My Weekend – Without Work

SJB at DYBThere are not many weekends I am able to “leave work at work.” This weekend, I was able to do just that. Though this blog post is a little of “what I did this weekend,” it also is aimed at helping other women, just like me, enjoy their time away from work, and to focus on what God is calling you to in your life.

Because I was able to “disconnect,” so to speak, from work this weekend, I was able to hear God in the whisper, as well as in the ROCK CONCERT lead by Catholic music star, Matt Maher.

Instagram Matt Maher

Here are the things that were of value for me this weekend, as I shed my role as “working mom,” and just became the “Catholic mom.”

1. I attended the Diocesan Youth Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The first thing that was poignant for me at the conference is a young man from our parish rode with my daughter and I to the conference. This young man is 15 years old, and is relatively new to experiencing his faith. It is quite inspirational to witness how he is grappling with faith issues, turning to others for mentoring, and being child-like in his faith (*cough* aren’t we all supposed to? Cough cough!). During the Matt Maher concert, I noticed during one of the songs, he stopped jumping around and clapping, and was just staring at the stage. After that particular song was over, he says to me, “That’s my favorite song. I really like it.” Well, that was enough to get the water works going for me. The song says, “I need you, oh, how I need you…every hour I need you…my one defense…my righteousness…Oh, how I need you!” What this young man said to my soul was, “Let this song speak to you, Ms. Mary…cuz you need Him, too.” I will never hear that song the same again. It is forever written into my heart.

SJB with Matt Maher

2. At the youth conference, I was able to present to both the junior high and high school groups. I was really nervous about presenting to junior high school kids. However, I found that I really enjoyed that group. They absorbed the concepts of servant leadership. These themes ran throughout the entire conference for them. I was happy to serve in this role for them, and pray they were able to apply some of the concepts to their lives of faith.

3. I was able to room with 2 of my friends from church, who were also chaperoning the conference. My friend and I were able to talk about our situations with our ailing parents, and where we draw strength for the journey. This woman is INCREDIBLE. She is an inspiration to all who meet her and hear her story. She is one of the most humble individuals I have ever met, and I was so happy to have her as a roommate at the conference. I believe she was saying to my heart, “Mary…you don’t walk this journey alone. God sends us friends along the way.”

4. CONFESSION! AND ADORATION! Talk about experiences filled with grace and messages. The constant message was, “You are too distracted.” This is so true! In every arena of my life…when I am at work, I am distracted by so many things I can and cannot control. At home, it is the same thing. I clearly heard a message in the silence of my heart that I need to clear the distractions.

5. My beautiful red-headed 18 year old daughter was honored with the St. Timothy Award, the highest recognition from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry for a diocese to confer on a junior or senior in high school who: lives as a disciple of Christ, setting a positive example for other youth; witnesses to their faith by exhibiting Catholic morals and integrity; demonstrates Gospel values through service to others; and exhibits Christian leadership in parish, school and/or community settings. This is a very funny little story. At the end of Mass, my 6 year old needed to potty, and the Bishop had asked us to be seated. I took that as an opportunity to take the 6 year old to the potty. Steve, the hubby, says to me, “Mary, sit down.” I said, “Hey, she needs to potty. I’ll be right back.” Steve says, “Mary, I need you to sit down, ok?” Now, I am not used to being told what to do, and I was pondering my retort, when Steve takes out his phone camera and starts focusing on the Bishop blessing the plaques for the awards ceremony. I thought, “Why is Steve videoing this?” OK, I’m slow on the uptake sometimes. I turn to Steve and said, “Is Lizzie getting one of these awards?” Steve said, “Yes, and I’ve known about it for a while!” I started tearing up. No one in the youth group knew she was getting it. When her name was called, everyone started cheering for her. The young man I mentioned earlier says, “I was praying she would get that award. She is awesome.”

Liz's award

In this world of multi-tasking mommas, to-do lists, social media intrusion, and women who want it all…I had it all this weekend. My heart is full. It is overflowing. These young people inspired me! My friends comforted me! My God challenged me! My daughter…well, I am just plain old proud momma.

How do you disengage from work? How do you make the time with your family full of faith, and full of quality? When was the last time you were technology free on the weekend? When was the last time you’ve engaged all of your senses in our beautiful faith?

You owe it to yourself to have this kind of a weekend! I pray that when you do, you find the joy of your heart, and clear the distraction as to allow Jesus to fill your heart to overflowing. Thank you, Jesus!

Peace of Christ to you and yours!


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  1. Congrats on your daughters award! Wow!

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