Generosity, Spiritual Friends, Uncategorized

Joyful Woman Crush Wednesday

I have been sharing #joyfulwcw (Joyful Woman Crush Wednesday) on my social media in recent weeks to highlight the lovely, generous ways that sisters in Christ are encouraging and serving one another. I hope you’ll join me on your social media and share your #joyfulwcw, too!

One of the things that has stuck out to me, in a good way, about Covid-19 is that people are really stretching out to help each other. An author friend told me yesterday that someone anonymously gifted her family a grocery store gift card to help them bridge the gap between their family’s needs and the anticipated arrivals of stimulus and unemployment checks. Another friend has been accepting donations in exchange for handcrafted face masks and using the donations to bless friends in need with gift cards.

When I met on Zoom with my Bible study group this week, we read about the widow in Mark’s Gospel who “gave from her poverty” (Mk 12:44). Generosity is one of those attributes that just shines from others. Maybe that’s why Jesus noticed the widow’s mere two cents from the opposite side of the treasury.

I wonder if that widow would have considered herself to be poor?

Thinking on this theme of generosity, I want to share my #JoyfulWCW with you. Her name is Brenda, and she is a pray warrior. With Brenda’s permission, I share that two years ago, she went to the doctor for a routine mammogram was stunned to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Brenda endured a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and a reconstructive process that took over a year because her insurance would not approve the surgery. Throughout the entire process, whenever I called Brenda, I would say, “How are you?” and she would respond, “I am blessed!” From there we’d chat on for hours.

When Brenda reported to the hospital each week for her chemo infusions, she packed rosary making supplies with her and crafted rosaries for dozens of people while praying her way through treatment. By the end of her chemo, Brenda gifted each woman in our ministry group a rosary. I tuck this rosary in my pocket and pray it often while walking in the woods.

My rosary from Brenda.

Brenda, I’m glad to report, is cancer-free and restored to health! I thought of Brenda this week as a woman who gave during her poverty of health. At a time when she could have curled into herself, she shared her spiritual wealth with all who surrounded her. Two years later, she still inspires me, and I continue to prosper from the simple threaded rosary that she gifted me.

Who has served you generously either during the Covid-19 days or before? Make that person your #joyfulwcw. You don’t have to name them publicly, but consider sharing the story or let that person know how much they blessed you.

Catholic Family, Homeschool, Motherhood

Joyful Conversations, Even During the Corona Virus Outbreak

Friends, I’m excited to bring a new resource to Joyful Momentum! With all of the Covid-19 responses, many women have found their women’s ministry gatherings canceled indefinitely. Instead of hugging our friends, we stand six feet apart, or elbow bump each other. This atmosphere is uncharted! In many parts of the United States, schools have been canceled for weeks, or even for the duration of the school year.

Schools in Washington state where I live are canceled until nearly May, and to my dismay, I’m now a homeschooler of three children, ages 18, 14, and 7. I shared with Jackie Henderson, my amazing homeschool mom friend, that I don’t feel up to the task or gifted enough to homeschool my children. And Jackie told me, “Hogwash!” And she’s right. But we new homeschooling moms are craving mentorship and practical ideas for how to make this work. If you’ve read Joyful Momentum chapter eight, what I need is someone to accompany me in this home school walk. And I’m not alone.

Thanks to the assistance of several homeschool mom friends, I’m creating a video series in the Joyful Momentum Facebook group. In these videos, which are about 15 minutes long, different homeschool moms from around the globe are sharing practical tips and tools to get your homeschool started, manage the workload, find time for self care, and even to be prepared for how homeschool may affect your marriage . . . yep, we’re going there! The first video published today, and my friend Jackie shares lots of tips to get started.

With each video, I’ve created Joyful Conversation Notes that are basic outlines of the conversation. Use these notes to talk about the content with your women’s group, or to refer back to when you need some direction.

An opportunity to accompany each other – Since we women are so relational and really crave accompaniment, I’ve also built an opportunity for new homeschool moms to link up, one-on-one, with experienced homeschool moms on the Joyful Momentum website. If you are a new homeschool mom and you’d like a mentor, simply fill out the “New Homeschool Mom Eager to Connect” form, and we’ll link you with a mentor. If you are an experienced homeschool mom willing to walk this stretch of road with a new homeschooler, fill out the “Experienced Homeschooler Willing to Share Tips.” Please consider participating.

While these days of physical self-isolation are new and can bring anxiety, let’s look at homeschooling as a blessing in our midst. Be not afraid. Together, let’s homeschool!