Saturday, July 14, 2018

{SQT} Getting Back to Regular Summer Routine

1. Sanctification at the Pool

I was at the poolside last Saturday, and with David contentedly in his stroller for the time being, I could actually read a book. I was struck by the below passage and thought about a meditation not for the first time.

I spend too much time thinking about the future and how it will be easier (and more sad for me) when all the children are out of the house. But then it strikes me: Any spiritual progress I have made has been due to being crushed like grapes into wine by my duties at home, so what will happen when my duties lesson to nearly nothing? The only thing that keeps me off of the computer and social media for hours every day is that I don't have that much free time and I know it sets a terrible example for my children. The only thing getting me to grit my teeth and refrain from yelling (when I manage to refrain) is that I know it is so damaging for my children's emotions and souls. I could go on and on with examples.

God knows I am a weak and fragile vessel, apparently, and sends me these many "interruptions" (which are really the actual entire purpose of my day) to help form my soul. Will I develop enough inner fortitude by the time they are gone to retain whatever sanctification I will have developed?

2. Big Helpers

I relied so much on my children helping me with my other children during Chris' long absence at camp.

Putting my preschooler in bed with a sibling helps keep him asleep all night

Entertaining the baby

Margaret reading to Joseph while I lay the baby down for the night

Click here to read about my helpers in the kitchen these days.

3. Home from Camp!

My boy and my husband came home from camp! Click here to read of John's adventures!

4. David James Turns 11 Months Old!

Click here to see this month's highlights!

5. On My Kitchen Table Currently

For the CCE Middle School program, it was recommended we buy Education in Virtue cards (sets 1 and 2) to help the students study examples or opportunities for virtue in the 24 historical fiction books they will read. It turns out these cards are so inspiring that I've moved them from John's desk straight to our kitchen table, and we are enjoying reading aloud and discussing one at dinner most nights.

Each card names a virtue and defines it, shows a saint who exemplified it, gives a prayer asking for the virtue, and cites Scripture for further reading.

These cards have led to fantastic discussions at our table! (And anything is better than bickering or guffawing at food misbehavior, right?)

6. The Brown Scapular

Given that the feast of Our Lady of Carmel is this coming Monday, I got out our three books on the brown scapular, put out an enticing snack for the children, and led a read-aloud and discussion. I try to review teachings about the brown scapular about once a year. The conversation was animated and fruitful among all the ages, and our five-year-old is now determined to wear a brown scapular: I ordered him one and he's been asking me since, "Has it arrived yet?"

7. Miscellaneous

We just noticed, a year late, that the composer of Chaplin's Cane, Phil Hamm himself, complimented John on his playing the piece, as posted to YouTube. Congrats, John! Praise well earned.

Deep Roots at Home offers a useful list of audio books for the car: click here. I wouldn't use all of them, but there were some gems on here that I added to our Amazon wish list. We bought many audio books maybe five years ago but we haven't in a number of years and I feel we could use a refresh these days.

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.


  1. Jennifer Fulwiler had some response a long time ago to someone asking about having a large family in which she said that we're supposed to serve others. That might be serving our children by changing diapers, feeding them, caring for their illnesses, etc, but that may also be serving others once we no longer have children at home. So I pray that I'll be able to help with my grown children's families and volunteer elsewhere.

    1. Indeed, that is my hope as well. I see that model playing out especially beautifully in our children's godmother, who raised seven children, and now spends all her time bustling around among her children's homes, helping with grandchildren, births, sacraments, crises. It's so inspiring.

  2. That was a whopper of a spiritual lesson you read by the pool! I am not married and have no children, so I often coax myself into paying attention at Mass by thinking of future times when (God willing) I will have children to distract me and will need to draw upon the graces and lessons I learned in Mass when I was flying solo.

  3. It is so good that you're thinking to participate in this way during this special season of being single. When I was single, I read the readings ahead of time, followed every word in the missal during the Mass, sang along, took notes during the priest's homily. Now it's been more than ten years since I've participated in Mass meaningfully like that, as I'm always wrangling children and rarely ever even in the sanctuary, such that it's been so long, I've forgotten the Mass responses. I know intellectually that I'm gaining (different) graces now, but the *feeling* is very different (not warm and fuzzy). -- Katherine

  4. Dear Katherine, you are so open about your struggle with constant interruptions. If there’s any consolation believe me you are not alone in this. Yep, we have our own agendas but other people and unforeseen things pop up and seem to constantly interfere with our plans. Ha, ha surprise. I admire Christian good women who’ve learned to roll with the punches. They seem to effortlessly just let go and let God. The Germans call this “brechen des Willens“, breaking of the will. Hang in there. Your doing a much better job as a parent than it often feels. Children know that parents are human. And they test it often. Don’t worry you’re not ruining their souls. God bless