The Catholic Conference 4 Moms

Anything that makes someone feel more loved is an act of mercy. 


Have you been looking for a way to grow in your faith this Lent? Perhaps you wish you could get away on retreat, but with all your little kids at home you can’t. Is there nothing for you? There is! Check out this year’s Catholic Conference 4 Moms. This year’s topic is the many Faces of Mercy. It is inspired by the Holy Father’s proclamation of the Jubilee year of Mercy.

We are called to share God’s love and mercy with others as well as to receive it ourselves. How can you spend these 40 days aquiring more merciful heart? One of the best ways to start is by hearing personal stories of how mercy touched other people’s lives and transformed them.

To hear many uplifting talks by moms, priests and theologians from the convenience of your home, sign up for the Catholic conference for moms. Feel connected and be inspired. Most conferences cost hundreds of dollars, but this online one is only $14.99, or use my coupon code “Eastland” to save $4 and make it just $10.99!  This includes a digital “swag bag” full of goodies like free books to download and discounts at your favourite Catholic websites such as Holy Heroes and Fransciscan Media.

The 2016 “Faces of Mercy” Conference will offer:
-20 + All New Popular Presenters and Presentations (Check them out!)
-Plus a Spanish Track, featuring presentations specifically for Hispanic moms
-Every Presentation is available all of the time, throughout all of Lent, after the conference begins Saturday, Feb. 20th.
-Live-Streamed Session Saturday Morning Feb. 20th featuring Jennifer Fulwiler
-And Live-Streamed Session Saturday Afternoon of the Divine Mercy Chaplet
– HD Videos also Available as MP3 /Podcasts that you can download
-Valuable Digital Swag Bags for all Online Attendees
-Available for individuals Online or for your Mom’s group!

I loved last year’s talks, like having heart to hearts over coffee with awesome friends, and hope you’ll join us this year!

Click here to see the website:

Faces of Mercy

Lent: A Season to Grow in Love

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As we feel spring breezes shaking us out of the slumber of winter, and see little signs of new life popping out of the ground, we all feel the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts. This is one aspect of Lent, examining ourselves to see which areas of our life need revitalizing, and praying for the grace of the Holy Spirit to blow away the cobwebs and bring us to new and deeper life.

Trees teach us so well. They know how to strip themselves bare and stand naked before God, honestly revealing all their bumps and scrapes, and asking to be healed and covered afresh in a robe of spring blossoms.

When we look at ourselves without excuses and pretence, we can all see areas in which we need to grow. Faults we have that cause others pain or inconvenience, like being sloppy, indiscreet, insensitive or impatient. Lent is a time to move forward with hope, choosing a few small ways to try to improve ourselves, with the help of grace, so that we are better able to love.

We should be humble enough to realize that rather than sudden showy or impressive changes, it is the small steps taken consistently that usually lead us to improvement. (Stinker! Fast and flashy sounds much more fun! 😉 Where’s the fairy godmother’s wand when you need a makeover…)

Ultimately whatever we decide to give up or take on this Lent, should have this goal in mind: to become better versions of ourselves, to grow interiorly, to make amends for our mistakes, and to grow in our ability to love God and love the people we encounter each day. Perhaps we can smile at a stranger and ask how they are, or take time to speak to a lonely co-worker instead of eating lunch alone with our iPhone. Let’s push ourselves to reach out to others in love, and fight, as Pope Francis calls it, “the globalization of indifference.”

Many of the little acts of denial we might choose may seem very mundane, like clearing off the table and doing the dishes before getting distracted on the internet, reading the kids their bedtime story or calling a lonely relative, even when we are worn out from a long day. Yet it is in these little things like cheerfully serving others, finishing what we start, and doing things on time, that make our homes run more smoothly and harmoniously, and less like chaotic zoos (trust me, living with 5 little monkeys, I know about zoos!). With our example we can foster an atmosphere of generosity and concern for others in our families. Happily kids do copy the good things we do as well as the bad.

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It can be hard to keep giving, remembering that all these little acts, when done consistently and with love, add up to a quiet heroism. At least, it can be hard alone. Which is why I think community is so essential, for everyone, but also for moms, who tend to work long hours as the sole adult aboard ship Kidalot. Having community with other moms to laugh, cry and share stories is so healing and helpful. It makes life so much more full and rich, and reminds us we are not alone on this journey. I couldn’t do it without my mom buddies or cheer me up and cheer me on!

If you feel like you could benefit from the encouraging company of fellow moms who want to remind you of the depth and beauty of your calling as a mother, and to encourage you to grow in your faith, please check out the upcoming (March 6-9, 2015) online conference for Catholic moms (or anyone else interested, of course!). It’s free and convenient, and once you register you can view any of the talks online, from the comfort of home…perhaps while your little ones take a nap or have an outing with daddy.

If you enjoy the talks you’re able to see, and want to view them again, or see the ones you missed, you’ll be able to purchase the entire conference package afterwards. This is not part of registering, but an option afterwards. The talks will be a great resource for discussion at your parish or mom’s group, and give you a chance to be a leader in fostering community among mothers in your area.

Having looked myself at the extensive panel of speakers, many mothers, writers, bloggers, foodies, etc, I can’t wait! Hope you’ll join us online!

Check out the
Awesome Presenters
And the
Great Prizes

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First Snowdrop: Tiny Signs of Spring

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This beautiful delicate snowdrop, pushing its way out of the rubble of mushy brown leaves, sticks and manure, to let its little pure white head glow in the sunlight, is a sweet sign that spring is slowly coming, that hope for renewal after winter is alive. A sign that even when life makes us face our worst fears, such as the death of a loved one, we can come out of the haze of sadness with eyes that still see the beauty of the world.

I dedicate this picture to my great friend and fellow blogger Monique Leblanc, the one who inspired me to begin sharing my adventures in Crazyland. I offer it for her especially, because she recently passed the due date of her son Hilary, who was born asleep half way through her pregnancy. His appearance was like this snowdrop, brief and achingly beautiful.

I offer it also because she has recently moved from the balmy west coast to the frozen (but friendly!) fields of Saskatchewan, and is much more likely to be seeing snow ploughs than snow drops at this time. The great thing is that she thinks this is fun! 🙂

I want to honour her unfailing friendship, her joyful sense of adventure, and her great dedication to her family. She has been for years, and always will be, a wonderful inspiration for me. She embraced me and believed in me when we first became friends, and has never ceased to love and encourage me. Cicero said so poignantly:

What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? Robbing the world of friendship is like robbing the world of the sun.

I was afraid of losing her closeness when she moved away, but instead feel closer to her than ever, thanks to the phone, and her uncanny ability to know when I just really need to talk to her. As Anne Shirley said so well: “True friends are always together in spirit.”

Blogging has also helped us to stay close as we try our hands at writing and jump into this wonderful online community together. Check out the awesome blog she writes with her husband Ryan at thelasttimechange.blogspot.ca/

Life can be tough, but if you have a good friend to laugh and even cry with, everything is ok. It gives life a stability that can sustain you through the roughest waters, and help you laugh over your little daily disasters with someone who knows you better than you know yourself. Our old buddy Cicero agrees:

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

I hope all of you have friends like this. Have you told them lately how much they mean to you?

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