds
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Healthy Ways to Handle Failure

Failure feels terrible. Maybe you didn’t get a job you applied for, maybe your idea for a school fundraiser was a total dud, or maybe you just got impatient and yelled at your kids. Again. When we fail, we are sometimes tempted to live in denial or drown our sorrows in unhealthy ways, but this week I want to invite you to spend some time thinking about healthy ways to respond to failure—so we can learn and grow from our experiences. See the full shownotes as ascensionpress.com/girlfriends Snippet from the Show “Sometimes when we fail, the temptation is to feel like you don’t have any control, but in any situation, you can choose how you react.” 1) Acknowledge how you feel. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen or that it doesn’t matter. If you are feeling angry or sad or embarrassed, allow yourself to fully experience that feeling without judgment. 2) Stop any negative coping. Avoid engaging in numbing behaviors like drinking or overeating. A little indulgence might be soothing, but make sure this is not your go-to for bad feelings. 3) Find helpful outlets. Find out what will help you process what you are feeling in a healthy way. Calling a friend or venting to your husband can be helpful. Or maybe go for a long drive or take a walk to be alone for a while. Of course prayer works here too! 4) Accept responsibility. Find out how you might have contributed to the failure. What did you do or not do that caused it? Don’t look to blame others. 5) Learn from it. Failure can help us to better understand the kind of people we are, the kind we want to be, or in what ways we still need to work on ourselves or gain new skills. What can you learn about yourself, about others, or about what your goals are and should be from your experience of failure? 6) Make a plan for the future. Do not stay there in your failure! Make a plan to apply for a new job, make a new friend, learn a new skill, or … whatever you decide comes next!
6/25/201940 minutes
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Girlfriends LIVE: Sharing Your Faith with Others

This week’s show was recorded live on Facebook with listeners interacting with me live as I recorded. This was a fun way to do the show and I hope you enjoy listening to it, even after the fact. We talked about the topic of sharing your faith with non-believing family and friends. How can we avoid conflict and share authentically in a way that might inspire others to explore the Faith themselves? Here are some ideas I shared: 1) Show, don’t tell. As much as you can, lead others to the Faith through your example of joyfully living it out, rather than trying to teach them or lecture them about it. 2) Pray! Pray for the grace to know how to share your faith. Pray for the people you hope to convert, and pray for the opportunity to share your faith with others. 3) Remember it’s God’s job. It’s not about you! You can cooperate with God’s grace, but only God can convert people’s hearts. 4) Invite them to something. Invite people to your church, to a parish event, or just into your home. Invite them in to see your life and be a part of it. 5) Ask them questions. Ask others questions about what they believe and why they believe it, and then listen to their answers. You can find out a lot about them while letting them know you care about their perspective. Check out this episode at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends to see my upcoming events!
6/18/201949 minutes, 6 seconds
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How to Plan a Wedding and Not Lose Your Soul

My daughter got married last weekend, and despite all the planning that goes into weddings, we survived! In fact, I enjoyed it! I am so grateful to God for the gift of this blessed event and all that we enjoyed in the process of planning and hosting. When I shared photos on Facebook and Instagram, many people asked me to do a podcast about wedding planning … so here you go! Snippet from the Show “As you’re planning a wedding, it’s important to lean on Mary ... She is such an understanding, consoling, compassionate mother. In those moments when we’re tempted to stress about things we know we shouldn’t, she’s very helpful in calming our stressed out souls.” SHOWNOTES Here are my un-professional thoughts from a mother-of-the-bride: 1) There are no “have-to’s” So many times, the pressure we feel to do things a “certain way” or to meet other people’s expectations is completely unnecessary. I encourage you to examine what things you feel pressured to do and consider letting go of things that are not meaningful or that you cannot reasonably afford. There are no “have-to’s” about wedding receptions. 2) Focus on the sacrament Of course there are some “have to’s” about a Catholic wedding ceremony, and I encourage you to focus there. On the beautiful gift of grace the couple is receiving in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Focusing there has a way of keeping all the other stuff in perspective. 3) Talk to Mama Mary Our Lady demonstrated a special kind of loving care about weddings and the stress they can entail through her words and actions at the wedding at Cana. Focus on the role she played in that story and then entrust her with all of your own wedding-related anxieties. Ask Mother Mary to intercede for you with regard to all the details you might be stressing about, but also ask her to help you maintain proper perspective about stuff that does not matter. 4) Invite helpers From the decorations to the favors to the cake to the music, there are lots of ways others can pitch in and help you with planning a fun celebration without breaking the budget or freaking out with the stress of the whole thing. Ask others to help! Many of your friends and family will be honored to play a role in making your day special while taking some of the financial and emotional stress off of you. 5) Feel all the feelings Weddings are emotional events! As you are planning your special day or your child’s special day, or participating in a friend or sibling’s special day, you will have some bittersweet feelings. Don’t hide from them! Don’t deny them! Allow yourself to feel them and share them with others in appropriate ways. Doing so as you plan will help you emotionally prepare for the big event and allow you to enjoy the moment of the special day even more. This week, I also share feedback from listener Teresa who shares some inspiring and encouraging ideas for ways to make good habits stick. Her excellent feedback is like a mini podcast within a podcast and you will not want to miss what she shares! Check out resources, events, and opportunities to connect at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
6/11/201954 minutes, 29 seconds
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Living Abundantly with Katie Curtis

This week I am excited to share a recent conversation I had with my friend, author Katie Curtis. Katie is a wife, mom, and author of The Wideness of the Sea, a beautiful novel about a young woman’s life transition in her career and among her family members and romantic interests. I loved reading this book recently and know you will enjoy it too! Katie is working on a second novel, even as she raises her family of six kids (including toddler twins!) and working as a freelance food writer. You can read her food writing at her food blog, The Humble Onion, and more about all her work at her website, KatieCurtis.net. I also share a question from listener Samantha about how to handle small children during Mass. Do you have ideas to share? Let me (and Samantha) know! I would love to include your ideas and input on a future show focused on this perennial topic. Snippet from the Show “Reading is sort of like the Trinity. There’s your consciousness, the writer’s consciousness, and the words that pass through the page.” Check out the resources and shownotes from this episode at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
6/4/201926 minutes, 12 seconds
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5 Things Good Friends Do

Do you struggle in friendships? So many of us do. But I am a firm believer in the idea that if you want a good friend you should be a good friend. So in that spirit, this week, I am sharing five things that good friends do. Snippet from the Show “It’s a beautiful opportunity we have that God allows us to pray for other people. Good friends approach their relationships in prayer.” SHOWNOTES Good friends pray with and for their friends. Ask your friends how you can pray for them. If you want to grow closer to someone, consider adding their intentions to your daily prayer life. If you are longing for friends, bring that longing to your prayer life as well. Tap into the power of prayer for your growth in friendship! Good friends are courageous. They step out and make the first move. They engage others, even if it means stepping outside their comfort zones. Ask someone over for coffee or for a playdate. Be vulnerable in your conversations with friends you have already—sharing honestly about your struggles and imperfections. Good friends are patient. Especially at the start of a new friendship, good friends are patient with the time investment it takes to grow truly close to another person. Also, inside of established friendships, good friends are patient in the natural ebb and flow that happens in personal relationships. Good friends are themselves. Don’t adopt behaviors or personality traits that are outside your character in order to please someone else or fit in with a group of people you want to please. Be your authentic self as you are meant to be a gift to others, especially your friends. Good friends are thoughtful. It’s tempting to become self-focused sometimes in our relationships with others, but good friends are focused on others and their needs. Look for ways to be of service to your friends, or to those people you want to grow closer to. Even simple things like sending a note of encouragement, or remembering them on a special day can mean a lot. Find out how you can be supportive of others by focusing on small things that give meaning to your friendships. Check out more, including a link to our exclusive facebook group at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
5/28/201943 minutes, 33 seconds
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Fighting the Temptation of Perfection with Colleen Carroll Campbell

This week I am chatting with one of my heroes, author Colleen Carroll Campbell about her newest book, The Heart of Perfection: How the Saints Taught Me to Trade My Dream of Perfect for God’s. Colleen shares about life as a wife, mom, and successful author, speaker, and media personality, and the ways in which she was brought to a deeper understanding of God’s love for her through her struggles with perfectionism and coming to know saints who struggled too. Colleen’s previous book is My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir, another great read that will inspire you to learn more about saints who can accompany you on your life’s journey. Check out the shownotes as ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
5/21/201941 minutes, 56 seconds
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How to Make Good Habits Stick

This week I am answering a question from listener Erin who wants to know how to get herself to do the things she wants to do. We all struggle with making good habits. We have values and priorities, but sometimes when it comes to following through, we need what Erin calls a “kick in the pants.” Snippet from the Show “God wants us to set reasonable goals out of self-love, not self-loathing.” SHOWNOTES There are some things that can help us find success in establishing the good habits we want and stopping the bad habits we don’t want. This week I am sharing four ideas: Identify your pitfalls. Think about what might make you fail before your failure happens. What obstacles might get in the way? What temptations might you fall prey to? Make a plan now for how you will handle your pitfalls or avoid them altogether. Make laziness work for you. We are all creatures of efficiency and so we can really increase our chances of success if we make good choices easy to do and bad choices hard to do. Make the things you want to do super convenient, even in small ways, and you will be much more likely to do them. Hold yourself accountable. You might share your goals with a friend, with your spouse, or on social media. Write down your goals and check in with yourself and others to see how you are doing. Accountability can go a long way toward helping us make the good choices we want to make. Set goals that are S.M.A.R.T. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. Each of these is a key ingredient to defining new habits you will want to stick with!
5/14/201943 minutes, 51 seconds
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Meet the Man Behind Girlfriends

This is the show you’ve been waiting for! This week, my husband Dan joins me on the show for an original interview—the first male guest we’ve ever had on Girlfriends. Dan takes readers’ questions from Instagram, discussing pregnant women, complementarity between the sexes, and even foul language. And then Dan tackles the same topic we discussed last week from my point of view—discipline. Dan shares some of his ideas about the importance of setting and enforcing rules as parents, but also talks about establishing a “family culture” that will form your kids and serve them well, even when they leave home. For the full shownotes, including a list of my upocoming events, check out this episode at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
5/7/20191 hour, 22 seconds
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Principles for Effective Discipline

In anticipation of next week’s show, when my husband Dan will be coming on to share about discipline, I thought this week I would share my own perspective on effective discipline. At the beginning of this episode, I mention a new video series on Divine Mercy from Fr. Chris Alar!! If you don't know much about Divine Mercy, or you want to learn more, check out this free video series at ascensionpress.com/pages/divinemercyvideos (https://ascensionpress.com/pages/divinemercyvideos) I also share feedback from listener Megan who listened to the first forty episodes of Girlfriends through all of Lent. Thank you, Megan! :) Snippet from the Show “What a privilege and honor that our children’s first experience of who God is is through their relationship with us [their parents].” Here are four ideas I have to share – let’s see how Dan’s list compares next week when he comes on! Be clear. Set standards for your kids and expect them to meet them. Follow through. If you set a standard and a child fails to meet that standard, there must be consequences. It’s not personal. Kids are young and immature, and they are figuring out the world. They are going to choose wrongly sometimes, and if we react emotionally, it’s not helpful to any of us. It actually is personal. Invest in healthy, loving relationships with your kids, and discipline will become less necessary, and more effective when you use it. For more detailed shownotes, check out this episode at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
4/30/201942 minutes, 50 seconds
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Easy Ways to Practice Mercy this Easter

Do you know that next Sunday we will observe Divine Mercy Sunday? This time of year is a wonderful opportunity to focus on Jesus’ gift of Divine Mercy. I mention Fr. Chris Alan in today’s episode, and I just found out that he has created a video series on Divine Mercy with Ascension! Go to ascensionpress.com/pages/divinemercyvideos (https://ascensionpress.com/pages/divinemercyvideos) to sign up to receive exclusive access to this FREE video series! A great way to celebrate Easter for all fifty days is to plan to practice the Corporal Works of Mercy in your family and in your community. In this week’s show, I share ideas for creative ways to practice each of the works of mercy. Feed the Hungry Give Drink to the Thirsty Clothe the Naked Shelter the Homeless Visit the Sick Visit the Imprisoned Bury the Dead How do you plan to practice mercy in the coming weeks? I would love to hear your ideas! I also share feedback from listeners Christian and Melissa. Melissa shares how much she loves using the Hallow app for meditative prayer. Check it out for yourself! Snippet from the Show “Anybody can do this. In our imperfect ways we can practice this devotion [Divine Mercy] to Jesus.”
4/23/201950 minutes, 44 seconds
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Rock & Roll Meets the Faith (with Dawn Eden Goldstein)

This week, I had the opportunity to chat with author Dawn Eden Goldstein about her newest book, Sunday Will Never Be the Same: A Rock & Roll Journalist Opens Her Ears to God. Dawn shares about her conversion from the Jewish faith to Christianity and eventually the Catholic Faith through the telling of the fascinating story of her life. The book is beautifully written and inspiring to readers and seekers from all walks of life. Check out the shownotes for this episode at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
4/16/201950 minutes, 40 seconds
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Spiritual Benefits of Fasting

Holy cow, you guys! I heard from so many of you after my recent show (5 Ways to Grow in Patience) and you were all about the fasting. I mentioned in that show that I believe fasting is a helpful way to work on becoming more patient, and many of you wanted to know more. To begin, I share voice feedback from listener Andrea who wanted to know some practical tips for making fasting more successful. I share some ideas along those lines at the start of the show: Stay busy Drink plenty of water Start small And then we move on to some ideas I want to share about what I believe are the main spiritual benefits of fasting: Fasting quiets your inner “self.” This is the main thing we are called to do as Christians—deny ourselves and focus on God and others. Fasting teaches us to not seek immediate gratification. You are not going to die because you feel hungry. Through fasting, you gain power over physical desires. We are meant to control our physical passions with the use of our reason, and fasting is a practice in exactly that. If you can master your hunger, you can master your anger, lust, pride, and so on. Fasting helps you grow in gratitude. It’s hard to be grateful for food when we are constantly eating it and never truly experience hunger. We don’t even really enjoy food when we are eating very frequently. Fasting teaches us to appreciate food, but also many other blessings and pleasures in our lives. When you fast, you can “offer it up.” When Jesus went into the desert to pray, he fasted too. Prayer and fasting go hand in hand. You can offer up your fasting for yourself, for your marriage, for a friend, for the Church, or for some special intention. It’s powerful! Through fasting, we gain strength to do hard things. The practice of fasting teaches us to accept suffering that comes our way and be patient in it, because we know it will not last forever. It’s a discipline that teaches us to trust in God for our strength. Fasting empties you and prepares you to receive God. When we empty ourselves out physically, we become prepared to receive God’s grace, strength, love, and presence. Physical hunger is a physical manifestation of a spiritual hunger and longing for God. fasting helps us to see this and practice being receptive to God in our “emptiness.” Are you fasting? Let me know how it’s going!
4/9/201943 minutes, 8 seconds
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12 Ways to Boost Your Energy

We all have times in our lives and in our days where we feel worn out and sluggish, but today we will combat these feelings and boost our energy in simple ways! We talk a lot about things we should spend our time and energy on, things like: hospitality, prayer, exercise, and volunteering. These are all amazing things that we should strive for, but so often our energy is put into the things we have to do, that we have so little left for the things we want to do. We often think of the body/mind connection in terms of what the mind can do. The phrase “mind over matter” implies that we can accomplish anything, so long as we have a will of iron. But the body is important here too. Let’s talk about some of the things we can do to get our body on board with our mind and boost our energy. Some of these things require a bit of will power at the beginning, but once you’ve started, your body will respond as well! I also share feedback about hospitality from listener Elizabeth and some fasting support from listener Dawn who shares this link to a helpful article on the topic. Please, let’s remember to pray for Dawn as she completes the process of entering the Church this Easter! Snippet from the Show There are Catholic forms of meditation, like praying the Rosary and lectio divina. Relaxing your mind and letting go in that way gives you a boost in energy. Your body needs that kind of rest. To see my resources and contact information check out the shownotes for each episode at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
4/2/201949 minutes, 35 seconds
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5 Ways to Be More Patient

Patience is something we can all afford to work on. Not just because patience is a virtue and so we should avoid impatience, but because we can negatively affect relationships with others and our own happiness when we are impatient. This week, we also hear feedback from listener Aubrey who appreciated our recent show about talking to your kids about tough moral topics. Thank you, Aubrey! Is patience a struggle for you? Join the club! Here are five ways I suggest that can help you become more patient. Find out the cause. Figure out what your triggers are and then work on changing your approach to those people and those situations that lead you to impatience. Are you stressed? Are you multitasking? Are you running late? Are you tired? Figure out the cause of your impatience so you can work on addressing the problem at its cause. Try fasting. Fasting is a spiritual practice that can help you to grow in patience. I have been experimenting with spiritual fasting this Lent and have been surprised to find that it truly helps me to be more calm and patient even in frustrating situations. Fasting helps to quiet your focus on yourself and constant seeking of immediate gratification. Pray. Do you ever pray for the virtue of patience? Try praying before your day even starts, asking for help in those situations that you know will try your patience. Also, you can pray for those people who make you impatient. This can help change your focus away from yourself and toward others’ perspectives. Breathe. We’ve talked about the importance of remembering to breathe when we discussed stress on the show before. When you get stressed, you naturally begin to breathe more shallow breaths, which can increase your feelings of stress. Pause to breathe when you start to feel impatient. It’s a great way to hit your inner “pause” button, remember to pray, and assess the situation fairly. Use the word “YET” This is a fun little trick to help you remember to be more positive and less frustrated in your everyday thoughts. When you think of something negative, try adding the word “yet” at the end of your thought: “Jamie hasn’t taken out the garbage … yet.” “I don’t understand this math problem … yet.” Adding yet switches your focus from negative assumptions to positive and optimistic thoughts. Try it!
3/26/201945 minutes, 31 seconds
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The Girlfriend’s Guide to Hospitality

Let’s talk about having people over! Why does hospitality feel so hard sometimes? The idea of having people over is so nice. Chatting in my clean living room, having beautifully prepared hors d’ourves, not running ahead of someone to make sure the bathroom is presentable ... But that’s not reality. We don’t need to have perfect homes and lives to invite someone in. So just do it! Here are some tips I want to share with regard to hospitality: 1. Stop putting it off. Be honest about the kinds of excuses you might be making and just invite someone over already! I have a challenge for you: invite someone over before the end of Lent this year. 2. It’s not about your house. Reflect on the differences between the idea of “entertaining” versus “hospitality.” If you are worried about your house instead of about welcoming people, you might be focused on the wrong things. 3. Keep it simple. No one says you have to throw a fancy dinner party. Just invite friends over for dessert, or another mom over for coffee. Make sure it’s not overwhelming and you will more likely to do it again. 4. Do not make your family insane. Hospitality is more likely to be a pleasant experience for all of you if you calm yourself down beforehand. You are not allowed to make your family insane while preparing for company. Again, if you do this, maybe you aren’t focused on the right things? (Here is the funny video I mentioned) 5. Prepare for conversations. Spend a little time before your guests arrive thinking about who will be there and what kinds of things you can ask them about. What is going on in their lives? What might you ask them about? A little thought goes a long way toward making people feel comfortable and creating meaningful connections with others. Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!
3/19/201941 minutes, 17 seconds
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Helping the Church in Need (with Brooke Taylor)

Today we’re talking about how we can help the global Church through prayer and offerings, and the ministry of The Church in Need, a papal charity that supports the Catholic faithful and other Christians where they are persecuted, oppressed, or in pastoral need. My guest this week is Brooke Taylor, an author, runner, mama, wife, and a friend of mine. Brooke shares about her upcoming half marathon she will be running in the Holy Land, in order to raise funds and awareness for The Church in Need. We’re almost a week into Lent! How is it going for you so far? Let me know in the comments! Check out these previous Lent-themed Girlfriends episodes: Pray Fast Give and Girlfriend’s Guide to Fasting I also share feedback from listener Tereza who asks about how to handle a tricky situation with her mother-in-law. Snippet from the Show “Sometimes you see the news and feel helpless in the face of evil. But there is something you can actually do.” RESOURCES FROM THE SHOW Brooke’s website: http://brooketaylor.us/ Support Brooke’s run: churchinneed.org/jerusalem-marathon/ Church in Need: churchinneed.org The Litany of Trust: sistersoflife.org/litany-of-trust
3/12/201944 minutes, 53 seconds
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The Sacred That Surrounds Us (with Andrea Zachman)

Our guest this week is Andrea Zachman, author of The Sacred That Surrounds Us: How Everything in a Catholic Church Points to Heaven, a book that helps reveal our Catholic churches as shrines of devotion, packed with symbolism and deeper meaning. Andrea shares how she came to write this beautiful book, and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at its inspiring content. This book is a great gift idea and perfect for anyone looking to discover more about the Church. You can find it at shop.ascensionpress.com I also share feedback from listeners Amy and Kelly. If you have feedback you want to share on this or any episode of Girlfriends, I would love to hear from you! Links to my contact information can be found in the shownotes of every episode at ascnesionpress.com/girlfriends I would love to hear from you!
3/5/201938 minutes, 50 seconds
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3 Ways to Declutter

Inspired by Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the areas in my life that need decluttering. It’s not just my home that is in need of tidying, but also my digital space, and (most importantly) my spiritual space. To that end, I’m issuing a decluttering challenge for these three spaces—Marie Kondo style. Listen in to hear the challenges and change your life! Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you! SHOWNOTES Declutter your living space - I’ve been working on decluttering my home, and I want to encourage you to do the same. Remember Marie’s rule: if it doesn’t spark joy, then get rid of it. Challenge #1 Deep clean a space in your home you have been putting off or avoiding. Challenge #2 Deep clean a storage space in your home. Declutter your digital space - Maybe you don’t often think about the ways in which your digital spaces clutter your life, but this week I want to challenge you to think about this. Challenge #1 Track your screen time on your phone. Challenge #2 Clean up the home screen on your phone and/or laptop to make it cleaner and more useful. Declutter your spiritual space - What is weighing you down spiritually? What can you do to let go of the burden? Challenge #1 Go to confession! Challenge #2 Forgive someone, or ask for forgiveness.
2/26/201943 minutes, 5 seconds
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Teaching Kids About Tough Moral Issues (with Leila Miller)

This week my guest is Leila Miller, author of Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids To Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues. Leila is a wife, mom, grandma, and author who has been combating evil in the culture for decades. She speaks with wisdom and from experience on this important topic. We chat about how to talk to your kids about hard-hitting Catholic issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, pornography, and transgenderism, and the reality of children encountering these topics. Go to ascensionpress.com/girlfriends for the shownotes and links to the resources from the show!
2/19/201940 minutes, 21 seconds
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5 Ways to Spread Joy on Valentine’s Day

Whether you think Valentine’s Day is romantic fun or an over-commercialized beast, we can use it as an opportunity to spread joy. This holiday seems reserved for couples without kids, but celebrating love is something everyone can partake in. So whether you celebrate on your own, with friends, a significant other, or kids, here are some ideas to spread joy on Valentine’s Day. Send anonymous Valentines Send a secret Valentine to someone who will not be expecting it. Write a note of thanks or encouragement on it and surprise them! Maybe your pastor? The old lady who works at Target? Who will you give this secret gift to? Express gratitude Think of someone in your life that you are grateful to and write them a real note of thanks. Spread the joy by thanking multiple people if you like! Volunteer somewhere Your local crisis pregnancy center or food pantry or nursing home would probably love for you to offer a few hours of your time doing whatever they need done. It could be as simple as making phone calls or making deliveries. Find out what they need and do it for them. For extra joy, bring your kids along! Give anonymous service Will you shovel your neighbor’s walkway? Do an extra chore around the house? Clean the classroom for your child’s teacher? Make this Valentine’s Day a joyful one by giving someone a gift of unexpected service. Love yourself Especially if you are tempted to throw a pity party for yourself because it’s not the Valentine’s Day of your dreams, look for a way to enjoy something and love yourself a little bit. Take some time to sip a cup of tea and read a book, enjoy a special treat, watch a show you love, get your nails done, or buy yourself flowers. Whatever will make you feel loved, take the time to take care of yourself and you will be ready to spread joy to others. Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!
2/12/201937 minutes, 28 seconds
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Here’s Why You’re Giving Up On Exercise

It’s that time of year when the thrill of setting our New Year health goals starts to wear off and we are in danger of giving up on exercise. Let’s talk about how to deal with the temptation to throw in the towel, why you might be giving up on exercise, and how to make adjustments to reach your goals! 1) Your workouts are too hard. Did you take on a big goal, expecting big results, only to find yourself struggling? Consider adjusting your workouts to the fitness level you are at right now and working from there. 2) Your workout schedule does not fit into our life. Is working out in the morning harder than you thought it would be? Do you struggle to find the time after dinner? Be realistic about what your lifestyle is like right now and where you can fit your fitness in. 3) You don’t like your workouts. Are you bored, or do you just plain hate spin class? Mix it up! Try something new. Be honest about what your preferences are and then work with them. Meet with friends to make it fun or join a class or team for something new. 4) Your workouts hurt. Is there a potential injury you should see a doctor about? Is running too hard on your knees? Do not “push through the pain,” but find a way to adjust your exercise routine to allow yourself to heal, not hurt. 5) Your workouts are not balanced. You should not be doing the same thing every single day of the week. Try to vary what you do by activity and by intensity. Your schedule should absolutely include rest days and “easy” days as well as more challenging ones. 6) You are not seeing results. You may not be seeing the results you want (like on the scale), but maybe you need to adjust your thinking a bit. The scale is just one measure of your progress, and if you are putting on muscle while losing fat, it will not show much progress at all. Consider how you feel, your strength and energy levels, as well as how your clothing fits for a more accurate measure of your results. Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!
2/5/201941 minutes, 58 seconds
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Connecting Catholicism and Good Manners (with Jacquelyn Youst)

This week I am sharing a recent conversation I had with etiquette expert Jacquelyn Youst who talks about how her Catholic faith intersects with her work teaching children and business people about the basics of manners. I know you will find her inspiring! We touch base on cell phone etiquette, receiving compliments, gratitude, thank you notes, small talk, and other soft skills. Check out more of her work at her website: JacquelynYoust.com Also this week, I share the exciting news that I am beginning work to record an audio version of my newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth. More to come! I also share some feedback from listeners Kim and Kelly about how to handle after-school snacking and decluttering at home. Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!
1/29/201943 minutes, 17 seconds
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7 Ways to Be More Humble

Humility gets a bad rap. Too many of us associate being humble with weakness, insecurity, and unlikability. But that is not the case! Humility is a virtue that goes hand in hand with trust–which is what we have been talking about on the podcast recently. To see the full shownotes, listen to the episode at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
1/22/201943 minutes, 41 seconds
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How to Banish FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

FOMO stands for “fear of missing out”. It refers to the times we feel left out or like we’re not measuring up to others. This happens a lot when we compare ourselves to the carefully crafted versions of people on social media. FOMO happens when we pay too much attention to other people’s lives. This attention can make us insecure or jealous, and it almost always distracts from where we should be focusing—on our own vocation and calling. Snippet from the Show "If I make a conscious efforts to “like” other people’s posts and leaving genuine comments of praise for the good things God is doing in their life, I come away feeling uplifted, positive, and encouraged." For the full shownotes, including my tips to avoid FOMO, check out ascensionpress.com/girlfriends and click on today's show.
1/15/201938 minutes, 58 seconds
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3 Goals to Set for 2019

These 3 goals can actually be achieved by those striving for balance in 2019. It’s that time of year when everyone is thinking about and making New Year resolutions. Are you a resolution-maker? How good are you at keeping your new year commitments? This week, I want to encourage you to set small goals (you do not have to call them resolutions) in 3 different areas of your life. Rather than focusing on large and lofty goals, I think it’s helpful to consider small changes that are doable in different areas of your life. For the full shownotes, including a list of resources I mention in the episode, go to ascensionpress.com/girlfriends (https://media.ascensionpress.com/category/ascension-podcasts/girlfriends/) and click on this episode.
1/8/201946 minutes, 6 seconds
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Happy New Years from Danielle Bean!

Danielle Bean wishes all the Girlfriends listeners a Happy New Years! Tune back in on January 8th for the first full length Girlfriends episode of 2019. For video content and articles that unpack the beauty of the Christmas season, visit www.media.ascensionpress.com.
1/1/201937 seconds
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Merry Christmas!

Danielle Bean wishes all the Girlfriends listeners a Merry Christmas! Tune back in on January 8th for the first full length Girlfriends episode of 2019. For video content and articles that unpack the beauty of the Christmas season, visit www.media.ascensionpress.com.
12/25/201828 seconds
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7 Ways to Find Peace at Christmas

Is it even possible to find peace at Christmas when everything and everyone seems maxed out with preparations and celebrations? Well, Christmas is the celebration of Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace, so I think it definitely should be part of your Christmas plans to find some peace in the holiday season. To see the shownotes and my tips for finding peace this Christmas, check out the show on ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
12/18/201837 minutes, 8 seconds
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How to Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

Staying healthy through the holidays is hard, but not impossible! It’s the crazy holiday season, so all of our health and fitness goals should go out the window, right? Um, no. I am not here to snatch the Christmas cookies from your hands, but I am here to say we can do some basic things to care for our health, even during the crazy Christmas season. Your body will thank you for it! Check out the full shownotes at ascensionpress.com/girlfriends
12/11/201839 minutes, 54 seconds
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Have Your Best Advent Ever

This week I’m sharing ideas for ways to have your best Advent ever and not drive your family crazy in the process. Know that it won’t be perfect. Add something spiritual to your daily routine. Add something fun to your daily routine. Plan a gift for Jesus. Let go of control. For more detailed shownotes and announcements, go to media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends and don't forget to check out my book at bit.ly/2PnZevb.
12/4/201846 minutes, 42 seconds
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5 Ways to Not Go Insane from Christmas Stress

Holiday preparations, with all the “extra” that they require of us as wives, mothers, and homemakers, threaten to send us over the edge from Christmas stress. We want to make everything merry and bright, but sometimes the pressure of outside expectations and (let’s be honest) our own inner expectations can turn us into the Grinch. Check out my tips for how to fend off holiday stress over at media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends and don't forget to check out my book at bit.ly/2PnZevb
11/27/201840 minutes, 12 seconds
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Setting Boundaries with Family over the Holidays

The holidays, with all their gatherings and expectations are rife with conflict. It’s time to talk about setting boundaries with family. Are you dreading the holidays because of the conflicts you know you will face with extended family members, or because of the unpleasant challenges you know you will hear from your own family or your husband’s family? Check out my tips for how to set boundaries over at media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends/ and don't forget to check out my book at bit.ly/2PnZevb
11/20/201840 minutes, 23 seconds
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Cleaning Closets and Finding Your Style with Meghan Ashley

How clean is your closet? How confident are you in your fashion choices and personal style? It’s OK to admit that these things are challenging. Catholic stylist Meghan Ashley is here to help! This week, I share the details of my own Closet Cleanse Challenge and Meghan Ashley walks us through some of the small details of fashion dilemmas and why we are tempted to hold onto that dress that no longer fits. Give yourself the gift of a streamlined closet and take on the challenge today! My newest book, You Are Enough, is available for order! Check out this episode on media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends/ for an exclusive deal! As a regular segment beginning this week, and for the next several shows, I am sharing a bit of the content from my new book, You Are Enough. This week, we consider the story of Moses’ sister Miriam and the Pharaoh’s daughter, and what we can learn from them about the strength and value of cooperation and friendship among women.
11/13/201845 minutes, 15 seconds
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4 Ways to Raise Compassionate Kids

This week we are talking about how to raise compassionate kids who care about the thoughts and feelings of others. Isn’t that ultimately our goal? To raise good human beings? These ways I’m sharing are not a guarantee for a good outcome; they are just ways I have observed to help you raise kids who love and care for others. The ways I share are: 1) Give them structure. 2) Regulate their relationships with others. 3) Be aware of the example you set. 4) Extend compassion outside of your family. As a regular segment beginning this week, and for the next several shows, I am sharing a bit of the content from my new book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth. This week, we consider the story of Judith and the ways in which she uses her womanly gifts and her God-given strength to accomplish what seems impossible. Finally, I share some feedback from new listener Jennifer who appreciated my long-ago episode on the subject of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and wanted to share her own experience. Please join me in praying for Jennifer this week. Go to media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends/ (https://media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends/) for an exclusive deal on my new book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth!
11/6/201855 minutes, 11 seconds
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Should We Celebrate Halloween?

This week we are talking about Halloween and all the ways we can (as well as how we should) observe Halloween and All Saints Day. I share some of my own struggles with this issue as well as some practical ideas for ways to celebrate this season. For detailed show notes, including a discount code for my new book go to media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends (https://media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends/)
10/30/201848 minutes, 34 seconds
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You Need More Sleep!

This week we are talking to and about the sleep-deprived—which probably means you. Whether you are lacking sleep because of insomnia, illness, small children, worries, work, or all of the above, this week’s show offers ideas for ways to get the rest your body needs to be physically, mentally, and emotionally your best every day. A few of the tips I share: Be disciplined about bedtime. Give yourself a “caffeine curfew.” Exercise regularly. Consider supplements. Have a bedtime routine. Limit technology before bed. Take a nap if you need to! Go to media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends/ (https://media.ascensionpress.com/category/girlfriends/) for an exclusive deal on my new book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth!
10/23/201848 minutes, 4 seconds
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Build Community and Stay Connected With Allison Gingras (Part 2)

This week I am sharing a recent conversation with Allison Gingras, a friend and colleague who is a blogger, podcaster, author, speaker, and retreat leader. For contact information, resources, and offers on my new book, go to media.ascensionpress.com/category/ascension-podcasts/girlfriends (https://media.ascensionpress.com/category/ascension-podcasts/girlfriends/)
10/16/201840 minutes, 26 seconds
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Making Bible Study Do-Able (with Sonja Corbitt)

First of all, my newest book, You Are Enough, is available for pre-order (https://shop.ascensionpress.com/products/you-are-enough-what-women-of-the-bible-teach-you-about-your-mission-and-worth)! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to get 10% off! I share the introduction to the book, as well as some special, limited-time offers for free stuff and discounts, so check it all out at the start of this week’s show! This week I am sharing a conversation with Sonja Corbitt, an amazing lady who calls herself the Bible Study Evangelista. You can check out all of her work at her website, BibleStudyEvangelista.com. You are going to learn so much from Sonja and her studies, but you need to also subscribe to her podcast, Bible study Evangelista Show, and follow her on Instagram so you don’t miss a thing! At the end of this week’s show, I share some feedback from listener Julie about our recent show on the topic of spiritual leadership and husbands. Please say a prayer for Julie and her husband and family this week! "Love is something everybody can remember and nobody loves the Word like Mary loves the Word. The Word is her son. She taught that love to him. We can do that to our children."
10/9/201848 minutes, 41 seconds
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What Are You Keeping from God?

Are you all in for Jesus? Or is there something you are keeping from God? It has been my experience that we like to think we’re doing God’s will, but when it comes down to it, we struggle to turn over our lives to God and accept his will over our own. I share some of my recent struggles with this, along with some thoughts about various areas of life where you might be tempted to hold something back from God and keep control for yourself. Your time Are your own plans so precious that you resent interruptions, even if they come from God and his plan for your life? Your money Do you trust God to provide for you and your family, even in tough times? Even if you are not in financial distress, do you recognize that all you own comes from God? Your fertility It can be scary to open ourselves up to God’s plan for our families. Do you struggle with a desire to control when, how, and how many children you have, in ways that exclude God from the conversation? For more on this, check out Girlfriends Episode 62, Real Talk About NFP (https://girlfriends.fireside.fm/63). Your children Sometimes we tend to think of our children as our own little projects that reflect upon us, for better or worse. But we must remember that they belong to God first, and he has a plan for their lives that may not match our own. What are you keeping from God? Is there anything not on this list? Sound off in the comments or contact me using one of the links below! I am so excited to share my newest book with you, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth. Click here to sign up to be notified when the book becomes available for pre-order! (https://shop.ascensionpress.com/collections/featured/products/you-are-enough-what-women-of-the-bible-teach-you-about-your-mission-and-worth) When you pre-order through Ascension, you can get a free copy of the companion journal for You Are Enough! I cannot wait to share this book with you! "This is a mother’s dilemma, constantly feeling interrupted … C.S. Lewis says, “What one calls the interruptions, is precisely one’s life. The life God is sending one day by day.” Ouch. I need that reminder as much as anybody. I got frustrated on Saturday with my time. That’s a clear indication that I’m not trusting God with my day."
10/2/201850 minutes, 2 seconds
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This is Why Your Marriage Isn't Perfect Yet

Do you want a better marriage? I know I do! Today I encourage you to think about some ways in which you might be falling into bad habits or negative spirals in your relationship with your spouse, along with four ideas for improvement. Making bad assumptions. Do you assume the worst about your spouse’s intentions, especially inside of conflict? Many of us do this out of insecurity or defensiveness, but it’s not fair and hurts your relationship. Having unspoken expectations. Do you have problems, expectations, wants and desires that you fail to communicate to your spouse? And then do you wind up feeling disappointed when he fails to meet your unspoken expectations? We need to be clear in our communication, especially about expectations in marriage. Apathy Have you gotten lazy in your relationship? What small efforts and kindnesses have you let slide in recent years? Think about it and demand better from yourself. Your marriage is worth the investment! Negative Communication Habits Step outside your relationship for a moment and observe patterns of behavior, especially between you and your spouse during moments of conflict. What habits have you fallen into? What dumb arguments do you have over and over again? Find out the role you play in these habits and make a change. "It’s not your spouse’s job to make you happy. It’s their job to get you to heaven."
9/25/201848 minutes, 22 seconds
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6 Ways to Support Your Husband as a Spiritual Leader

I offer six different ways every wife can support her husbands to be the spiritual leaders in the home and community: Think about what you want. Consider what you want from your husband and then ask yourself, “Is it fair and reasonable to ask this of him?” Recognize what he is already doing. There are many different ways of being a “spiritual leader.” Recognize and appreciate the things he is already doing right. *Don’t boss him. *This is ugly. Don’t boss or try to bully him into being the person you wish he would be. Give him room to be a husband and father, by focusing on the ways in which you are called to be a wife and mother. Figure out what is getting in the way. Is he tired? Are the kids misbehaving? Does he have no time? Find out what the obstacles are so that you can help with them. Find out what his goals are. Ask him about his spiritual goals for himself and for your family. Think of ways to help him meet those goals and offer your support. Do your own stuff. You have spiritual goals and you are called to be a spiritual leader as a wife and mom. Focus on what you can do, and then just do it! "Sometimes we women want to make spiritual leadership what WE want it to be. That’s actually dumb because what our husbands bring to the table is a completely different perspective, different skill set, different temperament, different preferences, different strengths, different focuses. That’s a beautiful gift to you and your family."
9/18/201844 minutes, 47 seconds
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How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

Listener Tarcy reaches out this week with a question about how to stop yelling at her kids. She recognizes that it’s a bad habit, but struggles to stop. Do you yell at your kids sometimes? Or maybe your husband? Or co-workers? Let’s talk about why this happens and some ideas for ways to stop. Follow through. We need to teach our kids that we mean what we say the first time we say it, and this requires upfront discipline on our part. So hard! And yet so worthwhile in the long term! Listen to yourself. Pay attention to the ways you communicate to others, especially when angry or frustrated, and decide if that is what you want for your personal relationships. Remember that your kids will copy what you do. Do you want them to be “yellers”? Pay attention to the example you are setting. Whisper, or use a very calm and quiet voice to get your kids’ attention. It works surprisingly well! Check in with yourself and ways you might be tempted to compare yourself to others. Often, our frustrations with our families are borne of unfair comparisons to others. When you mess up, say you’re sorry. It is valuable for our kids to see ways in which we fall short of our ideals and how we work to fix it when that happens. Forgive yourself, and give them the opportunity to forgive you too! I also address a listener’s question about how to talk to friends and family who are leaving the Church because of the recent scandals. "When my kids were very little, I remember my oldest daughter running away from me when I was calling her to come do something, and I felt and heard that pounding blood pressure in my ears. I was having a physical response to the level of frustration I was feeling..."
9/11/201848 minutes, 17 seconds
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Here’s How You Can Save the Church

The Church is in trouble, and we feel powerless in the face of this evil, but we are not powerless. I have been spending some time thinking and praying about what we can DO, actually DO to help save our Church and I am sharing them here today: Pray for, encourage, and support our good priests. (8:00) Renew your family prayer life, especially with the Rosary and devotions to Mary, and talk to your family about the needs of the Church. Prayer is not a passive approach, it is healing and empowering. (16:07) Take action. You can do good things in your parish community. If you see anything in your own parish, it is your job to ask questions. (23:44) Tell me how you are coping and what you are doing to take positive action to do good things in our wounded Church. I would love to share more ideas in the coming weeks. Here is a link to the Fr. Mike episode I mentioned: Fr. Mike Schmitz Addresses the Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Scandal (https://media.ascensionpress.com/video/the-pennsylvania-sex-abuse-scandal/) I also share some feedback from listener Julie who asks about discerning whether or not to homeschool her kids. "The atmosphere of secrecy is what has allowed this to go on and become the global problem it is today. I don’t know how to fix it all, but we can, as lay people in our church communities, demand that this not go on anymore … You are part of your church community, and if there are things there that make you uncomfortable, then you have a right to challenge them."
9/4/201846 minutes, 23 seconds
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Fix Your Body Image with Mary Lenaburg

8/28/201846 minutes, 7 seconds
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6 Things You Should Do Every Day

8/21/201850 minutes, 50 seconds
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Build Community and Stay Connected With Allison Gingras

8/14/201845 minutes, 35 seconds
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What is a Personal Relationship with Jesus?

8/7/201843 minutes, 24 seconds
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Why You Should Go to Confession

7/31/201843 minutes, 7 seconds
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6 Ways to Banish a Bad Mood

7/24/201837 minutes, 1 second
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All About the Sacred Heart of Jesus (with Emily Jaminet)

7/17/201839 minutes, 18 seconds
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Grow in Everyday Holiness

How can we grow closer to God every day? I think sometimes we take the ideas of holiness and sainthood and put them up high on an unattainable shelf in our minds. But God calls you to be holy! While he does call you to grow in big ways sometimes, he usually calls you to grow in small ways, in opportunities he sends your way every day. Here are some ways that I have been working on everyday holiness and I want to encourage you to think about them too: Look for ways to serve. Pray your morning offering. Talk to God all day. Look for the worst job. Pray to grow in holiness. Lastly, I answer a question about little kids’ sleeping habits from listener Grace. Maybe you have advice for her as well! Send me your ideas and I will be glad to share them in a future show.
7/10/201846 minutes, 44 seconds
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Here are the Answers to Your Prayer Excuses

Do you make prayer excuses? Don’t lie. We all come up with creative ways to avoid doing what we know we should do—pray! In this week’s show, I share some ways to respond to ourselves when we are tempted to make up excuses for why we aren’t praying more. The excuses we cover: 1) I don’t have time. 2) I will do it later. 3) I get distracted. 4) My family is almost never all home at once. 5) I don’t know what to say. 6) I’m too tired. Do any of these sound familiar? Let’s resolve together to accept no excuses to remember the right answers to these excuses and revive our prayer lives this summer! Drop me a note and let me know how it’s going for you.
7/3/201843 minutes, 11 seconds
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5 Ideas for Your Summer Bucket List

Summer is a time set apart, and so I see … opportunity! To set a goal! To try something new! This week, I’m sharing some ideas I think you should consider adding to your list of goals this summer. 1) Learn something 2) Add to your spiritual life 3) Go outside every day 4) Take a trip 5) Try something new What is going on your bucket list this summer? I would love to hear from you about what goals you are setting for yourself and your family during this season. Here is my daughter Juliette’s graduation speech that I mention at the start of this week’s show.
6/26/201844 minutes, 48 seconds
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Real Mom Connections

What a fun conversation we had with Heather Anderson Renshaw, wife, mom, writer, speaker, and upcoming author of Death By Minivan! With humor and grace, Heather shares about embracing her vocation as a mom, “growing up” in her marriage, and how she juggles family life with her work as a writer.
6/19/201838 minutes, 20 seconds
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What Not to Do on Social Media

Do you misuse social media? I think we all should pause regularly to assess our habits and discern better use of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, or whatever other social media website or app we’re using. I think there are some things we should never do: 1) Don’t “hate follow” people. Are you following certain people for bad reasons? Be honest! Cut it out! 2) Don’t compare. We all are tempted to do it sometimes, but comparing yourself to others will only distract you from your unique call to holiness. 3) Don’t believe it all. Recognize that you never know the whole story about another person’s life. WhHat you see on social media is filtered and edited. 4) Don’t overshare. Talk with your kids before you post their photos or events online. Don’t share about your husband and marriage in a way that will violate his trust. Even if it’s cute or funny, or you have a great caption for it, don’t post stuff from your kids that might embarrass them, even years from now. 5) Don’t just skip it all. This one applies if you have kids. It can be scary and overwhelming to try to keep up with the latest apps and technology, but if you have kids, it is part of your job. Finally, I share a question about laundry from Sue who emailed that she is drowning in piles of clothing. I share my “system” for laundry with my kids that may help free you from the laundry beast as well!
6/12/201840 minutes, 40 seconds
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Fight Fair in Your Marriage

Our topic this week is conflict in marriage. How can we handle the inevitable disagreements that come in our married relationships with maturity and grace? I share some ideas for what I consider “fighting fair” but I want to hear yours too! I answer listener Bridget’s recent question on this topic with the following ideas: 1) No name calling 2) Check in with them about what they are saying 3) No using the “D” word (divorce) 4) No threats, physical or otherwise 5) Stick to the topic at hand 6) Don’t use absolutes or accusatory language 7) Take a break when you need to I also share about Ascension’s newest podcast, The Tightrope Finally, we share some feedback from our recent episode about female friendships. We have a lot of thoughts and feelings about friendship! If this is something you struggle with, know you are not alone. Thank you to those of you who have left us iTunes reviews! If you haven’t already, please consider leaving Girlfriends a review, or sharing the podcast with friends or family who might enjoy it. Thank you!
6/5/201855 minutes, 1 second
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Live a Simple Life (with Rachel Balducci)

This week we are talking about the importance of simplicity—in all areas of your life, from spirituality to homemaking and hospitality. How can you live a simpler life and finally find peace in all that you do? Rachel has a new book coming out on this very topic in the fall, and you will be inspired by all that she has to share.
5/30/201848 minutes, 29 seconds
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How to Find Out Your Gifts

There has been a lot of conversation recently about finding out your gifts, and I have been hearing from women who are seeking to know what their gifts are. They particularly want to know how God wants them to use their gifts in their lives. How do we do that? First of all, I think it’s important that we have these conversations in light of the idea of “vocation,” which is a counter-cultural concept. Some ways I recommend finding out what your gifts are include: 1) What are you good at? This one is obvious, but sometimes we don’t pay attention to our natural skills. What comes easy for you that is difficult for others? 2) What do others say? What do the people in your life tell you your gifts are? Ask them! 3) Pray about it. Ask God what your gifts are, and the ways in which he wants you to use them in service to others. 4) Remember the idea of hidden talents. The gifts that God has given you might not be obvious and/or glamorous. Be open to the idea that your skills may be a hidden part of your service to God and others, rather than obvious “talents” that others readily appreciate. Finally, I answer a question from listener Karen who shares about her struggle with making fitness a regular part of her everyday routine.
5/22/201839 minutes, 16 seconds
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When Friendships Change

Listener Jennifer emails a question this week: How do you handle changing friendships? How do you navigate the need for a friendship to end, if a relationship becomes a negative influence in your life and motherhood? We discuss the importance of evaluating your friendships and of seeking new friends if you are currently feeling alone. I encourage every woman to screen her influences, as the people we spend time with truly do affect how we feel about our life, marriage, and motherhood. I also share an email from listener Jennifer who is struggling with some conflicting feelings about her first pregnancy. We also hear and from Shelley, who responds to Catherine’s voicemail from last week, sharing about adult children who are not practicing their Catholic faith.
5/15/201835 minutes, 1 second
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The Art of Childbirth with Mary Haseltine

In this week’s show, I share a wonderful conversation I had recently with Mary Haseltine, a wife, mom, doula, childbirth educator, and author of Made for This: The Catholic Mom’s Guide to Birth. Mary shares beautifully about how she came to write this book, the ways in which women can connect through their experiences of pregnancy and childbirth, and what she wishes more women knew about the birth experience. This is an important conversation for us to have—namely, women seeking to support one another in faith and family life—and I am so grateful that Mary wrote this book. Find out more about Mary and her work at BetterThanEden.com.
5/8/201843 minutes, 56 seconds
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Fake it Till You Make it

Does it sound like a bad idea to "fake it till you make it?" This week I'm sharing some ways that I think "faking it" actually can be an effective strategy for getting through tough times and challenges in your life. Some of the areas I think the idea of "faking it till you make it" can be helpful are as follows: 1) Marriage We all suffer through tough times inside of marriage. These are the times that the vow is for! Getting through these times by going through the motions of the love and caring that is usually present in your relationship, even when the "feelings" aren't there, is the stuff that strong marriages are made of. 2) Work Whether you work as a mom at home or do some work outside the home, we all have days where our daily duties feel like drudgery. Just getting started and "faking it" can help us remain loyal to our responsibilities and get through those hard jobs and tough days. 3) Spiritual Life Much like the commitment to marriage, our commitment to God does not always feel good. Staying faithful to our prayer life and faithful to God, even when it is challenging, can help us get through to the other side of spiritual dryness. 4) Exercise Exercise is definitely one of those commitments that we know is good for us, and can help to make us feel good, but it does not always feel good in the moment. Sometimes we need to just push through those moments and keep in mind where we want to be. If pretending we already there helps us get there, that's not a bad thing.
5/1/201850 minutes, 8 seconds
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Be A Better Witness

This week we are discussing how we can all be better witnesses to our faith, and we offer some ideas for ways to improve: 1) Say something. Don't be afraid to speak the truth and to share your thoughts, even when they are in opposition to others. 2) Say nothing. Sometimes, someone who does not share our faith does not need to be bombarded with our opinions, but they just need our sympathy and attention. This can speak volumes about the kind of people we are and the value of our faith. 3) Do something. Never underestimate the power of a good example! Our actions speak so much louder than our words. 4) Invite others. Remember that the evil parts of our culture "invite" people over to their side all the time. We should do the same! dD not be afraid of "butting in" when you are simply being welcoming and extending an invitation. 5) Pray! Pray for the grace and strength to be a better witness to your faith. Pray for those who do not yet share your faith, and pray to know the particular ways in which God is calling you to better evangelize his people. I also share feedback this week from Becca, who talks about finding healing in Jesus, and Eleanor, who wrote to share how much she enjoyed last week's show where we talked about nurturing your mother-heart. Let's not forget to pray for Taylor, the new wife and mom who was expecting twins but sadly lost one of her babies. Pray for her healing and strength, and for the health of her unborn baby.
4/24/201852 minutes, 42 seconds
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4 Reasons Why You Should Nurture Your Mother-Heart

What is your "mother-heart" and why should you nurture that side of yourself? This week we are diving into a topic that is relevant to every woman, regardless of her state in life. Pope St. John Paul II tells us that every woman is called to be a mother. What does that mean exactly, and how does that apply to our life? I share four reasons why you should nurture your mother-heart, and invite you to share your own thoughts on this important topic. Because you were made for it. Every woman's vocation is motherhood. You were made for it. Because it will make you happy. Pursuing motherhood, in whatever way that plays itself out in your particular circumstances, will give meaning and purpose to your life and lead to your ultimate happiness. Because it's important. John Paul II reminds us that the world needs our motherhood, and that is more true now than ever. The work of mothers is vitally important to every human being. Because people who tell you otherwise are sexist. We need to reject the (culturally popular) idea that motherhood is demeaning or "beneath us" and that we must reject WHO WE ARE in order to be happy and successful.
4/17/201838 minutes, 20 seconds
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Why You Procrastinate (and How to Stop)

Do you procrastinate? Join the club! But don't let yourself wallow in that bad habit. There are things we can all do to get over our tendency to put off work we don't enjoy. This week, I'm sharing some simple ideas for breaking the habit of procrastination.
4/10/201816 minutes, 30 seconds
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Being "Good Enough" with Colleen Duggan

Colleen Duggan is a wife, mom, friend, and author of the new book Good Enough Is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom. This week, I'm sharing an encouraging conversation she and I had recently about struggling with perfectionism, wanting to control our kids, and all the ways motherhood pushes us into uncomfortable places of real spiritual and personal growth. I have known Colleen online for years and am a real fan of her work. I just know you are going to enjoy her too! If you enjoy this podcast episode, you may also enjoy Ascension’s study, Momnipotent: Finding Peace, Balance, & Joy in Your Vocation as a Mother and the book, Momnipotent: The Not-So-Perfect Woman’s Guide to Catholic Motherhood.
4/3/201847 minutes, 35 seconds
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3 Ideas for Holy Week

This week I share some happy news and goings-on from my family, and then three ideas for ways to set Holy Week apart and serve this holy season in the liturgical year. These three easy ideas are: 1) Do something more. Go to church when you usually would not, say the Rosary as a family, go to adoration, or tackle a cleaning project you have been putting off. Do something "more" this week and offer it to God. 2) Do something less. Is there something you can cross off your calendar this week to make more room for God and prayer? Kids activities, your own work, or social events? Look for ways to do something less. Even fasting from something more can be a good place to start! 3) Go to confession. I especially was encouraged to give you this "assignment" after hearing Fr. Chris Alar (from the Divine Mercy Shrine n Stockbridge, MA) speak in Nashville this past weekend. If you get yourself to confession, you will be fully prepared to receive all the graces of Divine Mercy Sunday (April 8) as described by Our Lord to St. Faustina. Here is more information about that.
3/27/201848 minutes, 53 seconds
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Living a Writer’s Life with Amy Schisler

Fiction author Amy Schisler shares about her work, her family, and how she balances a life of writing original "CLEAN" romance novels with her busy life as a wife and mom raising girls. You can check out Amy's work and learn more about her at her website. We know you will enjoy her books! If you do, be sure to leave her some good reviews on Amazon!
3/20/201849 minutes, 54 seconds
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How To Survive Bringing Small Children To Mass

Children's behavior during Mass is such a common topic in Catholic family circles! At the very least, those of us who struggle to manage our children's behavior at Mass can know that we are not alone. This week, I share an email from a listener named Lori who received a nasty comment from a fellow parishioner after a recent Mass (where she actually felt her children were pretty well behaved!). This email left Lori feeling discouraged and wanting to give up on the whole "Catholic family life" thing because she really ought to be able to expect support from her parish community. After commiserating and offering some words of encouragement and support, we then share some ideas for ways to improve your chances of having a positive Mass experience, even with very young children.
3/13/201847 minutes, 44 seconds
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The Girlfriends Guide to Fasting

We've already talked about different ways we can add prayer and almsgiving to our Lenten observances this year, but this week I would like to focus on fasting as a spiritual practice. Learn ways to stay on track with your fasting and make it a meaningful part of your Lent. Don't be afraid to be creative and flexible when planning to fast; make sure prayer is a part of your plan; offer up the fasting for someone else—these are just three of the ideas shared in this episode of the Girlfriends podcast.
3/6/201832 minutes, 38 seconds
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7 Ways to Make More Time

Have you ever wasted time, avoiding tasks you don’t like to do, only to rush to complete them later? Everyone has certain things they don’t like to do and it is natural to put them off and fill the time with easier tasks. Even when we recognize what our priorities should be, we can sometimes make choices that are in direct conflict with our priorities, and this causes us to waste valuable time. Today, Danielle shares seven practical ways you can get motivated and make the most use of your time each day.
2/27/201845 minutes, 54 seconds
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Grow Your Generosity

Are you working on generosity this Lent? This week I'm sharing some ideas for ways in which we can all work on being better servants to the people God has placed in our lives—in marriage, parenting, work, and in our communities. This is something I have been especially praying about and working on this Lent, so I am hoping you will have some ideas to share as well. Give me your feedback!
2/20/201840 minutes, 47 seconds
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Redeeming Conflict in Lent (with Dr. Ann Garrido)

This week we talk about the beginning of Lent and I share some of my plans for the coming forty days. I also share a recent conversation I had with Dr. Ann Garrido, a professor and author. Ann Garrido, Doctor of Ministry, is associate professor of homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO and a consultant with Triad Consulting Group, a conflict mediation and communications team based in Cambridge, MA. She is the author of six books and numerous articles in the field of Church leadership and ministry.
2/13/201854 minutes, 14 seconds
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Find Healing in Jesus

Do you need healing in your life? Of course you do! We all suffer physically, spiritually, and emotionally. In this week's show, we discuss two Gospel passages that are helpful to reflect on when in need of healing. We talk about ways we can "get out of our own way" when it comes to finding peace and healing from God. Gospel passages cited: Mark 2:16-17 Luke 13:10-17 In this show, I also share some feedback from Taylor, who is a young wife, newly-pregnant with twins and has some concerns about her babies' health. Please let us remember to pray for Taylor, that God might give her peace and strength throughout this pregnancy. We also share a question about fair trade and the ethics of shopping from listener Maggie. Let me know what you think! Some Places Danielle Will Be: I hope to meet you! February 10 Danielle will be speaking at the Phoenix Catholic Women’s Conference February 17 Danielle will be speaking at Together in Holiness marriage conference in Tulsa, OK February 24 Danielle will be speaking that the Catholic Women of Faith Conference in Nashville, TN March 10 Danielle will be speaking at the Rochester Catholic Women’s Conference in Rochester, NY
2/6/201845 minutes, 41 seconds
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Own Your Day

Do you often feel overwhelmed by multiple responsibilities pulling you in different directions? Do you often feel like you are failing at many things -- important things -- that others count on you for? Do you feel there is never enough time for you, for your spiritual life, your work, your kids, and your marriage? If so, JOIN THE CLUB. So many of us struggle to find balance in our lives. In this show, we talk about steps you can take to begin to take more responsibility for how you spend your time and energy each day. We talk about how you can begin to live your life more purposefully and with intention, in line with the many priorities you care about. I offer these steps: 1) Recognize that you get to choose. Take responsibility for the fact that you are not a victim. You are in control of your life and you get to decide how you will spend your time. 2) Decide what your priorities are. Take time to think about what things are important to you and how much time you think you should reasonably spend on each of them on a regular basis. 3) Make a plan. This can be a formal, written plan, or it can be an informal one you have in you mind. Figure out what works for you. 4) Start now! Stop thinking you will "get organized" later. Begin these steps today and then enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a thought-out plan for your life, in whatever way it works for you. And tell me what does work for you! I want to know your thoughts and ideas about taking better control of your days. Let me know what you think! Referenced in this show: A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot
1/31/201849 minutes, 51 seconds
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4 Ways to Improve Your Marriage Right Now

Whether you're living in marital bliss or struggle, we all have room for improvement inside of our marriages. Marriage is a vocation and a call to holiness, and sometimes that call really is going to be a challenge for us to live up to. This week, I'm sharing four simple (not easy!) ways to improve your marriage that you can get started with right now. After you listen, be sure to let us know what you think. Share your ideas, what works for you, or what you struggle with. We can use your feedback on a future show. Pay more compliments. Can you think of a time when someone said something critical of you and it cut you to the core? Can you think of a time when someone complimented you and you felt over the moon? Words have real power and are an important tool we can use build up those we love … or tear them down. Do something active together. What do you and your spouse do after the kids have gone to bed or whenever you have downtime together? There is nothing wrong with television or independent projects, but you have a unique opportunity to replace these things with shared activity that will feed your marriage and nurture your relationship. Shared goals and common activities bring you closer and foster a cooperative spirit in your marriage. Soak up the sacraments. We Catholics have such a great gift in the sacraments! Because he loves us, Jesus gave us the sacraments as a means of attaining the grace we need to do God’s will every day. The sacraments feed our souls, heal us, and fill us with God’s own life. Do more than your share. Do you nitpick and keep track of who does what around the house and how often? When you share living space with another grown up, it’s only human to feel unappreciated on occasion and get annoyed with what sometimes feels like an unfair division of household chores. But let's challenge each other to be better than that. Cheerfully aim to do “more than your share” of household tasks and daily drudgery.
1/23/201844 minutes, 10 seconds
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Getting Real About Family Prayer (with Alicia Hernon)

Do you struggle to find a rhythm with family prayer? Do you have kids who rebel against it, or a reluctant spouse? Or do you find it a challenge to motivate yourself to pray some days? Fear not! This week's guest, Alicia Hernon, mom of 10 and co-host of the Messy Parenting podcast, is here to offer encouragement! I just loved talking with Alicia—she has so much practical wisdom to share with Catholic families of all kinds and sizes. I know you are going to love her too! After you listen, be sure to let me know what you think. Share your ideas, what works for you, or what you struggle with. We can share your feedback on a future show. SUPPORT Girlfriends is on Patreon! Thank you to our Patreon supporters! RETREAT The You're Worth It! Retreat for Women Find out more about bringing this unique event for women to your parish, group, or community. Read more and request more information here. Or find out more about having me come speak at your parish or conference. My newest book is available! You're Worth It! Change How You Feel About Yourself By Discovering How Jesus Feels About You
1/16/201851 minutes, 14 seconds
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Getting Over Those Post-Holiday Blues #102

Are you feeling just a little blue now that the holidays are over? Are you struggling to fall back into your everyday routines? Well, this week we are sharing some ideas for ways to overcome those blues or blah's, or whatever you want to call them…
1/9/201844 minutes, 7 seconds
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Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take a second to wish you a Merry Christmas and to remind you that I'll be taking some time off with my family for the next two weeks. But don't worry, I'll be back in January with a whole new season of the Girlfriends podcast!
12/21/201748 seconds
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3 Things to Do this Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas? Don't worry, me neither. This week I share three simple things I think everyone should take time to do this Christmas season. 1) Hold Baby Jesus Spend some time "holding" Baby Jesus in your heart, reflecting on the meaning behind him    coming to us as a small, vulnerable baby. 2) Skip something. It's OK to say “no” to something, even if it is something you always do. Give yourself permission to give up traditions and obligations that are not serving you and your family this year. 3) Go on a date. Spend some quiet, uninterrupted, one-on-one time with someone who is important to you. I will not be recording the podcast for the next two weeks, as I take time to spend the holidays with my family. I will be back with new episodes in 2018. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! SUPPORT Girlfriends is on Patreon! Thank you to our Patreon supporters! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends and get an invite to our Girlfriends LIVE session each month!
12/18/201721 minutes, 43 seconds
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How to Enjoy Right Now

This week we are talking about the joy and peace to be found in being fully present in the HERE AND NOW. Mindfulness is kind of a buzzword these days, but what does it really mean? How can we practice being focused on the present moment when there is so much about the past that haunts us and so much about the future that causes us to worry? Well, Jesus reminded us, "Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil." (Matthew 6:34) How can we do that, though? It's so hard sometimes. We share these three thoughts that can help: 1) STOP. Build breaks into your day and give yourself moments where you can just BE and know that it is enough. 2) Pay attention to your thoughts. Get in the habit of noticing when your thoughts leave the present moment and train yourself to keep reining them back in. 3) Pay attention to noise. What kind of "noise" do you allow in your life on a regular basis? TV, radio, social media, stress from news? Look for ways to insert more quiet and limit those kinds of "noise" that you can control. 4) Redirect your thoughts. Get in the habit of noticing when you think too much about the past or the future, and practice focusing on the present, even inside of your spiritual life and what you pray for. 5) Look for examples. Do you know someone who is good at living in the moment? A friend or a child or a pet? Watch and learn!
12/12/201740 minutes, 3 seconds
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Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

The holidays are such hard time of year for anyone who wants to stay healthy, eat well, and exercise on a regular basis. The change in routine plus the abundance of "unhealthy" options of eating add up to a difficult challenge for most of us. But I am here to help, with some simple ideas for ways that can help you stay on track (at least a little) during this busy, indulgent time of year. In this week's show, I share thoughts about the following: 1) It’s not all or nothing. You can say no sometimes. 2) Eat a salad a day. One easy way to balance your eating during the season. 3) Work out in the morning. Get it done! 4) Plan ahead to have healthy options at the ready. Have single-portion healthy options for meals and snacks ready to go. 5) Go on a winter walk. A great way to connect with family and friends! 6) Drink your water. Water is a necessity, especially during this dry season. We also talked about the Advent Prayer Retreat offered by Pray More Novenas. Go here to find out more about it and join me in prayer this month!
12/5/201744 minutes, 32 seconds
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14 Little Ways to Add Joy to Your Day

How can we add more joy to our days, especially as we gear up for Christmas and life gets busy and stressful? This week I am sharing 14 small ideas for ways you can be more joyful every day and bring joy to others in your life. What are your ideas? Please share them!
11/27/201740 minutes, 49 seconds
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Have a Heart Like Mary

What does it mean to have a heart like Mary? In this week's shorter episode, we reflect on Luke 2:15-20, and we talk about how to have a heart like Mary, keeping things and reflecting on them in our hearts this holiday season.
11/21/201722 minutes, 56 seconds
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Getting Ready for Advent (with Sterling Jaquith)

Are you ready for Advent? Are you dreading the busyness and stress in the weeks ahead? Have no fear! This week, our special guest, Sterling Jaquith, is sharing some encouragement and support to help us all face the holiday season with joy instead of trepidation. You will love Sterling's down-to-earth wisdom and advice for getting through Christmastime without losing your mind.
11/13/201755 minutes, 4 seconds
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6 Things that are Keeping You from Accomplishing Your Goals #095

6 Things that are Keeping You from Accomplishing Your Goals #095 by Ascension
11/6/201747 minutes, 45 seconds
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Offer it Up

When life sends suffering your way, do you remember to "offer it up"? This is phrase many of us grew hearing our moms say to us, but what is the Catholic idea of "offering it up"? Do our sacrifices really have value? For ourselves? For our family and friends? For souls who might be in purgatory? What exactly IS redemptive suffering and in what ways can it help us to grow in gratitude, gain spiritual insights, and grow closer to God? Also this week I share feedback from listeners Jennie, Tanya, Sam, and David. Send me your thoughts about this week's topic and I will share them in our next episode!
10/31/201748 minutes, 35 seconds
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Improve Communication in Your Marriage

Do you want to improve your marriage? The number one thing you can do today to improve your marriage is focus on communicating better with your spouse. This week, I'm sharing six tips for improving communication in your marriage.
10/24/201751 minutes, 37 seconds
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Stepping Out in Faith (with Mary Lenaberg)#092

This week we are talking with writer and speaker Mary Lenaberg. Mary shares the beautiful story of caring for her disabled daughter for twenty-two years, and then after losing her daughter, carrying on her daughter's legacy through the work God has called her to fulfill.
10/17/201737 minutes, 52 seconds
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Small Ways to Pray All Day

Do you ever find yourself despairing of ever having a meaningful prayer life? This week we are sharing about ways to "pray all day" and become more aware of God's presence in your life, even if you are a very busy and distracted person.
10/9/201733 minutes
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Moms Need Friends (with Emily Jaminet) #090

This week I am talking with author Emily Jaminet, who together with her friend Michele Faehnle wrote The Friendship Project: The Catholic Woman's Guide to Making and Keeping Fabulous, Faith-Filled Friends. Emily shares beautifully about the struggles of making and keeping friends, but also the importance of spiritual friendships among women.
10/3/201750 minutes, 32 seconds
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7 Ways to Live More Simply #089

Do you long for a simpler way of living? Many of us have a restless sense in our hearts that life could be simpler and we could be happier, but how? This week, I’m offering seven ideas for ways to simplify even a very busy and complicated life.
9/25/201749 minutes, 10 seconds
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What If I Stink at Trusting Jesus? #088

Do you trust in Jesus? It's so hard sometimes, isn't it? In this week's episode, I share five tips to help you put your life in Christ's hands and entrust yourself to his love.
9/19/201751 minutes, 46 seconds
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Finding Hope and Healing (with Maria Dunlap)

This week, I start by giving you my Hurricane Irma update and recounting several moments of bursting into tears over the weekend. Good times! Then, I share my recent conversation with the awesome Maria Dunlap, founder and executive director of Vivian's Victory, a nonprofit that supports families as children are helped and healed. Maria and her husband Rod saw the need of families during long hospital stays with their children after they experienced a 59 day stay with their first daughter Vivian.
9/12/201746 minutes, 50 seconds
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5 Ways to Start Your Day Right #086

How do you begin your day? With peaceful prayer and journaling time? Or in a mad frenzy to get everyone dressed, fed, and out the door? How we start our days can set us up for failure or success, regardless of our life circumstances. Putting some thought into our morning routines can make a lot of sense, so I have five ideas that might help you better start your days.
9/5/201747 minutes, 13 seconds
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Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy #085

What does it mean to "Keep holy the Sabbath"? What does that look like in real family life? This week I am sharing some thoughts and encouraging you to share your ideas for setting Sundays apart as a day of rest and worship.
8/29/201741 minutes, 38 seconds
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Raising Catholic Kids #084

We all want to know how to raise Catholic kids who will keep their faith and make it their own, but is there a magic formula to share? NOPE. The good news, though, is that there are some things we can do as families to encourage our kids in their faith lives and increase the likelihood that they will keep their Catholic faith well into their adult years. I talk about some of these in this week's show.
8/15/201753 minutes, 13 seconds
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What Is a Catholic Feminist?

What is a Catholic feminist? Is that even a thing? We are talking this week with Claire Swinarski, host of The Catholic Feminist Podcast. Claire shares her journey toward fully embracing her Catholic faith while holding onto certain feminist ideals. She talks about the struggle of sometimes feeling caught between the two worlds of feminism and faith.
8/8/20171 hour, 36 seconds
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Find Time for You #082

We all know the drill about how important it is to "MAKE" time for yourself, or worse yet, "CARVE OUT" some time for yourself as a mom, but let's be honest. It just doesn't always happen. Life gets in the way. And sometimes, we are our own worst enemies when it comes to finding to time to care for ourselves. This week, I'm sharing 4 different obstacles many of us face when it comes to finding time for our own pursuits, and some responses we can have to them.
8/1/201751 minutes, 27 seconds
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How to Support Your Husband in Tough Times #081

If work stress, job loss or some other challenge has your man down these days, you as his wife – the one he looks to most for love and affirmation – are in a unique position to help him feel like a hero again. This week we're sharing some practical ways wives can build up their husbands during difficult times.
7/25/201757 minutes, 13 seconds
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Simple Ways to Grow Closer to God #080

In this week's show, in addition to hormones and grocery budgets, we are talking about some simple ways to grow closer to God. As we read in James, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." (James 4:8) So how do we do that? Well, I don't think it needs to be as complicated as we sometimes make it.
7/18/201748 minutes, 24 seconds
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6 Things to Say More Often

This week we are talking about six things I think people should say more often: "Thank you," "I'm sorry," "Hello," "You're great," "I need help," and last of all, nothing. I also share my thoughts on the movie, Wonderwoman. Tune in!
7/11/201749 minutes, 55 seconds
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Knowing God's Love (with Sister Miriam James)

This week I'm sharing a wonderful conversation I had recently with Sr. Miriam James, a sister with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). Sr. Miriam is a beautiful witness to the goodness of God's love with her own personal story of recovery from addiction and discovery of the beauty of the Church's teaching on sexual identity, love, and commitment.
7/3/201753 minutes, 2 seconds
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Abiding in God's Word (with Elizabeth Foss)

This week's conversation is with the lovely Elizabeth Foss—wife, mom, writer, and encourager of many. She shares about her newest project as founder and chief content director for Take Up & Read, a Scripture study designed for women. Elizabeth discusses her love of daily Bible reading and what motivated her to create this ministry. We also discuss the importance of female friendships and the role they play in our spiritual lives and formation.
6/27/201753 minutes, 17 seconds
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10 Easy Ways to Add Movement to Your Days

This week we are talking about adding movement to your days and form the healthy habit of sitting LESS and moving more, even outside of your regular "workout" times. This doesn't have to be complicated, and it can have amazing benefits for your health and well-being.
6/20/201754 minutes, 26 seconds
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Be Better at Hospitality #075

This week, we are talking about getting better at hospitality. This is a tough issue for so many women. We worry about our homes or our cooking skills or our children not being "good enough" for company. We stress about how to be the perfect hostess. But hospitality is such a gift to ourselves, to others, and to our communities, that we all should make a little effort to get better at doing it.
6/13/201747 minutes, 40 seconds
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Plan Ahead for a Super Summer #074

In this episode, we talk about six ways to plan (at least loosely plan)a fun summer with your family! From changing up your prayer life to visiting new places, these six ideas will give you the chance to make this season fun, fruitful, and stress-free!
6/6/201745 minutes, 18 seconds
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Stress Less #073

Did you know stress is bad for your health? It is! This week, we are talking about stress and ways that we can reduce the amount of stress in our lives—even if we can't always change the things that cause us stress. Let's discuss these simple ways to handle everyday stress and take good care of ourselves, physically, and emotionally.
5/30/201744 minutes, 38 seconds
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How to Handle Criticism #072

This week, we are talking about ways to handle criticism, which is a tough topic because nobody likes to be criticized. When we receive negative feedback, our immediate reaction is often to reject the criticism or brood over it and get angry. In this episode, I give tips to help you handle it productively, instead. Find complete shownotes at www.DanielleBean.com.
5/23/201746 minutes, 31 seconds
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Big Life Changes with Haley Stewart #071

This week, we have a special guest Haley Stewart joining us for an inspiring conversation about big life changes- from Protestantism to Catholicism, from single life to married life, from married life to parenting, and from working mom to at-home mom. Haley shares so beautifully about her own struggles and lessons she has learned along the way. I just know you are going to love this conversation! Find complete show notes at www.DanielleBean.com
5/15/20171 hour, 1 minute, 59 seconds
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Change Just One Habit #070

This week, we are talking about the power of habits. I am inspired by a recent book I am listening to, The Power of Habit: Why we Do What We Do in Life and Business. I want to encourage you to change one negative habit into a positive one in your life. We discuss some ideas for ways to cha