About Me,  Catholics Do What?,  deliverance,  house reno,  spiritual warfare

Life lately

It’s hump day so why not toss together a random assortment of items on the more personal side of the spectrum, lest I go a full week without enthralling you with something in this space.

The week after I have a piece go “Catholic viral,” if you will, is always kind of …draining. I mean of course, I write stuff out here in the digital public square to be read and thoughtfully discussed/debated, and I’m so happy when I reach a wider audience, but… it’s always surprising how much energy and effort it takes to respond to comments and answer emails. And guys? I’m really, really terrible at that. I’m sorry. Know that I read every single comment I get (though I delete it as soon as I figure out it’s hate mail, if it is, #byefelicia) and I really appreciate the time it takes for you to read and then respond to anything that I write.

Especially when I go over 1,000 words! I feel like you should get a prize, then. But, I have no social media assistant or admin. I have my wonderful mother’s helper who comes once a week, but most of the time I use her presence to spend time creating new content/praying about what to write/answering urgent emails, etc.

So, please accept my gratitude and also my little personality quirk/design flaw, which is just that I’m terrible at responding to all your awesome comments?


We’re in the throes of some major home improvement projects/renovations that have my big boys sleeping on mattresses on the living room floor and they are loving it. I don’t hate it. But it will be great to get things tied up, at which point, guess what? We’re putting our house on the market. Yep, the house we bought last summer, after an agonizing hunt and many, many false alarms. But we’ve discerned that God is calling us in a different direction, and with the many improvements we’ve made both cosmetic and functional, we probably stand  to turn a decent profit on the thing. Call it our profoundly unintended fix and flip. Or call it “Discovering you aren’t HGTV’s next big thing, after all.” Move in ready (and maybe a good bit smaller), here we come. (And, it bears noting, this will be an in-town move. #Denver4life)

I’ll miss our lovely new neighbors and the huge yard, but the scope of what this house needs long term to be really functional for our family of 6 is simply beyond our capacity. (We’re definitely adding “tri-level” to our list of deal breakers as we head into another hunting season.)

On the upside, I am giving away or selling everything we own and starting over with $500 at IKEA. I actually dream of living in an open concept warehouse with cement floors, skylights, and whitewashed walls. With benches. And without personal items aside from house plants and bath towels. Maybe I actually want to live in the IKEA foyer?

Anyway, if you’re local and in need of furniture, give me a holler, we’re seriously liquidating 80% of our belongings and starting over. (Sounds dramatic but keep in mind, we made an international move 3.5 years ago and basically started from scratch, so we don’t own that much furniture to begin with.)


I’ve been having fascinating conversations with people lately about deliverance prayer, and observed a growing awareness within the Catholic Church and in Protestant churches about the reality of spiritual warfare. I don’t mean that the Church hasn’t always taught about and believed in the spiritual realm, but that we moderns have lost a great deal of our sense of the supernatural. Most people will not be too weirded out by the mention of guardian angels or God Himself, but bring the devil into the conversation, and you’ll get people slowly backing away looking you up and down. (Which is such a successful tactic for the enemy, when you think about it. CS Lewis famously said as much.) In our family we’ve been paying more attention to the spiritual climate within our home and out in the world, and making use of sacramentals like holy water, and praying over and for each other asking for protection and deliverance.

The St. Michael prayer and a bottle of holy water to bless your kids with in the morning and at bedtime is a great place to start. (This is one of my favorite books on the subject. It’s not Catholic, but the author works with a lot of priests and has a thriving ecumenical ministry.)

I’ll be writing some stuff specifically about deliverence and spiritual warfare over the next couple months. We really have so many incredible resources at our fingertips in the Church’s rich history, it’s just a matter of reacquainting ourselves with practices which have fallen out of common knowledge, and reawakening to the reality that we are in a literal – not a figurative – battle.


On a less combative note, last night at 8 pm a little head popped into my room and informed me that he needed a costume for his “Trivia Bowl” team, and it needed to be “all gray, Mom. A gray bowl, with eye holes, and a grey outfit, and sunglasses. I texted a few fellow moms from his class trying to figure out what that might mean, and when I couldn’t get better clarification, I sent him to bed promising we’d “figure it out at breakfast.” Cackle. Cue 7:12 am and he is screaming because actually he remembered it’s a real bull, with horns, and it has to be gray! IT HAS TO BE GRAY. I WON’T GO TO SCHOOL WITHOUT A GRAY BULL MASK AND SUNGLASSES!!!!!”

Hysterics, tears, snot, scissors, poster board, a literal shirt-off-your-brother’s-back exchange from the big hearted 4 year old, and we had the following to show for ourselves:

Killed it, right?

Well guess what. My sister found a comprehensive list of the costumes for each grade and team and texted it to me about 10 am, complete with 121 laughing/crying emojis.

It was a gray bowl he needed for his head. The non-torro kind.

Can’t wait to see him at pickup time.

Here’s a little pick me up of the musical variety, as a reward for wading through all this random goodness. I’m off to start paaaaaaaacking. #again.



  • Jenn

    Oh! I read a few books on demons and spiritual warfare just recently! When I get a chance, if I remember, I’ll post the titles and authors in a reply to this comment. Very insightful.

  • Katherine

    I, too, am laughing although all of my children are above the age of 15. I was just thinking this morning that my reaction to these situations has mellowed a lot through the years. The reason why I thought about it this morning is that I had to help my 15 year old find her basketball uniform in two gigantic piles of laundry in her room. She didn’t sleep well last night and was a bit of a mess this morning so I just helped her and I found it and all was fine. She may repel the other team with the smell of her uniform today but whatev. In the past I would have been, shall we say, more vocal about my reaction and my blood pressure would have gone through the roof but I was kind of proud that I just let it roll off and helped look. She does her own laundry, hence the giant piles in her room, so I am anticipating a lecture tomorrow entitled:”Don’t overload the washing machine”. I am quite impressed with your bull mask. Great artistic skills. The part that had me laughing the most is the “sharing” of the tshirt by the sibling. Silver lining – the sibling showed immense kindness in helping out. What a nice kid! I’m guessing that the munchkin in gray forgot the whole thing by pickup. I am happy that I have found your blog. Thank you!

  • KM

    My husband and I purchased a townhouse last year that was a realllll fixer upper. We put a great deal of money into the renovations & as soon as we finished… I found out I was pregnant & realized (in horror) how non-functional the place would be for baby + 70 lb dog. We sold our place & moved into our current home 10 days before I gave birth. It was incredibly stressful selling & buying in the third trimester but I feel so much more at peace in our new place. I prayed a novena to St. Anne during the process & our new home happens to be down the street from our new parish… St. Anne’s! 🙂

  • jeanette

    Moving? I’m dreading it for you. We’ve been here 2+ years at what was supposed to be temporary and have been looking diligently since last May. We thought we’d be moved before our granddaughter was born. My daughter asked me the other day if I still planned to help with her daycare needs (yes). Looking for a home seems to be more of a hobby than a reality sometimes. I hope you have better progress in your plans to move. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and stay healthy. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

    As for the spiritual battle, I have an excellent book recommendation for you. A book entitled, “The Deceiver: Our Daily Struggle With Satan” by Livio Fanzaga. It is an English language edition published by Roman Catholic Books, Ft. Collins, CO.

  • Sarah

    Ha! That is just so funny! I can just picture the whole scene playing out with a crying kid and all! Good job Mama, it really was an excellent bull!

  • Beth (A Mom's Life)

    I am dying over here! You totally nailed the bull but I can’t wait to hear how it went at pick up.

    And the teacher should have totally clued YOU in. My son is in the 8th grade and still has trouble remembering to tell me exactly what he needs and in plenty of time for me to get it. But I totally give your son a pass – the teacher not so much!

  • mary

    woah, i hope you dish on the moving/downsizing thing more! and i, dare i say, look forward to the spiritual warfare stuff. i definitely have been on the receiving end of the look you described.

    i hate, hate, hate! those random things kids have to dress up for. our catholic school’s week activities were pretty mild this year, but i still roll my eyes. “dress as your favorite decade”?! they’ve only been alive for 2. a second grader hasn’t developed passionate feelings for the attire trends of past decades.

  • Patty

    Jenny, I have done 4-5 UnBound prayer sessions and read the book….such a blessing to the Church! Personally I have been learning much more on deliverance prayer/theophastic prayer. It is such a need in the world and culture today!

  • Cami

    Another good Spiritual Warfare book is Onward Catholic Soldier by John LaBriola. He’s a west coast Catholic author and speaker and a dear friend. My husband and I began experiencing a lot of spiritual attack when we got engaged. You gotta fight! We also enjoyed Unbound as we used it to prepare for deliverance we went through a year and a half ago. Everyone can benefit from it! Check the Alexander House who also facilitates a deliverance ministry that may be available in your area. Jenny, I know the Denver deliverance people to seek out if you need info. But you’re probably well connected on your own. Scratching my head on the house flip. Tell us more when you’re ready.

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