Trying to Find a Balance

peace-quotes-photos-3-cb9c357b

When I first got married I was living in a new area and my only close friends were my husband’s family and relatives.  I only went out when we were doing something with family.  After having the children and changing from a working individual to a stay at home mom I found myself struggling.
After my first son was born I found myself becoming moody and more times than not depressed.  I wasn’t getting out and if I was going out it was with family.  Date night had become a night on the couch watching a movie (even though I usually fell asleep).

So by the time my youngest was born I was desperately in need of getting out more.  Once a week my husband would take the kids to his mom and dad’s house so I could have the night off but that wouldn’t happen.  Yes, I got the night off and I loved having peace and quiet but I would spend the time cleaning the house, not relaxing.  I was getting more depressed as time went on and I knew I needed to do something about it.

In 2010-2011 my church announced a Cornerstone Retreat for women in Jan/Feb 2011.  January is the month of my birthday so I asked my husband if I could have that as my gift and he said yes.  I had gone on retreats in high school and college and loved them.  I find them very rejuvenating and insightful.  Heck, maybe I would even make a friend or two at this one.  Well my life changed after that.
I made a friend or two and I started to become more involved in my church.  I signed up to become a Eucharistic minister which I absolutely loved doing.  The following year I joined the core team of Cornerstone and have been apart of it ever since.  I also signed up to be party of the Rosary society too.  I went from never getting out of the house to being out almost once or twice a week.

I was enjoying my new found life but was also feeling very guilty since I had a husband and 3 little kids at home.

This past year we moved to a new town and I found that all the activities we had going on was becoming too much.  I tell my kids to pick one activity per season they want to do and that is it.  Well I think it was time to take my own advice.
While I loved being a Eucharistic minister I was torn.  My husband doesn’t attend church and my kids are too young to sit in the pews alone.  When I am on the schedule I was either going to church twice just to make sure my kids went or they wouldn’t go to church.  Also, during this struggle it just so happened that my church decided to change the mass times.  The mass I usually went to was going to be changed to a new time so I felt that was my chance to step down as a Eucharistic minister.  Hopefully, when my kids are older I can get back into it.

I am still continuing to figure out what activities to be a part of and which ones need to go on the back burner.  It is not easy but I see so many families racing through life and over exerting themselves.  I don’t want that for me or my children.  I want us to figure out what truly makes us happy and to do that.
I also know that my children and marriage are my first priority besides God and if that means I need to step back from things then that is what I have to do.  I know I can’t be a hermit and let depression take over but I can’t decide that all these new things I have found I can do at one time.  I have to pick the one that is the most positive for me and when my schedule opens up more I can add to it.

I pray that all families who struggle to find balance find peace.  Peace that they do find balance and that we all find happiness in the little things in life.

copyright 2014  Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

Faith Formation or Formally Known as CCD (Children’s Catechetical Development)

15

I grew up going to Catholic school so I never really knew much about CCD until I married my husband who had gone to the class as a child.  I was excited for my child’s experience as I loved my new church.  My church is unlike most other Catholic Churches I think. It’s a hidden gem.  I have spent my life trying different churches (even non-Catholic), trying to find one I could call home and I finally did. St. Anne’s in Fairlawn, NJ is a wonderful place, I think.  So if you are ever in Northern NJ and are looking to get to church I highly recommend stopping by.

With all that said I was excited for my children’s journey into learning about their religion.  Yet, now that we have been at it for 4 years I am finding things to be different than what I expected.  If parents are paying to have their kids attend CCD I would think that they are practicing what they preach.  Yet, that is not necessarily the case.  I have been surprised at how few families attend mass weekly and more surprised by how few pray at home.  Even my non-religious husband says prayers with his children every night so I was shocked to learn that religious families weren’t.

How can we expect our children to fall in love with our faith if they do not see their parents love for it?  I wish and hope we could bring the love back.  The Catholic Church is an amazing religion that seems to be taken for granted and misunderstood by many.

The one beautiful thing I have found in the CCD program is that the Director and all the teachers show their love for their religion.  It gives hope that they may have an impact on the children they are teaching.  The children will see the love from their teachers and want to feel the love themselves.

I wish all the Directors, teachers and students of faith formation guidance, patience and love.

I wish parents would invest more into the spiritual side of raising kids and help them to learn the wonderful things that are out there.  Whether or not my children will grow up and continue being Catholic is up to them but I will make gosh darn sure I show them all the wonderful things about being Catholic.  Who’s with me?

copyright 2014 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

A New School Year – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

13

Last week my two boys began a new year in 2nd and 4th grade.  My oldest, (J) found out that one of his best friends was going to be in his class and he was very excited about that.  (R) on the other hand didn’t think anyone he knew was going to be in his class.

The first day came and at their school everyone lines up in the parking lot to meet the teachers.  (J) found his class and once his friend arrived he was all set.  Now for (R) it seemed all the boys in the class already knew each other except for (R) and a lot of parents knew the teacher already.

You see, last year was our first year at this school and I dreaded the first day. Would my boys make friends?  Would they like their new school?  Did I buy the right kind of backpack and school supplies?  Are their outfits ok?  Did I make the right decision? Would they get picked on or ganged up on?  I had so many fears and yet at the end of the day they both came out happy.  They said everyone was so nice and everyone listened. They hadn’t necessarily made friends yet but that was ok with them.

So for (R) it seemed like a repeat of last year’s fears and my heart began breaking all over again.  He stood next to me quiet ((R) is not a quiet kid).  The boys in his class got together for a picture and he was not in it.  Ughh..

All I want for my child is happiness.  I don’t want my child to hate school or dread going. I want to know that all the fights with my husband to move into a better town with better schools was all worth it.  Please God, please let this be the right choice.

I believe that is all I have to do.  If I just keep turning it over to God and letting him take care of it, it will all be ok.  It may not be ok 100% of the time but I have to trust the reasons behind them and know that everything happens for a reason even if we don’t know the reason.  I have to have faith that the friends (R) is supposed to have he will eventually have.  They will both be ok and when my daughter begins there next year she will be ok too.

(The reason I am using R and J for my children is while this is a public blog I do not feel comfortable using my children’s actual names.)

copyright 2014 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent