As we celebrate the season of Advent in our home, which is also the beginning of the Church year, I thought it would be a good time to also begin posting my thoughts to the family blog.
I am viewing this coming year as a significant time in our family history, a story that is unfolding before me daily to my total amazement. After a 5 plus year search for a family homestead, a search that took us across New England and as far away as Kentucky, we are patiently waiting for final approvals on a farm in close by to our current home. If all goes well, we will be moving to our new home in the spring, and with that will come a major shift in our very way of life. We will begin a commercial farming operation and raise food and animals for our own family’s needs. This will also provide us an opportunity to raise food for friends and neighbors in need of healthy food.
While we were looking for our new home, I took a short absence from my schooling in the Diaconate program in the Diocese of Worcester. I will be returning to the program in January. With 18 months remaining to ordination as a Deacon, I will be starting my internship shortly after returning to class. This will also mark a significant change in my faith journey as I begin active ministry in our new parish home.
And not the least signifantly, we welcomed our eighth child, Josephine, into our family this past month. With children ranging in age from 18 to newborn – we will have that many more family activities and events on the horizon.
So as I begin a new year, I look forward with great anticipation (and a little apprehension) to find out how the road God has laid out for us will continue to reveal itself.
Our family welcomed our eighth child, Joséphine Marie, into our family on November 2d. For the first time in our married life, I had the opportunity to take a full two weeks off of work to focus on the other children and help Nissa fully recover from the birth mostly because of the support I received from my business partner, Jerry. So, this was probably the first time that my focus was on my family and not worried about what I was missing at work, or how much work I was going to have to endure when I returned.
The best thing that came out of my “vacation” was to experience the daily trials of our family routine. Up early with the first child awakening. Raising the other children at some reasonable proximity to the scheduled wake up time. Organizing and overseeing chores, meal times, clean up, baths, story time, bedtime. And we were not even engaged in a full homeschooling schedule – nevermind the requirements of our various on-line activities and businesses. I can say now with certainty – that stay at home mothers (and fathers for that matter) have the hardest job on earth. And the most important job, too – being present for your children when they need help. I now understand the almost non-existent appreciation that goes with it all. AND I ONLY HAD TO DO IT FOR TWO WEEKS.
So, as I return to full-time work (so I can recoup from my tour as Mister Mom), I am grateful for the amazing sacrifice my dear wife makes for me and our family every day. I pray that I will always remember that a little acknowledgement goes a long way to make sure she always knows just how much her family appreciates what she does for us; and provide her the support and love she deserves.
To everyone who has chosen to sacrifice your personal ambitions for the benefit of your family by choosing to be a stay at home parent – You are truly a HERO.