I got to live the life of Downtown Abbey this weekend at the Catholic Women's Blogger Network-Mid-Atlantic Conference 2015. So many of us drove past the driveway to Miss Julie's three story Victorian estate because we couldn't believe it was a private house. It felt incredible to walk into a storyboard and find a place setting just for me!
The cherry blossoms are in bloom in Maryland and there were roses gracing every table. Those old houses were made for entertaining. Thirty women sat comfortably in the formal living room listening to speeches about silent prayer, how to engage cheerfully and calmly in fights about religion with atheists, and how to update your social media presence into the modern century.
My favorite part was sitting down with five strangers at lunch and discovering that our individual lives were even more amazing that the blooming flower garden behind us. At my lunch table was a "Hobo for Christ," a retired dog lover with Press Credentials to see the Pope, a thoughtful and caring citizen of Baltimore, and a gracious hostess who kept urging me to attend even though I don't have an active Facebook account.
There are many times that I doubt my talent as a writer. This amazing gathering really reaffirmed that all women have something valuable to contribute to the world. I experienced a beautiful feeling of "community" Saturday afternoon. I felt challenged and encouraged and renewed.
I won a chance to review Leah Libresco's new book, "Arriving at Amen." I had missed that Leah was a former debater from Yale in her blog bio at Unequally Yoked. At this conference, Leah had fantastic ideas for how to move debates about faith into constructive conversations for greater world peace. Leah is a dynamic speaker and I highly recommend inviting her to speak at different events.
I also ran into the hilarious social media coach, Christina from Filling My Prayer Closet. I'm 40. I've blogged in the same space and in the same way since 2008. I felt like Christina was begging me personally to join her in the modern media age. I'm inspired to do a long overdo make-over on this blog soon!
I left the conference with roses, chocolate caramel fudge, and a batch of new friendship leads. Can you believe what a beautiful group of women we are? It's incredible to think that we write and pray and love even better than we dress!
A special thank you to our gracious hostess, Miss Julie from These Walls. Thank you fellow attendees!