Pursuing the Best Reward

Growing up, the biblical passage most quoted in my family was the Ash Wednesday gospel proclamation (Mt 6:1-6, 16-18). Why did we reference it so much? Well, because it addressed areas that the five of us needed to work on.

The passage I am referring to is from the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus addresses prayer, fasting, and almsgiving—the three major tenets of Lent. While advocating for all three of these things, Jesus also reminds us that they need to be done for the right reason, which is to give glory to God.

Sloan and I after attending the school Ash Wednesday mass today.

Sometimes we might be too eager to broadcast our Lenten intentions to others or quick to highlight our hunger on a fasting day. Or perhaps we make a display of picking off the meat on a slice of pizza on a Friday or we post about a charitable donation on social media.

This misses the entire point of Lent which is to prepare for Easter by drawing closer to God and denying ourselves. Instead, by drawing attention to our supposed good deeds, we aren’t actually doing them for God but rather for attention and praise from others.

Everything we do for Lent over these next 40 days must be done for the glory of God, not for our own ego. It is easier said than done. Luckily, I have my family to call me out when I fall short—which I do. Yes, we still quote the Ash Wednesday gospel reading to each other, even if it is now done over our family text thread.

This Lent, may we focus even more on striving to obtain a heavenly reward instead of the empty human-based temporal reward coveted by the “hypocrites.” God bless you all. Don’t Blink.

Past Lenten Blog Posts
Lent 2024: Ash Wednesday Over Valentine’s Day
General Lenten Points of Emphasis
Lent 2023: A Necessary Time
Lent 2022: Solidarity With Ukraine
The Lenten Road
The Journey of Lent
The Real Purpose of Lent

Lent 2024: Ash Wednesday Over Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a holiday loathed by many. We all know people who make every excuse possible to avoid and disappear on Feb. 14. Well, for those of us Catholics who find V-Day just a little awkward and depressing, we have the ultimate excuse (and obligation) to lay low this year—it is Ash Wednesday 😂.

Of course, all humor aside, some of us might gladly take Valentine’s Day over Ash Wednesday. After all, Ash Wednesday begins the holy season of Lent which isn’t exactly for the faint of heart. As a priest once honestly said in a homily, “Lent isn’t my favorite time, but it is a necessary time.”

Sloan and I pose for a photo with our ashes after Ash Wednesday mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in the Spokane Valley in Feb. 2023.

Yep, tomorrow is the start of a 40+-day period in which we will try to walk through the desert with Jesus. The destination? Well, Easter Sunday of course. But just like it could not have been easy for Jesus to resist temptation by Satan during those 40 days, we can’t make it easy for ourselves either. Catholics are called upon during this time to embrace prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In a society where instant gratification and greed are rampant, this invitation can be tough to accept. Perhaps those chocolate hearts and rom-coms don’t sound so bad, right?

But nothing worth it is ever easy. And that holds true for the most “worth it” thing in the history of human kind—salvation. Jesus won eternal salvation for us on Easter Sunday and Lent is the perfect time to prepare ourselves to reap that victory.

So as we enter this holy Lenten season tomorrow, let’s push ourselves to march through that desert with grace, discipline, and love. By denying ourselves, fending off Satan, and loving Christ, we will be in good shape to celebrate Easter on March 31. Don’t Blink.

Past Lenten Blog Posts
General Lenten Points of Emphasis
Lent 2023: A Necessary Time
Lent 2022: Solidarity With Ukraine
The Lenten Road
The Journey of Lent
The Real Purpose of Lent

2023: WE HERE

In November, Sidney and I had the opportunity to go to Pullman to watch the Washington State University football team host Coach Prime and the University of Colorado. When we walked on campus, we couldn’t help but notice the Colorado equipment truck parked near the fieldhouse. The back of the vehicle featured an image of Deion Sanders with his arms crossed in his signature shades with the phrase “WE COMING” written boldly across it.

The Cougars pummeled the Buffaloes that night. WSU was confident, prepared, and protective of their home turf. As we passed the truck on the way out of the stadium, Sidney and I couldn’t help but say “WE HERE.”

Ironically enough, even though we quipped that phrase on behalf of Cougar Nation, there might not be two better words that explain the Resers in 2023.


The year 2023 will be remembered as the period in which we embraced our community, made a big commitment, and laid down roots. Surprisingly enough, for such a big year, things started out pretty quiet.

What a year it was for our family in 2023.

After such a tumultuous beginning to 2022, it was a smooth (and kind of boring) start to 2023. We threw my dad a retirement party in early January and then coasted through those first couple months. Probably the most exciting thing we did was upgrade from a queen bed to a king bed 😂. When spring arrived, the tempo started to pick up, beyond just my Bloomsday PR. We had our hearts set on a purchase even bigger than a new mattress. For the first time, we were seriously looking to buy a new house. So in between watching Sloan play t-ball and testing out the latest TikTok hacks, we were looking at homes. Thankfully we found something we liked.

My dad stands with the trophy that his employees presented to him at his retirement party.

Summer arrived and things heated up both figuratively and literally. While winter was laid back, summer was insanely busy. We attended multiple weddings, hosted Sidney’s parents, went on vacation, didn’t have a free weekend, and—oh yeah—closed on and moved into a new house. Autumn was also slammed. Both our children started at the same school, we traveled to Missoula for a Griz football weekend, Sloan played soccer, work was chaotic with the implosion of the PAC-12, I presented in Chicago at the AMAs, and we visited Myrtle Beach to spend Thanksgiving with Sidney’s family.

We had a ton of fun on our family vacation to Seabrook.

Of course there was much more to the year than that two paragraph rundown but I think that at least gives you an idea of the past 12 months, right?

When I truly reflect on 2023, I think of two unique themes. The first one is satisfaction. I know the popular adage is to never be satisfied, but I think we allowed ourselves in the second half of the year to be just that. With a home of our own, jobs we are fortunate to have, and both kids attending the same outstanding school, we permitted ourselves to be content. We have more goals and much to improve upon, but we took time to just be thankful.

We bought a house in 2023. During the second half of the year, we tried to be satisfied.

The second theme for us is unity. Sidney and I touch on this a lot with the engaged couples we mentor, but we specifically heeded it ourselves in 2023. The decision to purchase a home was part of other future plans that required Sid and I to be committed and united. We also had the blessing to take on some projects as a couple that required steadfast unity and teamwork. We are a force and so happy to be on the same team!

Unity was key for Sid and I in 2023.

In addition to those two unique themes of 2023, the same three values I highlight every year continued to be key for the Resers…

I start with family where it all begins with our Reser quartet. The four of us had a great collective year as we played, read, prayed, worshipped, ate, watched, and traveled together. A highlight was going on a vacation that necessitated we spend a lot of time in the car together. Driving to the other side of Washington and back gave us a lot of time to bond while the actual vacation on the beach was filled with memories. Speaking of driving, we made a road trip to Oregon for my cousin’s wedding that essentially doubled as an extended Reser family reunion. Before and after the nuptials, we stayed in a hotel where we shared a wing of rooms with my parents, my sister’s family, and my brother and his wife. When we weren’t spending time together in a random out-of-state hotel, you could usually find us all at my mom and dad’s house enjoying cookouts, celebrating holidays, and watching games. Hosting Sid’s parents in June was so nice and then flying to Myrtle Beach to spend time with Sid’s sisters and their families sure was a treat, especially after two years. Whether nuclear or extended family, we valued every moment we had together.

I thank my family for another great year.

Our journey to one day reach our heavenly home was hopefully bolstered by this past year. What a big role our faith played in 2023! Sidney and I mentored three engaged couples and continued our work with Engaged Encounter. Sidney organized a retreat for our Young Adult Catholic Group and I retained my involvement with the Knights of Columbus and our Catholic Men’s Group. We became godparents and explored a year-long theme of evangelization. I attended our diocese’s Eucharistic Revival event with Sloan and represented St. Mary at Hoopfest as our team of parishioners reached the championship game of our bracket. We had a blast at many family faith nights and enriched our prayer lives at home. I listened to the entirety of Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Catechism In A Year podcast. Through it all, St. Mary Catholic Church and School continue to be our epicenter for growing closer to God. We extend our gratitude to Fr. Jeff Lewis for his dispensing of the holy sacraments and his unwavering commitment to the St. Mary community.

Sloan and Beau stand outside St. Mary Catholic School on their first day of school on Sept. 5, 2023.

When it comes to career, Sidney definitely deserves to be mentioned first in 2023! She thrived in her first full year with Traveler’s Insurance as she continues to impress her bosses and receive high marks from her customers. She is used by the company as an example of “what to do” when it comes to training new employees. I had a very busy and somewhat tumultuous year. Our small but mighty marketing and communications team dealt with some major issues including the Idaho murder suspect, the implosion of the Pac-12, and college ranking messaging. But when I wasn’t arrow-focused on our comms efforts and was in my element doing marketing, it was another exhilarating 12 months. I ran point on our paid social media strategy for all nine installments of our #GoCougsMeans brand marketing campaign, oversaw an initiative that recognized WSU’s top senior grads, collaborated with the video team on some really cool projects, traveled to Chicago to present at a major higher ed conference, and managed to win our department’s personal trivia challenge at our holiday party this month 😂.

I presented at the American Marketing Association Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Ed in Chicago in Nov. 2023.

But as I said last year, my job is so great because I am allowed to be a father, husband, and child of God before I am a WSU employee. I love being a Coug, but there is a reason why the career portion of this blog post always comes after the family and faith portions. I am extremely thankful to my boss for always making sure that this is the case.

I feel lucky that family and faith come before work (photo courtesy of Ocean Simpson).

Time to send 2023 out with a bang as we savor these last couple days. As I wrap up this blog post, I feel extremely blessed that everyone within our extended families are healthy and that everyone who started 2023 with us will join us in 2024 as well. From just about every vantage point—whether it be from a physical, mental, faith, or foundational standpoint—I feel it is appropriate to exclaim WE HERE!! Thanks be to God for the past 365 days. Don’t Blink.

Learning About Marriage From Bishop William Skylstad

This past Saturday I had the blessing of listening to one of my early Catholic role models speak to a small group of us at St. Mary Catholic Church.

Bishop William Skylstad, who led the Spokane Diocese from 1990-2010 while also serving as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, devoted his morning to speaking to our small group about marriage.

As some of you know, Sidney and I provide Pre-Cana/marriage prep counseling to engaged couples. We received this incredible opportunity from Fr. Jeff Lewis, our pastor at St. Mary Catholic Church. Although we should be the ones thanking Fr. Jeff for this blessing, he wanted to thank all sponsor couples in our parish with this exclusive audience with Bishop Skylstad.

I was a mere few feet from Bishop William Skylstad on November, 18, 2023, at St. Mary Catholic Church in the Spokane Valley.

During our three-hour visit with the 89-year-old Bishop Emeritus, he touched on many marital points and freely distributed advice while focusing on three themes: “The Call,” sacrament, and communication. Although I could recap the intricacies of this trio of topics, I just wanted to touch on three of the finer points he made…

Help make your spouse who they are made to be. We can become so focused on trying to change our wife/husband according to our own ideal on how we think they should be. Instead, it should be our mission and duty to help our spouse realize their true, authentic self that was molded by God.

Communication is key in marriage but realize what it is comprised of. Bishop Skylstad said that 60% of marital communication is conveyed nonverbally, 20% is through tone of voice, and the remainder is the actual content. I can say unequivocally that Bishop is right. Sid and I can say whatever we want to each other but if it is expressed in a way that doesn’t match our nonverbal cues than it will fall on deaf ears.

We don’t love/preach from perfection, we love/preach from redemption. Bishop Skylstad said numerous times during Saturday morning that no marriage is perfect. We can’t become discouraged when we encounter obstacles in our marriages but we must learn from them and grow from them.

A look at our group huddled inside St. Mary Catholic Church in the Spokane Valley just a few moments before Bishop William Skylstad started his third talk.

Thank you, Bishop Skylstad, for your precious time. What an honor it was to be mere feet from the man I usually saw on the news or from afar in packed churches. Don’t Blink.

Saints Alive!

A few days after dressing up for Halloween, Sloan and Beau put on different costumes. They ditched the witch and Spider-Man garb for something a little bit holier. Our children had the honor of dressing up as saints for the latest St. Mary Family Faith Night this past Saturday. Titled “Saints Alive,” the theme came on the heels of All Saints Day on November 1.

Sloan and a friend make a craft at the St. Mary Family Faith Night on Nov. 4. The theme was “Saints Alive.”

Sloan dressed up as the greatest saint of them all—St. Mary. Sid put the costume together and Sloan proudly carried her baby Jesus throughout the event.

Sloan poses for a photo before we went to Family Faith Night. Sid put together her St. Mary costume.

While Sloan depicted perhaps the most well-known saint, Beau portrayed one of the soon-to-be newest saints. He dressed up as Blessed Carlo, the patron saint of the internet.

Beau dressed up as Blessed Carlo Acutis. The favorite video game of Carlo was Mario Kart and he liked to play soccer. The paper Beau is holding contains a QR code linking to Carlo’s Eucharistic miracles website.

I was in charge of Beau’s costume and was so humbled to put it together. You see, the case of Carlo Acutis is a little different than what most people might think of when they hear the word “saint.” Carlo didn’t live 1,500 years ago, he wasn’t a clergy member, and he wasn’t a martyr. Rather, he was born in 1991, played video games, and liked to kick around the soccer ball.

Blessed Carlo…I mean Beau…throws a stuffed animal at the baskets that are situated in front of St. Francis of Assisi (patron saint of animals) at the St. Mary Family Faith Night.

In other words, he was relatable.

Blessed Carlo is sometimes referred to as “the first millennial saint.”

But just because he is a modern day individual who shared probably many similarities with us doesn’t mean he wasn’t holy to the bone. Carlo converted non-believers and non-practicing people to the faith (including his parents), he stuck up for the meek/vulnerable, and he had an incredible devotion to the Eucharistic among so many other things.

St. Carlo is the patron saint of the internet.

Carlo’s devotion to the Eucharistic spurned a huge part of his legacy. The computer genius documented the many Eucharistic miracles that exist and categorized them into a website. He then helped create panel presentations of these miracles that now travel around the world. Sidney and I have been blessed to see one of Carlo’s displays before.

Carlo Actuis during his beatification mass in 2020.

Like so many other beatified people and saints, Carlo would die young. The grace and bravery with which he handled his bout with leukemia is nothing short of inspiring and holy. When asked about the pain, he simply said “There are people who suffer much more than me.” Carlo died at 15.

Beau reels in a catch at St. Peter’s Fishing Hole.

To have a slated saint like Carlo is so beneficial to my children. When we watched a story on Carlo the other night, tears filled the eyes of Sloan. He not only resonates with my kids, he inspires them to be saints as well. And you know what? He does the same for me, too.

Sloan holds the doll she convinced to play Baby Jesus at the St. Mary Family Faith Night.

Thank you to Marie Bricher and St. Mary Catholic Church for offering such an awesome evening. May all the saints pray for us. Don’t Blink.

Lilac Thursday Rundown

Good evening everyone and welcome back. I know a lot of us are hurting right now after the unimaginable and horrific events in Uvalde so perhaps the following random five topics can provide you a short respite if you desire it.

Happy Ordination Anniversary, Fr. Jeff – I want to start by recognizing Fr. Jeff Lewis as he marked his 11th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood today. Fr. Jeff is the pastor at St. Mary Parish in Spokane Valley and is an invaluable influence on my family. In two years since we have become parishioners at St. Mary, Fr. Jeff has graced us with spiritual guidance, his valuable time, and the holy sacraments as we try to walk closer with Christ. He is also a great friend with a spectacular sense of humor. Sidney, Sloan, Beau, and I are so thankful to have a true disciple like Fr. Jeff in our lives.

Fr. Jeff Lewis celebrates his 11th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood today. He means a lot to our family

Lilac Parade – This past weekend, I took Sloan to the Lilac Parade (also called the Torchlight Parade) in downtown Spokane where we met my sister and her children. Sloan had a blast as she soaked in her first night parade by dancing the night away and exchanging high fives with the parade participants as they walked by. For me personally, it marked another annual Spokane event that I was able to experience again after a couple decades missing out. To view a video from our adventure, tap here.

We had a great time at the 2022 Lilac Parade

Seven Years In Tibet – I spent a couple hours this week watching “Seven Years in Tibet.” The movie was made in 1997 and stars Brad Pitt who assumes an Austrian accent for the role. The film depicts Pitt’s triumph in Tibetan culture and favor with the Dalai Lama in relation to his brokenness with his own family back home. I liked “Seven Years in Tibet” for its west vs. east comparisons, historic lessons, and chilling musical score. It is currently on Hulu.

I watched “Seven Years in Tibet” this week. Decent movie.

Flashback – I took the below photo on May 26, 2020, as it was one of the first images I captured of Sid and Sloan after their move to Spokane. It also happens to be one of my favorites. We were exploring an undeveloped area close to my parents’ house and the sun seemed to shine perfectly as they flashed their million-dollar smiles. Such a nice memory!

This photo was taken exactly two years ago on May 26, 2020.

Innocence – A tragedy like the one on Tuesday hits parents extremely hard. It makes you look at your kids with even more love and protection than usual. I took the below photo last night. We let Sloan and Beau watch TV in our bed so we could devote our time to the special engaged couple we are meeting with for Pre-Cana marriage prep. When we finished up, this is how we found them. There truly is nothing more precious or innocent than the life of a child.

Sloan and Beau fell asleep in our bed last night. Observing their peacefulness had an enhanced meaning for me.


As we conclude, I did want to say one quick thing: It is trendy these days when violence strikes for people to discount and scorn prayer. My friends, never cease to pray in the face of tragedy, especially for the victims. Prayer does help and don’t let anyone else tell you differently. Don’t Blink.