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.

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.