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To understand struggle, go deeper

A little more than five years ago, I stood on land owned by distant DeTurris relatives in Massa Lubrense, Italy, the birthplace of my paternal grandfather, and looked out at the Isle of Capri in the distance. (Seen in the photo here.) To say it was breathtaking is the understatement of the century. On a boat ride across the Bay of Naples, I imagined my grandfather and his family leaving that same port on a steamer headed toward New York. All the while I kept wondering how difficult their lives must have been to make them leave behind that picture-postcard scene and head into the frightening unknown.

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A new podcast is coming your way

I’ve decided to launch a podcast. Right now I’m in the testing phase (and learning phase). I only unpacked my microphone this morning, so bear with me as I learn to record and edit. This first try (link below) is only eight minutes long, but it will give you a taste of what’s to come. I hope you’ll check it out. Leave me feedback in the comment section. Thanks for listening!

If you missed me on Relevant Radio this week…

So, last week I was supposed to be on the Morning Air Show on Relevant Radio. (I used to be a monthly contributor to this wonderful program back in the days when I worked from home.) Anyway, my interview time came and went last week without me remembering. I left the hosts hanging! Mortified is an understatement. But, they graciously offered a rematch. So this Monday I joined John Harper and Glen Lewerenz for a brief conversation about the way spiritual truth and the Holy Spirit always find a way to speak to us, no matter where we are in life. IF we’re willing to listen…

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Spiritual truth is always right on time

For the past two months, I’ve been receiving emails and private messages from folks who read Rejoice and Be Glad, my book of daily reflections for Easter to Pentecost. Although each message was different in content, most had a similar sentiment. People were reading my 2020 reflections in the midst of the pandemic, knowing I must have written them long before —more than a year before—but feeling as though they were speaking to the conditions of the present day. How, they wanted to know, could I be addressing the current situation from a place in the past?

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Wisdom Wednesday: 1,000 blessings

Yesterday was a momentous occasion. The gratitude journal that I have kept on my nightstand since April 2019 hit #1,000 — as in 1,000 things for which I am grateful, 1,000 blessings even amid sorrow and struggle, 1,000 gifts given without my asking or deserving. Every night I write down three things from that particular day for which I am grateful. At the outset 1,000 can sound like a big number, but taken like that, just three blessings every day, it adds up so quickly.

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Manic Monday: poetry, podcasts and more

It’s Monday again, and you know what that means? Time to check in on what’s going down at the Poust House during this week of pandemic. The weather has improved, so sitting on the deck is back in rotation, sometimes with a cup of coffee in hand; other times with a glass of wine. Always in view of my birdfeeder. The finches, sparrows, cardinals and occasional woodpeckers are still around, along with the bunnies, chipmunks and squirrels. Best entertainment of the pandemic, as far as I’m concerned. Here’s the rest of what’s on tap…

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Thank you for joining me on the journey!

I keep hearing from folks who are reading Rejoice and Be Glad, my book of reflections for Easter to Pentecost from Liturgical Press. I love getting emails and sometimes even photos from people who are walking this 50-day path with me. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and for reading my book. The photo above is a Zoom meeting of a small faith community in California. Thanks, Steve and Loretta, for snapping that photo and allowing me to share it with others. It made my day.

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Manic Monday: Pandemic Edition

Some of my blog faithful will remember that years ago, at least five, one of my regular blog features was a weekly post called Manic Monday. It was a fun little catch-all that gave me a chance to fill you in on what was going on in my life while offering suggestions for books, music, recipes and more. When I went to work in an office outside my home and the blogging fell by the wayside, that was one of the first things to go. But now, on day 1,675 of the COVID-19 pandemic — okay, more like day 56 since we locked down — I’m feeling the need to blog again, and Manic Monday seemed like the perfect re-entry point, so here we go…

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Falling for spring in a season of fear

For my entire life, whenever someone asked me to name my favorite season, I would say, without any hesitation, “fall!” There was something about the colors of the trees, the crispness of the air, the crunch of the apples. Then this year, as I sat by my window day after day from mid-March and all through April, watching the world outside as I worked from home or sipped my coffee or chatted with my family, I noticed something shifting. Spring had become my new favorite, and, although that may not seem like news to you, I find it groundbreaking, as though a new me has emerged from a cocoon along with the life just beyond the windowpanes.

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Pausing Fear, Choosing Joy

The past month has been a dance of gratitude and fear. Gratitude that, so far, my family is healthy and together under one roof — all five of us around the dinner table each night, favorite movies flickering on the TV in the evenings, coffee sipped on the deck on those warmer sunny mornings that feel like a gift. But then, often as the sun goes down or the skies cloud over, fear creeps in and, with it, an element of despair. All the “what if….” worries start to clamor for attention, pounding on the door to my heart and racing through my mind in an endless relay. Suddenly the fear of what could be overpowers the gratitude for what is.

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