Fair ~ The Loveliness of Prayer.

“The family itself is the great mystery of God. As the “domestic church” it is the bride of Christ. “
Pope John Paul II. Letter to Families

The Living Lives of Loveliness Fairs have been a good example of the mystery of families and of domestic churches in action.

The many Fairs to date have been inspirational to me.

I am honoured to host the current Fair, as families share the Loveliness of Prayer in their homes.

I have chosen to share this photo ( above) of two sets of rosary beads that have extra meaning for our family.

Rosary beads add a physical dimension to my prayer – my fingers move along the beads with my prayers and meditations. One of these sets of beads belonged to my husband’s mother. They are now cared for by son Jonathon.The other rosary beads were a present from a friend and were blessed by Padre Pio. Special.

Let’s take a peek into the Loveliness of Prayer in other homes.

What is prayer?
Dawn discusses prayer and prayer in the home.

Margaret lists the virtues of a Holy Hour.

Roz shares her thoughts on prayer. She writes ~ I am generally a pray-er on the run. I talk to God about everything all day and thank Him for every bird that sings, my gorgeous family and all the little things. There are times when I need to go into a quiet place and really pray and LISTEN to my heavenly Father. Sometimes I will put on worship music and dance as I cry out to Him or praise him jumping around to an upbeat praise song.

I have an area of my lounge room where I read the Bible and sit and meditate on the words. This is where I also have my favourite paintings. You really need to see them but one is of hands and it reminds me of worshipping God no matter what and also the fact that we need one another and many hands make light work…team work. Another is a purple elephant by my youngest daughter, it reminds me to be childlike and remain creative and inspired. Also, a painting by a friend of a stylised version of me and a wooden figure next to it in the same pose…it reminds me to be a reflection of Christ. I also remember that I can talk to My Father as if he is sitting there with me so I find empty chairs inspirational and I talk to Jesus as a friend.

Elizabeth tells us of her Rosary addiction. She shares how this form of prayer has flowed throughout her family and life.

Do you find little time in your day for prayer?
Helen responds with ideas for building prayer time in short, simple, humble and consistent ways.

And Cheryl gives us a glimpse into the prayer life of a busy homeschooling mother.

Perhaps you struggle to find flow in prayer? Read Genevieve’s blog for inspiration…..

Family prayer time is also important.
Doris posts her thoughts on teaching children to pray while Diane
describes her family prayer time.

When we pray, we can remember the Holy Family . Maria blogs on the influence of the Holy Family in her domestic church.

Does your domestic church have a place set apart for times of quiet prayer? For family prayer? For reflection?

For ideas on setting up a prayer space, read Sarah’s description of her prayer alcove and check out A Living Education for the details of their prayer corner.

Read at Yes, they’re all ours! for a narrative on their delightful home altar.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12.

Finally, be encouraged by Angela’s submission. And by Elena’s thoughts on praying for the dead, especially after the loss of her baby.

Thank you for visiting this Fair.


Sarah’s Loveliness of Prayer

Sarah from Cool Homeschool

I have a lovely prayer space in our home.

I have a little alcove which attracted my attention when I moved in here 7 months ago. I thought about the things I had brought with me that I needed to remind myself often of the love that holds us together as earthly family as well as heavenly family….especially being so physically far away from some of our family members.

After we arrived here I found & purchased the heart ornament on which is written “Love never fails” 1 Corinthians 3v8. I placed this on the hook that was already in the alcove. As I unpacked our things I unwrapped my beautiful Madonna statue that my dear godmother and best friend, Imelda had given to me as a gift one year.

I had the family prayer on the bottom right and thought this was a fitting place for us to see the prayer a lot. (I had had it on a high shelf near some photos but I thought it was a silly place since nobody could read the prayer – so I moved it to this obvious place.)

Last but not at all least is my angel holy water font. This loveliness alcove is positioned right between the front door and the garage door and so it is in exactly the right spot for us to bless ourselves as we enter or leave the house or simply as we pass by! I often find myself just looking into this place –especially as it has a spotlight above it and I like to keep it lit up at night.

This spot is dear and inspires me to be grateful for my family and to be mindful that I am (indeed we all are) watched over by our Holy Mother and that she is able to watch over me in a way that I haven’t experienced in my life before.

It inspires me to try to be a better mother and though I often make mistakes I can pray and ask for help. This space has indeed helped me to work on all of my family relationships and healing some that I hadn’t anticipated would be open from the other relative for healing.

God is good, God is love and love can overcome everything.


Relaxed homeschooling

I found this article by Mary Hood, on
relaxed homeschooling.

I like most of the article. I disagree with some of Dr Hood’s points.

I do, however, agree with the paragraph below –

The problem with most of these readers { readers quoted in the article} is that they misunderstand what “relaxed homeschooling” is all about. It isn’t a method. Relaxed homeschoolers may use all kinds of methods as they tailor things for each individual child. It isn’t a curriculum, or the absence of a curriculum. I’ve used various books and materials over the years, including some textbooks when a child asked for them or when I thought they were a useful resource in the upper grades. It isn’t really a philosophy, either, because I don’t have the time to create a whole new philosophy, and you don’t have time to study one.

It is really just a mindset. It’s the idea that you are a family, not a school. You’re a mom, not a teacher. You don’t have a classroom. You have individual relationships with your children. Your husband isn’t a principal, because there isn’t really a school. “


Blast From the Past

We had a blast from the past this weekend.

On Friday, we went to our parish school fair.

We only stayed about an hour, as Gerry and I were going out to a charity benefit that night. And the kids were having other homeschool kids over for videos/pizza and babysitting.

I am so glad we went to the fair! Apart from junk food and Dodgem car rides, we bought a few things from the White Elephant stall.

One was the Blast from the Past movie. The VHS version was $1.00 – and I only bought it because it stars Alicia Silverstone. We liked her in Clueless. Brendan Fraser is the male lead.

What a scream! We watched the movie last night and it was funny ( you’d probably want to FF through some bits). A family thinks an atomic bomb has hit LA in 1961 and they live in a bomb shelter for 35 years. Their son, born in the shelter, has to eventually adjust to life in modern day LA.

Our other even more exciting purchase? I found the Mystery Date game.

I first heard of this game in the Santa Clause 2 movie – the older teachers in the film remember wanting this game as kids – and then they get it for Xmas. I have always thought that the game sounded like a hoot – a real 1960s treasure. Sexist definitely. But still funny.

I was so excited – I yelped! I also only paid 50c for the game.

How do you play? Girls get dressed for a Mystery Date – and if they are dressed correctly for their date when they open the door, they win. If not, they have to go around the board again – never knowing what sort of clothes their date will wear and what sort of date he has chosen. Formal, beach, cycling, etc.

Horrifically sexist. But extremely funny.

As Thomas said – “Mum, you would always win because you’d just tell your date to go home and get dressed to suit you!”

Out of the mouths of babes..


The (Kumon) Margarita Club.

I am a
Kumon Supervisor.

I love working with children – my own children, other homeschool children in groups, the children at my Kumon centre.

Working with children, however, can be a bit isolating. One has to create opportunities for input from other adults.

A few months ago, some fellow homeschool mums and I got together for a margarita party. We shared and laughed a lot. We have regular Mothers Nights Out.

I decided to extend this philosophy to Kumon.

I asked a few other Kumon Supervisors to agree that we would visit each of our centres, bimonthly and over the course of a year, in order to learn and to offer each other constructive criticism. To grow as we work with children and encourage their growth.

And we decided to follow these visits with a meal together – for friendship and to facilitate discussion and sharing and learning.

Today was our first centre visit, follwed by lunch at Chillis.

I suggested we call ourselves the Margarita Club ( I love margaritas ) – and the Supervisors and I celebrated the lunch with – margaritas, of course.

For most, it was their first introduction to margaritas and to the group sharing concept .

Both were fun ! Both involved learning.

I think that those of us who work with children, homeschoolers/teachers/Kumon Supervisors/whatever, really need this support and information sharing.

I also think its important for parents to have a similar time for talking and friendship – keeps the family on an even keel.

I plan to organize a date with my husband, too.

What about you? Do you have a support group or a date time or a Margarita Club?


The dignity of work

Alexander’s religion reading this week centred on the dignity of work.

His religion book quoted two encyclicals – Rerum Novarum ( Pope Leo XIII) and Laborum exercens ( Pope John Paul II).

We discussed some of the ideas on work from Alexander’s book.

I had read Rerum Novarum but not the latter encyclical.

Alexander searched for the text online, we printed it out and I have started my reading.

“Human work has an ethical value of its own, which clearly and directly remains linked to the fact that the one who carries it out is a person, a conscious and free subject … The sources of the dignity of work are to be sought primarily in the subjective dimension, not in the objective one.”

Lots of interesting things to think about. And hopefully to talk about.