This week at Fallible Blogma, Matthew Warner is hosting Support a Catholic Speaker Month, a round-up of some of the Catholic speakers who bless and inspire us. When Matt asked me to write, I volunteered to profile Danielle Bean. That will be easy enough, I thought to myself. I know Danielle very well. I can write this in my sleep. Setting aside that half this blog was written in my sleep,I think I might have underestimated how difficult it would be to write about Danielle.
The first obstacle is that I seriously doubt that anyone who reads my blog doesn't know Danielle already. Sometimes I think I knew Danielle before I knew myself. Don't you? Danielle is gifted with the ability to express what the rest of us feel far more eloquently than we could ever say it. She "gets" it. She meets us where we are and then inspires to go someplace holier. We're all about "real" here In the Heart of My Home and Danielle is real. She is warm and funny and authentic, with a dash of New England no-nonsense that lets everyone who listens know exactly what she thinks.But she never lets her honestly get in the way of her charity. She's just plain nice.
The second obstacle to writing this is Danielle is the most hardworking woman I know and she wears a lot of hats. She takes her jobs seriously. Which jobs? Danielle is a blogger. She's an author. She's my editor. She's a speaker. She's also my co-author (we're writing a couple of books together). Those are her jobs and she is the consummate professional. I can't begin to tell you all about how hard she works at all those jobs. But it is when she shares about her life that we are truly blessed. The life of Danielle is her family.
Danielle is a wife and a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend--that is her life. And every wife or mother--Catholic or not--who reads her work or hears her speak comes away from the experience better for having spent some time with a woman who loves the life she lives so much that her joy overflows. She works hard and she prays hard and then she blesses us with the insight and the wisdom and the humor she finds in the most extraordinary ordinary life.
Danielle loves her vocation. She loves her husband, loves her children, loves her faith. Her life is faith and family--all of the glorious, funny, heartwarming messiness of faith and family. That's what she lives. Then God nudges her to share it with us. When He does that, she overcomes fatigue and chaos and commotion; she hurdles laundry piles and a fine collection of reptiles and amphibians and somehow manages to share while tying shoes and icing birthday cakes. And we are all the better for it.
Actually, in all fairness, there is little or no chaos at the Bean house--it's always quiet when I call there. She's trained her household to bubble over quietly. Danielle is fond of reminding us to do what works for our family. She knows what works for her family she encourages us to get to know our own families that well. Danielle makes you want to roll up your sleeves, tickle your kids, and give your husband a big kiss--all at the same time.
In honor of a dear friend, we're breaking tradition on this blog today. Comments are open. Tell me what you'd like to hear if Danielle came to speak to you. If you've heard her speak, tell us all how blessed you are. Never heard her speak but want a quick fix right now? Treat yourself to a podcast!