A Terrifying New Beginning

Will he cling to me and not want to participate?

Will he yell at the other kids or the teacher?

Will he get frustrated and cry because everything is so new and different?

My old worry-filled self returns with this new undertaking. My not so little boy starts Junior Kindergarten next Tuesday.

I know any of these issues that might arise, will only last the first few days, and he will eventually become very comfortable in his classroom, with his teacher, and all his new friends.

That last part is what worries me the most. Friends. My son loves playing with other kids at the park, and his cousins that he sees every weekend, but this is different. Who are these kids? Do they come from strong Catholic families? Do their parents take them to Mass? Do they pray before bed and read Bible stories? Do they know who built the Ark? (“Noah! Noah! Brother Noah built the Ark!” Sorry, we’re still listening to that Veggie Tales CD in the van…)

These could be the friends he has for the rest of his life. Their parents, are the ones that I have to make friends with (which is terrifying on an entire different level due to my own shyness). Will they be a good influence?

So many questions. So much unknown. So much to worry about and get myself worked up about. I am trying really hard to not even think about it, but that isn’t the right answer. I know I should also look at it in a positive light. And of course pray about it.

If there aren’t that many other kids that attend Mass regularly in his class, maybe he can be the one to encourage them to go. Maybe he will teach them all about his favourite Bible stories, and Veggie Tale songs.

Is that a tall order to ask of a not even 4 year old? Perhaps. It’s not like I have been coaching him on it, telling him to ask the other kids which Mass they attend. Or worse, only telling him he can be friends with kids that go. I’m hoping it comes up casually on conversation, you know, between debates over Cars vs Cars 2, and Dora vs Diego.

But that brings me to another issue…do I ask the other parents which Mass they go to? I don’t want to come off pushy or “mightier than thou” ish. I do genuinely want to know which Mass they attend at which Parish, in hopes of seeing them there, and our kids sitting together during the children’s liturgy. But I am also not stupid, and I know that the majority of the families that send their kids to Catholic school aren’t practising Catholics. Is this just an issue in my part of Ontario, or is this common where you live too? Our Catholic school board is publicly funded (you decide on your property taxes if you are supporting the Public School or the Separate, Catholic, School).

As you can see, I have a million questions, and I want to hear how you handled all of this, or do you have back to school prayer you could share.

Saint Monica

I love learning about different Saints, and all the prayers for specific intentions. I know I need to work on my patience with my children (2 and 4 are tough ages!), and I pray every night to Mary about this. But I recently learned about Saint Monica, and think I will add her to my daily prayers. And it just so happens, I learned about her right before her feast day!

August 27th – Feast of Saint Monica

I won’t go into too much detail about her, as I’m sure many other Catholic blogs will be writing about her today, and in a much more eloquent way than I ever could, but here is the short version of her life:

She suffered in a difficult marriage, married to a man with an awful temper. She was also the mother of St. Augustine, who she dedicated her life to, and prayed for constantly, as he appeared to be a bit on the lazy side.

I know there was much more to her, but I wanted to focus on these two points of her life, as she is the Patron Saint of difficult marriages and abused women, as well as housewives, mothers and wives in general. Thankfully I do not need to pray to her for help with my marriage, but I could use some help in being a better mother, and lots of help with my patience.

Raising children is not an easy task, especially raising Catholic kids in such a secular world. With the devil around just about every corner, waiting to lead them astray, our children need us praying for them every day. They also need to see us praying to God, to Jesus, and to different Saints asking for help.

I just love that there is a Saint for just about every need out there, and they are there for you, just waiting to help take your prayers up. They want to bring your intentions forward, they just need you to ask for their help. It is so reassuring as an adult to know that these Saints are there waiting to help me, and that I can go to them any time for help and guidance.

We also love sharing new Saints with our children, buying them new prayer cards, teaching them about their lives, and learning the new prayers with them. My son often requests a Guardian Angel or Saint Michael prayer before bed, I guess he is looking for a little protection while he sleeps.

Prayer to Saint Monica

Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine, You perseveringly pursued your wayward son

Not with threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.

Intercede for all mothers in our day

So that they may learn to draw their children to God.

Teach them how to remain close to their children,

Even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray.

Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother,

many sorrows pierced your heart during your lifetime.

Yet, you never despaired or lost faith.

With confidence, persistence, and profound faith,

you prayed daily for the conversion

of your beloved husband, Patricius,

and your beloved son, Augustine;

your prayers were answered.

Grant me that same fortitude, patience,

and trust in the Lord.

Intercede for me, dear St Monica,

that God may favourably hear my plea.
(mention your intention here)

Grant me the grace to accept His Will in all things,

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, forever and ever.

Amen

Saint Monica

Catholic Women’s Almanac (CWA) – Link up August 26 2013

I just LOVE link up parties! So this week I am linking up over at Suscipio, and her Catholic Women’s Almanac series:

Gratitude

So very thankful to have a healthy family. I never for a second take for granted that my children, my husband, and myself, are all healthy. And the more I hear about others’ illnesses, the more I pray for their healing and that God will keep my precious little family healthy.

Praying

That those who have wandered away from God, from prayer, from believing, find a way back to once again trust in Him.

Reading

Where There is Love, There is God. Mother Teresa

Hearing

My son playing with his train sets in his bedroom, and my daughter crunching away on an apple at the table.

Cooking

Chicken lettuce wraps for dinner tonight.

Learning

To be more patient with my children.

Singing

Veggie Tales Sunday School Songs. Though they aren’t Catholic, they are Christian and are much better than current pop music. My kids just love them, and I must admit, I sing the songs just as much as they do. Even the two year old knows the words to a couple of them, and listening to her sing along in the van is the sweetest thing.

Around the Web

I have found so many amazing Catholic blogs recently, and am obsessively reading them all, including many of the one listed on the Society of Canadian Catholic Bloggers.

Captured

A bug! I found a little spider on the wall, when I moved the kids play kitchen to vacuum

 

 

I Don’t Yet Know Why, But I Shall Be At Peace With It

Do you ever wonder why God has chosen you for a specific vocation? Or why he has chosen you to live out your life a certain way? It’s a tall order, but thoughts like these often cross my mind.

If something tragic happens in your life; a severe illness, or even a death, people often say things like “it’s part of God’s plan” and “He wouldn’t place anything in your life that you couldn’t handle”. Which at the moment might not make you feel better, but eventually it is very reassuring. God does have a plan for us, and knows just what we can handle, and we need to put our full trust in Him.

I have had a pretty good life, raised in a loving family, married a strong Catholic man, and now have two beautiful children. Nothing really tragic has happened to me. There have been minor illnesses, and deaths, but mostly in those who were older and lived a long and happy life. My husband and I are both healthy, and so our are children. We haven’t had to deal with job loss, or accidents, or anything really.

We truly are blessed.

Is this because we pray every day, giving thanks to God for what we have, and ask for protection from evil and to keep us all healthy? But what about those who do pray, and still have a hard life?

Is it because He knows that we aren’t strong enough to handle something serious? Does God think we are weak, so he has given us an “easy” life?!

I often think it is because there is something much worse ahead. I don’t worry about it, because worrying gets you nowhere, and I know to trust in Him. He knows what is best for me and my family.

Anytime a child gets sick, or something little happens to change our life, I stop and think “it could be so much worse, we need to get through this with as much grace as possible, because maybe next time it will be worse”

I used to be a worrier. To the point I would get myself worked up and in tears over the littlest things, I would panic thinking of the worst case scenario every time, focusing only on the negative and how awful things were. I didn’t learn to relax and have faith, until I found my faith, until I put my trust in Him.

I don’t know why some have to deal with illness, war, death, or abuse. I don’t know why God has chosen my little family to be free of all this, but I am thankful for it. I also know that I am still young, my family is just getting started, and just because this current moment is easy, doesn’t mean a hard life isn’t around the corner. Life can change in an instant, and if it does I put my trust in Him and pray for the strength to handle whatever comes my way.

It’s heartbreaking to see all the tragedy in the world. To see friends and family struggle with health issues. To hear of war and death in the news. To read other blogs and hear of daily struggles with health issue, and precious little babies fighting for their lives in NICUs. More news about a child being kidnapped or abused or a car accident taking a young life. It’s overwhelming to think of it all. And I pray that they can find Him in their difficult moments, that they can all trust in God, find a Saint to pray to, and find strength in the fact that Jesus died for them.

I pray that if something hard does happen, I can keep my faith and still trust in Him. He will give me strength in those difficult moments, and until they arise, I am so thankful for the life I have.

Prayer of St. Francis de Sales

Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life with fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God to whom you belong will in his love enable you to profit by them. He has guided you thus far in life, do you but hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand, he will carry you lovingly in his arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same eternal father who takes care of you today will take care of you tomorrow, and every day of your life, either he will shield you from suffering or he will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace then, and put aside all useless thoughts, all vain dreads and all anxious imaginations. Amen.

This post has been linked up with the Live Called Thrive At Home link up

Just When You Think They Aren’t Listening…

Children are amazing little creatures! My nearly 4 year old son and nearly 2 year old daughter surprise us each and every day with just how smart they are. Sure, our house isn’t always peaceful, but those moments when you realize you are doing it right, those moments make all the trying times worth it.

When they get excited over new prayer cards.

When they ask really deep questions about what is happening during Mass.

When you catch them trying to do the sign of the cross, when they think no one is looking.

When they automatically say Amen at the end of a prayer, without you having to remind them.

When they won’t sit still during a Bible story, yet correct you if you pronounce a name wrong, showing that they have always been listening.

children are a blessing

They are gifts from God, and as hard as it can be, and as much as I may complain about them, they truly are blessings.

 

This post has been linked up with the Catholic Bloggers Network August Blogger Blitz. It’s an amazing network of Catholic bloggers, so please check it out.

monthly_linkup_blitz

A New Place

I have been struggling with this for some time. Wanting to write about being Catholic, knowing that my frugal living blog wasn’t the place for it, but not sure if I could/should start a new blog. My issue is mostly with sharing such a personal part of my life, but wanting to have a space that might just inspire someone to come back to the Church.

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:1).

This blog is not a place for me to show off, and brag about how Catholic my family is. This blog is a place to share how we can all trust in Him a little more, a place to share how my family struggles with being Catholic in a secular world, and a place to share ideas on raising Catholic children.

I am no theologian, and I am a new Catholic (I was Baptized at Easter in 2009), so I am learning as I go. This blog might have the occasional heavy post, but will mostly be about everyday things. I want to share the Catholic books I am reading, my opinion on Catholic news, and how we celebrate Holidays. Every day things that we do that bring us a little closer to God, to Jesus, and to all our wonderful Saints.

I am also a wife and a mother, and struggle with my faith as much as I struggle with getting the housework done each day. I hope to help you see that you can find Him in everything you do, that He has a plan for you and loves you very much.