One of the themes I really liked in the book He Leadeth Me was the purpose of our lives here. The author was a Jesuit priest, and he quoted the first principle of the Spiritual Exercises several times throughout the book:
"Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.
And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created.
From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it."
Even in the most extreme conditions, such as prison or slave labor camps like the author, we are able to praise, reverence and serve the Lord. We are not here on this earth to "be happy" or be comfortable. Look around at the conditions of life on this earth and you'll easily see that's impossible. At least on a physical level and all the time. Instead, we all have deep yearnings and desires for things that are not of this world.
This quote and the book in general led me to a thought experiment about what is really important for our family and for parenting. And it is freeing. If we are here just to praise, reverence and serve the Lord... we don't have to care about what others think. About fitting in with society. About if our kids will be weird. We just have to love. *Just* as in... that "one thing" the subheading of this blog says. But of course, that is a lifelong lesson.