In a world that seems to be moving a million miles an hour, it is so easy to get caught up in scribbled to-do lists, improved productivity, or must-be-followed schedules. Even as homeschoolers – and especially as the school year begins – the pressure sometimes threatens to overwhelm us as we try to compare the seemingly endless lists of choices for curriculum, schedules, grade levels, requirements, and unrelenting laundry. Veteran homeschooling mom, author, and president of Elisheba House, Ivonne J. Hernandez, beautifully reminds us the importance of keeping our focus where it should always be.
When I first started homeschooling about 16 years ago, I read all the books I could get on how to organize my day to accomplish everything I needed to do. I had a newborn baby, a Kindergartener, and a 4th grader to teach while my husband traveled for work during the week. I knew it would be challenging, but I thought that once I found the perfect chore chart, school planner, meal planner, and schedule, we would all jump into a perfect routine, and eventually, things would run smoothly. Spoiler alert… I was wrong. As soon as we found a routine that “worked” for us, life would throw a curveball and we would need to adjust. Like the map app on my phone, I would need to “recalculate” our route every time there was an accident on the road.
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.” (Lk 10:41) We, like Martha, become worried and anxious about many things as we struggle to live a balanced life. It seems like we are constantly being pulled by conflicting needs. We struggle to balance the needs of our spirit and the needs of our body, the need for solitude and the need for community, the need to contemplate and the command to serve. All these are good things, but as we struggle to root out our vices with virtue, to battle selfishness with love for others, our attention moves away from Jesus and towards our failings and we grow anxious.
Can you hear the sweet and tender voice of Jesus speaking to one He loves dearly? “Martha, Martha” … I imagine these words were enough to calm her heart and re-focus her attention on Him whom she served. When life throws a curve ball now and I find myself disoriented, I try to remember that God is in control. He has a plan for me and has already recalculated the best route for me. I close my eyes and listen to Jesus addressing these words to me, saying my name twice, and my anxieties and worries melt away. “Martha, Martha” …“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.” (Is 43:1)
Ivonne J. Hernandez is a Catholic wife and mother. She homeschooled her three now grown children for 20 years, after leaving a career in computer engineering. She is the author of The Rosary: Eucharistic Meditations , a regular contributor on CatholicMom.com, and the president of Elisheba House, a Catholic apostolate focused around the Eucharist. You can read more of her writings, videos, and links to her book on her page.
This article was first published on the Elisheba House blog and is published here with permission.
©2022 Ivonne J. Hernandez