QUIZ: What’s your rut-busting Beatitude?

I’m really excited to announce my new gift to you: the “What’s your rut-busting Beatitude?” Quiz!

Do you find yourself spinning your wheels in your search for freedom, peace, and creative joy? Take this quiz, and I will send you a FREE PDF chapter from All Things New: Breaking the Cycle & Raising a Joyful Family, custom-chosen based on your individual quiz responses.

If you’re not already an EMC Reader subscriber, you’ll also start receiving Erin’s quarterly newsletter, filled with tips, encouragement, and connection opportunities. 

Do you have any questions for me to answer before you start answering my questions? Comment below!

Open Book: Book Recs August 2021

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup, shared also at Catholic Mom!

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This Month’s Covers

Never Enough: the Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction by Judith Grisel

From Amazon: Judith Grisel was a daily drug user and college dropout when she began to consider that her addiction might have a cure, one that she herself could perhaps discover by studying the brain. Now, after 25 years as a neuroscientist, she shares what she and other scientists have learned about addiction, enriched by captivating glimpses of her personal journey. 

My thoughts: amazing look at the process of addiction from all angles, intellectual/clinical and personal/visceral. Grisel reintroduced me to tachyphylaxis and opponent-process theory , both of which explain so much of how our God-designed minds operate in this fallen world. It’s amazing.  (library book)

Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild by Mem Fox, illustrated by Marla Frazee

From Amazon: Harriet doesn’t mean to be pesky. Sometimes she just is. And her mother doesn’t mean to lose her temper. Sometimes she just does. But Harriet and her mother know that even when they do things they wish they hadn’t, they still love each other very much.

My thoughts: This was a very sweet look at how children and the adults they become are never perfect, never have it all together, and sometimes things just happen in spite of all our efforts to keep them from happening. The only thing we can do is love each other through our mistakes. 

The Way of Perfection by Teresa of Avila

From Christian Book Distributors: Although Teresa of Avila lived five centuries ago, her superbly inspiring classic on the practice of prayer is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when she first wrote it. Teresa’s strong desire throughout is to lead readers into a deeper and prevailing life of prayer. She begins with a treatment of the three essentials of the prayer-filled life—fraternal love, detachment from created things, and authentic humility. Building on that foundation, she then teaches on the cherished practices of prayer and contemplation. Finally, she provides a detailed and moving discourse on the Lord’s Prayer. Experience the fervent devotion of St. Teresa, and allow her to help you explore the rewarding discipline of contemplative prayer. 

My thoughts: Still working on it, but I just adore St. Teresa already. She’s so straightforward and downright salty sometimes that I can’t help but hang on her every word. I’m not a big underliner-in-books, but this is making me break my rule.  (Disclaimer: skipped the Rohr-ward) 

The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

From Amazon: (Winner of a Newbery Honor, an exciting ancient Egyptian mystery) Ranofer wants only one thing in the world: to be a master goldsmith like his beloved father was. But how can he when he is all but imprisoned by his evil half brother, Gebu? Ranofer knows the only way he can escape Gebu’s abuse is by changing his destiny. But can a poor boy with no skills survive on the cutthroat streets of ancient Thebes? Then Ranofer finds a priceless golden goblet in Gebu’s room and he knows his luck−and his destiny−are about to change.

My thoughts: We are doing ancient history with Story of Civilization, Volume I this year for sixth grade, and I try to assign literary study that matches our history work as much as possible. The Golden Goblet is a well-told mystery story with a sympathetic, imperfect but integrity-driven main character. It’s boy-heavy, but I think my girl-reader will survive.

Also… 

Kristin Lavransdatter (still haven’t finished it–I’m honestly not sure I’ve made any progress since last month’s Open Book)

What are you reading?  Don’t forget to link up YOUR #OpenBook reviews over at Carolyn’s!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 30Jul2021

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

Is how you are moving your body contributing to your mental health and overall freedom? Maybe it’s time to find your rut-busting Beatitude. Image: Unsplash
  1. Couldn’t go this week without sending tons and tons of love and support to fellow Catholic trauma survivor Simone Biles. “You want your mind for the rest of your life.”
  2. Those of us who fear that we are angrier than God is about ways others have sinned against us might find some healing in reading Hezekiah’s prayer as a model for us.
  3. Speaking of anger, Rachel Bulman is talking at Catholic Mom about a new book that helps families deal with anger.
  4. Seeing a theme here? Catholic Mom has books for the girl mom on yelling.
  5. I got to talk with Carrie Soukoup on Catholic Mom’s weekly IG Live. We chatted about honoring the needs of our teens and tweens when we ourselves are recovering from childhood trauma. Watch to find out what that has to do with Parenting Tombs and Gardens.
  6. Read at Catholic Mom on how His Gaze Heals Me.
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

For this week’s media, I wanted to share a bit of a victory I experienced this week–one I turned into a TikTok, hopefully for your enjoyment or at least for the relatability.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 23Jul2021

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

Are you on the right path? Maybe it’s time to find your rut-busting Beatitude. Image: Unsplash
  1. Chances are that, if you’re reading this, you could write your own article on 3 Ways Unresolved Trauma Can Derail Your Relationships.
  2. This one’s mine: Parenting Tombs and Gardens at Catholic Mom is about parenting the rightfully emotionally immature while simultaneously healing from the effects of having been parented by the wrongfully emotionally immature.
  3. What is self-care, anyway? Learn from Rose Folsom and a bean sprout.
  4. Even the secular world is celebrating the healthy gifts of detachment.
  5. Betrayal trauma is a thing. Elaine Sinnott gets real at Catholic Mom about The Epidemic of Porn in Marriages.
  6. Loving-kindness meditation may reduce veterans’ PTSD symptoms?
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s media? Father Mike Schmitz has a lot of good things to say–this is about setting boundaries! Isn’t his thumbnail picture the best? So relatable.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 16Jul2021

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

Look! It’s a Mt. of Caramel! Happy Feast of Our Lady! Is there a Beatitude that would make your life a little sweeter?
Maybe it’s time to find your rut-busting Beatitude. Image: Unsplash
  1. Trauma of any kind is “not supposed to happen.” Nicole Johnson tells her story at Catholic Mom.
  2. Need strength? Alateia has you covered.
  3. Red flags or green ones? The Good Men Project has 4 Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship.
  4. The Pittsburgh Catholic has a piece on Catholic at Home: Faith & Mental Health.
  5. It’s from May, but every month can be Mary’s Month if you try hard enough. Patrice Fagnant-Macarthur is at Catholic Mom with Mary Can Help Us Forgive Our Mothers.
  6. Did I post this one already? A woman is running across New York State in a wedding dress to bring attention to narcissistic abuse in marriage.
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s media? More Cinema Therapy! I love what they’re saying about Cap: integrity vs. ideology.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 9Jul2021

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

How’s life’s flow for you these days? Maybe it’s time to find your rut-busting Beatitude. Image: Unsplash
  1. Laura Nelson writes at Catholic Mom about the value of suffering in Smooth Sailing or Rushing Waters.
  2. Here’s a sweet and hopeful story about… a story! High school sophomore publishes book on life with PTSD.
  3. Has anyone watched the EMDR interview with Prince Harry? I haven’t, and I’m curious.
  4. “Understanding the reasons doesn’t excuse the violence.” Could ending child abuse and promoting mental health stop mass shootings?
  5. St. Margaret of Castello is an inspiration, not just on living with disabilities but in living with the aftermath of parental abandonment. St. Margaret shows us where our true family lives and how to find them.
  6. Monica Portogallo at Catholic Mom reminds us that Even a mom conceived without sin can feel anxious.
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s media marks the end of my family’s annual Lord of the Rings marathon. The guys at Cinema Therapy talk about the life lessons we can gain from Samwise the Brave.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

Open Book: Book Recs for July 2021

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup, shared also at Catholic Mom!

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Carolyn Astfalk joins up with Catholic Mom to present An Open Book linkup every first Wednesday of the month! You should join us! Here’s what I have been reading:

Handy Little Guide to Prayer by Barb Szyszkiewicz

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need things that I already “know” to be restated in clear, straightforward language so that I can approach them with new eyes and less baggage. The Handy Little Guide to Prayer provides just that. It’s the kind of book I would recommend to anyone at any level of prayer life. Whether you’re enthusiastically looking for a new way to express your growth in faith, experiencing a spiritual dry spell after years of prayer practice, or just curious about new ways to add prayer to your life, this handy little guide may be just the boost you need. 5/5

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Encounters With Addiction by Gabor Mate

Deeply 

Facing the Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

Moving story about all the ways grief hits us. Not a romance. Very honest. 5/5 

Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen

If your thoughts run your life and boss you around, read this book. Practice these tools of “taking your thoughts captive to Christ,” and you will be set free. That’s pretty much it. 5/5

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

Still reading. It may take a while. This is my second try, and I’m farther in this time. That’s what having kids not in diapers will do to one’s attention span. ?/5

Master Harold… and the Boys by Athol Fugard

A play from South Africa that I think I was supposed to have read in my days as a BA Theatre major before I switched to the BFA program with more art creation and less play reading (that’s not why I switched–I like reading plays). Great structure, great lessons on the widespread destructive power of racism–culturally-enforced narcissim of any kind, really. Warning: if Steve Rogers were reading it (or watching it at the theatre), he’d say, “Language.” 4.5/5

And now go link up with Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 2Jul2021

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

Are the waves in your life hitting you incessantly? Maybe it’s time to find your rut-busting Beatitude. Image: Unsplash
  1. Art heals. Shelter’s healing arts program supports survivors of domestic abuse.
  2. Childhood trauma survivors often live with a belief that they are irrelevant. “Relevant is not the same as current” is over at Catholic Mom.
  3. What is enmeshment, and do you experience it?
  4. Filling the void of a narcissistic parent
  5. Terry Crews talks about what happened when he got physical revenge on his abusive father.
  6. Real-time communication with real live humans is key to making sure our relationship with God does not suffer the vacuum of isolation. Colleen Mallette at Catholic Mom has Don’t Keep Your Doubts to Yourself.
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and don’t forget to link up with An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom on THIS WEDNESDAY, July 7.

This week’s media continues my celebration of my family’s annual Lord of the Rings marathon. The guys at Cinema Therapy talk about isolation vs. hope in Theoden King’s arc through The Two Towers.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 25Jun2021

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

Need to bloom where you’re planted? Maybe it’s time to find your rut-busting Beatitude. Image: Unsplash
  1. I had a chance to talk with Tracy with the OSV Webcast Author Series on Thursday, June 24. You can access that video here.
  2. Trauma is, by definition, suffering. Joe Heschmeyer is at OSV News with “Why should we rejoice in suffering?
  3. Do you know what love bombing is? Have you been love bombed? Signs you’re entangled with a narcissist.
  4. Life, especially early life, spent with narcissism can create a situation in us called “learned helplessness.” Good news: it’s not a life sentence.
  5. Carmen Lappe is at Catholic Mom with The Broken Plant Stand: A Reflection on Motherhood and Mental Health.
  6. Ginny Kochis also at Catholic Mom reminds us that Love Is Kind and Patient With You.
  7. Ending with the official announcement that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and don’t forget to link up with An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom for July 7.

This week’s media is another from Cinema Therapy. Every summer, once ALL our kids are done school, we do a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. Inspired by that tradition, here’s Radical Acceptance & Dealing With Hardship in The Fellowship of the Ring.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 18Jun2021

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

Feeling a little bit Ferris Wheel? May I suggest you find your rut-busting Beatitude? Image: Unsplash
  1. Father’s Day is this weekend. What a Father We Have in Saint Joseph!
  2. On that note, if you’re feeling tender and alone around Father’s Day, let’s be alone together. Join me tomorrow, Saturday, June 19 at 3pm Eastern US Time for a Google Meet: Dad’s Day Dessert Party. All emotions welcome. Email me for the join link.
  3. Trauma got you feeling like you have ADD? ADD got you feeling traumatized? Your feelings are–surprise!–valid, and science says so.
  4. I’m aware of the irony of someone giving you seven links to visit regarding trauma and toxic relationships, but here are 10 Signs of Toxic Self-awareness & How to Escape This Rabbit Hole.
  5. It’s a Lenten article, but as Catholics, we know how to find the Lent in Ordinary Time–or we know sometimes that Lent finds us no matter the liturgical season: Conversion Begins With Healing.
  6. Deanna Bartalini is at Catholic Mom with a great reminder: Our Children Are Not Our Own.
  7. Ending with the official announcement that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and don’t forget to link up with An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom for July 7.

For this week’s media, I invite you to listen to my discussion with Kim Cameron-Smith on the Gentle Catholic Parenting podcast.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 11Jun2021

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart. Image: Unsplash
  1. Control can be a huge problem for trauma survivors. Caitlan Rangel at Catholic Mom reminds us Surrender Starts With Listening.
  2. Gotta love stories where people help others break free from abuse. Read here about one teen’s effort to help survivors escape domestic violence.
  3. Christina Mayeux talks about all the ways we can go to Joseph, model for husbands and families.
  4. Soooo much gaslighting happens in dysfunctional families. OSV Newsweekly has “What is truth?” A Lesson on Integrity for Children and Families.
  5. Struggle with anger? You are very much not alone. Read Jen Schuermann talk about The Night That God Took My Anger.
  6. Have you taken the quiz yet? Find your rut-busting Beatitude and get your free custom-chosen chapter of the book handily mentioned in the item below…
  7. Ending with a cheerful reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for preorder.

I also had the opportunity to do a Facebook Live with Catholic Mom about St. Joseph: Father to the Father-wounded. Watch at this link if the embed doesn’t show up below lol

https://fb.watch/625EsEzk9N/

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!