As a mommy in charge of 5 little souls, I often worry that we do not pray enough together. We forget to pray before meals when there’s five demanding children at the table, we miss bedtime prayers when there are over-tired kiddos, the Divine Mercy Chaplet gets cut short by the trifecta diaper change. Life happens, and as much as I greatly desire to instill habits of prayer and make sure my children receive God’s graces, I mess up. My body is weak. But, I take heart in knowing that I’m in good company even with all my human flaws, as even Saint Paul himself struggled with this very dilemma.
“So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, I myself, with my mind, serve the law of God but, with my flesh, the law of sin.” (Romans 7:21-25)
The days are getting cooler here, so when we were blessed with a temperate day recently, I decided to take the kiddos for a walk after lunch. While this sounds like an easy task, I will tell you it is in fact one of my more daunting mommy duties. Get everybody in socks, shoes, and coats. Put the baby in the baby carrier, buckle two toddlers in the wagon, get one preschooler in a bike helmet and safely on a bike, while the other rides the push car. Make sure everyone gets safely down our severely sloped driveway and then keep them alive and out of the street until we get home. Let’s just say we don’t go on walks without Daddy often.
Anyway, as I was saying, it’s a little stressful. But, I had committed to this walk and I wanted it to be calm and peaceful. So, both in an effort to keep myself in the right mindset and as a teachable moment for my children, we made our walk a “Rosary Walk”.
Our big little family rode through the neighborhood, saying the rosary as we went. Four little voices rang out through our empty streets praising God, and I tell you it’s the sweetest sound. We decided to choose a different person to offer our prayers for for each decade, and as we walked, the children took turns deciding who that would be. We finished the last prayer as we turned the corner of our block. It was perfect. How had I never thought of this before? Praying outside with my five precious children, on a beautiful God-given day, it’s a memory I will always treasure.
These perfect moments keep me going. I fail daily at being the perfect mom, and I know that I can always be doing more to help my children get to Heaven, but the moments when I get it right give me the strength and courage to keep on going.
What I realized is that this idea can be applied to so many of our every day tasks. Say a Hail Mary while you get coats on, a Glory Be while your child brushes his teeth, a litany on the drive to school. It’s such a great way to teach your children to pray always.
I think we may make the Rosary Walks a new family tradition, but maybe next time, Daddy will come too.
Rachel is a stay-at-home mother to five beautiful children ages 4, 3, 2, 1, and her newest blessing, born in October. By the grace of God, she converted to Catholicism in 2004, and soon thereafter married her high school sweetheart. She strives every day to do the little things, as St. Thérèse did, and to live her life pleasing to Him.