Whole Parenting Family

retreat! retreat!


Not that kind of retreat–as in, pulling back from combat or your small army of children, but actually, yes, kinda like that.

I’m going on my very first religious retreat in March. March 12. Phoenix. Blessed is She!

But Nell, you’ve been a Catholic for 32 years. You mean you’ve never done a retreat?

Nope. Not that I can remember. I’ve gone to mornings of reflection for Lent sponsored by our Archdiocese and heard wonderful speakers, but a full day retreat? Nope. I’ve never traveled to another place to specifically go deeper and sit in silence to listen to God. And to listen to speakers like Heather. And to finally meet friends like Jenna. And to meet other Blessed is She women.

My work for Blessed is She in the past year and a half has been the first time as a cradle Catholic I’ve done something in ministry with Scripture. Maybe the ease of being culturally Catholic my whole life made me feel less urgent about actually being active in my faith community. Something along the lines of oh that kind of thing is great but I don’t really need it because I’ve always been Catholic.

What a falsehood. My notion that I could rest on my laurels, as it were, to just skate through my adult life without actually making the decision to engage. Blessed is She has forced me (in the best of senses) to read Scripture daily. To contemplate where I am on my journey and where I want to me. To look in awe at the ladies around me who are so much more holy, so much more devout, so much stronger in their prayer lives!

I hope you can join me. My kind sister made the flight possible with frequent flier miles, and my amazing husband will hold down the fort with the help of my other sister in town and my parents. The ladies in Phoenix have “host homes” so you don’t have to pay for a hotel. The conference cost includes all meals, all day, music, speakers, and community for an insanely low amount thanks to Jenna’s hard work at making it affordable.

I hope you can take a retreat from your life, your work, your family, your worries & woes and come be refreshed in the Lord. I can’t wait to meet you there.

Here’s me, being realllllll real in my going-on-a-date-bought-new-jeans-they’re-mom-jeans-love-the-height selfie.



  1. Laurel on January 13, 2016 at 10:43 am

    I DO hope I can make it work! Would be so fun to meet you too! 😉

    • Natural Mama Nell on January 14, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      SO fun!!

  2. Leia on January 13, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    I hadn’t been on a retreat until college and I’m a cradle Catholic too. I’m so glad I’m not the only one 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on January 14, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      Totally, girl!

  3. Maryruth on January 13, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    I am super excited to meet you in person!! I hope you come in Friday so we can hang before it officially starts!

    • Natural Mama Nell on January 14, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      yay! yes!