About Rest for the Weary

I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Your worth

Where do we find our worth?  I have been pondering this a lot lately.  When I put my children in school last year, I felt worthless.  I felt like I was no longer needed and thus not worthy.  Being "just a mom" didn't seem like enough, as if homeschooling is what made me holy.  My identity is wrapped up in homeschooling and motherhood.  That isn't always a bad thing, but when part of that was taken away, I felt worthless.  Yes, it was a major "career change" and felt like my right arm had been cut off, but I let it bring me down.  I need to find my worth in God.  I have always had in my mind the perfect little plan of how my life would play out.  I wrote the script long ago, but someone stole it and rewrote the script.  Um, that someone is the great I AM.  I didn't plan for depression and anxiety, miscarriages, a bipolar son.  I need to rest in knowing I am needed by my family in whatever capacity that takes.  I ran across this quote recently (sorry I can't source it-I lost that), and it is worth posting. 
"You have to let go of your ideal and find God's ideal---then make that your reality." I am really meditating on that. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mothers and peer pressure


Often we think of peer pressure only pertaining to children and in particular, to teenagers.  But I have noticed how much this occurs for mothers. It seems to be natural to compare ourselves to others, feeling like we don’t measure up to some made up yardstick and thus leads to peer pressure that I think we form ourselves.  What I mean is this.  Say you switch to dresses only because you see a certain mom/s doing this and see that they seem quite holy and have it all together.  Maybe you read about it, pray about it, and hopefully discuss it with someone (although I know I tend to skip this step).  You make the switch, time goes by, and then you see that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all or is no longer working for your family.  So, you consider a change.  Problem is that you might think, What will Sally think if I make this change?  Will I still be as holy? We doubt, we feel less than, we question, and sometimes we don’t make that much-needed change because we don’t want flack from those who support us (or the flack we think they will give us but not necessarily).   I know for me, it took me forever to acknowledge that my children needed to go to school.  I felt like I wouldn’t have friends anymore, that I wasn’t as good of a mother, and that something was wrong with me.  It took almost a complete break down for me to pay attention to God and realize it didn’t matter what my friends said, I needed to do this.  To my surprise (although I don’t know why), the majority of them were very supportive and understood.  I was the one with that ole’ yardstick, measuring my abilities or lack thereof. 
 
 

Why do we do this?  I think a lot of it is because we are so alone in the choice of living the teachings of the Church.  Our culture is completely against us and oftentimes, even our very own family.  We grope for much needed support, and we need to feel right in our decision so much so that what our friends think means so much to us.  For the most part, I don’t think many women are intentionally putting pressure on other mothers to be a certain way, but there are those mothers who act as though they know the will of God for your family, and that makes it much harder for some moms to do what they need to do for their family.  I think we all need a bit more charity.  This world is so hard to navigate that we don’t need to feel we have to swim through the opinions of our friends choices when they are different from ours.  We don’t always know the whole situation.  Maybe it would be best to lend a listening ear or a helping hand to better understand why someone made the decision they did. 

Renew

Write frequently for yourself.  Writing is pouring your soul onto paper.  Growth and healing will form through these words.  Whether you share it or not doesn't matter.  Just write.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Renew 7- Sleep

Sleep is so vital to our health, physical and mental.  Yet, sleep is often elusive for busy moms.  But it is so necessary to heal.  Make it a priority.  Do whatever it takes to go to bed earlier, nap (by enforcing afternoon quiet time), and sleep later.  But, as I have found out, don't lose sleep because you are worried about not sleeping. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Renew 6




Release the things  you can't control which is essentially everything but how you act.  Let God be God.  He is the potter, we are the clay; allow Him to mold you.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Renew 5

Part of healing needs to be time and money spent on self.  For so many years I neglected myself.  I rarely treated myself to new clothes, jewelry, make-up, or allowed myself to go do something fun just for me.  Me and self were bad words, selfish.  I wasn't dying to self, my soul was dying.  And I felt sad and deprived.  Now, I can't go overboard but a little new something or time spent alone having fun (or even with my husband) can be a great pick-me-up.  After all, I am someone other than just my children's mother.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Renew 4- carrying your cross

Don't carry your cross alone.  Didn't Simon help Jesus shoulder His?  We are to be Simon to others and let others help us carry our cross.  Good friends make the journey bearable, especially ones on a similar path as you.  Don't neglect them.  Be there for them, to listen, and to pray.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Renew 3

I recently literally boxed up my worries, fears, concerns, and placed them at the foot of my crucifix to signify that they belong to Him- united to Him-guarded by Him.  I will still feel the emotions, but I hope it will remind me to not get overwhelmed knowing Jesus has them all covered. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Renew 2

Daily get out of doors into the sunshine.  The sun and fresh air is so key to the body, mind, and soul.  Besides the health benefit of a little sunshine, there is the spiritual factor.  For me, seeing the evidence of God's creation restores my soul.  It's as if He provides little gifts of love each day in creation to let me know He is there.  A new morning glory blooming, tomatoes ripening, birds twittering, the wind blowing through my curls...all proof of His existence and Love.  It is really true that mother nature nurtures. (which to me is God)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer of Renewal, 1

Back in October, I wanted to participate in Emily's 31 day challenge to write daily on something.  Life was crazy as usual.  My intent was to write 31 days of healing.  Instead, I am going to write about healing in the form of a summer of renewal--of body, mind, and spirit.  This isn't some magical guarantee from a crystal ball and boom instant healing but about faith and inspiration.    Rather it is about little things I (and you) can do each day to heal my body, mind, and soul, one tiny step each day. 
My first step to healing is to daily pray the prayer below that I composed.  (I encourage you to create your own under the guidance of the Holy Spirit as to what you need)  I pray this because each day is like starting at the beginning of a game, and each night I wind back at home, only to start on the path again.





"Lord, I place my trust in you this day.  I surrender my will to Yours acknowledging that you are in control of it all.  It's not up to me.  All I control is how I act.  Grant me the grace to accept Your will and to live in the joy of the Lord, my strength. Amen."

Renew 2- Sunshine

Renew 3- Place worries at the foot of the cross

Renew 4- carrying your cross

Renew 5- Take care of yourself

Renew 6- Release control

Renew 7- Sleep


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homeschooling is not Gospel

Here is an article I recently came across.  It is about how the homeschool movement has veered off the path to extremism.  (this is from a protestant POV, but most homeschoolers are protestant-- but it is happening in Catholic homeschooling circles as well.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Motherhood

I have been fretting about passion---my gift---making art.  As I reflect inwardly, I see that I am just a mom.  How I have vehemently hated that whole feminist idea that there is no fulfillment in motherhood, yet here I embrace it as if what I do doesn't matter.  I have known my whole life that I wanted to be a mother--to be home with them building a foundation of love, living life. I knew my senior year in college (pre-baby days) that I wanted to homeschool.  I thought, who better to teach than my own.  I always loved to teach so a combination of mothering and teaching seemed as natural to me as breathing.  Why does it seem as if it's not enough?  Sometimes I think it's because the rewards are not tangible.  I can't grasp them in my hands, turn them around again admiring my  prize.  They don't sit sparkling on a shelf for the world to see.  I think too, I have been doing it for all of the praise I want to receive from my children.  I expect that they will pat me on the back, say thanks and how great a job I have done. When they don't, my pesky friend doubt whispers to me what you do doesn't matter.  They don't care.  But we are not to called to create and love for them or even for us alone but for the Master.  The rewards?  Well, a few may be sprinkled here and there, but I think the reward in this life needs to be the doing---creating---loving---being.  Ya know, be in the moment, mindfully present, acknowledging every gift that crosses your path. 


It's the process, the journey.  Instead of just jumping ahead  and reading the last page to see how this story of life ends, I need to detour and enjoy the travels in my storybook called life, not rushing through them, barely seeing what is set before me. 


That is why I think the feeling of being just a mom invaded my peace.  I am like my father used to be on his way home from vacation when I was a child.  Like a horse racing back to the barn after a strenuous day, he raced home, never stopping at the roadside stands or souvenir shops.  I have been speeding through the pages of time, rushing to get to the end of my story to see if there is a happy ending and if I did. it. RIGHT.  So, I am going to stop and "smell the roses" along the way and squeeze every bit of enjoyment that I can and even embrace the hard lessons of life. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

St. Katherine Drexel

Tomorrow, March 3 is her feast day.  I found a quote that really spoke to my heart and is a message I hope to convey here.

"It is a lesson we all need- to let alone the things that do not concern us.  He has other ways for others to follow Him; all do not go by the same path.  It is for each of us to learn the path by which He requires us to follow Him, and to follow Him in that path." 

Find your path.  And follow it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Homeschool will prevent teen rebellion

I found two very interesting articles about this.  It is really promoted among the homeschool crowd that homeschooling your teens will eliminate teen rebellion.  Ha!  There are no guarantees.

Homeschooling will prevent teen rebellion

Homeschooled kids and rebellion

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crosspost- Sewn in Love

This is a crosspost from my other blog.

My soul unravels along the seam of life's journey.
Darned by the master Tailor.
Stitches of my brokeness ripped from the fabric of my quilt.
Tangled and frayed, I try to follow;
letting myself be snipped of fear, shame, and pride.
My control is shredded,
and I realize my soul's utter nakedness.
Clothe me, O Lord, with You.
Hem the doubt, darn the judgment.
Gather Love in my heart.
Knit me with mercy.
Goodbye old garment.
I am sew(n) in Love.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Comparing

One particular point in my post on depression is about comparing, and I want to delve into it more deeply. Many women mercilessly compare themselves to others, seeing if they meet up to their ideal.  But if we stop and think about our ideal wife, mother, trad. Catholic, or whatever title you want to call it, can we see how unrealistic it really is?  Here is one example (and there may be many others depending on your ideal, but this is a common one I have noticed).  I mean who has a great figure (because she exercises 5x a week), raises most of her food (organically of course), homeschools her 6 children (while writing her own hands-on "real" curriculum) with 2 nurslings, hangs out her wash (don't forget there are cloth diapers blowin in the wind!), keeps her house looking like Better Homes and Gardens, attends daily Mass (only the TLM which is in boonville), sews matching outfits, keeps up with her perfect blog, and runs a home business on the side.  This doesn't even take into account the wonderful virtues she has perfected like patience (she never yells or scolds), denies herself constantly (goes with little sleep, plays with her children any time she an, dotes on her husband constantly).  Heck, even June Cleaver couldn't match up to that.
Most of us at one time or another have tried to do many of these things (or other forms of ideal) and felt that we didn't measure up to this ridiculous yardstick.   We need to cut ourselves some slack and realize we don't all have to be alike, we aren't perfect, and our reality will never match up with our ideal...and that is ok. We are human not superwoman.  God does not call all to be the same cookie-cutter moms.  Dr. Mary K. Clark sums it up nicely in her (July 2006) Seton newsletter. "Each of us is made in the image of God, so each of us reflects some small part of the infinite goodness of God. Since everyone is unique, and everyone is called to serve God, we must say that there are an infinite number of ways that God is to be served. The task of each person in life is to find that way of serving God to which he is called."  We are made in God's image and likeness not June Cleaver, Suzie homemaker, or St. Do-it-all.  Become who you are!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Depression

Depression seems so common these days. I am not sure why that is; maybe it is because of our fast paced life and culture.  What I do know is that it has affected me and several of my traditional friends.  (I am NOT saying traditionalism has caused depression, just stating some similarities that I have noticed) 
During my search for information and help about depression, a wonderful book was recommended to me.  I was hesitant at first to read it (because it is Christian in content but not specifically Catholic), but then I decided to give it a try after reading reviews.  It is called Getting Over the Blues:  A Woman's Guide to Fighting Depression .  I am now reading it a second time and am finding new little gems I missed or forgot on my first read.    I wanted to share a few quotes and thoughts about them and how I see them played out in my life and a few friends who have struggled with depression as well.

"When we measure our value and worth against our ability to maintain either our own or someone else's ideal standards, we will always fall short and suffer.  No one ever stands next to "perfect" and feels good about being imperfect." p.103

This is so me.  I tried so hard to maintain the "trad standards" and always thought poorly of myself because I didn't measure up.  As soon as I began a new standard, I would feel like I still didn't qualify as a good, holy mom.  This led me to several things that weren't "me" like not participating in sports, wearing jewelry and make-up, and  dress changes.  Every time a new standard was added, I began looking for another because there were so many radical ideas out there that I felt like I wasn't a good enough Catholic if I wasn't doing these things.

"The battle you face right now is which voice you will listen to and trust to be your truest truth.  Will it be God's word or the negative voices in your own head and heart."  p.107


For a long time, I had a hard time letting go of those voices that told me I was sinning by going to the Novus Ordo, wearing pants, or using NFP.  This is true of my friends who have suffered depression and considered themselves traditionalists.  I constantly chided myself because I had heard so many times that I needed to do or not do certain things to be a good traditional Catholic.  The voice inside my head has been difficult to extinguish.

"When we fail to live up to our own idealized version of ourselves, we not only feel disappointed in ourselves, but we often also hate ourselves and become depressed....First, we knock ourselves out trying to live up to some impossible ideal image we've constructed just to feel normal.  Second, we become disappointed and beat ourselves up when we fail to measure up to this ideal image." pp. 120-121


Same as above.

"Many women put unrealistic expectations on themselves to to it all, be it all, and have it all....The internal stress, the things we put on ourselves, can push us over the brink as well." p.123


This has happened to me and several of my friends.  I had to have as many kids as I could (to help bring back the traditional Catholics), homeschool them all, use cloth diapers, natural foods and medicines, constantly monitor everything my kids heard, saw, and did, etc.  I think the stress of it all is what me pushed me over the edge and helped with my healing.

"...we must also learn to accept that we are not all the same.  We have different gifts, temperaments, and preferences....Too many women don't accept who they are.  Instead, they continuously compare themselves with others, always coming up short.  They think they should like what other women like, do what other women do, and feel what other women feel.  When you are always trying to be like someone else or what you think other people want you to be instead of being who God made you to be, you will feel drained and stressed-out, perhaps taking on things that God did not intend for you to do." pp.128-129


Isn't this just like pre-teens and teen-agers?  We want to be like someone else.  For me, it was this idealized perfect trad mom who had well-behaved children (and a lot of them and never feel like I was ready to be done) and homeschool them without any problems.  Oh, and this was going to ensure they stay true to the faith.  (because this is almost sold as gospel truth among homeschoolers)

I could go on and on.  They are so many wonderful gems in this book.  For those suffering depression or have someone close who is, I highly recommend it.