Jesus is Crowned With Thorns
Fruit of the Mystery: Moral Courage
He Will Not Steer Us Wrong
My family has always been proud to be a hardworking family. We earned everything we have and never expected anyone to give us anything for free. While I grew up, I did not dare express what I desired out loud. We were meant to go to school and earn our degree — including a master’s, if needed. Marriage was something to do after you get your degree. Then, of course, we were expected to go to work and have a family. Deviate at all, and we were starting trouble.
We just didn’t question the requirements, because they were drilled into us starting early. However, at a young age, what I wanted out of life was a bit different from what I was taught. I still believe in the fundamentals that my family instilled — work hard for everything you want — but I didn’t want the same outcome they did. I knew from a young age I wanted different things, but I didn’t expect the uphill battle to achieve them.
When my husband and I were married, all our families could talk about was when we were going to have children. We wanted children, but we weren’t quite in the position to have any immediately. My full-time job started three days after I was married (after going on the interview four days before the wedding). Nope, we weren’t ready to have any yet, but we were lining things up for children.
At family get-togethers, they would discuss how my husband and I should raise our children, giving advice on what we should do when we had them: Put them in daycare, and don’t think about taking time off to raise them. Keep climbing the corporate ladder, and don’t let people think that children are slowing you down. I thought about that advice for a long time, but my heart wasn’t in their vision.
My first “going off the deep end” moment was quitting my job when I delivered my baby. My husband and I talked about it, but it wasn’t a conversation that we had with others in our family — since we were married to each other, not to other people. We came to the conclusion that we didn’t want just anyone to instill values in our children. In order to instill in our kids our beliefs (and faith), one of us had to stay home and raise them. That person was me.
When I quit, I received so much backlash from family on both sides. It was heartbreaking. The name-calling was a shock; I actually wasn’t prepared for the vitriol that I received. So, I focused my energy on my children and my marriage. I wanted to be there for my family. I wanted to be home for them, since that is where I believe I was called to be.
My honest desire was to do good for my children an husband, but both of our families were acting like I did the most horrible thing I could have done. On one occasion, the family told my husband to rent a hotel room so he could sleep, since things were too hard, and “I wasn’t being considerate of him.” They didn’t know or want to know what prompted me to leave my job, but I am thankful that my husband ignored them. Having family pressure in that way is difficult, and I wish I could say it ended there.
A few years later, and after many prayers, we decided to head down the path of homeschooling. No one in our families homeschooled. Kids were meant to go to school and the adults to work. When we embarked on homeschooling, I felt like the floodgates opened against us. Question after question: Are you sure you’re qualified? Are you just doing this to have control over your kids? You don’t want them to have a life? What makes you think you can do it?
It was too much. Like a battering ram, the questions and doubts just kept coming. From being called lazy and controlling to hearing that I “made my husband work like a dog,” it was too much for me — but we prayed. If the Lord truly wanted homeschooling for our family, we knew, then he would make a way for it to happen. So, we placed everything on him. I had no idea what I was doing at the time. With no additional support — it was just me and my husband standing out on a limb — I had to put it in God’s hands.
Then something changed, and one door opened after another. I came across a Catholic curriculum to use (the Catholic Heritage Curricula). It was straightforward, perfect for my children’s personalities and mine. My younger children love it, and with this program, my faith grew right along with theirs. We transformed into a thriving homeschooling family.
Our family is close to our faith. With homeschooling, we are able to participate in the Church community. We attend Mass to honor Our Lady on the first Saturday of each month and Our Lord on the first Friday. I love the family we have made together. We acknowledge that it wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t stand firm with God against the opposition.
There are still naysayers; there will always be. I’ve learned to lean on God alone for guidance and not to be a people-pleaser. Those who objected at first see how far my family has come. They see what my children know and how well-adjusted they are. I don’t even dislike them for coming at me the way they did. I love them, since I know they were coming out of a place of love. They wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to make a mistake. They were well-meaning, and I’ve learned a lot from this experience.
It is hard to do something that is different from the way the people around you do it. People always have an opinion about your life and how you are supposed to live it. However, if we meditate on the third sorrowful mystery, we can see that Jesus had courage. So many people wanted Jesus to say what made them feel comfortable, because they could not face the truth. Jesus was crowned with thorns, mocked and scorned, and yet he stood there — silent. He didn’t back down, and he didn’t say words to appease the high priest or Pilate. He stayed his ground.
May the Lord grant us moral courage to say the right things and do the right things. May he give us the fortitude to do so even when it is hard. We also ask for strength to stand our ground, even if we stand physically alone — because we know that we are never truly alone. Let us draw our strength from Him. He will not steer us wrong.
About Kalley: Kalley C is a happily married homeschooling Catholic Mom to two children, and two in diapers. A lover of Teas, Jesus, and Liturgy of the Hours. She writes at Blogging While Nursing about family, life and her faith journey. For more from Kalley, follow her on Instagram.