These past several days, trying to carve some semblance of tranquility amidst a million flattened boxes, carpets that smell like dogs and cottonwood seeds blowing so thickly that they’re being sucked into our new house by the box fans that adorn every window (no AC. Bye bye, luxury), I’ve been totally overwhelmed by the lack of order to our lives. Life with 4 kids is always a little on the chaotic end of the spectrum, but throw big life changes into the mix and it very much feels like the inmate are running the asylum, and they’re not even particularly well fed inmates.
I scooted away this afternoon for my 1000th trip to Lowe’s and some internet time and I left our babysitter the following items on the counter: 8 baby carrots, half a bag of corn tortillas, 2 oz of nacho cheese Doritos and a jar of peanut butter.
Good luck, family.
I was thinking today that part of why our days are so hectic, aside from the obvious physical chaos of a move and a new home, is because we lack a basic rhythm to our daily lives. I alluded to as much on Facebook last week when I let slip how eager I was for the routine of school to be upon us, because as deeply as I love my children and as sincerely as I respect my homeschooling friends, the reading, writing and ‘rithmetic are being unabashedly outsourced in this family.
But I can’t outsource it all. For sure we’re still responsible for forming little consciences and catechizing little hearts. I guess I’m just poking my head up out of survival mode after the longest summer on record and, with a newly-minted one year old still the reigning baby in the house (#Marquettemethodforthewin) I’m feeling ready to start implementing some smallish steps towards sanity.
So what do you guys do? What does your “family liturgy” look like? By this I mean the liturgical rhythm to your days and weeks, and I’m not talking Sacred heart of Jesus cupcakes or St. Juan Diego piñatas, but the regular Scripture study with your kids, the daily Mass attendance (or not), the family Rosary or decade, the morning offering, the recited litanies.
Do you start your day with family prayer? Dave and I pray an offering together and invoke our special patron saints, and we pray again a gratitude list and a protection prayer at night, but the in between parts are where I’m struggling to fill in the blanks.
I want us to be the ones who introduce our kids to personal prayer, who help them understand their fundamental identities as sons and daughters of the King. I want them to learn to spend time in Scripture every day, and to follow along with the liturgical cadence of the Church year, attuned to the seasons we celebrate as a Catholic family.
I want to raise Saints. But I am a decidedly unsaintly mother 98% of the time. I struggle with my temper, with patience, with wanting to steamroll them in the name of efficiency and productivity. And I am, quite frankly, usually d-o-n-e by bedtime, which is when our current daily prayer time takes place.
So, I humbly turn to you, dear readers, and I ask first and foremost for your prayers but also for your suggestions, your best practices, and I welcome your stories of solidarity. How do you “Catholic” in your house? What does it look like in practical terms, and what are some age-appropriate steps I can take with my crew, current ages nearly 6, 4.5, 2.5 and 1?
Thanks in advance. I have to go spackle something now.