It was so much fun to meet them in real life! :-)
If you remember, Pat Gohn is the one who interviewed me for the podcast on Among Women, which was so much fun! She is a joy to talk to, and I kept her on the phone waaay too long- lol! Danielle Bean is the author of multiple books, and the editorial director of Faith & Family magazine (a Catholic magazine that I have been subscribed to for years). I read her book "My Cup of Tea" back when Lydia was a baby, and I have been a fan ever since, so it really was a treat to meet her!
There were beautiful saint statues on every table!
For me, Danielle Bean's talk was the highlight of the day. She talked about saying "One yes at a time" to God's plan. None of us know what the future holds, and sometimes we have to stop worrying about the big picture long enough to just take life one yes at a time. We need to follow Mary's "yes". We will miss our own call to holiness if we're following someone else's. Danielle also talked about how sometimes mothers feel like they're representatives to a certain style of living, but we need to remember that we don't have to pretend that it's easy or that it comes naturally!
Danielle also talked about the "comparison monster" inside of all of us. Why do we torture ourselves by comparing ourselves to every other mother we come in contact with? None of us can do it all, have it all, or be it all. When we compare ourselves to others, we will come up short. Rachel Balducci actually said something that stuck with me- that when you compare yourself to someone else, someone wins and someone looses, and that neither is good. We choose to show people our best side, and others do the same. It's not fair to your husband, kids, or yourself to compare all the time- there are so many different callings to the same vocation.
After each talk there were small discussions, and then group sharing. When Pat Gohn handed the microphone to me, I bravely confessed, "Hi. I'm Lacy, and I'm a terrible housekeeper!". And you know what happened after I said that? They didn't throw tomatoes at me. No one called me a bad mother or wife... they applauded. :-) I loved the discussion sessions of the day. It was really uplisting to hear the "ah, ha!" moments that other mothers had to share!
Another talk I really enjoyed was from Jennifer Fulwiler. (She blogs at Conversion Diary and hosts "7 Quick Takes" every week). Her talk was about letting go of fear, and I found this talk to be life changing. Basically what I took away from this talk is that fear comes from Satan. I don't want to make any more decisions in my life based on fear, and why should I?
Jennifer said to let go of fear, because fear prevents you from seeking God's plan for your life. Fear prevents us from living in the moment, and it throws our lives out of balance. Don't make commitments out of fear that others will judge you. She had some tips for rejecting fear, including putting prayer first! Reject the voices that tell you that you don't have time to pray! Also, let go of fear-based false humility. God is calling you to use the talents that He has given you- don't be afraid to do so! I loved this quote from Jennifer "What if I trust that God's plan is better than my plan?". Wow. What if? She urged us to take things one day at a time, and to make today a day without fear. God has a plan for us, and He will give us the grace we need.
She also touched on angels from the bible instructing us to "Fear not!". I've always read that and thought, "Wow, angels must look scary", but it never occurred to me that they might be asking us to look at a bigger picture of living without fear. Mary was amazingly brave! She said "yes" to God, and she must have been afraid to do so! To me, this talk wove in beautifully with Danielle's talk on saying yes to God, and has given me a lot to think about. Not only was Jennifer's talk impressive, but she appeared very pregnant, wore extremely high heels, and admitted to only getting 2 hours of sleep the night before her talk, yet she looked stunning! You go, girl!
Here's a picture of me with Rachel Balducci from Testosterhome, although I couldn't prove it- lol! It's just so hard to tell what's in focus on tiny camera screens!
I loved her quote of the day which was "Love inspires more than the law requires". Isn't that profound? I think of Mother Teresa a lot when I think of trying to do everything I do with love. How can you go wrong with love? She also talked about how St. Theresa of Avila hated her incessant chattiness, and it made me think that she needs to be my new patron saint! Maybe there's hope for me, yet! :-)
Not only were the talks incredible, but the day included time for prayer, adoration, a group scripture rosary (which was really cool!), and confession. What else could a mother looking for rejuvenation ask for?
St. Patrick's parish was absolutely breathtaking!
Babies were welcomed at the conference with open arms! Pat Gohn assured everyone that if they had to miss part of a talk to step out with a fussy baby, that she would personally mail them a CD of the conference to listen to! Everyone applauded the mothers that came bearing little ones, which was such a beautiful moment it brought tears to my eyes. We all know how stressful it can be to bring baby along, and no one wants to feel like a burden. They even had a special lounge set up for the little ones to crawl around! However, I was very blessed to be able to leave Violet with my Nana and Aunt Deede for the day, and she had a great time!
We got some great Catholic swag, including biblical toys and beautiful chaplets from Trendy Traditions! I just love Melanie's rosaries, and it was super exciting to see them there! Everyone was taken with how striking they were, and spent time searching through the basket to find just the perfect one to bring home with them!
Angie from Catholic Mothers Online had also donated a giveaway from her etsy shop, Just a Tiny Owl. I've been talking to her on email for a long time now, and it was so much fun to see her and Melanie in the program!
One really fun part of the day for me was meeting some of my readers! That's right- real life Catholic Icing readers in the flesh! It was such an encouraging day for me as women were telling me how much they love this blog and how it has been helpful to them. It made me feel like I am following God's plan to share what I have to offer online! Connecting to other Catholic mothers in real life was a real blessing!
Here I am with Adrianne, who has inspired me to pull
my ergo carrier out of the closet! :-)
Mom's Day Away was uplifting, fun, and I would totally do it again if they hold another one next year. I would personally like to see it either travel to different parts of the country, giving other mothers an opportunity to go, or become a conference spanning an entire weekend, making it more worthwhile to travel for.
Because the conference was only on Saturday, I got to spend Sunday hanging out with my family in Boston and visiting the art museum, which is one of my favorite things to do when I travel! :-) I spent a lot of time in the impressionism room, because I'm a total impressionism junkie!
Aunt Deede and Me
My husband was a real trooper at home with our other 2 kids, but as you can imagine I have a lot of stuff to catch up on this week. Thanks to everyone who made Mom's Day Away possible! You can read more about this day at Faith & Family Live. :-)
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