Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Ask the Experts – What are You Grateful for?


In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I asked our expert Seton moms to reflect on what they are grateful for and ask you to consider the same question.

Be an Example of Thankfulness

“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – G.K. Chesterton

Life is filled with many blessings. We live in a free country with a roof over our heads, food in the pantry, shoes on our feet, and freedom to worship where we choose.

We should be thinking constantly of how very blessed we are, but how often does that happen? Do you find yourself complaining about doing the laundry instead of being grateful there are clothes to wash? Do I grumble about having to cook dinner rather than thank God that there is food?

A countenance of thankfulness not only has the power to change our households, but it also has the power to change the world. A grateful, thankful world. Consider the possibilities.

As parents, we should strive to make our entire lives a testament of thanks. We have been abundantly blessed with children and the ability to keep them home and guide them in the way they should go.

We have been blessed by the foresight of our founder Dr. Mary Kay Clark and her colleagues in providing us the means to give our children a truly Catholic education. When we take moments throughout the day to recognize these blessings and praise God for his kindness, the difficulties of the day are instantly diminished.

In the spirit of the season, I asked our expert Seton moms to reflect on what they are grateful for. I invite you to spend some time in the coming days to deeply, prayerfully reflect on thankfulness and to thank God for your blessings. We at Seton thank Him each day for each of you. – Mary Ellen Barrett

Grateful for God’s Gifts

“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.” – St. Gianna Beretta Molla

To say the last eighteen months have been difficult would surely be the understatement of the millennium. Life is changed, perhaps never to be the same again. There seems to be nothing but hurt and pain and suffering and death and change and anger all around us. Still, as Scripture and the saints tell us, there should always be gratitude in our hearts.

I am grateful my family is still together, I am grateful I have always homeschooled my children, so there was no disruption on that front at all. I am grateful my husband got a new job recently, and I am still able to stay home with my children. My oldest two were confirmed during this pandemic, and one chose the saint whose quote appears at the beginning of this piece.

God’s mercies are new every morning, and it was WONDERFUL to help them prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime sacrament and have such joy in such a time of uncertainty. I am profoundly grateful to be able to go to Holy Mass once again, and worship with my church family.

Through all the sorrow and storms, He has been here, and inviting my family to keep our eyes on Him, not the horizon. I have never been particularly good at this, as I like control, and I like to know what’s coming next. For the chance to be utterly helpless and have to sit and TRUST, I am profoundly grateful.

 – Kristin Brown, Virginia

Guided with Love

As a Christian, when times go crazy, I think that can give us an opportunity to look for what is right, peaceful, and good. As parents, we have raised our children to be surrounded by what is good, true, and beautiful, and in this crazy time in history that we find ourselves, I think those things have become even more evident.

Our family is blessed to live in a diocese that is filled with devout priests and laity and led by a solid bishop. Not much has been affected in the sphere of spiritual life in our community, and I am so grateful for that, because in trying times, faith is what will see us through.

I’m also grateful for a husband who has led his family with strength, truth, and grace, and has not succumbed to the fear that is being propagated recently. He has been a fine example to our six sons and two daughters of how a man should act during adversity.

I could probably write a book on all the things I am thankful for in these crazy days, since everything is a gift from God, whether it is pleasing or not. His hand guides us with love.

 – Susan Brock, Virginia

Grateful for Prayer

I’ve been thankful for prayer for many years, but these crazy days have deepened my appreciation for the open channels of communication between Jesus, Our Lady, the saints, and my family. I don’t know how anyone could survive this turbulence without a daily prayer regimen.

Prayer stabilizes me when I feel unsteady. It inspires me when I am unclear. It brings me peace when strife erupts. If I had only one piece of advice to offer fellow homeschoolers, it would be to make praying as a family THE priority every day.

Even if praying together means starting schoolwork a little later than planned, even if it means praying through a hundred distractions, even if it requires Herculean patience and sacrifice, just pray and don’t give up. Start the day with prayer. End the day with prayer.

Teach your children to pray through dryness, restlessness, joy and pain. Additionally, remember to offer prayers of thanksgiving because gratitude unlocks hardened hearts.

These crazy days are likely to get crazier. Access to the sacraments could be restricted for some. There may be a real temptation to fear or question. However, we already have the answer to all life’s ills.

As Catholics, as parents, as homeschoolers, we’re already familiar with the remedy that enables us to live through trying times and come out the other side victorious. We know how to pray and for that we can all be deeply grateful!

 – Tara Brelinsky, North Carolina

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