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Danielle shares advice, encouragement, and connection for Catholic women in all walks of life.

Girlfriends (A Podcast for Catholic Women) Ascension - The Leader in Catholic Faith Formation

    • Christentum

Danielle shares advice, encouragement, and connection for Catholic women in all walks of life.

    Don’t Hide Your Light

    Don’t Hide Your Light

    It’s easy to think we’re being humble when we’re really just being down on ourselves. Don’t hide your light! Let’s talk about some of our struggles in embracing the talents God has given us and allowing him to work through us to inspire and bless others.


    Of course, the idea of letting your light shine comes from the words of Jesus himself in Matthew 5:13-16:


    “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”


    This week, I also share some feedback from Margaret, a wannabe writer who is looking for advice on how to manage her time as a mom.


    Text the word “girlfriends” to 33-777 to get the full shownotes!

    • 48 Min.
    5 Spiritual Goals for the New Year

    5 Spiritual Goals for the New Year

    Happy New Year!  Have you made spiritual goals for the year yet? What are they? This week, I want to share a few ideas to inspire you:1. Penance on Fridays






    Did you know every Friday of the year is meant to be penitential, not just during Lent? An easy way to make sure you adhere to this practice is to consider going meatless on Fridays year-round. But even if not, consider how you might be more intentional about making a sacrifice every Friday.






    2. Read a spiritual book.






    If you are like me, you probably have a lot of good Catholic books lying around that you have not gotten around to reading. Keep a book on your bedside table or in the bathroom or in the car, so it is ready when you might find yourself with a few moments of downtime.






    3. Start a daily reading practice.






    My book, Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act, is a do-able daily devotional, but there are many out there. Find a daily page-a-day book that appeals to you and commit to working your way through it in 2020.






    4. Read the Bible every day.






    Are you familiar with the Bible? Do you have a copy that you can browse through easily? Whether it’s reading through the Psalms or reading the daily Mass readings, find a way to make reading a bit of Scripture part of your daily routine.






    5. Begin and end your day with deliberate prayer.






    We have talked about praying a Morning offering many times before, but now I want to not only remind of the importance of the morning offering, but also encourage you to make the Examen part of your daily prayer practice at the end of the day.






    With all of these suggestions, it’s important to start small and make steady progress toward your goals. Pick one or maybe two of these ideas to get you started, and then let me know how it is going for you!






    This week, I also share some happy updates from listener Dawn who was going through RCIA and waiting for an annulment to go through. 






    My newest book will be available in February 2020, but it  is already available for pre-order. Check out Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood on Amazon and pre-order your copy today. Until January 31, 2020, use code “BEAN” at checkout and get 20% off your pre-order! 

    • 45 Min.
    Amazing Women Saints (with Claire Swinarski)

    Amazing Women Saints (with Claire Swinarski)

    Claire Swinarski joins me to talk about some of her favorite women saints (and saints to be), including St. Therese of Lisieux and Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, who founded the Oblate Sisters in order to allow African-American women to enter religious life in the US.


    Claire Swinarski is the creator and host of The Catholic Feminist podcast and author of Girl, Arise!: A Catholic Feminist's Invitation to Live Boldly, Love Your Faith, and Change the World. Claire has degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Wisconsin and lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two kids.


    Claire also tells us about an exciting pilgrimage she is planning, going to France in 2020. The trip will include sites such as Lisieux, where St. Therese was raised, and Rouen, where St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The trip will wrap up with an optional extension to Lourdes. You can get more information at Claire’s website.


    My newest book will be available in February 2020, but it is already available for pre-order. Check out Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood on Amazon and pre-order your copy today.

    • 37 Min.
    Throwback Tuesday: How to Find out Your Gifts

    Throwback Tuesday: How to Find out Your Gifts

    Happy New Years Girlfriends! Today I share another popular episode from the Girlfriend’s archive: How to Find Out Your Gifts. The New Year is a great time to reassess and reflect on what unique gifts God has blessed you with, and how you can use them in the coming year.


    On a personal note, I’m in the midst of preparing for my son Ambrose’s wedding on January 3rd, so I’m taking another week off from my usual recording schedule. Please say a prayer for him and his fiancé as they get closer to their special day!


    _Snippet from the Show:
    Vocation is not WHAT you do—it’s who you are.
    _


    There has been a lot of conversation recently about finding out your gifts, and I have been hearing from women who are seeking to know what their gifts are. They particularly want to know how God wants them to use their gifts in their lives. How do we do that?


    First of all, I think it’s important that we have these conversations in light of the idea of “vocation,” which is a counter-cultural concept. Some ways I recommend finding out what your gifts are include:


    1) What are you good at?


    This one is obvious, but sometimes we don’t pay attention to our natural skills. What comes easy for you that is difficult for others?


    2) What do others say?


    What do the people in your life tell you your gifts are? Ask them!


    3) Pray about it.


    4) Ask God what your gifts are, and the ways in which he wants you to use them in service to others.


    5) Remember the idea of hidden talents.
    The gifts that God has given you might not be obvious and/or glamorous. Be open to the idea that your skills may be a hidden part of your service to God and others, rather than obvious “talents” that others readily appreciate.


    Finally, I answer a question from listener Karen who shares about her struggle with making fitness a regular part of her everyday routine.


    Thank you to those of you who have left iTunes reviews! If you haven’t already, please consider leaving Girlfriends a review, or sharing the podcast with friends or family might enjoy it. Thank you!

    • 41 Min.
    Throwback Tuesday: 6 Things You Should Do Every Day

    Throwback Tuesday: 6 Things You Should Do Every Day

    This week we are getting back to basics. We always talk about how we can find peace, balance, and joy in family living, so here are six basic things to do every day to get there.


    Snippet from the Show


    There are times in your life when you don’t feel like you can go to God…If that’s you, know that you’re in my heart and in my prayers. I understand that struggle. But don’t let yourself stay there.


    SHOWNOTES
    Pray.
    We are made for relationship with God, and you can’t have one if you aren’t talking to him!


    Connect.
    Look for meaningful ways to love and connect with others in your life, from strangers to family members.


    Create.
    We are all made to be creative and to enjoy creative things, so make some time for just that every day. (Here is the link to the novel I mentioned, All the Light We cannot See)


    Move.
    I am always saying this, and guess what? It’s still true! Your body is an important part of who you are, and it was made for movement.


    Plan.
    Thinking about the future and planning ahead can be a great way to improve your mood and keep your daily struggles in perspective.


    Learn.
    Look for ways you can grow your brain and expand your knowledge by reading, talking, and asking questions every day.


    Here is the link to A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot, the helpful book I mentioned at the start of the show.

    • 52 Min.
    Preparing for Christmas in Your Heart and Home

    Preparing for Christmas in Your Heart and Home

    Preparing for Christmas during advent shouldn't be that different from preparing for the arrival of a new baby. In today's episode, I reflect on the ways that our Advent waiting mirrors the kind of waiting we do while pregnant and expecting. Here are three simple ways we can focus on preparing for Jesus this Advent season.


    Clean.
    When we “nest” while pregnant, we prepare our homes and living spaces to welcome a new baby. While preparing for Jesus during Advent, we can get rid of some of our clutter and clean our homes, but even more importantly, we can clean our hearts and souls for him. We can go to confession, forgive those we need to forgive, and look for ways to let go of anger and resentment over the past.


    Choose.
    Just like we must choose what we will buy for a new baby, we need to choose how we will spend our money during Advent. What will we buy and how will it add to (not detract from) our celebration of Jesus during the upcoming Christmas season? We also must choose how we will spend our time. What things will we say “no” to in order to preserve our peace and sanity and really enjoy the upcoming family gatherings and celebrations?


    Savor.
    Not every moment of being pregnant is bliss, and neither is the Advent season, but there is peace, beauty, and joy in waiting if we look for it. Look for small moments to soak up the season, relax, pray, and connect with Jesus, even in the midst of the crazy-busy times ahead.


    *News and Updates: *


    My newest book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, is available for order! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to receive ten percent off your order. Don’t miss out on this special available exclusively to listeners of the Girlfriends podcast. I can’t wait to share this book with you!


    Upcoming Events:


    Saturday, January 11, 2020
    You’re Worth It Retreat
    St. Michael Church
    Exeter, NH


    February 20-23, 2020
    Speaking at Los Angeles Religious Education Congress
    Anaheim, CA


    Saturday, March 7, 2020
    You’re Worth It Retreat
    Precious Blood Parish
    Jasper, IN


    Saturday, March 28, 2020
    Women’s Conference
    Norwich, CT

    • 33 Min.

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