Letters to Women - Exploring the Feminine Genius
Summary: What comes to mind when you think of the daily life of a woman who’s living out the feminine genius? The feminine genius isn’t a box that you have to stuff yourself into. It’s not a cookie-cutter model for how to live authentically as a Catholic woman. In fact, the feminine genius will look different in the life of every woman since we all have our own story to live, our own journey back to the Father’s heart. Welcome to Letters to Women, a podcast that explores the feminine genius. Every other week, join host Chloe Langr as she dives in with other Catholic women about how they embrace their unique feminine genius in their ordinary, daily life as women.
Does your heart know the pains of motherhood that doesn't quite look like what you thought it would? Has Christ called you to marriage, but not introduced the second part of that vocational equation into your life yet? Is your little saint in Heaven, too? Does the experience of infertility weigh heavy on your heart? Does physical motherhood not quite look like what you had dreamed of? Is Christ calling you to be His bride alone, asking you to sacrifice physical motherhood in a vocation to consecrated life? If any of these situations are close to your heart, it may feel like the call to spiritual motherhood is a second-rate motherhood. But that couldn't be further from the truth. In this episode, I sit down with Danielle Bean and we talk about why the universal call to motherhood applies to all women, how “mother” is a verb, and why you’re made for maternity as a woman, even if you don’t feel maternal. This episode was brought to you by Stay Close to Christ, a Catholic gift company! Use the code LETTERS for 10% off your next order.
What are you passionate about? Maybe it’s music, cooking, spending time with friends, or reading a good book. But your passion shouldn’t just be something that you enjoy in the spare moments of your day or just on the weekend. After all, our passions aren’t supposed to exist in a vacuum. Instead, the things that inspire us are meant to draw us closer to the Lord and closer to those around us on a daily basis. So just how do you take your passion to a deeper level of service? Today, I’m talking with Katie Lynch. She’s the founder of Kate+Grace boutique, an online clothing shop with a unique mission to serve women and bring joy. We talk about the story behind her boutique, how to practice the corporeal works of mercy in our own community, and why it’s important to bring our passions to prayer.
When you go through an unexpected change or struggle, you may find yourself thinking about life in terms of “before” and “after.” When Alexa Hyman reflects on her journey over the past two years, she remembers her life before and after February 17, 2017, when she found out she was expecting a baby girl. Sharing our unique stories can help others feel less alone, and that’s Alexa’s goal. Each one of us has our own unique story of joy and struggle, our “Februaries.” So how do we be brave and face that struggle head on? Alexa is leading the way with a conversation about beauty, meaning, conversation, community, and heart. Because we’re all facing our own February, or have one that is yet to come. Alexa is a passionate Catholic woman and mom who knows the value of being there for people. She’s also the creator behind Back in February, where she shares the journey of single motherhood. We talk about her unexpected pregnancy with her daughter, Renley, and how her experience inspired her to minister to other women going through unexpected struggles.
Happiness on this earth comes in many forms. I find happiness in my marriage, trips, hikes in the mountains, spring weather (minus the allergies), a good song that comes on my Spotify playlist, and a good cup of cold coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. But we're made for transcendent happiness, the kind that nothing on this world can fulfill. What do our desires for happiness here on earth teach us about the life to come? Today, I sit down and talk with Rose Sweet about how we can search for (and find!) authentic happiness and true joy. This episode was brought to you by Sudio headphones. Use to code letters15 to receive 15% of your purchase of your next set of headphones, and enjoy Sudio’s free world-wide shipping.
Today’s world is confused about the very basics: the value of human life, the meaning and purpose of sexuality, why beauty matters, and what exactly constitutes as true freedom. In this episode, I’m talking with Mary Sheehan Warren, who teaches consumer behavior and fashion marketing at the Catholic University of America. She’s also the leader of the Fashion Intelligence Project, an organization dedicated to human dignity and sustainable fashion consumption. We talk about what’s changed in recent years when it comes to our culture and the way we communicate as women, defining our personal style, and why human dignity should be valued at all costs.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, iTunes, the list goes on and on. When it comes to navigating today’s world of social media as Catholic women, we almost need a field guide. How do we avoid getting sucked into the time warp that is Instagram scrolling? When do we need to step away and when do we need to step up and speak up? Today, I’m talking with two Catholic social media influencers, Sarah and Amy. They’re two women who create Catholic content online, and they share their stories, tips, and tricks for interacting with social media. We talk about building up others, listening to the promptings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and honing in on your passions while remaining authentic. This episode was brought to you by Stay Close to Christ, a Catholic gift company! Use the code LETTERS for 10% off your next order.
From a very early age, women are told both explicitly and implicitly that their worth is determined by what they look like. Our world offers a standard of beauty and as women, we spend a lot of our time measuring ourselves up to that standard. I remember distinctly being twelve years old and trying on clothes in my room. I looked in the mirror and I can remember thinking “You aren’t beautiful. You don’t look like the women in advertisements. You don’t even look like the women you know. You aren’t beautiful.” Leah Darrow appeared on America’s Next Top Model and was in a successful modeling career. But she discovered how a focus on physical beauty alone lead to a culture of use. Today, Leah and I talk about how true and lasting beauty can only be found in a relationship with God. The desire that we have for beauty isn’t a bad thing – but it does reveal that we actually are desiring true beauty, the beauty of God. I hope you enjoy the show!
Swipe left, swipe right. Online dating is growing more popular by the day, but is it for you? I loved visiting with Christina Peterson in today’s show. She met her husband, Greg, online and shared their story along with her favorite tips and hints when it comes to filling out your online dating profile. This podcast episode is packed with practical information and real life online dating success stories - enjoy!
Long distance relationships can be intimidating. Your family members and friends may discourage you from trying long-distance love, encouraging you to protect your heart. Others may tell you not to take your new relationship seriously, since you aren’t going to your significant other very much. While long distance relationships aren’t easy, they definitely are possible. You may combat loneliness and communication issues, but it’s possible to thrive in a long distance relationship. In today’s episode, Mindy Fitterling talk about the unique challenges and joys of long distance dating, and how long distance relationships can be a beautiful way to prepare you for marriage.
Is it possible to be both a Catholic and a feminist? Claire Swinarski, writer and creator of The Catholic Feminist podcast, believes it is: “I’m a feminist for the same reason I’m bold and honest and sometimes ragey: because Jesus was all of those things.” But just how do women share their unique gifts and genius with the Body of Christ? What women can we look to as examples throughout history of women who championed Christ and the Church? In our conversation today, Claire points out that both feminists and Catholics desire to make the world a better, fairer place. Claire also pinpoints the areas where modern feminism goes too far, arguing against abortion and exploring what it means to serve others rather than focus on our own needs first. So what does it mean to be a Catholic feminist? I think Claire brings a lot of great answers and conversation to the table. I enjoyed our episode and can’t wait to share it with you.
In a message delivered on May 20, 2013 Pope Francis, said: “When it comes to living out this message, the best way is by going out of one’s comfort zone.” He went on to say, “This is dangerous. We lock ourselves in our parish, with our friends, in our movement, with those who think just like we do. But you know what happens? When the Church is closed off, it gets sick.” Pope Francis also said: “today’s world needs many witnesses. Not so much teachers, as witnesses. It’s not about just talk. It’s about talking through your actions. Living a coherent life. It’s precisely about a coherent life.” When it comes to living out this message, the Pope said the best way is by going out of one’s comfort zone. It’s the beginning of a new year, and you may be feeling the urge to get out of your comfort zone. Maybe that means trying something new, or traveling. Maybe you want to conquer fears this year, or make sure you’re not settling for anything less than a magnanimous life. In today’s episode, we’re talking about comfort zones, being honest in our relationship with the Lord in prayer, and how to encourage healthy vulnerability in your life and in your friendships.
We live in a world that is full of people who think that faith and the gifts that God gives each of us are irreverent. In fact, many in today’s society would go so far as to say that we no longer even need God. Those people are wrong.But what if you’re struggling to see what gifts he has given you? I’m not talking about the gifts of relationships or the gifts of a good job, all of which are beautiful things. I’m talking about the charisms that he placed on your heart and soul at the moment of baptism, the gift that he wants to use to transform you, and then transform others around you. What would our world look like if we each lived out those charisms to the brim? Today on the podcast, Jill Simon of Pink Salt Riot and I are going to talk about why your charisms are important, how to discern the particular gifts God has given you, and how to give back to others through that gift. I loved this conversation, and I hope you enjoy it, too.
The Catholic Church doesn’t allow women to become priests. If that’s something that frustrates you as a Catholic, or as a woman, don’t walk away from the Church because of this fact. But also don’t ignore the fact that you’re frustrated. When tough topics in the Catholic Church come up in conversation, it’s tempting to shy away from those conversations, or to brush it all under the rug, saying, “Well, that’s just how it is. We have to accept it because of faith.” Instead, let’s have those vulnerable discussions where we admit that we don’t understand where the Church is coming from sometimes, but we know that we can find answers and find community in those struggles. If you’ve found truth, goodness, and beauty in the Church but still struggle with some of her teachings, you’re not alone. Today, we’re going to have a conversation about the all-male priesthood, and especially what that means for Catholic women. But I’m really excited to bring Johnna Wilford back on the podcast. She offers an incredibly unique perspective to the conversation and it was wonderful to hear her thoughts on the subject.
If you’re a Catholic mom who works, you’re not alone (even though it can sometimes feel like it!) In this episode, JoAnna Wahlund of The Catholic Working Mother talks about what the Church has to say about working mothers, finding peace when you don’t want to work and would rather stay home, living to the fullest when you do want to work, how to discern whether to work or not, and many other topics. This is a subject near and dear to my heart as I’m starting on this discernment process myself with the littlest Langr due in May. I know that I’ll be returning to this episode in a few months as I continue to discern, and I hope our conversation is helpful for you, as well!
Did anyone else take a quick peek at the calendar and realize that Advent starts soon, then promptly start to freak out? Surely I can’t be the only one. Although it’s meant to be a season of preparing our hearts, minds, and homes for a little baby born in Bethlehem, Advent tends to end up being a season of stress instead of calm preparation. The holiday to-do list grows longer and longer by the day, and before we know it, we’ll be lighting that first purple candle. Take a deep breath, friend. We’ve got this. If “Advent” is synonymous to “nervous” and “anxious,” I hope today’s conversation with Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, empowers you with ways to prepare and calm your heart for the upcoming liturgical season.