Yesterday on social media, I posted about my struggle with balancing motherhood and career in this stage of my life, and not surprisingly received an overwhelming response in solidarity. Another validation that the devil is working overtime to tempt us in solitude, strip us of our feminine genius, our privilege of being a woman (amazing read!) and sow lies of doubt, jealousy, and competition between our sex.
“We as modern women are constantly caught in this struggle of motherhood/career balance and being pulled in a million directions etc etc…how the devil tries to rob us now more than ever of the gift of our femininity & breed doubt into all of our decisions…she reminded me how there really is never a perfect answer this side of heaven, we may always have regrets of what we did or didn’t do in our motherhood…& how we are all called as mothers to different ways of work in & out of the home…it just brought me so much peace & I feel like we all need to keep reminding & supporting each other…there is no one perfect way of being a ‘good Catholic mom’…staying home, working full time, public school, homeschool blah blah blah…we are all trying our best & its just the evil one working to disunity, breed doubt, competition and jealousy. I was determined to tell the next mom I see “you are doing a good job” & “God is very pleased with you!”
We have heard the remedies of vulnerability, community, prayer, faith. We know these are our very real weapons, sisters, and we must be determined to use them! Yet, as I continued to reflect on this ongoing battle we face as women, I kept returning to the thought of where our victories can always begin…and I believe it is with a personal invitation.
“I have called you by name, and you are mine,” Isaiah 43:1. Let's learn from our master who always gives us the perfect example to follow. Jesus calls us each of us to a personal, intimate relationship with Him. He longs for our silent unity in prayer, our closeness with His presence in the Eucharist.
So how can we follow suit with our fellow sisters here on earth & arm against the forces of evil out to destroy our unity in womanhood?
I will never forget the seemingly ordinary conversation with my dear friend Melissa last summer. We were on different paths in our motherhood/career balance as Catholic women, and she simply passed an inviting comment to me about a positive experience she recently had. “Oh Alex, you would love this group I just attended, you should come & check it out, I’ll add you to the group & send you the invite!”
That was it. That was her small, simple, personal invitation. The invitation that changed my life over the course of the next year. She showed me a picture of the recent Blessed is She brunch she was describing, filled with vibrant Catholic women happily gathering, and immediately I said, I want to be in that picture!
From that moment, her personal invitation gave me the encouragement and inspiration to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead and make that happen. Through the next year God gave me the grace to pour myself into this new women’s ministry, which has led to extraordinary Christian friendships and many of those pictures of my own!
I’m writing this as a personal invitation through a blog for us to follow Melissa this summer and add a personal invitation to our bucketlist. I don’t know what that will look like for you, maybe starting with a personal invitation to God, allowing Him time to be a part of your life, maybe inviting a friend to a group you are a part of, (even a social media group counts!) or a 1:1 phone call, text or planned friend date. Maybe you have a friend who would love to join you for mass or adoration & is just waiting for the invite. Just use her name and make it personal. That alone immediately dissolves feelings of isolation & competition and unifies us. We all want to be seen, we all want to be included. Our ultimate feminine gift of receptivity cannot be utilized without a gift giver allowing us to receive…and ladies, we can all help each other receive by giving opportunities of invitation to each other!
I know we all have different temperaments and comfort limits, and these are just my ideas and positive experiences I am sharing. Talk to God about it and take it to prayer. See how He can use you in a small but powerful way to benefit our fellow women; which will absolutely bring benefit to your own life.
Remember, YOU are beloved, YOU are called to your specific life circumstances, and WE are in this together! To some of the powerhouse saints on women, feminine genius, and work...Saint John Paul II, Saint Teresa Benedict of the Cross, & Saint Josemaria Escriva, pray for us! Happy Summer 2018, its going to be the best yet!
In Joy, Alex
Addendum as my not-so-personal invite through here, if you are interested in learning more about Blessed is She, & longing to be in one of those pictures like I was, go to this website & search for the closest group in your area! You can also email or message me through here with any questions :)