January 6, 2020
Happy New Year, Friends!  Today we're tackling a fascinating topic, and one that could possibly help you achieve some New Year's Goals: Praying for Your Temperament.  This episode started as a conversation pre-recording a few months ago... sharing how novenas appeal to some people but for others they are impossible to stick with.  "I wonder if that's a temperament thing..." lead us to Google which lead us to discover Meg Hunter-Kilmer's blog series on a book called "Prayer and Temperament: Different Prayer Forms for Different Personality Types" by Chester P Michael.  Apparently it IS a temperament thing. But before we get to THAT, a funny backstory of how Meg came To My House to record this episode... Nancy and I found her blog series, thought it was fascinating, and I offered to reach out via Instagram to ask her to be a guest on the podcast.  Throughout 2019, Meg kept popping up on my feed via various Catholic folk with the hashtag 'hobo for Christ,' so I had been following her for several months and her posts had been hitting home for me (especially this one). I was happy to have an excuse to DM "Heyyy Meg!"  After a bit of back and forth, we realized Meg was actually booked for a couple retreats and speaking engagements around my neck of the woods in early December, so she offered to come in person to record. How cool is that?  If you're wondering about her mission and work, we go into it for the first bit of this episode.   BACK to temperaments...In the book, Chester breaks down the human population based on their Myers-Briggs personality types and divides them into four categories: Ignatian, Augustinian, Thomistic, and Franciscan Why is this important?  Well, the Church has a few ways that we are 'required' to pray. We all need to go to Mass every Sunday and Our Blessed Mother has asked us to pray the rosary daily, but beyond that, we're free to pray in the way the feels most comfortable to us.  Additionally, if you're married and you've been struggling to pray together (*raises hand*), it could be a temperament thing.  Have a listen here and read though Meg's blog for suggestions of how to work through these differences in prayer styles. Hoping this helps you achieve a more prayerful (and hence peaceful) New Year! Your sisters in the small things, Nancy and Katie   Connect with Meg via her blog, on Facebook, or on Instagram Prayer and Temperament: Different Prayer Forms for Different Personality Types is available on Amazon right here          
December 23, 2019
Hey Friends! Happy Fourth Week of Advent!  Today we are wrapping up our book study on Interior Freedom, and sticking with the theme of 'we can only control what is within ourselves,' Nancy is without a voice this week so it's just me, Katie.  This episode focuses on the last third of the book (that first section was so huge!!).  And for me, the two words that kept popping out were HOPE and IDENTITY, so they are the focus of the episode as well. Fr. Jacques Philippe defines hope as, "the virtue of people who know they are infinitely weak and easily broken and rely firmly on God with utter trust… To learn hope, we have to pass through impoverishment." (p100-101)  On page 105, he goes on to say, "lacking hope, we don’t really believe God can make us happy, and so we construct our happiness out of covetousness and lust."  And doesn't that capture the frantic-ness of "preparation for Christmas?"  Our to-do list triples in length, we spend money we may not have (or don't really need to), say yes to more events and outtings than is our norm (possibly even our comfort level) and why?  Because it's Baby Jesus' birthday and He wants us to or are we afraid that that Good News isn't enough? I think the way the world prepares for Christmas (consumerism, greed, busy-ness, etc.) can also be linked to our need for Identity, the other theme for today.  We desperately want others to like us, or at least others to 'see' us in some favorable light... This feeds our Social Media addiction (or maybe just mine?). Doing and making things, decorating in certain ways, so we can get that perfect picture worthy of a hundred likes and comments.  As modern moms, we are more isolated than any other generation of mothers before us.  If we haven't worked hard to create and maintain our 'village,' we're without one, so we put that time into an online presence which doesn't actually fulfill our need for friendship and camaraderie. In the words of Fr. Philippe: One of man’s deepest needs is the need for identity… we are trying to satisfy a need for being by having… or confuse being with doing. (p 121) It is extremely dangerous to identify ourselves with the spiritual good we are able to do. (123) Humans beings are more than the sum of the good they can accomplish.  They are children of God, whether they do good or cannot yet manage to do anything… this is why humility, spiritual poverty is so precious: it locates our identity securely in the one place where it will be safe from all harm.  If our treasure is in God, no one can take it from us. (p124) So this Advent, my challenge to you is this: some time between Now and Christmas, sit silently for just 5 minutes, holding the creche in your hands, and ask Him "What do you see when you look at me?" Then ask Him to fill you with Hope and Awe at the mystery of the Incarnation. Also: reach out to a real life friend and make plans for sometime in the next month (if you don't have something on the calendar already).  Maybe it's just me (introvert and HSP), but in winter, I tend to 'hibernate,' despite my need for some (even just a little) interaction with other mommas. This hibernation tends to cause a resurgence of my 'media addiction,' which feeds the Mom-Guilt-Monster, so... I am going to be proactive and make some real life plans for interaction and I challenge you to do the same. To close: I want to share a few of the quotes I shared in this episode that I haven't already mentioned above.  Anyone of these would be amazing to take before the Blessed Sacrament and 'chew' on.  Here we go: (on being Hopeful) Pure-hearted people are not so much those free of all faults and all wounds, as those who put all their hope in God and are certain his promises will be fulfilled. The pure-hearted expect everything from God; they hope in him and in him alone. (p110)   (On gracefully receiving more than we could ever return) It doesn’t come naturally to us to give freely… nor do we find it easy to receive freely… receiving freely means trusting the giver, with open hearts, It also means abandoning ourselves and it requires a lot of humility…. We commit a fault against this free giving and receiving in our relationship with God or with other people every time we make the good we’ve done into an excuse for claiming a right, demanding gratitude or recompense… learning to give and receive freely requires a long laborious process of re-educating our minds, which have been conditioned by thousands of years of struggle for survival. (p119)   (Words of Christ to an anonymous Spanish spiritual writer) “Doesn’t God reveal himself as your Abba? Have not I, the Son, taken on your condition at its most wretched? Doesn’t the Paraclete defend you? Believe all this with heart and soul and it will fill you with trust and confidence…. God pitches his tent to dwell with YOU. God is incarnation. God’s new name is Emmanuel, God With Us: God with YOUR reality.  Open yourself to it without fear.“   Your sisters in the small things, Nancy and Katie PS: If you still haven't bought the book and this series sparked your interest, it's available right here.
December 16, 2019
Following the theme of 'we can't control things outside ourselves,' we're needing to take a week off from the Advent Book Study of Interior Freedom and instead, we're sharing something else... The 12 Days of Christmas!  Hoping that sharing this week gives you time to prepare a few 'liturgical living' activities but also gets you excited for the days following December 25th.    As Catholics, the Christmas Season doesn't actually begin until the Christmas Vigil and doesn't end till Epiphany (or if you'd rather, Candlemas on February 2nd).  This is a perfect justification to be 'slow' putting the decorations away and keep listening to carols, It's being Liturgically Appropriate.   Today we're not going to discuss the symbolism of the song "12 Days of Christmas," but that's a really neat thing to read about (have a look here). Instead, we're going to use Mary Reed Newland's book "The Year and Our Children" to walk through the 12 days of Christmas.  There are some fun, easy, and meaningful ways to mark the feast days we celebrate during the Christmas Season. Following Christmas day, we celebrate the Feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr of our Church.  He was one of the first deacons of the Church and gave his life in service of others.  One possible activity to mark the feast day is to sing all five verses of "Good King Wenceslas," since it was on the Feast of Stephen the good king look'd out.  You can find the lyrics here.  Another idea is to find a way to serve or give to others, just as St. Stephen and St Wenceslas did.  Gather up some toys you no longer play with to donate.  Serve a meal at a soup kitchen.  Make some care packages to hand out to the local homeless.   On December 27th, we celebrate the feast of St. John the Evangelist.   It is a traditionally a day to bless your wine.  You could ask your parish priest to do so or you can can do so at home with a simple prayer service like this.   How did this become a tradition?  Well, legend says St. John drank a cup of poisoned wine and did not die because he had blessed it before he drank.  Some even claim the poison rose out of the glass in the form of a serpent at the words of blessing.  So raise a glass to St. John's heavenly health today.   During the 12 Days of Christmas, we also celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the Feast of the Holy Family, New Year's Eve, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and Epiphany.  We share some ideas for each of these feasts in this episode and we'd love to hear your family's traditions too!  Please share here or on Facebook!   Your sisters in the small things Nancy and Katie      
December 9, 2019
Welcome back from our Thanksgiving break and welcome into Advent!  We hope you had a beautiful "Turkey Day" and that the first week of Advent has been somewhat peaceful and prayerful.   During Advent, we will be doing a three part series on the tiny but powerful book, Interior Freedom, by Fr. Jacques Philippe.  If you don't have it yet, you can grab it here and join in on the fun. For this episode, we focused on the first section (through pg 81). Even if you don't plan on reading the book at all, this episode still has something to offer and we'd love for you to tune in. We picked this book for Advent because this time of year is full of expectations.  Expectations others have of us. Expectations we have of others. Expectations we have of ourselves.  Besides all the normal busyness of life, there is all that Needs to Be Done to get ready for Christmas.  All these expectations can make us feel penned in and frankly a little grumpy (especially if you are an introvert!!! All the gatherings this time of year are EXHAUSTING). Enter Fr. Jacques little book on Interior Freedom.  We have limited control to no control on what happens exteriorly, but interiorly, we can choose how we react, interpret, and respond.  To illustrate, Father tells a little story about St. Therese (one of his favorite saints who he mentions quite frequently in his writing).  St. Therese was often given involved tasks to complete within her community... things that required concentration.  Before beginning such a task, she would tell Jesus, "I choose to be interrupted." In this way, she could lovingly accept interruptions from her sisters and if she was able to work for an entire focused hour or even two, she could thank God for the gift of that time.  There were a few quotes we both loved from this first section of the book: No circumstance in the world can ever prevent us from believing in God, from placing all our trust in him, from loving home with our whole heart, or from loving our neighbor. (p24)   Our freedom always has this marvelous power to make what is taken from us- by life, events, or other people- into something offered. Externally there is no visible difference, but internally everything is transfigured. (P57)   We are not always masters of the unfolding of our lives, but we can always be masters of the meaning we give them. Our freedom can transform any event into an expression of love, abandonment, trust, hopen and offering… positive things become a reason for gratitude and joy, negative things an opportunity for abandonment, faith, and offering: everything becomes a grace. (P58) During the season, let us turn our little annoyances, distractions, and disappointments into opportunities to accept and offer it all to the Baby Jesus. Your sisters in the small things Nancy and Katie    
November 18, 2019
Hey Friends! Before we dive into this week's topic, two quick announcements! One: We will NOT be releasing a new episode next weekend. We're taking a week off for Thanksgiving.  BUT (two), we will be back the First Sunday of ADVENT with the first episode of our book study series!  The book we're reading is Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe.  You can snag it right here!  This week, we're discussing another one of those Special Catholic Things: Novenas.  What is a novena? Where do we get the tradition? Do I have to start a novena on a particular day (like do the dates matter)? The root of the word "novena' is Latin for nine.  The original novena was prayed by the apostles and Our Blessed Mother as they waited for the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  From there, novenas have been composed to many of our Saints and for many of our Feast Days (Christ the King, for example). Usually, a novena is prayed leading up to the Saint's feast day so that the ninth day of the novena is either the eve of or the actual feast day, but you can begin a novena whenever you'd like! Pray More Novenas is our favorite go-to for all things novenas and they have a great FAQ page that you can check out and learn even more about our Church's awesome form of prayer.  They also offer a FREE novena reminder service via your email.  The prayers of whatever novena is currently "going on" will be sent to your email as a daily reminder.  It is So Cool.   One thing that is important to remember about novenas... it can be tempting to believe that God can't possibly respond 'No' or 'Not right Now' to your novena prayers, but the fact is, He often does.  A novena isn't a magic formula for a 'Yes' and we are powerless to make demands or attempt to control God.  Sometimes, prayers are answered in a way that is not immediately apparent or more subtle than what we were expecting.  It could be a change of heart, renewed energy, or inspiration to pursue something different.   In this episode, we both share an intention that is near and dear to our hearts right now.  We also ask that you share your intentions with us.  It would be an honor to carry your intentions to our Lady and our Lord.  Just email Nancy at and she will pass everything onto Katie so we can both be praying for YOU.   Your sisters in the small things, Nancy and Katie   Mentioned in this episode: Advent book study of Interior Freedom Pray more Novenas Katie's new devotional for Catholic Women facing Infertility (15% off all November) Flying Novenas ala Mother Teresa St. Andrew's Christmas Novena  
November 11, 2019
** Before we jump into this week’s episode, we want to let you know that we’ll be doing a book study this upcoming Advent!!!  The book is Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe. Have you read anything by Fr. Philippe yet? He is AMAZING. Such a gentle, yet wise voice… our hope is this study will help us all stay centered this Advent on what (or WHO!) truly matters.  You can snag a copy here. First episode/discussion will be on December 1st!! ** And we're back with Part 2 of our Mini Series on Relics!!  We thought it might be good to distinguish between veneration and worship. Besides the fact that relics are pieces of dead people or things that have touched dead people, those unfamiliar with the practice might also take offense at the idea of us giving "worship" to something/someone other than God. But the fact is, we *don't* Worship relics. We venerate them. In the words of one of our Church Fathers, St. Jerome,    “We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the Creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are.”    So if you have friends thinking you’re weird for worshiping pieces of dead people, you’ve got your reply right there. It ISN’T worship.  Holding, gazing, praying with (not TO) relics can help us feel a stronger connection to the holy people we are asking to pray for us.  Relics are a powerful reminder that the Saints are Real People who had Real Bodies. Also: the fact that there are no first class relics of Christ or Our Lady strengthens our belief in the Ascension and the Assumption. Where are their bodies? Not on Earth! Anyways, this week on the podcast, we’re diving into specific relic stories. Namely the Holy Stairs, the Crown of Thorns, and the Shroud of Turin.   The Holy Stairs were brought to Rome by St. Helena. They are the stairs that Christ ascended to appear before Pilate.  The Crown of Thorns were in the news earlier this year when a fire broke out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  It, along with many other relics and the Eucharist were saved from the blaze. The Shroud of Turin is arguably the most fascinating relic of our Faith. It is the cloth in which Christ was covered and buried in and a ‘negative image’ of His face was left. Studies of the shroud have shown us just how much Christ suffered on Good Friday before dying on the Cross.     Have you visited any of these 'extreme relics?'  Tell us about it in the comments! Your sisters in the small things,   Nancy and Katie    
November 4, 2019
Welcome back!  Today, we start a two part series on relics... What are they? Are there different kinds? Why do Catholics hang on to pieces of dead people?   It might surprise you to find out that the practice of keeping relics is not something that started with the early martyrs, or even with Christ.  No! The first example of relics we found in scripture is in the second book of Kings (13:20-21).  Some men were burying a dead man when they were attacked by Moabites.  They threw the body into the tomb to flee and the body landed on the bones of Elisha, a prophet. Immediately, the man came back to life and stood up.   A dead man came in contact with the bones of a holy prophet and came back to life!  How cool is that?   In the New Testament, we have the story of the hemorrhaging woman touching the hem of Christ's garment and being healed (Matt. 9:20-22), Peter's shadow having healing power (Acts 5 14-16), and the clothes and handkerchiefs of Paul bringing healing as well (Acts 19:11-12).  Even the way in which Christ's body was treated after the crucifixion points to the importance and sanctity of the body.   There are three 'classes' of relics.  First class are actual pieces of the person's body (bone, hair, etc.).  Second class relics are things the person owned or used (piece of clothing, their rosary, etc.). Third class relics are things that have been touched to a first or second class relic. Have you ever encountered a relic?  Maybe you had a relic come 'on tour' to your parish?  Did you know that there probably is at least one relic in your own parish permanently? Most altars have a relic inside them and many parishes have some relics in the sacristy.  Just ask your priest if you can see them!   We'll be back next week with some more awesome relic stories! Your sisters in the small things, Nancy and Katie   Bishop Robert Barron speaking on relics and Gnosticism    
October 28, 2019
Welcome back to another week of the Just One Small Thing Podcast!!   Continuing on our 'Fall Triduum' theme, we're discussing All Soul's Day today.  Although the last day of this great Triduum of our Faith, it seems to be the 'middle child' in some ways... It's not an eve.  It's not a Holy Day of Obligation. It's also kind of sad.  We all have people we have known and loved and they've passed on and we're not exactly sure where they are... Did they go straight to Heaven? Are they still in purgatory? How exactly are we supposed to celebrate it? First of all, it's really truly beautiful that our Church gives us a feast day expressly to remember our beloved dead.  Many (most?) of us will spend some time in purgatory after we die and the only way we can get to Heaven is the prayers of those on Earth or in Heaven. There are actually indulgences attached to praying for the dead during the month of November!  It's also comforting to have this time to remember those we've lost personally.  That's exactly what we do in today's episode... Nancy and I both share a bit about our beloved dead and discuss ways to remember and honor them on All Souls' Day and throughout the month of November. Some ideas are: Visit, clean, and decorate their graves (check out this beautiful tradition in Poland!) Speak their names Ask them to pray with you Display their pictures/names Pray the St. Gertrude Prayer (see below) We also discuss how we talk about death with our kids. As uncomfortable and sad it might be, death is a reality our children need to be aware of.  We'd love to pray for your beloved dead too!  Please comment here or email us so we can add them to our list.  Your sisters in the small things, Nancy and Katie   The St. Gertrude Prayer (pious tradition is that 1,000 souls are released from purgatory upon each recitation... more about that here): Eternal Father, I offer You the most Precious Blood of Your Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for all sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
October 21, 2019
Hi There! We're getting seasonal today and tackling Halloween... If you're like us, you probably remember the annual struggle to narrow down your costume ideas to a single CHOICE and then the excitement of running door to door to get candy (FOR FREE) from strangers.  Halloween was quite different as we went on college and post-graduation life.  Halloween seemed like nothing more than an invitation to dress immodestly and drink to excess, so no thank you, Halloween, we'll just move on to All Soul's Day. Through Katie's husband's obsession with the history of All. The. Things, however, we've learned that Halloween does have some deep roots in Catholicism, even if the 'seeds' had been pagan.  As Catholics, when we evangelize, there should always an effort to respect the traditions and culture of the people we are preaching to.  We should not seek to eradicate all former ways of life, but seek to find ways to 'baptize' some traditions and tie them into our beautiful Liturgical cycle. For example.... according to pious tradition, St. Boniface was working hard to spread the Good News to the people of Germany, but there was the issue of this huge tree they worshiped.  St. Boniface knew a tree doesn't have any supernatural power; only the Creator of that tree did.  And so to drive home the point, he chopped it down. Yet, he allowed the people to continue on with the tradition of bringing smaller trees into their home in the middle of winter and those trees became a reminder of The Tree of our Salvation, the Cross. Christmas trees are a 'baptized tradition' from pagans. Another example of this is the harvest festival of Samhain (Gaelic word pronounced 'sewing').  On October 31st, the Gaelic people would have a celebration to mark the changing of the seasons and the beginning of the 'darker half' of the year.  These celebrations involved bonfires, costumes, prayers (to false gods), and feasting.  When saints like Patrick and Columba came to the island, they took the fact that Samhain occurred on the eve of All Saints' Day and gradually turned Samhain into All Hallow's Eve.  Catholics like to party, so the costumes and feasting could remain, but the praying to false gods was left behind.  So, Halloween is actually the first day of the triduum our Church celebrates each fall.   Beautifully, these three days connect the three parts of our Church: Militant, Triumphant, and Suffering.  In some of the earlier celebrations of "All Hallow's Eve" children would dress up as angels and demons and 'battle' each other, reminding us of our daily battle to choose good over evil.  We are the Church Militant.  On All Saints' Day, we remember those who have been victorious in this earthly life, those who now enjoy the heavenly banquet, and can intercede for us: the Church Triumphant.  And finally, on the last day of the triduum, we pray for the Church Suffering, those in purgatory who require our prayers to get to Heaven.   We hope you enjoy today's episode as much as we enjoyed recording!   Your sisters in the small things, Nancy and Katie
October 14, 2019
Hi Friends! Happy Feast Day of Fatima (if you're checking this out Sunday evening).  October 13th, 1917 is "The Day the Sun Danced." It's a great day to pray the rosary! Speaking of roses.... It's October and we'd be remiss if we didn't share about one of our favorite saints, St. Therese of Lisieux, The Little Flower.  Before St. Therese died, she declared "I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens, I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth."  Since then, many Catholics have asked St. Therese's intercession and have received roses, both literal and figurative at times, as their answer. St. Therese was the youngest living daughter born to St. Zelie and St. Louis in 1873.  From a very young age, she knew God wanted her to be a Carmelite Nun.  She faced years of waiting despite going to visit the bishop and even the pope himself to ask permission to enter the convent. Finally, at the age of 15, she was allowed to enter the cloistered community.   She lived a very quiet, somewhat uneventful life in the convent.  She was sick frequently and often fell asleep during prayer.  In fact, after she died, her sisters were at a loss as to what they should write in her obituary. But, if you read her autobiography, written under obedience to her superiors, you get a glimpse into the holy simplicity and smallness with which St. Therese lived her life.  Today on the podcast, we have a guest, Nancy's sister-in-law, Bobbi Verly.  Bobbi grew up with a love of St. Therese that blossomed into a deep devotion.  Through her prayers, Bobbi's vocation was revealed in jarring detail from a relatively young age.  Though it took years to come to fruition, Bobbi peacefully waited to see God's plan come to life.  It's truly an amazing story you'll want to hear! Nancy and Katie both have some St. Therese "Rose Stories" to share as well.  It's funny how someone so small and 'weak' in the eyes of the world has touched the lives of so many from Heaven.  As it says in First Corinthians 1:27, "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong."   We hope you love our Little Flower Stories.  If you have received a rose from St. Therese, please reach out here, via e-mail, or on Facebook to share your story!!   Your Sisters in the Small Things, Nancy and Katie     Mentioned in this episode: The Story of a Soul (St. Therese's Autobiography) The Way of Trust and Love by Fr. Jacques Philippe
October 7, 2019
Hi Friends! Happy October!!!  You probably know that October is considered the month of the Holy Rosary, but do you know why?  If you're listening the evening this episode goes live, it's the eve of Our Lady of Victory's feast day, also known as Our Lady of the Rosary!  This feast day was established during the pontificate of Pope Pius V after an astounding victory of Christian forces against the Ottoman Turks on October 7th, 1571.  The Battle of Lepanto!  The Christian forces by all accounts shouldn't have won... They were outnumbered and fairly inexperienced with naval battle. But the leader, Don Juan of Austria, issued a weapon to each of his soldiers upon the eve of battle: a Rosary.  And all the soldiers knelt and prayed it together before heading into battle and Our Lady came to their aide.  In this episode, you'll learn all about the Battle of Lepanto, hear some personal rosary experiences of ours, and learn about some other miracles attributed to the rosary, one of them in late 1970s! Our Lady has been clear: over and over she has asked us to pray the rosary daily for peace in the world.  She never said it had to be prayed all in one 'sitting' or while sitting in a chair with candles lit.  We need to pray it as we CAN not as we CAN'T.  A decade here, another decade there, maybe even a decade or two as a family or with your spouse.  And as evidenced by our miracle stories today, Mary honors our efforts.  To close: here are a few quotes to inspire and encourage. “Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.” -St. Padre Pio “Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary’s which purifies the monotony of your sins!” -St. Josemaria Escriva “You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy. If there is no other time, say it in the street without letting anybody notice it. It will, moreover, help you to have presence of God.” – St. Josemaria Escriva “The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.” – Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen   Have you experienced a miracle through the rosary?  How do you get your rosary in every day?  Share your tips in the comments! Your sisters in the Small Things, Nancy and Katie   In this episode: Nancy's new Rosary Board Books Fr. Calloway's lecture at Steubenville Fr. Calloway's book Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon Chesterton's poem Lepanto This image of Mary wrapping the infant Christ in her mantle  
September 30, 2019
Hey Listeners! Welcome back and happy New Week to you!  What's your favorite Marian Apparition? Is it Lourdes or Guadalupe or Fatima? (both ours are one of those so don't feel bad for being 'predictable') This week we are exploring some lesser know apparitions. Ones you didn't hear about in Catholic School.  Ones Nancy and I found out about through an amazing lecture by Fr. Don Calloway (see link below) and then read more about in his amazing book Champions of the Rosary.   In a way, Marian Apparitions and Miracles of the Rosary are a bit like our Saints, aren't they? There is always more to learn which is pretty awesome.  One way to get your kids (or students) excited about learning is for them to see you excited about it for yourself. The first of the two lesser known apparitions we discuss today is Our Lady of Las Lajas (or Our Lady of the Rocks).  This apparition happened in the 1700s in Columbia.  The visionaries were a mother and daughter and as a final gift, Our Lady left her image in the rocks of the cave where they had visited each other.  Not ON the rocks. IN the rocks.  Geologists have found the image is actually several feet into the wall of the cave with no evidence of paint dye of pigment. Oh. And this image appeared after the daughter had been brought back to life through the intercession of Mary. (WHAT???) More recently, there were multiple appearances of Our Blessed Mother in Kibeho, Rwanda in the 1980s to a group of school children.  Because this was such a recent event, you can hop on Youtube and see actual footage of people going into ecstasy when Our Lady appears and speaks to them.  She requested a renewed devotion to the rosary of her seven sorrows (we spoke about this particular rosary in this episode) and warned of a 'river of blood' in Rwanda unless there was prayer and repentance. Unfortunately, some say because Our Lady's warnings weren't heeded, these apparitions were followed by the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. If there is some lesser know Marian Apparition that you LOVE that you suspect we haven't heard of, we'd love to hear from you.  Please reach out and share with us!   Your sisters in the small things,   Nancy and Katie   In this episode: Fr. Calloway's lecture at Steubenville Fr. Calloway's book Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon  An article on Our Lady of Las Lajas An EWTN special on Our Lady of Kibeho     
September 23, 2019
Hi Friends! This week we're diving into Natural Family Planning or NFP.  What is NFP, you may be wondering?  NFP is any method of observing your monthly fertility signs and using them to plan when to 'renew your vows' with your husband.   Fertility Awareness is not just for deciding when to try for a baby though.  Many health issues can be traced back to cycle or hormonal abnormalities, so women of all ages and stages can benefit from becoming aware of their fertility signs. Today we have a special guest, Katherine Young, a real life Fertility Care Practitioner   This means she helps women learn how to observe and chart their fertility signs using the Creighton Method of NFP.  In her own words, her goal as a practitioner is to:  "help build a culture of life through empowering women and couples to understand their fertility and respect God’s gift of sexuality and the dignity of the human person." Pretty awesome right? We'll cover why The Church teaches what She does with regards to contraception and the important differences between contraception and natural family planning.  We'll also touch on the variety of methods available to grow in knowledge of your cycle.  Some methods work better for different women... or even different stages of life and it's more than Okay to switch methods when you need to.  Finally, we'll discuss the importance of having a teacher for whatever method you choose.  There is So Much information out there on the internet (and in books) regarding fertility awareness, but a teacher can be in impartial third set of eyes on your chart and build your confidence. We hope you enjoy today's episode!   Your Sisters in the Small Things, Nancy and Katie   PS Interested in learning the Creighton Method with Katherine?  Her email is  Things we mentioned in this podcast: This John Legend song  This website has a good overview of all the available methods Naprotechnology: using fertility signs as clues to figure out what isn't working correctly within the woman's body and restore health and fertility A great lecture that goes even more in-depth on the differences between NFP and contraception      
September 16, 2019
Hello Friends! With yesterday being the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, in today's episode, we're taking a closer look at the Seven Sorrows of Mary along with the concept of being open to life, even if it leaves your arms empty (or emptier than you want them to be).  We're talking specifically about infertility but as Catholic Women, practicing natural family planning can leave our families looking very different than we've envisioned, so everyone can get something from this episode (we hope :-) ) The devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows is closely connected with the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross which has been celebrated since the year 326. Many of the great saints have written on her sorrows and Mary recently encouraged this devotion in the 1980s when she made several visits to school children in Kibeho, Rwanda.  There is also a religious order that originally formed around a devotion to Mary at the foot of the cross called the Servites, formed in 1239.  The Seven Sorrows are: The prophecy of Simeon  The flight into Egypt  Loss of the Child Jesus for three days  Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary Crucifixion and Death of Jesus  The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross  The burial of Jesus There is even a special form of the rosary with seven 'septets' instead of five decades (maybe you have one in your house put to the side because you thought it was defective. haha).   We talk about the temptation to compare joys but also compare sorrows... She has it better than me. Or my struggle is more difficult than hers.  But the fact is: there is no way to objectively rate someone else's pain on a scale of 1 to 10.  God doesn't rate our suffering. Katie speaks about the loneliness and 'compassion fatigue' (or maybe burnout?) that comes with infertility.  It's hard to be sympathetic with a friend who is 'accidentally' pregnant or suffering from morning sickness, but the fact is their suffering is real too.  And pain is only magnified when we're trapped in it.  Our Mother can help us with our sorrows. She is with us in this pain. She knew loneliness (Exile in Egypt), anxiety (the Christ Child is lost for three days), and desolation (seeing her son crucified).   There is so much to learn and so much comfort to find meditating on our mother's sorrows.   One More Thing: If your parish or diocese is offering some sort of a ministry for those facing infertility: Please share with us!  We'd love to get more happening all across the US. Your sisters in the small things, Nancy and Katie   Things we mentioned in this episode:   Katie's New Book: Waiting with Mary: A Seven Sorrows Devotional for Catholic Women facing Infertility (Lulu Link will be added here within the next week and a half...  follow TheJoyfulLeap on IG or FB for updates)   Naprotechnology: medical treatment of fertility issues that are in line with Church Teaching on Human Dignity and Sexuality   Organic Conceptions (Online emotional support program for couples dealing with delayed conception/infertility; Coupon Code for J1ST Listeners: JUSTONESMALLTHING)   This instagram post  
September 9, 2019
Hello!!  Sterling is back with the Just One Small Thing Podcast, joining the select few who have been guests TWICE (Sterling, your certificate is in the mail ;-) ).  You might know Sterling from her Catholic Minimalism Facebook Group or her podcast Coffee and Pearls. Or maybe you’ve read some of her books? Today, the three of us discuss how to make a Catholic Home without breaking the bank as well as how to create an atmosphere of peace and hospitality.   Home decorating, just like the spiritual life, this is NOT a task that can be accomplished in one afternoon, but rather a gradual progress towards the idea you have in mind.  How can you keep costs down while still making your home beautiful? All three of us have some beloved and ‘featured’ decorations in our homes that we found/rescued from second hand stores as well as prints we purchased through Etsy (or Peter’s Square) from a variety of Catholic Artists.   In terms of ambiance, candles and music are what Sterling loves best in her home.  Books read aloud or listened to via Audible or Overdrive are part of daily life in the Jaquith household. Home should be a place where we long to be… somewhere we feel at peace and comfortable and what we listen to can be just as important as what we choose to hang on our walls. Why make our homes Catholic?  Well, first of all, our kids are like sponges and what we choose to surround them with is what will occupy their imaginations.  Also, as someone wrote in a thread in one of Nancy’s Facebook groups, when children are presented with religious images around their home, it acts like a visual anchor and seeing them at church will feel ‘like home’ too.  Having a Catholic Home can also serve as an inspiration, reminder, and challenge for us as well. The words we choose to use, the shows we choose to watch, the music we choose to listen to.. This all affects our souls. Lastly, it’s a chance to evangelize to others.  What is on display in one’s home shows to guests what the person values.   Finally: we also touch on Screens and their ability to pull us in and away from real life.  It's a real addiction and Sterling has created a challenge course to help you cut back on screen time and re-claim your life (see link below)!  I think Nancy and I are both signing up.  I know I need it. We hope you have as much fun listening as we did recording! Your Sisters in the Small Things, Nancy and Katie Here are some Links from today's episode:   Facebook Minimalism Group:   Books:   Podcast:   Sterling's favorite album to play in the house (Free through Amazon prime) for rosary hangers  
August 26, 2019
Next in our Sacramental Series, we’re learning about Scapulars.  We’ll talk specifically about the Brown Scapular today but there are several different color scapulars each with their own particular devotion.   The Scapular is a beautiful tradition of our Church started with the Carmelite Order.  The Carmelites, unlike many of the orders founded around the same time, have no saintly founder that we know of.  Instead, the order was founded by laymen who were former crusaders. Their community began on Mt. Carmel in Palestine, the same mountain on which Elijah defended the faith in One True God from via a challenge of the priests of Baal.  After religious persecution (meaning martyrdom for some), the Carmelites returned to Europe around 1235.   Now, if you’re like me, you have been wearing a scapular for decades, so this next bit might be troubling, but Stay With Me…  Carmilite St. Simon’s vision of Mary in July of 1251, which included the gift of the scapular, has not actually been given an official “Truth” stamp by The Church.  Unlike Fatima (1917) or Lourdes (1858) or Guadalupe (1531), this vision has not been verified. Part of this is due to the fact that it happened long ago (1251-ish).  Records that might have documented the vision have been lost. Some say that is was an attempt to legitimize the Carmelite order, who unlike the Benedictines, Franciscans, Dominicans, etc. had no saintly founder.  Infact, St. Simon’s feast day (May 16th) had been removed from the calendar for a time, only to be placed back with the understanding that no mention of the vision would be made. (Check out his bio on the Carmelite Website)   REGARDLESS: As Nancy states: throughout the history of Our Church, heresies have been uprooted and destroyed.  The scapular, much like the rosary, remains. Although as I child, I thought of it as a ‘get out of Hell free’ card, as an adult I wear it as a sign to my devotion to Our Blessed Mother, a physical reminder that I am under her protection and I have pledged myself to be “totus tuus.”   There is a rite of investiture in the brown scapular that any priest can perform for you (Nancy’s family takes ‘the plunge’ this coming spring!!!). Part of being vested is a pledge to pray some form or Marian Devotion daily (the rosary) and to live chastely according to your state in life. Let’s close with the morning offering of those who wear a scapular (which I found here): O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary (here kiss the scapular as a sign of your consecration), I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word and action of this day. O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can, and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that she may best apply them to the interests of Thy most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!   Your Sisters in the Small Things,   Nancy and Katie   Need a scapular?   My parish priest recommends these ones, hand-stitched by Sisters of Carmel but the ones Andrea makes over at StellaMarigoldArt are breathtaking!    
August 19, 2019
Today, we’re diving into another sacramental of our Faith: the Chapel Veil.  Reminder from last week: Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. (CC1670) Wearing a veil at mass will not give you special graces the way a Sacrament does, but some women find it helps open them up to receive the graces of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Did you grow up in a parish where veiling was the norm?  Neither of us did. In fact, Nancy remembers seeing it once as a child and thought they were Menonites or something (kids think funny things!!!) and Katie’s first exposure to covering (see what I did there) was at Latin Mass as an adult. Interestingly, St. Paul writes about women covering their head while in prayer in his first letter to the Corinthians(Check out Chapter 11).  The tradition was carried over from the Jewish people and then picked up by various other religions after Christianity.   The tradition was actually a requirement for centuries and then due to some misinformation from the press circa Vatican II, the Catholic World was told women veiling wasn’t required anymore. Despite it not being ‘required’ anymore, many women are choosing to pick up the tradition again. Why Some Women Choose to Veil: As a sign of reverence for the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist As a way to symbolize the difference between men and women As a sign of unity with your husband  Because, like the Eucharist, women can bare life. Life baring things are sacred. It can act as ‘blinders’ and increase focus during mass/deepen prayer   Why Some Women Choose not to Veil: Not aware of the tradition/that it is still “okay” Husband is not on board (wearing something that is meant to be a visual sign of submission to your husband as to Christ that your husband Doesn’t Want You to Wear wouldn’t be a good idea) It can be ‘attention grabbing’ It can be hard to keep your head covered while wrestling little ones during mass (making it more of a distraction than something that filters out distractions)   In this episode, we’ll tackle some of the Whys and Why Nots (and some solutions to the Why Nots).  Just to be clear: We did not record this episode with the intent to tell every woman that they need to veil, BUT: if you have wondered if you should… if you’ve felt it on your heart to consider… this episode’s aim is to educate and assist in your discernment.  We hope you enjoy it! Your sisters in the small things Nancy and Katie
August 12, 2019
For the next four weeks, we’re diving into Sacramentals.  What are they? Why do we have them? How did each particular devotion come to be?  To begin, let’s take a look at this line from the Catechism: Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. (CC1670) Sacramentals can be an object (such as Miraculous Medal or Holy Water) or an action (like the Sign of the Cross or the different postures we assume during mass). For our first episode of the series, we’re discussing Miraculous Medals.  For the cradle Catholics, this is, quite possibly, something you’ve had close to you and worn for a while, but were you ever taught about the Saint this medal was given to?  We weren’t! In July of 1830, St. Catherine Laboure, a novice of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, was woken up by a child (some say her guardian angel) and asked to come to the chapel. There, Our Lady appeared to her and told her, “My child, I am going to give you a mission.” In November of the same year, Mary again appeared to St. Catherine and gave her the image of the medal she wanted made and worn by all the faithful: “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck.” Two years after these visions, the medals were made with approval of the Church and handed out all over Paris.  Originally called The Medal of the Immaculate Conception, it quickly became known as the Miraculous Medal within the first decade of the devotion because of the many miracles attributed to it.   In 1836, after proper investigations, the apparition was declared genuine by the Church. St. Catherine didn’t reveal herself as the recipient of the medal until shortly before her death, almost 50 years later. What I love about the Miraculous Medal is how it can be used for catechesis.  Each symbol on the medal tells us something about Our Lady and Christ in a simple yet beautiful way.  Much like the stained glass windows in our churches, this medal serves as a means to learning more about and growing deeper in our Faith. What we mention in today’s episode: This Blog Post Chewslife Rosary Bracelets And here’s a cool info-graphic to share with the kiddos   Hope you enjoy today's episode!   Your sisters in the small things,   Nancy and Katie
August 5, 2019
Hello and welcome back to the second season of The Just One Small Thing Podcast: Everyday Wisdom for Catholic Women!  In today’s episode you’ll get to meet my friend and New Co-Host, Katie Wood, while we talk about this season’s motto: Let the Eucharist Lead.   To be honest, this might be our motto forever and ever because how can you beat it? Isn’t this what it means to be Catholic?  Christ in the Eucharist is at the center of it all, whether in Adoration or the Celebration of the Mass. He is truly present in that little host and gives Himself to all, freely, without reserve.  This is our model for Love. This is our path to holiness. We’ll share what this motto means to us in our lives as well as some examples from the Saints, specifically St. Alphonsus Ligori and Venerable Cardinal Van Thuan.   We’ll also touch on alternatives for when physically visiting an adoration chapel isn’t possible (did you know your guardian angel can go without you?) and the spiritual warfare (and momma struggles) you can expect to face when you can go (did you know cooled incense makes for a particularly fearsome ‘warpaint?’ True Story). Additionally in this episode: some exciting news concerning the Catholic Sprouts Podcast!  People have been asking how they can help support the ministry and I have an answer!! Things we mention in this podcast: Katie’s Blog (Birth Stories, NAPRO Success Stories, and Momma Musings) Catholic Sprouts Patreon  Five Loaves and Two Fish: Meditations on the Eucharist by Cardinal Van Thuan  The Practice of the Presence of God by Br. Lawrence Rosary Meditations by Mother Teresa Thank you so much for joining us for Season 2!  If you like what you hear, please consider sharing with a friend or leave us a comment!  We’d love to hear from you!! Your Sisters in the Small Things, Nancy and Katie
May 26, 2019
Hey there friends! It's a big day around this small corner of the internet. Today I am sharing the LAST installment of the VIRTUES OF THE ROSARY. I can hardly believe it! I started discussing these virtues last summer, and here we are finishing them up as we approach another summer. So, today is all about the virtue attached to the final Glorious Mystery: the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. The virtue for this mystery is FRIENDSHIP WITH MARY. Since I feel like I have been talking about being close to Mary for this entire series, I start this episode by looking at Friendship in general. First of all, we need to remember that clearly friendship is important to God. While on Earth Jesus went out of His way to form friendships and He seems to even had had various types of friendships, and His best friend was likely St. John, the Beloved Disciple. There are two problems with modern friendships: We often USE our friends for our own gains, and don't really love them. We think that one friendship (or marriage) should be the only friendship that we need. And this is simply not true. True friendships require time, vulnerability and listening. These are the building blocks for any friendship and we can apply them to our friendship with Mary as well. We are called to spend daily time with Mary, share the secrets of our heart with her and listen to what she has to share with us. We need to listen, in particular to her message from Fatima: to Pray the Rosary and to accept suffering for the redemption of sinners. And that is it! I certainly enjoyed recording these episodes and I pray that they have enriched your own praying of the Rosary. Once again, if you would like to grab a copy of the Rosary Booklet where I offer reflections of each mystery of the Rosary, you can grab one right here: And, the Just One Small Thing Podcast will be taking a break for the months of June and July! But, I will be back with new weekly episodes in August (God willing). Your sister in the small things, Nancy
May 19, 2019
Welcome back to another installment of the Virtues of the Rosary on the Just One Small Thing Podcast. I have really loved attaching a virtue to each mystery of the Rosary, and I hope these episodes have been helpful and enriched your own praying of the Rosary. And, we are in the 2nd to the last episode in this series! Can you believe it?!? Today's episode is all about the fourth Glorious Mystery, the Assumption of Mary into heaven. The virtue attached to this mystery is Union with Jesus. And, what I talk about mostly in this episode is devotion to the Eucharist. Does that seem strange? That a mystery about Mary should be devoted to the Eucharist? Well, if you understand the nature of Mary and her role in our Faith Life, then it shouldn't be!!!  Mary was so united with God that at the end of her life she didn't die, but instead was taken up, body and soul into heaven. I like to think that she was so united with God that the world simply couldn't hold her any more! And the way that we can follow her example and also be so united with God is through the Eucharist.  As many saints have put it, Through Mary to Jesus. Mary is the door that leads to Jesus. I conclude this episode with lots of practical tips for living out your devotion to the Eucharist just a bit more fully. Here they are: Be better about spending the 15 minutes are you receive communion praising God! The Eucharist is still Jesus and now it is inside of you! Fight to attend daily mass. Look into the schedules once more and try it with the kids again. It's worth it. Commit to an hour of adoration each week! Remember that Jesus is in the tabernacle and just being near Him is a gift for us, and a wonderful gift that we can give Him! I hope these ideas are helpful and rekindle the fire of love for the Eucharist inside of you! Here are a few of the links I mentioned in this episode: Mother Teresa's Rosary Meditations to be read while in Adoration. My popular Rosary Booklet: The Joyful Leap! A gift box for new Catholic Mommas! Thanks for being here! your sister in the small things, Nancy When you join the Catholic Sprouts community, you not only will be part of a thriving community of over 11,000 Catholic Parents, but you also will get instant access to the Catholic Family Digital Resource Library.  Simply head here to sign up!
May 12, 2019
Hey there! Welcome back to another episode of the Just One Small Thing Podcast. I am working my way through the final VIRTUES OF THE ROSARY. This episode discusses the virtues attached to the third Glorious Mystery, the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles at Pentecost.  The virtue attached to this mystery is Courage...or Zeal for the Mission...or just being Open to the Spirit. Sorry if I sound a little bit all over the place, but as I prepared for this episode I realized that there is no way to discuss one of these virtues without discussing them all! In fact, they are really all the same thing! We need to listen to God (be open to Him) so that we might receive what He is calling us to do... and then we need to overcome sloth (have zeal) so that we might set out on the mission  God has given us...and then we need to be courageous as we set out into a hostel world. Does that make sense? If not, sorry! And I do a much better job explaining it in the episode! Here is a quick overview of what is discussed in this episode: We start with this incredible quote from Mother Teresa: "Jesus lives His life all over again when we radiate to one another the love and virtues of His Eucharistic Heart."  But this can only happen if we remain open to Him (the Spirit) and zealously embrace our mission. Here are 4 steps to being open to the Spirit (inspired by the first chapter of this incredible book: Ask to receive the Spirit, and then assume and attitude of being respective (silence) Trust in God, not yourself. Embrace humility by emptying yourself out so that God might fill you up. Remain detached from the world...and from your plans! Easier said than done, right! But we are all working away on this, little by little, each and every day. Links mentioned in this episode: My popular Rosary Booklet:  Incredible reflections on the Rosary to be prayed during Adoration by Mother Teresa: Fire and Light by Fr. Jacques Philippe: J1ST episode on Detachement: Thanks for being here! your sister in the small things, Nancy When you join the Catholic Sprouts community, you not only will be part of a thriving community of over 11,000 Catholic Parents, but you also will get instant access to the Catholic Family Digital Resource Library.  Simply head here to sign up!
May 5, 2019
Hey there! Let's continue on with our investigation of the virtues of the Rosary! Head hereif you would like beautiful coloring pages with the virtues of the Rosary and right hereif you would like to grab a Rosary Booklet of your very own. Today's podcast is all about hope, but not hope in the sense that we use the word every day. In common usage, hope is like optimism. We might say, "I hope I'm not late." Now, it is perfectly fine to be optimistic, but optimism is not a virtue. Hope as a virtue means places all of our trust in God. Hope is also what connects us to heaven. When we hope in Jesus Christ we acknowledge that we are not God, that or God loves us and wants what is best for us, and that this world is not our home. Our home is heaven and we should keep our eyes fixed on heaven. Hope is attached to the second Glorious Mystery because when Jesus ascended into heaven the disciples stood looking up at heaven, with their eyes fixed on heaven. And we should do the same. If hope is the virtue, then there are two vices that we can choose to embrace instead of hope: pride and despair. Pride believes that lie that I am everything and I have no need for God. Despair believes the equally destructive lie that I am worthless and horrible and God has no need for me. Hope acknowledges that there is a God (and it isn't me), I am His beloved creature and I was created to be with Him in paradice when this life is over. In the episode I spend time reflecting on an area where I struggle to let go of pride and despair and instead fully place my hope in God: Motherhood. I feel like the older my kids get the worse this gets. Listen and let me know if you can relate. Thanks for being here! Your sister in the small things, Nancy When you join the Catholic Sprouts community, you not only will be part of a thriving community of over 11,000 Catholic Parents, but you also will get instant access to the Catholic Family Digital Resource Library.  Simply head here to sign up!
April 28, 2019
Hey there, friends! Today we are getting back to a topic I love: The Rosary. Over a year ago I put a little rosary booklet with the help of Annie from Paper Monastery. The Rosary Booklet is a collection of ways to pray and reflect on the rosary.Over 3,000 copies of that book have been shipped all over the world (holy cow!), but more importantly, just putting that book together has had a big impact on the way I pray this incredible prayer.  And through that, of course, changed my entire life! My favorite thing to reflect on while praying the rosary are the Virtues of the Rosary. Many saints, including St. John Paul II, Mother Teresa and Padre Pio all attached virtues to the rosary and I have found that reflecting on these virtues helps me not only understand the Gospel story, but also helps me apply these things more directly to my own life. So, today we are digging into the Glorious Mysteries. The virtue for the first mystery, the Resurrection, is FAITH. Here is a brief summery of what I discuss in this episode: We can talk about Faith (the Catholic Faith, meaning our set of beliefs) and faith, like being faithful and trusting. Both of these are so important, and so deeply connected. Our Faith rests on the reality of the resurrection. We are an Easter People and we really do have to investigate if we FULLY believe that these things happened. I also talked about how we can reflect on the "faithful" with this virtue and pray at all of the divisions in the Catholic Church be healed, and we really become the mystical body of Christ. Finally, I looked at how pregnancy, birth, and raising a baby is SUCH a time fo faith, and how faith and trust are so linked. I hope you found this helpful! And, if you want to reflect a bit more on the Virtues of the Rosary, I encourage you to download and use these pretty coloring pages I made!  Completely free, just follow the link, sign up, and they will be in your inbox! Virtues of the Rosary Coloring Pages  When you join the Catholic Sprouts community, you not only will be part of a thriving community of over 11,000 Catholic Parents, but you also will get instant access to the Catholic Family Digital Resource Library.  Simply head here to sign up! Thanks for being here! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
April 21, 2019
Hey there, friends! This week the Just One Small Thing Podcast is a challenge for you (and for me!). Since we are in the Easter season I think it is the PERFECT time to take stock of life and our faith life. Have we been moving forward? Do we actually, deeply believe the things we processed during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday? And, perhaps as important as anything, am I committed to prayer? Because, as I have learned over the last year, it all comes down to prayer. In the podcast I take you on a bit of a journey of thought with me (hopefully the path isn't too twisting!). In recent months I have discovered that it ALL COMES DOWN TO PRAYER. I realized this while thinking up (nearly 200 episodes now) the Catholic Sprouts Podcast. When I challenge kids to do something at the end of each episode, it really doesn't make sense to challenge anything but prayer. I also felt this hit home as I learned about the early Christians and that first Easter Sunday. And, so, if you feel called to deepen your prayer life...or finally really learn how to pray, I would like to invite you consider joining the PRAYER COURSE from Catholic Sprouts. The course is open for enrollment right now. In the course you learn Why we need to pray, How to pray, When to pray, and How to combat the struggles we all face with prayer. And not only this, but you will be part of a community of women also learning to deepen their prayer life. But, I will only be enrolling students this week (ending April 29th, 2019). At that point I will be closing the doors and starting the course. Think about it, pray about it, and for more details, head here:  When you join the Catholic Sprouts community, you not only will be part of a thriving community of over 11,000 Catholic Parents, but you also will get instant access to the Catholic Family Digital Resource Library.  Simply head here to sign up! Thanks for being here! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
April 14, 2019
Hey there! The Just One Small Thing Podcast is all new TWO WEEKS IN A ROW! I am so excited and hopeful that we can keep this up!  This week I am sharing 10 things that I've learned about prayer over the last two years. Many of the concepts are ones that I have touched on in previous podcasts, but they are all so important! Here is a quick rundown of the list: Family Prayer is not enough. I need to have private, personal time for prayer. Starting the morning with prayer, and reflection on scripture, is a game changer. The little thoughts I have to pray, is God knocking at the door--and I need to say YES to prayer when He knocks. Satan tries (very hard) to keep me from prayer by reminding me of all the "good" things I need to do instead of praying. A daily Rosary will change your life. It has changed mine! Prayer is so much simpler than I thought! God is right here, in the NOW! Phone use kills prayer (at least it does for me!) It is so powerful to connect prayer to scripture. (you can download your Lectio Divina bookmark right here: IT ALL COMES BACK TO PRAYER! #10 is the most important one on the list. As I reflect on the resources I can make for people, or what I can teach and challenge children to do through the Catholic Sprouts Podcast, I have realized that it ALL COMES BACK TO PRAYER! Our good deeds need to be done after, and in an attitude of, prayer. Our relationships need to be filled with prayer. Prayer is everything!!! For this reason, I am excited to announce that I have created a PRAYER COURSE FOR ADULTS. The course will teach you how to pray, and open up to you the wonders of prayer. I have been working on it for many months and I am excited to start enrolling students after Easter. To learn more about the course, make sure to sign up for my email list! They hear about things first (and usually get the best deals). SIGN UP HERE. When you join the Catholic Sprouts community, you not only will be part of a thriving community of over 11,000 Catholic Parents, but you also will get instant access to the Catholic Family Digital Resource Library.  Simply head here to sign up! Thanks for being here! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
April 7, 2019
Annndddd....the podcast is back! Thank you to all of you that have sent sweet little emails or left encouraging comments! The prompted me to get back on creating this podcast, and once I started recording I realized how much I had missed it!  So, I am very happy to announce that the Just One Small Thing Podcast is BACK!  The plan (God willing, of course) is to get back into weekly podcasts here. I will continue to produce daily content for the Catholic Sprout's Podcast as well. But, this podcast will be longer (20 to 30 minutes, unless I run out of things to say!!) and come out once a week, on Sunday evenings. I will get into real content next week.  This episode is a lot about what has been going on around here lately. Here is a little overview: We welcomed George Blaise to the family on February 13th. He is doing great, and I feel like a first time mom! Seriously! I don't remember anything from my other babies, and I (still) am not a natural mother. Love my babies, but still don't really know what I am doing!!! I have decided to stop (for now) creating videos for the Catholic Sprouts for Moms Youtube channel. It's just not something I can really swing during this season of life! You know, being showered and in a quiet house during DAYLIGHT. Yup, not happening! Finally, I laid out the hopes for this podcast.  Here they are: Create content that lets other Catholic Mothers that they are NOT ALONE, both in life and in their failures. I fail SO OFTEN! Supply listeners with gentle reminders. And I've realized the only real reminder that we need is to pray. So much more on this coming soon. And finally, I hope to bring listeners just a little bit of joy. I plan to have on some great guest as well, so when I run out of goodness, I will look to them! And that's it! Thanks for sticking around, and it feels so good to be back!! PS--if you would like access to the HUGE LIBRARY OF MATERIALS FOR CATHOLIC PARENTS, just head here:
December 19, 2018
I am big on looking back...and then looking forward at the end of the year. I know this is way over done right now, but I find it helpful since I usually am to "stuck in the moment" to really understand what I am experiencing when I experience it. So, today's episode is a little personal as I look at the ways I have changed and grown and struggled this past year.  I hope you find it helpful! With the help of a great book, Fire and Light by Fr. Jacques Philippe, I have been reflecting a lot on why this year of spiritual growth has been also so hard and even a little painful. I fell like this year, more than any other, I have been forced to confront some hard truths about myself. I know I have taken a few steps in my spiritual life, but I also feel like I have seen, more clearly then ever, just how long the spiritual path is, and how far I have to go.  I was finally able to make sense of all of this with Fr. Jacques Philippe's book. He wrote an incredible section on the need for spiritual poverty. I read directly from the book, and when I read that something clicked.  Yes, the closer you get to God the more you see your failing...and although I KNEW that, actually living it has been harder than I thought it would be!! I also have been reflecting on what exactly it means to be hopeful and why hope, rightly understood, is so tightly linked to humility.  Lived through lots of humility this year! Thanks for letting me share from the heart this week and I hope you are doing some similar self-searching! Links mentioned in this episode: Learn how to love your husband just a little bit better with this 7 day challenge for Catholic Wives Head over to Youtube and check out my new channel. And while there, don't for get to subscribe!! And, are you listening to the DAILY PODCAST FOR CATHOLIC KIDS? Over 3,000 families and classrooms tune into the daily 5 minute podcast. Join us!! Have a blessed final couple days of Advent! Nancy
December 5, 2018
Hey there friends! I am taking a break from all of the wonderful guests (I hope you loved hearing from them as much as I enjoyed talking with them!).  So, instead of having a guest, I am taking minute to share personally (yikes!). I am actually an introvert, and would rather talk about other people, but since it has been a year since we lost Max at 20 weeks.  That loss was a tremendously transformative event.  I talk about the amazing experience I had while loosing that baby in this episode: It has been a very full year since we lost Max. Life has kept moving forward, that is for sure! We suffered another miscarriage, and are now about 27 weeks along with another little boy.  I shared about that miscarriage in this podcast episode: Most profoundly, though, both my husband and I have really grown in a devotion to Mary. We aren't perfect, but we are at the point where if we slack in our devotion for even a day, we FEEL it. I really feel like we depend on her. I thank our little Max in heaven and St. Maximillian Kolbe for helping me embrace this devotion. If you have yet to listen into the Catholic Sprout's Podcast, I really encourage you to tune in! Find all of the listening options here: In the episode I also discuss a major shift that I plan to take in the coming year. I plan to focus more on Catholic Kids and Catholic Families, and will be producing more content under the banner of Catholic Sprouts.  Find all of the listening options here: My first major project is a new Youtube channel! Crazy, right?!?  The channel is called Catholic Sprouts for Moms. It is a channel for Catholic Parents, where I hope to help you raise saints, and answer questions we all have as Catholic Parents.  I would love to have you jump over to Youtube and watch the first couple videos. Head here: And finally, if you are still looking for Advent ideas, head here! I'm obsessed with Advent: Thank you for all of your love and support!! Your sister in the small things,  Nancy
November 21, 2018
Hey there! I am sure that you know about the amazing ministry, Blessed Is She. This beautiful ministry for Catholic Women has created so many incredible resources for Catholic Women--communities, daily reflections, liturgical studies, beautiful planners, and so much more. It feels like Blessed Is She has just always existed (what did we do before their daily emails?) but the truth is that this ministry is only 4 years old! That's right, just 4 years ago, Jenna Guizar, a busy Momma, decided that we Catholic Ladies needed a beautiful ministry, similar to the ones she had seen out in the Protestant world. She was right. Many women jumped in to help her, the team and the audience grew, and continues to grow to this day. For all of these reasons, I was excited to bring Jenna onto the podcast so we all could hear about the girl behind Blessed Is She. As Jenna shares in the podcast, Blessed Is She's goal is to help women grow in Christ-Centered friendships, and they have been an incredible force for building communities for catholic women...all over the world! Blessed Is She runs a number of thriving regional Facebook groups (you can find your group right here), and encourages local members of the community to host what they call Blessed Brunches, where Catholic women can meet in person and grow in real friendship. In the episode Jenna also shares about how Blessed Is She has transformed her own life. Just like me, Jenna was not perfect before she started this ministry, and is still working on that perfection ;). She felt led to start this ministry, so she just plunged right in! She refused to be limited by fear and instead she went ahead with this big idea and has been fed and transformed along with many of the members of the community she founded. If you are still looking for a beautiful Advent Devotional, I encourage you to check out BEARING LIGHTfrom Blessed Is She. It is an incredibly beautiful study for Catholic Women that focuses on the Magnificat. Also, Blessed Is She is up to something very exciting right now! Jenna and her team are currently in IRELAND hosting a Blessed Is She Wild retreat! Join me in prayer that the retreat is a success and they travel safely! Finally, as I mentioned in the podcast, if you are still looking for an Advent resource for your family, I encourage you to check out all of the ideas I have right here: I hope you are well--and if you are in the US, have a blessed Thanksgiving tomorrow! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
November 14, 2018
Hey friends! I just love sharing wonderful catholic ladies with you here on the Just One Small Thing Podcast, and I have another great one for you today! Sterling Jaquithis on today's podcast, and if you don't already know and love her, you will today! Sterling is passionate about helping Catholic Woman in a variety of ways. If you aren't already listening to her podcast, Coffee and Pearls, then you should start. It's great! Sterling also runs a THRIVING facebook group to help Catholic families embrace minimalism and leave chaos behind, she works closely with up-and-coming Catholic female business owners and she has a wonderful resource for all of us as we leave in to the holiday season. Because, while the holidays are a beautiful time, they can also be a very stressful time, and a hard time on our marriages. One of the most powerful things that Sterling said in our conversation, which I'm sure you feel is true, is that the devil loves American holidays. He loves how wrapped up in things we get--things that aren't God. He loves the materialism, the stress and the way our relationships can suffer. In the episode Sterling offers 2 simple strategies to live better during this coming holiday season: Have a Code Word Avoid the Pottery Barn Syndrome Sterling digs deeper into each of these concepts in her book, Be Merry and will be helping women prepare for the holidays with her Holiday Training Workshop, which will be held on November 15th, 16th and 17th. I really think that we ALL should consider signing up and attending this training. Wouldn't it be amazing to stay focused on GOD and FAMILY this holiday season, and actually enjoy it? To sign up, just head here: I hope you find a lot of value in this episode! As I mentioned in the episode, I also have some great resources for Advent and the coming year available right now! Check them out! Jesse Tree Advent Devotional for Catholic Families(it's kid-friendly!) Marian Themed Planner for Catholic Women(Dec '18-Dec '19) I hope you are well! You sister in the small things,
October 31, 2018
Hey friends! Welcome back to another episode of the Just One Small Thing Podcast. I hope you have been enjoying all of the wonderful ladies that I have had on lately. It has been so much chatting with them all and tapping into their unique wisdom! I have another great lady to share with you today, and I have a feeling that her message will be as challenging for some of you as it was for me! Mary Harrell from Domestic Apologistis here today to talk about...budgets. I know...ugh, budgeting. When Mary brought this up as the topic she would like to talk about I thought, well, okay, if you really want to. If you are like me, you get that budgeting is important, you do it a little bit, but would never deliberately go out of your way to learn more about it! Well, Mary challenged me on this point, and I bet she will challenge many of you as well. In the episode Mary shares how she met her husband (really good story) and how they ended up needing to seriously budget. Because of the circumstances he was able to convince her to take Financial Peace University and, according to Mary, what they learned in that course allowed them to not only buy the house they wanted, but have a better marriage and live better. It's really inspiring! In this episode we also talk about tithing, communication, the specifics of successful budgeting and lots of other great topics. Once you are done listening I encourage you to connect with Mary at her blog! Here are a few links mentioned in this episode: Financial Peace University: Saying Yes To Sacrifice Sex, Salaries and Salads, Just Do the Hard Work Can Catholic Schools Be Tuition Free? Also, as I mentioned at the end of the episode, my Marian Themed Liturgical Planner is on sale right now! I didn't order as many as last year (when I sold out) so if you want one, go get one! Check them out here: Marian Planner Liturgical Planner. Your sister in the small things, Nancy
October 24, 2018
Hey there! Well, today we are making Just One Small Thing Podcast history! My guest today, Laura Kelly Fanucci, is becoming the very first person to be on the podcast TWICE! Not sure if it's an honor or simply proof that she is a good friend and she allows me to twist her arm!  If you don't know Laura yet, she is incredible. She is a beautiful writer on the topics of parenting and our Catholic Faith. She has many published books and shares often over on her blog, Mothering Spirit. Laura is on the podcast to discuss the book she recently wrote with her husband, Franco, Grieving Together, a Couple's Guide to Miscarriage.  As you likely know, I have been through my fair-share of losses, and so has Laura, including the heartbreaking loss of her twin baby girls just a few years ago. The reason why this book is so important is because there really aren't many books out there to support COUPLES as they experience the loss of a baby. Sure, there are lots of books for women, but men are mostly overlooked. Both my husband and I are excited about the parts of the book that Laura's husband wrote, and I just know that this book will help so many couples actually understand what the other is going through. The book addresses not only babies lost to miscarriage, but also babies lost to still-brith, infant death and the heavy cross of infertility. Between the two of us, Laura and I have experienced all of these things.  I really enjoyed to talking to Laura--and don't worry! There are more laughs than tears in this conversation! We talked about how different people grieve, the common issues that people experience when they grieve as a couple, as well as some details on the Catholic Teaching on miscarriage. And trust me, the Church's teaching is beautiful! I had some very old wounds from my childhood healed in this conversation! Because miscarriage is SUCH a universal experience, I thought that this book would be so fruitful to discuss in a bookclub--and I would like to invite you to join us!  We will be discussing Grieving Together on November 12th at 8pm Central in a private facebook group (click here to join!). Whether you have a chance to read the whole book or not, please consider joining us! We all need healing in some way, or maybe we need to learn how to bring healing to someone that we love. Grieving Togetheris still in the production process, but as Laura said in the podcast, if you order now you should receive the book around November 1! If you are really hurting right now, however, Laura has generously worked out a way to get the book in your hands immediately. Simply purchase the book and then send your receipt to Our Sunday Visitor, and they will send you the eBook right away! For more details on how to do this, check out this post(the info is at the bottom). Prayers and hugs for all your mommas out there that have been through these experiences! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
October 17, 2018
Well hello there! I hope you are enjoying the Virtues of the Rosary series we have been doing around here, but since we finished up the Sorrowful Mysteries last week, we are going to take a little break before diving into the Glorious Mysteries. So, it is the perfect time to introduce you to a couple of wonderful ladies with truly beautiful missions. First up, today's episode features Brittney Pearson from Fit Mom Life to the Fullest. And Brittney has a message that is challenging for many of us (ME!). She challenges us to accept that fact that our heath and our holiness are linked. Brittney is a young mother herself so she knows that we can be fit, even during these baby years. She also really believes that busy moms can find time to be fit and healthy. It will take discipline (mortification--it's a virtue!), but it can be done.  The key, she says, is to clearly know your WHY when you are working out. Are you doing this just to be beautiful, or are you doing this to honor your husband and your family--and ultimately your God who created you. Brittney has taken fitness seriously for a long time. At one point, before marriage, she fell into an unhealthy fitness obsession, but she came out on the other side of that and now she can see more clearly the proper place for fitness in our lives. For many of us, we just need to hear the reminder that fitness deserves a place in our lives, especially after all of the bad habits we (I!) have acquired through years of pregnancy and breastfeeding. More than anything, Brittney reminds us that we need to not only be good stewards of our souls, but we also need to be good stewards of our bodies. Here are a few links mentioned in this episode: Brittney's website The Four Tendenciesby Gretchen Rubin Catholic Family Camp And that's it! I hope you are well, my friends and thank you for all of your support! Your sister in the small things,
October 10, 2018
Hey there! Welcome back to the Just One Small Thing Podcast. One of my good friends is joining us this week, the amazing Haley Stewart. Haley is a mom, wife, Catholic writer and podcaster. You likely know her from her blog, Carrots for Michaelmas or her podcast Fountains of Carrots.  Haley is a remarkable, engaging, faith-filled lady, and I know you are going to love this episode with her. Haley is joining us on the podcast to talk about her new book, The Grace of Enough: Pursuing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture. The Grace of Enough chronicles Haley and her family's decision to radically change their lives. Tired of the rat-race of typical urban life, Haley and her family decided to sell their house, quit their jobs and move their family half way across the country for a year of simple living on a farm. Based on this experience and their Catholic Faith, after leaving the farm, the Stewarts created a new life for themselves that focuses on what is simple and true and beautiful. Reading this book will offer an important and powerful challenge for all families wondering if "this is it?". Because I just can't help myself, Haley and I talk about just one important point she make in this book (there are many!). We discuss why it is so important that we and our children experience farm life and animals. The Grace of Enough hits on MANY topics important to the life of a catholic parent. Here are just a few of them: The Freedom of Having Less Love of the Land True Beauty Creating a School of Love in our Homes Hospitality Creating Community The Generous Love of NFP Teaching Our Children to Love Generously Finding Hope in a Dark Work Because this book covers so many great topics, I thought this book would be really fun to discuss in a bookclub--and YOU'RE INVITED to join this bookclub! It will be a live bookclub hosted in a private facebook group (if you are a Catholic Lady, click here to be added). The Bookclub will be held on Oct 25th at 8pm Central. And Haley will be there! So, get the book (right here), read as much as you can, and join us for a fun and important conversation! See you there! Thank you for all of your love and support! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
October 3, 2018
Hey there friends! Well, we've made it. Today I am sharing with you the final installment in the virtues of the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. Today I'm talking about the 5th sorrowful mystery, the Crucifixion, and how the virtue assigned to this mystery is Love. I have to be honest, I felt totally intimated recording this episode. It just felt crazy that I, little old Nancy, was going to speak about the meaning of the crucifixion and attempt to put it into human terms that we can imitated. If you listen in you will hear this nervousness, and please, if you have something to add to what I share here, send it to me! There are so many wise women in this community! As just a quick reminder, I did not dream up the idea of assigning a virtue to each mystery of the rosary--I'm just promoting something taught by many great saints included St. Padre Pio, St. John Paul II and St. Mother Teresa.  It my hope that this series gives you lots to think about as you pray your daily rosary. I love mediating on the virtues as I pray--and if you would like a tool to help you reflect a bit more, I encourage you to download and use a set of FREE coloring pages, one for each mystery of the rosary. They are full of powerful quotes from the saints on each of the virtues. Find them here: In this episode I talk about the following points: Real love requires completely abandoning ourselves. JPII called this sort of love "gift of self in love". This is the type of love that marriage demands. We can only love ourselves without become selfish and love our neighbor without loosing ourselves when we love with the Love of God. I mentioned a few links in this episode, and here they are: All of these virtues, along with beautiful paintings, reflections and prayers can be found in my Rosary Book. If you are looking for a beautiful academic planner, check out my Marian Themed Planner. It is on sale now. Make sure to download the free coloring pagesthat will help you remember and engage with the virtues of the Rosary. Thanks, as always, for being here! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
September 26, 2018
Hey friends! Welcome back to the Just One Small Thing Podcast and our series on the virtues of the rosary. I hope you have been enjoying this series and that it has given you plenty to think about and contemplate as you pray your daily rosary. Today we are moving onto the 4th Sorrowful Mystery, Jesus Carries His Cross. The virtue assigned to this mystery is perseverance. As just a quick reminder, I did not dream up the idea of assigning a virtue to each mystery of the rosary--I'm just promoting something taught by many great saints included St. Padre Pio, St. John Paul II and St. Mother Teresa.  It my hope that this series gives you lots to think about as you pray your daily rosary. I love mediating on the virtues as I pray--and if you would like a tool to help you reflect a bit more, I encourage you to download and use a set of FREE coloring pages, one for each mystery of the rosary. They are full of powerful quotes from the saints on each of the virtues. Find them here: Perseverance is an interesting virtue to talk about because instead of an "end result virtue" it is more of a virtue that allows us to pursue all of the other virtues. In fact, there isn't a lot of literature about the virtue of perseverance out there. Instead I found it most helpful to turn to the letters of St. Paul. This verse from Romans was very helpful in the study of perseverance: "Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." 12:12. This verse gives us three main points to discuss perseverance. We need to rejoice in hope, even when it feels like we are walking in the dark and our hope is foolishness. We need to endure affliction like St. Bernadette did in Lourdes and Lucia did in Fatima. And, we need to be dedicated to prayer, even when it feels fruitless and hard. I mentioned a few links in this episode, and here they are: All of these virtues, along with beautiful paintings, reflections and prayers can be found in my Rosary Book. If you are looking for a beautiful academic planner, check out my Marian Themed Planner. It is on sale now. Make sure to download the free coloring pagesthat will help you remember and engage with the virtues of the Rosary. Thanks, as always, for being here! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
September 19, 2018
Today we are continuing on with the Virtues of the Rosary series on the Just One Small Thing Podcast. Today I am tackling the virtue of Humility which is assigned to the 3rd Sorrowful Mystery, the Crowing of Thorns. As just a quick reminder, I did not dream up the idea of assigning a virtue to each mystery of the rosary–I’m just promoting something taught by many great saints included St. Padre Pio, St. John Paul II and St. Mother Teresa.  It my hope that this series gives you lots to think about as you pray your daily rosary. I love mediating on the virtues as I pray–and if you would like a tool to help you reflect a bit more, I encourage you to download and use a set of FREE coloring pages, one for each mystery of the rosary. They are full of powerful quotes from the saints on each of the virtues. Find them here: Humility is the virtue that St. Mother Teresa called the most important virtue and this is because it makes all of the other virtues possible. Ture humility is simply knowing how God is and who you are. In the episode I spent a lot of time talking about witnessing my sister take her final vows a month ago, so if you are curious about that, make sure to listen in. I also shared 15 rules Mother Teresa laid out for pursuing humility. Here they are: Speak as little about yourself as possible. Keep your nose out of there people's affairs. Avoid curiosity about things that don't concern you. Dont interfere in the affairs of others. Accept small irritations with a good humor. Do not dwell on the faults of others. Accept censures, even if unmerited. Give into the will of others. Accept insults and injuries. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregard. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked. Do not seek to be loved and admired. Do not protect yourself beyond your own dignity. Give in in discussions, even when you are right. Always choose the more difficult task. Wow--I have a LOT to work on, do you? Thank you for being here and listening in. Here are a few links mentioned in the episode: All of these virtues, along with beautiful paintings, reflections and prayers can be found in my Rosary Book. If you are looking for a beautiful academic planner, check out my Marian Themed Planner. It is on sale now. Make sure to download the free coloring pagesthat will help you remember and engage with the virtues of the Rosary. Your sister in the small things, Nancy
September 12, 2018
Welcome back! We are continuing on with our series on the virtues of the rosary today. If you scroll back through previous episodes, you will see that I have already talked about the virtues for the Joyful and Luminous mysteries, so today we are moving onto the second sorrowful mystery, The Scourging at the Pillar. The virtue assigned to this mystery is Mortification. Gulp, I know! As just a quick reminder, I did not dream up the idea of assigning a virtue to each mystery of the rosary--I'm just promoting something taught by many great saints included St. Padre Pio, St. John Paul II and St. Mother Teresa.  It my hope that this series gives you lots to think about as you pray your daily rosary. I love mediating on the virtues as I pray--and if you would like a tool to help you reflect a bit more, I encourage you to download and use a set of FREE coloring pages, one for each mystery of the rosary. They are full of powerful quotes from the saints on each of the virtues. Find them here: Here are a few key points from this episode: Mortification is the work of "putting to death" our vices, our sinful habits and the selfish desires that lie beneath it all. Christ showed us at the scourging that we are not made for this world, that we should not allow the desires of our flesh to rule us. I also talked about ways that we might work to purify our church, especially now as we deal with yet another sex scandal. I encouraged you all to pray very hard, and in a dedicated way, for the priests that serve you. I also encouraged you to teach your children the virtue of mortification so that they might be able to say no to their flesh in the future, when they are the leaders of the future Church. Mortification might seem like a dated idea, but it is still something we need to strive for! I mentioned a few links in this episode, and here they are: All of these virtues, along with beautiful paintings, reflections and prayers can be found in my Rosary Book. If you are looking for a beautiful academic planner, check out my Marian Themed Planner. It is on sale now. Make sure to download the free coloring pagesthat will help you remember and engage with the virtues of the Rosary. Thanks, as always, for being here! Your sister in the small things. Nancy 
September 5, 2018
Hey friends! I'm excited to jump back into the series on the virtues of the Rosary today. If you scroll back through previous episodes, you will see that I have already talked about the virtues for the Joyful and Luminous mysteries, so today we are moving onto the first sorrowful mystery, The Agony in the Garden. The virtue assigned to this mystery is Obedience. As just a quick reminder, I did not dream up the idea of assigning a virtue to each mystery of the rosary--I'm just promoting something taught by many great saints included St. Padre Pio, St. John Paul II and St. Mother Teresa.  It my hope that this series gives you lots to think about as you pray your daily rosary. I love mediating on the virtues as I pray--and if you would like a tool to help you reflect a bit more, I encourage you to download and use a set of FREE coloring pages, one for each mystery of the rosary. They are full of powerful quotes from the saints on each of the virtues. Find them here: Here are some of the key points covered in this episode on Obedience: God does not invite us to obedience, He commands it. Obedience should always be rooted in love and prudence. Real obedience is the only path to real freedom. I also spent some time discussing what the story of The Agony in the Garden reveals to us about the real nature of obedience. In this story we see that although we are commanded to obey, we are also allowed to be human. Christ asks questions, and even begs for a way out. He really was human! God hears him and sends an angel to comfort him, but in the end Jesus obeys and trusts that God, who has created everything, knew what was best. Prayers for you, sisters, on your own path to obedience (and please pray for me too!) I mentioned a few links in this episode, and here they are: All of these virtues, along with beautiful paintings, reflections and prayers can be found in my Rosary Book. If you are looking for a beautiful academic planner, check out my Marian Themed Planner. It is on sale now. Make sure to download the free coloring pagesthat will help you remember and engage with the virtues of the Rosary. Thanks, as always, for being here! Your sister in the small things.  Nancy
August 29, 2018
Hey friends! I have a wonderful guest on the podcast today. Jennifer Sharpe, a recent convert and author of a few wonderful Catholic resource on the mass for children is here to day. Now, I know that for many of you (myself included), although you are dedicated to bringing your children to mass each week, it is HARD to manage them while at mass...and sometimes even harder to teaching them about what is happening at mass. Jennifer offers some beautiful help by reminding us that all of mass (and our faith) can be boiled down to one point: Jesus loves you, and He wants your love in return. Jennifer said we should take each little piece of the mass (from blessing ourselves with holy water to the closing hymn) and break down how that little part of the mass demonstrates Jesus' love for us, and gives us an opportunity to show our love for him in return. What a beautiful concept, right? Jennifer also shares that the love of and for Jesus should sit at the absolute center of our lives and our homes. Having perfectly behaved children at mass is not as important as what is happening INSIDE of those children. It is much more important that they understand Jesus' love for them than that they sit perfectly still.  Powerful words to live by! I really encourage you to check out Jennifer's resources on the mass for Catholic Children. She has 2 books. The first is for children ages 7-13 and is called The Mass Book for Catholic Children. The other is for younger children and is called My First Interactive Mass Book for Catholic Kids. You can find both of these thoughtful and adorable books on Amazon. Also. although it requires a bit more crafting, I use this FELT MASS QUIET BOOKwith my children. And finally, hang in there mommas! It is good to be there with ALL of the kids dealing with ALL the behaviors. There is literally nothing more important we can do for our kids.  I know the struggle--I experience it every week, but I also know how important this is. Your sister in the small things,  Nancy
August 22, 2018
Ready for a beautiful, meaningful episode? Well, Lizzy Grayson, a mom of little ones, practitioner of NFP and fellow podcast listener delivers a beautiful, little episode for you today! A few weeks back Lizzy emailed me asking if I would consider doing an episode on Humanae Vitae. Sure, I said, if you come on as a guest and share about it! You see, I read Humanae Vitaein college...a million years ago, and Lizzy said something so interesting--she said that this Papal Document had profoundly impacted her and her husband. This surprised me because I have heard LOTS of couples talk about how Theology of the Bodyimpacted their relationship, but Humanae Vitae? Well, after listening to Lizzy I bet you will feel the beauty of the document as well. Humanae Vitaecame out in 1968 and was written by Pope Paul the 6th as a response to the widespread use of contraception. Many Catholics argued that the pill should be okay for Catholics to use, but the Pope clearly stated that since contraception make the marital act no longer unitive and procreative, thus changing this sacramental act, it went against church teaching. We can see now just how prophetic Humanae Vitaehas been. In this short encyclical Pope Paul 6th predicts that widespread use of the pill will lead to increased infidelity, it will be forced on women and women will be respected less. The church, however, remains compassionate for Catholic couples. It acknowledges that not being able to use contraception is a cross to bare. It also encourages us to grow in temperance and charity, which we have a greater opportunity to do when we don't use contraception. It really was a wonderful and powerful conversation with Lizzy. If you are listening to this and upset by anything we said, please feel free to reach out to me via email. I would be happy to chat with you about it. Also, please don't feel condemned by anything we said here. We are all sinners and if you have failed to live out fully the church's teaching on contraception, please, do not despair! Thankfully, there is forgiveness for all of us, for whatever we might have done! Believe in that and bring these things to the Lord! Here are a few helpful links: You can read Humane Vitaeonline for free, right HERE. You can also read all of Casti Connubii, an encyclical written by Pope Pius the XI and mentioned by Lizzy in the podcast, online for free. Find it HERE. Your sister in the small things,  Nancy
August 15, 2018
Today on the Just One Small Thing Podcast, I am talking with Diana from Luck of the Irish Mom, and we are digging into the issue of discipline. Diana is a runner and ran her first marathon shortly before meeting her husband. She shares with us how all of the skills of discipline she learned while training for and running a marathon transferred to the discipline required in waiting for a good Catholic husband, living out a holy Catholic marriage, maintaining a prayer life, and surviving all the twists and turns of motherhood. As you might have guessed from the title of her blog, Diana is not only a marathon runner. She is also the mother of a 2 year old and 1 year old. In fact, her second child was born a week before her first child turned one year old. So, she officially has Irish twins and she share a lot of her adventures with these two little ones on her blog. If you would like to read more of Diana's story of meeting her husband as well as other Catholic love stories, I encourage you to check out Smitten, A Story of Catholic Love Stories. Sterling Jaquith, one of my favorite Catholic bloggers and podcasters put this collection of stories together to really inspire us to fight for beautiful, holy marriages.  It is a great read for those waiting to find their spouse, as well as those already married. I highly recommend it. And, like I said in the podcast, I really believe that one of the most important ways that we can be disciplined in our faith is to get out of bed each morning and get our prayer time in. It is a big struggle for me too, but we need to do this!  We create habits and build discipline one day at a time, so let's start today! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
August 8, 2018
Hey there friends- Before I dive in to the topic of today's podcast I want you to think back to when you were preparing for First Communion. Remember how we all learned that Eucharist comes for the Greek word meaning Thanksgiving? I distinctly remember learning that and, in that moment, thinking, "Well, that's sort of strange."But then I quickly dismissed the strangeness telling myself only that Eucharist must be Thanksgiving simply because we are SO thankful that God is truly present in the Eucharist. And so I moved on and didn't really think about this connection until, well, yesterday when I sat down to research this podcast. You see, today we are continuing on with our series on the virtues of the rosary. We are wrapping up the Luminous Mysteries by discussing Thankfulness as the virtue to meditate on while praying the 5th Luminous Mystery, the Institution of the Eucharist. Turns out that there are some beautiful and deep theological reasons for naming Christ's true presence in the Mass the 'Eucharist,' or thanksgiving. The first thing to note is that in scripture Christ thanks God for allowing him to sacrifice himself--he thanks him! Therefore he sets as an example that when we acknowledge where we came from, who created us, the only way we can respond is with thanksgiving, and, as Christ demonstrated, thanksgiving demands a giving of self. The mass is the highest form of thanksgiving that we can offer God--and in the mass we hear the words of Jesus from the last supper, words that remind us that he THANKED God for the opportunity to sacrifice himself for us. Therefore, when we attend Holy Mass we are called to join in this thanksgiving AND this sacrifice, because the two are connected. Powerful stuff. I mentioned a few links in this episode, and here they are: All of these virtues, along with beautiful paintings, reflections and prayers can be found in my Rosary Book. If you are looking for a beautiful academic planner, check out my Marian Themed Planner. It is on sale now. Make sure to download the free coloring pagesthat will help you remember and engage with the virtues of the Rosary. Thanks, as always, for being here! Your sister in the small things. Nancy
August 1, 2018
Hey there! Before I jump into it, today's podcast is sponsored by an INCREDIBLE Catholic Company: TINY SAINTS! Tiny Saints offers the most incredibly cute and meaningful images of the saints imaginable. Seriously, head to their website and check it out. They offer these saints as charms, rosaries and board books AND they are offering all Just One Small Thing Podcast Listeners 20% off their purchase with the code ONESMALLTHING.  The code is good now through 8-8-18. The reason I decided to work with this company is because when I shared this picture of my planner and a Tiny Saints Rosary, many of you guys went totally nuts! And I get it. Tiny Saints are adorable--and so amazing in the way they depict the saints! So, please, consider supporting this great Catholic Company. And, make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagrambecause, rumor has it, they will be releasing some exciting new products soon. I'm excited to share with you another reflection on the virtues of the rosary. Today we are discussing Wonder and Awe as the virtue for the 4th Luminous Mystery, the Transfiguration. I have always loved pondering the Transfiguration. I love the idea that what we see is not all there is to see. I also love to put myself in the shoes of those disciples there on Mt. Tabor that day. They must have been AMAZED! Sure, they really liked Jesus and were willing to follow him...but to see him transfigured and talking to the superstars from the Jewish faith...well that's something else entirely. What I loved, however, as I researched this virtue, is that wonder and awe is something we also need to strive for in our faith. Sure, the disciples probably experienced a surge of emotion when they saw Jesus transfigured, but by-and-large, wonder and awe are not emotions. Nope, living a life with wonder and awe is a conscious choice--and one we need to make every day. The two great enemies of wonder and awe that we do battle with each and every day are commonality and distraction. We have the habit of thinking that something that is common--something that we see often--is therefore unremarkable. This applies most clearly to the Eucharist. It can be hard to REALLY have the correct amount of wonder and awe each and every time we attend Mass, but really, is seeing the host raised up in the priest's hands all that different from what the disciples witnessed on the mountain? Distraction also robs us of wonder and awe. When we spend so much time entertaining and distracting ourselves, we lose time to really sit and ponder and marvel at the Lord--which is something our relationship with Him demands. Again, I hope that what I share here is helpful as you pray your way through the Luminous Mysteries. Here are a few of the links mentioned in this episode If you have yet to, take a minute to check my new Marian Themed Academic Planner. It is on sale right now. You can find all of these virtues along with beautiful art, verses and reflections in my Rosary Book. Download, print and color Virtues of the Rosary Coloring Pages. They are completely free. Once again, please consider supporting the amazing sponsor for this episode, Tiny Saints, by visiting their website and using the code ONESMALLTHING to receive 20% off of your purchase. Your sister in the small things, Nancy
July 25, 2018
Welcome back, friends!  And, before I even get into things I just want you to know that today's episode is so good. SO GOOD! I was shocked because today's topic is Repentance. It is the virtue assigned to the 3rd Luminous Mystery, the Preaching of the Kingdom. At first glance it doesn't seem like there would be much to say about repentance, right? I mean, feel sorry for what you did, and accept forgiveness. But here is the thing. As people that have been lucky enough to grow up with the idea of repentance and forgiveness we have lost sight of just how amazing this whole things is--how it turns everything the world teaches us on its head and how we as Christians have such a crazy, incredible opportunity to START AGAIN. You see, here's the thing. Each day we make a million choices, and those choices result in actions. Words we say, or don't say. Things we do or don't do. And the actions we do have a ripple effect out into the world. Our actions can be good and life-giving, or the opposite. And after we make a choice and the resulting action, we can never undo that. It's just out there. At least, that is without the grace of God. I love the story of St. Faustina. When she asked Christ what her last sin was he responded, "I don't remember." With Jesus we have the GIFT of starting again and again with a clean slate. What a gift! All the we have to do to receive this gift is to approach God with repentance.  Repentance requires 2 things: looking back on our sins with regret and detest. And looking forward, to our future, with the determination to stop sinning. And then, of course, we must be open to receiving the gift of grace that God generously pours out on us. Incredible, right? Before I go, here are a few helpful links: If you have yet to check out my Marian-Themed Academic Planner, make sure to do so before supplies run out. You can also grab a Rosary Bookletwith all of the virtue as well as a reflection, verses and prayers for each mystery. And finally, have you downloaded your FREE Rosary Virtue Coloring Sheets yet?  If not, grab them HERE. Such a joy to be here with you today! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
July 18, 2018
Hey there friends! Today's podcast episode looks at Respect as the virtue associated with the fourth Luminous Mystery, the Wedding at Cana. Now, as I mentioned last week, I had to think up and assign many of the virtues I'm using for the Luminous mysteries, mostly because Padre Pio, whom I am taking most of the virtues, never prayed the Luminous Mysteries! And in a way it still feels like these mysteries are very new--but what a joy to have them! In the past I have spoke a lot about what a key role Respect plays in a marriage. In my free 7 Day to Love Your Husband ChallengeI spend an entire day talking about how men need respect--sometimes even more than love--and how women so very often fail to give them that respect. In today episode, however, I talk about Respect in the parent/child relationship, the relationship that we see in the story of the wedding at Cana.  In fact, much of this episode looks at the details of the 4th Commandment.  Here is a quick overview of what we discuss in this episode: First we discuss how the Family is a gift from God. Just as Jesus taught us to address God as "Our Father", so all of the roles in the family teach us about the very nature of God. Jesus shows us what it means to respect our parents. Even though He was God, He entrusted Himself in his parents for over 30 years of His life. He also performs His first miracle out of obedience to his mother. So much depends on the parent-child relationship, as demonstrated through countless stories in our Salvation History. But, if we fail as parents, or if our parents have failed us, it is not all up to us. We are also invited to be part of God's family--and our first vocation is to follow god. I hope that this discussion gives you some things to reflect on as you pray the Luminous Mysteries. One final thing. If you have yet to check out the Marian-Themed Academic Planner that I am offering, I encourage you to do so. It is beautiful and will truly help you get to know and love Mary this year. Find out more about the planner here: Your sister in the small things, Nancy
July 11, 2018
Hey there! Today we are jumping back into the Virtues of the Rosary series! We already walked through all of the virtues associated with the Joyful Mysteries, so this episode talks about the first Luminous Mystery: The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan.  It was, admitted, a little bit more difficult to assign virtues to the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. As I have already shared, I have taken most of the virtues I share with you from the writings of St. Padre Pio. However, since the Luminous Mysteries came after the time of Padre Pio, he didn't have a chance to assign a virtue to them!  Regardless, I did find several good resources, and I consulted with my Grandpa! The virtue of Being Beloved, which I assigned to the first Luminous Mystery, offers a lot of powerful things to reflect on, especially in this day and age when we are bombarded by so many false ideas of what love is.  In this episode I largely discuss all of the ways that we attempt to chase down counterfeit loves. We resist being God's Beloved, or giving ourselves fully to another, our spouse, in authentic, self-emptying love, and instead chase down shadows or reflections of love in things like pornography, compulsive shopping or seeking the praise of other. I reference several things in this episode. Here is a quick list of the links discussed: Check out my new Marian-Themed planner, which goes on sale today, right here: Discover new ways to love and respect your husband with a 7 day challenge. Totally free. Sign up here: Download your FREE coloring pages for the Virtues of the Rosary: Grab a copy of the Rosary Booklet: I also reference a great Catholic Speaker, Matt Fradd. He has many great videos on youtube and several powerful books on the topic of pornography. I mentioned this bookthat we are reading this month in the Small Things Community.  I hope that just maybe something I said here is helpful and prompts you to explore your own acceptance of being God's Beloved.  I would also love it if you considered sharing this episode with another Catholic woman that you think might benefit from it. Your sister in the small things, Nancy
July 4, 2018
Ready to learn more about you (and your kids and husband?). Well, you are in luck! I have a wonderful, fun (sanguine) woman on the podcast to introduce you to and get you excited about the four Temperaments.  If you have yet to look into the four temperaments, I encourage you to listen in. Chances you are you won't be a "pure" temperament. More likely you will have two strong temperaments, but looking into this help you understand your own strengths and temptations. Because remember, any pure quest to know ourselves better will bring us closer to God. First off, here is a very basic run-down for the 4 Temperaments. Sanguine: Optimistic, enthusiastic, active and social. Loves to take risks and has strong, short-lived reactions to things. They are most tempted by sins of vanity, lust and gluttony. Choleric: Independent, decisive, and goal-oriented. They are social leaders, logical and ambitious. They are most tempted my sins of pride. Melancholic: Analytical, deep-thinking and deep-feeling. They are often introverted and can have a deep interior life. Can be perfectionist with high ideals and plagued with anxiety. The are tempted by the sin of despair.  Phlegmatic: Relaxed, peaceful and quiet. They are sympathetic and care deeply about others and relationships. The often hide their own emotions. They are good at compromises and accept others easily. They are most tempted by the sin of sloth. We referenced lots of great materials while chatting! Here are some links to check out: Alex wrote a great piece about knowing yourself. Check it out HERE.  She has tons of great links to Temperament materials. We talked about this simple graphicas a quick way to understand the temperaments.  If you would like to look into your Myer Briggs personality, you can head HERE. Alex and I both recommend The Temperament God Gave You, if you are thinking about digging into this topic. Your sister in the small things, Nancy
June 27, 2018
  Hey there my friends! Welcome back to our series on the virtues of the Rosary. Today we are wrapping up our walk through the virtues of the Joyful Mysteries. We have already talked about the Annunciation (joy), the Visitation (service), the Nativity (detachment from the world) and the Presentation (consecration). So, that leaves only the 5th Joyful Mystery, Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple. The virtue for this mystery is Doing God's Work. This episode turned out sort of interesting. In many ways it is simply an explanation of the Catholic Church's teaching on justification, or salvation. As you might now, Protestants state that we are saved by "faith alone," while the Catholic Church teaches that we are saved by "faith and works". This can be misleading mostly because Catholics and Protestants have different definitions or understandings of Justification. While Protestants believe that justification or salvation is a singular EVENT (they might often ask each other, "Have you been saved?"), Catholics believe that salvation is a process or a journey, one we will likely still be working on in purgatory (When asked if we have been saved we should respond, "Yes! I was saved when Christ died for me, I am saved now as I pursue holiness and ask for forgiveness and I will be saved in the end!") We agree that we are saved through Jesus Christ and that we could never do anything to "earn" God's love and mercy. Catholics simply point out that in order for faith to be REAL it must be alive and "work in love", as St. Paul writes. And, as our faith deepens we will work more and more in love! Much of this debate is semantics, but I hope that this discussion is helpful if you have Protestants in your life that you would like to share the truth of the church with. The truth is that most  Catholics, I think, are confused, or at least confusing, on this point. We need to know our faith and be able to talk about it clearly if we are ever going to share it!   I really hope that this allows you to deepen your contemplation of the 4th Joyful Mystery of the Rosary! Links mentioned in this episode: You can find all of these virtues as well as scripture, reflections and mediations in my little Rosary Book. Download and print these 20 FREE coloring pagesdepicting and helping you reflect on the virtues of the Rosary. Thank you, as always, for being here! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
June 20, 2018
  Hey there my friends! Welcome back to our series on the virtues of the Rosary. This week we are discussing the 4th Joyful Mystery, the Presentation.  The virtue for this mystery is Consecration. I really enjoyed researching and recording this episode because of all the connections I found with sacraments. The connection between the Presentation and Baptism is clear, but there is always a really cool link to marriage and Holy Orders as well. As those Baptized we are called to renew our baptismal promises and strive to keep our souls as clean as they were on the day of our baptism. This should also be our unceasing prayer for our children that we have had baptized.  In marriage we are consecrated to each other and always, in a real way, experience a true "in-dwelling" that is a sign to the world of the way God loves us. In this episode we first discuss Why We Need to be Consecrated.  Simply, consecration is opening ourselves us to becoming a place of dwelling for our Lord. We invited Him to dwell in us, and as a result we are able to dwell in Him.  Full consecration requires prayer, worship, fasting, unity, reconciliation, repentance, forgiveness, and healing from our past wounds.  God alone can do these things, but we need to draw near to Him to experience them. Consecration is also a call to set ourselves apart for God, or for our spouse in marriage. We choose to be detached from this world and instead live only for God.   I really hope that this allows you to deepen your contemplation of the 4th Joyful Mystery of the Rosary! Links mentioned in this episode: You can find all of these virtues as well as scripture, reflections and mediations in my little Rosary Book. Download and print these 20 FREE coloring pagesdepicting and helping you reflect on the virtues of the Rosary. Thank you, as always, for being here! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
June 13, 2018
  Hey there my friends! Today we are continuing on with our little Virtues of the Rosaryseries on the Just One Small Thing Podcast. I love doing series, especially powerful series like this one that not only digs deep into the virtuous life we are all called to, but also offers real material for us all as we pray the Rosary--or at least that is my hope! Today we are tackling the 3rd Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, The Nativity. The virtue for this mystery is DETACHMENT FROM THE WORLD. Gulp, I know. The basic idea behind this virtue is that we need to WORK to remain detached from what this world tells us is important (namely, honor, wealth, comfort, praise and vain pleasures). Instead we need to connect ourselves with the NEXT world. We need to grow in relationship with Christ and His mother and make sure that our heart is there, not here. We are called to remain detached from this world because that is exactly how Christ lived--shown most powerfully through His humble birth in a cave surrounded by animals. His birth was neither comfortable nor honorable, and He died in a shameful, friendless way. According to this world he was a failure. While, as we know, in reality He is the Lord of the Universe.  And we are called to follow His holy example. Motherhood always plays a big part in the discussion of this virtue. It is the virtue linked to the moment of Christ's birth, afterall. In this episode I discuss what can often happen to women when they turn their back on the call to Motherhood--whether that be actual physical motherhood or spiritual motherhood, and how motherhood is one of the most powerful ways to experience that we were not created for this world, but for the next. Finally, I offer two simple ideas for working to live out the virtue of detachment from the world every day: Frequently evaluate your motivations. Are you pursuing the right things? Do you friendships grow out of love? Is your career more than a quest for prestige? Beg God, EVERYDAY, to free you from the bonds of this world. Pray that you might be free from the desires of the flesh and the manic quest for things and honor of this world. Links mentioned in this episode: You can find all of these virtues as well as scripture, reflections and mediations in my little Rosary Book.  Download and print these 20 FREE coloring pagesdepicting and helping you reflect on the virtues of the Rosary. Thank you, as always, for being here! Your sister in the small things, Nancy
June 6, 2018
Welcome back to the Just One Small Thing Podcast, my friends! Today we are going to continue to dig into the virtues assigned to each decade of the Rosary. Last week we talked about Joy for the first Joyful mystery. Today we are going to talk about SERVICE for the second joyful mystery, the Visitation. Once again, you can find all of these virtues as well as scripture, reflections and prayers in my Rosary Booklet, if you would like! I also created a FREE set of 20 coloring pages to help you reflect on the Virtues of the Rosary which you can find right here: On the topic of Service, most of what I talk about in this episode come from 2 great books for Catholic Women. The first is A Mother's Rule of Life. This Catholic Classic is working to change my life right now. I finally forced myself to read it after it gathered dust on my shelf for two years--and I am so glad I did! The basic idea behind A Mother's Rule of Life is that just as those in Religious Communities have a "rule of life", or a mission-based daily schedule to help them live our their vocation, so should mothers. And that having a rule of life is the only way to actually "fit everything in" and do everything well. With a rule of life Prayer is placed in the schedule first, and all other things fall in place around prayer. This way I am no longer trying to cram in a little prayer. It is the hinge on which all other thins swing. With the help of this book I have finally found a way to pray (without stressing about praying) and therefore I am able to serve my children and my family better. The other book that plays a big roll in today's discussion is One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler. This is a brand new book and perfect reading for any mother feeling restless at home. Jennifer reminds us that we are called to a LIFE of service, not just a season. Therefore we simply CAN NOT ignore ourselves (our dreams and our health) so that we can serve our family, because we will always be serving. And, in order to serve them well we NEED to be healthy and happy! Therefore we need to find a way to fulfill our passions and dreams while serving, because we really can do both! She offers so much more in her book, and it is a delightful read and calls for some serious reflection. Finally, this episode discusses our call to be BOTH Mary and Martha--both sitting at the feet of Jesus in adoration AND fulfilling the duties we are called to do. We do this by making sure our spirit is fed first, and then heading out into the world and serving Christ as we find Him in other people. Finally, here is a coloring pageI created a while ago based on the Gospel passage where Jesus heals Simon Peter's Mother-in-law. It is a wonderful reminder of what we are called to do once Christ has poured His grace out upon us. Our Lady of the Rosary, PRAY FOR US! Your sister in Christ, Nancy
May 30, 2018
Hey friends! Today I'm excited to kick off another series on the podcast. I has so much fun (and got such a good response) doing the Lenten Series that I've decided to spend the next several weeks looking at virtues. I debated for a while where to get these virtues from. I ultimately decided to reflect on the virtues commonly assigned to the mysteries of the Rosary.  Now, there is no "official" set of virtues for the decades of the Rosary. Some incredible saints, including St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Pope St. John Paul II, and St. Padre Pio, have written Rosary devotions that assigned a virtue to each decade.  While creating my ROSARY BOOKLET I refer to all of these devotionals. I have found it to be VERY powerful to reflect on a virtue while praying each decade of the Rosary. Reflecting on that virtue has helped me understand Mary and Jesus better. Reflecting on the virtue has also helped me apply this mystery to my own life in real and powerful ways. Today's episode starts with the First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation. The virtue for this mystery is JOY. Major topics discussed in this episode include the difference between Joy and Happiness, the complex joy of Mary at the annunciation and why joy, and not happiness, can still be present during times of great pain and loss. Here are a few links: FREE set of 20 coloring pages to help you reflect on the Virtues of the Rosary: Find my ROSARY BOOKLET Here. Here is a reflection I wrote on Choosing Joy as Mothers. One of the most beautiful pronouncements of joy is found in the Magnificat. Here is a free coloring page for adults with the words of the Magnificat.  Thank you for being here! And please, be joyful! We are made for heaven and redeemed by the blood of our Savior! Your sister in the small things,
May 23, 2018
Hey friends! Today's podcast is a little different, and perhaps a little more personal that usual. We recently went through another miscarriage and are dealing with that. This loss is particularly hard because we are still grieving the loss of a baby at 20 weeks, who died on Thanksgiving of last year.  I thought about not mentioning this recent loss at all on the podcast, but you all have so generously shared with me and I know that healing can only take place when we open up and share what has happened to us. This episode will walk you through this entire experience of loss. If you too are suffering through a loss right now, I hope that my story brings you comfort. We can't see God' whole plan, and if you are feeling frustrated with God right now, I get it. I feel the same way. It is hard for me not to get hung up on what is fair.  And yet, we are called to trust, even though trusting (and hoping) feels like the stupidest thing we could possibly do.  For the past couple months I have been on a quest to build trust in my relationship with God. I have felt this pull most profoundly through the life and experiences of St. Fautina of Poland and the Divine Mercy which was revealed to her. I have found comfort and challenge during this time in both the image of the Divine Mercy and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  I'm not sure how much "everyday wisdom" you will find in this episode. Instead I hoped to share the truth of the struggle to trust, especially after pain and loss. Here are few links that might be helpful. In Episode 22 of the Podcast I talked about the baby we lost to Stillbirth in November. We named this baby Max. Here is a reflection I wrote a couple years ago after my first miscarriage. This post demonstrates just how different each and every loss is!  And finally, here is a wonderful list of things you can do to heal and remember your baby after suffering a miscarriage. Know that you are in my prayers--especially if you are experiencing a loss or carrying the heavy cross of infertility. Your sister in the small things, Nancy
May 16, 2018
Hey friends! I am excited to share today's episode of the podcast with you! It features one of my favorite people--my beloved cousin Jodi--and discusses a SUPER important topic: Praying for Priest. But, instead of just generally trying to inspire you to pray for priests (which we all should be doing) this episode discusses a super specific and wonderful way to REALLY support the priests that serve you. But first, a little backstory. Jodi, the wonderful Catholic lady joining me for this episode, is my cousin, a dear friend from college and our hosts whenever we are in the Twin Cities. She really is terrific. We stayed with her before flying out to Fatima just a few weeks ago. On that visit Jodi shared briefly about a ministry she was part of to pray for priests, and I just had to have her on the podcast to share it with all of you. The ministry is called Seven Sisters Apostolate. The ministry was started by a women in the Arch Diocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul. She is the mother of a priest and, like many of us, she was really wondering how she could support priests better. And so she developed the Seven Sisters Apostolate. Basically the ministry supports priests through 1 hour of prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament each day. Thus, seven women form a group to support 1 priest, each committing to 1 hour of adoration to pray for that priest each week. Although this is the gist, the website ( offers a lot more support for starting this ministry.  This is also a wonderful book that will help you pray for priests: Praying for Priests with St. Therese. But, even if you are unable to support your priests through an hour of adoration each week, please take seriously your responsibility to pray for them. We need our priests and they need our prayers to survive the attacks they are constantly under. Thanks for listening! Your sister in Christ, Nancy
May 9, 2018
Holiness is a lifelong journey and I have come to understand that, at least for me, much of this battle will be fought in the mind. Most of my sins occur only in my mind.  My attitude, my anger, my daydreams, and my laziness are very often things that others, even those close to me, never know about me. And yet, we know that true holiness requires consecrating every part of ourselves, including the secrets of our mind, to God.  So for this reason I decided to dedicate this week's podcast episode to the topic of Mental Holiness. How do we allow God to touch even our secret thoughts? How do we make mental room and quiet for God? And, how do I resist the quiet mental temptation that Satan is so good about sending my way? To discuss this I broke down the struggle for mental holiness into 3 topics: Distractions, Fantasy and Anger. First of all, Distraction. Distraction is a HUGE issue for me. It affects my dedicated prayer time and it also keeps me from "living in the presence of God," as Brother Lawrenceso beautifully puts it.  In the episode I talk about my struggle with Instagram and how I ultimately decided that I just can't be on instagram and deleted it from my phone. Next, Fantasy. I struggle with entertaining mental fantasies as a way to escape the situation I find myself in (kids screaming). I think I do this because I LOVE stories and often I replay things I have seen on TV, especially when what I saw was particularly gripping and I've binge watched something.  But this habit robs me of the moment I am in--and robs me of the ability to live with God and worship Him as I should. And finally, Anger. As I mention in the episode, a previous episode I recorded on Angerhas been my most listened to episode ever, and I think that speaks to what a big problem this is for women.  Although I don't offer any REAL answers, I think it is important to reflect on the negative emotions we harbor in our minds, even if we don't act on them. The quest for mental holiness is long, and although I offer very few solutions, I hope this episode brought up some important concepts that will lead to fruitful contemplation. Thanks for listening! Your sister in Christ, Nancy
May 2, 2018
Hey there! So, I just finished reading Catherine of Sienaby Sigrid Undset. The book was incredible--but I still can hardly believe how insane the life of Catherine of Siena was. I went into reading this book knowing embarrassingly little about St. Catherine of Siena. She seemed pretty meek, and lived way back in the 1300's so I was worried that I would find her boring.  But I was so wrong. She had daily mystical experiences, she never slept and the only food she consumed was the Eucharist. She had invisible stigmata that became visible after her death, she was part of countless healings and conversions...and so much more. It is crazy. She also played a real role in history. It was on her advisement that the Pope returned to Rome, after being in France for a long time. She also worked for peace in an age riddled by war and disease. St. Catherine of Siena is, quite literally, a giant in the faith. And, compared to her, it can be easy to feel small...and a little hopeless. But, that is not how we are meant to feel! Instead of feeling pathetic after reading about one of the giants in our Catholic Faith, I encourage you to find inspiration in one of these ways: God is so powerful.  God often chooses to change the world through his littlest servants, like the daughter of a dyer. The spiritual life is more important than our physical life. We spend so much time fretting about what we eat and how much sleep we get--when God was able to sustain St. Catherine without EITHER of these things. Insane! What will He do for us if we place ourselves in His hands? When we think about our own sins we should only be comparing ourselves to God, not others. For this reason St. Catherine (and many others) saw themselves as the greatest sinners.  I hope this was helpful and that you are inspired to do bigger and bolder things for our Lord! In Christ, Nancy
April 25, 2018
My husband and I just got back from a week in Fatima and I am so excited to share a little about it with you. Now, I bet that most of you have very little interest in the details of our travels, so instead of blabbing on and on about that, this episode shares three key ideas from Fatima that are just as relevant for those that have never travel there. These ideas are also just as important today as they were 100 years ago when Mary appeared to 3 poor children as they watched their sheep. Here are the three ideas discussed in this episode: 1.Children While in Fatima I couldn't help marvel at the fact that Mary choose to appear to children, just as she had done in Lourdes. And choose to tell secrets to children. She showed them Hell and talked about the need for suffering...with children. There is a part of me that thinks this is a bit odd. Aren't these adult topics? But as I reflect on this I think that perhaps children are the only ones not too busy and stressed and therefore actual able to see and hear Mary. Fatima is a powerful call, just like The Little Way, to strive to be child-like in our faith. 2. Redemptive Suffering Years after Fatima, Lucia wrote down the words that Mary spoke when she appeared. Over and over again, she asked the children if they were willing to suffer because suffering has real power. Our suffering, if offered to her, can help to save souls and repair the damages done to her Immaculate Heart. The call to penance and suffering is real. 3. Prayer And finally, in all her words at Fatima, Mary is very clear that we need to pray. And, we need to pray the Rosary.   On this note, it was an honor to carry the petitions of over 750 people with me to Fatima. I dedicated an entire afternoon to going through those petitions and continue to carry your needs in my heart. If you are looking to learn more about the Message of Fatima, I encourage you to read this book: Fatima for Today. And finally, as I mentioned at the end of this episode, I am currently enrolling women in my community. Prayerfully consider joining. For more information and to enroll, head here: Your sister in Christ, Nancy
April 20, 2018
Hey there! Today I am, once again, proving that I have no fear. I am tackling a BIG topic: holiness. Why am I tackling this topic? Because I'm perfect? Because I have some sort of saintly-insight to share with you? Nope. I'm talking about holiness because I too am a sinner, but, like all of you, I am called to holiness. The call to holiness is universal. The spiritual journey is THE MOST IMPORTANT journey and work of our lives. Therefore, let's see if we can walk a bit of the way together. Here are some of the things I cover in this podcast episode: What is Holiness? What WRONG assumptions might we have that will actually keep us from making any progress toward holiness? The need to be like children in our faith 10 practices that will open us up more and more to holiness: Become Small Spend at least 10 minutes in prayer each day. Regularly receive Jesus in the Eucharist Read Sacred Scripture Read Catholic Literature Grow closer to Mary and the Saints Follow a structured formation process Regularly attend confession Be part of a supportive community Stay focused on the call to holiness How we actually make progress on this spiritual journey The Ripple Effect that we can expect to enjoy if we actual strive for holiness, one that will touch every part of our lives, our families and the whole world. If you are looking to dig deeper into these topics, I encourage you to check out Called to be Holyby Cardinal Timothy Dolan. As I mentioned at the end of this podcast, I am starting a community called The Small Things Community. The community is for Catholic Married women and for $11 a month you will enjoy: A new video-based eCourse each month, which focuses on a key part of our faith. A well run, distraction-free community and on-line forum A monthly LIVE book club. FREE access to all of my digital products 50% off all printed products I sell now and those I will offer in the future. To find out more about the community, head here: Also, since there is a LOT of information in this podcast episode, you can also WATCH this same information as I present it in the video below. Your sister in Christ, Nancy
April 18, 2018
Hey there my friends! Today's podcast episode was born out of a little project I have been working hard on behind the scenes. For the past few weeks I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about prayer so that I can help you (and me) really understand what prayer is and how to grow in holiness through prayer. But, while doing this study on the topic of prayer I was struck again and again by the IMPORTANCE OF NOW. Now, the importance of now, or living in the moment or mindfulness, or whatever you want to call it, is a pretty hot topic in the world of popular psychology. We often are so busy are distracted that we completely miss the beautiful life we are living. Or, we are so worried about the future or stuck in the past that we miss the moment we have. And while all of these things are good and true, there is an even more important reasons to invest in this moment, right now. GOD IS IN THE NOW. Yes, God did wonderful things in the past and He will be a part of our future, but the only way that we can really get to know God, and thus allow Him to know and search us, is to engage with Him RIGHT NOW. But, how do we slow ourselves down and truly enter into God's presence right now in this moment? Here are 3 simple ideas: Be aware of how you pray. Are you simply chattering about what you hope to happen in the future? Are you reciting a list of things you are thankful for from the past? OR are you seeking quiet and listening to God and allowing Him to see you for who you really are right now? Work to see the work in front of you are a prayer--and as a gift that you can give back to God. Invite Him into the work and feel His presence with you as you work. Use the most powerful prayer there is: The Jesus Prayer. Theses are just ideas to get you started, and I really hope they are helpful! A few of the books I mentioned in this episode are: Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawerence  I hope that this little discussion of NOW opens up as many doors in prayer as it has for me! In Christ, Nancy
April 10, 2018
Hey friends- Today's podcast episode is a bit of a personal one, so if you are sick of hearing me share about the baby I lost last fall, you might want to skip this episode. You see, although we have been infinitely blessed by and through the still-birth loss of our little Maximilian on Thanksgiving Day of last year, we are approaching his due date, and suddenly the pain is very real once more. Although I have weeks and months to get my mind around the idea that he won't be joining our family here on Earth, it is still hard to really understand just how different this spring will be from the spring I had imagined while I was pregnant. Max was due on April 11th. So, due to my own pain and continuing hurt, I have started to reflect on the fact that we really do need to take care of ourselves while suffering. Maybe this is pretty obvious to you, but it wasn't to me. I 100% believe in the value of suffering. I don't like to suffer, but I see how redemptive and purifying it can be. So, the idea that I might need to protect myself while suffering, that was an idea that Laura from Mothering Spirit had to really pound into my head, and thank goodness she did. The core experience that got me thinking about self-care amid suffering is my wonderful Thursday morning Bible Study. The study, the women, the parish, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program opposite it, they are all so great and I love that Bible's just that there are SO MANY pregnant ladies there. After much pain and reflection I decided that I just couldn't be there this Spring, as I longed from my own baby already in heaven. But my kind of suffering is not the only kind of suffering that demands self care. Just basic mothering is a form of suffering that demands self-care, which, if you are anything like me, you are terrible at. This episode is a lot of food for thought. And, if you have an extra pray or two, I would appreciate them this Spring as we mourn our little Max. In Christ, Nancy
April 4, 2018
Hello and welcome back! Here's hoping that you had a JOYFUL Easter and that you are still celebrating in earnest!  After all, we are an EASTER PEOPLE. I thought we would kick off this Easter Season with a podcast I have been meaning to record and send out into the world for a while now: WHY MARY. Here's why I wanted to do a podcast on Mary. The first few months of this year I have been talking about Mary A LOT. Through God's goodness I had a pretty special moment with Mary following a terrible tragedy, and that special moment has spurred me on to create a Rosary book and really try to increase Marian devotion to the Rosary. And it has been amazing to see Mary work!  So many people have written to me about becoming dedicated to their Rosary again, and I am amazed about how God can use even His lowliest servants. But, through it all, I have also gotten a few emails and comments similar to this one: "I'm a Catholic, and I love Mary, but should be really be praying to her instead of Jesus" And I completely get it--and used to feel the same uneasiness. Sometimes it feels like a deep spiritual relationship with Mary is in conflict with a relationship with Jesus (spoiler alert, it isn't). For many of us we think, yes, I was raised Catholic and it feels almost natural to go to Mary with my needs...but WHY MARY? Why bother with Mary when we can just go directly to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is an excellent question that I offer some thoughts on this in this episode. There is so so much to say on Marian devotion and prayer, and I don't even attempt to cover it all. Instead I touch on only two real points: Mary as the New Eve. Mary as the greatest disciple. I hope that listening helps you understand a little bit more about why God has seen it good and fitting that we take our needs to Mary and why He allows so much grace and goodness to flow through her. I DID NOT record this episode to address Protestant issues with Mary. Instead this episode is meant only to help practicing Catholics refine their Marian beliefs and understand better why we do what we do concerning our wonderful Blessed Mother. In this episode I also reference a few books including 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Gatley which I can't recommend highly enough. I hope this is helpful! Your sister in Christ,
March 28, 2018
Hey there my friend! First things first, happy Holy Week! I LOVE Holy Week.  I love all the pomp and incense and long services and drama.  I just LOVE IT. Isn't it so great to be Catholic and belong to a church that really let's us enter into the Passion each and every year? Praise be to God! On a much smaller note, the latest episode of the Podcast is up and ready for you. The episode discusses the vice of GREED and is the final episode in our Lenten Series on the Podcast that has looked closely at each of the seven vices. All of these episodes have drawn wisdom from the incredible book Victory over Vice by Fulton Sheen. Fulton Sheen uses Jesus's final words on the cross, "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." as the starting point for this whole discussion on greed. Now, I have to be honest. I didn't think there would be anything that would surprise me too much on the topic of Greed. Greed feels like the least sexy of all the vices, at least to me. It's public, it's ugly...but is it really all that bad? Turns out yes, greed is very bad--and it, more than any other vice, it seems, will keep us out of heaven. Fulton Sheen points out that greed gets in the way of our ability to trust in God Providence. Instead, we trust in STUFF and in OURSELVES. Also, greed, or love of the things of this world, attaches us to this world. When we approach death, if we are greedy we will have a very hard time entering heaven because we are so attached to this world.  On the contrary, a person who has embraced poverty will fly to heaven because they have nothing holding them to this earth. Part of this discussion is the idea that we were never meant to be perfectly happy on Earth. Through money and things we TRY to make ourselves happy...but we are always  disappointed because we can only be fully satisfied in God. So much more on this topic. So click over and have a listen. Once again, thanks for being part of this Lenten series, and have a very holy Holy Week! Your sister in Christ, Nancy
March 21, 2018
Hey friends! Well, in case you've missed it, we've been spending all of Lent really digging into the seven vices we all face. To do this I have been pulling SO MUCH wisdom from Venerable Fulton Sheens incredible book, Victory Over Vice. We have already covered Anger, Envy, Lust, Pride, and Gluttony. Today we tackle Sloth. First off, I sort of hate that word, Sloth. Maybe it is my Midwest, farm girl personality, but laziness is something I have really come to hate and utterly look down upon. However, as Fulton Sheen points out, yes, we are called to work, but God's call to work is MUCH DIFFERENT than God's call to work. All of the wisdom Fulton Sheen shares on Sloth spring from Christ's words on the cross, "It is finished." Although I have heard these words many times, it never occurred to me just how powerfully these words point to the fact that Christ was WORKING while on Earth. His entire life He was quite busy doing the Father's work. And, likewise, we are called to do the Father's work. The two major lessons for us to ponder on the topic of Sloth are: The penalties for spiritual laziness are tremendous. We are all called to work during this life, although while the world demands that our work be successful, God demands only that we remain faithful. We are reminded that Heaven is a city on a hill, and we must work hard every day to reach it. And so, my sisters, keep your heads up and use your work, even the humble small work that no one will ever notice, to give glory to God.  He loves you and He has given you the work before you, so offer it back to him as a gift because, as St. Therese once said, one could save their soul by simply picking up pins out of love for Jesus. Head over and listen. Your sister in Christ, Nancy
March 14, 2018
Hey there friends. Today we are tackling the Vice that I have been dreading since the beginning: Gluttony. For some reason the idea that food can lead to sin is just a little bit hard for me. It is hard for me to understand, and hard for me to look straight in the face. I LOVE FOOD, and, like many of you I would guess, I have lots of food issues, coming from a variety of different source.  I have a huge sweet tooth that is a constant struggle for me.  I have been pregnant or nursing or both for most of the last 8 years, and that has created all sorts of weird eating habits, most of them bad and addicting. And finally, I have been "chunky" my whole life. My family was always very kind, and I had a couple of sisters that were also chunky, so I don't really have a complex about this, but it's still left me with a few issues. But none of these issues are really the topic of today's episode on Gluttony. Instead, the fact that we all obsess about our food issues is more on point. Fulton Sheen, who once again provides all of the wisdom for this episode in his incredible book, Victory Over Vice, makes the startling statement that once people forget out their souls, they begin to obsess about their bodies. Maybe that means overeating. Maybe that means just plain obsessing over what they are eating. Once we forget our souls be also start to DIET and not FAST. Dieting is done for the body, while fasting is done for the spirit. Ugh, that's hard to hear. All of the lessons on Gluttony come from Christ's words on the cross, "I thirst." Fulton Sheen agrees with Mother Teresa in that Christ is thirsting for our love. He encourages us to mortify our body through fasting so that we might feel how our soul longs for Christ--how we indeed also thirst for him.  Mortification will also give us the ability to control the urges of our body, and no longer be mastered by the flesh. The topic of food and gluttony is such a big, touchy one, and I'd love to hear you chime in on all of this once you listen to the podcast. Do you agree? Do you have anything to add? Up next week is the topic of Sloth. Another topic hard (and so important) for us American to hear. I'll see you then! Your sister in Christ, Nancy
March 7, 2018
You guys are just blowing me away with your response to this Lenten Series on the Podcast where we are digging through the Vices we all face.  So far we've talked about Anger, Envy and Lust, and although I am flattered, and want to give myself a big 'ol pat on the back, I really shouldn't!  All of the wisdom I am sharing here comes directly from the great Venerable Fulton Sheen and his incredible book, Victory Over Vice. Fulton Sheen in AMAZING! So check it that book, or any of the incredible books Fulton Sheen left behind for us. And another reason why I shouldn't take too much credit for this series--Pride. And Pride is the vice we dissect in today's episode. As defined by Fulton Sheen, pride is "an exaggerated love of one's own excellence, either of body or mind or the unlawful pleasure we derive from thinking we have no superiors." Pride can manifest itself in many ways including Atheism (or practical Atheism, which I discuss in depth), intellectual vanity, superficiality, snobbery or the unwillingness to see our own faults. The problem with pride is that it is a lie. It is the lie that there is nothing better, or nothing beyond, me. Pride is self-love gone crazy. However, most likely, at some point we will be confronted with our own failings and weaknesses, and the lie of pride will fall apart, leaving us with no foundation to stand upon. Therefore, pride often leads to despair.  In contrast, Christ was humble in birth, occupation, and death. And his humility lead to our redemption. The words from the cross that guide our lessons today are, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?", words that really demonstrate how humbled and low Christ was while on the cross.  The lessons on the topic of pride include: Glory not in yourself, for God resists the proud. Glory in humility, for humility is truth and the path to true greatness. The sin of pride kills gratitude. The virtue of humility leads to truth and allows for God to do His great work in us. For, it is only when we empty ourselves out that God is able to fill us back up and use of for His holy work. So much more goodness in the episode. Head over and have a listen! Next week we are talking about Gluttony. See you then! Your sister in Christ,  
March 5, 2018
Hello dear friends! Well, based on the HUGE response to last week's podcast, I have a feeling I'm not the only one that struggles with vices!  Thank you to all of you that wrote such encouraging and vulnerable emails and Facebook messages to me after listening to last week's podcast on Anger! Confronting the vices in our lives is sometimes painful, but always fruitful and I feel so blessed to be doing this good work with so many wonderful sisters in faith at my side. This week we are moving onto what is, quite possibility, the ugliest vice: ENVY. Where anger can be just or at least justifiable, there is no good side to envy. Envy is evil. Envy is sadness at another's good, or joy over another's suffering. Envy is the enemy to relationships and kills love. Envy is the complete disorder of love. When envy grabs your heart you feel that someone else's honor is your disgrace, or someone else's gift is only a reminder of what you have been denied. And therefore, one of the chief causes of envy is selfishness. We are so consumed with our own pain that we can't see or think about anything other than that pain. This episode is, once again, based on the wonderful book, Victory Over Vice by Venerable Fulton Sheen. In his chapter on Envy, Fulton Sheen pulls out two powerful lessons from the discourse Christ has with the 2 thieves crucified on either side of him shortly before His death.  From the first thief we learn that envy is the source of our wrong judgement and encourages us to be consumed with ourselves. We also learn that envy leads to damnation. From the second thief, the "good thief" as we call him, we learn that the only way to overcome envy is to show pity. The good thief looks on Christ and has pity. Where we deserve this punishment, he says, he has done nothing. This pity leads to the mercy of God, and ultimately salvation when Jesus responds, "this day you will be with me in paradise." In the podcast we dig deeper into each of these thoughts and discuss, in detail, how envy affect us specifically as Catholic Women. I talk specifically how we can fall into envy in our female relationships.   And often envy grows out of places where we have suffered real loss and pain. Infertility, loss of a baby, weight and health issues, broken relationships, death of loved ones or even lack of ability. So, is it wrong to continue to hurt? Is it wrong to morn and weep over these losses? No. That is not the sin of envy. God often hands more suffering to those closest to Him. He never ask us to deny the pain or ignore it, or even "get over it". He simply asks that we don't let our pain kill the love we feel for others. Instead, our suffering is actually an opportunity to love other more. Our greatest example of this: Jesus on the Cross. So much more goodness in the podcast.  Have a listen and let me know what you think. Hope you are having a blessed Lent! Your sister in Christ, Nancy
February 28, 2018
Hey there and welcome back to the 3rd installment of the Lenten Podcast series on the Vices. Today's episode focuses on LUST, and, before I go into the details of this episode, I want to warn you that I felt I needed to use real language while discussing this topic. Nothing I say is vulgar or scandalous, and everything I say is strictly inline with Catholic Teaching, but I do use real, clinic names for things, so perhaps this is a earbud episode. And, onto the details! First of all, all of the wisdom in this episode comes straight from Venerable Fulton Sheen and his incredible book, Victory Over Vice.  I simply dove a bit deeper on a few topics and made sure to apply this vice directly to the specific struggles of Catholic Women. Lust is the inordinate love of the pleasures of the flesh. Now, God created the flesh to give us pleasure, but the pleasure should always remain a MEANS, and not an END. Fulton Sheen rightly points out that sexual sin is so common that society at large doesn't even see it as a sin any more. The same is true, to some degree, even for Catholic women (like us!). Although we may not struggle with the BIG sins of sleeping around or porn, we do probably struggle with other sexual sins, namely mental fantasies. For this reason we need to protect ourselves and make sure that we aren't watching things on TV that will lead us to this type of lustful sin. Futon Sheen draws all of the lessons on Lust  from Christ's words to Mary and John from the cross. As you recall, he says, "Woman, behold thy son; behold thy mother." The two major lessons here are: The only real escape from the demands of the flesh is to find something more than the flesh to love. Mary is the refuge for sinners who struggle with lust. Although I discuss lots of topics while unfolding these lessons, the major point I add to the work of Fulton Sheen is that as Catholic Married Women we need to not only root out sexual sins in our own lives, but also work to help our husband in his struggle with lust.  So much more goodness in the recorded podcast, so head over and have a listen. And once you listen I would LOVE to hear any feedback you might have. Next week we will be diving into Pride!  See you then, Your sister in Christ, Nancy
February 14, 2018
First of all, I pray that your Lent is off to a beautiful and Holy start! To be completely honest, I have been CRAVING Lent. My life has just started to feel a little too noisy and busy and I am glad the Church is wise enough to give us a season to get back on track. So, I decided to take advantage of this season and do a little series on the Podcast. Lent is meant to be a season of quiet and growth, so I will be spending all 7 Wednesdays of Lent talking about the major vices we all face. The seven vices we will be discussing are Anger, Envy, Lust, Pride, Gluttony, Greed and Sloth.  I will be using the incredible book, Victory Over Vice, by Venerable Fulton Sheen to talk about these Vices. We will be using that book as wonderful guide for these episodes but, as always, we will be talking specifically about how these vices might be a part of our lives as Catholic Women. Up first, Anger. Each Vice that Fulton Sheen discusses grows out of some of the last words that Christ said while dying on the cross. The words we examine for the vice of Anger are, "Father, forgiven them for they know not what they do." Fulton Sheen points to 2 lessons we need to learn about anger from these words of Christ: The Reason for Forgiveness is Ignorance. There are no limits to Forgiveness. Ignorance plays a major role here. We are often ignorant of another person's motivations. We are nearly always ignorant of our own sins, although keenly aware of another person's sins. And we are often ignorant of all the factors impacting our situation, seeing only our own little part of it. And so, we struggle to let go of our anger and move toward forgiveness. And yet, God, who knows all, always forgives. So, it is important to remember our ignorance and always assume that there are factors you are not aware of. In the episode I talk about marriage a lot and how these lessons on anger can make us better, more loving wives.  We do struggle with anger at times, like anyone, and I feel like what Fulton Sheen reveals on the topic of anger are important things for me to learn. Let's hope I learn them! There is so much more to this episode, and I just know you will grow from the wisdom of Venerable Fulton Sheen, just as I have. So head over and listen! Next week we are tackling a big, ugly vice: Envy.  See you then! Nancy
February 7, 2018
We are one week from Lent, so it's time to start planning! I really love Lent. I love an opportunity to get back into those good habits I've lost track of and just dwell in the quiet a bit more. I also love being a part of a Catholic community during Lent because we are all in this together. I love the support I often get during Lent from my Catholic friends and hearing about how they are attempting to make more room for Jesus during this holy season.  It's like New Years with a purpose, and people actually willing to do the hard work. So, what are your plans for Lent? I, honestly, am still deciding, but I am pretty sure I know what I am going to do. I'm just hesitating because it's going to be hard! In case you are still deciding what you will endeavor to do this Lenten season, today's podcast is all about getting to the heart of what we are after during Lent and discussion some common pitfalls of Lenten Resolutions. And, if you are looking for some Lenten Resolution ideas, make sure to check out THIS POST. It offers 25 specific and important Lenten Resolutions for Mothers and Wives. Here is a quick overview of what I discuss in the podcast. The difference between dieting and fasting and what you need to have in mind if you are giving up some food, or food-related thing this Lent. How to actually succeed at giving up some bad behavior (like yelling) and making a lasting change in your life. How to make room for Jesus and not just try to become a better person. I also mention a few specific things that would really be great for everyone to work a bit harder on this Lenten Season. PRAY THE ROSARY!!! I am so passionate about this one that I just published this book.  Read more scripture (we are doing THIS ACTIVITY with our family each night of Lent this year) Set aside time for Spiritual Reading. (see this book list) And so, sisters, I pray that you have a wonderful, fruitful and peaceful Lenten season. Make sure to tune into the podcast each week during Lent. I am planning a really cool podcast series that I don't want you to miss. All the very, very best! Your sister in Christ, Nancy
January 31, 2018
As part of the Lent Build-Up Fun (and yes, it is fun!) today's podcast episode is about the joys and benefits of Spiritual Reading. Some people around here are total rock stars when it comes to reading about Catholic Saints, Catholic Teaching or just Moral Living...but if you are like me you need a bit of encouragement to get back into spiritual reading from time to time. I love reading about the Saints and reading Catholic books on Moral Living...but I can sometimes go MONTHS without cracking a book. Just too many other things to take up my time. Too many great shows to binge watch on Netflix.... But, spiritual reading really should be a priority for you and for me. I have made the decision to set aside dedicated time each day for some spiritual reading, even if it is only 15 minutes. There are 3 main reasons why I have decided to really make spiritual reading a priority in my life: We are all called to be saints. As St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Nothing is in the intellect that did not first come to us through the senses." We aren't going to just miraculously know the faith or have wonderful saints to pattern our lives after. To get these aids to our faith we have to dedicate some time and study in that direction. They are great stories. Seriously, the stories of the saints and the early church are some of the most exciting stories their are, and they are all true! I also love reading the stories of saints to see how God really was working in history. He was there in revolutions and wars and concentration camps. He was there! My Continual Education By engaging in Spiritual Reading I better understand my faith so that I can practice it better AND instruct my children in the faith better. Now, I know that adding spiritual reading to your life might seem like a bit of a big task, but here are a few tips to get you off on the right foot. Pick a Good Book. Sure, there are lots of boring Catholic books out there--but there are also LOTS of awesome, gripping, well written Catholic books out there. Pick a good one on a topic you are interested in. In fact, I have put in a lot of work compiling a book list for Catholic women (see spreadsheet below). On the Book List books are broken down into 3 categories: Books on the Catholic Faith, Books about Catholic Saints, and Books about the Catholic Life. Other Tips: Consider replacing some of your phone time with reading time. Share what you read with your spouse or with a friend reading the same book. And finally, don't allow your "spiritual reading" to be just bouncing from one article to another on your phone. It is best to read a book, and the WHOLE book. These, of course, are just suggestions. All the very best and happy reading! Your sister in Christ,
January 24, 2018
Today's podcast addresses an issue I hear about from Catholic Mothers all the time: How do I teach the faith to my children. I hear this all the time, often from very faithful women, who just worry that they aren't doing enough. I get it. I often struggle with those feelings myself, and in a way it is GOOD that we feel this way. Teaching our children the faith is a big deal. In fact, it might be the BIGGEST DEAL there is. Our number one job as parents is to see to the salvation of our children's souls. We work for their salvation through prayer, but also through direction instruction and setting a holy example.  I talk about all of this in today's new podcast episode. In this episode I chat about 4 major ways that we can teach our children the faith, and only the last point involves any sort of direct, pinterest-worthy instruction.  We can teach the faith to our children by: Praying together Bringing our Children regularly to the sacraments, even if they are still too young to fully participate. Sharing the Catholic perspective on true suffering and joy with them during the harder moments of life. Direct Instruction of the principles of the faith. Since I only have little kids (my oldest is in kindergarten) most what I share probably applies best to little ones. But, I really believe that when attempting to directly instruct children on the faith it is best to use activities that invite conversation. Present them with a catholic image to color or look at or create in perler beads. Then ask provoking questions and answer any questions they might have.  And above all else, demonstrate your faith and love for Jesus and His Church. I sited several resources that I use with my own children in the podcast while teaching the faith. Here they are: Lenten Adventure (an incredible Lenten Resource from Holy Heroes) (affiliate link) The ABC's of the Catholic Faith Coloring Pages (free download) Saints in Perler Beads/Cross Stitch Jesus Tree Lenten Scripture Activity (Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of John) Catholic Musician Danielle Rose And finally, please don't be so hard on yourself. If you are taking your kids to mass, praying with them everyday and demonstrating the Catholic understanding of suffering in your daily life, you are already doing A LOT to teach your kids the faith. Ask Mary, Our Mother, to help you be more perfect in this area, but also believe that you are doing a good job. Your sister in Christ,
January 10, 2018
I suspect that it is a nearly UNIVERSAL problem faced by new mothers: when do I find time to pray? Many of us had pretty good prayer lives before that first baby arrived. We had a routine and a set time that we prayed. Perhaps we had adoration hours or a nightly routine that involved prayer. And, if you are like me, you had no idea that having a baby would change everything, including prayer. But then the baby arrived and somewhere amid learning to breastfeed and sleep loss and becoming a mother our prayer life died. This is pretty much exactly what happened to me. In fact, it has taken me YEARS to figure out that as a mother prayer will just be different. Sure, I would love to enjoy hours of quiet, solitary prayer, but that just isn't going to happen now.  Maybe at some point in the future, maybe from time to time, but not reliably now. Because of this all I am THRILLED to share the wisdom of Lauren Nelson on the podcast. Lauren is the Momma behind GATHERING MANNA, a new site for Catholic women struggling to pray amid the demands of life and motherhood. And Lauren's answer to this struggle is rather simple. WE NEED TO RETHINK PRAYER. Prayer does not have to be something that fits into a specific pocket of time. Prayer does not have to be an entire rosary or full hour of scriptural meditation.  Sure, those things are awesome, but they are not the only way to pray. And, most importantly, prayer will never be something we "master" or something we graduate from. The more we pray the more we will want to pray and the closer we get to God, the more we will want to be with Him and share with Him. Prayer can simply be the rhythm of our lives. And, prayer is, at it's core, little more than a returning to the Lord, a glance, a thought, a look toward heaven. An acknowledgement that He is gazing lovingly at us at all time. So, go listen in. Her wisdom will change with way you think about prayer. And, make sure to connect with Lauren over on her new site, Gathering Manna (launching the end of January). Until then, go join the conversation on her Facebook page. A BIG thanks to Lauren--and thanks to all of you wonderful ladies! Links included in this episode: Gathering Manna: Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence: (aff) The KEY to having a prayer life as an at-home parent:
January 10, 2018
December 31st was the feast of the Holy Family. I love this feast day, and to celebrate I posted a picture of my own family on my Facebook page. The picture was one we took just 4 days before our little Max, whom I had carried in my womb for 20 weeks, flew to heaven, so it really was a picture of our whole family. But, to really celebrate I asked my entire community to post a picture of their Holy Families on that thread, and over a hundred women did so. What resulted was one of the most beautiful Facebook threads I have ever seen. So many beautiful Catholic families in every shape and size and style and stage. It was such a blessing to see all those pictures. It might feel like we are alone, living a radical life that no one really understands, but we aren't! And, well, this got me thinking. The family is SO important. Pope St. John Paul II referred to families as schools of love--and that is exactly what they are. So, please, join me this year in really focusing on making our families the best they can be. Because, as Mother Teresa once said, the best thing we can do to promote world peace is to "go home and love our families." In the podcast I talk about love and forgiveness and family as covenant, but I also offer 5 challenges to Catholic families and I really believe that if we ALL take these things to heart and work on our own little families--striving to make them holier every day and in every way--we will be able to change the world. Here are the 5 challenges: Worship each Sunday at mass as a family, together. Pray together, and explore ways to pray more and better as a family. Be intimate with each other. Put your family first, even if that requires making hard decisions Allow your family to be a witness to the world. Trust me, these challenges are going to be challenging for me as well--but there is no better work we can possibly do than create strong, holy families. All the very best! Nancy Links referred to in this episode: My Facebook page: Podcast on obedience: Podcast on the choice to love:
January 3, 2018
First of all, Happy New year, and feast of Mary, Mother of God! I love New Years and an opportunity for a fresh start.  A chance to evaluate the previous year and look ahead the the year on the way. Because of this I'm really into goals. Are you? I have given a lot of thought to my 2018 goals. I set goals for all parts of my life and in this new episode I share some of my major goals for the coming year.  Some of my goals are personal, but the following 3 goals are what I plan to use to guide and shape all of my work online and in public during the coming year: Increase Maria Devotion Work to strengthen Catholic marriage by helping Catholic wives be better, more holy women. Connect with even more Catholic woman and foster a spirit of listening in myself so that I can help in a genuine way. In the podcast I go in depth as to why I feel so strongly about each of these goals.  In the second part of the podcast I also share a few challenges I have for you in the coming year.  The challenges are simple and boldly Catholic.  Will you take the challenge? Here they are: Explore the rosary further whether that means simply learning the words of the Hail Mary or making a full Marian Consecration. Connect yourself and/or your family with a religious community. Remember that you are beloved and live your life boldly with that knowledge. And finally, thank you for your support in 2017. The plan, as of now, is to continue to record all through the coming year, God willing. Links in this episode: Great book on Maximilian Kolbe: Forget Not Love Episode where I talk about loosing a baby at 20 weeks and why I have decided to continue to share my life online;
December 20, 2017
Hey friends! I have a beautiful, challenging and inspiring new podcast episode to share with you today.  Stephanie, a wonderful podcast listener emailed me with a RADICAL idea for a podcast episode: Praying the Rosary with your Husband.  Daily. My husband and I are definitely not getting in a rosary together right now so I was super interested in what Stephanie had to share--and I wanted to knot if it really was possible to pray the rosary with your spouse each day. And so, I set up a Skype call with Stephanie, I hit record and I was so inspired by Stephanie's experiences and the wonderful tradition of the Rosary we enjoy as Catholics.   Here are just a few of the things we discuss in this episode: Simple, practical ideas for getting your rosary in each day, even when life is busy and stressful. How the rosary is the perfect prayer for women who struggle with anxiety How to set up effective and kind accountability to pray the rosary with your husband. Why praying the rosary is not a boring prayer, but the pinnacle of prayer. What praying a rosary might mean for men. Some of the fruit that can come into your life from consistently praying the Rosary The fruit that you can expect when you bring the rosary into your marriage. How praying a rosary can really unite you with Mary and teach you to be a mother. The serious/scary/awesome nature of making a Marian Consecration.  I hope that this little episode is inspiring.  It certainly was for me.  And, as we look to the new year and the habits that we can to acquire and eliminate, maybe the Rosary should be on that list. All the best, and here are a few of the things we referred to while we chatted. LINKS: 33 Days to Morning Glory by Father Michael Gately. The Holy Rosary App for praying the Rosary in the Car...or while doing dishes And once again, thank you for being here.  It continues to amaze me that I can chat with other Catholic moms about things that are SUPER Catholic and so many women out there care and listen in.  Love it and I love this community. Your sister in Christ,  
December 13, 2017
Today's episode is all about gratitude.  Yes, gratitude, even though we are now on the other side of Thanksgiving.   I had originally recorded an episode on gratitude shortly before thanksgiving...but I forgot to save it and the episode was lost.  You'd think I'd know better by now.  Nope!  I thought perhaps it might not be worth it to rerecord on this topic after Thanksgiving, but that's just silly. Thankfulness and gratitude sit as the absolute FOUNDATION of our faith, our relationships with others and the way we understand ourselves.  There isn't a season to talk about gratitude.  Gratitude should be the very way in which we live. And, thankfulness even plays a big role in how we experience the dark moments of life.  I learned this profoundly recently when I miscarried a baby at 20 weeks. The episode breaks the topic of thankfulness into 3 main topics: Being intentional, being prayerful and being humble. Links: J1ST 007: On Marriage and the Eucharist.  One of my favorite episodes, but listen all the way to the end and Katie will inspire you to offer a more complete Thanksgiving after receiving Eucharist.   Holy Sex by Gregory Popkack : A great book for so many reasons.  In my opinion, this should be required reading for all Catholic couples.
December 6, 2017
A few days ago I wasn't sure I would be publishing another post...or recording another podcast episode.  As you maybe already know, we lost our little Maximilian on Thanksgiving day, whom I had carried in my womb for 20 weeks.  Loosing a baby at 20 weeks is hard both physically and emotionally, and the week after we lost the baby was really dark. Things were made just a bit worse because one week before loosing little Max I had hit publish on this post, where I disclosed how hard the pregnancy had been, how we had been hoping NOT to get pregnant and how I longed to hold my little one on Easter. All of the things I shared in that post felt overly vulnerable as I lost the baby and I desperately wanted to crawl into a hole and hide.  And maybe even delete everything I had ever shared online. But you all changed my mind.  Once I shared the loss online I was OVERWHELMED with your response and your love.  I received over 1,000 messages of love and prayers and support.  Many, many women shared their own stories of loss and how they found peace.  Packages have shown up at our door from strangers and I have felt so completely covered in prayer and love. And so, I decided that I'm going to keep on keeping on. I'm not going to hide or leave or delete.  I'm still here, and I'm going to keep at it, even if what I do only helps one woman also going through a loss, then it will be worth it. I took episode 22 to talk about the events of the loss, all the ways God blessed me through it and how comforted I have been with all of your sharing.  I cry and I sniffle and I talk in this episode, but that's real life. And once again, thank you for your love and support.  I feel so blessed to be part of this wonderful community of Catholic Women. Your sister in Christ, Nancy
November 14, 2017
It often feels like I am on an endless (and fruitless) quest to make my life at home raising kids just a little bit better.  Maybe if we stayed home more...or went out more...or had better toys, or fewer toys. This sort of searching leads to an awful restlessness and discontentedness.   For this very reason I was given so much peace by this simple idea shared in my woman's Bible Study: This Side of Heaven, Things Are Just Going to Be Hard. Yes we should endure to always be better.  Yes we should prayerfully and thoughtfully consider what is best for our kids...but chasing after some sort of ideal is not only fruitless, but can also lead to discouragement. So, take peace and live as well as you can, knowing that you and your children were not made for this world, but for the next.
October 25, 2017
Housework is an unavoidable part of many of our days.  It is something we dread, and put off and force ourselves to just get through. But, housework can be much more than that. Housework is a call to and opportunity for Holiness. Although I struggle with this as well, I worked hard to research and pray about this topic and I have come up with 3 points to consider when it comes to housework and holiness. 1. We are not "too good" for the menial work on cleaning and cooking and caring for our family. 2. The work we do around the house is an opportunity to show our love for our family. 3. When we engage in housework we have an opportunity to commune with may of the holy women that have come before us, including beloved grandmothers and our Blessed Mother. Thanks for listening and I hope that this episode is a blessing for you!
October 18, 2017
I love a good story of hope, healing and mercy.  Thanks be to our good and gracious God, our faith is filled with them, but the message of continued hope and the redemptive power of suffering never gets old.  For this very reason I loved the interview I did with Jennifer Ringwald of Mercy Every Morning.  Jennifer agreed to join me for episode 19 of the Just One Small Thing Podcast, and in this episode she shares her amazing story of loss, grief, love and mercy every morning.
October 11, 2017
The talented Genie from Barefoot Abbey ( is on the podcast today to share simple, beautiful ways to bring music into your home.   She has many wonderful tips and advice for engaging more in music, but her whole story is beautiful.  Her love of music, her family, her conversion, her choice to homeschool, we cover it all and all of it ties back to music in some way.  
October 4, 2017
In this beautiful episode, Christina from the Evangelista ( share on the cross of waiting.  I promise that you will be inspired as Christina shares all she as learned from waiting through her single years, and now waiting for the birth of her son. We all have something that we are waiting for right now, and, especially for women, waiting is HARD!  But, the cross, and God is in the waiting.
September 27, 2017
The idea of obedience has haunted me for a few weeks.  Eventually I read everything that Mother Teresa wrote about obedience, and I was not let down.  Much of what I read was written for her community and talked about the role of obedience in religious community life.  However, nearly every point she made could also be perfectly applied to the family and marriage. So that is basically what this week's episode is--a summary of Mother Teresa's teaching on Obedience.  In a very real way it's like she's my guest.  I am still learning to be obedient in my marriage, my family and my faith life, so I needed a real expert to teach us all, and for that I looked to Mother Teresa.
September 14, 2017
No matter the sage of life, there never seems to be enough time or money or energy...and we can quickly become overwhelmed. Here are a few quick tips to deal with the overwhelm you might be feeling, along with a big announcement about what is going on in our lives (and contributing to our overwhelm greatly). Enjoy, and blessings!! Nancy
August 25, 2017
Taking little kids to mass each week is tough.   And yet, we do it every Sunday and genuinely love it, because kids and babies need to be at mass and as mothers there are ways for us to get more out of mass with a little preparation, correct formation about the mass and some practical tips, which is exactly what I share in this episode.   One of these tips is to prepare for Mass with a Mass Journal, like the one from Every Sacred Sunday.  After you listen, I would love to hear you tips for taking kids to mass!
August 16, 2017
Today my friend Katie from The Joyful Leap ( is joining me to talk about so so very many beautiful things, but they all have to do with the support that mothers need. Support from other mothers. Supports from our communities. AND, the support that we have as Catholics.  The support of the saints, of Our Lady and of the sacraments.  It's all about support! Katie has so many beautiful stories to share about motherhood and saints and marriage, AND she also talks about an exciting project she has started to help new and expecting Catholic Moms.  It is an incredible ministry. You aren't going to want to miss a word of it!
August 4, 2017
The ideas behind today's episode come from the months of research I have been doing to create the Catholic Wife's Academy (open for enrollment on August 8th). And here is the major take-away: To live out our marriages well, we need to know and understand all the wonderful things JPII wrote on love and marriage, but we also need to know and understand some of the wonderful modern research done in secular realm on marriage, relationships, sex and simple conversation.
July 29, 2017
The little way of St. Therese applies so perfectly to the life of mothers. We live a life of small things and our mission is to do those things with great love. But, how do we actually endeavor on this Little Way? Well, I have some ideas for you. The little way of St. Therese can be broken down into three steps: Recognize, Trust and Try. I talk through each of these steps and discuss how the little way of St. Therese is, indeed, the very existence of motherhood.
July 18, 2017
Today Shannon Wendt of joins me to talk about doing BIG things, even when they are scary, even when you don't have everything planned out...and even when you are a homeschooling mom of soon to be 7 little ones. Sometimes you just need to be brave and do it, and through that God can make amazing things happen. Shannon should know!  Listen in to hear how God used 3 back-to-back miscarriages to inspire a beautiful idea that would be the basis of her now thriving businesses.   I dare you not get inspired. Listen, and then head over to to check out all of her great products.
July 11, 2017
We know the truths of the Catholic Church.  We love the truths...and yet it can be so hard to say those truths to the people we love.  Why is that? Today I dive into these issues and talk about why it is so important that we have the courage to say those hard words to the people in our lives.  We need to move beyond causal friendships and seek the good of the other by confronting the sins or ignorance that they are allowing to control their life. But how do we say these things in a way that will actually help?  Out of love. To say the hard words of out love we need to: 1. Address a specific person about a specific situation. 2. Inquire and find out the truth of the matter directly from the person in question. 3. Let them know that you have heard what they have to say and you understand. 4. Share the truth of the church in a way that is loving and gentle, without watering it down or changing it. 5. Share the beauty of that truth. It is tough and scary, but I really believe it is crucial that we speak up about certain key topics including the sacraments, issues of life and issues of respect.   It's hard, it's scary.  But we need to say the hard words to those that we love.  We need to be that one voice for truth, because there might not be any others. Prayers for you in this hard work--and prayers for the work in front of me as well!
July 1, 2017
In this episode my friend Nell ( and I talk all things friendship, focusing especially on the importance of friendship in the mom years. We talk about how having a good mom friend can be essential to the health of your marriage. We talk about our own struggles in making and keeping mom friends. We talk about the difficulties women face in friendships, and how easy it is for us to fall into judgement and cattiness. We talk about real ways that you can go out and start forming the mom friendships that you need. So, go have a listen! And, as we mention in the podcast, we will both be at the Edel gathering in Austin  August 4-5.  (details here: will we see you there?  Let us know! Thanks for listening! 
June 23, 2017
The years of having and loosing and avoiding having babies offer us a remarkable opportunity to say YES to the will of God over and over again.  And surrender over and over again.  And work through serious decisions with our spouse. This is the topic of this episode of the Just One Small Thing Podcast.  Since issues of sex and fertility were such a HUGE part of the survey I did of Catholic Men and Women, I decided to focus on these things for this episode. I cover NFP struggles, the OVER blessing of children, Miscarriage, and Infertility and how each of these situations offer another opportunity to say YES to the will of God, although it might be difficult.  And I would love for you to share your fertility story with us!  Head here ( and share in the comments!  
June 13, 2017
Be warned, this episode is SUPER Catholic! My friend Katie joins me to talk about the transforming nature of the Eucharist.  Our conversation takes us from College to Marriage to Motherhood, all while focusing on the Eucharist. We talk about The Theology of the Body, St. Faustina, The Catholic Wife Academy and little ones receiving 1st communion.  It's all there, along with a quick movie review of The Shack. Enjoy--and blessings, Nancy
June 6, 2017
We dive deep into a very specific topic today: the mental health of new mothers and soon-to-be mothers.  My guest, Emily Reiter, is the mother of 5 little ones and hails from Texas.   After her own struggles, Emily is quite passionate about helping women get mentally healthy after the birth of their children.  To connect with her and help spread this important message, head to Emily's page, Be Like Lillies, on Facebook.  
May 31, 2017
Episode 5 of the Just One Small Thing podcast is all about our desire to control, it's root cause of fear, and our need to surrender. How control damages our marriages.  How our need to control pulls us away from God. So, if you are a control freak like me, listen in.  I talk candidly about many of my struggles with control, tracing all the way back to the days when I was dating my husband.   And, if you have anything to add, tips or just to commiserate, join the conversation right here: Thanks for listening--and please share!
May 24, 2017
In this podcast I speak from my heart to all Married Catholic Women about how love is a choice.  From struggling to really love my husband while he was sick in bed, to dealing with going negative on our husbands, to the difference in the choice to have sex in men and women, I cover it all and really challenge all women to take seriously the choice they made on their wedding day.
May 19, 2017
In this episode I go it alone, without a guest, and speak from the heart about being small, striving for greatness, being honest and STARTING A MOVEMENT.  
May 9, 2017
A whole new take on the old phrase, "just do it." Prepare to have your marriage changed...for the better.
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