A Mother’s Prayer by Julienne du Rosaire

Mother Julienne du Rosaire was not a biological mother but a Dominican nun, and thus, I suspect, the mother of many saints, especially considering the following prayer that she composed.

As the mother of small children, I rarely have enough mental and spiritual energy to read it all the way through, but a paragraph taken here or there helps refocus whatever energy I have.

Jesus, I give you my heart so that you may replace it with your heart and so that I may thus love God our Father as you do, love my brothers [and sisters] as you do.

May it be no longer I who live, but rather you; I who pray, I who adore, but rather you; may it be no longer I who work, but rather you; I who suffer, but rather you. May it be no longer I who love, but rather you.

May your gaze transform my eyes so that I may look upon all people as you would, with kindness and benevolence.

May your light full my mind and may it radiate through me and enlighten those whom I meet.

May your love set my heart ablaze and move through my words and gestures, filling all with your meekness, your goodness, your humility, your tenderness.

May my life be an incessant prayer of praise of adoration and if love to God, our Father, through a sincere “yes” to his will at at every moment.

Taken from a prayer card published by Les Dominicaines Missionnaires Adoratrices.

How to Keep Order at Home: A Guide for the Hopeless in the form of a daily checklist

I’m pretty hopeless at keeping order at home—or I had been. Although I love routines and schedules, they were never much of a part of my life at home, and any time I tried to impose them upon myself, I failed. I’ve read books upon books (I love A Mother’s Rule of Life and Home Management: Plain and Simple) and chastised myself for reading instead of doing; I’ve read blog post after blog post, joined helpful Facebook groups, downloaded countless organizational apps (from checklists to calendars to time monitors), and used up many pieces of paper brainstorming ways to bring order into my life, and nothing really helped. I started when I was quite young with trying to make a schedule for my summer, just like I had at school. I didn’t get past the first block. A couple years into starting a family, I realized that a schedule was as realistic for me as finishing my dissertation: surely a set of routines would be the way to go! But I still found myself stuck, scattered, and completely overwhelmed. Occasionally, I found it helpful to make a checklist of things I needed to do the night before, but realistically I found it hard to make a checklist the night before consistently. Some nights—many nights—my brain was too frazzled to think straight about the morning. Yet, if I waited until morning, it would be too late.

I’m not sure why it took so long for me to realize what I needed was a standard “night before” checklist that I could print out, stick in a binder, and use daily. A checklist especially for those days when it seemed like I just couldn’t focus on anything, let alone accomplish anything. A checklist of the should-be obvious.

I made the above using a template in MS Word. If you don’t have MS Word, you can still make it on Google Docs, or any other word processor. In fact, I made up a document on Google Docs that you are welcome to borrow. Please note that it is not a template yet. That means you need to COPY and PASTE the contents onto your own document or everyone else is going to see your changes. You can access my Mother’s Daily Checklist here. Have fun!

My next assignment: a weekly checklist!

*** Please note that I’ve added a place to record my daily weigh-in on the Google Document. This is because I have a good twenty pounds of pregnancy weight to lose and I find it motivational to keep track of whether I’m gaining or losing. If you are a healthy weight, please do not weigh yourself daily!!!***

Lent, 2019

In a few short days, Lent will be upon us once again. It always seems strange to start Lent in March, but it has allowed me this year to prepare myself better. The past few Lents have been impossible with my mental health at an all-time low, but things are good now, really good. I feel like myself again, and my true self has always longed to love God more and more and more. As St Peter puts it so well, What else is there? (Ok, more like “to whom shall we go,” but that’s basically the same thing.) So, I’m excited about Lent. I can’t wait to have a really good incentive to deny myself, because by nature I’m pretty lazy and it’s just easier and more fun to indulge. The only thing more fun than indulging is rising to the challenge not to indulge for the sake of Jesus and his kingdom. 😆 I’m so competitive.

What are you giving up for Lent? I’m giving up sweets. There was a time I thought giving up sweets was so cliché. But you know what? So are my sins, and my concupiscence doesn’t vary all that much. Giving up sweets is hard. Not becoming Cookie Monster the moment Saturday anticipation hits during Lent is also hard.

I’m also going to be putting my phone out of reach for most of the day, way up on top of a bookcase where I’ll need a stool to reach it. I don’t want to be the mother who is always clutching her preciousssssss. I’ve got three precious children to hold instead, and these years are passing so quickly while I divide my attention between them and “oh! That’s a great organizational idea!” and “I should try that in my studio!” It will be much better for all of us if my attention is not divided from the task or child at hand. Christ, after all, is found in the present, and when one’s attention is divided, one is not truly present anywhere.

And that’s it. I have nothing else I plan to do, except fill up my free time with spiritual reading, something I’ve also let fall by the wayside. I’ll be reading Caryll Houselander’s The Reed of God. I also plan to re-read A Mother’s Rule of Life. Do you have any books you plan to read for Lent? Let me know in the comments, or on my Facebook page! 😊