Day 20: I "Should" Do Better

A friend was sharing the concept of "thought distortions" with me recently. A thought distortion is when you think of things in a way that is different than they actually are. I think the one that most of us are familiar with is "shoulds." We tend to think that we should do things a certain way, and we are disappointed with ourselves when we don't.

This is a definite struggle when you are trying to develop your vision for your home as a domestic monastery. I mean, if you call it a "monastery" that means you should pray a certain amount, right? You should talk about God all the time. Your kids should know about their faith and they should be able to behave in church.

But having a domestic monastery has nothing to do with "shoulds." 

I think the perfect example of this is found in the Church's newest canonized saints, Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin. When you read letters that St. Zelie wrote when her children were young, one of the things that stands out the most is her disappointment that her children weren't born devout. Obviously, they all turned out just fine, but she was worried that she should be doing something different. Even the parents of the saints were worried that they were doing it all wrong.

I'm a strong believer that God gives us the children He does for a reason, and he does so knowing full well what our weaknesses are. God doesn't just work through perfect people. He works through people who have no idea what they're doing, and are afraid that they should be doing things differently.

As you and your family grow in faith, don't worry about what the internet or books say you should do to raise holy children. Pray together - at home and at Mass - and listen to where God is leading your family. There isn't one way to be a saint!


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