We have some really cool behind the scenes news we want to share with you. So let's get right to it:
First off, major thanks to you and everyone else who reached out and shared some kindness with our family a couple weeks ago after we had to say goodbye to our dog, Jody. It's been a strange couple of weeks getting used to her not being around. While we know not everyone reading this is an "animal person," we appreciated the prayers and kind words, nevertheless.
We never knew how much food we apparently drop on the kitchen floor until Jody was no longer with us!
Secondly, as we mentioned on this week's podcast, given his 15 years of media development experience, Greg has started developing a new online course to help others get a podcast up and running quickly and professionally, but still having fun along the way. The goal is to include not only the equipment and mechanics of podcasting, but also the many lessons Greg learned from hosting over 4 years of radio with Jennifer on SiriusXM. There are plenty of podcasting courses out there, but not a single one like what Greg is working on.
Before getting too deeply into development of the course, he's looking for a small handful of people who'd be willing to share with him their concerns, hopes, and struggles with podcasting.This includes people who have already launched a podcast, as well as people who have been thinking about it for awhile (whether for personal or business use).
He's already had several conversations just since mentioning it on our podcast, and the feedback has been INCREDIBLY useful.
Interested? If so, let Greg know right away (his email is greg [at] willitsworks [dot] com), or you can contact him directly from our website here.
Once he hears from you, if he's still looking for input, he'll send you his calendar so you can pick a time that works for you, and then he'll schedule a 1-on-1 video conversation (should only take about 20-30 minutes) to pick your brain (that phrase has always grossed us out, but you get the picture). It would be of great help!
Another area we're starting to explore is personally journeying with people just like you who want a deeper faith life, or perhaps just some objective feedback and guidance in life, relationships, and work.
To that end, we are now offering individual spiritual direction and life coaching.
You can meet with either Jennifer or Greg for one hour at a time via live video conferencing. We're "tip-toeing" our way into this as we want to offer this while also working on all the other areas of content development that we know bring value to people's lives. So we're currently working with our first clients while also gauging the overall interest.
So if you've been on the search for spiritual direction or life coaching, click here to join our waiting list. or just drop your name and email in the form below. We're currently reviewing applications for new clients, but new openings become available regularly. We'd love to help you experiencing a deeper faith life and more joy.
Thanks to our $5 and above co-producers, we're now hosting a monthly live and interactive video chat. Our third session will be on Sunday night, September 9, at 8PM EST. If you haven't yet signed up as a co-producer, you can do so here. For those of you who are already signed up at the $5 or higher level, be sure to mark the date on your calendar and keep an eye on your email for the exclusive link as the date approaches.
The response to our free Happiness on Demand Video Course has been fantastic! If you haven't yet had a chance to check it out, make sure to enter your info in the form below and you'll get INSTANT access!
Wait. What? Yeah, we know that sounds confusing, but "We Need More Hate" is the name of this week's podcast episode. In this edition we share the amazing co-producer news we woke up to the other morning.
Plus we talk about our daughter Lily's recent attempts at comedy, and wonder if she might genuinely have a talent for this and we also get quite transparent when we share some of our recent failures, how they've affected our family, and our attempt to pivot in yet another new direction. And lastly, in light of last week's Grand Jury report out of Pennsylvania, combined with the ongoing fallout of the McCarrick scandal, we share the pointed response from Bishop Morlino of the Diocese of Madison where he surprisingly calls for more hate in the Church, but not in a way you might think. If you haven't already checked it out, you can do so right here.
And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to Adventures in Imperfect Living and leave a review for it on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts!
And that's it for this week! Whew. That was a lot!
As always, we're so incredibly grateful to have you in our lives. If you think someone else may get something from this email, please feel free to forward it along!
We are VERY excited to share the amazing co-producer news we woke up to this morning. It was a huge blessing for us today, for sure!
In light of last week's Grand Jury report out of Pennsylvania, combined with the ongoing fallout of the McCarrick scandal, we share the pointed response from Bishop Morlino of the Diocese of Madison where he surprisingly calls for more hate in the Church, but not in a way you might think.
Then, in a more lighthearted conversation, we share our daughter Lily's recent attempts at comedy, and wonder if she might genuinely have a talent for this.
We also get quite transparent when we share some of our recent failures, how they've affected our family, and our attempt to pivot in yet another new direction.
Along those lines, if you're interested in launching a podcasting and would like to help Greg as he prepares for a new course, make sure to drop us an email to schedule a 1-on-1 discussion with him.
And lastly, a reminder to make sure you sign up for our FREE Happiness On Demand online course before it's too late!
In case you missed this last week, we had a very emotional few days last week as our family dog, Jody, suddenly got sick and made a turn for the worse.
As we recorded on his feast day, we share how instrumental St. Maximilian Kolbe was in the ongoing success of Rosary Army and SQPN, and how he continues to inspire us to this day by his love of others, Mary, and the use of technology to evangelize in creative ways.
We also discuss the importance of this week's Holy Day of Observation, which coincides with both the first day of school, as well as the third anniversary of Jennifer's dad's passing.
And lastly, a reminder to make sure you sign up for our FREE online course before it's too late!
Yesterday was a tough day for our family.
You see, on January 1, 2007, our family took a huge leap of faith. I'd just resigned from my career in the IT industry so that Jennifer and I could work as full-time media missionaries, creating podcasts and video and other fun resources to help people through life.
Given that we'd just taken a huge financial risk by giving up health insurance and a steady paycheck, we're still not sure what compelled us the next day to adopt a rescue dog.
But this 9 month old black dog named Jody just seemed to pick us, as if we were already hers. As we were deciding what to do, she even let our then two-year-old son Tommy slowly lead her along by a leash, staying by his side with each step. She was gentle and playful and there was just something about her that made our entire family know she was supposed to come home with us.
In the ensuing years, Jody's occasional barks and jangling chains made many appearances on various podcasts and our former radio program on SiriusXM.
She watched over our daughter Lily when she was born in 2009, and was there with us every step of the way through future job changes and two cross country moves.
When Jennifer's mother moved in with us a couple years ago, she and Jody -- now over a decade old -- developed a certain kinship, these two elderly ladies regularly resting within close proximity of each other on the main floor of our house.
Then earlier this week we noticed a large mass on Jody's right side, and she suddenly became lethargic and stopped eating. When we took her to the vet on Tuesday, it was suggested that a series of medications could bring down the inflammation in her kidneys, pancreas, and stomach. But two days later, the mass had nearly quadrupled in size and the doctor confirmed what we already suspected. The mass was inoperable and there was little we could do to ease Jody's pain.
So while Jennifer and our son, Walter, stayed at the vet, I drove home to get the other kids and my mother-in-law so they could say their goodbyes. Even though Jody would soon turn thirteen, we were all in complete disbelief that her end was already here.
We all gathered then around this suddenly very old dog who never stopped acting like a puppy until this very week. We said a prayer and thanked God for our time with Jody, and for giving her to our family. And we sat with Jody as the doctor administered two shots and our good girl took her last breath.
We knew this day would happen. Animals and humans all come to their inevitable end. But still, we were as shocked by our grief as we were by Jody's sudden illness and death.
When we returned home, we put away her dog dishes and swept the floor. We saw her everywhere we looked.
As the day progressed, we were all very, very tired. We made the obligatory Facebook post and were comforted by the kind words that so many people shared.
Jennifer, exhausted from grieving with the children and from her own sadness, went to bed at 8:00, an unusually early hour for her. Our younger three kids began prepping for bed shortly thereafter as Walter and I attempted to distract ourselves with an inane 1990's Adam Sandler movie (Billy Madison, for those who are curious).
But then something completely unexpected happened.
Around 9:30 PM Walter got a text:
"Hey, we're outside."
He jumped up and went to the front door where three of his friends stood in the dark bearing gifts: two pizzas, and boxes of cookies and muffins.
They'd seen Walt's own Instagram post from earlier in the day and came to cheer us up.
So Jennifer got out of bed. The other kids came back downstairs. Tommy brought his rabbit, Hazel, to the living room, and our cat Marty came in to see what all the commotion was about.
For the next hour we ate and laughed and played with our two remaining pets. Our children forgot about their grief for awhile, as they laughed with Walter's friends.
And so did we.
We were comforted by others who Jennifer and I barely even know. These three teenagers, all recent high school graduates, had the character and thoughtfulness to seek out and comfort not only their friend, Walter, but his family, as well.
Some people may say Jody was just a dog, and that perhaps we were taking it too hard. But these three teens saw what yesterday truly was: an opportunity to bring joy to the lives of others.
I went to bed last night thinking not only of our good fortune at having had such a good dog in our family, and from experiencing the unconditional love of one of God's creatures in this mutt of various breeds. But more than anything, I found myself so grateful that three wise teens showed up at our door late at night bearing gifts of food, compassion and love.
Who do you know that could benefit from an unexpected phone call or visit from you this weekend?
Your sudden appearance may mean more to them than you will ever know.
Yesterday was a tough day for our family. But it was a very blessed one, as well.
This week's show kicks off with a conversation about how well we've indoctrinated our children to appreciate classic movies, as well as continually introduce them to highly quotable movies. Speaking of great quotes, we also explain why we were so incredibly proud of our son Walter for the awesome movie quote he chose for his senior yearbook quote.
We were a day late in recording because Greg got a wee bit queasy from the amino acid nutrients he's started taking to build up his neurotransmitters. We discussed the first day of taking TWENTY-FIVE pills (!) and what our hopes are going forward with this new therapy.
And lastly, Jennifer recounts her excellent visit back to Colorado and some much-needed mother/son time with our oldest child, Sam. They hit up a concert (check out the artwork Sam did for the band, Aloris), saw some old friends, hiked so much that Jennifer sprained her ankle, and visited three different churches.
And don't forget to sign up for our brand new FREE video course, Happiness on Demand! Just enter your name and email below to get INSTANT ACCESS!
We kick off the show by sadly saying goodbye to our voicemail line. After many years of service, it just got too pricy and too problematic. Going forward, if you'd like to share your beautiful voice with us, just record a message on your phone or computer and email it to us at [email protected]
Next, we share the news about Cardinal McCarrick's resignation over the weekend, and what that means for the laity going forward.
In a nutshell, the Church needs cleaning. But as always, we need to start with ourselves. How much do we allow ourselves to be challenged? How much do we question if the "truths" we hold are actually true, or if they're just things we'd like to be true?
We wrap up the show by sharing some of the books that have changed our lives, and the reasons why. Next week we'll continue this discussion by diving into the specific faith-based books that made the biggest impact.
The books we mentioned this week include:
Hemingway: A Life without Consequences by James Mellow
Jeff Herman’s Guide to Publisher’s, Editors, and Literary Agents (2000 edition)
Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
NOVELS (Both Fiction and Historical)
Lay Seige to Heaven by Louis de Wohl
Empire strikes back novelization
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Replay by Ken Grimwood
The World According to Garp by John Irving
Don't forget to sign up right away!
Revisiting the controversial topic of Cardinal McCarrick, we go full-throttle in this episode as we candidly share some of the ugliness in Church leadership from an insider's view having worked for Archdioceses and other organizations over the past decade. In doing so, we wrestle with when it's prudent and helpful to challenge Church leadership and when is it spiteful and hurtful.
From there, we give an honest update on how things are going with our family during our transition to working for ourselves full-time, and the difficulties that go along with it, which lead to our asking two pointed questions at the end of the show:
Leave your comments below and let us know!
Jennifer has been diving deeply into Dr. Brant Pitre's book, The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, which has lead to more frequent daily Mass attendance for both Greg and Jennifer.
The discussion of the book swerved into the more sensitive topic of the melting pot of cultural appropriation, and the modern-day difficulty of appreciating other cultures without accidentally offending those to who the culture belongs.
Lastly, Lily's interest in cross country has provided inspiration for perseverance both in health as well as our faith lives.
On this week's show we're joined by our old buddy, Michael McCaughey, who we became great friends with during the first year of our marriage. Greg and Michael first met at a network gaming party in 1995 and shortly thereafter they shared adjacent cubes while working at LOTUS software's tech support division.
Over the next few years the three of us went to tons of concerts, movies, and even vacation together. Michael was the first person to ever encourage us to go into business for ourselves.
As we started having kids and moved to another part of Atlanta, our visits with Michael became fewer and farther between. Then, around 2008, Michael was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Over the next several years we lost contact with each other for various reasons, finally reconnecting last fall.
During the intervening years, Michael sought non-traditional ways to not only overcome his Parkinson's, but discovered groundbreaking ways of addressing a multitude of neurological disorders including depression, anxiety, and more.
Given the way our 2018 has been, it's been a Godsend to have Michael back in our lives. And for the 4th of July, Michael came to visit us and meet some of our children for the first time.
On this episode we share Michael's medical miracles, his regained health after being completely disabled by Parkinson's, and his quest to help others battling neurological challenges.
If you or someone you know would like more info about Michael's treatment and how it could help you, click here to send him an email.
As promised, here are some photos from our heyday with Michael, in the few short years before we became parents:
You have work to do, grocery shopping that needs done, kids demanding attention.
And you're tired. Wiped out. Physically and mentally tapped.
But you don't have time to take a nap, and need to wake up NOW!
In this episode we dive into 5 Ways to Avoid the Mid-Day Crash:
ALSO: We've had the chance to spend a lot of time visiting our friend Kyle Heimann on his radio show. Here are links to listen:
We celebrated Jennifer's 48th birthday with a family road trip to Lake Michigan, we shared new ways to stay in touch with our co-producers, and discussed the frustrating news of Cardinal McCarrick's recent removal from ministry and what it means for the future of the Catholic Church.
This past Saturday Jennifer's mother went back to Atlanta to visit family for a few weeks, leaving us to re-acclimate to being in our house with just the kids. But we're still incredibly busy, nonetheless, and talk about the importance of setting goals, of dreaming big, and trusting with all that we've got.
We also talk about how to flip our own internal switches to generate more happiness in our lives whenever we need it.
What started as a conversation about the difficulty of keeping up with mowing the grass in Indiana turned into a deep dive into what it means to completely surrender yourself to Jesus through Mary, which in turn brought up those perennial Catholic questions:
How is Mary a model for us?
Why do Catholics pray to Mary?
Why not just go straight to Jesus?
By looking at our relationship with Mary, we further talked about how God is taking us deeper into better understanding our own need for greater humility and trust in our current circumstances of trying to build up a business.
Along with all that, we also share how much fun we had creating our new co-producer video.
Want to be a Co-Producer? Check out this video to learn how:
And lastly, don’t forget to download and review the all new Rosary Army Mobile app! Details and links to download can be found here.