Sunday, August 3, 2014

A life changing weekend and the thoughts that have followed...

Over the last few days my thoughts have been swirling around in my head with no rhyme or reason.  They have been scattered and I have pondered.  Pondered so many things.  The main thing that rings true over and over is that the Holy Spirit was the one running this show.  There were too many chance encounters or mystical occurrences that without a doubt we all know who was the one providing us with the joy, companionship, love and strength that we all felt when we left.  We were empowered by the only One who can truly empower us.  Our Lord.

Months ago I came across a blog I sometimes read.  I say sometimes because I'm not a big blog reader.  I find myself enjoying blogs, but too often become overwhelmed by others "perfect" lives.  Too much comparison going on in my head.  Well, I was reading Conversion Diary when Jen posted about a great idea she had for a party for Catholic women.  I was hooked.  I couldn't wait.  When I heard the news that the tickets would go on sale I was on the computer waiting at the exact moment. I talked my best friend into coming too. Leading up to the weekend I had nothing but joy and excitement flowing through my veins.  I couldn't wait.  I felt no guilt about leaving.  I was ready.  The whole drive up...exhilaration.   We got to the hotel and were greeted by friends and it felt like home.  But then we got up to the room and I became a 14 year old version of myself.  I was so shy.  People that know me now don't believe that I am shy.  But I am extremely shy.  I overcame it to a point, when I became a mother.  There was something so powerful and fulfilling about being a mother that my insecurities didn't matter any more.  AT ALL.  I looked into my beautiful daughter's eyes and realized that she didn't care.  She loved me unconditionally.  I felt a confidence I hadn't felt before.  But back to the room...I looked down onto all the ladies sitting in the lobby and I was hit by the shy bug full force!  ACK!  I don't like being shy.  I am truly an extrovert, but only when I know people and am not the "new kid."  We moved around a lot when I was young.  Actually I moved a lot all through college too.  So I think it's harder for me in those new situations.  We got to the cocktail party and mingled around.  I found that it was not at all intimidating.  Every lady there was so friendly and so welcoming.  I met several new friends and no one judged.  No ONE!  It was like no other party full of 225  women that I had ever been to.  We were all alike.  Not that are lives were the same, but we were all there because we are daughters of our One True Lord.  We all connected.  It didn't matter if our journeys were different, we were all one.  The party was incredible and I went home feeling like I had 225 new friends, even though I hadn't met them all.  It was peaceful.

 WHAT??? An In-N-Out in Austin!!!  Lunch time!

 The Cathedral on Friday night.

 Old friends and a new at the cocktail party!

 I'm not big on selfies, but this is one I will treasure forever!!

The next morning Suzi and I headed out to find the perfect place for breakfast and, because it was THIS weekend, we did.  We found a fantastic crepe place that reminded me of Paris.  We ran into four friends that we had met the day before.  It was so nice to hear about their families and children.  Then we headed to the cathedral for confession.  Again the Holy Spirit was in charge because everything the priest said to me was the exact same message I would hear later that day.  We as women do so much to glorify God and we must remember that in all we do.  And it's ok to admit that it's hard, but it's such an important vocation.  After confession, it was time for the gathering to begin. We all gathered and visited and met new friends that felt like people we had known for ages.  Definitely a communion of saints feeling here on Earth.  There were so many wonderful vendors to check out and name tags to create.  Then the talks began.  Marion had us all in tears.  Her words of wisdom were so touching and inspiring.  Then it was time for tea, snacks, shopping and meeting more new "old" friends.   The feeling that comes back to me over and over was how in a room full of all these women, there was this overwhelming feeling of love for each of them.  No one complaining about husbands, or other women, or anything gossipy.  It was such an overwhelming peaceful feeling.  

 Yummy breakfast and I even got one for dessert with Nutella to bring me back to Paris.

 Touring the city on our way to the Cathedral.  Horrible picture of the capital but I didn't want to get run over.

 The Capital.  It's actually larger than our nation's capital.  

 The altar at the Cathedral...LOVED this place!

After the talks were over we all went our different ways to prepare for the evening.  Some went to Mass, some to sleep, some to swim and explore the hotel.  Suzi and I went exploring the hotel then went to get ready for the evening.  After we got all pretty, it was time for the amazing party to begin.  It started with a delicious tex mex dinner and an inspiring talk by Jennifer. After dessert the karaoke began and then turned into the BEST DANCE PARTY EVER!!!   I haven't had that much fun dancing in as long as I can remember.  We danced until the hotel kicked us out and then we headed to the bar to continue visiting and still meeting new friends.  By the time I got to bed, I was exhausted with such a glorious feeling that could only be compared to the love that our Lord has for us in such a human way.  I'm not sure that makes any sense, but so be it.  :)

 Suzi and I at the top of the Omni.

Photo booth fun!!

 Jen's inspirational talk.

The next morning we went to Mass at the cathedral at 9:30 with many of our new friends.  And again there was the Holy Spirit filling our hearts with the same message.  It was beautiful!  So each of us were able to leave this gathering with such an inspiring message that has been with me each and every day and has kept inspiring me through all that I do.  I pray that this message will reach all of us who are in the trenches of our daily vocations every day and keep us feeling inspired knowing that God is reaching us through each other.


1 comment:

Suzi said...

So happy and undeniably blessed to share this weekend with you!