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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Vintage RCM: Called to Love

Vintage RCM: Called to Love

imageToday’s post originally appeared at Fleeting Photography last summer as a promo of sorts for the first Called to Love conference in Mobile, Alabama. I hope you enjoy.  -H

It all began with a picture. This picture.

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Actually, it was a painting. But my goodness; what a painting it was! Albertinelli’s Visitation literally stopped me in my tracks. As I gazed upon the Blessed Virgin Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth, I saw in the women’s embrace what I, instinctually, and at a very visceral level, hoped for myself, and for every woman I knew and even those I didn’t: unconditional love, acceptance, and support for one another. Tears streamed down my cheeks. “This,” I breathed to myself, “is what women need; this is the icon of genuine Christian sisterhood.” It was a revelation. As I shopped in the teeny Catholic bookstore in a suburb of Portland, Oregon that day, there was no way I could know that a painting would inspire and change my life.

My husband began a men’s conference in the Portland area in 2008, and every year, women would call to register their sons, husbands, and friends. Without fail, the question earnestly and repeatedly arose: “When is the women’s conference?”

It is truly a testament to God’s sense of humor and His omnipotence that I was the one who started a Catholic women’s conference in Portland. What I couldn’t have possibly known when I finally committed to putting together Catholic Women Rejoice for the summer of 2012 is that my husband would be living and working a contract position thousands of miles away for the five months leading up to the event date while I was pulling frequent all-nighters, working two jobs, and trying to hold things together with four children to care for. All the while, God showed me in ways big and small, “This is Mine. I got this. And you.

On July 14, 2012, the Feast of soon-to-be St. Kateri Tekakwitha, over 200 women converged on Resurrection Parish in Tualatin, Oregon to be encouraged, inspired, and supported in their Catholic sisterhood. In my mind, the painting that inspired me years before had come to life before my eyes that day. I cried several times throughout the event. I get choked up just thinking about it now – God is so, so good! Other than a hiccup with food service and the inconvenience of a very hot day, it was a resounding success. Now in its third year, CWR is still very close to my heart.

Our upside-down life with no husband and father finally came to an end when David accepted a full-time position with Archangel Radio here in the Mobile area and we dropped our nets to follow Christ’s call – away from friends, family, and all known things. It wasn’t long after our fifth child was born that one of my fellow parishioners approached me: “You started a women’s conference in Portland, right? You know, we really need one here.”

I laughed.

Slowly but surely, the wheels began turning, and Called to Love was born. It is still obvious to me that God’s quirky sense of humor insisted that I would have the blessing and privilege of working with such an amazing team of women to provide an opportunity to encounter Christ in one another here in my new home.

Because the Holy Spirit is in control, I know it is going to be phenomenal! The day includes Mass with Archbishop Rodi, breakfast, talks with Teresa Tomeo and Sr. Miriam James Heidland, catered lunch, live music from Kelly Pease Lombardi, Adoration, Confession, Catholic vendors, gift bags; a chance to pray, worship, and just be and rest in the gift of our Catholic sisterhood and the gifts that God gives us.

Wow – I can hardly wait. It’s going to be amazing! But you know what will be even more amazing? To see you there. I can see the picture in my mind’s eye right now, a smiling face greets you with these words: “Welcome, beloved of Christ. It is so very good that you are here.”

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Pondering all that is good, true, and beautiful | Blessed is She

Pondering all that is good, true, and beautiful | Blessed is She

If this fleeting summer had a theme, it would be “pondering.”

Okay, so maybe “stealing quick moments between doing all sorts of things to briefly think about a bajillion other things” is more apt, but “pondering” sounds so much more civil, well-mannered, and holy, don’t you think?

Anyway, this summer, I have specifically been pondering (ahem) my intake in its various and sundry forms. What am I eating and drinking? What thoughts am I entertaining? What am I watching? What am I taking in physically, mentally, and spiritually? Am I consuming things that are bringing me closer to Christ or, if I’m being brutally honest with myself, possibly pushing me further away from Him?

Matthew 1528

With those thoughts, however imperfectly swirling about in my mind, I was delighted to learn about Blessed is She, a daily devotional experience put together by the phenomenal Jenna Guizar of A Mama Collective. To truly ponder His Word every day was something I could confidently consume without one little bit of anxiety that I was headed in the wrong direction (hello, social media).

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Well, friends, it gets even better, because I am so blessed to be just one in a bouquet of gorgeously brilliant, Jesus-seeking contributors for this new endeavor, which launches TODAY!! It isn’t everyday that a lil-cracked-pot-of-a-gal like me is able to make a contribution to something so beautiful, so lovely, and so worthwhile! The timing seemed to perfectly coincide with my desire to serve God through the written word. How serendipitous that I am able to offer my humble words about His Word?

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I hope you will join us over at Blessed is She every day and feast on God’s living Word that awaits you. It’s easy to do so! Here are all the details for engaging with BiS via my fellow contributor lifesaver, Megan Hjelmstad, who knows a thing or two about getting blogs posted whilst chasing kiddos on Labor Day:

How Does It Work?
You can:

  • Read the daily devotions on the website by clicking here: Daily Devotions (we’ve also been posting the daily readings each day, and now that the devotions have started, the readings will be linked so you can read the scriptures that inspired each devotion!)
  • And/or subscribe on the website to receive an email every day with that day’s devotion by clicking here: Subscribe to Email
  • Follow our Instagram feed with some beautiful images and the verse of the day (based on the daily readings) here: com/blessedisshe__
  • Chat via Twitter with the Blessed Is She team here: com/blessedisshe__
  • Like the Blessed Is She Facebook page to stay up to date on news or interact with the Blessed Is She team by clicking on this link: com/blessedisshenetwork
  • Check out Blessed Is She’s inspiration on Pinterest: pinterest.com/blessedisshe__/
  • Learn about our fun little cast of characters (seriously amazing women, all of them!) here: http://blessedisshe.net/about/
  • Or just browse the beautiful website: blessedisshe.net

See? I told you Megan is super awesome!!

Also awesome is tonight’s Blessed is She Twitter chat! Follow me and the rest of the BiS team and join us LIVE at 9 p.m. EST to celebrate the Blessed Is She launch. Formal attire is completely optional. 😉

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And, please, friends – spread the word near and far – we as Catholic women need to feed on the Eucharist, absolutely, yet we also need to take time to consider all that is good, true, and beautiful in the living and effective Word of God and truly ponder it in our hearts.

Keep fighting the good fight of faith.

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7QT: It’s All Good!

7QT: It’s All Good!

Oh, hi! I’m here for the 7 Quick Takes link-up! What’s that, you say? The 7QT link-up was two (almost three, but who’s counting?) days ago? Oh. Ah. Well. Hm.

Hohhkaaaay … Well, no worries! I am gonna do it anyway, especially since this week’s theme is, “It’s All Good!”

'Nuff said.
‘Nuff said.

— 1 —

Sign up for daily devotionals today!
Sign up for daily devotionals today!

I’m super excited to be part of the new Blessed is She apostolate, with daily devotionals rolling out tomorrow! Just between us, I feel a little like an interloper, writing posts alongside some super established and amazingly talented individuals. Be that as it may, the real star is the Word of God, which truly is both living and effective. I have no doubt lives will be transformed through regular meditation and contemplation of Sacred Scripture through this endeavor. Come on over to Twitter tomorrow night at 9 p.m. EST for a live chat celebrating the launch! #blessedisshe

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— 2 —

Pacific NW peeps: Catholic Women Rejoice is having its 3rd annual conference September 27. The organizers (all super sweet and holy) are generously offering a Labor Day Special that ends, you guessed it, on Labor Day! From the CWR Facebook page:

Now through Labor Day, register 3 ladies and get the group discount of $35 per ticket! Normally the group rate is for 5 tickets, but grab two friends and get the group rate for just 3 tickets!

Head on over to the website and sign up. I promise you won’t regret it!

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— 3 —

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Speaking of conferences, the first-ever Catholic Women’s conference in Alabama is coming up October 4th! Called to Love was recently featured in the Archdiocesan newspaper, in the blogosphere, on the radio, and I’ve heard tickets are going fast! Register before the Sept. 4 deadline here!

— 4 —

The fact that RealCatholicMom.com is now an actual thing had to make my list because it just makes me so very, very happy. I’ve got a new graphic for my Vintage RCM posts. woohoo!

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And also, things are rolling along with the new Celebrating Real Catholic Women series. I have some really exciting interviews coming soon, so … squee … stay tuned!

— 5 —

I think this Fall may go down as The Season of All the Guest Posts and Link-ups for Real Catholic Mom. In addition to posts at Blessed is She, I’ll be guesting over at my friend Krystin’s blog about homeschooling, and at The Kennedy Adventures about faith-building resources for our families. I also have aspirations to link up soon with Amanda over at Worthy of Agape for her awesome What Marriage is Teaching Me series, and with Gina at Someday Saints for her inspired Embrace the Ordinary project.

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Who knows? Y’all might just get sick of me and fire me from the interwebz.

Time will tell.

— 6 —

Okay, so this guy is amazing, and his absurdly transcendent talent makes me happy. See for yourself.

— 7 —

Our son’s godsister turned us on to Drag & Gary this past Friday, and even though I have a bizarre sense of humor, I think you’ll thank me for suggesting you watch this clip featuring the incomparable Matt Maher.

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I laughed until I cried. My children asked what was wrong with Mommy. You’re welcome. 🙂

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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