Joyful Motherhood--

Influenced by our Catholic faith,
Charlotte Mason, Lifelong Learning
and the
Everyday Realities of Homeschooling and Family Life

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Making Time for Compassion

An Update - Where I'm At

We are finally getting into the swing of the school year. We have made a lot of changes, and it's been a bit of a bumpy start as we have made the transition.

A couple of weekends ago, I attended the Northwest Charlotte Mason Conference in Federal Way, along with about fifty other like-minded mamas from all over the west coast. I haven't had time to write about it, but you can read about it here and here.

I was able to hear Brandy Vencel, Catherine Levison and Cathy Wickward speak, an enormous blessing. I also met so many other Charlotte Mason homeschooling moms, many here in the Pacific Northwest. I am so excited to be getting involved with this community!

I have been extremely busy for the last nine months or so, learning about the Charlotte Mason approach, classical education from the Circe Institute, Teaching from Rest from Sarah Mackenzie, listening to a podcast about Charlotte Mason titled "The Mason Jar," featuring Cindy Rollins with the Circe Institute, beginning a Schole Sisters group, watching lectures by Dr. Christopher Perrin and

completely falling in love with this way of life.

This has been a lot to take in. I would say that it's been life-changing; a sort of paradigm shift within my heart and within my soul.

That's why I haven't been writing. I've been learning! SO much. It has been an incredible, rich and joyful part of our family's journey, and I am so excited about it. I still have so much to learn and read!

I have missed writing. I tried to make my blog more "professional" about a year ago, but I discovered that I don't like that at all. I need to write when I am feeling inspired and have something to share (and the time to do so!), not because it's another item on the to-do list. There are so many amazing blogs sharing about Charlotte Mason anyway, so we don't really need another one.

My focus here will be joyful motherhood, and how that is influenced by our Catholic faith, Charlotte Mason, lifelong learning and the everyday realities of homeschooling with four kiddos.

I will be continuing to update and enhance the blog as time allows.

Time For Compassion in Family Life

I hope this goes without saying, but this blog is simply a place where I share about the truths that I have found in our family life. Of course, our way of life is only one of infinite possibilities of how to try and raise children "well."

I say "try," as I fail daily. But through my failures, prayer, a strong reliance on God's grace and a refusal to quit trying, I have grown and learned along the way.

One truth I have learned is that I need unscheduled time for compassion in my life.

Within our day, we are constantly interrupted. We are interrupted by a child's bad attitude or disobedience, by a poopy diaper, by my weakness and need for prayer, by an argument between children.

My typical response is to get very frustrated with these interruptions. They are getting in the way of the "real learning." We didn't get to our Shakespeare, historical fiction or through all of Plutarch today.

We had to spend time talking about "not sweating the small stuff."

My children came to me, rubbed my back as I cried for a minute, got me a Kleenex and asked me what was wrong.

I answered,
Sometimes life is just hard. I'm supposed to be forgiving and be able to do all of this joyfully, but sometimes that's just really hard and I'm not very good at it. 
From there, I decided that we would go cuddle on the couch together; Joshua read the Bible to the younger ones, while I read my own Bible and prayed; we did a faith lesson and read a chapter out of The Green Ember.

This isn't what I planned, but it's what I needed.

That's the thing, if all of our time is committed to our plans, then we often don't have the time for the unexpected things that arise that we need.

Prayer. Time in Scripture. A walk. A talk with a friend. Time to comfort a little one or read them a book. Time to listen to our children. Time to form their hearts and their minds. Time to hold hands with your husband. Time to read a book. Time to take dinner to a friend in need.

These things take TIME.

And if we don't have time for these things, what is the point of all of this?

It is SO challenging and a constant battle for me against busyness in our fast-paced, multi-tasking, efficient, goal-oriented culture that we live in.

But I have found that our family MUST battle this, if we are to have joy and peace in our home. For me, I just cannot be running around from activity to activity, and also strive to be a peaceful, joyful mother and wife.

I need to have time for compassion for myself, for my children, for my family, for my friend, for my neighbor.

Do you struggle with this as well? How do you try and create peace and time for compassion in your home?


  1. I loved this post, Rebecca!

    "For me, I just cannot be running around from activity to activity, and also strive to be a peaceful, joyful mother and wife." Me too!!

    I struggle with this too, it is such a challenge to know where to say no, and what is too much. I've found that Mystie's Simplified Organization course ( has been really helpful - especially implementing practices in my life like interval planning & a rest week, a weekly time budget, an evening review, and a to-do program. Incorporating these practices has really helped me to find more balance and peace in my life, and has helped me hone in on what is really important to me, and making sure there is time for those things in my day/week/month.

    And I'd love to hear more about your Schole Sisters group - how did you go about getting that going and what are you doing in it?

    And I know exactly what you mean by falling in love with this way of life - I have fallen in love with it too! And I'm reading and listening to all the same things you are. :-)

    1. I am just SO excited to found a community of people that are excited and passionate about the same things I am. Thank you for referring me to Mystie's Simplified Organization course. I haven't done it yet, but I will!

      The Schole Sisters group has been amazing so far. I have been surprised at how many women have been interested. I just sent an invitation out to the homeschooling moms I know who I thought might be interested, and then to a couple of local homeschooling email lists that I belong to. Right now, we have 17 women who are interested and participating. As time goes on, I'm sure that will go down. We have our third gathering tonight. I can email you the invitation I sent out, if you would like.

      For our reading, I sent out a questionnaire to everyone to see what their interests are. From that, I compiled a reading list for this school year. Tonight, we are discussing Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat. We are also currently reading Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, which we will be discussing next month.

      It's been so great to connect with you, Amber! I'm so glad we are able to stay in touch!