“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
A Note From Jenny:
Do you ever feel like you want to move to the moon so that you can get away from all of your responsibilities, get away from being needed, and get away from caring, growing, stretching, and waiting? I don’t think the moon would be my first choice for relocation, but some moments make it sound pretty enticing. Chances are, when we begin to feel this way there is something off, something that we can often tweak to improve our mood.
Here are a few of the culprits that bring on the moon gazing and “run away syndrome.”
1. You are tired.
You’ve been running around trying to fulfill obligations, trying to take care of everyone. Maybe you need a nap. Maybe you need to put aside your work for a night, for a day, for a week. We can get worn down and sometimes we have to discern that what is needed is pure rest. This can be stressful for those of us who are productivity obsessed or “it all depends on me” prone. Your family needs a happy and rested you more than they need a useful you. They need a happy and rested you more than they need their walls painted, or their sandwiches toasted. They need you more than the things you do. Resting can take humility, courage, and trust, but just remember, even God rested.
2. You have neglected prayer.
In your busyness you may have (like I, so often, sadly do) pushed off prayer and pushed off prayer in your quest to get things done. When we do this we loose perspective and we forget why we are busy in the first place. This week, every time I have opened a book for prayer, I have stumbled across a quote about being so busy with our “good works” that we miss the opportunity to actually serve God and do His will (I think maybe someone is trying to get my attention!). And the point of all we do is to point us to God, to His love, to serve Him so that He can enlarge our hearts. Remember that prayer does not have to be overwhelming or long (see my last newsletter for ideas of how to get some prayer in). It’s important to refocus ourselves as often as needed (I need to as often as I breathe!).
3. Serving is hard.
What does it mean to truly serve? We have to bring this question to God in prayer and ask God how He desires us to serve. We want to serve God, our families, and our friends, but we often forget that this means letting go of our own faulty wills. At times we begin to feel resentful, or we begin to place responsibilities on our shoulders that are not ours, or are not ours alone. Our love of comfort can prevent us from opening our hearts to the situation at hand. Our pride can get in the way of realizing that the situation is out of our control and so we spin our wheels, wearing ourselves out. Discerning proper action and following through on that action is difficult. Serving is hard. However, at any and every moment we can stop and ask God how He desires us to serve.
Every situation is an opportunity to allow God to grow our hearts so that one day we can fit all of humanity into it. When we fail, we can grow in sympathy and understanding of others. Everything, including our failings, when returned to God, even our tiredness and stumbles and falls, can be made into something beautiful by the one who made us.
Enjoy the rest of the newsletter!
A Quotable Quote
“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures: we are the sum of our father’s love for us.”
― Pope St. John Paul II
The Lord will fight for you, you have only to keep still.
The Tweetable Saint
“So your strength is failing you? Why don’t you tell your mother about it? . . . Mother! Call her with a loud voice. She is listening to you; she sees you in danger, perhaps, and she—your holy mother Mary—offers you, along with the grace of her son, the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace . . . and you will find yourself with added strength for the new battle.“
― St. Josemaria Escriva
The Mothering Sunshine Book Club
One of the best remedies for worry is to get outside your own head and into a book. This is why we have the the Mothering Sunshine Book Club! We pick a book for the month and read it all together. I encourage you to invite a few other moms you know to read it with you—and one night a month you can actually get together to discuss it!! Even if you don’t have friend nearby to read it with you, you will be reading it with all of us here in the Mothering Sunshine community. We are reading it with you and thinking about it while we work!!
I am excited to read our next book because it promises to be an easy and fun read:
This book should be easy to find at the library, but if you’d rather you can get it on Amazon for about $7.00. This is going to be a fun one, so grab a copy and some friends and start reading!
l’d love it if you would email me with any of your thoughts on the book so that I can include it in the next newsletter!
A helpful Podcast
I recorded a podcast with the lovely Erin Franco of the Humble Handmade blog and the Right Heart Podcast. We talked about the challenges of modern motherhood and passing on our faith to our children. It’s about 30 minutes and there is a part two full of great ideas and resources! I hope that you check it out and enjoy it!
One Thing You Can Do Today To Make Tomorrow Better
This is a little challenge that we all do together, every day, until the next newsletter. We offer it for each other as a prayer so that when we don’t feel like doing the challenge, we know that it is a prayer for someone else . . . and so we do it.
Our Challenge (from now until June 15th):
Find just fifteen minutes a day to move. It can be walking in place while you do the dishes, it can be playing tag with the kids, it can be anything! Just move for at least fifteen consecutive minutes a day! Let’s offer it as a prayer for the mothers of the world who must do hard labor all day to feed their families.
Helpful Article: Made in My Own Image
In short, I have been living in a prison of my own design, a false reality where so many more things than necessary rely upon me and my superhuman goodness and my superhuman wholeness and my superhuman abilities … all of which don’t truly exist anywhere except in the bent recesses of my wounded mind. Read more at: https://realcatholicmom.com/2016/05/25/made-in-my-own-image/
A Kick’n Kitchen Hack
Microwave your sponges or dishrags for one minute, and you will disinfect them and also prevent them from stinking. The steam will also loosen up the grime and it’s a great time to scrub the microwave! But be careful! That sponge will be very hot!
(If you have a Kick’n Kitchen Hack, please email us with Kick’n Kitchen Hack in the subject line: firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Sort of, Kind of, Recipe
Sort of, Kind of Recipes are simple and delicious. You can sub things out or use less of something without it ruining the dish. We know that dinner time can be hard enough without you having to run out to the store to grab an ingredient you forgot! If haphazard cooking like this sounds scary, don’t be scared. Just try it out and see how yummy and simple dinner can be! These are the kind of recipes that keep you from buying emergency pizza after a bad day.
Quick Curry Chicken
You can’t go wrong with this recipe. You can add as many carrots or onions as you like. You can start with a tablespoon of curry and build up to your desired flavor.
What you need:
– Chicken cut into bite-size pieces. Your can use leftover chicken or raw chicken. For each pound to one and a half pounds you will add:
– one medium sized onion sliced in thin strips
– Four to six carrots
– A can of coconut milk
– 1 cup of raisins (golden are best, but I never bother to get special raisins, I just use whatever I have. If I am out of raisins I add a tablespoon or two of sugar for the sweetness)
– 1- 4 tablespoons of curry
– 1-3 teaspoons of cumin
– 1-3 teaspoons of salt
How to make it:
1. Saute the onions and carrots in a large frying pan (you are going to cook everything in this pan). Make sure they can “breath” while you saute them or they will steam and not saute. If you don’t have room in your frying pan for the onions and carrots to not be too close, do two separate batches. I like to use coconut oil for everything in this recipe, if I have it, but of course any oil or butter will work. Set them aside in a bowl.
2. Brown the chicken.
3. Add the onion and carrots back into the pan and add in everything else (except the raisins).
4. Simmer for about 15 minutes add the raisins for the last five. Keep in mind that the spices will get stronger the longer they work together, and salt also increases their intensity.
I like to serve this over rice. If it is too spicy for your kids you can serve with some sour cream or Greek yogurt on top, this will dull the flavor significantly. This meal is fantastic reheated, making it a great meal to cook ahead or to bring to others. If you cook ahead do not add the raisins until you are ready to reheat.
If you have a family favorite you would like to share, please email email@example.com with Sort-of-kind-of-recipe in the subject line.
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And the Mothering Sunshine Team
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