All posts by Christy Isinger

FoC 086: Living Out Your Creative Dreams to Love Your Family with Jennifer Fulwiler

Can women “have it all” when it comes to creative fulfillment and nurturing their families? Jennifer Fulwiler says “yes,” but redefines what it means to “have it all” in her new (fantastic!) memoir about pursuing her passion to write in the midst of having 6 babies in 8 years. We have wanted to have Jen on the podcast for ages and this topic is so dear to our hearts (and it’s why we spend time producing a podcast even though we have 8 kids and one on the way between us).

Our creative pursuits matter. God wired us all with certain passions and talents. But how do we nurture these talents without sacrificing our family’s wellbeing? That’s what this episode is all about: saying yes to live-giving creativity that empowers us to serve faithfully, and saying no to “mom guilt” for structuring our lives differently from other families.

You probably already know her, but for the two of you who don’t, Jennifer Fulwiler is a best-selling author, radio show host on SiriusXM The Catholic Channel, speaker, and force of nature. Her whole family of 8 is currently traveling up the eastern seaboard to promote her new book, One Beautiful Dream that releases TODAY!

Whether you’re married, a parent, or single, Jen’s insights in this episode about the Christian call to serve and how pursuing the dreams God gives us helps us live out that calling are for you. So grab your running shoes and headphones or (if you’re like us) grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy this engaging conversation!

Jen’s books: (links to Amazon are affiliate links)

One Beautiful Dream

Something Other Than God

Links we discussed:

‘I regret having children’: Macleans

And Haley’s reflection on the article above: Is this why some women regret motherhood?

To connect with Jen:

 

 

Come hang out with us!

Haven’t joined in on the fun with 3,000+ other FoC listeners in our facebook group? It’s your direct line to some fantastic folks who also care about faith, culture, books, and whatever our current masterpiece theatre craze might be! Join in with the link below.

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 085: Finding Healing Through Annulment with Patty Breen

 

Divorce and annulment affect so many Catholic women (and men), but they’re often topics that aren’t discussed much in Catholic circles. And annulment is an incredibly misunderstood Church teaching (hint: it’s not Catholic divorce!). We’ve been moved by Patty Breen’s story of her experience of seeking an annulment and we knew that she was just the right person to speak on this topic. But Patty’s expertise on annulments goes beyond personal experience. Helping couples who are seeking annulments is part of her job as a pastoral associate at her parish!

Patty works as a pastoral associate for a Catholic parish in Michigan,  is a runner, and writes for the Catholic women’s ministry Blessed Is She. In this episode we talk with her about her story of discovering her spouse’s addiction problems and the difficult work of trying to save her marriage as well as the discernment she went through to make the decision to end the marriage. We also discuss how the annulment process can be very healing for those walking through it, what to expect when seeking an annulment, how to be a good friend when someone you care about is in the annulment process, and more!

We hope that shedding some light on annulment helps women in difficult situations feel less alone. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the conversation!

Links we discussed:

God hates divorce. But God doesn’t hate divorced people: Patty’s piece for America Magazine

Our episode discussing pornography and it’s effect on women with Matt Fradd. 

To connect with Patty:

Our Sponsor:

Over West Quilting + Design is an online quilt shop, operated by Gillian Kantor. A wife and mom to five, almost six, Gillian loves designing sweet and simple quilted pieces for the home.

Her Etsy shop features pillows, sleeping bags for dolls or stuffies, lap quilts, and baby blankets. Her newest line includes custom Saint pillows, featuring your favourite Saint, and the Rosary quilt, which has a picture of our Lady, as well as a pocket right in the quilt to hold your rosary or Saint card or small special memento.

You can find Over West Quilting + Design on Etsy and see her new products on Instagram at @overwestquilting. To contact Gillian by email, send your message to overwestquilting@gmail.com

All Fountains of Carrots listeners can use code FOC10 to receive 10% off their purchase!

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 083: The Confidence to Embrace Birth with Mary Haseltine

 

We’ve been following Mary Haseltine’s blog for years and years and we are thrilled that she agreed to join us on this episode to talk about the sacred nature of birth and how it relates to our faith. With let’s just say lots of kids between us, I’m surprised that we’ve never podcasted about birth before, but now seemed like the right time!

Mary is a doula, mother to five boys, and blogger. She’s about to release her first book with Our Sunday Visitor titled Made for This: The Catholic Mom’s Guide to Birth. She has also studied the Theology of the Body extensively and we love how she combines Catholic teaching on the body with her experience as a mom and doula to help women feel more confident about birth and view it through a sacred lens.

In this episode we talk about bringing prayer into the birthing room, how mothers can prepare for birth, choose healthcare providers, and create a birth plan. We also discuss how mothers who have had traumatic or negative birth experiences can find healing and process their trauma so they can feel confident about future births and their role as mothers. Mary’s book is a fantastic resource and offers tons of reflection, information, and a wide variety of different birth stories. We totally agree with her that there is not “right way” to give birth and love the wisdom she shares in this episode about how women can prepare for a birth that will be right for them.

So grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the conversation!

Mary’s book:

Made for This: The Catholic Mom’s Guide to Birth

To connect with Mary:

Our Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Annunciation Designs.  Catholic families seek beauty and truth in their busy lives.  With hand-lettered designs, Annunciation Designs offers products that call to mind the sacred in the midst of the ordinary.  Find more at annunciationdesigns.com, including hand-printed Catholic baby swaddles, labor encouragement cards, tea towels with Saint quotes that are super appropriate for the kitchen, and cards for the sacraments and other life events. You can also follow @annunciationdesigns on Instagram.

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 082: What to Read and Watch Now: Our Best Recommendations

 

Today we’re talking about some of our recent good reads and fantastic shows. Books and tv: two of our favorite things! For this episode we each picked three books and three shows that we loved and want to share with you. We cover everything from domestic spy thrillers to books by popes. So grab a cup of coffee and discover some great new reading material and binge watches!

Our Book Picks:

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Reading People by Anne Bogel

Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives by Pope Benedict XVI

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

The Glass Town Game by Catherynne Valente

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Other Books We Talked About:

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection by Pope Benedict XVI

Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Our TV Show Picks:

Dickensian, Available on Amazon’s Brit Box Channel

Somebody Feed Phil, Available exclusively on Netflix

Broadchurch, Available on Netflix

This Is Us

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Available on Amazon Prime

The Good Place, First Season Available on Netflix

Other Shows We Talked About:

Anthony Bordain, Parts Unknown

This episode is sponsored by 40 Days to a Feminist Faith e-retreat by our friend Claire Swinarski of The Catholic Feminist Podcast

This opportunity is fantastic because you can grow deeper in your faith from your couch with a retreat that hundreds of women have gone through and said it was “life-changing”, “amazing”, and “just what I needed.”  No travel time, no arranging childcare; it can be done from the comfort of your home.
40 Days to a Feminist Faith consists of a daily email–on alternating days, it will have a digital lesson on a feminist topic like contraception or rape culture, and on the in-between days, it will have a prayer reflection. You’ll learn answers to questions like “Why is being pro-life a feminist position?” “How can I be a feminist, whether I’m a working woman, a college student, or a stay at home mom?” “Can nuns be feminists?” “How should Catholic women be responding to the #MeToo movement?” You also get access to the Catholic Feminist slack channel and commit to praying 20 minutes daily.
It’s only $40–just a dollar a day . In today’s crazy culture, the world needs more Catholic women that understand their womanhood and feel a passion for fighting for others.
It will run from March 20-April 28, ending on St. Gianna’s feast day. So sign up at www.thecatholicfeministpodcast.com/feministfaith by MARCH 14.

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 081: Why Apologetics Matter for Sharing the Faith with Strangers AND Our Kids with Brandon Vogt

 

One of our favorite people to follow on social media is Brandon Vogt. He’s an author, father of many adorable children, chicken coop builder extraordinaire, and content director for Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic ministries. And he’s passionate about reviving Catholic apologetics. So after receiving many questions in our FoC facebook group about how to deepen our understanding of the faith and know why we believe what we believe we knew Brandon was just the man to share on this important topic.

In this episode we talk about how knowledge about how to defend our faith became de-emphasized during the rise of ecumenism and how that failure to learn apologetics has contributed to the mass exodus of young people from the Church. Brandon gives advice for conversing with friends, family, and even strangers who have left the faith. We also discussed the very important task of teaching apologetics to our children and shared resource ideas for teaching ourselves apologetics and teaching our children.

Mentioned in this episode:

Brandon’s other books:

Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World

The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet

To connect with Brandon:

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 080: Life and Healing After Abortion with Beatrice Fedor

With March for Life happening just a couple of weeks ago, there’s been lots of excitement about the pro-life movement and many discussions about abortion in Christian circles.  One of these important discussions is the trauma women experience when they’ve been through an abortion. And yet many women who regret their abortions and need healing for what they’ve been through feel like they can’t talk about their experience–especially in religious circles. We’ve been really inspired by the story of Beatrice Fedor who bravely shares about the trauma of her experience with abortion and how she found healing when she discovered faith and sought help to process her grief.

Beatrice is a lovely French woman, Catholic convert, and pro-life advocate living in the American south with her husband and children. She vulnerably tells her story in this episode and offers beautiful insight and hope to other post-abortive women. Beatrice has great wisdom to share about resources that can help women heal from the trauma of their abortions.

This isn’t an easy topic and we openly discuss the horror of abortion and the pain of losing children through abortion, so this might be an episode to listen to when the kids aren’t in the room. But please know we tackled it thoughtfully and that the theme of this discussion is hope, forgiveness, and healing. If you have experienced abortion or want to be equipped to help a friend heal from trauma, we hope this episode will bless you and point you to resources that can offer hope and healing.

Books We Talked About in this Episode:

Forgiven and Set Free by Linda Cochran

Resources for Post-abortive women:

Rachel’s Vineyard

Sisters of Life Retreats

Suicide Prevention Hotline

Silent No More Awareness Campaign (Beatrice’s Story)

Connect with Beatrice:

And psst! Can you help us get to know you better and understand what our listeners want from the podcast? We put together a survey and it’s super short. We so appreciate it if you could spend a couple of minutes filling it out for us! Complete the survey here.

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 078: Stranger Things and Parenting in the Upside Down

Do you love Stranger Things like we do? We hope so because that’s what we’re diving into with this episode! Today we’re interviewing Alexi Sargeant, theatre maker, game creator, fellow Stranger Things fan, and writer for such publications as First Things, The Weekly Standard, Commonweal, Aleteia, and more. He lives in New York City with his lovely wife (and fellow writer) Leah Libresco.

In this episode we discuss a piece by Alexi that we loved about what makes children vulnerable in the world of Stranger Things and what parents can learn from the series. How do we equip children to live in a world where danger is lurking? Is there hope for a generation of broken families? Is the Upside Down a symbol for the internet? Would we watch a Steve and Dustin spin off show? (Yes!) These and other deep questions are what we examine.

So get ready to for a conversation about TV, why Winona Ryder is GREAT, and why we should be engaged parents. Hope you enjoy it!

Links we talked about in this episode:

Alexi’s great piece for The Weekly Standard about Stranger Things

Our Sponsor:

 

This episode is sponsored by Around the World Stories. These original audio stories are designed to teach kids about different countries and cultures in an engaging way. There’s currently a set of 52 stories that focus on 13 European countries as well as a six-story set about artists. The stories are fun adventures about kids in different countries in Europe. They also provide supplemental guides that includes discussion points about the stories, activity ideas, recipes and background info. The stories are created for kids ages 5-12 and are produced by a fellow homeschooling family traveling around Europe and collecting stories (dream job, right?!)

Around the World Stories is offering a great discount code for FoC listeners who want to try out their stories for FREE! You can use CARROTSMONTH for one free month of a subscription (and you can cancel at any time). Or you can use CARROTS20 to get 20% off any of the story sets including the gift certificates for them (would make a great Christmas gift)! So head over to their site to use your discount codes!

Connect with Alexi:

 

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 076: How We Adult (And Advice to Our Single Selves)

 

Every few months, instead of chatting with a guest, we like to ask our lovely listeners for questions they’d like us to answer and record a Q&A episode! These are always a lot of fun and it’s fantastic to hear your questions. While we couldn’t convince our husbands to be guest hosts discussing British costume dramas as requested by several listeners (maybe someday!!), it’s a great episode that covers some thoughtful questions.

In this episode we shared about how we adult, where we fit in all those pesky grown up tasks like dealing with insurance companies or making dentist appointment. We also confess that we do NOT do anything resembling “work” after the kids go to bed.  We also gave advice we’d love to have heard when we were single ladies and some general rules of thumb for handling interactions with extended family (good boundaries). Then we touch on some other topics like how we encourage vocations to religious life for our kids and how Haley and her husband have managed to be a one-car family for the past 12 years.

We hope you enjoy this Q&A episode!

Other Q&A episodes:

What’s Working for Us Right Now (Organization and Pray in the Everyday)

How Small Can We Go? (And Other Questions Answered)

And because it’s just a few weeks away…

Advent Low Down: Our Guide to Living the Beauty of the Season

Our Sponsor:

 

This episode is sponsored by Liz Escoffery of Indy FertilityCare. Liz teaches the Creighton Model of FertilityCare to help couples both trying to get pregnant and trying to avoid pregnancy (and single women too wanting to learn more about their health!). She teaches in person in central Indiana and virtually to anywhere in the world. Her specialty is in helping women going through the difficult postpartum time/breastfeeding before cycles return.  Liz provides prayer support and accountability as well as instruction and offers free 15-minute consultations for anyone wanting to get more information about working with her. You can contact her through her website.

Check out the freebie on her website: 5 Ways to Less Stress While Postpartum Charting

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

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FoC 075: When a Saint Brings a Baby Back to Life: The Alleged Miracle of Venerable Fulton Sheen with Bonnie Engstrom

 

We love Bonnie Engstrom and she’s joined us on the podcast before to chat about liturgical living, but we’ve never devoted an episode to her amazing story of her son James and the alleged miracle that brought him back to life….until now! Despite being familiar with the Engstrom’s story and hearing it from Bonnie herself in the past, neither of us could make it through this episode without ugly crying. It is just so incredible and moving.

If you don’t already know the lovely Bonnie, she has seven beautiful children and she lives in the midwest with her husband Travis. She’s the voice behind the popular blog A Knotted Life and a writer for Blessed Is She.

In this episode Bonnie walks us through the events of her son’s stillbirth and his miraculous recovery after an hour post-birth with no pulse. We talk about the intercession of Ven. Fulton Sheen they believe is responsible for this miracle as well as the process of beatification and how James’ life and health contribute to the cause for Sheen’s canonization. This is an emotional story so definitely get the kleenex ready!

Links for this episode:

Our last interview with Bonnie about Lent

Our Sponsor:

 

This episode is sponsored by Liz Escoffery of Indy FertilityCare. Liz teaches the Creighton Model of FertilityCare to help couples both trying to get pregnant and trying to avoid pregnancy (and single women too wanting to learn more about their health!). She teaches in person in central Indiana and virtually to anywhere in the world. Her specialty is in helping women going through the difficult postpartum time/breastfeeding before cycles return.  Liz provides prayer support and accountability as well as instruction and offers free 15-minute consultations for anyone wanting to get more information about working with her. You can contact her through her website.

Check out the freebie on her website: 5 Ways to Less Stress While Postpartum Charting

Connect with Bonnie:

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 072: Confronting the Poison of Pornography in our Relationships with Matt Fradd

 

For ages we’ve wanted to discuss the pornography epidemic on the podcast because it affects so many marriages and women’s lives. Even though pornography is a problem even for many in the Church, it’s a difficult topic to breach which can make those suffering from the effects of porn feel even more alone. We are so thrilled to have Matt Fradd joining us to discuss this weighty issue. Matt is a speaker, podcaster, and author of recently published book The Porn Myth as well as Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust After Porn co-authored by his wife, Cameron, of the Among the Lilies podcast.

This episode includes some heavy themes so it might be one to listen to with your headphones and not around kids. We delve into difficult questions like whether someone who is addicted to porn is capable of the sacrificial love marriage requires and what to do if you discover your spouse is addicted to porn. Matt has great insights and shares resources designed to help women who have been betrayed by a spouse’s use of pornography and the abuse that can accompany it. This is a hard topic to discuss, but we are excited to send this episode out into the world and hope it can help women who are hurting to know they are not alone and to find the help they need to heal and move forward from trauma. We’re so grateful Matt took the time to join us and share about this toxic problem.

Mentioned in this episode:

Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust After Porn by Matt and Cameron Fradd

Bloom for Women

Books:

The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography by Matt Fradd

Treating Trauma from Sexual Betrayal by Dr. Kevin Skinner

Treating Pornography Addiction by Dr. Kevin Skinner

What Can I Do About Me? by Rhyll Anne Croshaw

Related:

4 Signs Your Man Is Serious About Quitting Porn: Verily Magazine

God Hates Divorce. But God Doesn’t Hate Divorced People: Patty Breen for America Magazine

Connect with Matt:

And don’t forget that we’ve chosen our next FoC book club pick: Father Brown: The Essential Tales

Grab yourself a copy and join us for our next episode of discussion!

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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