A couple of days ago, some friends invited me to join them in starting up a Catholic-themed book club. It sounds wonderful. My dilemma, however, is whether or not I have time to be a part of the group. Our family activity calendar is about as full as we can handle right now.
After years of trying to do it all, I have been given a deeper understanding of what it means to embrace my primary vocation as wife and mother. Room mom, committee leader, group member extrordinaire, Super Mom are titles that no longer interest me. I’ve finally realized that a too-full activity calendar means chaos for our family. It’s not just kids’ activities either. I have to be selective as well. In the case of this book club, it will translate into another scheduled commitment on my calendar, required time to read the material before the next meeting, and depending on when we meet, an expectation on my husband to either manage the household after putting in a long day at work or forego his only day to sleep in. What will I have to take from the family in order to be a part of the group? Will it benefit us in some way?
Our family is made up of individuals, but we function as a unit. One member flitting here and there is unsettling for everyone else. It comes down to all of us sacrificing for the good of the family.
I’m not advocating a solitary life. Our family was called to live in the world, and there’s a great importance to living among our fellow man. But I don’t want to be in a constant state of “Go”. I want to live quietly. Moving about from playdate, to appointment, to extracurricular activity doesn’t offer much time for any of us to live the hidden life that the Holy Family modeled so beautifully.
There’s a message in the 30 years Jesus spent with his family in Nazareth living that hiddeness. It’s a life I want to embrace. Quiet living is when I can hear the Lord best. It’s a virtue-building opportunity to focus on the life and people hand-picked for us, all the while learning to serve lovingly and pray deeply.
Along with discussing this with my other half, I’ll need to bring it to prayer. The world has much to offer, but there’s even more to be gained within the walls of my own castle.