One Beautiful Dream – Giveaway!

One Beautiful Dream – Giveaway!

Jennifer Fulwiler, Heather Renshaw, and Kelly Wahlquist at Catholic Women Rejoice 2015
I owe a lot to Jennifer Fulwiler. She and Hallie Lord concocted The Edel Gathering several years back, and because of their “yes,” this weary, overwhelmed Mama of five (with undiagnosed PPD) had the time and space to let her hair down and dust off her latent charisms of “dancing on chairs” and “rapping the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song.”
Edel 2014. We bad.

At Edel, I laughed until I cried, cried until I laughed, and met a gaggle of amazing kindred spirits, several of whom are part of my tribe to this very day. I remembered that I like to dance, sing, laugh, and that it is OKAY TO HAVE FUN, dang it! For some reason, I’d forgotten all about who I was and what *I* liked doing beneath the never-ending avalanche of laundry and demanding chaos of large family life.

It was Jen who encouraged me to keep writing and to resurrect my blog. And, while keynoting at our Portland women’s conference the next year, Jen recorded a clandestine clip of me doing my MC thang. She emailed it to her booking agent, saying: “You need to get this person on the Catholic speaking circuit TODAY.” It sounds sort of audacious, but that’s the kind of person Jen is—she dreams big, and inspires others to do the same.

Which leads me to the reason for this post. I’m so grateful to Jen, whose amazing second book, ONE BEAUTIFUL DREAM, launches TODAY!  I hope you pick up a copy for yourself and your friends and allow Jen Fulwiler’s special brand of encouragement to uplift and inspire you to follow your dreams just like she did for me.
But, better yet, wouldn’t it be awesome to WIN a copy? Just in time for Mother’s Day, I have one for YOU or someone you love! Woooooo hoooooo! 🎉🎉🎉
Follow @realcatholicmom and @jenniferfulwiler for a chance to win THIS BOOK in time for Mother’s Day!

Simply head on over to my giveaway post on Instagram and tag as many friends as you’d like in my feed. You MUST be following me and Jen on Instagram to qualify–I’m gonna check and double-check! The contest ends on Friday, May the 4th (be with you), and I’ll pick and announce a winner on Sunday, May 6th just in time for my birthday. Man, I love giving good stuff away!!

Oh, and … If I look tired in this picture, it’s because I am. LOL 😆 Motherhood and chasing my blue flame isn’t easy. There are only 31 days until my first book is due to the publisher. THIRTY-ONE. And I’m really feeling the squeeze. There are super early mornings and late nights and lots and lots of prayer and coffee. But I’m happy. Blessed. Clinging to Jesus. That’s the way any of this works–bottom line–I cling to him. Personally, my one beautiful dream is to do all the things I want to do while still getting enough sleep. So.

Okay! That’s it for now–don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Open to U.S. residents over the age of 13 only.

PS: Congratulations again, and lots of love, Jen! Can’t wait ’til the next party! 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻
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Vintage RCM: Where are *my* roses??!

Vintage RCM: Where are *my* roses??!

Hello! Today’s post is from exactly seven years ago, on the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux 2009 wherein I prove that I can be jut as bratty and entitled as St. Thérèse was reported to be in her childhood. I hope you enjoy this Vintage edition of RCM. 

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Today is the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church. I have grown to love her “little way,” since most days I feel (okay, act) pretty little, myself.

Anyway, I have heard wondrous stories of people experiencing the fulfillment of Thérèse’s promise to “let fall a shower of roses” from heaven. And, earlier today, I was wondering – quite unattractively, mind you – where are MY roses?

Alright, so it’s totally selfish. I get it. Patience is a virtue and all that. But my husband and I said the St. Thérèse novena over the past nine days, and I was imptiently wondering, not if, but WHEN my roses would show up.

Today also happens to be my spiritual director’s feast day. She said they don’t celebrate birthdays in her religious order, but they do celebrate their feast days, so I thought I’d drop off a card on my way to another appointment across town.

Turns out, she had taken her feast day off, lucky lady. I dropped off the card and, since she wasn’t there, I had a few extra minutes to say a quick prayer in the on-site chapel.

My eyes fixed on the tabernacle straight ahead, and I had to smile.therese-roses

There, on either side of the tabernacle holding the precious Blessed Sacrament of Jesus Christ, were two vases holding the most gorgeous, perfect, vibrant pink roses I have ever laid eyes on.

Now, I know those roses weren’t originally intended for me, and yet, in a way, they were absolutely meant for me. I think Thérèse was showing me, in her simple yet profound way, that my consolation always has been and always will be waiting for me in the Tabernacle. She used “my” roses to adjust my attitude and point me in the right direction.

Thank you, fair Maiden of Lisieux, for the heavenly reminder. May Jesus be praised now and forevermore!

Love,

heather

 

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Life is Beautiful! RCM Birthday Giveaway Extravaganza

Life is Beautiful! RCM Birthday Giveaway Extravaganza

Once upon a time, lo these many moons ago, a young college student and her boyfriend conceived a tiny little life one unusually warm summer eve.

Despite swirling emotions, harsh judgements, and unfulfilled expectations, the young woman resolved to carry her child to term, flying in the face of advice to the contrary and the law of the land which allowed termination through the ninth month of pregnancy.

On a Wednesday morning in the month of May, the young woman delivered her first-born child, a healthy baby girl with dark hair and lungs the size of Texas.

Mere hours later, knowing her painstaking choice was one made with greatly sacrificial love, the young woman gave her little girl away to her new forever family.

***

Every year, on this day, I reflect on the amazing collection of “yeses” that culminated in the precious gift of my life. I am keenly aware that, without each one of these assents, my life would be much, much different – or not at all.

It is with great thanksgiving and praise to God that I commemorate the life He’s given me, and I want to celebrate with YOU by having a little giveaway.

I must say – the response to my call to the Catholic community for a 40th birthday giveaway has been pretty epic – over 20 spectacular items to give away means there will be 20 individual winners – and there’s also a free ebook available to anyone who wants it. Everybody wins!!

My friend, you are not an accident, and neither am I. We have been wonderfully and fearfully made by a God Who knew us and wanted us for Himself before the beginning of time. I glorify God for the gift of your life and the gift of mine.

Without further ado, let’s get this party started! Head on over to Instagram to enter the giveaway, and be sure to tell your friends!

Thank you so very much to Elizabeth, Jen, Rebecca, Kendra, Rakhi, Jenna, Cristina, Heather, Shannon, Annie, Theresa, Adrianna, Ruth, Meg, Sue, Maria, Sharon, Katrina, and Lorissa May God richly bless you for your generosity and the great gift of your “yes.” Y’all are amazing, and I couldn’t pull this off without you!!

Peace and all good,
heather
P.S. – Happy birthday blessings to Jon, Fr. Pat, Christine, Kathy, Elizabeth, and anyone else who made their debut on planet Earth on May 6th. You are loved!!

Life is Beautiful (2)

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Vintage RCM: The Catholic Mom’s “Drop-Kicked Into Reality” Prayer

Vintage RCM: The Catholic Mom’s “Drop-Kicked Into Reality” Prayer

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Originally published after Edel ’14, the truths and sentiments behind this prayer are timeless. While Edel’s impact on my life resonates so much more deeply than these few sentences can convey, here’s my offering of support for my sisters once we’re back in “the real world.” The best, my friends, is yet to come. <3

The Catholic Mom’s “Drop-Kicked Into Reality” Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, King of rowdy, stubborn children, Redeemer of questionable smells and short tempers, Savior of misplaced shoes, boo boos, messy kitchens, blowout diapers, endless dishes (and laundry and more laundry), double-booked activities, practices and lessons, burned food, cold coffee, clogged toilets, and uniquely depleted Moms, I earnestly pray that the grace received through our Edel experience sustains me as I build my domestic cathedral in the hidden recesses of my home. May I reach out to my Edel sisters for unconditional support and encouragement because, after all, they *know.* May I please, dear Jesus, not allow my sister to drown in plain sight when I sense she is in need. But most importantly, Lord, may I seek You, before and above all else because, when everything is said and done (or necessarily left undone), YOU’ve got this, Lord – You’ve got me, my family, and allllll the beautiful messiness that is my life in the palm of Your hand because You love me as if I were your one and only. I offer all I say and do for Your glory through the intercession of the best Mom around, our Blessed Mother Mary. In Jesus’ Name – Amen!

+Venerable Edel Quinn, Pray for Us!+

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Easter’s Over … Now What? {New Post}

Easter’s Over … Now What? {New Post}

East800px-2008-06-18_Fettreif-Schoggihaseer Mass has ended and everyone is still alive. The big meal was prepared, eaten, and is (mostly) digested. Fancy dresses and suits have hopefully (but perhaps not likely) made their way into the dirty clothes hamper. Family members and friends have said their goodbyes and headed home, and the chocolate bunny is wondering where his ears and tail went. Oops.

ALLELUIA, EVERYONE! We made it! Easter is over!!

Well, hold on. Not exactly.

Read more of my very first contribution (bells, whistles, fanfare, hooplah!) for CatholicMom.com here!

Happy Easter and ALLELUIA, y’all!

heather

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