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This week’s must-reads:

1. A big answered prayer of mine…

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This time last year I was praying to find a good community, and God provided. 🙌🏻 I saw pictures from the @blessedisshe__ team retreat and I wanted to be a part of something like that — a group of faithful, encouraging, joyful, funny, intelligent, resilient women. God answered my prayer in a couple of ways: in a matter of days after that initial prayer, I was invited to join the Blessed is She writing team (thank you, @jennaguizar !) and then a few months later, I also joined a local Blessed is She group (thank you, @diapersanddisciples !). The turnaround from me praying to seeing God answer that prayer isn’t always so quick or clear, but I’m so grateful it was this time. ❤️ And now I’m on my way to my first #bisteamretreat in Arizona! Please pray for all of us who are traveling for this retreat, and I’ll pray that God answers your prayer for community & friendship. We all need it.

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2. Community. Oh, how we all need it. I’m praying that God answers your prayer for community & friendship.

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"Perhaps community is the word for what we will discover if we honestly and radically let each other into our lives." (Kristin Lin, Edit of On Being Studios) Anna from @everyday_abundant took this photo during the Blessed is She team retreat this weekend, and I'm so glad she did… It's just one moment of many that a community was being built this weekend. There's so much to process & un-pack, and my coffee cup is endless as I do this work and try to get back into the swing of things, but I'm just so grateful to have been invited into this community that supports, that prays, and that literally led me closer to Jesus this weekend (another story for another time). #BIS #bisteamretreat #projectblessed #catholicwife #catholiclife

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3. A new parenting podcast you should check out! It’s hosted by Dr. MaryRuth Hackett, the Director of Operations for Blessed is She. I just met her this weekend and she was so kind, so beautiful — from the inside out (like seriously, radiant beauty, guys!), and she’s definitely someone I’d look to for parenting advice when our time comes. Nell from Whole Parenting Family interviewed her about the podcast here. Listen & subscribe! 

4. Suffering: Not Why, but Where? We celebrated the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux on Monday! At one point, St. Therese wrote, “It’s true, I suffer a great deal–but do I suffer well?” At different stages of my life — or even just different seasons, I learn different things from her… This particular quote of hers has really stood out to me in the last five years, and inspired me to suffer better… to accept some of my sufferings, to run towards Jesus with them, to offer them to Him, and to pray for His will and the strength to carry it out.  (more here).

5. Tips for When Your Husband’s Not on Board with NFP 

6. Be Transformed Through the Seasons of Your Marriage: “God permits the change of seasons in our lives and in our marriages for the same reason He created the natural change of seasons – to allow for growth. Although a season may initially appear negative, a cancer diagnosis or job loss, there is always a greater good that God wants to bring from it and will bring from it IF you cooperate with His grace in your life and in your marriage. Positives can be found in and will materialize from the less desirable seasons of life.  Our marriages can grow deeper with each season we pass through when we walk in union as a couple with God in the lead.” – Kathleen Billings, For Your Marriage

7. Rome Launches Cause for Chiara Corbella

8. “Let us love. Let our lives be a perpetual song of love for God, first of all, and for all human beings who suffer, love, and mourn. Let deep joy live in us.” – Elisabeth Leseur

9. Women Deserve to Know About This Underreported Way of Preventing Miscarriages

10.  “Prayer is more important than action. There’s nothing subtle about it. Martha had it exactly wrong. Mary had it exactly right.

“All of the analysis about the good of Martha is dangerous and runs exactly contrary to what Christ was teaching her (and is teaching us). We should, instead, allow Jesus to pierce the spiritually destructive facade of our excessively active and distracted culture. We should embrace his rebuke and soberly test ourselves against it.

“Maybe it’s time to ask, “If I were in the physical presence of Christ right now, would Jesus give me that same rebuke, or would I hear, “You have chosen the better part”?

“Maybe it’s time we all answered his call to come to the quiet.” – Dan Burke, National Catholic Register