Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How I Lost My Way -Part 1

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I did not even realize it was happening.  I had a slow, gradual slip from a mindset that I had created for myself.  This may not even make sense..but here I go.

 After being introduced to the beauty of our faith I quickly began reading and forming my mission for my family.  I built the mission around creating people of character.  Using virtue in our home and in our day to day interactions.  This lead me to homeschooling.  What better way to form your children in virtue than to have them around all the time for constant formation.

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This ideal was created back when God blessed me with my two oldest daughters.  I was a sponge for all things Catholic and true.  I wanted more kids, more God, more sacrifice to serve God.  Whatever I could do to feel more spiritual I wanted.  Being open to life and homeschooling was the vehicle I needed to "be spiritual".  Time went on and God answered my prayers and gave me 3 little kids back, to back to back.  I was in over my head....my mission was getting blurry.  Why had I wanted all of this??

Things felt hard..REALLY hard.  But then I would get passed the really hard and be really proud.  And then I would keep on going.  I would write on this blog, give myself pep talks and plow on.
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Meanwhile I was not doing a great job in the one area that drew me to homeschooling.  I was not growing in virtue or faith.  I was not being an example of virtue.  I was "getting by".  I was so sapped of all energy (not an excuse...just an explanation) that focusing on non academic issues like faith, virtue and spiritual growth was not happening..for anyone.  Yes I did religion and that was just about the basic faith formation that was going on.  And to be honest , that was not even that great.


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In my mind I was being Catholic enough because I was home schooling.  I belonged to the elite Catholic club of homeschoolers.  I was being a faithful virtuous Catholic just by home schooling....but sadly, in my case that was not enough.  I started looking more inward...having these kids home all day was preventing me from doing  x, y and Z.  I was not sacrificing joyfully for the love of God and family...I was kinda torturing everybody.

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As I look back, this was a very gradual slip to this place.  I would get back on the "faith" horse every now and again but there was no real change in my heart or attitude.  I was no longer focused on the big picture of homeschooling.  I was more focused on ME.  What I wanted to do!!  How much I HAD TO DO!!  Poor, poor me!!

Now, it is not like life was miserable during this time.  We were moving, being pregnant, trying to meet new friends, finding our way in Virginia.  And funny thing is I am surrounded by more home schoolers here than ever before.  This is like homeschool heaven.  But my interior life was being neglected...due to my own NEGLECT and lack of focus!

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Let me pause for a moment to say that this story about me is parallel story to the story of my 2 girls. While I am having my life written by God, so are they .

 During this transition they were suddenly having new thoughts and feelings of their own.  Where they because of me?  Was it because I was not giving them what they needed if they were going to be home-schooled?  I felt like I was doing enough.  I really was trying.  I did not realize I was missing something.  I thought just by doing what I was doing it was enough.  I was being faithful and spiritual because I was doing this, RIGHT? 
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But it seems like the answer for me was no.  I was not doing enough.  I was letting my own vices cloud any virtue that I wanted these kids to see .  My own love of God was being pushed aside because I wanted new and different things for myself.  I blame some on my blogging.  MY knitting.  My intense focus on ME.  It did not keep my mind and heart in the right place.

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So anyway, here I am with 3 kids in school and 3 at home.  My husband is back to work full time and I have just now realized that I have not been doing such a great job leading all these souls to love our Lord.  I have not been doing a great job loving Him myself.

Well, over the Christmas break I was at adoration and I was given a gift from God.  He opened my heart and mind to what I needed to see.  I needed to see that even though I was struggling with one of my children that she is a good sweet soul who needs a better example in her life.  She needs me to be BETTER!!  If I want to change the hearts around me I needed to change my own heart.  I truly felt God speaking this truth to me.  I was the one that needed to change.  I had to look at me before I could begin to look at them...
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And since that night my heart has been full of hope and joy.  I have a mission.  I know the direction I want to go in.   I can be a good Catholic.  My kids can be good Catholics .....even if we are not home schooling.

Virtue..that my word for the year.  I need virtue.

4 comments:

  1. It concerns me that you may have felt, or have been advised, in order to be a good Catholic, you needed to home school. Home schooling is a rather new option for parents. Children, unless too ill to attend school, were not home schooled when I was a child. Being home schooled does not insure your children will be good Catholics. Going to Catholic school (as I was) does not insure you will be a good Catholic. Many of those I went to school with have completely turned away from the faith. If you lead your children through example, by being a strong, compassionate and understanding Catholic woman and raise your children by your example and not that of others, they will have the best guidance into the faith. Please do what feels right in YOUR heart and don't be pressured by others or let others cause you to doubt your decisions. God will help lead you to the decision that is best for you. What is right for others, may not be right for you and yours. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  2. Wow! God is good! His Grace led you to this beautiful realization. I think we all need to stop and listen more often. God is talking to us all and guiding our life, but we're often too busy to stop and really listen. Adoration is the perfect place for that! Lord, teach all of us moms where you want us to grow. Which virtues we need to work on most and please, give us the strength to be good examples to these children you have blessed us with...everyday help us! Praying for you Lisa. I know having Pete back at work will be a difficult re-adjustment...both good and bad, I'm sure. We're here if you need us!

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  3. In what you wrote, I saw a similar theme to my own life-and where I'm at now is the realization that I am the best model for my kids when I am not selfishly trying to be good at all things. . Born and raised Catholic and having gone to Catholic school--it was a very difficult choice to make in sending my kids to public. My dad paid me the highest compliment when he told me they sent me there because they didn't have what it took to teach me the faith--they were lukewarm. He saw in me, a desire for my kids to really know the Lord--he sees practices and a happy home in place to guide them on their journeys. Do I struggle? Daily. Minute by minute sometimes, but it's a journey--and I'm choosing joy. Glad you are finding your way--grace is beautiful and it's yours. He loves you that much!!!

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  4. I appreciate your honesty about your selfishness, because that truly becomes the problem. I only have one little one, and we do plan to homeschool as our quiver grows, but I think the key to raising good kids is not in the details but in the lifestyle you live. From here it looks as if your focus is exactly where it should be, teaching your little ones virtue and self awareness. I don't know very much about being Catholic, but more than enough about being religious and I hope you stay strong on what's best for your children in spite of what others think!

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