Second P: Person

Feeling Alone in One's Catholicism

Dear Holly,I graduated from college a couple years back, and moved back to my home area to be close to family. However, that’s left me 700 miles from the dear friends I went to school with. I attended a Catholic college, and those people were a form of spiritual support for me; now that we’ve gone our seperate ways, my husband and I are finding it hard to achieve the same religious foundation we had back in college. Additionally, for me, I’m having trouble focusing on my own life, for the loneliness of leaving all of those friends. How would you advise I/we overcome... read more

Exhaustion of Another Kind

Dear Holly,Since the birth of my 3rd child (now 3 yrs old), I have experienced severe insomnia (for approx. 1 yr-sometimes only able to get 2-3 hrs of sleep for nights on end), hypothyroidism since my first child–treated and on medication- and now, adrenal fatigue–in recovery–very slowly getting better. So, I’ve been dealing with chaotic emotions for a few years and extreme fatigue. My issue now that I’m slowly but surely recovering is this: Because I still have to pace myself physically, I’m not sure if I’m often giving into extreme sloth or if my body is still so tired. I feel guilty because I never do enough for my family or the home. Should I listen to my body or just will myself with God’s grace to do what needs to be done? How do you think I should approach... read more

Burning Out

Dear Holly, I was looking forward to the summer break, but it only seems to be making me more stressed. The kids are out of their routine. I am feeling rudder-less without school to ground me. The house is a mess and yet I just cleaned it out in June. I am tired. And the school year, only 6 weeks away, looms large on the horizon and I feel pressured and burdened.... read more

Why Can't I Stick to Anything?

Dear Holly,I wonder if you might be able to offer some insight for me. As I look at my life, I see a pattern of starting many things that I don’t finish. Why? Pick any reason, and I’ve probably used it: boredom, unforeseen circumstances, illness, schedule change, sloth, loss of the importance of the thing, etc. I’m not talking about laundry or dishes or things like that as much as I am talking about life changes, trying to better myself. For instance, I might start a time of prayer only to have it upset by something or an exercise program or eating better or an entire rule of life! At the time that I stop the thing, it seems to be for a legitimate reason, but then it often takes me months to even start again. I am very self-reflective, and I’ve struggled to understand the root, the core of this tendency. Is it lack of commitment? Yes, but why? Is it sloth? Yes, but it seems to go deeper than even that. I believe it has something to do with my perfectionist nature in that I fear the failure more than I want the thing, even though I know the thing is better for me. Intellectually, I can reason it all out, but I can’t seem to get my heart in the right place long enough to form good habits in all areas of life. I am always working against my perfectionism in my spiritual life, and I feel like over the years-especially since I have had children-that I am making small in-roads. And while I see how... read more

Making Sundays a Re-Creation Day

Dear Holly,I seem to have trouble figuring out what to do on Sundays. All week long I am busy, busy…homeschooling the kids (I have eight children, ages infant to 13 years old). So, I homeschool all week, clean all week, clean and try to catch up on “fires” on Saturdays. Then Sunday comes along and I have no idea WHAT to do. Everyone else seems to know how to relax. Why can’t I? I have tried sewing and the little ones just end up tearing the pattern or scattering my pins and I end up frazzled and behind on all of my Sunday “work” which is really still there, right? (cooking, cleaning up after the kids and dishes etc.) I can’t run off to town to shop since we are on a tight budget and gas is too high anyway. Do you have any tips on ordering your Sunday or have a good resource in mind (i.e. book) that spiritually deals with this issue? I thought maybe I am being selfish in wanting off time on Sundays and maybe I should be even MORE in the spirit of service with my family on this day. Also, when I do something that I want to do like order a closet, sew, etc. I end up feeling guilty for some reason. I am at a loss as to what a Catholic Mom of 8 should DO on Sundays at home since I don’t want to just sit. I sit all week with school teaching and I just want to MOVE and clean and order my environment. Am I missing something here?... read more

Overcoming Computer Distraction

Dear Holly and Others,I struggle incredibly with the distraction of this computer. Most of the time I’m sure it’s just pure laziness because I don’t feel like I accomplish all that much on here, just lots of reading. I was wondering what others do to curb this distraction if they suffer from it as well. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I can do is just get rid of it and maybe that is what I should do. But my hubby would NEVER go for it (he is equally distracted I think in the... read more

On Modest Dressing for Mom…

Dear Holly,I am currently in RCIA (to be received fully into the church in a couple of months), in a rather liberal church – more so than I had realized when I started my classes. As a protestant, I was exposed to and studies in depth teachings about modest dress / dresses only / head coverings. Then, as I began the transistion to the Catholic church, I had the impression that all that ‘super modesty stuff’ was just from those ‘protestant ultraconservatives’. After all, I have seen all manner of attire going to Mass. Maybe not quite swimsuits, but certainly some very short skirts/shorts, rather revealing cleavage, etc. Even many of those serving as EM’s don’t dress up. Therefore, I have had no problem wearing shorts and jeans as my regular attire, including jeans to Mass. Lately, however, with an eight year daughter beginning to have a definite interest in clothes, the Lord has been convicting me of the need evaluate my wardrobe. In doing some research I was amazed to find out that the Church really has discussed modesty – quite a bit actually – in some of the earlier writings. I guess nowadays there are more pressing matters, I don’t know. However, not that long ago the Church definitely promoted modest and feminine dress for women. St. Padre Pio wouldn’t give absolution to women wearing pants or an immodest dress, according to in an article about women’s dress. This website strongly expresses the idea that women should generally wear dresses and skirts as a matter of routine, based on Scripture, and also discusses head coverings. This... read more

Dealing With Lack of Affirmation

Dear Holly,I was wondering if you might have any recommendation or resource you could recommend to me. I have been re-reading Dr. Baars books and find myself feeling the need for affirmation. I seem to slip into depression every few months and am wondering if this might be part of the missing puzzle. I have been to counseling for depression, to counseling for childabuse (I was molested as a very small child), and to see a priest for healing and forgiveness. Just hoping you might have some... read more

Beset with Worries

Dear Holly,I am just starting out with scheduling–I am fearful of failure so I keep putting it off. My oldest , age 9 is ADHD and I know I would be stepping up to my responsibilities if I set up a schedule, beginning this summer. I hope to begin homeschooling in the fall and would like the summer to prepare. I have a lot of worries, one is my mental state–I am prone to depression and I fear that homeschooling and being confined to the home will worsen it. But I also feel that God is calling me to at least “try it”. I am beset with worries ( I tend to sabatoge myself before I begin) and would like advice on how to best begin. Was there a computer program you used to set up (excel?) Is anyone out there familiar with ADHD and how best to work with it in regards with a MROL? I do feel like the devil hates the idea of a MROL because it elevates the vocation of motherhood in that it makes it a holy and sacred profession … what it always was but our culture does not regard it as such in many... read more

Struggling With Inconsistency

Dear Holly,I struggle with inconsistency. What is at the root of inconsistency? I get enthused about trying something new, or setting a schedule, (ie. attending daily Mass, nightly prayers as a family, etc.) but find my ability to stick with it soon fades. It greatly bothers me that I never manage to follow through with these things and find excuses not... read more
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