Pray, Work, Rest & Play: Savoring the Respite

Sister 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.


As I’m coming off a near two-week respite, I’m launching with REST in this edition of Pray, Work, Rest & Play.



Coffee break.







I was on a postpartum downward spiral, and a healthy dose of all the above was precisely what the doctor ordered as an antidote to my funk. We scratched all travel plans and celebrated the Christ Child’s birth in simple fashion. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when we elected to stay home and not travel over the holidays. Blessed be Joel who recognized I needed to be home to recoup. More importantly, he recognized I needed him here with me and took a few more vacation days than originally planned.

With being two months postpartum, a newbie homeschooling mom, and Joel’s diaconate formation demands, I had grown weary. Spent. Sapped. The Christmas break couldn’t have come at a better time. Happy birthday, and thank you, Jesus! I’ve spent these two weeks resting, regaining strength, clearing my mind, receiving a postpartum progesterone treatment (more on that another day), prayerfully discerning our homeschooling direction, playing with my kids, laughing with my husband, simplifying routines, attending beautiful liturgies, chatting with girlfriends, living the days and respecting the nights.

This time has reinforced the importance of the lying in period, a forgotten custom that once helped a new mom rest, regain strength, and bond with her baby while the community kept up the household. What will it take to restore some of those customs in contemporary culture? Joel and I feel parishes can be terrific support during the postpartum time, and we wrote about it at the link above.


* Do you know someone affected by cancer? We know many and are eager to begin praying the worldwide St. Peregrine Novena for cancer patients. It begins this Tuesday. 

** I’m also praying for divine inspiration for my 2014 saintly Board of Directors. Do you have a patron saint for 2014?

*** I’ve sat with and prayerfully pondered my One Little Word for several weeks now. I’m looking forward to completing the January prompts/assignments for this project and really bringing the word alive in my home.


The meal train created for us after Lydia was born is finally hitting the end of the line. We are so grateful for the showers of hospitality and delicious meals brought to our family these past two months. But it will be good to get back into a routine of menu planning, grocery shopping, and spending time in the kitchen. Did I really just write that? With the nudge from my buddy Kathryn and her fabulous “How-do-you-do-it” meal planning advice along with my favorite cookbooks, I’m striving to stay on top of this household responsibility. 



Time to feed the calendar with a menu plan!


photo (96)

Hands off my camera, kid!

Shut the front door; Mama has a new camera! I’m quite delighted with it and have enjoyed playing around with it. Joel even signed me up for a mechanics class later this month. I’m curious if there are classes that incorporates a walking tour of local hot spots. I’m daydreaming that Meredith opens their Better Homes & Garden spaces for photo classes and shoots. Local friends, please tell me something like this exists?

Of course, now I’m an eager beaver with a sweet camera, all too ready to share photos from the new hardware here at our digital home.

When we replaced our fence a few years back, we built an access gate to our backdoor neighbor’s yard. That probably sounds stalker-ish, but I promise it isn’t. There is a valid reason, I just can’t remember it now. (just kiddin’!) That open gate and our neighbor’s perfectly sloped backyard hill comes in very handy for little ones during sledding season.





Love those rosy cheeks!DSC00177

Lydia - cold

Lydia and I stayed indoor while daddy hit the hill with the kids.


Sophie the dog enjoyed it, too! DSC00180

And now we hunker down and hope to beat this Arctic blast.

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

Get Updates

Get the latest posts from The Practicing Catholic, delivered straight to your inbox!


  1. says

    Oh, this post makes me so happy! I am so glad you had time to REST and enjoy celebrating Christ’s birth with your family! Such a blessing! Yay for great husbands that know our limits better than we do. Good job, Joel!

    • says

      Thanks, Trista, for taking the time to comment here. I remember all too well those hectic holidays with sparse vacation days! I hope your first Christmas with Bryan was blessed.

  2. says

    Love the new camera, Lisa. How fun! And, you will really enjoy the meal calendar. At our house, Scott chooses the menu and I do the shopping. We share cooking duties. He’s the weekend man. I miss talking to you ;)

Join the conversation!