It’s not too late to win!

It’s not too late to win!

Birthday Giveaway final hours

FINAL HOURS of the First Annual ‪#‎LifeisBeautiful‬ ‪#‎birthday‬ ‪#‎giveaway‬ – you know, THIS ONE … head on over to www.instagram.com/RealCatholicMom before midnight PST tonight. All the winners will be announced on the Church’s birthday tomorrow, the Feast of Pentecost.

Another sincere thank you to Elizabeth, Jen, Rebecca, Kendra, Rakhi, Jenna, Cristina, Heather, Shannon, Annie, Theresa, Adrianna, Ruth, Meg, Sue, Maria, SharonKatrina, and Lorissa for your kindness and support of this giveaway!

God bless y’all! … and good luck!

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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Assimilation into The Catholic Conspiracy begins …

Assimilation into The Catholic Conspiracy begins …

… now.

For my loyal readers, don’t worry – contrary to understandable belief, I am not dead. Yet.

SONY DSC
DEFINITELY DEAD. photo credit: Jebulon (own work) – public domain via Wikimedia
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MOSTLY ALIVE. photo credit: H. Renshaw, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Please hold your applause as well as your sighs of disbelief. I’ve just been (as you’ve come to undoubtedly expect) busy with life and work and other unmentionable things that may eventually get mentioned in this space.

If this is your first time at the RCM Blog, welcome!! I invite you to grab a cup of whatever makes you happy yet doesn’t land you in the Confessional and get to know me a bit better. Feel free to ask me questions. All the questions. I will respond. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. Ish. Soonish.

Blessedly, I haven’t been so busy that I was unable to jump (up and down – several times) at the opportunity to join the amazing team at The Catholic Conspiracy. Here’s an explanatory snippet about TCC for your reading pleasure:

The Catholic Conspiracy bloggers are faithful to the Magisterium, in love with Jesus Christ and His Church, and dedicated to bringing Him to the world. We are not a news site. We don’t have correspondents in Rome. We don’t have a secret agenda, and we don’t collaborate from a hidden base somewhere in North America. We’re not hatching plots to infiltrate centers of higher education and government (although that does sound pretty cool!). We’re not here to subvert Church teaching, or promulgate dissent, or foment division. Our mission is our tagline: Catholic bloggers conspiring to bring Christ to the world.

So, without further ado, may the games begin. Until next time, God bless y’all.

heather

P.S. Ad multos annos to Rebecca Frech, Larry D, et al for allowing me to join the party. May they live long enough to not regret their decision.

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Whatever you do, PLEASE read this!

Whatever you do, PLEASE read this!

I know, I know. I’m the world’s worst blogger! I wrote every. single. day. last October, and then … I think I must have hit some sort of mental block posting quota.

Mea culpa. 

Never fear – I will (hopefully) be posting more regularly soon, but for now, you may be wondering what in the world would compel me to break my 9+ week blogging drought?

33 Days to Merciful Love cover.jpg

BOOM.

Y’all.

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. ORDER THIS BOOK. NOW. PLEASE. Pretty please.

33 Days to Morning Glory was such a huge game-changer for my spiritual life, I can only imagine what amazing fruit will come from Fr. Michael Gaitley’s latest offering.

While you can read the book and do the at-home or with-a-friend or with-a-group retreat at any time, the first “official” retreat begins March 1 and ends with Consecration on Divine Mercy Sunday. I cannot imagine a better way to spend those 33 days! Click here for more information.

And, what’s more, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception (Fr. Gaitley’s order) are offering this book for a small donation plus $5.25 – the shipping cost – for a limited time!

To clarify: this is NOT an affiliate post. I’m not making anything when you order the book. I simply want each and every one of you to know about it. Also, if you’re reading this and hear the Holy Spirit’s prompting to prayerfully participate yet genuinely cannot afford $5.25, would you please let me know?

God bless y’all and may Lenten blessings abound!

In Christ and His Mercy,

heather

P.S. I’m speaking at a sold-out retreat this weekend in the area – if you could say a quick prayer for me and the women attending, I would be so grateful! xo –h

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Thanksgiving for Advent

Thanksgiving for Advent

This Advent has been … odd. Is that the right word? Odd? Yes. Sure. Let’s go with it.

It was Thanksgiving one day, then I turned around for a second, and WOOSH! – it was the first Sunday of Advent! What in the actual heck?

I ascribe at least some of my radical disorientation to being displaced. Traveling away from home over the holidays will do that to you, unless you are super organized and have everything for the impending holiday season located, unpacked, and situated just so before you leave so it’s all waiting for you upon your return.

If you are a human who actually does that, I salute you.

I am not one of those humans.

I am grateful we only forgot my contact lens case, my glasses, and all of the 4-year-old’s pants at home.

But I digress.

Our family traveled for a good chunk of time over snowy mountains and through forests and desert on Thanksgiving day to celebrate with my family. It was a long drive with lots of excited (read: loud and obnoxious) kids over some precarious roads, but the trip wasn’t the worst ever.

Here (below) are most of us on the way out of Dodge. See how we’re all (mostly) smiling? That lasted about another 20 minutes or so. My husband is trying to make the sign for “turkey” with his non-driving hand. I think.

Renshaws on the road

The most precarious part of our journey wasn’t over the mountain itself, but through the small towns with super icy roads once we reached the other side. Thank God for studded tires!

Snowy

Look! Pretty fake stuff at my Mom and Dad’s house!

Trukey

I think it was -9 degrees on Black Friday. Holy brrrrr, Batman!

Snowy again

Something I wasn’t expecting to see (check out the date on this bad boy) at a place I wasn’t expecting to be (for four hours) with my son on Black Friday. #urgentcare #misnomer

Urgent care

Thank You, Lord (and Mom and Dad!) for date night with my main dude. It was very, very, very, very, very, very, very (infinity) much needed.

Date night

Sir K with his tube. For a Southern-born lad, he handled the freezing temps pretty well. For the first 20 minutes.

K with tube

The loud and rowdy cousin table at dinner Saturday night … we’re missing a few in frame, but don’t worry. We knew exactly where they were. Mostly.

Cousin table at dinner

And, just like that, Advent was here.

St. Thomas

And then we drove back through the (not-quite-as) icy small town roads, through the desert, through the forests, over the mountains, and finally back home on the first Sunday of Advent.

Despite being pretty bone tired from our the drive, we began dutifully digging through the bin in the garage marked “Advent,” hoping to at least find our calendar and wreath for that first evening.

A funny thing happens when you move cross-country twice in under three years with a big family and lots on your mind, apparently. Things get displaced. Or worse.

Here’s the sad excuse for an Advent wreath I found in my Advent bin in the garage. Apparently, candles don’t take too well to lots and lots and lots of changes in heat.

Advent wreath

I finally found the calendar, too, about ten boxes later. It was NOT, I repeat, NOT in the Advent bin. NBD. #rageface #whyGodwhyface

The thought crossed my mind, and it wasn’t the first time, either: “If only I could get more organized, Lord. Then I’d have a peaceful, holy Advent, and I’d be ready for Christmas.

Last Monday was spent kvetching about my presentation the next night at my old parish. You know that whole Gospel passage about a prophet not being welcomed in his own home? Yeah. That Scripture passage had gotten in my head and wouldn’t leave me in peace and I was, frankly, freaking me the freak out. I shared my specific sentiments with a priest friend, who wrote back: “Well, by all means, then, I will pray for you.”

It turns out his prayers (and those of other dear friends in the know) reached God’s ears and were answered. By no means a flawless talk, it was, nevertheless, not too shabby. The crowd was smaller than expected but quite attentive and very receptive, which was wonderful.

So, fast forward one talk and several days of more real life throughout the rest of the week later, and WOOSH! – it’s the second Sunday of Advent.

Holy moly.

I wrote a little more about what – or, rather whom – might be attempting to keep us away from where we should be this Advent for CatholicMom.com. The article was borne of a great deal of inner turmoil – I just talked about this very topic on Tuesday night! Why can’t I just get the words out on the page?? – and I hope it speaks to someone who is looking toward the manger this Advent season but is having a hard time nonetheless.

You’re not alone.

Pax,

heather

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