Girlfriends, girlfriends, girlfriends!

Girlfriends, girlfriends, girlfriends!

This past weekend I met up with a whole posse of amazing Catholic women at the NW Catholic Women’s Conference in the breath-taking Bend, Oregon area.

Seeing women of all ages and seasons — single, married, religious, widowed, retired, students — gathered together to celebrate our common faith makes me really, really happy.

In fact, you might say that women’s events are my love language. 

It’s almost like Saint Elizabeth of the Visitation knew what she was doing when she became my Confirmation saint or something …

Anyway, event founder and superwoman Scout and her team did a fantastic job, and I hope that many kind and benevolent souls will step up to support this faith-building endeavor for 2019 and beyond.

High praise hands for speakers Sr. Maximilian Marie, Mary Lenaburg, and Lorissa Horn for inspiring, challenging, and informing!! I’ll be unpacking the truth bombs they threw down for weeks, if not months …

I feel extraordinarily blessed that, through a little thing called the Internet and a conference I used to run, I’ve found some amazing women who are now like sisters to me.

Some might think it’s weird that I find besties online, but then again, that’s where I found my husband, so at least I’m consistent!

However you find your people, community is so important. I keep praying that every person (women, especially) has or finds someone with whom they can have Visitation moments — times when they feel completely seen, known, and loved.

While we’re talking about community, have you listened to the wonderful Danielle Bean’sGirlfriends podcast from Ascension Press lately? She talks about all sorts of things you and I are interested in, and she welcomes some pretty fantastic guests, too (hint, hint).

I was first introduced to Danielle when a Moms’ group at church went through her Momnipotent study. I credit Danielle’s super-helpful content as well as the love and support of new friends for helping me navigate my first-ever postpartum depression diagnosis after our fifth child was born. Needless to say, I wrote my first-ever Amazon review for Momnipotent, and I’m a Danielle fan for life.

For those who are jonesing for the very first ever interview containing exclusive scoop about my first book Death By Minivan(now available for pre-order! /commercial – haha), and how in the world my husband and I felt called to large family life, this is the podcast for you! We had a really fun conversation, and I hope you’ll listen! I can’t wait to talk to Danielle again closer to the book release date.

More soon, friends. Hoping your summer is filled with a whole lot of peace and a generous helping of joy.

With joy and gratitude,

heather

P.S. Some photos from this weekend!

Mary and Heather NWCWC

Reunited and it feels so good … with fabulous keynote speaker and dear friend Mary Lenaburg at the NW Catholic Women’s Conference

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Finally met the amazing Lorissa Horn IRL — in real life! What an inspirational woman, speaker, and small biz owner. Can’t wait to work with her again!

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Sr. Maximilian Marie shared about how her serious boyfriend broke up with her because he thought he was called to the priesthood. He did not, in fact become a priest. His biological sister, however, did have a call to the religious life, and is part of Sr. Maximilian Marie’s order! Sometimes he visits his biological sister, and “It’s … awkward,” said Sr. Maximilian Marie with a smile.

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Gorgeous view from our retreat location in Powell Butte, Oregon

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Breathtaking sunset in the high desert of Central Oregon

So in love with the mountains. This is Mt. Hood, Oregon

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Update on Bury the dead: Y’all done brought it!

Update on Bury the dead: Y’all done brought it!

Earlier today, I asked for your help, and y’all done BROUGHT it. I mean, for reals and for trues. I stand in awe of our awesome God and the amazing things we can accomplish as believers when we stand united in prayer and purpose. PRAISE HIS NAME!!

Here is an update on the situation, from Mary herself:


*** UPDATE AS OF 4:28 PM EST, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2016***

You all are amazing! Just amazing. I have absolutely no words left. I am typing through tears. I had to pick Jerry up from the floor. You fabulously wonderful people have given $4,200 plus dollars in the last several hours. I walked away from the computer to go to the grocery store and post office and I come home to yet another Christmas miracle for the Lenaburg Family. We have more than enough to get back to Oklahoma for Jerry’s Dad’s funeral early next week and to pay for extended parking and other traveling expenses. There is more than enough to cover Jerry’s leave without pay as well. Whatever is left, we will apply to the debt that remains from Courtney’s time here on earth. I should have known that when Courtney is involved, she doesn’t mess around. My daughter is an incredible intercessor. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your love and most generous support. We are humbled beyond belief … God is GOOD, ALL THE TIME.


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So thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! While these dollars and cents don’t erase the pain, they sure do ease some of the burden for this faithful family. I am so humbled and grateful for your response.

And, just for fun, here’s what I texted Mary when I heard that y’all helped them FAR surpass their goal:

Thank YOU Jesus!! Thank YOU!!! You are worthy! You are powerful! You are mighty! We thank You!! We praise You! We adore You! You are worthy! Of ALL the honor, glory, and praise!!

That’s how I felt, and that’s how I feel, and that’s the truth, and I’m stickin’ to it.

God bless y’all. REALLY.

heather

P.S. Anyone who has struggled with grief knows that it is an ongoing process of the heart, mind, and body. Ongoing prayers for the entire Lenaburg Clan are, of course, encouraged and appreciated. Amen and amen. <3

Photo by Edwin Andrade. Used with permission via Unsplash.com

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Bury the dead: an opportunity to help

Bury the dead: an opportunity to help

mary-lenaburg-father-in-law-don-lenaburg-family-1024x1024I can only imagine what it’s like to grieve the death of a close family member during the holidays. But two family members? That just seems like cruel and unusual punishment. And yet that’s exactly what’s happening to my friends Mary and Jerry Lenaburg right now.

As if burying their beloved daughter Courtney two years ago wasn’t enough, the Lenaburgs recently returned home from visiting Jerry’s parents in Oklahoma only to hear that Jerry’s father passed away suddenly last night.

One of the Corporal Works of Mercy is to bury the dead, and that’s exactly what Mary and Jerry would like to do. Unfortunately, with their most recent trip to Oklahoma, they’re tapped and don’t have the funds to return for the funeral.

This is where you come in, friends. Can you help? I know it’s a crazy time of year to be asking. But I also think it’s crazy to think that my friends might not be able to go to their father’s funeral because of money. I firmly believe that we serve a mighty God Who is capable of far more than we can possibly imagine. But we have to cooperate with His generosity to make this whole thing happen.

Will you join me in helping the Lenaburg Family?

For more information about these crazy circumstances, please read Mary’s post. There’s a link at the end of the post to donate toward  the considerable travel expenses from Viriginia to Oklahoma, but if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, here’s the link to donate for your convenience.

Thank you so much for generously donating as you’re able, but I know the Lenaburgs are especially grateful for your prayers. As I grieve with my friends, I also have great anticipation of what Our LORD will do amidst these challenging circumstances. May He be praised now and forevermore.

God bless y’all,

heather

Photo (c) Mary Lenaburg. Used with permission.

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Fear not! Advent help is here! (+ giveaway)

Fear not! Advent help is here! (+ giveaway)

Advent begins in six. days. Y’all. SIX.

I wish I was joking. But I’m as serious as a profound case of Vitamin D deficiency right now. SIX. 

Personally, I’m sure I will be scrambling to get some half-way decent Advent decorations up on Sunday afternoon before we have company over for dessert, and it won’t be pretty:

Where’s the Advent wreath? Why is it bent into the shape of a trombone??!

Why does this purple candle look like someone took a bite out of it? It’s a candle, people, not an apple!!

What have I told you about opening up Day 24 of the Advent Calendar on Day One of Advent??!

Okay – WHO STOLE BABY JESUS FROM THE LITTLE PEOPLE NATIVITY SET??!

(Side note: While I cannot vouch for the rest of the comedian’s content, this particular video about house cleaning before company comes is SPOT ON and hiLARious. My belly jiggled like Santa’s I was laughing so hard.)

(Side note #2: Those of you who read through this post ’til the end will be rewarded. 🙂

There is good news, though, friends. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the impending holiday season, there is always good news. The good news in my world this year is that I don’t have to scramble for something to help me draw closer to the manger as I await the Christ Child this year. I am so very, very excited to dive into Scripture with the incomparable Elizabeth Foss, who wrote Blessed is She’s amazing Advent Journal.

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Used with permission by Gina @ Someday Saints

Not only is this journal beautiful to behold, my friends, but its contents … ahhhhhh! The contents I’ve allowed myself to peek at are like a warm cup of cocoa with your snuggie pulled to your chin sitting in your most comfortable chair on a chilly day with no one bothering you. It’s that good, y’all. Better, even. I can.not. wait to start. In fact, I am giving myself a teeeeensy weeeensy longer sneak peek tonight. Not too much. Just a taste. Because I, for one, want to savor and remember and really live the most important part of this season – that Jesus was born for you. And for me.

This Advent, I want to be overwhelmed by a huge God who came as a tiny Babe and Who knows me intimately*.

Will you join me? Today is THE last day to purchase in the U. S. for your journal to arrive in time for Advent.

So … no more anxiety about Advent, okay? Let’s breathe deeply the present of this time of waiting. Let’s journey together and breathe Him in.


*Be overwhelmed by a huge God Who knows you intimately. -Elizabeth Foss



Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through this post to purchase the Blessed is She Advent Journal, a small portion of the proceeds go to my friend and fellow writer/speaker Mary Lenaburg. Thank you!


And now, as promised, here’s even more good news for you who’ve made it this far! Any RCM readers (please be sure to subscribe on the sidebar of my home page!) who click through and purchase the BIS Advent Journal through Mary Lenaburg’s affiliate links in this post (see above) between now and tomorrow, November 22nd at 5 p.m. PST will be entered to win their very own pack of original Blessed is She Jesse Tree Calendar cards! I used my own cards as a daily meditation last year with my family each day of Advent. So good!! Comment away, friends! One randomly selected winner will be announced*** on Wednesday, November 23rd.

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***UPDATE 11/23/2016: Congratulations to Sofia B.! She won the Blessed is She Jesse Tree cards. Happy Advent one and all!

 

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