213 episodes

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

    • Christianity

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

    5 Creative Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

    5 Creative Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

    How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? It can be a tricky date on the calendar for some of us who have high expectations and wind up feeling disappointed and unappreciated when things don’t go as planned. One antidote to that is to find creative new ways to celebrate love on February 14!


    Snippet from the Show
    “You shouldn’t have to wait for this one day (out of 365) to feel loved and appreciated inside of your relationships.”


    SHOWNOTES
    Text the word GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 to get the full shownotes!



    Pray for someone anonymously.


    Choose someone in your life that you don’t regularly pray for and pray for them on Valentine’s day. Bonus points if you leave them an anonymous note letting them know you prayed for them.



    Thank a priest.


    Our priests need our prayers, but they also need to know how much we love and appreciate them. Valentine’s day is a great opportunity to do just that. Send a priest a note or a gift to let them know you love them, appreciate them, and are grateful for their service to the Church.



    Visit a single person in your life (or at least send them a Valentine note). It might be the widow who lives in your neighborhood or the 20-something who goes to your church. Reach out to someone single who might be feeling lonely on a day that celebrates romantic love.

    Be randomly generous at a diner.



    It goes like this: Meet friends for lunch. You each bring a $100 bill. Order lunch and then when it’s time to pay, give the server all of the cash as a generous tip. You can adjust the amounts to what makes sense for you, but I love this fun and creative idea!



    Send “I love you because” notes.


    Let your family members and friends know what you love and appreciate about them. Send small notes of appreciation for them on this day set aside for love—a great excuse to get a little mushy!

    • 38 min
    How to Love Annoying People

    How to Love Annoying People

    We all deal with annoying people sometimes. Whether the annoying person is a stranger at Mass, a co-worker, or your own husband, here are some ideas for ways we can answer God’s call to love every human being, even if they are getting on our nerves.




















    1) Pray to see them as God does.












    Every person is a precious child of God. It can be hard to see that when they are getting on your nerves, though. Ask God for the grace of seeing each person as he does, in all their dignity and worth.













    2) Recall a time when you were annoying.












    We all have bad days. It can help you be kind to someone else who is having an “off day” to recall a time when you were annoying yourself. We all need love and kindness and an extra dose of mercy at times.













    3) Know they are probably hurting.












    Hurt people hurt people. Especially if someone is being angry, rude, or unfair in a way that does not make sense to you, recognize that they are probably wounded and suffering. It’s not an excuse for bad behavior, but it can go a long way toward helping you be more patient with it.













    4) Offer to help.












    Are they complaining or acting up about something you can help them with? Find a way to help them with whatever they are struggling with, or at least offer to help so they know they are not alone.













    5) Ignore what you can.












    If you can possibly ignore their annoying behavior, DO IT. Keep pulling your mind away and onto other, more important things.













    6) Remember what you can control.












    You cannot control others’ words and behaviors, but you can control how you respond to them. When faced with a challenging person, reciting your Morning Offering or using the Jesus Prayer can be a great way to offer up the challenge to God.













    7) Reduce contact with them if you reasonably can.












    You can always give someone space when they are in a bad mood, or reduce the amount of time you spend with someone who is a negative influence in your life.













    Resources and Announcements













    At the start of the show, I mention that the March for Life in Washington DC is an official Pilgrimage site with the opportunity for a plenary indulgence attached to it. Here is more information about that.





    This week I also share my response to an email from listener Jessie who is struggling with using NFP to space pregnancies in her marriage.





    My newest book, Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood is available for pre-order. Until January 31, 2020, use code “BEAN” at checkout and get twenty percent off!





    Events






    February 20-23, 2020: Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Anaheim, CASaturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, INSaturday, March 14, 2020: Women’s Conference, Fresno, CASaturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CTWant me to come to your community to speak or give my retreat, You Are Enough, based on the themes in my book? Get all the information here!





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    • 46 min
    Why Catholic Fiction Matters (with Jacqueline Brown)

    Why Catholic Fiction Matters (with Jacqueline Brown)

    Our guest this week is Jacqueline Brown,author of the Catholic fiction series The Light Series. Jacqueline tells about her journey from a practicing clinical psychologist to Catholic fiction writer. Jacqueline shares about making time for beauty and art in everyday lives and the importance of Catholic fiction as a genre.


    When you order Jacqueline’s books, be sure to use the code GIRLFRIENDS to receive 20% off the paperbacks here. Also, the e-book of The Light, the first book in the series, will be available for just 99 cents January 27-February 2, 2020. And finally, the audio books are available on Chirp for just $2.99 and on Audible.


    This week, I also share some feedback from Liz who shares some helpful resources for women who want to make reading Scripture part of their everyday routine. Liz suggests: Blessed Is She and Every Sacred Sunday. I add a recommendation for Take Up and Read.


    Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!


    Announcements


    My newest book, Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood is available for pre-order. Until January 31, 2020, use code “BEAN” at checkout and get twenty percent off!


    Events


    February 20-23, 2020: Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Anaheim, CA
    Saturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, IN
    Saturday, March 14, 2020: Women’s Conference, Fresno, CA
    Saturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CT
    Want me to come to your community to speak or give my retreat, You Are Enough, based on the themes in my book? Get all the information here!
    Subscribe


    Text the word GIRLFRIENDS to 33-777 to get the shownotes!

    • 51 min
    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

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