My Thoughts on the Catholic Mom Challenge

Friday, December 2, 2016

Linking up with This Ain't the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

A while ago my friend Sterling Jaquith sent me a copy of Catholic Mom Challenge: Striving for Sainthood to review.



At the time I was also reading A Mother's Rule of Life. It is also aimed at Catholic moms trying to bring a little more order to their lives. I found the Catholic Mom Challenge very relatable, and applicable to Catholic women who are not physical mothers too. Here's why.

1
She emphasizes what to do when things go wrong

This is probably the most important part of any organizational system - a plan for what happens when the system falls apart.
This includes red flags to watch for that indicate something is going off the rails, and encouragement to admit when it's not working. There's a reason pride is one of the toughest deadly sins!

2
Explicit help on how to include your husband

Reading Sterling's book made me feel like she understands the dynamics at play in a marriage and gives very specific dos and don'ts for talking about issues. Including "Don't go rogue" - probably the one I most struggle against.

3
"Be a Scientist"

This might have been my favorite part of the whole book. The idea of taking a look at the problems in our lives like a scientist - someone looking for data and logic - is genuinely helpful for me in overcoming problem paralysis. 
You know the one. You know there's a problem, but you just can't think about it for too long before your whole sense of well being is derailed. The idea here is to try checking your emotions and looking at the data. This is not a forever solution, but a way to allow yourself to see the problem from a new angle.

4
It's all about habits

Good and bad, we all have habits. Changing them is a steady process. I love Sterling's discussion of the difference between willpower, feelings, and discipline. Understanding if we are really struggling with willpower or discipline can make all the difference in creating good habits that stick!

5

All the worksheets!

I love worksheets and lists! They calm me. Sterling even made videos to help guide you in filling these out.
I love that she includes review worksheets. No system to perfect right off the bat, and I love that this program gives you the tools to help hone what you started.

6

Doing a little bit at a time but also jumping right in

Seeing the whole list of things that need to change, improvements that need to be made, habits to kick can make you freeze up. Or maybe you think it would be better to wait until a mythical "later" when you aren't too busy or stressed.
Y'all that "later" somehow never becomes now. At some point, you just have to start!

I love all the real talk Sterling has about mental health, finances, and physical health - all the things we might want to tackle or thing about, but are necessary to create a system that works.

7

It's all about striving for sainthood

Sterling's point about the need for peace resonated with me. The point of this is not really about organization, being less stressed out, and having a cleaner house (though that is an effect.) The point of cultivating these good habits is to have the peace to strive for holiness.

Looked at through this lens, having a system that works for you in managing your home, health, spirit, and soul isn't just a nice thing to have - it's a need, and something worth prioritizing.


Are you someone who makes changes better in a community? Join the Catholic Mom Challenge facebook group! There will also be an online workshop for this program starting in January, so keep a look out for that! You can sign up for a challengers email with daily inspiration on the Catholic Mom Challenge website.
The book is available as an e-book or paperback on Amazon. Check it out!

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