It is good that you are here…

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on July 29, 2014

Before I left Austin I turned to Jen and said, “I am dreading writing my Edel recap post so much.” I just felt overwhelmed by the thought of it. How could I possibly convey what Edel meant to me in one post? Or even five?

I’ve now accepted that that will never happen so I’m just going to try to share a few highlights.

The most breathtaking thing that I experienced both at Edel and leading up to Edel was just how visible the Holy Spirit made himself to me. To feel him next to me as we planned this event was such a gift. For those of you who couldn’t join us this year, here are a few highlights that I shared at Edel…

 

Edel1

Partners in crime.

 

Jen and I were on the phone one morning, back when we were first trying to figure out what we wanted this gathering to look like. We paused, each of trying to put our vision into words. Almost immediately, I was hit with a crystal clear vision. I saw that scene from Beautiful Girls with Timothy Hutton in which he sits down at the piano in a bar and starts playing Sweet Caroline. All of his friends gather around him and start singing. I told Jen that this was what I wanted. This spirit of camaraderie, this kind of bonding.

Jen choked on her coffee and said, “I can’t believe that you just said that!” That is the exact scene that just popped into my head!” I had no idea she even knew the movie existed. We’d never discussed it. It was at that moment that we started to suspect that the Holy Spirit might just have a hand in this. Maybe.

 

Edel

Sipping my coffee. Sloooooowly.

 

A few months later I flew to Austin to do a walk-through at the hotel where we were hosting Edel. Jen and I met with the event planner, toured the ballroom, and then headed down to the restaurant for lunch. Halfway through our lunch the maître d’ walked up to the table next to us, pulled out a chair, and down sat Timothy Hutton, star of Beautiful Girls (who is very kind, by the way, to strange women who interrupt his lunch meetings). He doesn’t even live in Austin! How insane is that? That’s some crazy Holy Spirit-level insanity if I ever saw it. And he wasn’t even done…

 

Edel3

Cari, Kelly, Heather, Jenny, and Brianna (and all the other ladies who helped us but aren’t pictured). You ladies rock and I think the world of each one of you. Thanks for being our support team!

 

The night before I flew back to Austin for Edel I took Benadryl and turned out the light at 9 PM. I had to be up at 4 AM to catch my flight and did not want to start the weekend sleep-deprived. I counted sheep, I prayed Hail Marys. I got more and more agitated until finally told God that fine, if he was refusing to let me sleep, let’s at least be productive. Was there anything he wanted me to tell the women of Edel during my opening address? Instantly seven words popped into my head and I got goosebumps. “It is good that you are here.” Over and over again I heard those words.

Edel12

My sweet Therese. She came all the way from Charleston with me to be there (along with Steph, Kimberly, Jill, Tanya, and Heide — our honorary Charleston girl). It meant so much to me that they were there.

 

“Seriously, God?” I thought. “You want me to tell these women that it is good that they are here? Don’t you think that’s going to sound a little weird? Of course I think it’s good that they are here. I was the one who was so nervous that no one would come that I made my kids pray that God would find their mom some friends to come to her Edel party!” But he was insistent. “It is good that you are here.”

 

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Beautiful Cate. I just love her. I knew I would, but she became even more special to me than I’d predicted.

 

I continued to doubt myself (and God, honestly) for the next two days. In fact, after the Friday night event I’d decided that I was going to cut that part of my talk. But then sweet Arwen texted me with a personal story and I knew that I had to put it back in. So, I said those words and added a few of my own thoughts acknowledging the sacrifices everyone had made to attend and then got off the stage. I walked to the back of the room thinking, “I knew I should have left that part out. That sounded so stupid.” But when I pulled up Twitter, I saw tweet after #edel14 tweet that echoed, “It is good that you are here!” It took my breath away. As it turns out, maybe God knew what he was doing.

 

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My new friend Natalie! Don’t you just love it when you meet someone and know within seconds that you’re going to become friends? That’s what happened when I met Natalie. She’s the bee’s knees.

 

Later that day I heard my phone ding. Beautiful Cari had sent me a text message with a picture of the Communion hymn that was being sung at St. Mary’s Vigil Mass. It was entitled ‘Tis Good, Lord, to be Here.

 

Edel communion hymn

He’s subtle, that God.

 

I think we all felt the Holy Spirit with us this past weekend. So many of us had come to Edel with emotional baggage, fears, and insecurity. I know I did. But, and this is the part that is hard for me to convey, all of that melted away once we arrived. Edel felt so safe. I felt so loved and supported. I felt, for that short time, like Mary had laid her mantle over me and was protecting me from spiritual attack and from everything that scared me. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as at peace as I did during those two days.

 

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Calah is every bit as vibrant and full of heart as you would imagine. I adore her.

 

Coming down from the Edel high has been an emotional (and sometimes painful) roller coaster. In some ways, though, it has been a gift because it has emphasized for me just how special this weekend was. It has shown me with even more clarity the ways in which God was with us, had given us this weekend as a gift, and had protected us from so many of the things that we struggle with on a daily basis.

 

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Jenny, baby Genevieve, and Christy. They killed it at Karaoke. I didn’t get nearly enough hugs from any of them.

 

To steal beautiful Lauren‘s words, “I think we all knew, whether we liked it or not, that the whole point was to go home.” We are home now strengthened, refreshed, confirmed in our vocation, more closely bonded, and even more in love with our families and it is good.

 

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Lovely, kind Rachael. I think this is at peak blood alcohol level. I have no other explanation for why I’m looking at the camera like I want to devour it.

 

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a few shout-outs to some people who went above and beyond to help us. Thank you to Kathryn for designing our centerpieces. I am in awe of your gifts and your generosity. Thank you to Leticia for carrying endless boxes in the Texas heat with Jen. Ouch! Thank you to Kelly (karaoke queen) for managing our bio page. That was a huge commitment. We would have been lost without you. Thank you to Jenny. We knew we wanted her to be our emcee because her smile can light up a room and she is a smartie but we had no idea that every time she opened her mouth words of wisdom would pour out. You are amazing. Thank you to our speakers Haley and Marion. We’re all a little dehydrated thanks to how many times you each made us cry. Thank you to Jen’s mom, aunts, and uncle, Pam, Claudia, Lisa, and Kevin. They insisted on coming to Edel to help us out of the goodness of their hearts. They saved us, and saved us again, and kept saving us until Edel was over. Plus, they are just awesome people. I adore each one of them.

 

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See those beautiful smiling eyes? That’s Sarah in a nutshell.

 

To all of my Edel girlies, I love you so much. Thank you for bringing Edel to life. (I’m kicking myself for failing to take pictures with so many of you). And for those of you who couldn’t join us. We missed you and prayed for you — truly we did — and we fervently hope that some of you can join us next year.

Rachael July 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Great recap- chilling, in a totally good way.

Ps. What can I say, I tend to bring that side out in people, LOL!

Megan July 29, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Hallie,

Just participating in Edel through social media has been rejuvenating to me in my vocation. The takeaway phrases shared at #Edel14 are ones I’ve been thinking about since reading them. Thank you so much for organizing this! It is good.

XO

Dorian Speed July 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

You can tell I don’t have my priorities straight (and am not a careful reader) because my *first* reaction to this post was “WAIT TIMOTHY HUTTON WAS YOUR WAITER????”

I loved being able to follow along via the Twitter/Instagram streams and was so sorry to miss out. It sounds like an incredibly restorative experience for everyone who participated. Congratulations to you and Jen for putting together such a terrific conference! Now, when’s the official announcement about #edel15??
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Kara July 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm

I read this with immense joy and a little bit of sadness- through great big crocodile tears. I’m so overwhelmingly thankful it was a successful weekend. Our world needs fun! Joy! Friendship! Wine! Oh, how I wish I could have been there. Do it again! This is an incredible apostolate… fellowship for hip holy women. Great big cyber hugs from Illinois. (I tried to cut back on the superlatives and exclamation points, but I wasn’t successful, oh well.)

Lisa K July 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

What a beautiful recap. Hallie, you and Jen and all the others are inspiring all of us at home. What a beautiful gathering. I felt the love!

Love it.

Next year?

Lisa K
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Melissa J July 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Yes! What an awesome weekend and it was a pleasure meeting you in person! You ladies rock! Thanks for all the hard work. <3

Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany July 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm

It was so wonderful to meet you. Thank you again for hosting such an amazing event. You and Jen thought of everything and it was perfect.

Melody July 29, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Even though I was thousands and thousands of miles away, I still felt the Holy Spirit’s presence while reading everyone’s tweets and posts: thank you for organizing such a powerful event! I hope I can be there next time!
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Caitlin E July 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Holy Spirit in da house! For realz.
Loved every minute of this weekend, and I had goosebumps all up and down during your intro.

Virginia July 29, 2014 at 5:31 pm

I am so bummed I couldn’t attend but have loved all the posts, tweets, instagrams, and recaps. There is something powerful about gathering together to worship God and lift each other in our journeys. You ladies are doing great things with this Edel. And believe you me, I have BIG PLANS to not miss Edel 2015!!!!!!!

Amanda July 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Absolutely loved meeting you, even though briefly (haha, seems I met everyone for just a few seconds then immediately shyed away)! Either way, I’m grateful for your beautiful mama heart. Grateful for your goodness and your love for Our Lord! It all truly came through this conference. Hopefully, come Edel 2015, I’ll get the courage to hang around longer than my 30 second hellos! ;)
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Patty July 29, 2014 at 7:12 pm

I have loved following all the excitement on social media…any ideas where next year will be? Might I suggest the Midwest? ;)

Joanne July 29, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Your held my bebe so I could go to the bathroom solo – something I am not allowed to do much at home. Thanks for that and EVERY-THANG else y’all did to make Edel possible!
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Julia July 29, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Holy Shenangins! I am so sad I missed out on the first Edel! :) Hubby was thankful I chose to stay home to celebrate our anniversary, though ;) Can he come along next year if it falls on our anniversary again (kidding…..kinda?)

Great job you amazing ladies you, what a gift, a comfort, a joy and a blessing you are to so many women!!!!!!!!

Erica Saint @ Saint Affairs July 29, 2014 at 10:45 pm

I am enjoying reading all the recaps! It does sound like the Holy Spirit was moving! I am sad that I was not able to attend. I hope that I can make it to the next one! :)
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Laura July 30, 2014 at 2:22 pm

and it is bad that I was not there!

however, I am HERE
and THAT is good

I am currently planning my outfits for next years Edel…
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Julia July 30, 2014 at 4:03 pm

As I sit here reading various recaps from various women who attended the event, I see these beautiful ripples of grace emanating outward from all of you. Thank you for sharing your experience, especially to those of us who were with you in spirit alone…this time around, anyway ;-)
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Catherine Zeliff July 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Dear Hallie,
I was checking your blog to make sure you knew about that song at Mass on Sunday! I immediately thought of God’s message for us at Edel, through you (thanks for asking Him!) “It is good that you are here.” And I also thought, How beautiful that God, knowing that I am at a LOSS for how to respond to this gift of a weekend, gives me the words to say only, “Tis good Lord, to be here!” I knew it was NOT a coincidence. It was a song about the Transfiguration, and it’s not like it was the Feast of the Transfiguration, right? But just like Peter’s experience on Mt. Tabor, Edel was a moment of encouragement, light, and awe as we saw God revealing himself in an amazing way, through each other. I believe that the Edel weekend was a moment in the river of life-giving movement that is the Holy Spirit. Who knows where this river will take us next?! Surely the friendships started there, the deeper connection among women scattered throughout the country, the sisterhood we felt, will be part of this wonderful, unfolding mystery. Can’t wait to see what God has in store around the corner!!! Thanks to you, Jen, her supportive family, and all those ladies who worked so hard to give us a fabulous weekend. Feminine genius all the way through!

Jennifer @ Little Silly Goose August 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Hi Hallie. I wasn’t able to attend Edel this year, but I was touched to hear how the Holy Spirit guided and encouraged you and Jen through the planning process. To me it speaks to just how important our roles as wives and mothers are to God. Being a wife and a mother is such a wonderful gift, but it can be exhausting work at times. The reminder that what we are doing means something to the Creator of the Universe means a lot to me, as I am sure it does to many other women. Thanks as always for being that sweet voice that reaches out to women everywhere to support and encourage them.
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Kayla August 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Thank you thank you thank you for all of your hard work! It was a blast :)

Nancy August 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Hallie: I loved reading this and virtually feeling all the support. I thought it especially interesting when, after reading your account of your hesitation to follow the divine inspiration you felt to include those seven words (it is good that you are here) in your welcome address…that almost those same words, and certainly that same message, is already the last sentiment in your little bio on your blog’s home page. Wow!

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