The Woman's Day of Reflection
What did it look like?
It was a packed house, basically all Moms, a choir of really cute, gurgling babies, a couple of priests, and one or two awkward looking husbands. The conference room at the Spirit of Christ Church is to die for ~ soaring cathedral ceilings, beautiful wood and brick in an amazing complex of buildings. The staff went out of its way to make us moms feel pampered: roses, mints and matching rosaries on lace covered tables; special soaps and lotions in the bathrooms; delicious, beautiful catered breakfast and lunch. (I would LOVE to have their recipe for the tuna salad! It was amazing ~ with apples, grapes, some kind of nuts... Oh my goodness, good!)
Fr. John Budke, L. C. opened the day, encouraging us in our Mission of Motherhood, and expounding beautifully (and humorously at times) on the relationship between love and sacrifice, explaining Our Blessed Mother as the perfect role model.
Later on we got to hear presentations from several very worthy Catholic causes, among others a notice of the 3rd Annual Modesty Fashion Show to be held in Denver on May 4th! Wendy Shalit, author of Girls Gone Mild and A Return to Modesty will be the keynote speaker. We girls will definitely try to make a day of this event, let me tell you!
Ending the day, a very charming couple, Jeff and Donna Monroe, presented "Love is a Choice: A Couple's Marriage Journey." The theme of their lesson was that marriage is hard work. Constant hard work and sacrifice. But well worth the trouble. So True!
So, what about Danielle Bean's talk?
All of the presentations were wonderful, but I gotta tell you, I most enjoyed our keynote speaker. Danielle Bean's talk, What Happy Mothers Know, was awesome! As a fellow homeschooling mother of a large family, I knew she would speak to my life issues, and, boy, did she! She was engaging and real ~ in tune with real Catholic family life, and very inspiring about centering and prioritizing around our Faith and our ultimate goal, Heaven.
Many of her points classified as "Aha! moments," but many really were "BFOs" ~ Blinding Flashes of the Obvious. You know how you sometimes know something, but you need to hear it spoken by someone else, organized or explained in a certain way, before it hits you in that "blinding flash?" Well, by the end of the day I felt almost dizzied by the lightning storm!
I also got a good chance to visit and catch up with my dear friend, Holly. We hadn't seen each other for almost ten years, but have known each other since college (That's a long time ago, folks!). I am always inspired and encouraged by Holly, too, so it was a day completely full of wisdom and inspiration from every side!
Here are some scattered quotes from Danielle Bean:
(Hope I copied them down right and then transcribed my messy notes accurately!)
"Being a good wife, mother, and family in a contrary world is hard... They don't call it a "valley of tears" for nothing... But pretending it's all hearts and flowers only adds to our burden and isolation. It's important to call on support and lay it on the line ~ regularly. Seek out like-minded girlfriends. You'll be reinvigorated by this time."
This is the goal: "Get to Heaven; Bring Your Brother."
"We have to come to peace with the fact that we're not always at a place where we can check off tangible accomplishments... But did we move closer to Heaven? This is how we have to assess our day."
"Maybe our path to heaven is paved with diaper cream right now, but if heaven is our priority, then it doesn't matter."
"Make time to listen." (To our loved ones ~ especially those littlest ones. And to God!)
"If we use worldly standards to define ourselves, we will never measure up."
"When we embrace failure before we try, we shortchange ourselves... There is value in the trying!"
"Your relationship with Christ must come first... Even if ~ Especially if you're a mother..."
"You don't need to remove yourself from your worldly circle to have a prayer life. Insert prayer into your worldly circle."
And, there were so many other wonderful inspirations, too, from Danielle, from the other speakers, too many to list them all!
But, just for fun, here are some of the more mundane quotes of note to be overheard:
"If men were organizing this, there would never be little pink bows tied around the napkins."
From the end of a long line ~ guess where: "They really need to open up the men's restroom for women to use." (They did do that!)
"Can I swipe one of these purple rosaries from your table for my little daughter who loves purple?"
"Look at those chubby little cheeks!" (This about a cute little baby nearby, not about either of us, I don't think...)
"This kiwi is so pretty, but how do you eat it without making a mess?"
"All Danielle's books are sold out, but you can sign up for an autographed copy over there."
"Aw, darn. All the Don Boscos are gone." (Meaning his holy cards.)
"Stay as long as you like, Ladies; this table doesn't need to be stored away." (This quote to my friend Holly and me, as we stayed after and visited for, um... Was it two and half or three hours?)
The Really Important Question
What did I wear?
Long, comfy denim skirt, white T, apple green fitted blouse, loose tan sweater, tan and green mother of pearl button strand necklaces, green hoop earrings (that Michelle gave me for Mother's Day last year)... and then the real problem was deciding between grown-up Mom shoes and pantyhose or comfy clogs and kneehighs. Guess what I picked.
Yep. Went with comfort.