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Home > Support > Family Life > It seems that all of the priorities in our house are upside down...
 
 
Question: I have been wondering whether to continue homeschooling. It seems that all of the priorities in our house are upside down (God, spouse, children, homeschooling). Academics (and catching up) seems to take the center of everything. We have limited financial resources and limited extended family/friends. My husband works very hard and when he comes home he helps with the children and by the end of the day (which goes way too fast) we are totally exhausted and next thing we know we have started a new day. Many times I feel I am shortchanging my children with academics because they seem to be always waiting around to be helped, shortchanging them with mommy attention because there are other things to get done, shortchanging my husband because by the time he comes home I am so exhausted that most times I don't even have dinner ready, the house is a mess, etc, etc. I've been praying for guidance and clarity to see how God wants me to live this life He's granted me, and for help to set life's priorities straight. I would greatly appreciate any advice you could offer me. Thank you very much in advance!
Answer:

Dear Mom,

Let us begin our time together in prayer.

Jesus please extend Your healing touch to our dear sister in Christ right now at this moment. Let her feel Your embrace and surround her with the strength of Your embrace so that she may rest completely upon Your strength. Let her know that You are always caring for her and her family. Give her the good graces to refresh her spirit in the silence of prayer and the deep union with You Lord. Jesus we pray for all moms who are experiencing difficult times and ask that You call them away to rest in Your embrace. We love You Lord and long to see Your face. Amen.

I admire you very much. I have been in the place that challenges you now and I know from personal experience the incredible amount of spiritual and physical energy it takes to rise to the tasks each day. During the years of those particular struggles it seemed that I was spread thin and I personally felt that I was not able to continue with the work at hand. However, amazingly enough my husband and I did continue in part because of our desire to do what we knew in our hearts was the will of the Lord. I am not just referring to homeschooling but to the bigger picture of parenting.

I sense that you are a kindred spirit and a woman with whom I would have much in common. Let me tell you that parenting from the heart as I sense you are striving to do is holy work and many many times work that is not noticed or appreciated by the world. Jesus tells us that He will give us His peace but not as the world gives. John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." You see Jesus is telling us that He has overcome the world. This means through Jesus we too will overcome the worldly concerns and irritations and sorrows that burden our spirits and challenge our resolve.

Let me pass along my personal best tip for providing a sense of perspective and order during these difficult times. Take a moment to sit in the quiet (even if that means you have to awaken early) and allow the goodness of the Lord to surround your spirit. Pour your heart out for a few moments and then ask the loving Father to show you His words for you that day. Open the Bible and just begin to read quietly until a scripture verse touches your heart (this is Jesus talking to you). You can read the daily readings for Mass if that is more your style. Whatever you do, know that the Bible is the living word of the Lord. It is one of the tangible ways that Jesus communicates with us today. Jesus knows what we need to read and how our hearts need to heal at every moment in our life. Sometimes being with challenges each day and alone with children gives us a feeling of isolation. Knowing that Jesus longs and desires to break through our feelings of isolation and empower and comfort us through His words is powerful to me. I may be isolated but I am never alone. When you receive the Precious Body of Our Lord pray "Lord heal me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes." (Spiritual Tip)

Practical Tip. Look at all that you are facing in any one day. Meditate upon the needs that Jesus has put before you. Remember that Jesus is the only One who can show you what the priorities in your life should be. Jesus does not think that loving, actively engaged moms are going to be in their bedrooms praying all day. He knows that dishes must be washed, laundry done, meals cooked etc. and therefore Jesus will show you which tasks are for now, for later and for never. Ask for His guidance and He will never deny you this great blessing. Mothering is not a stagnate occupation. The priorities change each day. The baby is a priority when he is sick and so forth. However remember that Jesus blessed you with the children and Jesus picked you from all others to mother them because Jesus knew you could do the job. Yet Jesus does not stop there, He longs to show you how to mother each day despite the challenges and the changes in priorities. Here is a quote from St. Francis of Assisi that has really helped me, "Pray for guidance. Do first what is necessary, then what is possible and suddenly you will find that you are doing the impossible." I am living proof that through the Lord's tender care and empowerment you will do what you felt was impossible. I would not tell you this if it were not 100% true.

Please know that I am praying for you each day. I know that the Lord will inspire and empower you to go forward. I know that He will open doors , send opportunities and money, He will show you the path and hold your hand as you and your dear husband walk down the path. Remember that what children really need to learn is to trust and believe in the goodness of the Lord. Nothing teaches them this better than a holy witness borne of holy parents striving to love and work within the will of the Lord.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn
   
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