Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Putting the house in order after my confession

Its clear I need to put the house in order.  By house I mean my life.

I had an amazing confesion last Sunday, I really needed it and it was God sent at the very start of Holy Week.

I feel like I am being pulled in so many directions, all of them important and there is only so much time.

So many expectations, but the worst come from me.   I am an achiever and have seldom failed at the things I really put my mind to so being mediocre at things that are important to me drives me crazy.

This is one of my worst faults and sins.

These are the things that I have been thinking over and over at night in the last weeks:

  • I am a  mother with an 11 month old  baby that needs me.  
  • I am a wife  and I have not focused on my marriage as I should in the last months
  • I am  daughter with elderly parents (and a dad that just   recovered from cancer)
  • I am a daughter in law with an elderly father in law that depends a lot on my DH and I 
  • I am also a woman that needs to work to suplement his DH income in order to have a decent life.  I currently have  a very,  very, very  demanding  full time job until I get the hang of it and hire some help
  • I am  a practitioner with tons of clients that have no other help in Latin America (I have clients in several countries). Several do not speak English well so I am also their translator.    
  • I am a 40 (almost 41 year old ) infertile that needs for her own peace give Napro a last chance and in  order to do so needs to restart testing and treatment.  This  is another full time job as I need to do it long distance since we still have  very limited local resources. .  
  • I am also a Napro advocate in my country.  Not to go  into too much detail,  but  my email keeps overflowing from requests.   
  • And last,  but not least,  this month we restart our adoption journey with all the paper work this entails. .  

All of this has been giving me anxiety and when anxiety hits its a sign I need to step back and review things.   Many nights I have not been able to sleep well due to this.   To me all of this is very very important.    

In my confesion I mentioned to the priest that I felt pulled into so many directions. with very big expectations on all sides (specially regarding my work with Napro and my new job) , that I was having a hard time praying and that I was not being the nicest person to those closest to me.  i felt terrible about not dedicating my time to working with Napro as I had in the past.

He listened with great patience to my confession and asked me first to read Ecclesiastes and meditate on it.  On there being a time for everything.  

Then he said:

There is a very clear hierarchy and if you follow it you will have your priorities straight.  You might have to give up things that seem or are very,  very good, but at this time God is asking something very different from you.
 It does not matter if you work for the world, when you are not focusing on those closest to you.  
First of all is God.  And you need to make Him your priority, as Mary did.  
Second is your marriage,  this is your second priority as its your vocation.
Third comes your son and your family building efforts  (Adoption and your Napro treatment).  
Since your job supports both your marriage vocation and your son and your possible adoption/ Napro treatment   this comes 4th.
 If your job was only for your personal development it would be another story, but since you need it to help support your family. your future adoption and your Napro treatment then its part of your vocation.     Your job is also an occasion for santification even if its for a corporation.  Maybe God precisely wanted you to be there to be salt.  
 Then come your parents.  
All the rest you can leave for later.  
If you focus on this order all will be well.   You will have your priorities as God wants.  

I came out of the confession  feeling like a weight had been lifted from me.

I had been feeling terrible for not giving all my time to building Napro as I had done in the past or by taking longer in answering to my clients or   by telling several I could not accept them at this time or by focusing so much in the last weeks on  my work.   I felt like I was failing everybody.

He said:

If God wants you to work for Napro he will give you the means to do it, until then  you are building a new professional path which is for your own family.
Your professional path is a means towards something, not an end in itself so its very good. 
Do not see it as bad since its not Catholic, or does not help people directly like  Napro.    Give yourself time and see it as something that God is calling you to do right now
As for Napro you have done a lot and its time maybe to step back for a while or find another way of working for it,  but in a very different manner from what you have done before.    

I have been thinking a lot  about this lately. I was comparing my job and Napro and feeling like I was making a bad choice, when in fact I was taking care of what I needed first which is my family.  

At this time I cannot take any more clients and this hurts, since I have been in their position, but its the reality.

As for my work promting Napro somehow a blog in Spanish to support those facing if comes to mind.

Rather than endless meetings and tons of hours  I could work on it a few minutes a day, have several contributors, and  put to use all that I am learning about internet in my new job.

I could work at my own peace, rather than the urgent needs of others.  I will need to pray about it, but I feel this would be a way to still help, but in a much more controlled manner for me until my circumstances change.

My plan is for the coming days is to turn off all TV and computers   and dedicate myself fully to  deep prayer and talks with my DH so i make sure that my life is in order



  1. You have a lot on your plate my friend. These are intense years, the forties...

    We figured out ways how to give ourselves slices of peace....we watch no TV in our home. We do not run around on the weekends. I do not drag my toddler/children to play groups and stuff.

    I use to take time off in hours (rather than days) so I could get home at an early hour...

    We have no house phone so we do not get bombarded with calls...

    I agree that balancing it all is hard. When the mother's income is really needed to provide for the family it is triple hard.

    I did it in chunks. I would say, I need to earn so much money, rather than say I need to work for so many years. I set the goal in terms of $$$, then found ways to earn the money through investments not just WORK INCOME. Because we trade our TIME for money when we work.

    As soon as I changed my way of thinking on this...my world changed. Yes, I still believe in earning money through MY INCOME (meaning it requires me to leave the house and give my time for money) but I have supplemented this with INVESTMENT...and GOD helped me to see where to invest so I could stay home more and be with my children!

    Does this make sense??

    What I am trying to say is; WORKING YOUR BUTT off for a high powered company or job is not the only way to support your family or you may not have to do it as long as you think!!!!

    ASK GOD TO SHOW YOU other ways to that your family can get financial freedom.

    Because, my dear, you DO have time pressure.

    I am right there with you at age 41 1/2.

    And, when I look back at my high pressure job...that I left last year...I have no regrets.

    I am not saying to leave your job. NO!!! I believe in mothers working. But, I am saying your first priority to HAVE CHILDREN is there due to your age.

    Love you!

    I made 50% return on some income recently in 2 years....GOD SHOWED ME the way to make money while I was taking a little break from working so I could overcome IF.

    I plan to return to work SOON however.

    So, I want you to know that I am not against working....

    I am for being a Mom...and it is HARDER for us Moms with TIME against us!!!!

  2. I am so glad your Confession was so healing and helpful!! Praying for a fruitful and peaceful Easter Triduum for you!! :) God will show you what He wants you to do. :)

  3. E - I have been thinking about this post all day. I read it this morning and it was truly a gift from God - as this is the SAME THING I have been struggling with lately and the anxiety about returning to work after maternity leave has been climbing. The advice from the priest is so helpful. Thank you for passing it on to us!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! God Bless your family and I hope you have a blessed and grace-filled Tridium.

  4. Wow. Thank you so, so much for this. I have a different slate of things I need to juggle, but like you I do need to work - and DH has been working away from home, leaving me to play the role of single mom for some weeks at a time in between his 1-2 week times at home. My job (teaching) is also an overwhelming amount of work right now and it is something I feel is also a calling - so, like you, I feel like I am failing at everything but everything is important, so how do I simplify?

    I will be coming back to read and re-read this post and your confessor's advice. Thank you very much for posting it.

  5. I also had an insight about something else on your plate. Surely there is one other couple in Mexico that refuses to use ART/IVF and be the main person/contact for expanding NAPRO there?

    You and her could work together at first then you could hand over the reigns to her.

    That is what I saw in my prayers about you this weekend.

    Because the pressure on you is enough already.

    I am praying for this other couple to emerge and help you spread the gospel of Life, be the main contact persons, about NAPRO...someone who is not working full time...who does not have the time pressure you do.

    God, send, my friend this person.

  6. What a wonderful confession!

    I hope and pray that you find some peace in all of the busy-ness of your life!

  7. I hope you feel less stress and pressured. I join my prayer with Little JoAnn that this Napro situation will work itself out. Somewhere out there, someone is looking for a good project. He/She/They will find you and Napro somehow. Trust in God.

  8. I am praying that your husband finds a really good job!
    Happy Easter Dear One!

  9. Thank you for sharing your priest's words - I really needed to read that!