Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Family first

Part of my fascination with "mormon mommy blogs" is how unabashedly they put family in absolute first place: first their husband, then their kids, then the rest of the world, work, church ministries, social activities, etc. And it's not a thing they do out of obligation or grudgingly, they do it with joy, creativity and simplicity. Like how NieNie one time let her daughter stay home from school, spent the whole day with her and made her pancakes with lemon whipped cream here. Or how Taza and husband love their baby so much they find it unnecessary to leave her at home on their date night here.

Like Mother Teresa says, "I think the world today is upside down. Everybody seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so on. There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other, there is no time to enjoy each other. In the home begins the disruption of peace in the world."

Reading these blogs has helped me see what making "family first" looks like in reality. It's slightly frustrating for me, because I feel like I want to live life like that, but know God knows better and has me on the journey I am ready for. Part of the reason these mormon mommys' lives are so rich are that they have this wonderful support network of close relationships of friends and family, partly related to their church. I feel like I am only starting to have that now... as in, the last year of my life. That was part of why joining the Neocatechumenal Way was important to me. But what are you supposed to do when you are single and still discerning your vocation? What to put first (after God, of course) and second, what's essential and non-essential? I am thinking prayer, friendship and service to others through ministry is probably important. Still, as I am making career choices I wonder if the career is becoming more important than a future family. Will I be able to give it up, or at least put it in second place?

Here is a video I saw at the 4th International Theology of the Body Congress two weeks ago. It's John Paul II talking to families from the Neocatechumenal Way that go on mission throughout the world. Isn't that awesome? That it's not just the person or the couple that are important in the mission but that the whole family go and be a sign together? Anyway, I like how he says everything exists for the family: different environments, societies, peoples, cultures, social life, economic life... not at the expense of the family.

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