Welcome to this installment in the series MOM SO HARD – FINESSING THE INTRICACIES OF YOUR MODERN CATHOLIC FAMILY, a series focused on taking a look at the Faith through the lens of being a Catholic mom. This series is going to–using a spiritual foundation as our starting point–walk with you and share candid and practical elements that make up our days. We will look at primary spiritual elements, recognizing that without God, nothing is possible. How do we start our day? How do we end our day? If God does not bookend our days (at a minimum), we can start to see how feeling overwhelmed or worse can creep into our day. Even the most mundane of chores and activities can be done to glorify God. So, grab some coffee, a notebook, and a pen, and let’s get started, shall we?
One summer, a local single teacher friend and I decided to go sit in on a local campaign by area non-Catholic churches to evangelize and witness to others. The idea was – through video clips and conversation starting questions – to get people talking more about Jesus and living a life of discipleship.
These programs were strategically held in homes in various neighborhoods, and we thought it would be a fun idea to sit in and talk and weave Catholicism into the conversations in meaningful ways. We were both very drawn to the apologetics side of Catholicism at the time and looked forward to hearing people’s questions about Catholicism. Having grown up in rural East Texas myself (in the heart of the Pineywoods!), I was pretty good friends–and still am to this day–with Baptists, Evangelicals, and Fundamentalists. Sometimes all three of those are the same thing, lol! I have heard all the typical stereotypes and misunderstandings about the Faith over the year.
One evening in the series at a neighbor’s home, the subject of prayer came up.
Rote prayers often tend to be seen as a Catholic-only thing among non-Catholic Christians. My friend went on to give a beautiful example of why rote prayers were so necessary and helpful, using a personal experience of her own to illustrate its purpose. I left there with a different take on rote prayer. Side note: The purpose of rote prayer isn’t the prayer itself, but rather, the intention of our will toward God.
What had she said that made me think differently?
Well, she called attention to a specific time in her life when prayer was hard. Ok, I can relate to that. Praying off the cuff had always been easy for her, but this difficult time made it hard for the words of prayer–adoration, contrition, petition, thanksgiving–to flow. It was then she realized the beauty and spiritual purpose of rote prayer.
After a long day of teaching, her mind wasn’t always 100%. And with health complications, it became easy to see how rote prayers became a staple of her prayer life. I wouldn’t really be able to relate to this until our own family suffered a series of crises. Spurred on by three consecutive miscarriages, extreme financial challenges, and hospital stays – my own being an emergency appendectomy – family life suddenly became extremely difficult. Things that seemed easy for everyone else to navigate were just compounded. Would things ever get better?
Soon, rote prayer became my friend. My husband and I were never far from a good St. Joseph novena. On and off over the years, we had often called on the Good Saint for his help, from selling homes, to work-related endeavors, our marriage, and our family. I joke now with friends that God broke our family so that we could be rebuilt in that time. Looking back, I see how He used those misfortunes to draw us closer to Him. And it was at that time when I really leaned into those rote prayers. Novenas became my staple. I loved how the daily prayers called to mind an imagery of Christ’s life and I felt a deep connection with God during an otherwise very spiritually dry time.
It was during this time that I contemplated walking away from creating the planners I had started in the summer of 2014. Life was too hard. There I was just days after my own appendectomy surgery in 2015 with my fresh stitches and stretchy yoga pants on, watching Fixer Upper when it was brand new and lamenting the endless storms that wouldn’t stop reminding me how depressing my life really was. And like a wild hair, I decided I was not going to give up on my planner. That others needed that tool – and gosh doggit – so did I! I let the remnant of pity run its course and then I got to work, friend.
I. ?Got. ? To. ? Work. ?
No more excuses.
I set out to put the planner together in record time, and in 10 short days I had created the new edition of the planner and got it ready to sell. The profit from that decision to move forward with selling the PDF version was enough to cover the expenses to FINALLY sell hard copies – the first of many of my goals for the planner was finally realized. ?
So, while I have never really publicly advertised the hardships our family endured, don’t for a moment think that I can’t relate in some small way or that I can’t empathize. I have a huge heart for my customers. For the people who understand that Catholic Sistas is not a business, not meant for selling products. Because you know I created a product that I believe 100% will help YOU. Because it first helped me. Because I was so dang picky about what my Catholic planner needed. Because I am constantly searching and seeking for way to improve it until it is 100% where it needs to be to function best for you…for me. And if you can’t afford one? You email me and I will get you a FREE downloadable version of DAYBOOK. That’s how much I believe in this planner and how much I know it will bless your everyday. It has been my great honor and pleasure to share it with folks in need, stateside and international.
For me, DAYBOOK functioned in a way that offered me the assistance that rote prayer did. It helped me plan and function at times when I truly couldn’t on my own. I found the planner to be a source of relief. Why? Because life goes on and things still needed to get done-even when things are at their hardest. Can I get an amen?
You want to know a funny fact? God has never, and I repeat NEVER, let me forget about rainy days. EVERY SCHEDULED PICK UP from the printer it has ALWAYS rained. As I write this, I am about to pick up the largest order of planners to date and guess what? The forecast for the past two weeks and continues to be forecasted the next 1.5 weeks is…? Yep. Rain. God, You so funny.
Let’s dig deeper. Did this post resonate with you? If so, please continue on below and consider starting a journal to jot down your answers. PRINT several copies of these questions to start your own journal based on different posts.
- Do you recall a time in your life when you leaned in on rote prayer?
- How did that particular prayer help your life?
- What is one area of your life in which you feel you are managing with great success right now?
- What is one area of your life in which you feel you need to improve? (prayer life, domestic chores, parenting, marriage-if applicable, etc.)
- Where in the natural rhythm of raising children could you find natural times for prayer?
- What would need to be made possible in your life to get some independent time to pray?
CATHOLIC PLANNER – DAYBOOK – “It’s the best first step you’ll take towards organizing a better tomorrow.” Martina Kreitzer, foundress of Catholic Sistas