Thursday, January 24, 2008

This is the story of my life...

I've been reading a lot of wonderfully descriptive day plans and organization-focused blog posts lately and gleaning so many good ideas from them. I think the new year turns our minds in this direction, doesn't it? Streamlining. Focusing. Prioritizing. But, I've been sort of avoiding writing my own post detailing our daily routines. And, I wasn't sure exactly why I didn't want to do it, until it hit me today.

Today, in the Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett, we read a beautifully written description of the Wright brothers' first successful flight at Kitty Hawk. We all remarked on how well written the story was, and how it piqued our interst, even though we are a bunch of girls with very little interest in aeronautics. A little later, after lunch, I was sweeping the floors, thinking about what made that story so good, so much fun to read, and I was hard-put to lay my finger on one thing. Great descriptions. Appealed to the senses. Graceful flow of words. Informative. Kept our interest. Led up smoothly to the climax. All these things, yes, but more than each of these things.
And, that's when the connection came to me.

We have a basic routine to every day; we do have a chore sharing regimine and homeschooling guidelines that we follow. And they're important to the efficient running of our lives, but they don't tell our story. We're a homeschooling family and though that fact is important, it's not essential to our character. We have a large family, but we don't hang our hats on that. We run a fairly orderly home, especially for the numbers that shelter here, but that isn't what we're all about, either. All these things describe the structure of our story. First person, limited omniscient, prose. But, though they support and reflect it, they are not the theme of the story.

Here's the theme: We're a Catholic Family.

Everything else comes from that fact. In creating our home, we've always tried to make that the background, the foundation of everything we do, philosophically and physically. Every decision we make, from how and where we school our children to what we eat at mealtimes (esp. on Fridays and vigils) reflects our Catholicism. How we dress, how we decorate our home, the books we buy, the movies and programs we watch are chosen through a Catholic decision making process. We want our Faith to BE the very air we breathe. It IS who we are.

This is a subject I can warm up to easier than listing out our homeschooling schedule (Though I may eventually do that. Who knows?).

Tomorrow I'll jot down our family philosophy, which serves as a loose rule for our lives. Right now, I'm going out with my two sisters, to celebrate my baby sister, Donna's birthday. So, I've got to get a move on! But here's a thought to leave you on:

Do you think that Faith can permeate too much into family life? It's apparently a common belief among some! I'm thinking about that concept, too, and will tell you tomorrow what I come up.


Maria said...

Pretty interesting. I enjoy hearing your beliefs. I am a Russian Orthodox old believer. There's not very many of us in the US. I guess we are a split from the Catholic from way back, so we have a bunch of similarities, especially to the older Catholic ways. I don't homeschool, but I think it's a great thing to do and would enjoy hearing more about that, too!

Laura said...

Much to say about this but I will be brief. I was brought up in a house that was all about prayer, Mass, family, and faith. I am no angel...and the times in my early adulthood when I was a party girl, it was that "faith filled family life" that set me straight. My Catholicism is so much part of who I am that I cannot even imagine going to work everyday without it being a part of my life. (I'm a Catholic school teacher.) Even as I consider leaving the job after 21 years, I know that it would only be to work for another Catholic institution. The outside world supports the eye-rolling at religion...we must create our own cultures in the home that promote faith and family. Otherwise, I shudder to think about the future.
Sorry- not as brief as I hoped.

Anonymous said...


I really enjoy your blog--have only been here for a couple of days. As the Mom of a Catholic family who also homeschools, I would love to read another Mom's take on the daily schedule. It would serve as a northern star on the days that I feel my homeschooling journey is nothing but thick, black it though I sometimes feels as though it may swallow me up, and I only have 4 in my care.....

Thanks for the smiles and sharing of your heart.


Lisa said...

Maria ~ Hi, and welcome! Strange as it sounds, for an assignment in college, I got to attend Mass at a Russian Orthodox Church. The interior of the chapel (I think it was called "All Saints" in Denver) was breathtaking! And the people were just so very, very nice! They invited us to a potluck in the basement after Mass and ~ oh my goodness, could those ladies cook! Our churches may be separate, but we are certainly united in the spirit of charity!

Laura ~ I understand exactly what you're saying! I had the same experience. Thanks to my parents' upbringing of us kids, no matter what, I always felt grounded in my Faith. As hard as the world tried to drag me away, esp in my college years, I could never actually leave it. Everything good was connected with the Church. It is an oasis we have to create in our homes, I agree, to preserve morality, goodness, integrity, responsibility ~ to actually, literally save humanity, as drastic as that sounds! (You can never go on too long for my taste, Laura! I love this kind of conversation with you!)

Donna ~ Thank-you so much and welcome! I know how that weight of homeschooling can feel! Been there! I'll try to post on our homeschooling philosophy and routine. There are so many ways of going about it, I hesitate to promote my way too much, because just one method doesn't work for everyone. But, I'll try to put it on here as an alternative idea. &:o)