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Stay at Home Conference: Motherhood Matters

Last night was “one of those nights”. The past week has been “one of those weeks.” I’m running on coffee and a prayer, and the last little bit of patience I have left. Desperately in need of some me-time and inspiration, and stuck chasing kidlets without any way to get it. Mercifully, yesterday began the CC4Moms “Motherhood Matters: Big and Small” conference. This is my first time attending, but WOW.

A few weeks ago, I was able to preview a talk on “pornography proofing” your children and review it for Catholicmom.com. It was really insightful, and I have been looking forward to the opening of the conference. When it began yesterday, I chose two more topics to watch, Dr. Ray Guarendi’s on discipline and Becky Roach on ministry. Today, I am working my way through the topics, starting with Jennifer Willits on prayer. I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say about all the topics as the conference goes on, but even just on day two, the conference has been so refreshing and revitalizing, I felt a need to do my little bit to get the word out so other mom’s can sign up and reap the benefits. Just to give you a taste, here’s a few snippets of what I’ve learned so far:

Dr. Ray Guarendi

My parents have been following Dr. Ray for years. I actually met him back in 2010 at our local homeschool conference, and thought, “Wow, he’s smart.” With a Terrible Two-year-old (who I love dearly), I heard his talk again last night and thought, “Between him, Dr. Laura and a lot of grace, my kids could be superheroes.”

I spent most of the lunchtime call gushing to my husband about how amazing he is. His response was, “Yeah, you didn’t know about him?” Apparently he had been paying more attention at the homeschool conferences back in the day than I had. To my husband’s credit, there are few things in his parenting style that the wise Dr. Ray would disagree with. Me…. well, I have my work cut out.

His crusade seems to be ignoring the experts– very “no nonsense”. While I was recapping it to my husband, I told him I would describe his parenting philosophy as “confidence and consistency.” Just like every other parent my age, I am terrified of messing up my kids. Dr. Ray makes me much less so. I will definitely be following him a lot closer as my kids grow.

Becky Roach

Becky’s talk was about the importance of engaging in ministry as a mom. While it is actually my job, my music is definitely a ministry too. It was great to hear some ideas on how to maintain a balance, and how to make sure my ministry is for the right purposes. Particularly, I loved how she emphasized the need to constantly re-evaluate what is best for your family. After my second baby, I cut back on the masses I was playing, and I still feel kind of bad about it. Becky reminded me that my first ministry has to be to my family.

Also, she gave me a lot of ideas about little things I can do. Helping with a bake sale, taking food to a new mom, praying for people… it doesn’t necessarily have to be something organized. She gave me ideas for the future too! There are a lot of things I can get my family involved in; helping with VBS (Catholic Catechism Camp at my weekday parish, ‘cuz we’re cool like that), asking the kiddos to help cook or bake, children’s choirs, etc. I’m really looking forward to my kids growing and being able to join me in ministry.

Jennifer Willits

So far this is the only talk I have gotten to today, and I’m so glad I did! Jennifer gives some really great insights on cultivating a vibrant prayer life. She intros with a beautiful comparison to prayer and breath. We need to breathe to keep our bodies alive. Likewise, we need prayer to keep our souls alive. It is just as necessary. She kind of makes me feel a little bad about blogging right now, I feel like I should be saying a novena or something…
It was something I needed to hear. Good gracious, I’ve been just BLAH lately, and her talk reminded me that I’m not as alone or helpless as I might have felt these last few days. I’ve just honestly not been remembering to breathe for my soul. Well, let’s wrap this up and fix that.
The conference is 100% free, and runs until this Saturday. Follow either photo link and sign up. There’s also giveaways– what conference would be complete without them?– of some pretty cool items. Even if you only have a few minutes a day, sign up and explore. I’ve found so many inspirations already, and I can’t wait to see what the next few days bring. 
And to the organizers, thank you. You know exactly what us mom’s need; thanks for getting it to us.

AMDG

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