Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Mother's Rule of Life

It is January again, the month where I spend a lot of time evaluating where I am spiritually, emotionally and financially and begin to make resolutions and changes. Normally people make these resolutions at the beginning of January. Well, I need to take my time. I don't like to rush my decisions, especially if they are supposed to make lifelong impacts on myself and those around me. I have been taking a break from blogging and reading blogs in order to organize my thoughts and my life.

Do you ever have a nagging feeling that you need to change? Do you feel like there is something missing? Is your life ever monotonous?

I answered yes to all three of these questions and have begun a spiritual journey. Although I am what you would call a cradle Catholic, I never learned the point of all the traditions, why's and how's. I have been following other Catholic mom's leads by following suggestions on ther blogs. I wasn't truly convinced though, that their curriculum, art projects, seasonal festivities and prayers were working for me. I was just trying to be like other people who seemingly had it together. If I failed, I had lots of excuses because I didn't own the ideas, teaching methods or traditions. I realized for the first time in my life that I had to grow up. Duh? Why didn't I figure that out years ago? I have kids and have been responsible for the past 9 years of their lives and didn't realize that the kids didn't make me a grown-up. I guess I was just doing everything by instinct or what I thought was expected of me and never took ownership of my actions. I had everything I ever wanted right here, but I still wasn't content. It is not the material things that I wished for, but a sense of satisfaction. I had God in my life (or at least I thought so). I am going to church, going to adoration and even reading about Saints and on occasion even open the Bible. Why wasn't I satisfied?

I need to explain something. I homeschool so that my kids don't become robots of "the system". "The system" is any institution that robs you of free thinking and that pushes conformity. I was good in school. I got straight "A's" most of the time, was on the honour roll and got accepted into a good university because I could give them the answers they wanted. The courses in school that caused me the most struggle were those where I failed to conform with the ideas or just didn't spend enough time memorizing useless data. This mentality of producing right answers is comfortable and the only way I knew how to manage. When things get difficult, then it must be someone else's fault. This is not a great attitude to have in a marriage or relationships in general. As a wife and mother I am called to provide warm meals, clean clothes and emotional support. Great! Easy!!! Right? That is easy, but boring. Is that all I am called to? Clean, cook, teach and rub tears off a my child's face, that's it? I knew that there was more to it, but getting A's in life isn't easy when there isn't a manual.

I prayed to God for a sigh, a physical sign. I was in a rut. I went to confession and again begged for some guidance. Why do I feel lazy and sometimes resent the path my life has taken? I demanded a sign. We had a the vocational director of our diocese as a guest priest this past Sunday. He spoke about vocations to the Priesthood and religious life. What did that have to do with me? I had a different vocation, what about me? Fr. Miles explained that God prepares us for our vocations by giving us certain talents. He also puts certain people in our lives in which He uses to guide us. That got me thinking about my talents and the people in my lives. God knows what he is doing, but why didn't he give me other talents? Because I need them to be the best wife, mother, teacher and child of God that I can be.

Okay that was an immediate sign. Wow? When was the last time that that happened? But I asked God, what do I do now? Thanks for the talents and those around me, now what? Well, I like to read blogs before the kids get up and my daily duties begin and I stumbled upon one where the writer was reading a book by Holly Pierlot called A Mother's Rule of Life. I wasn't even interested in what the blog writer wrote. I closed the link and got out my own copy of the book. I started the book a while back and put it down because I wasn't ready to grow up and change. Was this another sign of what God was asking of me? An answer? Duh? I think so. I have read this book with great enthusiasm (almost through) and have embraced many ideas and want to make a lot more changes. I have learned to look at my strengths and weaknesses and embrace them. That is who I am and only I can make the changes. From now on I know why I have to do things. I am not looking for another "A" for a report card or a pat on the back from someone for doing my job anymore. Heaven is my ultimate goal and everything I do needs to be for this greater goal.

Thank you for reading this post. I can deeply recommend Holly's book. It is the beginning of my journey and I rejoice. Follow the link to take a look at Holly's website (which I just found), or the link below to purchase your own copy. It will change your life.

2 comments:

  1. I really liked A mother's rule of life. THanks for reminding me to pull it out again.

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  2. I have this book on my shelf too, like most catholic hs moms out there LOL... read it, did that, forgot all about it when it became too hard.My problem is that I try to do everything perfect right from day one and then get so disapointed and give up on the whole thing. It's so frustrating being a perfectionist, because nothing is ever perfect enough and so I usually quit everything I start. Maybe I should give this a good read again now that I'm learning more about how to manage this perfectionism. ... one thing at a time. That's my new motto. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

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