Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Day I Finally Got to Meet Lisa Hendey!

Me, Lisa Hendey, and Allison Gingras


I first met Lisa Hendey of CatholicMom.com fame online over 10 years ago. She was always so kind and encouraging - a true mentor to me. She took a chance on an unknown writer and I soon became a regular columnist on her site. Many years later, she would give me the honor of writing The Catholic Baby Name Book, one of the books in her CatholicMom.com series. But, she lives in California and I live in Massachusetts and we had never met in person. Honestly, we've never even spoken on the phone.

That is why when I heard she was coming to my town as part of our Diocesan Catholic Women's Conference, I knew I had to go. I reached out to her a few months ago and asked if I could help her at her book table and she graciously agreed and so I had a job for the day (My highly introverted personality always does better at these type of events if I have a set function to perform!)

I arrived early Saturday morning. Lisa wasn't there yet, but I found where I was supposed to be and set up the table a bit. The woman setting up across from me was Allison Gingras of Reconciled to You. She and I are Facebook friends but I had never met her in person either. I had, however, promised to review her book about a year and a half ago and, for whatever reason, had never done so (a fact which I have felt badly about for a long time). She came over to Lisa's table (she also knows Lisa) and introduced herself and I introduced myself and apologized for my neglect of her review. She handed me a hard copy of her book and I promised to read it (and I did- The review will be coming this week!) Throughout the day, she and I spoke quite a bit. We had a lot in common and seemed to really hit it off. I feel like I made a new friend which is pretty awesome.

Meanwhile, Lisa arrived about half an hour after I did. Unfortunately, she was suffering from laryngitis. She was the main speaker for the day and the poor woman could barely croak out a few whispered words. I think everyone in the place as well as all her social media friends were praying for her, and it worked! The Holy Spirit was definitely at work in her as she got enough of her voice back to give her inspiring talk (without notes! - I was in awe). Amazingly, after the talk, her voice went away again. She said that she has been praying for humility and God was providing it! God's ironic sense of humor was once again at work. 

Working at her table, I got to see so many women come up to her and tell her how her words had inspired them and spoken to them as if they were intended just for that one woman in the audience of over 400. It was incredible. Lisa is every bit as gracious and lovely in person as she is on-line. I don't know if I will ever get to see her again, but I am so thankful that I went out of my comfort zone and went to this conference. It was truly a blessed occasion.

3 comments:

Karen Ford said...

Awesome! I wish I could have been there!

Lisa Hendey said...

Patrice, I am just now seeing this and am so moved by what you wrote. That day was so frustrating - mostly because of my inability to spend time talking to a special friend: YOU!! I know our paths will cross again because I'm definitely going to come to where you live, take you out to lunch and talk your ear off!! I thank God for our friendship and for the joy of learning from you!!

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur said...

Thanks, Lisa! I'll look forward to it :)

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