Welcome to our Sisterhood Series! It’s our birthday month, and we are celebrating by introducing you to some of the beautiful women in our community. We can’t wait for you to meet them.
Hi Denelle! Tell us a bit about who you are and where you’re from! //
I am a wife, mother to three young daughters, and a retired (just kidding) former elementary school teacher. I currently am the Advancement Director for my daughters’ school and manage the accounting for our family business. I was born and raised in Southwestern Arizona, but recently took a leap of faith with my husband after feeling God calling us to relocated our family to DFW.
I love cooking, but cannot follow a recipe. I have an unhealthy addiction to iced coffee, and drink it year around regardless of the weather. After three miscarriages in a rather short amount of time, I discovered a deep connection to the Blessed Mother and really sunk into the beauty of personal suffering.
What is your favorite way to pray? //
I love the peace of Adoration and praying through song and worship, which unfortunately does not happen often during this stage of life. With the chaos of little children and running a household, I find it extremely difficultly to carve out hours to pray. I find myself enjoying the little moments praying the Rosary with daughters, and sneaking random moments of gratitude and conversation with the Lord during school car line and driving solo.
Why is community important to you? What has it felt like when you did not have good community, and how has it felt when you do? //
I experienced a reversion three years ago. I grew up Protestant and despite my attending Catholic school for 6 years, I did not covert until my twenties. I attended RCIA, but never took the Catholic Faith seriously. I continually complained about what I was not getting. My husband and I left the Church for two years for the “lack of community”: we were lonely, and felt we could not share our faith with anyone because no one really lived the Faith.
Upon returning to the Catholic Church, we knew that the community was what we made of it and we had to seek it out. I had discovered BIS on Instagram and became engulfed by this idea of faith-filled women living in community together.
I immediately reached out to a few friends I knew were Catholic, but have never discussed Faith with. Two years later, our group has grown from four women to over 15. We meet twice a month and are constantly sharing in our group text prayer requests, praises, struggles, liturgical living ideas, and random recipes. It has become a safe place to pour out of hearts and share how Jesus is working. The Holy Spirit used my reversion to spark a deep desire for sisterhood and seek out those around me whom also longed for community.
What about something about what a friend has done in your life that has radically changed your life? //
I had a good friend suffer a tragic loss in her family, a child. At that time, we were friends, but our friendship had not blossomed yet into what it is today. My heart broke for this friend and as a “Martha” by nature and I had to do something, and I would not take no for an answer. She allowed me in, she let me witness her rawness; through her own suffering she saw my own desire to want to help her and allowed me to.
This seems so silly to say that this radically changed me, but she did not push me away. She allowed me to be who God made me—a Martha—in her time of despair. She allowed me to be her friend out of authenticity.
Her devotion for her Catholic Faith, the Blessed Mother, and tradition helped show me the true love of Jesus through her friendship during this terrible time. She allowed others to love her through her heartbreak and in return led others closer to Jesus through her example.
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What is the biggest quality you look for in a close friend? //
Someone who is faithful, true to herself, and authentic. Someone who not only allows herself to be vulnerable, but takes my messiness and loves me anyways. We live in such a judgmental world that is it hard to be ourselves. Competition is everywhere. Friends that can be happy for your accomplishments and pray you through your trials are a gift.
What kind of friend do you hope to be? //
I lived most of the adolescent life and my twenties trying to keep up with those whom never saw me for who I was. I was trying to play the “popular” game, dressing the part, having the right material things, and not saying what I truly wanted to, living my faith on the inside and not the outside.
Then I realized God made me. He gave me qualities to use and thoughts to share because they are from Him. He gave me those things to bring witness to others, to my friends. I hope to be a friend that does not bare false witness. A friend that is empathic, but truthful. I want to be a loyal, loving, trustworthy, and authentic friend who is known for her love of Jesus.
Tell us about a time a friend led you closer to Jesus. //
The Well with Blessed is She led me closer to Jesus. I know that The Well is not a “friend”, but The Well along with Beth Davis is a beautiful collective group of sisters in Christ that through the Holy Spirit led me closer to Him. The gift of a prayer partner and having someone to talk to throughout the mentorship was a gift. I remember sharing with the group what was on my heart various times (what I thought was complete word vomit and probably made no sense) and my partner would say how beautiful it was. My broken messiness was beautiful to someone.
God takes our stories and uses it to touch other people and led them closer to Him. The Holy Spirit was using Beth and my prayer partner’s words to draw me closer to Him in a more intimate way.
Now we want to hear about YOU! Answer one or any of the questions in the comments below.