Friday, February 24, 2006

from the mouths of boys...playing and singing

"bah bah black sheep have you more wool.
yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.
one for the master, one for the rain, one for the little boy who lives down the drain.
bah bah, black sheep have you more wool.
yes sir, yes sir, three bags full."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"A Mother's Rule of Life" Part 2

"Schedules might be limiting" Holly says, "But disorder is more limiting."
I understand that Jesus is perfectly willing to bless my efforts, but first had had to have efforts to bless. I had to do all in my power to fulfill my obligations.
She goes on to say...
Jesus was asking for the dedication of my entire self to my vocation.
Thus "A Mother's Rule of Life" was born.
A rule of Life is a traditional Christian tool for ordering one's vocation and the duties it entails, and the development of a schedule for fulfilling these responsibilities in a consistent and orderly way.
The Catholic Dictionary defines "The Rule" as "a happy disposition of things...a multitude reduced in some wise to unity."
She goes on to say "That is just what I wanted: "a happy disposition," and to reduce all the overwhelming tasks of motherhood into a nice, single unit of work I could handle. And in my mind, I couldn't see any extreme difference between a religious community and a family community: there's still the mother abbess (mom), and the postulants and novices (the little ones mom needs to raise), and the professed sisters (the older children who can help)...
But there was something else I found intriguing about the whole notion of a Rule of Life: that it was also suppose to lead me to holiness.

This is all very profound to me and extremely appealing. Making more sense than anything I've ever read. I've read so much about the importance of schedules to make a home run smoothly, a schedule to help stay on task, etc. But to look at it all as my vocation in life given to me by God, likening it to monastery life, brings so much more meaning to me.
We must analyze our vocation. She goes on to say...
We see, then, that the practical element of a Rule is a reflection of the aims and mission of our vocation, whis should determine how we spend our time.
Now, I had tried schedules before and had failed. Was that because I was trying to order my life according to goals that didn't reflect what my calling as a Christian, a wife, and a mother demanded? Was the stress I had been experiencing the result of an imbalance in my priorities? Seeing how I was so often confused about everything, did I even know what my primary daily duties were supposed to be? After all, a Rule of Life deals primarily with essential responsibilities. How could I know whether I was giving these the primacy they deserve?

Okay, enough of my quoting the book. All I know is that I have found a book that really spoke to me in making me see that my life has far more meaning than I ever imagined. It is helping me prioritize responsibility and the first is God Himself.

Learn more...find the book at your local library (which is what I did) or find it here. It is profoundly beneficial!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2006

"A Mother's Rule of Life"

Because this blog really got going because of a desire to learn about what my "job" is and the majority of my posts are on this topic (Homemaking and Motherhood) I just had to share this book that someone just introduced me to. I've joined a yahoo group title Orthodox Classical Homeschool and someone brought up the question about the mundane and sometimes boring life of homemaker...wanting to know if they were alone in feeling this way from time to time. Someone replied with a book suggestion called "A Mother's Rule of Life" by Holly Pierlot. The author is Roman Catholic, wife, mother of five and homeschooling mom. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this book is and I'm only on chapter 3! (She even has a website/blog.) My hope is to wet your whistle with quotes from the book today and in future posts. It is very Orthodox in it's thinking in many ways and really has given me a new perspective on my role and homemaker and mother. I hope to learn a lot from it. I know it won't "cure" the mundane or the sin for that matter but it's a hope, a new way of looking at my role that God Himself has given me.

Excerpt from the Introduction
"What does it mean to seek Christian perfection? A long time ago, I thought it meant perfect behavior---that if I just did what I was told, strictly followed all the rules, fervently prayed all the paryers, and spent a lot of time on aching knees in a quiet chapel somewhere, then I'd be "perfect"....
Later I developed a totally new concept of Christian perfection. It meant being a "saint"...
At another point, I thought Christian perfection meant being a nun...
But somewhere along the way, I realized Christian perfection had to mean something else. It had to be something just anybody could do, because Jesus said, "You...must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect," and he addressed this to all of us.
In my study, I came across a definition of perfection that finally made sense to me. Perfection is "union with God, which is possible in this world..."
To seek perfection in this life is really to seek union with God through love.
Perfection is for all of us, even for busy mothers stuck inside four walls, because all of us are called to love, We are all called to be saints, (although we are not all called to be canonized). We are all caleld to holiness, which is nothing more that the perfection of love within us. And as mothers, there are lots of people we can love!

More to come...because I just have to share.

Monday, February 13, 2006

trip to Kitsap Peninsula

We returned late last night after a weekend on the Kitsap Peninsula. We had a grand time crossing on the ferry, visiting our dear friend Dawn, meeting new friends at St. Elizabeth Orthodox Mission, and visiting Chief Sealth in the cemetary right next to the Mission. The weather was absolutely perfect!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Thunder and Lightening

I love music! And recently I've realized that I rarely listen to it anymore, but when I do it really changes the atmosphere and attitude of my home.
Lately I've been listening to some of my favorite, old Christian know the ones...Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman and even Keith Green! The ones I dared not touch once I became Orthodox because they just weren't, well orthodox. I don't know why, I think it is the typical knee-jerk reaction most former protestant make when running from protestantism. But you know what? I love this music! I miss it! *shyly admits*
There is one song in particular that I've looked at differently lately. I used to listen to it and "judge" my poor dad or others close to me who didn't know God and I still can listen to it and pray and hope that he will someday stop "waiting for lightening" and listen for God "as He quietly whispers" his name. (I secretly hope and pray the cancer is that lightening.) But the other day as I listened I heard something else.
What about me? Yes, I know God, I love God, I yearn for God. But I get in these slumps, I forget, I sin, I become complacent, lackadaisical. What am I waiting for? Do I need a "feeling to take me by storm" to remember my goal?

Standing on the edge of the truth,

Looking out at the view

Of all you used to believe,

From where you are you can see you’re far away from home.

Echoes of the life you once knew

Call out to you from across the divide,

And you know it’s time to step back over the line,

But you’re . . .


Waiting for lightning,

A sign that it’s time for a change;

And you’re listening for thunder,

While He quietly whispers your name.

Night falls and the curtain goes down;

No one’s around,

It’s just you and the truth.

As you lie in wait

For a feeling to take you by storm,

Somewhere in the depths of your heart,

Where it’s empty and dark, there’s a flicker of light,

And the Spirit calls,

But do you notice at all;

Are you . . .


But the sign and the word

Have already been given,

And now it’s by faith

We must look and we must listen,

Instead of . . .