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Archive for July 13th, 2008

I have been thinking a lot about who we are as a family. I really do think that each family has a unique charism. It seems to be a theme that has been coming up so much that I am starting to take notice…like the Holy Spirit is tapping me on the head…

I really do think our unique charism is a homeschooling one.. one where we live a Eucharistic-centered family-centered existence in which we participate in life’s events in a wholistic way. We involve everyone from the 3yo to the 14yo twins….mom and dad too. the more we do this the more we learn and grow and glean from each other. We learn so much more from this environment than when we are segregated into age-appropriate peer-centered groups. Life seems more balanced and more interesting to say the least…lol.

I mean, think about it.

We eat together, play together, pray together, learn together…. and all that we do when we are together is the best that we can do…we eat holistically using living food…we read living books,…we make the best use of our time that we can..even when relaxing. we have found that our experience as a family to be a richer deeper version of the lives we lived before we started this magnum opus of a homeschool family. The kids ‘get’ things that dh and I were clueless to at the same age. They are well grounded. They have a deeper sense of who they are and what they are about. They, in general, go deeper with many things…live more on-purpose than we ever did at that age. they know and love and learn more about their Catholic faith than we EVER knew at their ages. They are pretty good barometers when it comes to “fluff” …I have heard more than once…”Mom, we could do this BETTER”…

I see much much good fruit here and much food for deeper thought….peeling back the layers (ok bad pun) we found that there is something in front of us that we are still trying to understand. There is a force at work when we work as a UNIT that dh and I just don’t seem to get yet. I like what I see. I am ever seeking the definition of it. We compliment each other well. We balance each other out. We each have a unique contribution to make….not that all we do is perfect, but our time together is always a good opportunity to work out whatever kinks we have ;o)

So then we reach out to our local parish. We attend Holy Mass. We are the altar servers, we volunteer for seting up and cleaning up after various events. We are the faithful ones that show up. We kneel down when everyone is making the mass-exodus from the church to say a few prayers of thanksgiving together… just to spend a few moments more with the God we love and love to serve. We are instrumental in planning, and running our parish picnic. No half-stepping here. We love being family-centered and volunteering in a family-centered way.

We don’t participate in CCD…

We felt so out of place with their “confirmation prep

and now there is something else that the 3 eldests and I have been mulling around in our heads and it involves our newly established youth group…

For the first time in a long while we have a youth group at our church for jr-sr high. I have 3 children that fit into this age group so I decided to attend a meeting with them…I told them that the kids were coming and btw..so was I…

The general format was ok…kinda..
they were given a pocket bible that was a poor translation that had my kids rolling their eyes in my general direction and they used this bible during a discussion of who they were. The theme of the night was “who am I”. It was ok but felt too …dunno…dumbed down? On the plus side, after this evening the girls spent the weekend with this bible open and compared and contrasted its content with our bible at home…made for some very interesting discussions…

anyhoo
it had its good moments…the kids played together. some of it was a bit hokey…
the plus was that over 1/2 of the kids there were our homeschooling friends so we kinda converted the place into an interesting social event.

They were told that each time they met they would learn a new song that was like pop Catholic music. After listening to one song the leader said “Isn’t this a cool song? I mean this would be GREAT to hear in Mass!” I interjected …nooo…I really don’t think that would be a good idea…
She asked why not…
I said, because Holy Mass is something so very special and sacred and God deserves music that goes deeper than this does. and I did mention that this kind of music is great for a campfire or a dance or something..it had its place but Holy Mass was not one of them.
So we agreed that we disagreed…

I don’t know how comfy my kids feel about going. There are good points…but why do I feel so weird about this? I know they want to do good service type projects. I don’t think they will end up doing anything that we wouldn’t be doing with our local homeschool community though. We live such a meaningful existence when we homeschool…when we play…when we pray. I know we are not “better” than anyone…but we do choose to live deeper. I think we found this get-together to be strangely wanting of what it could have been. The kids feel a strange nagging feeling and we still wonder…is this something that should be worth our time? It is so hard to find good groups to belong to. Maybe we should start something on our own??

and then my parish priest asked me what I thought.
after my encounter with the parish over the weird confirmation retreat I was wondering if he really wanted to know or not…I have a tendency to be the orthodox meter as of late….lol what a distinction…sigh.

What is the push lately for each INDIVIDUAL to be more involved with “parish life” …kinda like that children’s liturgy thread at 4 real….golly i loved what Macbeth had to say on page 2…my feelings exactly!! Mentoring through mass…expose the children to things bigger than themselves…the Holy Mass is bigger than all of us!

what about Christ-centered things that are not dumbed down that suit the family as a whole instead..could that be a do-able thing?

I like to live on-purpose. I like meaning…I love going deeper. so do the kids. When things tend to be wishy-washy I feel like I have no time for them. Life is so short. I would much rather do one thing really well than stretch myself and my family thin doing some things that are moderately ok.

The family that prays together stays together. Just because the child receives the Eucharist at 8 doesn’t mean that NOW he should be attending mass….we always attend the ENTIRE¬† Mass together because it is the essence of who we are and what we are about. ¬† Just because a child recieves Confirmation doesn’t make him an adult either….we are always learning and growing and celebrate each sacrament as a sacred moment in that journey… they are steps on the journey and we celebrate them with the child as a family …these sacred moments are moments that we cherish in the heart of our home. What about the men being the spiritual head of their homes? doesn’t this translate well as he leads them into worship in church and volunteer life within the parish? St Francis said preach and only when necessary use words…random thoughts but the same theme keeps popping into my head…we allll have a contribution to make. I really like the fruit of being family-centered…we all have something to offer.

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