Homemaking

“And Mary treasured all these things in her heart.” Luke 2:19

It is 10:28pm.

One Master Luke is asleep after vomiting for the second time.

The house is again quiet, the street outside hums with traffic and for the meantime I am alone to ponder in the silence.

“And Mary treasured all these things in her heart”

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As I travel along this path of motherhood, I too find myself storing, pondering, treasuring a wonderous assortment of things. Some pass fleetingly through the central business district of my mind as clouds on a windy day, while others stamp their permanent mark with dramatic force or quietly dig themselves a burrow to be rediscovered in God’s timing.

To ponder is part of motherhood.

Our precious Mother Mary, from infancy, had a heart prepared for the great joys, trials and sufferings she would bear through her Son Jesus. No woman, no mother has ever had the fortitude, humility and grace that Our Lady did to ponder such extraordinary events and to continue on with her daily life trusting in the will of God. From Simeon’s prophecy ( “a sword shall pierce your heart” Luke 2:35) to the finding of the child Jesus at the temple (““Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49), Mary must have pondered often as she cooked and cleaned and went about her chores. She must have gazed at Jesus crawling on the floor, observed him as he climbed a tree and sighed as she saw him learn from St Joseph the tools of carpentry. Those words, those events would have weighed heavily on my heart, but for her they were treasures, rare gifts of knowledge and preparation for the path of suffering she would walk one day with her beloved Son.

As we begin this new year, I have much to ponder and much to give thanks for.

I have four beautiful children who are growing so quickly physically, mentally and spiritually. I have one precious yet unknown child growing within me and are once again struck by the incredible mystery of the womb, the crafting place of Almighty God. I have a husband who after 10 years of marriage is still able to astound me with his passion and wisdom and inspire me with his conviction. I have a vocation that is overflowing with life and I have no choice but to let it take me where it runs.

God has given mother’s the gift of pondering… treasuring…. because when your life is overflowing, those words, those moments in which God is present and speaking, can be missed. By storing both little and small moments, God is able to work in a mother’s heart in the still silence of her inner being and when the time is right, He sheds His glorious light upon His work and we have one of those startling “Ah HA!” moments while washing the dishes.

So often have I been struck with an “Ah Ha” that leaves me speechless and feeling unworthily blessed.

The weekend before last was one of those moments. It was my 31st birthday and the 3rd anniversary of the big earthquake that significantly damaged my home city and resulted in the loss of 185 lives. I knew it was going to be a joyful and painful time celebrating and remembering. However, we were invited to come along to a Latin Mass at the Carmelite monastery on Saturday morning. It was to be said by Fr Antony of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer and as it has been in discussion for a while, our Master Luke (6) was asked to serve for the first time. This was the cause of great excitement for our children. To top this off, Fr Antony asked if we would like to be enrolled in the Co-fraternity of the Brown Scapular. Here is where the “Ah Ha” moment occurred!

Through out my childhood and youth, I had a great desire to be a nun. From wearing a “mother Teresa” style tea towel on my head while drying dishes, to spending lots of time reading about the Saints, I felt passionately about giving my life completely to Jesus. At the age of 19, in the year following the tragic death of my brother David, I went to daily Mass at the Carmelite monastery. In those precious morning Masses I felt the presence of God’s peace so strongly. Like a healing balm on my wounded soul, I felt the call of Carmel, the call to separation from the world and full union with Jesus. I once again desired greatly to shed the world and to be clothed in the habit of religious life. But as I corresponded with the beautiful sisters, they encouraged me to continue praying and discerning outside of their walls and consider coming to stay with them after I turned 21. Well God had other plans (which is another story) and by the time I was 21, I was married to Matthew and was pregnant with my first baby, Sunshine. That call, those moments of grace were stored deep within me, put away to ponder, put away as treasures.

Saturday morning was VERY warm and miraculously all six of us were at the monastery by 8am. As I walked into the chapel, I was overcome with the very same peace and sense of home that I had felt all those years ago. But as I prayed during the Mass and watched my son serve with such reverence and dignity; as I listened to the voices of the sisters behind their grill and heard the words of Father’s sermon on the Brown Scapular, God shed his glorious light upon those treasures from long ago and I heard His voice anew.

His call to Carmel had been authentic. His call on my life had not been a figment of my grieving heart. His call was not just for me, it was for my family. It was for Matthew, Sunshine, Master Luke, Curly Sue, Fuzz and the little one within me. As we all knelt on the sanctuary following Mass, Fr Antony prayed the prayers of enrollment and placed a Brown Scapular over each of our heads. I knelt and pondered. I knelt and gave thanks. I lifted up my heart and declared the glory of a Heavenly Father who in His time brings all things to Himself.

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Master Luke is in the front

We MUST ponder and we MUST treasure those moments in our hearts as Mary did. God has made us the hearts of our homes and it is our duty and privilege to be the safe keepers of His Divine plans. I look forward with such joy for the “Ah Ha” times ahead. Some may bring great suffering and some may bring great joy, but all will be part of God’s marvelous plan for our lives and the lives of our families. Let us give thanks for He is good and his love is everlasting!

Blessings

Ruth

 

 

 

 

Part One: Master Luke’s 5th Birthday – R2D2 cake

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

… lived a wonderful boy who turned 5 and asked his mummy oh so nicely for a Star Wars party 🙂

Here is part one of what was a fabulous (extremely busy) weekend 🙂

SATURDAY

The making of R2D2

Master Luke has rather high expectations of what I can do. With an artist type mum and an engineer dad, he comes up with grand imaginative schemes and then tells me how to draw up plans 🙂

An upright R2D2 cake was requested and so the two of us did our research and planning. Saturday morning, 10:30am the work began!

I needed to make…

– 4 gluten free choc mudcakes

– double batch of rice krispie and marshmellow slice

– double batch of choc ganache icing

 STEP ONE: Ice cakes and stack

 STEP TWO: Insert 5 halved chopsticks into cakes to hold together

 STEP THREE: Cover cakes in ganache icing, then with rolled out white fondant icing

STEP FOUR: Cut out legs from Rice krispie slice and cover with white fondant icing. Form extra bits with fondant.

STEP FIVE: Use left over Rice krispie slice pieces to mould head. Using a small mixing bowl, line with plastic wrap, snuggly fit pieces in and compress with a cup until they are formed into a solid bowl shape.  Cover with grey tinted fondant icing.

STEP SIX: Attach iced head to the body with more ganache icing.

STEP SEVEN: Colour fondant icing blue, roll out and then get creative making R2D2’s details :). I also used a knife to make markings on his body.

STEP EIGHT:  Put body & attached head onto an upturned shallow cake tin on a big tray. Attach iced legs with chopsticks.

STEP NINE: Polish him off with just damp cloth 🙂

 7 hours of labour!

One happy birthday boy!

STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO:  Jedi Training… the party!

Blessings

Ruth

Mission Impossible?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Although I would love to say this is from one of my children… it is not 🙂

“Prepare an ointment from your sins: with the flame of grief, cook them in the small mortar of your heart, and dissolve them with tears. Then go and empty them at the feet of Jesus.” St Thomas of Villanova

RESOURCE OF THE DAY:

Am I an organised, logical, structured person? Do I love schedules and stick to them as if they were the passion of my life? To be totally open and honest… the answer to all of those questions is NO! 🙂

I am a daydreamer. I am unorganised. I am a great talker and an average listener. I am a procrastinator extraordinaire . I loose track of time and get easily impatient. I change plans halfway through a plan and I never finish my sentences……these are just some of the many obstacles God has to work with in my soul and quite a MISSION it must be!

However, a wonderful, faithful mum and friend lent me a book at the end of last year. Intimidation would be the correct word to discribe how I felt when reading the title…

A Mother’s Rule of Life – How to bring order to your home and peace to your soul

by Holly Pierlot

But I did open it.

I did sit down and read it.

I put it down and felt uncomfortable. I picked it up and read some more.

I put it down and felt the movement of God’s spirit within me. I picked it up and cried!

Holly Pierlot has written a book that would speak to any mother’s soul who is crying out for more. Anyone who has felt that horrible sensation of drowning under her homemaking responsibilities or felt battle worn in her attempts to love without counting the cost will find HOPE and REFUGE in the words of this book.

Working through the 5 P’s of motherhood (Prayer, Person, Partner, Parent and Provider), Holly speaks of her own journey and learnt wisdom about bringing order and peace into your life and home. Her style is honest, reflective and challenging, which was just what I needed to hear!

One thing I am currently working on, inspired by this book, is a family schedule. An avid maker of schedules and never following them, I was challenged by her words “A Rule of Life followed for the practical benefits alone is not a Rule of Life; it is a schedule…. A Rule of Life must be lived as a response to the call of God”.

My MISSION if I chose to accept it was to see order and structure in my day as a mission from God, a challenge to fulfil my role as wife and mother, guiding and leading my family on the path to sanctity!

Wow… pretty big stuff! So here I am making baby steps, praying and seeking God’s strength and wisdom in my mission of order and peace. One step… making a family organisation board 🙂

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This was the start… big cork board, small magnetic white board stuck on and the beginnings of a schedule 🙂

(the magnetic calender was a cheap and fantastic find at one of the $2 shops at the mall )

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 And this is it now plus Creative Memories paper (thanks Krystel!), updated weekly schedule, events page (which needs to be laminated so I can write on it with whiteboard pens), days of the week (yesterday, today and tomorrow) and a space for chores roster! Still in progress but I am happy with how it is coming along and how the kids check to see the St of the day 🙂

A Mother’s Rule of Life is a treasure and will take pride of place in my bookshelf!

Blessings!

Ruth

The power of praise!

QUOTE OF THE DAY: (sung) “Thank you Lord for red lights. Thank you Lord for red lights. Thank you Lord for red lights right where we’re driving!” = “Sunshine”

RESOURCE OF THE DAY:

Convolvulus, stinging nettles and radishes…

Yes, I did just list the three things above as a resource! We are being a family of praise and today I praise God for Convolvulus, Stinging nettles and Radishes, for without them we would not have had the lesson we had yesterday and today.

Our new vege garden looked promising until the hidden, well seeded convolvulus and stinging nettles reared their ugly heads, striking terror into my very new “green fingeredness”. Having little ones constantly at my feet meant that we were too late to salvage anything grown from seed except the radishes. Now radishes might be palatable for some, but not for the delicate taste buds of my tribe. This therefore posed a problem… I was not about to waste our preciouse salvaged veges…. AHHH…. Radish roses!

Jumping onto the all knowing can do You Tube we saw really great ones and not so great. (“luke” was the biggest critic). We followed the instructions below and VOILA… Radish roses 🙂

1. Cut around the radish in circular slices not cutting right through. Cut from base, gradually working up to the centre.

2. Place cut radishes in a bowl of ice water and place in fridge overnight

3. Use radish roses as a salad garnish or as “curly sue” did, babies to play with 🙂

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This experience of weeds in the garden strangling new growth also sounded quite familiar :). The children were really quick to make the connection with Jesus’ parable of The Sower. While making the radish roses we had a great discussion on what things in our lives and hearts are like convolvulus and stinging nettle…. out of the mouths of babes ah! So I thank God for the weeds in our garden that provided us with so many learning opportunities!

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: Once again continuing to network with the home schooling community in our city and meeting such inspiring families…. AND after a stressful session of phonecalls, getting my hands into a bowl of scone dough with my 2 year old making a glorious, floury mess! 🙂

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CHALLENGE OF THE DAY & MUMMY THOUGHT: Remembering to praise our Lord even when everything seemed to go wrong including, power companies getting mixed up, phone companies getting bills wrong, insurance companies dating documents wrong and road works starting outside our house meaning no car access for several weeks! So… I went outside and sang at the top of my voice amidst tears and putting rubbish bags in the bin…”Everything that has breath praise the Lord, everything that’s in me praise the Lord. I’m gonna praise him on the highest mountain, praise him in the lowest valley, everything that’s in me PRAISE THE LORD!”….. still got a lot of praising to do….

Blessings!

Ruth

Pulchra Doctrina… Beautiful Learning!

My name is Ruth Green. I am the blessed wife of a wonderful husband and mother of four precious children. Over the past year we have started the most amazing journey, taking on the role of primary educators of our children to a whole new level by homeschooling them. Through this blog I hope to share with you the highs and lows, challenges and triumphs of teaching my children at home and within our wider community. I will share with you later our journey to making this decision but for now I want to leave you with a quote from a very wise homeschooling mum….

We are called to bring

God to our children’s spirits,

Truth to their minds,

Health to their bodies,

Skill to their hands,

 Beauty and Creativity to their hearts, and in all this,

Virtue to their wills

and Sanctity to their souls.

 

Holly Pierlot