Pray, Work, Rest & Play: The Inaugural Edition

PWRP logoSister Maria Assumpta walked up to the board and put up a basic compass shape. Rather than north, south, east, and west, she replaced them with Work, Rest, Play, and Pray. Very simply, she told us, “Your lives should always live in a balance with these four things.” — Source

Welcome to my new series — Pray, Work, Rest & Play — where I share a bit about how we’re striving to incorporate an order, a rule of sorts, to our daily routine here at Das Schmidt Haus. A routine that organically involves prayer, work, rest, and play.


Gratitude - 2.jpg

I’ve petitioned and begged prayers for a healthy labor and delivery for the better part of the last six weeks. Mission accomplished. I fear I’ve exhausted my yearly allocation of prayer requests so I best be careful not to become like an Oliver Twist, the half-starved boy with empty bowl in hand, who dared to ask for more.

Our household prayers have turned from petitions into praise. We’re in gratitude mode for the gifts He’s granted — the big ones being Lydia, family, spiritual friendships, and good health. While it’s taken several years to get here, we finally feel we’re in a great place spiritually. I casually mentioned to Joel that I didn’t deserve all this goodness. And he said, “Respond to the faucet.”

Say what?!

He explained, “You can stand in front of a working faucet forever, wanting to get water out of it, but you’re never going to get any unless you actually turn it on. The supply isn’t up to you. How it flows is up to you. God’s grace and goodness is the same. It’s a free gift. You just have to accept it.”

Who needs a spiritual director when you’re married to that?

So I’m prayerfully responding to the faucet and working to cultivate a genuine habit of gracious gratefulness.


I labored a baby. Isn’t that enough work for the time being? {insert smiley face}

Here are a couple of small (I promise they were small!) tasks we’ve tackled lately.

If you like the gratitude banner above, you can create your own at home. Several months ago I tripped over free printable letters and banners on Pinterest, and I immediately thought how the letters can spell out our virtue of the month (hence the gratitude banner we’re currently staring at). Then I had grandeur visions of how my family would go all Charlotte’s Web and wait in joyful anticipation for my next mantle masterpiece. Not sure that will happen, but hey, a girl can dream.

We also collected and waxed leaves that are now resting comfortably on the mantle as well. What an easy, fun, and inexpensive project resulting in a lovely end product. All you need is paraffin wax to melt, a disposable pan, wax paper, lots of leaves, and willing hands!

Waxing Leaves - Lucy

Waxing Leaves 1


Lydia is now two-weeks-old and is sleeping rather well. Her good sleep translates into the whole household sleeping well of course … or at least good enough. While I recognize how important rest is for our entire family now, I’m a worker bee by nature and the concept and practice of rest has always been a challenge to embrace.

Did you know the Church permits women to stay home from church, without culpability, for 6 weeks after giving birth? There’s a lesson in there for all of us, huh?

Churching of Women

The Churching of women blessing begins with the mother kneeling in the vestibule, carrying a lighted candle. The priest sprinkles her with holy water and recites Psalm 23.

A couple of months ago we attended an infant baptism in the Extraordinary Form. One of the most beautiful aspects of that rite is the Churching of women (or simply “Churching”). Traditionally, babies were baptized as soon as possible after birth so mothers were often absent from the Baptism. The Churching rite was carried out as soon as the new mother was able to leave the house, traditionally 40 days after birth. According to, “Churching is the woman’s way of giving thanksgiving to God for the birth of her child, and predisposes her, through the priestly blessing that is a part of the ritual, to receive the graces necessary to raise her child in a manner pleasing to God.”

Have you experienced a Churching of women blessing? There’s more to say about the practice and its symbolism but I’ll save it for another blogpost. Thoughts and words are few and far between lately. Gotta store ‘em up!


The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola

How are we “wasting time” at Das Schmidt Haus this week? With popcorn! One of my favorite children’s books authors is Tomie dePaola. So imagine my delight when discovering the kindergarten homeschooling curriculum we settled on for Lucy recommends several of his books. While searching for a few of his more religiously themed works such as The Clown of God, The Friendly Beasts, and The Legend of the Poinsettia, I tripped over The Popcorn Book

Our homeschooling curriculum stresses the importance of reading good books that fill our children’s imagination — books that help children become acquainted with God’s creation by direct experience. The Popcorn Book fits right in with those goals as it sprinkles in food science, agriculture, and American history and ends with a couple of recipes that young readers can try at home.

So we’ve experimented with different popcorn cooking methods and cooking oils (pssst, coconut oil! Pop your corn in coconut oil already!), and then decided to go all out and try a recipe I heard Rita Heikenfeld share on The Son Rise Morning Show recently: cracker jack caramel popcorn.

Homemade Cracker Jack Popcorn

Cracker Jack Popcorn

Oh.My.Lanta, my friends. This recipe is a keeper and an instant crowd favorite. Best be careful, though. Too much “play” with this recipe will surely require more “work” on the treadmill … and that’s just not the kind of work I want to write about in this Pray, Work, Rest & Play series!

How are you incorporating Pray, Work, Rest & Play into your daily routine?

3 comments to Pray, Work, Rest & Play: The Inaugural Edition

  • I think I knew that about the six weeks after childbirth, but I’ve not availed myself of the “opportunity.” When my daughter was born, I hadn’t yet converted, and when my son was born we took him to church right away. He was born four weeks early with Down syndrome on a Saturday evening – the evening before Palm Sunday. We all went to church on the following Easter Sunday. Wild horses couldn’t have kept me away.

  • very good, I enjoyed this post. Being a convert going through RCIA, I am looking for ways to make our home more Catholic.

  • I love this! I think you should add a blog link-up as you get rolling. We could really get and share some great ideas here!

    Our days have been ordered this way for many years now and I can honestly say that it is blissful. Not that we don’t have bumps along the way but when we know that we have a time for work, a time for play, a time for prayer(all day), and a time for rest, we are all just a wee bit more content and the days flow smoothly.

    Our mornings are work–lessons, chores, prep for the day.
    After lunch is rest time–1 hour of quiet time, everyone in their own room/area for reading, knitting, playing quietly, resting.
    Afternoons are play time–I TRY to let go of the to-do list and play with the kids too.
    And the entire day has opportunities for prayer. Formal prayers, conversational prayer, mealtime prayers, scripture sharing/memorizing, evening family rosary, and on and on.

    It’s such a simple but powerful concept that I always recommend, for new moms especially.

    Much love to you all!

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