There is a new blog that has sprung onto the smorgasbord of resources for Catholic moms. It’s called Mothering Sunshine and this first Friday’s 7QT is going to be all about why you should join the growing readership of Mothering Sunshine!
[Full Disclosure: And in the process you will get to meet my daughter and her five cutie pies!]
Quick Take one – It’s resourceful: This site is incredibly resourceful for mums – both young and experienced mums will find some cool resources on this site. Not only is the site jam packed with useful resources, it’s also chock full of motivational thoughts such as: “All work is service to others. Work is our opportunity to co-create with God. Work is our greatest opportunity to serve others, to love others, and that, of course, is the greatest commandment. We receive the love of God and return it through our work! If all work is service to others, and if the work of mothers is to help others do their own work well, then the highest work is the work of the home. Behind every great person is someone preparing food to be eaten, washing clothes to be worn, and cleaning a house to be lived in so that they in turn can do their own great work.” Jenny G Ryan, founder and owner of Mothering Sunshine.
If you liked that then you should sign up for the bi-monthly newsletter. In doing so you will receive a newsletter filled with: a note from Jenny, a touch of scripture, tips on recipes and other household needs, positive thoughts as well as great inspirational quotes. In between newsletters you can pick and choose helpful posts from among the many useful sections available on this resource site.
One of the tools that Mothering Sunshine offers through the newsletter is a virtual book club where a book is chosen every month or so for fellow subscribers to read along at more or less the same time. From the newsletter: “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!!” If you are wondering why in the world you should even take a stab at adding ‘reading’ to your to- do list hear what one guest writer had to say about the need for intellectual stimulation for mums: “After watching lots of TV or spending a lot of time on the computer, I always end up regretting my actions and the time wasted, I feel empty and depressed. However, I never regret the time spent reading good books. It never makes me feel empty or depressed, but rather, it brings me great joy and it gives me something to think about as I fold the towels. If you were never a reader before, you might be surprised just how much you enjoy a book these days!” Still not convinced – then read the whole article here.
Quick Take Two – Feeling lonely? Sometimes being a mum is just… lonely. Even if we are surrounded by little people – chit chattering, yammering, singing, crying and at times – arguing; we mums sometimes find ourselves incredibly lonely in the midst of this
not always joyful chaos and at times overwhelming noise that surrounds us. However, we can come here and find encouragement because in Jenny’s own words this site was born out of her desire for “other mothers to know that they are not alone in their little black hole. I want them to know that life can get better, and does get better, and that there are things you can do that will change your life. I don’t just want to inspire, I want to give mothers the tools to succeed and to realize that the poop smeared on the wall at nap time is not the meaning of life.”
Quick take Three – Faith: Mothering Sunshine also offers much in the area of faith and growing in it. One of her most inspirational posts about growing in faith is her post on Spiritual Reading. And here is another, and another. I could go on listing her posts on faith for a while but instead I’ll just push you to go dig around. Go on – go check it out… Oh WAIT! Go AFTER you finish reading the rest of my reasons why you should subscribe to Mothering Sunshine.
Quick Take Four – Order: I don’t know about you but order in our family life has had its peaks and valleys. Those valleys might be result of a lack of order in our family or our personal prayer life. Sometimes we find ourselves in total chaos with little to no of order throughout our family household which is reflected through late meals, unending dirty laundry, tardiness to every single event… . Ultimately we. hopefully, come to the realization that to have order in our family household – we must first have order in our prayer life. Mothering Sunshine shares very openingly with us that broken moment when she realized the true need for order and to have that she needed an orderly prayer life:
“After the twins were born I was in the height of my chaos ridden, messy house, and broken bank era. One night out of frustration and desperation I started something I called 100 Days of Order. I needed to get out of the black hole I was living in. I sat down and wrote rules that I would make myself follow for at least 100 days. This exercise was life changing.” To learn more about Mothering Sunshine’s 100 day challenge click here and be prepared to be inspired to seek order in your life.
Quick Take Five: Finding Hope and our Identity: Mothering Sunshine is a blog filled with hope and… joy! I mean LOOK at these faces: How can one not feel joy seeing these adorable faces peppered throughout the site? But more than that, Jenny is constantly reminding us to have hope and to remember that while we often feel that our vocation is a mindless one that could be done by just about any robot capable of changing a diaper and stirring water in a pot; in truth we are doing a great thing, every day, every hour, every minute as we strive “to be everything to someone“.
Quick Take Six – Let go of the guilt: Is there a mother alive, especially a Catholic mother, that doesn’t struggle with guilt? Mothering Sunshine will remind you again and again to just let.go.of.the.guilt! This is not her only post about letting go of guilt. Erika, a frequent guest writer, has some great advice to offer the followers of Mothering Sunshine for that “after the baby guilt” that dogs our tired footsteps for the next couple of
years months after the newest arrival.
Quick Take Seven – It’s Catholic: Mothering Sunshine is solidly Catholic and in a world increasingly hostile to our Christian faith – finding a happy quiet spot in the world where one can learn about living our vocation in a manner that is true to our faith is a keeper! Here is an example of how Mothering Sunshine encourages us to live our faith throughout the day.
Thanks to This Ain’t the Lyceum for Hosting the 7QT!
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Christi Gareis is a homeschooling mother of thirteen, with four children still at home. Her youngest child can boast that she was an aunt before she was born. Christi has been blogging since 2005 and has three blogs. In addition to blogging, Christi has been published on Catholicmom.com as well as in CCL’s magazine Family Foundations. She also wrote the section on How to ‘Prepare Your Child for First Reconciliation’ in the book '101 Stories of Reconciliation' by Sister Patricia Proctor.