Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Creating Our Boucher Family Rule of Life: Getting Started

Holy Family, pray for us!
In case you missed it, part of my Lenten mission this year is to create a Boucher Family Rule of Life modeled after Holly Pierlot's A Mother's Rule of Life.

First of all, what in the world is a Rule of Life?  As Holly Pierlot defines it, a Rule of Life "consists primarily in the examination of one's vocation and the duties it entails, and the development of a schedule for fulfilling these responsibilities in a consistent and orderly way."

So, before I get started on creating a schedule, I need to determine 2 things:
  1. What is my vocation?
  2. What essential duties does my vocation entail?  
1.  What is my vocation?
To determine my vocation, I considered what I call the proper order of relationships.  First and foremost, I am a Child of God.  Second, I am a wife.  Third, I am a mother.  I am all of these things, but it is essential that I keep them in this proper order.  

2.  What essential duties does my vocation entail?
I could go on and on listing all kinds of duties for my vocation, but I need to pare it down to the essentials to make our Family Rule effective.  

  • Child of God:  Sustain a regular prayer life, frequent the sacraments, attend Mass, and show my love of God through my love of neighbor.  I also have the responsibility to care for myself (personal prayer, recreation, good nutrition, exercise, rest) so that I can perform all of my duties well.  
  • Wife:  Holly Pierlot quotes Blessed Pope John Paul II as saying that love could be defined as "availability, acceptance, and help."  As a wife, I have the duty to: be available to my husband (spiritually, physically, intellectually, creatively, emotionally), be accepting of all of him, and to be a helper instead of a hindrance on his journey to sainthood.  In order to fulfill my duties as a wife, I need to keep my relationship with Philip second only to my relationship with God, but above all other relationships--even our children.
  • Mother:  I can't sum up my duties as a mother more succinctly than Holly Pierlot did in her section on parenting.  She says that parenting "is a call to form persons.  We're called to bring God to our children's spirits, truth to their minds, health to their bodies, skill to their hands, beauty and creativity to their hearts, and in all this, virtue to their wills and sanctity to their souls."  To be my children's primary educator means remembering Pope Pius XI's wise words that, "Education consists essentially in preparing man for what he must be, and for what he must do here below, in order to attain the sublime end for which he was created."  In sum, it's my job as a Christian mother to foster my children's relationship with God so that they can: hear His voice calling them to their specific vocation, receive the graces to live it out well, and glorify Him through their lives as a preparation for their eternal reward with Him.  Ultimately, my job as a mother is to raise my children to become saints.   
If those are only the essential duties I have as a Child of God, wife, and mother, I have A LOT to do each day!  Now that I have my essential duties listed, we need define our family's mission (what we're doing and why) before we create a schedule.  That will help our family to maintain our focus and purpose as we go about our everyday lives.  Philip and I worked together to create our family mission statement.  Here it is:
The Boucher Family is domestic church whose mission is to know, love, and serve God.  Our aim is to live intentionally as Jesus' disciples, propel one another to sainthood, and joyfully share our love of God with others.  
I love our family mission statement!  It really pares it down to what we're supposed to be doing everyday.  I'm printing it off and putting it on our refrigerator.  Maybe someday I can get it beautifully painted on canvas to be hung in a prominent place in our home.  (Any crafty friends out there know of a way for me to do this?)  

Now that I have my vocation's duties outlined and our family mission statement written, I need to draft our family's schedule.  In order to do that, I will be examining what Holly Pierlot calls the "5 Ps."  
  1. Prayer
  2. Person
  3. Partner
  4. Parent
  5. Provider
Tomorrow, I'll focus on the first P, Prayer.

Until then, I'd love to hear your thoughts on all of this.  Heck, I want to have a book club to discuss everything I'm uncovering in A Mother's Rule of Life!  What are the essential duties of your vocation?  If you had a family mission statement, what would it say?  Are you fulfilling the essential duties of your vocation?  If not, what practical changes can you make today?  What is keeping you from fulfilling your essential duties?  Are you preventing someone else from fulfilling his/her essential duties?  

If you're interested in creating your own Rule of Life, read A Mother's Rule of Life and visit Holly Pierlot's website for some great resources.     

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This is my 2nd of 7 posts in Jen Fulwiler's "7 Posts, 7 Days" challenge.  Come on over, join in the fun link-up, and read some great blogs!      


  1. There's a lady I know on Etsy that does great calligraphy. Let me know if you want her shop name!

    1. Very cool! Yes, I'd love the shop name! Thanks, Julie.