Ok, so I thought that giving up certain online time wasters would free up some time for more spiritual reading during Lent. At first (meaning the first 3 days of Lent) all went well.
But then, what did I do? I became active on Google+, I joined three Catholic blogger groups there, and spent WAY too much time reading and thinking about blogging.
Insert headache here.
Then, I started looking up public domain and copyright laws, and I started to wonder if I have to wait 35 more years until I can post the songs I want to share with you.
Insert frustration here.
I started researching my “niche” to see if there are other Catholics who blog about homeschooling, music, and their Catholic Faith. That’s when I started to find all these amazing sites with hundreds of songs, tutorials on how to learn Gregorian chant, and professionally done videos and error-free sheet music.
Insert second thoughts here.
And this made me think: WHY am I starting this blog? Why now? WHAT do I have to offer to the online world that is unique? WHO do I think I am, anyway?
I think I’ll tackle that last question first. I think I have answers to that one.
I’m Erin McFarland. I’m happy as a wife and homeschooling mom, but I’m also a mother who struggles with patience with her kids. I’m a pianist who’s out of practice, but I want to get back into the musical space. I’m a learner. A doer. A dreamer. I have high ideals, and I’m prone to depression when I can’t get close to them. (Yeah, I’m a perfectionist.) My emotions get the better of me – often. I’m really sensitive; always have been – just ask Sr. Mary Germaine. I have a deep faith in God and powerful love for the Church and everything she teaches.
Faith: that’s what holds me all together.
I want to make this world a better place, and I feel strongly that I will somehow do this with music. Maybe it will be as simple as teaching my own kids (and maybe a handful of other families) the hymns and chants of ages past. Or maybe I will one day be helping interested parishes across the country to transition from “On Eagle’s Wings” to “Adoro Te Devote.”
Insert the grace of God here.
That brings me to my other 3 questions about why I’m here on this site. I want to help other families (especially those who have little experience with Latin) learn traditional hymns and chants so that in 15 years, the next generation of Catholics will prefer beautiful, traditional church music, and even insist that their choirs bring Gregorian chant back to its proper place in the Mass. There are already some inspiring people working tirelessly on this. I’m still figuring out what exactly I’m going to do to help this cause. I need more prayer time. Less Google+ and Facebook.
My brain is overwhelmed, and it has been hard to sit down to write this post. Maybe I’m just stalling a little before I tell you how my mini-goals went, or maybe there has been too much on my mind, and I needed to let some of it out. I hope you didn’t mind the longer-than-usual introduction.
Before I think of anything else, here are the mini-goals for March that I attempted to add to my daily life:
1) Live It: Make sure that what your children see in you is what you want to see in them. This is actually funny for me to read again…did I really think I could suddenly do everything right? Haha, wow. (Note: In reality, I was supposed to use a checklist every night to see if I used a gentle voice, tender touch, and showed more affection to the kids.)
Well, I never pulled out the checklist…printables and me are just not a good fit…I always end up wasting printer ink! Ok, negativity, go away…I did give out more hugs, and that was part of the plan, so yay for more love!
Insert positive thinking here.
2) Leave the Kitchen Clean at Night and Prepare for Tomorrow. This was mostly already a habit of mine, so this was easy. I washed the stove top more often, and the kitchen was usually left pretty clean at night. And even though I didn’t sit down at night to plan for the next day, I would mentally prepare like this:
“Hmmm, ok, tomorrow is Wednesday. School day. Mike (my husband) will be working from home, so I’ll have to keep the kids downstairs. Hmmm. We have meat and veggies in the fridge, so I’ll be able to think up some combination to eat tomorrow. Ok, now I just need to prep the coffee maker, and then I’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
I don’t think this was the type of “planning ahead” that I was supposed to do, but I realized that we don’t do too much that needs planning for, anyway. I think this habit will be more useful when the kids are older and have more outside-the-home activities.
3) Keep a prayer list, and pray for those intentions at meals or bedtime. I didn’t do this everyday, but more days than not, so I’m happy. We will work on being more faithful to this habit in the future.
If you made it this far in the post, leave a reply, or “like” it, and I’ll add you to our prayer list as a thank you for taking time out of your precious day to spend time with me. I appreciate you. Together we can change the world, one Catholic song at a time.
Insert gratitude and big dreams here.
God bless you and your family.
Katherine Lauer says
Erin, I, too, struggle with patience and your three goals for gentle voice, tender touch, and affection are well-worded for me as well. I, for one, haven’t found any websites that combine traddie mother teaching traditional music to children and families, so I eagerly await for you to guide music-ignorant me!
Thank you, Katherine. I love your description of the site – that gave me some perspective.
The three goals come from the free resource I’m using this year: 12 Steps to Gentle Parenting.
I used to think I was a patient person, but parenting exposed my true colors!! But I have hope that God is behind it all, helping me to be the mother He wants me to be.
Thank you for the encouragement! 🙂
Erin that was a great read! I love the goal Leave the Kitchen Clean at Night and Prepare for Tomorrow. We try to leave the kitchen clean at night but I am so not good at it. By the time the children are ready for bed I am done for the night turn off the lights to every room in the house, bad attitude. I think I’m going to have to work on that!.
I know what you mean “I used to think I was a patient person, but parenting exposed my true colors!!” I used to think I was patient too! I used to think I was a lot of things before I became a mom!!!
Don’t be discouraged. I still think your idea is great. The internet world is huge you just need to find your followers! I know you will!!!