Whole Parenting Family

Confession Gives Us a Fresh Start

Monday morning bfast

I went to confession this weekend and it had been a while. Nothing is so humbling as waiting in a long line to tell a priest who’s acting in the place of Christ how petty, imperfect, and small you are. Nothing makes you so honest as having to actually articulate your failings aloud to another person. And nothing is more cleansing than an acknowledgment of failing, receiving absolution, and resolving to try to sin no more. How are we supposed to accomplish that? One day, one moment, one choice at a time. And asking for help along the way.

For me, that means being where I am and not constantly trying to scramble to the next place. It’s Monday morning. Relax, it’s just the first day of the week.

You have a million things to do today. Relax, you’re not going to get them all done.

You want to get this, that, and the other done so that this, that, and the other will be over and you can get through it to the next list of obligations. Relax, there will always be more to do.

You can’t forget this. You have to do that. Relax, and be where you are right now.

Strive to get the kitchen tidy, the pile of laundry folded and put away, the paperwork filed on your desk, the sewing projects all completely magically finished in one felled swoop, the children napping at the same time, a mini work out in, a nice healthy lunch, no snacking on chocolate chips, your bedroom dusted, your toilets cleaned, your errands to that obscure far away store completed while both kids nape, your eye brows plucked, your closet organized, wear something other than yoga pants, plan ahead, and starch and iron your husband’s shirts.

But in order to try to stay in a state of grace, I really have to just do one thing at a time. Whether you’re staring down dirty diapers today, or a desk stacked with projects at work, just take them one and a time.

God responds well to specific requests, so my goal is to say a little prayer for help before I tackle each thing on my list, a specific prayer, and see how that goes. I can’t overcome all my imperfect habits in a blink, but can make one better choice each moment. And know these little children are definitely my road to sanctity!


Who me? SuperBoy is saying. Not me! SweetPea insists. We’re easy-peasy porridge & pie!



  1. Nancy on January 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I can so relate to this (and I am reminded just how long it has been since I went to confession!). I am enjoying your blog and thankful that John Burd connected us! Would you be up for a play date some time? I am always you for meeting another catholic mommy! I live in Plymouth. Am I near you?

    • Natural Mama Nell on January 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      So nice to hear from you, Nancy! And so glad John connected us. We are in Saint Paul. Would love a playdate!

  2. Nancy.verly@gmail.com on January 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Great! My brother is attending seminary in St. Paul so we are often over there. Does some time this coming week work? We are out of town the following week. Here’s my email. Might be a better way to set this up.

    • Natural Mama Nell on January 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Super! Will be emailing you soon!