All posts by Christy Isinger

FoC 067: Scandalous Books Are Good For Your Soul with Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson

Sometimes Providence really just takes the wheel when we’re looking for good podcast guests. At least that’s the way it happened with this interview with Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson. Christy read a fantastic piece penned by Jessica on a topic dear to our hearts, told Haley about it, and Haley realized she knew Jessica from back in the day at Baylor when they were both students!

Jessica is a mother, speaker, author, and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at John Brown University. She has published on the works of Flannery O’Connor, Dostoevsky, and Walker Percy. She’s releasing A Guide to Walker Percy’s Novels in 2018 and is currently preparing Flannery O’Connor’s unfinished novel Why Do the Heathen Rage? for publication.

We had a great conversation about reading works that make us really uncomfortable and force us to wrestle with difficult ideas and spiritual realities. We chatted about how writers like O’Connor, Dostoevsky, and Percy offer a mirror to their readers to examine dark parts of their souls. Jessica shared wonderful advice about how to dive in to some of the greats that aren’t easy reads.  And we even touched on some TV shows and films with stories that are worth wrestling with. We know you’ll be inspired by this conversation so brew a cup of tea and enjoy!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Links to what we mentioned in today’s episode:

Jessica’s interview with Hallie Lord

Jessica’s article about scandalized reading

Walker Percy Weekend

Mad Men

The Brothers Karamazov

St. Augustine’s Confessions

Moana

Our podcast episode about why we love Flannery O’Connor

Jessica’s books:

Giving the Devil His Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov

Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence

Connect with Jessica:

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.

FoC 065: Attracting with the Transcendent – Why the Beauty of Catholicism Speaks to the Heart with Brandon McGinley

 

We’re excited to welcome Brandon McGinley for a second time on the podcast! Brandon is editor of EWTN publishing and he also edited a great book about Catholic fatherhood titled The Joys and Challenges of Family Life. He lives in Pennsylvania with his lovely wife and three kids.

In this episode we discuss whether the Church should aim to be attractive to modernity by aligning it’s liturgy and evangelization with “the spirit of the age” or whether we should focus instead on offering beauty, goodness, and truth. We bemoan the past few decades of unfortunate church architecture and music (we may or may not bring up a few of our least favorite “hymns” and ugliest church sightings) but we focus on the transcendent, even unfamiliar nature of our Catholic faith and how we can really bring that to the forefront of our liturgy and evangelization. We cover a lot of ground and have a great time tossing around some weighty ideas so grab a cup of coffee and join us!

Links to what we mentioned in today’s episode:

Our first episode with Brandon: The Challenges and Joys of Catholic Fatherhood

Dappled Things (a Catholic quarterly of ideas, faith, and art)

Brandon’s book:

The Joys and Challenges of Family Life

Connect with Brandon:

And don’t forget that you can get Haley’s ebook Making Big Life Changes Together: Pursuing Your Dreams as a Couple for 97% off as part of the 2017 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! (As well as the Literary Medicine Cabinet printable.) The sale ends Monday, May 1st at midnight so be sure to check it out before it’s gone!

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.

FoC 064: Vocation, Suffering, and Joy with Laura Fanucci

 

We’ve been big fans of writer Laura Kelly Fanucci for years. Haley and Christy have had the pleasure of meeting her in person and she’s been on our list of folks we’d love to interview for ages. Our conversation with Laura was beautiful, poignant and compelling and we know you’re going to be inspired and moved by her story.

Laura, her husband, and her three little boys live in Minnesota. In addition to her vocation as a wife and mama, Laura is an author and theologian and blogs at MotheringSpirit.com. So many people have been touched by her vulnerable writing about her family’s journey in grief after the death of Laura’s newborn twin daughters early last year. Laura generously shares that story in this episode and how she and her husband Franco experienced something very supernatural in the NICU as they were saying goodbye to one of their daughters. It’s truly amazing.

While there is plenty of heavy material in this episode, we did a lot of laughing, too. We discussed the idea of vocation or calling.  We confessed how different the reality of motherhood is from how we imagined it would be. And we talked about the intertwining of love, grief, and joy and how Christ is present with us in suffering. So grab a basket of laundry (and maybe a box of kleenex) and listen in!

Links to what we mentioned in today’s episode:

Bridget Jones Baby

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

Shadowlands (film about C.S. Lewis based on his experience shared in A Grief Observed)

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Laura’s books:

Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting

Living Your Discipleship: Seven ways to express your deepest calling

Mercy: God’s Nature, Our Challenge

Connect with Laura:

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.

FoC 063: The Blue Castle and How Valancy Stirling Got Woke

 

Every so often we tell the listeners ahead of time about a great book we want to discuss and have a little FoC “book club.”  This time it’s The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery–author of the beloved Anne of Green Gables series.  It’s a book we’ve both been meaning to read for ages and it was so wonderful that we wish we’d read it sooner! It is definitely a comfort read worthy of being enjoyed every year.

The main character, Valancy Stirling, is a 29-year-old “spinster” in the eyes of her oppressive extended family. When she discovers that she has a fatal heart condition with only months to live, she decides to go out and live her life like she’s never had the courage to do before. The result is an absolutely delightful tale of sacrifice, joie-de-vivre, and….since it’s LMM, a great romance.

We delve into everything from how to pronounce “Valancy” to the controversial “did they or didn’t they” conversation and everything in between  in today’s book episode! Whether you had a chance to pick up the novel or not, we think you’re going to love this episode.

Today’s book:

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Other books we talked about:

The Anne series by L.M. Montgomery

The Emily series by L.M. Montgomery

And check out our previous book episodes!

We’ll definitely be chatting more about The Blue Castle in our Facebook group so be sure to join in over there!

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 062: The Saints, Time Travel, and Pursuing Our Passions with Lisa Hendey

 

We are so thrilled to have the wonderful Lisa Hendey, founder of CatholicMom.com with us for this episode! Lisa is the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children’s fiction seriesThe Grace of YesThe Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. Her work is all over the Catholic internet! She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family and we’re jealous that she lives in Bishop Barron’s diocese.

In this episode we talked about spiritually guiding our kids during those sweet sacramental years when they receive First Holy Communion and nurturing the ownership they begin to have in their faith as older children. We love that Lisa’s Chime Traveler fictional series about time traveling into the lives of the saints is written for that age range because there’s not enough good stuff for kids between the picture book stage and the middle school stage! Introducing our kids to the stories of the saints is such a great way to help them get engaged with their faith.

It’s been a few episodes since we got deep into “mom stuff” so we took the opportunity to ask for Lisa’s wisdom on loving our kids, keeping our own dreams alive, and modeling faith for our kids.

We know you’ll be inspired by all that Lisa has to share so grab a pile of laundry and a cup of coffee and enjoy!

Links to what we mentioned in today’s episode:

Catholic Mom

Chime Traveler’s series at Amazon

ChimeTravelerKids.com

UnBound

Connect with Lisa:

Next Book Club Episode:

And remember — we’re reading Lucy Maud Montgomery’s The Blue Castle for our next book club episode coming up in two weeks. If you’d like to read along get your copy today!

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.

FoC 061: Preparing for a Fruitful and Meaningful Lent with Nell O’Leary

 

Nell O’Leary of the Whole Parenting Family blog is just one of our favorite people in the universe. She is a mom of four, a former lawyer, an Etsy shop owner, and she works for the ministry Blessed Is She as an editor. We’ve both had the treat of visiting her beautiful historic home in St. Paul, MN that she and her husband Anthony bought from her parents. So she’s raising her family in the house she grew up in, how cool is that?!

Anyone who has experienced Nell’s positivity knows that after 20 minutes on the phone with her, you feel so encouraged and loved. In dreary February with Lent looming, we definitely needed some inspiration from Nell and thought you might, too. We’re thrilled that she agreed to join us on the podcast to talk Lent!

In this episode we shared about preparing for Lent and talked about the practical plans we have for making the most of this special liturgical season. We also discussed dealing with discouragement in that mid-Lent slump and reflected on the big picture of what this season can help us achieve in our pursuit of spiritual growth and holiness.

So grab a pile of laundry and a cup of coffee and enjoy!

Links to what we mentioned in today’s episode:

Blessed Is She ministry

The Blessed Is She Lenten Journal (as a digital download–the print journals are sold out!)

The Passion of the Christ (film)

Our episode Taking the “Womp Womp” Out of Lent with Bonnie Engstrom 

Our episode Get Inspired for Lent with Meg Hunter-Kilmer

 

Connect with Nell:

Next Book Club Episode:

And remember — we’re reading Lucy Maud Montgomery’s The Blue Castle for our next book club episode coming up in March. If you’d like to read along get your copy today!

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.

FoC 060: Transformation and Hope Through Adoption with Shannon Evans

 

We’re delighted to have with us Shannon Evans of the blog, We, A Great Parade. We have a wonderful conversation today with Shannon as she shares with us her family’s story of international adoption and how her son has transformed not only her faith but how she sees the world.

Shannon speaks with passion and honesty when it comes to both the joys and challenges of adoption, and in turn, how all of us can contribute to a society that supports life and those who suffer in our own communities.

We are so happy to have such an inspiring but also practical conversation on these very important topics, we hope that it’s an episode full of food for thought.

Links to what we mentioned in today’s episode:

Holly Fish

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

FoC 060: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Mom Jeans with Blythe Fike

Safe Families

Young Lives

Adoption from Foster Care (US)

Shannan Martin

Connect with Shannon:

Next Book Club Episode:

And remember — we’re reading Lucy Maud Montgomery’s The Blue Castle for our next book club episode coming up in March. If you’d like to read along get your copy today!

 

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 059: What’s Working for Us Right Now – Organization and Prayer in the Everyday

 

It’s a Q&A episode! Every so often we gather questions from listeners in the Facebook group and answer them (between tangents, of course).

This particular episode we focused on the questions we got about organizing our lives and homes as well as what’s working for us spiritually. We cover everything from schedules to meal planning (or lack thereof) to our prayer lives. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

Things we talked about:

The Buy Nothing Project

Magnificat

Laudate app

Blessed Is She journals

Catholic Woman’s Companion Planner

Haley post: How I’m Organizing My Life Right Now

Other Q&A episodes:

Episode 26: Fountains of Carrots Answer Your Questions

Episode 40: How Small Can We Go and Other Questions Answered

Episodes that answer other questions asked in the FB group:

How we find time to read: Episode 8.

How we deal with social media: Our interview with Kendra Tierney.

Next book club episode:

We’re reading L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle for our next FoC book club episode so grab a copy so you can read along!

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 058: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Mom Jeans with Blythe Fike

 

Blythe Fike has been on our list of folks we’d love to interview for ages! She’s basically one of our favorite people and as Haley discovered when hanging out with Blythe in real life, she’s a top notch storyteller. As in, you’ll be laughing so hard you’re crying kind of storyteller. We’re so thrilled that she was able to join us on the podcast this week!

Blythe is a blogger at The Fike Life, wife to Kirby, and mom to seven kids. She lives in sunny LA in a fantastic mid-century home. Blythe has a great conversion story and is full of love for her Catholic faith. She’s also the person everyone should be following on SnapChat and Instagram.

In this episode Blythe shares about converting to Catholicism after growing up in the Baptist church as a pastor’s kid. It’s a great story! We covered some pretty deep theology, but we also covered some light and hilarious topics. We were crying with mirth at her stories about her former life in a early 2000’s pop group. Blythe is such a joyful person that it can’t help but rub off on you!  So if you’re ready to laugh, grab your cup of coffee and enjoy.

Links for this episode:

The YouTube video about Catholicism featuring Blythe and her family by SoulPancake

Blythe’s brother’s band: The Head and the Heart

Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire Ministries

Scott Hahn’s books

How to connect with Blythe:

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.

FoC 056: Advent Low Down: Our Guide to Living the Beauty of the Season

 

episode56

It’s Advent! Since it’s a favorite season of ours, we just had to devote a whole episode to Advent chat.  It’s such a lovely time of year, but if we’re not careful we can take on a whole load of stress instead of enjoy a season of refreshment and renewal. We wanted to talk about the Advent struggle and what we’ve learned over the years about being nourished by observing Advent and avoiding the pressure of making Christmas perfect.

In this episode we share about how we observe Advent with our families, how we bring quiet into our homes (and into our own whirring brains!), the importance of self-care so we don’t get burnt out before Christmas, and (of course) what we like reading during this season.

So grab a cup of holiday tea and enjoy!

Music for Advent we talked about:

Advent at Ephesus by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

Book Suggestions for Advent we talked about:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas

The Reed of God by Carryl Houselander

Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives by Pope Benedict XVI

Blessed is She Advent Journal by Elizabeth Foss

Comfort & Joy: Living the Liturgy Through the Advent Season by  Elizabeth Foss

The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home by Leila Lawler

The Catholic Woman’s Companion (Planner by Nancy Bandzuch that Haley loves)  And here’s a discount code for it (not sure when it expires, though) NIGEL35 for 35% off.

Movies we talked about in this episode:

Miracle on 34th Street

Little Women

Links we talked about in this episode:

Advent: Preparation for Preparation: Like Mother, Like Daughter

Names for a Christmas Baby and More Christmas Names: Sancta Nomina

Christy’s Little Traditions, Big Reward: Living Liturgically to Grow Faith

Christy’s Choosing Peace This Advent When You’re the Mom to Littles

Christy’s A Relaxed but Intentional Advent; or The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Advent

Christy’s G.K. Chesterton on How To Celebrate Christmas

Haley’s Advent: Nourish Your Spiritual Life and Avoid the Holiday Burnout

Haley’s 27 Picture Books for Advent and Christmas

Previous podcast episode:

Advent Music is a Thing

Episode Sponsor:

equipping-catholic-families

This post is sponsored by Monica at Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. Her blog is packed with Catholic crafts and family traditions as well as a shoppe of Catholic craft kits, books and quizzing cards packed with Saints and Sacraments through the Liturgical Seasons.

The Super Saints quizzing cards feature the original artwork of her 16 year old daughter.  They’re packed with quick facts and formatted into cards your family can play real card games with! And this bundle is perfect for St. Nick’s Day coming up on December 6th.

http://armadei.com/product/st-nick-shoe-stuffer-bundle/

Monica also has a brand new line of Prayer Impressions Journal Stamps that will transform your Prayer Journal, Catholic Planner or Sunday Mass Missal, changing how you pray and focusing your spiritual habits.

To find these lovely products, check out www.ArmaDei.com. Use the code Carrots20 for 20% off cards and craft kits until December 15th (on purchase of $20 or more).

carrots20-craft-kits-cards

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.

Links to Amazon are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, sales made through these links will support this podcast.