Faux Fiesta Forum 2020

Handmaid Cocktail Sippers

When you join us for your region’s ladies’ night, consider grabbing one of these fun drinks or a creation of your own!

Fiesta Cucumber Mint Agua Fresca

2 English cucumber, sliced

½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice 

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped

1 ¼ cup water

This easy fiesta agua fresca is great as a large batch or individual servings. Dump the cut-up cucumber, freshly squeezed lime juice, sugar, most of the mint leaves, fresh ginger, and half of the water in a blender. There’s no need to peel the cucumber or the ginger in this recipe as everything will be strained out later. Blend well. Once pureed, pour the agua fresca through a sieve to remove the pulp. Add the rest of the water, stir. To serve, pour the agua fresca into glasses filled with ice and garnish with more fresh mint. Sip, and ahhh!

Ave Maria Margarita (adapted from Ina Garten)

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp lemon or other citrus juice

Kosher salt for the rim

1 oz. triple sec

1 oz. white tequila

ice for serving

If you like margaritas served in a glass with salt, rub the outside rims with a cut lime and dip each glass lightly into a plate of kosher salt.

Combine the lime juice, other citrus juice, Triple Sec, tequila, and ice in a blender and puree. Place extra ice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with margarita mix, shake well, and strain into glasses. Enjoy! 

It’s Fall Y’all

Inspired by our Director of Communications, Bevin Landrum, this cocktail has Southern sass, Italian bubbles, and fall spices. Makes two servings. 

2 oz. spiced rum

4 oz. unfiltered apple cider

6 oz. prosecco

Cinnamon and sugar mixed for the rim

Wet the rim of a flute with apple cider. Cover the rim with cinnamon and sugar. Combine the rum and apple cider in a shaker with ice. Pour half of this mixture into the champagne flute. Top with 3 oz of prosecco. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon. 

The Spice Girl

A virgin beverage with all the flavor and fun

8 oz. spiced apple cider, unfiltered

Cinnamon and sugar to rim the glass

Small orange wedge

Wet the rim of the flute with a bit of apple cider. Cover the rim of the glass with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Fill the flute with the apple cider and garnish with the orange wedge. 

Boots & Blessings Auction Set

Kick your boots up and get ready for Boots and Blessings! 

Admission packages are on sale now for the benefit event-within-an-event. The auction portion of Boots and Blessings will run from Sunday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 15, benefiting our perpetual charity – the MCCW Endowed Co-Sponsored Seminarian Scholarship.

Every admission package includes access to:

  • Starter pack of opportunity tickets, based on your package price
  • Ability to use opportunity tickets to win one of four great MCCW prizes
  • Online access for one bidder
  • Early access to preview the bidding portal and catalog
  • A limited-edition “Boots and Blessings” printable you can frame at home

Don’t delay – buy your admissions package today so you can start surfing the catalog as soon as it opens. 

 

Living Your Fiat in the Kitchen

By: Aly Tugaoen, Director of Forum 

“It is hard to find a more constant backdrop to home life than food.”   Whether we realize it or not, food is one of the many aspects of life that bond us together. As a child, we had a Sunday tradition in my family. After Mass, we would all go to my grandmother’s house. The adults would gather in the dining and living rooms, while the cousins gathered in the back room (because that’s where the TV was located.)  

My grandmother was the master chef at Sunday brunch. Sunday after Sunday, we would gather, eat and inevitably, the kids would all make our way to the living room to visit with the adults before everyone returned home.  

As a military spouse, I have a deeper appreciation for the rooted traditions that my family chose to live each week. I thought after having children it would be easy for me to employ these same traditions. I was clearly delusional. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are some things I chose to keep, like the weekly calls to the grandparents and great-grandparents in lieu of Sunday dinner, since we were stationed 1200 miles away. Yet, there also were a number of times I found something that I thought would be perfect for our family and would boldly proclaim, “this is going to be our new tradition,” only to forget about it the following year.  

One of the beautiful things about our Catholic Women of the Chapel (CWOC) groups, when we are able to meet in person, is the plethora of dining choices we bring to each meeting. Lots of quiches for the morning meetings not to be outdone by the casseroles that appear for an evening study.  Food is, without question, one of the ways we express our love for each other and our faith.  There are plenty of foods, dishes, recipes, and drinks associated with Catholicism.  With Advent quickly approaching, I thought I would highlight a couple of recipes that would assist you in your FIAT to faith and family, no matter where your kitchen happens to be. 

November 17 —  Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Raised a princess and subject to an arranged marriage, Elizabeth was generous with the poor in her community, giving them bread to eat.  One day, while on her way to feed the poor, her husband, who was always supportive of her generosity, asked what she had in her apron. She replied that she was carrying roses.  When her husband asked to see them, she opened her apron to find roses instead of the bread she originally left with.  This is one of the reasons she is often pictured with an apron full of roses (instead of bread).  

St. Elizabeth’s Bread

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 packages rapid-rise yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted for glaze

Directions:

  1. Grease 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Mix flour, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Heat honey, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk until warm, about 40 seconds.  Combine with flour mixture.  Add eggs and knead on a floured board until smooth, adding more flour or milk if needed. 
  2. Rub a bowl with butter and place dough inside covered with a damp cloth.  Leave in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.  Knead again and divide into 4-inch balls.
  3. To create a rose-shaped bread roll, roll a ball into three (3) ropes, reserving a small amount.  Braid the strands and attach the ends to form a circle. Roll the reserved amount into a ball and place in the middle of the circle.
  4. Place the shaped rolls into the cake pan and let them sit in a warm place for 20 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees, 35-45 minutes, until golden brown,  Just before the end of baking, glaze rolls with melted butter, then return to the oven for a few minutes.

November 30 — Feast of St. Andrew

Known as Andrew the Apostle and brother to Simon-Peter, Andrew was with his brother when Jesus invited them to become fishers of men.  The gospels do not elaborate much on him but we do know that he was martyred by crucifixion on a cross form known as “crux decussata,” which is an X-shaped cross.  Today this is commonly referred to as “St. Andrew’s Cross.” It is believed Andrew requested to be crucified this way because he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus.

As the patron saint of Scotland, here is a recipe for

Scottish Lamb with Onion and Potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs shoulder of lamb, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 4 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 lbs potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 quart lamb or chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Season the lamb with freshly ground pepper and roast in a medium roasting tray in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350°F. Remove the lamb from the tray and pour off the excess fat.
  2. While the lamb is roasting, heat the oil in a pan, add the onions, cover, and cook for 5 minutes till soft. Remove the cover from the pan, add the garlic and rosemary and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan.
  3. Place a layer of potatoes into the roasting tray and lightly season with black pepper. Lay 1/3 of the cooked onions onto the potatoes, repeat this process until you have three or four layers of potatoes and onions.
  4. Bring the lamb/chicken stock to the boil and pour over the potatoes, press down with a spoon till the potatoes are all submerged.
  5. Place the lamb on top and return to the preheated oven and continue to cook for 3 hours.
  6. The lamb should be meltingly tender and the potatoes and onions should have absorbed the stock and lamb juices.
  7. Serve with Scottish seasonal vegetables of your choice – most types of cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are in season in November

December 12 — Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Virgin of Guadalupe was declared Queen of Mexico and is Patron of the Americas. She appeared to Juan Diego, who was an Aztec convert to Christianity, on December 9 and again on December 12, 1531. During her first apparition, she requested that a shrine to her be built on the spot where she appeared, Tepeyac Hill (now in a suburb of Mexico City). The bishop, however, demanded a sign before he would approve the construction of a church. Mary then appeared a second time to Juan Diego and ordered him to collect roses. In a second audience with the bishop, Juan Diego opened his cloak, letting dozens of roses fall to the floor and revealing the image of Mary imprinted on the inside of the cloak.  The bishop accepted this and approved the request.  In total, Mary appeared five times. 

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Bag of powdered sugar (to roll cookies in after baked)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spray sheets with non-stick spray. 
  3. Mix all the ingredients together with a mixer.
  4. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on cookie sheets.
  5. Bake 10-12 min, Cool then shake in a plastic bag of powdered sugar.

*Nuts are optional

 

 

 

 

Keynote Speaker Update

Wishing you could hear from the keynote speakers who were supposed to join us in San Antonio? Us too! Don’t worry though – you can still find out what they have to say by picking up one of their books, listening to a podcast, or checking out one of their websites. 

Jennifer Fulwiler

(Our first speaker: we were looking forward to kicking off Forum with what was sure to be a hilarious and compelling keynote by Jennifer!)

After being told that there wasn’t an audience for standup comedy done by a minivan-driving woman from the suburbs, Jenifer Fulwiler self-produced her own comedy tour, selling out across the country.  As a mother of six children and a best selling author, she has much to share about her conversion to Catholicism, raising a large family, and how you can use your personal passions to reinvigorate your life. 

Jennifer’s books include:

  • The memoir of her journey to Christ: “Something Other Than God:  How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It”
  • “One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Personal Passions, Family Chaos, and Saying Yes to Them Both”; described as an “intimate look at the struggles Jen went through while trying to find some way to use her God-given gifts while still putting her family first.”
  • “Your Blue Flame:  Drop the Guilt and Do What Makes You Come Alive”; her newest book which she describes as the place where she “lay[s] out all of my secrets for pursuing your passions in the midst of a busy life. It’s an invitation to discover what makes you come alive and go do it. Whether it’s launching a business that you hope will grow into an empire, or simply, arranging flowers once a week, this is your wake-up call to do the work that you were destined to do.”

Ways to stay in touch:

 

Katie Prejean McGrady

(Katie was scheduled to speak at our April Forum dates, but would have been unable to join us for our November dates due to the recent birth of her daughter! Congrats Katie and family!)

As a mother to two beautiful girls, Katie Prejean is also a dynamic and engaging Catholic speaker and author with a passion for sharing the Faith.  She has traveled internationally, speaking to audiences of all ages on everything from the Eucharist, pursuing a relationship with Jesus, models, and methods of evangelization, ice cream flavors, and the best shows to watch on Netflix.  Katie is a columnist for Catholic News Service and a writer for Blessed Is She, the Grotto Network, Life Teen, and America magazine.  She has appeared on EWTN, Catholic TV, Radio Maria, Sirius XM’s Catholic Channel. Together with her husband, Tommy, she co-hosts a podcast named The Electric Waffle.  The couple has also co-authored two devotional booklets for teens.  

Katie’s other books include:

  • “Follow: Your Lifelong Adventure with Jesus”; How well do you know Jesus? Like, REALLY know him?  Catholic author and speaker Katie Prejean McGrady shares sometimes embarrassing, often humorous, and always inspiring stories about how she came to know and love Jesus, and shows you can too, through prayer, scripture, sacraments, and service.  Winner of a 2019 Association of Catholic Publishers Award: Teen Books (First Place)
  • “Room 24: Adventure of a New Evangelist”;  five years after she graduated from high school, teacher, youth minister, and sought-after speaker Katie Prejean McGrady returned to her alma mater in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to teach freshman theology. In the early years of her career, McGrady’s hormonal, sometimes grumpy, and often confused students taught her what it means to evangelize. Her frequently witty and always candid stories—and the ten lessons she offers—will inspire anyone who works with youth in the Church today.

Ways to stay in touch:

 

Lisa Hendey

(When we rescheduled Forum to November and learned that Katie would be unable to join us, we asked Lisa to be our second keynote. She agreed, and we were so excited because she is great! She has also agreed to be one of our keynotes for our virtual events – so you will still get to hear from this amazing woman!)

Lisa M. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic news media topics. She is the host of “Lisa Hendey & Friends” on Breadbox Media and continues to write as a best-selling author.  Her newest release, a children’s book called “I’m a Saint in the Making” is described as offering “simple but impactful suggestions for ways children can offer acts of prayer, service, and love.” Lisa is also the co-host of “Catholic MomCast”, a production of Holy Cross Family Ministries and CatholicMom.com, which is the website she founded. Each week, CatholicMom.com offers a variety of children’s activities designed to help children learn from the Sunday Liturgy of the Word.  The website was acquired by Holy Cross Family Ministries in 2016 and also features columns on a wide variety of adult subjects ranging from Catholic breastfeeding to Natural Family Planning and features a Catholic Book Club among other interests. In addition to authoring more than a dozen books, Lisa’s writing has also been featured in articles for The National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, and The Catholic Digest.  She is a regular contributor to the daily EWTN radio program, the SonRise Morning Show, speaking on topics related to family and technology.  

Ways to stay in touch:

Still looking for more from great Catholic speakers? Don’t miss our four keynotes during Faux Fiesta Forum: Lisa Hendey, Emily Jaminet, Mary Lenaburg, and Sister Nancy Rose Gucwa. 

 

 

Connect With Our Faith

Dear Sisters in Christ,

Are you ready to celebrate? Our Faux Fiesta Forum starts in just a few days, and we are excited.

This has, no doubt, been a wild roller coaster of a year, but our team decided we wouldn’t let it get us down. With the grace and strength of God on our side, we decided we would push through and plan the very best ever Faux Fiesta Forum. 

(Yes, we are praying fervently that it is also the ONLY Faux Fiesta Forum we ever have to plan!)

We realized that what we were really yearning for in our own lives was a connection. We miss hugging our friends. We miss the fellowship and chatting with our priests after Mass. We miss preparing a yummy dish to share at CWOC. And depending on where you live, some of us are still missing getting to go to Mass, getting to spend time with Jesus in adoration, or receiving God’s limitless grace through reconciliation. 

And while we can’t bring all of those things to you, the Faux Fiesta Forum will bring you some of your very favorite things and give you many opportunities to connect with our faith, reunite with friends, and be inspired by our shared faith. 

This special issue of The Well is dedicated to our Faux Fiesta Forum —  enjoy all the fun in these pages and then be sure you join us in the coming weeks for all the fun, formation, and friends you’re craving.

Yours in Christ,

Kim Miller,
MCCW-Worldwide President
2018-2020

 

Guide to Finding your Fiat

By: Nancy Belmont, Director of Faith Formation

One of the challenges of virtual Forum is translating the in-person leadership development modules into a dynamic and engaging online format. After collaborating with our MCCW President, Kim Miller (and the Holy Spirit), I believe we’ve hit that balance with our module “Finding Your Fiat: Listening and Responding to God’s Call.” 

This module will help women identify role models from scripture, such as Our Blessed Mother, Zechariah, Elijah, and St. Paul, who said yes to God’s plan — sometimes after a struggle. We strive to help participants develop ways to listen and respond to God’s call despite difficulties. Activities include teaching, group discussion, guided Lectio Divina, time for personal reflection, and some fun surprises. 

I will present this 90-minute interactive module via Zoom, utilizing both the teaching platform and breakout rooms to facilitate discussion. I will present the module twice, once in the morning and once in the evening, to capture participation from around the globe. 

Two Time Slots Available

Friday, Nov. 13 at 10:30 a.m. EST  AND 4:30 p.m. Central European Time 

OR

Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. EST AND 1 p.m. Pacific AND 8 a.m. Korean Standard Time

If your CWOC is able to meet in person, why not plan your gathering around this module? We’d love it if your group joined us live. While we won’t cast the Zoom sessions live to Facebook, we will record each live Zoom session (but not the breakout room discussions to encourage openness,) and post the videos to our website after they are edited. If your CWOC isn’t currently meeting in person, join us live on Zoom, or use the pre-recorded module to facilitate a virtual event for your chapel group. That way, you can listen to the teaching and pause the video to facilitate in-person discussion.

How to Prepare

Here are some key scripture excerpts and Catechism of the Catholic Church sections to review before the module and to have on hand for the presentation:

Luke 1: 5-25, 64, 

Luke 1: 26-38

1 Kings 19:11-13

1 Thess. 5: 13-22

CCC 1, 27 and 30.

 

We are offering some suggested questions for small group discussion: 

  1.  Can you think of a time when fear or doubt kept you from saying “yes” to God?
  2.  How did that work out and what did you learn from that situation?
  3.  Can you think of a time when you trusted in God despite uncertainty, putting yourself at his disposal to be an instrument of His will?
  4.  How did that work out, and what did you learn from that situation?
  5.  What obstacles have kept you from saying “yes” to God?
  6.  How can we make sure God’s volume is not muted, not muffled by silliness or even legitimate concerns, but turned up? 
  7.  How do you quiet yourself so you can listen to God’s will? 
  8.  What words or phrases stood out from this exercise in Divine Reading? 
  9.  How did God speak to you through the Scriptures? 
  10.  Did He call you in a special way?

Note: Pre-registration is required. 

If you’d like to join us live on Zoom, please pre-register for these modules on our website.  Registration closes 48 hours before the start of each event. 

Looking Forward to Changing Seasons

Dear Sisters in Christ,

Fall greetings to you all! After two years in the deserts of West Texas, I am so excited to be on the East Coast and experiencing a beautiful fall. The leaves are beginning to change, the days are cooler, and dishes featuring pumpkin, apples, and cinnamon are beginning to appear on our table with greater frequency. 

It is also a time rich with liturgical year celebrations and events. In October, which is also the month of the rosary, we observe the memorials of St. Therèse of Lisieux, the Holy Guardian Angels, Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Teresa of Avila, and Saints Simon and Jude the Apostles. Before we know it, November will be here and it will be time to observe the Solemnity of All Saints and the memorial of All Souls. 

We hope that you and your family, and your women’s ministry, will take the time to celebrate some of these special occasions. To help get you started, we have included two special rosary programs you can use in your celebration of the Month of the Rosary. Since early November also brings Vocations Week we added some ideas for how you can talk about, pray for, and support vocations. 

And just as the church calendar is full this time of year, so, too, there is much coming up on the MCCW calendar. Our European and Asian teams are putting the finishing touches on their virtual retreats after travel restrictions caused late cancelations of in-person gatherings. Likewise, the MCCW board is working hard to bring you an amazing Faux Fiesta Forum and to prepare for Worldwide Board discernment. You can learn more about both of these events in this issue of The Well. 

I pray that each of you will enjoy the richness of this time of year, whether it be through delicious family meals, special liturgical celebrations, or participation in one of MCCW’s many events. 

Yours in Christ,

Kim Miller, President
MCCW 2018-2020

All Things Seminarian

By: Denise Hummel, Director of Seminarian Support

The Need Is Great

Did you know that the Archdiocese for the Military Services chaplains serve over 1.8 million Catholics? With fewer than 200 active-duty priests, serving all branches of service, our need for priests is great!

In 2019, MCCW established our first endowed scholarship to financially support our perpetual charity — our beloved seminarians.  Stay tuned to both email and Facebook to learn how MCCW will continue to connect, unite, and inspire our members in an online platform this coming November.  

Silent Auction

Traditionally, MCCW hosts a silent auction at Retreats and Forums to financially support The Military Council of Catholic Women Endowed Co-Sponsored Seminarian Scholarship.  This tradition will now continue as our first-ever Promised Priest VIRTUAL Silent Auction.  All proceeds will benefit our perpetual charity: our co-sponsored seminarians.  

Please be creative in your entry — we would love to have a variety of themed entries.  Some ideas include but are not limited to: Time for Tea, Our Daily Bread, Tiny Saints, Shining Light Dolls, Marian, Sacred Heart, etc.  We would also welcome gift cards for ease of mailing to the winning bidder.  

Completed forms are *now* due by October 20, 2020.  Each donor will be responsible for shipping their item to the highest bidder.   Please accurately estimate your shipping costs to the best of your ability in the form HERE

For any additional questions regarding the Promised Priest Silent Auction, please contact Denise Hummel at amsliaison@mccw.org or (913) 680-9455. Thank you for generously sharing your gifts!

Adopt-a-Seminarian

MCCW’s Adopt-a-Seminarian program connects current AMS seminarians and military chapel groups. Through prayer, letters, and care packages, the chapels provide support to their adopted seminarian and the seminarian learns more about military life through regular contact with families like those he will serve in the future.

To adopt your seminarian today, email: amsliaison@mccw.org.

Accepting Change in Your Vocation to Motherhood

By: Elizabeth Tomlin, Director of Financial Stewardship

I spent $133.47 at my son, Patrick’s, college bookstore on move-in day in August.  I had not spent that much money on nonessentials since the pandemic hit.  But I enthusiastically plunked the money onto the counter at the College of William and Mary bookstore and happily walked outside to the Virginia summer humidity sporting a new ball cap and a bag full of college mom paraphernalia that screamed my pride in Patrick’s next step in his adult life.

Arriving at Patrick’s new residence hall, we unload bins of school supplies and a semester’s worth of clothing, bedding, and ramen noodles.  We were amateurishly clumsy in our unloading tactics as items fell out of grocery bags and rolled across the sidewalk.  While chasing a rogue bottle of Gatorade, I noticed that the mom and son in the car in front of us had expertly packed everything in large, zip-up Ikea bags.  Several college mom bumper stickers on her SUV tailgate confirmed that she had past experience with freshman move-in.   

Once we transported the gear to Patrick’s room, we started to arrange the furniture.  Patrick rejected each suggestion I gave for how to fit his mini-fridge into his rather small room, and it became clear that he wanted, and perhaps needed, to arrange his room without me.  I left Patrick and his sister to the task of arranging the furniture while I ran to the store for a few necessities. 

As soon as I got in the car, I was grateful for my new ball cap and oversized sunglasses because the floodgates opened.  I cried my eyes out all the way to the store and up and down the laundry detergent aisle.  I even ignobly cried my way through the Chick-fil-A drive through on my way back to campus.  When I returned to the dorm, Patrick and his sister were beaming with satisfaction.  They had made the bed, hung posters, strung Christmas lights, and even found a spot for the mini fridge.  The room looked great –without my input.   

I invited Patrick to go to dinner with us, but he opted to eat with the other freshman.  My daughter and I ate dinner and drove past the dorm later in the evening to see if Patrick needed anything.  From a distance, I spotted him sitting on the lawn with other students.  We slowed down to look but kept driving.  I didn’t want to intrude.  We said our goodbyes in the dorm parking lot the next morning. 

I left Patrick with the following words:

Be good. Study hard.  Go to church.

And I cried – surprise, surprise.  I told myself that I would feel less sad when my daughter leaves for college.  However, as I put the minivan in reverse, I saw the expert unloader family from the day before.  The seasoned college mom hugged her son goodbye with a smile, but as soon as she slid into her car, she burst into tears. 

I was not prepared for college mom grief.  It is a confounding grief.  A paradox, really.

It’s a paradox because unlike other types of grief, in grieving a child leaving the nest, we’re grieving exactly what we worked so hard to attain for so many years. 

Throughout our motherhood journey, we traverse “long days and short years” often filled with pregnancy nausea or the anticipation of adoption, teaching our children to read, celebrating birthdays, confronting medical challenges, leading scout meetings, navigating finances, getting kids to behave in church, reheating cups of coffee, attending sports practices and music recitals, and helping our kids learn to share, do chores, and make good friends.  We joyfully and exhaustedly parent our children. 

With our work often unseen, we raise squirmy, snuggly children to become God-loving, independent, kindhearted young adults who don’t need our help to set up dorm rooms, find dinner, or make friends. 

But the manifestation of that adult can break our mom hearts a little as we think about the childhood years where they desperately need our physical presence. 

It’s okay to grieve that our children don’t need us the way they used to.  It’s okay to cry on college move-in day.  It really is.  Once again, I bawled my eyes out on the flight home from Virginia to Washington.  Somewhere over Missouri, I recalled words that my friend Mary Lenaburg wrote about grief.    

“Acceptance is where healing begins,” she wrote. 

So the goal in this new stage of parenting is acceptance.  God called me to motherhood that began with a child who desperately needed me for nearly his entire life until now.  Now, however, my vocation as his mother is to accept that my son needs me in different ways. He needs the hidden work of my prayers instead of overt actions.  He needs the subtlety of a listening ear instead of direction.  He needs me to support him even if he does things differently than I would.  He needs me to observe him from a distance while he forges his way.  His Mom driving away is exactly what Patrick needs. 

As for me, I need to accept that happiness and sadness can co-exist in this new chapter of motherhood.