Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Must SEE for Periscopers


Today I wanted to give a very special shout-out to a dear friend of mine. Believe it or not, I actually just met her a little over one month ago as we just celebrated our one-month friendaversary. Do you remember that blog I did about a week ago talking about Periscope? In case you missed it you can check it out here: Can Periscope Be the Saving Grace to my Spiritual Dryness?    In an effort to fight my spiritual dryness I have been broadcasting the weekday scriptures on Periscope. 

For the past week or so I have 'Scoped' five times; once a day every morning. My new friend @ChelseaRoadman helped me to establish my new "Peri-Series" which she helped name, Bible and Brew which airs weekday mornings around 10 am. If you missed my previous broadcasts you can go to my YouTube Channel and replay any broadcast at your leisure. Please be sure and leave me feedback in the form of comments or questions to better serve you as my viewers.

New to Periscope?

If you are new to Periscope you should join me for Chelsea's Scope-inar this Thursday 4/14 at 7:30 CT.It costs $10 but like any buisness wom/men knows it takes money to make money! Chelsea will be sharing 10 Peri-tips and Scope hacks for you or your growing business. It is a special exclusive opportunity you do not want to miss. The scope includes PDF notes to go along with all of the tips and she will be holding a Q&A session afterwards! 

How Do I Register?

1. Follow Chelsea on Periscope @ChelseaRoadman2. She will follow you back3. Simply pay you $10 at Square's$ChelseaRoadman

--Input Payment--Input amount: ONLY $10

--Input your Periscope handle in the "NOTES" section so she know's who to invite! 

If you have ANY questions at all, please contact Chelsea via her FB business page at or quickly drop her a message at ! You can even text her at (TOK) BRAND-IT. 

Check out Chelsea's Sneak Peek Video: 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bible & Brew: Third Cup

Author's note: First off I would like to apologize to my regular readers as this post is a day late! 

In yesterday's readings we found the common theme to be persistence. In the first reading (Acts 6:8-15) members from the synagogue gets into a debate with Stephen who is speaking the Word of the Lord. They did not like it that Stephen was proclaiming on about the Holy Spirit. Therefore they took action against Stephen which is all too common of a happening that we have read over the past few days in the first reading. A group of people including Scribes, elders and people apprehended Stephen and takes him before the Sanhedrin. Then at once they begin making false statements about Stephen accusing him of many unlawful things. The reading ends abruptly in the middle of Stephen's trial with mentioning that everyone in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel (Acts 6:15). The Book of Acts continues to show us how persistent the disciples were. Equally so, we find in the Gospel that the Apostles too were persistent.

The Gospel (John 6:22-29) continues to move forward. Now, it is the day after the feeding of the 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. The Apostles and Jesus' other followers awake to find that Jesus is nowhere to be seen. They go on a hunt looking for the miracle worker. All of the boats were accounted for and so that left the only conclusion that Jesus must have walked on water in order to get out to the island where they found him. They could not get enough of Jesus' miracles, they wanted answers but Jesus ignored their pleading and pointed out the larger picture to them. Jesus said,

Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. 

They wanted to know what it was that they must do. Jesus told them that
they must, "...believe in the one
He has sent." Needless to say,
this was a difficult concept
for them. Put yourself in their
shoes. What would you think
if Jesus came to your homeland
and started healing the blind,
making the deaf
hear, and walking on water?
It would be shocking right!?!
I sure think it would be and
I've been practicing the faith
my entire life. No one ever said
faith was easy. I am going to use
a line from a fictional movie, The Santa Clause, to illustrate what faith is all about. In this clip, the little elf explains to the new Santa Clause, Tim Allen, that "believing is not seeing, seeing is believing." I invite you to watch the clip!

Faith is not always easy. 

Having faith is a difficult concept for us because we are human--we are predisposed to all kinds of things including sin, disappointment, depression, cancer, and other illnesses just to name some examples. When life is going well we feel close to God, but when life is tough we feel distanced from God. Think of it this way. Put yourself in a boat in the middle of the ocean. When your life is seemingly going well you sense Jesus' presence in the boat with you and the ocean waters are still. Then all of a sudden, life happens, and you notice that the once still ocean waters are still no more. Rather, the waters get choppy and you no longer sense the presence of Jesus with you in the boat. Or at the very least, Jesus' presence seems more distanced and hard to grasp. Life's challenges are going to rock the boat; However, these difficult and challenging times help us to grow.

Meditation: Do your best to be like Stephen and the disciples and no matter how rocky the boat gets from the choppy waters be persistent and never give up. How can I be more persistent when life rocks the boat?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Anxiety: Is a Trap

Anxiety is real. It is a mental illness. I know these things because I am a victim of anxiety. Unfortunately, there are many people who do not understand anxiety; Whether it is a lack of understanding or it is because they have not been educated or do not have the initiative to do the research, or just out of ignorance is beyond me. If it is the later that is a shame and I plead anyone who does not know anything about anxiety to take the time to learn. I do believe it is easier to understand what someone is going through no matter the illness if: a) they either have it them self or b) they have a close loved one or friend who struggles with it.

I can only speak for myself but I do not use anxiety or any other illness physical
or mental as an excuse for attention. I would like to take some time to explain to you my experience with anxiety and explain what an anxiety attack looks like in my life. I am documenting my experience of my anxiety and attacks for the sole purpose of educating others in the hope that my testimony will help others who may not understand anxiety to be more compassionate and knowledgeable.

 Anxiety: What does it feel like?

When I am having an anxiety attack it feels like time stops but yet it does not stop. This feeling is like nothing other. It is very difficult to explain as it is very complex. In the middle of an anxiety attack I feel more things at one time than my mind and body feels it can handle. Anxiety causes my body to make me feel like I am trapped and my brain freezes. I've had times where I stare blankly into space.

My mind also tries to process too many thoughts at once. I can take one comment and consequently spin it in so many different directions that my mind creates ways for me to take the comment out of context. Literally my mind tries to make up reasons for the comment and/or I am try to analyze it which only creates more problems. Anxiety can be brought on by just one comment that I take the wrong way or take it too sensitively, consequently it rocks the boat and thus sometimes causes me to explode. An explosion can look like a bottle of soda that had been shaken prior to being opened.

An exploding soda is like an adult temper tantrum. Adults have temper tantrums? Yes! Temper tantrums can happen at any age. When I explode it does not happen because I did not get my way, it is because I am so overwhelmed that I need an outlet to defuse my energy. Imagine if you shake a bottle of soda and then immediately take the cap off. What happens? It explodes of course! Why? The pressure of the carbonation trapped inside of the bottle is greater than the air pressure outside of the bottle thus causing it to explode. Scientifically speaking the bottled up carbonation is forced to become a gas again.
My response in relation to having feelings bottled up inside of me causes my own kind of explosion. My explosion diffuses through crying, screaming, throwing, and kicking. All of these things do not necessarily happen at one time or even happen every time I have an anxiety attack. My therapist tells me that these actions are merely my outlets to diffuse my bottled up energy. Just like the trapped carbonation, once the cap is removed from the bottle, I too will eventually explode.

Anxiety: Support Systems

I have found that there are a variety of support systems available. I have mentioned one already, therapy. Professional help of course if a very important resource. No one likes to be vulnerable; Although it can be difficult to talk about our most intimate self with others it can be very helpful and be healing to talk to someone who is knowledgeable in mental health. Another resource is family and friends. Know who you can talk to and who you cannot; And just because you can talk to them does not mean they are the right person to talk to. I have unfortunately experienced sharing something intimate with someone who I know cared about me deeply but was incapable of giving me any kind support, including a listening ear, in my time of need. This was very painful. My suggestion is to know who you can turn to when you need to talk. Especially in the case that you cannot get in touch with your therapist, or s/he cannot offer you a therapy session sooner than the one you already have scheduled. Another type of support is a support group. Sharing your highs and lows with a group of people who similarly suffer from anxiety can make you feel less alone in your state of loneliness. It gives you the realization that you do not suffer alone, that you are not the one person in the world with anxiety. I have not personally been involved in a support group but I have heard great things about them. Lastly, I advise you, if you have not already done so, to use the social media platform Pinterest. Through simple searches on Pinterest, using the key-word "anxiety," I have found pins that have helped me to recognize the symptoms of my anxiety.

I leave you with this if you suffer from anxiety know that you do not suffer alone; if one of your loved ones or friends suffer, do them a favor by learning how to be compassionate and learn what anxiety is all about. Sometimes just being there by their side is all they need from you.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Bible & Brew: Second Cup

In today's first reading (Acts 5:34-52) we learn that the Apostles' journey continues.
Just prior to today's reading the Apostles had been visited by an angel of the Lord who opened the prison door, telling them that their work was not yet complete and that the Lord wanted them to go to the Temple to continue on in the ministry. 
The Apostles' adventure picks up with them standing before the Sanhedrin. By this point, the members of the Sanhedrin were fed up with the Apostles who continually disobey their orders. As the Apostles state in verse 32 they only take orders from the Holy Spirit. When the Sanhedrin got word of this they wanted to have the Apostles put to death.

The Apostles' lives were spared notably because of one member of the Sanhedrin; Gamaliel who was a Pharisee was a wise man. Because of his vast experience, he believed that when man interfered with God's will or actions that this only results in a battle against God himself. Therefore, the Apostles were not condemned to death but rather they were flogged and then released. Ironically the flogging only energized the Apostles more.

"So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name."

I can only speak for myself but I am not like the Apostles in this regard. When I encounter someone bashing me whether it be for my faith or anything, if it becomes a confrontation, I chose flight instead of fight. The Apostles choice to rejoice after being flogged makes me think about when Jesus says, if someone slaps you on the cheek, turn and let him hit the other also. There is a deeper theological meaning to this than what most people think but I am not going to go there. For now, I just want that image to shine through, as this is what I picture in my mind's eye. Quite frankly, we must know ourselves and our limitations. I am not a charismatic person and I am not the type of person to evangelize. You would never see me on the streets programing God's word. Nor would my expression be "bring it on" when someone wants to question the faith. However, let me be clear, I am not saying that the Apostles are not good models for us of how we should be. It's time to go a little deeper, let's take a look at today's Gospel (John 6:1-15). 

Author's note: It's no joke, the first words out of my mouth after looking at today's Gospel was, "oh...yes! This is going to be a good one!" 

The Gospel today is probably one of the most familiar of Jesus' miracles.
Throughout the Gospels it's not uncommon for Jesus to go off and pray. Jesus deserved alone time too! Imagine being followed constantly. As described in today's Gospel people left their homes to gather around Jesus. In John's account of the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus tests his Apostle's by asking them where they could buy bread to feed the hungry crowds. They were concerned because it would cost nearly a year's wages to feed everyone. Note: a derarri was a Roman's wage for an entire day.

Did you know? The feeding of the 5,000 also known as the multiplication of the loaves is the only miracle that is found in all four Gospels.

Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish and offered a prayer and miraculously there was enough food to feed the multitude of people. This miracle is believed to have been a foresight of the Eucharist and the final banquet in the kingdom. Like many passages there is always a deeper meaning and symbolism. Just as this passage anticipates the Eucharist it also looks back to the time of Exodus and the feeding of Israel with manna.

Numbers are also significant in the Bible. In this passage the numbers five (5) and two (2) are especially significant. According to St. Anthony of Padua [St. Anthony, the saint we pray to when we have lost something] the five loaves represent the five refreshments for the soul (the Five Books of Moses). They are as follows: 1) Rebuking of sin by contrition; 2) the barring of sin in confession; 3) the abasement and humiliation in satisfaction; 4) the zeal for souls in preaching; and 5) the sweetness of contemplating our heavenly home. The loves were specifically referred to as barley loaves; the food of the poor. The five loaves were not only physically nourishing but spiritually too. Finally, the two fish which were brought up from the sea represent Moses and Peter. Moses was taken up from the water; he was found in swaddling clothes in the River Jordan. And Peter too came from the water as he was a fisherman. The meaning behind the fish is leadership so that we can align ourselves to God.

Meditation: Let us concentrate on aligning ourselves to God no matter the cost. Let's be like the Apostles who rejoice after being bashed for their faith. What do I need to cut out of my life or at the very least minimize in my life so that I have more time for God?


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bible & Brew: First Cup

What would it have been like to walk in an Apostle's Sandals? 

In the matter of just three years time 12 men were selected by Jesus Himself, who was said to be a stranger of the lands, to become His elite group, the Apostles. Can you imagine the faith that these men must have had? Seriously, though! These men had nothing but their faith to trust in that Jesus was who He said He was! The chosen men, literally left their homes and everything they owned behind to become Jesus' Apostles. After these men had been sent out on foot, walking all over preaching the Good News they were soon finding themselves watching Jesus being persecuted. They were witnesses to Jesus' passion, death and resurrection. This of course is just a precursor to today's readings. In order to understand scripture it is important to consider the historical context, this is why I prompted you to think about what it would be like to be an apostle of Jesus. When studying scripture, one should also consider the passages surrounding the one you are examining, thus let us look at the passage prior to going any further.  

In the passages leading up to today's reading we find that the Apostles have been arrested and put in jail and while the Apostles were in jail an angel of the Lord came to them and opened the door directing them to leave and go to the Temple Area to continue their mission (Acts 5:17-22). Today's reading picks up with the Apostles being before the Sanhedrin (Acts 5:27-33). The Sanhedrin is furious that the Apostles continue to preach the name of Jesus. In the very next passage, Acts 5:34-42, the Sanhedrin threatens to have the apostles to be put to death. Luckily for the apostles an elder leader talks the others down and they order for the apostles to be flogged instead and then released. 


Like the apostles we too are called. We must continue to speak in the name of Jesus at whatever the cost. How can we call ourselves disciples of Christ otherwise? The Church offers us hope as well as models of the faith, i.e. the saints. Think about how many saints have been martyred for their faith. Right away I think of Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa. Dorothy Day has a very touching conversion story which the Church as well as Pope John Paul II has referenced. Prior to her conversion Dorothy was living a sinful life without Christ at the center. She got tangled up with a man and she became pregnant and aborted her unborn child. Follow this she had a spiritual awakening and had a conversion. She then became a social activist. Alongside her good friend Peter Maurin they established the Catholic Worker Movement which was a non-violent group that gave direct aid to the poor and homeless. Dorothy was arrested many times for civil disobedience. Certainly it's not just me that is making the connection, right? Similarly we can name Mother Teresa who left her own religious community to start a new one in Calcutta, India because she wanted to serve the poorest of the poor. It is so easy for us to read about other holy men and women and think to ourselves that we are not good enough--that is the problem. We cannot measure or compare ourselves to others. What we can do is look to them as good leaders or even models because we are all called to be Christ-like.

Mother Teresa is a particularly fantastic example of being Christ-like. As she cared for the poorest of the poor she did it out of pure love. In today's Gospel, John 3:31-36, we are called to not ration our love. We do not ration our love because the Father does not ration his love for us. Through and through this is message Jesus and the apostles were conveying to the people. After all Jesus was sent by His Father, Our Father, to save the world from sin so that we may receive everlasting life. All we have to do is believe and trust in Him.


Reflect on your life and be honest with yourself. Figure out where or when you have rationed your love rather than allowing your love to pour out of your hearts. Think about how you can be like the holy men and women who have gone before us. Remember, the key word here is "like." What verse speaks to your heart? What is Jesus telling you?

Join me on Periscope daily at 10am ET for #BibleandBrew find me and follow me @HoelscherKatie

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Can Periscope Be the Saving Grace to my Spiritual Dryness?

I am no stranger to spiritual dryness. Surely one of my biggest upheavals is my personality--I am a perfectionist. I cannot count how many times I have been told there is no right or wrong way to pray but yet prayer is still problematic for me. Like anything I have my good days and my not so good days. Throughout college and even into graduate school I found myself struggling greatly with my spirituality. I attempted spiritual direction a few different times with different directors but it became overwhelmingly difficult for me to continually inform both my therapist and my spiritual director on relevant issues that were happening as there were so many overlapping topics. Not to mention there were some issues from my past that I was not yet ready to take to my spiritual director or possibly even God. Have you ever had that "why me God" statement run across your mind? This is all too often how I was thinking when I began to try to unravel my past in spiritual direction. I am sure too that my depression and anxiety does not help the situation. Nonetheless, with the help of a new friend I have decided to try to challenge myself to broadcast daily my interpretation of the readings of the day. My broadcasts will be live through an app called Periscope. In the case that you cannot watch them live I will back them up and load them to my YOUTUBE Channel. My hope is that this experience will kickstart me back to where I'd like to be. 


Whether you are a techie or not have you heard about Periscope yet? "Scoping" as it is called it is an application available in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It is not a new app per se but I am a fairly new user. Perioscope is another advancement of technology for smart-phone users. This app allows users to broadcast live and/or opt to allow their audience to re-watch their broadcasts at a later date; Videos are available for replay for 24 hours after the broadcast.

Creativity is at the hands of the artist (broadcaster) as they are free to broadcast anything they wish as long as they are connected to the internet and/or have data they can stream live. Periscope is unlike FaceTime or Skype where the video is seen by both parties. Periscope only broadcasts a one-way video. Perhaps one of the coolest things about this app is that anyone from anywhere in the world can be a viewer or a broadcaster. I am very much an introvert but I have to say that Periscope has opened a new world to me. Because of Periscope I have met a new group of friends we call ourselves the #ScopeSquad. From this group one of the members has become a dear friend.

Bible and Brew 

I am happy to announce that Bible and Brew will be the title of my daily morning broadcast on Periscope. Please join me at 10am ET daily with your favorite brew! My handle is @HoelscherKatie; in the case that the server is still lagging my old handle is @KatieBelle. Don't forget to download the app in your smart-phone's app store and tune in each morning. The scriptures used will be taken out of the Lectionary. If you would like to read up on the daily scriptures ahead of time feel free to go to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website and click on the date accordingly.

I am on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Periscope feel free to follow me @HoelscherKatie

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Life Update: Twists and Turns

Life has certainly taken a lot of twists and turns. For my readers who follow my blog you may have noticed that for a while I was pouring a lot of my energy into my ministry and specifically into a blog that I established for that ministry but that too quickly diminished. However, this is no excuse for my absence in writing. So you may be asking, where has our friend Katie been over the past months of her non-existence in the cyber world?


There has been so many changes that I don't know where to begin for fear that I will write too much at once. Let me take you on a journey back to August of 2015.  In mid-August of last year I received an exciting and surprising phone call from a local parish school. A Catholic high school which is only one city over from where I reside was in desperate need of a long-term substitute theology teacher. As I reminisced about the countless applications and interviews I had had in the previous two years which resulted in no full-time ministerial positions for a recent post-grad graduate, I couldn't believe it, I thought to myself it must be fate. I had been getting so discouraged that I would not find a position like all of my classmates had. Wouldn't you know that this phone call changed my life! After a brief conversation over the phone with the school principal I was offered an interview and then before I knew it I was a high school theology teacher. I scrambled over the next week trying to quickly put a curriculum together, literally picking up the puzzle pieces as I went. I was alone in my dismay to figure out my own teaching style and how I would present the curriculum to my students. This entire opportunity laid on very unusual circumstances. Therefore, I had almost no guidance from the contracted teacher because he needed to have open-heart surgery.  Despite the odds, I refused to give up the opportunity of a life-time. I faced my fears head-on, buckled down, prepared myself for the worst and I took on groups of unruly teenagers. It was such a rewarding experience. One phone call opened a new career path for me.

Right around five weeks into the school year and just shy of the first quarter, the contracted teacher returned to school. I was bumbed. I had my hopes that this would turn into a full year contract. Little did I know that the Intervention Specialist at the school was interesting in hiring me to teach theology to students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and students with a wide range of learning differences. Upon my release from my duties as a mainstream theology teacher in the high school, I became a special education teacher teaching theology to elementary students and high school students alike. Once again I had to quickly adapt to my new atmosphere and create a curriculum that was appropriate for the students I was ministering. This position brings on its own challenges too but just in a different way but I would not change what I am doing for the world. Working with kids with autism is so invigorating and I learn something new everyday!


The inevitable happened I met someone! The year 2015 must have been the year for love at least in my world it seemed to be. Before I tell you about my man, let me tell you why my relationship status went from being single, to being in a relationship, to being single again, to being in a relationship so fast! Early on in 2015 I took the leap into the world of online dating. Side bar: Online dating isn't what the line refers exactly. Online dating is merely a tool to meet other people so that you can begin to get to know someone without making any commitments right away. Obviously a person cannot get to know a person entirely from chatting online or even talking over the phone but with patience and a little knowledge of what to look for and look out for a man or a woman could find their true love by meeting online. I found my manual as it were at Half Price Books Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating I highly recommend that you check it out if you are interested in learning about the challenges as well as the opportunities online dating provides. I will not lie to you, I chatted

with many men who were looking for casual sex or a hook-up. One of the greatest things that online dating provides is anonymity, no one knows more than what you allow them to by limiting the information you provide to them in your profile and in communicating with them. I met two men from online before I met my man.

The first guy I met seemed nice but I was really looking for someone who was both Catholic and educated. We had one date and then we went our own ways. The second man I met lived out of state, 2.5 hours away which created its own difficulties. This guy was Catholic and we shared a lot of interests. Over the course of our 8 month relationship I began to realize that he wasn't who I initially thought he was and by the end of relationship looking back I realized that throughout the relationship he was actually slowly, showing me subtle clues about himself--clues that led me to realize that he was not worthy of me. Ladies, listen to your parents and friends they will tell you things that you cannot see for yourself when you are blinded by what you think is love.

Ironically the man who I call mine, now at last, was under my nose the entire time. For five years we were both members of the same church and I never noticed him. For those of you who don't know my story, up until July 2014 I was discerning my vocation to the religious life so men were not on my radar. It's ironic, or at least my mom and I like to say it is that I have always said I would not find a man near where we live. That's the irony, I did. Josh is everything I could have ever asked for. He is not only a good, practicing Catholic, but he is an educated Ag. Engineer, a graduate of The Ohio State University. He also has a career working for the National Truck Pullers Association (NTPA). He is the kindest, caring, considerate man I know besides my dad.

I believe he is just the man my parents always prayed I would meet and marry one day. Let me say here and now, we are not hearing wedding bells just yet and we are trying not to count our chickens before they hatch, as we have only been together for five months. Our friends seem to think we are good for eachother. Our next biggest obstacle is making it through the summer, as Josh drives the scoreboard around the country for truck and tractor pulls so he will be gone for one, two, and three weeks at a time and only home for a couple of days in-between. This will be my next biggest upheaval with my depression and anxiety.


I'm not ashamed to admit that I struggle with depression and anxiety. It sucks. Some days I can't get out of bed. My depression was so bad one day that I had to call off work because I could not stop crying. Unfortunately, there is an awful stigma about emotional health. In 2005 there were nearly 15 million people who had diagnosed major depression disorder. This was 10 years ago, I can only imagine what the number is at today in the year 2016. In my mind what is sadder than the number of people who struggle with depression is the number of people who are not compassionate and or do not try and understand depression. There are too many people who think that depression is something we can control or as if we are faking our medically diagnosed chemical imbalance. In the case of these people all we can do is pray. Pray that God gives them the gift of compassion and pray that they have a change of heart.

I mentioned above while talking about my new blossoming relationship that Josh's summer schedule is going to be my, our, biggest upheaval in our relationship. I say this because we have already noticed that I become agitated and sometimes emotional when talk about the summer arises. Even though we are not married, nor engaged, I feel great attachment to Josh. Maybe attachment isn't the correct word to use, perhaps bond is more accurate. Currently, Josh and I are able to spend almost every day together. We not only enjoy each others company but we have many activities that we like to do together such as cooking, woodworking and watching tv and movies. Josh is my human-sized teddy bear. When he holds me in his arms I feel instant comfort and on my worst days his warm body against mine soothes me as we cuddle on the couch. To me it's the grown ups version of being swaddled in your mom's arms, or sitting/laying in her lap as you grow older.