18 Jun

“Desire is to the soul what gravitation is to matter.  When we know our desires, we know the direction our soul is taking.  If desire is heavenly, we go upwards.  It if is wholly earthly, we go downwards.  Desire is like raw material out of which we fashion either our virtues or vices.”

–Venerable Fulton Sheen

Last week, I attended the Michigan Catholic homsechool conference and one of the speakers began by asking, “What do you desire for your children?  What are your goals?  What is it that you want most for your children in regards to their home education?”

My first thought:  that they know that they are loved.

I want them to know the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father, and to know that Jason and I love them fiercely.

Somewhere last year in the midst of over-commitments out of the home, stressful health issues, a lack of discipline in my schedule, the need to create almost every last food item from scratch, doctors’ visits all over the state, along with the daily to-dos, I feel like I lost sight of showing my children my  love for them.

And so as of late, my prayers have been centered around being that wife and mother that God desires for me to be. 

“Look at your heart.  It tells the story of why you were made.  It is not perfect in shape or contour, like a Valentine Heart.  There seems to be a small piece missing out of  the side of every human heart.  That may be to symbolize a piece that was torn out of the Heart of Christ which embraced all humanity on the Cross.  But I think the real meaning is that when God made your human heart, He found it so good and so lovable that He kept a small sample of it in Heaven. He sent the rest of it into this world to enjoy His gifts, and to use them as stepping stones back to Him, but to be ever mindful that you can never love anything in this world with your whole heart because you have not a whole heart with which to love.  In order to love anyone with your whole heart, in order to be really peaceful, in order to be really wholehearted, you must go back again to God to recover the piece He has been keeping for you from all eternity.”

–Venerable Fulton Sheen

And in going back to God, I find Him nudging my heart to continue to make changes so that I can come ever closer to Him.  Only then, can I love like He loves.  And my first desire—love– in raising my children, while also schooling them, will be achieved.

I’m recognizing the need to create our school schedule and not ask another soul what they are doing or how they are doing it because no matter what, it will make me re-think things.  And, for the most part, the way we approach school works for us, and that is all that matters.

I’m coming to understand that I need to further step down from commitments out of the home.  At the end of the day, homeschooling is a full time job and I just don’t have the ability during this season of my life to give as much as I have been.  I’m constantly aware of this, yet I rarely have the courage to make the necessary changes.  It is always insightful when I can step back from the chaos and look back and become keenly aware of where  I was being pulled too far off course.  Now is the time in which I am making the changes so that next school year is different. 

I’m learning that I have a very tender and sensitive soul and that it is important that I surround myself with the friends and family that have the common goal of building one another up.  I need to keep those relationship that don’t do that at a distance. 

I need to scale back my expectations.  I learn and re-learn this all the time.  But, as of late, I’ve found such peace in reflecting upon Mother Teresa and her Missionary of Charity’s schedule:

Daily Schedule for the Missionaries of Charity

4:30 – 5:00: Rise and get cleaned up
5:00 – 6:30: Prayers and Mass
6:30 – 8:00: Breakfast and cleanup
8:00 – 12:30: Work for the poor
12:30 – 2:30: Lunch and rest
2:30 – 3:00: Spiritual reading and meditation
3:00 – 3:15: Tea break
3:15 – 4:30: Adoration Prayer
4:30 – 7:30: Work for the poor
7:30 – 9:00: Dinner and clean up
9:00 – 9:45: Night prayers
9:45: Bedtime

Prayer, rest, work…their days are properly ordered.  Mine?  Not so much.  But I am working to change that.  The inner voice that is constantly reminding me of my “to do” list is very slowly being quieted.  OK, some days he is still giving an all out scream fest, but I’m trying. 

I find encouragement from the book, The Soul of the Apostolate:  “1.  I will always take more time than necessary, to do everything.  This is the way to avoid being in a hurry and getting excited.  2.  Since I invariably have more things to do than time in which to do them, and this prospect preoccupies me and gets me all worked up, I will cease to think about all that I have to do, and only consider the time I have at my disposal.  I will make use of that time, without losing a moment of it, beginning with the most important duties; and as regards to those that may or may not get done, I shall not worry about them.”

Admittedly, I’m terrible at living this ideal.  But, I am trying.  And for the first time in a really long time I have a deep peace about where God has me and how I am responding to this vocation.   I’m hopeful that my children and husband understand my desire and recognize that love is at the center of all that I am and all that I do for them. 


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