happy birthday, rachael

Today is Rachael Christine's 24th birthday. How she delights my soul!! When we learned we were expecting Rachael, I was not in a good emotional place. Getting pregnant seemed like the least logical thing in the world and it definitely was not something we would have chosen. God saw things differently. Shortly after learning I was pregnant, I read in Psalm 30, "You have turned my mourning into dancing." Rachael's life infused my sorrowing heart... Read more →

josefa on humility

Jesus told Sister Josefa, one of my saints, that when she had two options, to choose the humbler one. I'm trying to apply this wisdom more and more often. I’m trying to embrace humility in various ways. My sweet saint friends, Francis, Anthony, Rita, Faustina, and Josefa all modelled humility in powerful ways. Their writings and lives have taught me a lot about humility, but I am still so proud. Pride rises up all the... Read more →

atlas rigel

We have a precious new grandson. Buddy (Atlas Rigel) weighed 7.14. Deborah let me watch him gush into our world and then cut the cord. We’re all enchanted and Deborah is doing well. I am very in love. Read more →

dear darian, the agony in the garden

Dear Darian,** Today as I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, I thought of Jesus’ agony in the garden and how the fruit of that mystery is true contrition of sins. Did you know that each mystery of the rosary has a corresponding fruit? The fruit of meditating on the agony in the garden is true contrition for sin. We all need that, don’t we? Do you recall the wooded park on the corner... Read more →

yip yip

Please consider purchasing my new book. Preschool children are raving about it. Haha. I’d truly appreciate your buying a copy or two. In Canada: Yip Yip https://www.amazon.ca/.../ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_UUtdDbJTA1RK3 In the US: https://www.amazon.com/Yip-Valerie-Dykstra/dp/152554229X Read more →


I love the finches, chickadees and sparrows that visit daily. My cat, Casanova, loves them too, but in a sinister way. Several weeks ago, Jessica, my friend that lives in the suite downstairs, brought me a freshly injured sparrow, Casanova's latest victim. I felt a powerful compunction to pray for him. I probably held him for 15 minutes. His leg was broken, he had a tooth puncture on his head, and one wing looked gnarly.... Read more →

mother's day, from deborah

Like my previous post about Hannah, I want to share what Deborah wrote on Facebook for Mother's Day. Not only does this record allow me to cherish it over and over, it also reminds me, yet again, to not stop praying even when all looks lost. Deborah appeared to be a borderline-lost cause for nearly 10 years. Might those prayers have been the very way God brought her back to us? What if we had... Read more →

mother's day, from hannah

God answers prayers, sometimes more beautifully than we imagined. For a number of years, Mother's Day was a sad day for me. I felt like I'd given my life to raising upstanding children and the effort seemed to have been futile. I wrote about it here on Mother's Day, 2012. If you read it, I think you'll sense my despair. Seven years later, I want to share the note I received from Hannah for Mother's... Read more →

examen with st. ignatius

I've been on an eating binge. This is my sin of choice and the gutter I find myself in over and over is that of gluttony. How is it that I hate this addiction/vice so much yet still return to it over and over? I guess that is what addiction is. Yesterday I was doing the Examination of Conscience as St. Ignatius taught it and experienced some powerful imagery. (I was using a pamphlet I... Read more →

adoption day

What a glorious day, one we've been awaiting. Today, my daughter, Stephanie, and her husband, John Mark welcomed three more children into their family. The adoption process is complete! I am happy to have three new grandchildren: Sydnie, age 11; Landon, age 8; and Rylie, age 6. They are now a family of 10, can you believe? What a journey they've had and will continue to have. It won't be easy, but they knew that... Read more →

2019 goals and such

2019 Yip, Yip published Spend prayer time every month on specific people (January: Sandy; February: Paul; etc) Eat low carb and no whites Pay credit line down to $5000 Almost finish Bachelors Degree, maintain a 4.0 GPA Focus on growth in fortitude, patience, and temperance Finish Bible Timeline study at church Read more in the evening and Facebook less Keep 3:00 prayer break No snacks between meals at work Park at Mall so I get... Read more →