Let’s begin! If you missed it last week, I am “hosting” a book club on A Mother’s Rule of Life. If you don’t have it, or didn’t have a chance to begin reading yet, don’t worry! You can read along at your own pace and still leave comments here to join in the discussion.
Last week, I thought that it would be fun to have this virtual book club with you ladies.
And then “fun” became “I need this so badly it is almost funny, like a tragic comedy”. Yesterday was a mess from the start, and lasted until the last possible moment. At 8:45pm I was still wrangling kids to bed, had to call a locksmith, and basically accomplished keeping everyone alive. We had popcorn and smoothies for dinner.
If we are going to do better than this and learn something this coming year, I have to make big changes.
I read through chapter 1 and most of chapter 2. Eventually, I had to give in and sleep, because my “Rule of Life” is going to include a better bedtime.
I can relate to Holly’s sentiments about wanting to send kids to school. I’ve been there, and we did send kids to school. To be perfectly honest, it was still hard! Now that we’ve moved, the school options are iffy and Fence and I know we can do better.
Another feeling Holly shares in her book, which I can relate to, is the idea that schedules are limiting. You guys, I went to college and *never* used a planner or calendar until my boss told me he’d basically fire me if I didn’t. (Thank you, T. H., for the tough love. I see your wisdom now.) I kind of hate being tied to a schedule. But, “disorder is more limiting”. Disorder drives me nuts. Running from one crisis to the next lesson to the next exploding diaper to the next hungry child to the store for milk and back to lessons is stressful. On days like that (which do happen here, I’m not exaggerating, and didn’t even mention the locksmith!), I feel defeated. Nothing good happens. I succumb to the stress, yell, and only add to the chaos.
It’s not in my vocation to add to chaos. In fact, I’m fairly certain that God would like to help pull me up and out of the crazy, if only I offer my hand up in surrender.
Like when Jesus helped the apostles to feed the crowd, I have to give some effort. Jesus will bless my efforts, but my efforts need to be there. I love Holly’s take on this idea, that even though the Apostles could only come up with 5 fish and a few loaves for the hungry crowd, Jesus made it happen that all were satisfied, in abundance. I have a crowd. I have some meager offerings. It’s time to actually hand these efforts of mine over in trust and let Jesus work.
The Rule is about living with intention, with ordered priorities, allowing for time for what matters most. It is more than a schedule. It is about creating routines that sustain and help us to thrive in our vocation.
Do I expect batches of muffins and much cleaner floors as quickly as Holly succeeded? No, I don’t. I hope for peace, for predictability to our days, for a routine that helps every member of my family to thrive.
The “Rule” sounds stuffy and rigid, a bit…but, it’s not meant to be. It is supposed to begin with a goal, a mission, and then the day is built off of what you intend for your family days. You schedule your day for your family. I didn’t even bother reading what Holly’s day looked like, because that would skew my idea of how to structure my own. And, not all days will work! Life happens, and kids get sick or you get locked out of your house. On those days, the idea to is focus on essentials. For me, the essentials are prayer, meals, reading aloud, a quick clean, and the bonus is math lessons. If that is all that happens on some days, then great. We’re keeping heads above water, and when we can swim again, then the Rule is there to guide us to succeed.
I’m getting long-winded, so I’ll end now with this quote which I appreciate quite a bit,
“a Mother’s Rule is sanctifying, because by it we do what we ought to do.” –Holly Pierlot
The Mother’s Rule is meant to help us be our best and do our best, with intention and purpose and joy.
See you next week for Chapter 3!
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