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Girlfriends

Girlfriends connects with women about the things that really matter: faith and family, work and relationships. As a writer, speaker, wife and mom, host Danielle Bean (DanielleBean.com) is a voice of encouragement, humor, and practical support for women in all walks of life. Danielle interviews a new guest each week and takes on topics that include fitness, time management, work, emotional health, homemaking, motherhood, marriage, parenting, and practical spirituality. It is in knowing our worth as women that we find joy in family living. Connect with Girlfriends to know your worth and find your joy!
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Now displaying: February, 2016
Feb 29, 2016

This week, we are talking about the temptation that exists, inside Catholic circles to discuss topics like breastfeeding, homeschooling, organic eating, etc. as if they are black-and-white Catholic moral issues, as if there is "one right way" to be a "good Catholic family."

Well, HOGWASH!

We need to be careful how we think about and talk about topics that the Church has not given us specific instruction about. When it comes to family life, there is room for a lot of diversity among "good Catholics."

When we judge others or when we buy into the idea that there is only one way, we hurt our relationships and set ourselves up to miss the joy that God intends for us to have in our motherhood. We also need to be careful to examine what our motivations are when we discuss these topics with others. Do we really just want to share something good and positive that works for us? Or is our pride involved? Do we want to prove that we are "right" and that we are "more Catholic" than those who make different choices?

In the end, we will find the most happiness in our vocations if we focus on our own specific calling. Each of us is uniquely called by God to grow closer to him, and that is going to happen in a variety of ways in different people's lives. Focus on your own work!

In this week's interview, I talk wth Katherine Barron of Catholic in a Small Town podcast. Katherine shares beautifully about her own experience of motherhood and some of the lessons she has learned along the way, parenting four boys and co-hosting a podcast with her husband Mac.

This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to Melissa Hix who emailed me to share a fun activity her family does to beat the "winter blahs" that we talked about last week. Melissa and her family had a family cooking competition last year, with some kids and parents cooking and other kids doing the judging, and now she is planning to do the same again this year. A super fun and family-friendly way to beat those seasonal blahs this time of year! Way to go, Melissa! Thanks for sharing with all of us. :)

This week's challenge is to think about the kinds of topics we discussed this week -- those hot-button topics -- and challenge an assumption you might be making about other people in your life with regard to those topics. Is there a person in your life you keep at a distance because of something you assume about them, based on their life choices? Or because of a judgment you think they may be making about you? Challenge yourself! Move beyond assumptions and labels and work on developing real relationships with people in your life, even those who make very different choices from you.

Thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

Full show notes and links at DanielleBean.com

Feb 23, 2016

This week, after a Lenten check-in, we are talking about the Winter Blahs that we can all be prone to this time of year. For some easy ways to combat the blahs, boredom, and frustration of late winter, I share the following ideas:

1) Enjoy a guilty pleasure.
Think of something you have enjoyed in the past but maybe don;t make time for anymore, and indulge in it! Make time for a movie marathon, or a book club, or going through old photos, or whatever pleasant thing will switch up your routine and refresh your soul.

2) Go outside.
Getting some fresh air and sunshine will lift your spirits and give you a boost of energy. Find an outdoor activity to engage in with your family or make any excuse to get yourself outdoors, even for just a little bit this week.

3) Clean something you see every day.
So much about the "blahs" we feel this time of year comes from our surroundings, so switch it up! Super-clean and spruce up or decorate a space in your home that you see every day. Give yourself and your family something simple and beautiful to enjoy in your home. Then every time you see it, your mood will get a boost!

4) Take a trip.
If you can afford the cost of a small family trip, go for it! But there are also many things you can do that cost no money at all. Check out activities and places in your community where you and your kids and maybe some friends can see or explore something new to refresh your senses this time of year.

5) Make a mess.
There are many fun things we say no to or avoid because we just don't want to deal with the mess. Well, this time of year, say yes to the mess. Do something or allow your kids to engage in something that takes you a bit out of your "clean" comfort zone. Cooking, baking, crafts, sewing, and play-doh (here's a recipe!) are all great ideas. Make the mess and enjoy the lift in spirit you get from doing something out of the ordinary and fun.

In this week's interview, I talk wth Sarah Vabulas of CatholicDrinkie.com. Sarah shares from the perspective of a young, single woman living, working, sharing, and writing in the Church today. I am so grateful she took the time to share with us on this week's show.

This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to Brenna. Audra wrote to tell me about all about her and how awesome she is. Brenna is going through some tough times living with and sharing space with her in-laws while saving money for a house, and her charity and patience really inspire others. Way to go, Brenna! We are so proud of you, and your friend Audra loves you and is grateful for your example in her life. :)

I want to thank listener AMHancock for leaving me reviews on iTunes this week. The reviews help so much and are so encouraging to me! I would love it if you could rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes as well. THANK YOU!

And thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

Complete links and notes at DanielleBean.com

Feb 15, 2016

This week, we are talking about the power of positive thinking. In discussing the ways in which changing our thoughts can change our lives, we look at three main points:

1) Thoughts have consequences.
Thoughts are powerful. The way we allow ourselves to think can affect our emotions, which then in turn can affect our actions, all of which affect our relationships and our levels of happiness and satisfaction in life. But the good news is, we get to control our thoughts. We can make a conscious effort to change negative thoughts into positive ones, and to challenge and think critically about the ways we talk to and about ourselves.

2) Switch to gratitude.
When faced with a challenge, make an effort to look at the situation from the perspective of gratitude. Despite a negative situation, what can you find to be thankful for? Making this simple change can make a huge difference in your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Get grateful!

3) Be bigger than your problems.
When facing a problem, do you tend to feel overwhelmed and helpless? Making a small change toward having a more global perspective can help you see that you are not a victim of your circumstances and that you have more power in your relationships than you might think. Looking at the "big picture" can help you see that it's not always all about you and that sometimes people disappoint us or bad things happen, but it has nothing to do with us. We cannot always control our circumstances, but we have the power to choose how we will respond, even to very negative events.

In this week's interview, I talk wth Allison Gingras, radio talk show host from A Seeking Heart at Breadbox Media. Allison shares some inspiring thoughts about her ministry work, some marriage advice, and some ideas for taking care of ourselves so we can better care for others. Also, you will not want to miss when Allison reveals a secret hidden talent -- a first for Girlfriends!

This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to Beth Roche who wrote to share how her family is adjusting to her being home full time after leaving a full time job outside the home. Way to go, Beth! We are proud of you!

This week's challenge is to think about the things we discussed about positive thinking, and to catch yourself either thinking a negative thought or tempted to think a negative thought this week. Intervene in one of the ways we talked about instead, and then let me know how it goes for you. Tell me how you work at using the power of positive thinking in your life.

I want to thank listeners MissyBarry and Squint1978 for leaving me reviews on iTunes this week. The reviews help so much and are so encouraging to me! I would love it if you could rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes as well. THANK YOU!

And thank you, as always, for being here. your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

More detailed show notes at DanielleBean.com

Feb 8, 2016

This week, we are preparing ourselves for Lent, and so we discuss some creative ideas for ways to add prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during the 40 days between now and Easter.

I really encourage women and families to add small things to their daily routines to set Lent apart from the rest of the liturgical year. To get you started, we share dozens of ideas on the themes of Pray, Fast & Give.

In this week’s interview, we talk with the awesome Sarah Reinhard. Sarah shares some inspiring advice for trusting in God more, and also tells us a hilarious story of something crazy she recently did at a junior high school basketball game. Sarah is always a joy to talk to!

This week’s shout-out goes to Christine. Christine’s friend Georgianne wrote to tell me about how Christine, a single mom, recently completed coursework and became certified to become an elementary school teacher. Christine has worked hard and made many sacrifices to plan a better life for herself and her children. So congratulations, Christine! We are so proud of you!

This week’s challenge is to think about the themes of Praying, Fasting & Giving that we talked about (as well as some of your own) and choose one small thing to try in each of these categories this Lent. Let me know what you choose and keep me posted on how it goes for you!

Thanks SO MUCH to listeners Samjmj, Frustrated basketball fan, Melissajo, Motherswagyolo, and Semper Paratus for reviewing Girlfriends on iTunes this week. I would love it if you would consider doing the same, rating and/or reviewing Girlfriends in iTunes to help me get the word out about this new podcast.

More links and detailed notes at DanielleBean.com

Feb 2, 2016

This week, we are talking about some simple ways to make meal planning easier. Do you plan your meals or fly by the seat of your pants. Do you dread hearing the words "What's for dinner?" at the end of a long and tiring day? This is why you need a plan!

Some of the benefits of meal planning include reducing stress, saving on your grocery budget, making conscious choices about your family's nutritional choices, and having more regular family dinnertimes.

My tips for meal planning are:

1) Commit.
You need to commit to the idea of planning meals ahead of time in order to make it a reality. Planning ahead takes effort in the moment that pays off in the long term. It's worth doing, and you need to make yourself take that first step!

2) Start Small.
It can be overwhelming to try to plan an entire week's worth of dinners, so start smaller than that. Just plan 3-4 meals, or even 2-3 plus one night of leftovers. Once you find success in the small steps, you will be ready to take on more if you want.

3) Get inspired (and make a list!).
Ask your family what they like to eat most, browse your favorite cookbooks or go online and find new recipes you would like to try. Once you are inspired, save the recipes using whatever method works best for you, and then make your list. I like to use Google docs for my lists, but you should explore your options and do what you like best.

4) Just Do It.
Once you've committed and you have a plan, you need to follow through with making your planned meals a reality. Take small steps and build on your success. Remind yourself of your long term goals and make the effort right now in ways that will pay off in the end.

This week's Girlfriends interview is with Rachel Balducci from Testosterhome.net. She and I have a great chat about motherly milestones, insecurity in friendships, and she shares a hilarious story from the set of The Gist on CatholicTV.

The Girlfriends Shout out this week goes to Melanie Klein and her friend Meghan. Meghan helped Melanie get the help she needed for her postpartum depression a year ago. Melanie is grateful for her support and so happy to be doing so well today. Way to go, Girlfriends!

This Girlfriends Challenge this week is to just plan 3 meals for the coming week. Get inspired, make your list, and JUST DO IT! You can do it! We got this. :)

Thanks SO MUCH to listeners Franciscanmom104, Homegirl3000, nneinas, Deadelass, and Gaemarie for reviewing Girlfriends on iTunes this week. I would love it if you would consider doing the same, rating and/or reviewing Girlfriends in iTunes to help me get the word out about this new podcast.

And thanks, as always for listening. I'm so glad you're here! Know your worth, find your joy!

More detailed notes at DanielleBean.com.

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