Day three of the Clearblue monitor giveaway! Winners of yesterdays monitors and boxes of test strips will be notified by email very shortly.
Today, we have two monitors to give away. The first is sponsored by Laura and Keith Phillips. Thank you very much!
The second is sponsored by Frances Jue, who has written a short introduction to Endow, for which she facilitates a chapter.
The feminine genius.
Five years ago this phrase was unknown to me. Five years ago, I was cradling a newborn baby girl in my arms, delighting in all of her charms. There’s just something special when a woman has a little girl. We know what to expect, in a certain sense, as she makes her way from girlhood to womanhood.
We know the joys and potential crosses that lay before her. As I gazed on her perfect, innocent face, my own clouded with vague worries that finally formed themselves into a clear question – what does it mean to be a woman? Having been raised in a Christian home, I was equipped with enough information to reject the world’s presentation of femininity. I knew there was more to me than physical attraction, maintaining sex appeal, attaining power, or proving myself to be just as good as the men. I knew I was lovingly made by my Creator, and that He had dreams and plans for me. But that knowledge didn’t concretely tell me what being a woman truly meant. What did authentic femininity look like, and, what most pressed on my heart, how could I pass that on to my daughter?
Several years later I was in a local Catholic bookstore. Since my conversion to the Catholic Church in 2007 I had become increasingly familiar with the brilliance of John Paul II. I was curious about this phrase I kept running across – the feminine genius – and decided to get a copy the encyclical Mulieris Dignitatem, where this term had originated. As I made my purchase that day, the lovely lady that rang me up spoke enthusiastically of the encyclical and asked if I had ever heard of a ministry called Endow. She explained that their name was an acronym for Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women, and that they provided studies that focused on the feminine genius. Her enthusiasm for the document and the ministry culminated her saying “you should start a chapter in your parish”.
With absolutely no intention of doing so, I smiled, said “sure” and walked out the door. Mulieris Dignitatem was life changing for me. In it, John Paul II elaborates on the unique attributes that are essential to all women – just as there are physical characteristics that all women possess that make them female, so too our nature (the reality by which we are what we are (Frank Sheed, Theology and Sanity) has definitive markings. Our vocation steers us toward who we are called to serve in love. Our masculinity or femininity points us toward how we are called to love. A woman’s feminine genius expresses itself in a unique capacity to both physically and spiritually nurture new life, in her natural inclination to personalize, empathize, and to enter into the sufferings of another. A woman’s body expresses what she intuits in her heart – that she is made to love and be loved, truly imaging that “man only finds himself through a gift of self”.
Five years ago I had so many questions. God heard my mother’s heart, so aching to give my little girl truth and goodness, and He answered with excessive generosity. This understanding of myself as a woman breathed new life into me. Far deeper and richer than mere superficial trappings this helped me understand who I am at my core, and how I am called to image Christ to the world around me. This was the beautiful truth of what it meant to be created female, in the image and likeness of God.
Endow has done an amazing job of presenting the Church’s treasure trove of wisdom for all women. I’ve been facilitating studies for two years now, and I really can’t overstate the impact these study groups have had on me and the women in my church. Drawing from the writings of John Paul II, Edith Stein, Catherine of Siena, Thomas Aquinas (and more!) each study presents women with fresh, beautiful insights on their feminine genius. This really is the heart of the new evangelization. Authentic beauty is never a mere product for consumption, but invites us to respond – as women, it is in our power to invite the world to respond to God’s love through the beauty of our feminine genius.
If you’d like to (and trust me, you do!) learn more about Endow, you can go to their website:
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all the women at Endow, who responded to God’s call to nurture the hearts and souls of your sisters in Christ, so hungry for the beauty and goodness of truth.
Thank you to both donors!
Today’s raffle is open only to US residents. Tomorrow, there will be one monitor and box of test strips for US residents and two monitors and two boxes of test strips for UK residents.
The raffle details:
How do I enter? Use the Rafflecopter form below. It gives you several ways to enter. If the form doesn’t show up, click on the link that says “a Rafflecopter giveaway” at the bottom of the post. Only one prize per household.
How often can I enter? You may enter once per day, using as many ways of entering as you like (see form below for details). Two winners will be chosen per day. Each day is a separate raffle. Each raffle runs from midnight to midnight, eastern time.
Can I win if I live outside the US? Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are open only to US residents. On Thursday, there will be one prize for a US resident and one for a UK resident; and on Friday, there will be one prize for a US resident and one for an Australia resident.
When will winners be announced? I’ll choose two winners each day on Monday through Friday. I’ll announce all the winners on Friday, or possibly on Saturday if I am a terrible person.
If you are a winner, I will notify you using the address you provided to Rafflecopter.
Do I have to provide my actual email address, even though I worry that you will use it to steal my soul and then go on a shopping spree at Forever 21? Yes, please use an actual email address. I don’t even want your soul. Your valid email is the only way I have of getting in touch with you if you win, so please make sure that when you sign up for Rafflecopter, you use an active address! If I can’t get in touch with you, I’ll pick a different winner.
If the Rafflecopter form doesn’t show up below, follow this link.