As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Monday, January 27, 2014

Open Door Policy

It's the first morning in a loooooong time that I'm set to start the school day on time (*gasp!*) So why did I choose to write a blog post right now?  Maybe I have some sort of aversion to order (I'll have to talk to my husband about that).  Really, I mostly just want to get this sweet memory down on paper before it leaves my brain.

Since setting up a prayer space in my room, I have decided to keep an open door policy with the kids.  I want them to have a space that they feel comfortable praying in, and to see me praying throughout the day, and be part of it.  I have no schedule, no set plan for what to do say (although I am trying to say one rosary a day). But I do plan to show up.  Sometimes (in the whole three days I've been at this - give me a break!) it is calm and peaceful and long.  And then, sometimes it ends up looking like this:

I have to laugh at that, because obviously I wasn't reading Dark Night of the Soul out loud to my 15-month-old.  But I might someday.  She is the one most likely to climb into my lap no matter what I am doing in there.  When I say the rosary she passes the beads through her little fingers, and holds the crucifix gently.  She'll lay her little palm out flat and I know that means she wants me to put it in there, and once she even kissed it. So sweet!  The others will wander in and out at random, sometimes respecting the quietness of it but mostly just popping in to say whatever is on their little minds.  I'm finding that they are surprisingly more tolerant of my efforts to pray if they can come in at random than when I try to go behind closed doors (which will rouse a child from whatever they happen to be doing no matter how much cooler it is - Mom's trying to have some private time?  Let's go check it out!)

The biggest hurdle I face is teaching them that an open door does not mean an open room, and that just because they are allowed to be in there with me doesn't mean they have permission to go through things as they choose.  But we're working on it.  For now, I am blessed immeasurably by their presence in my prayer life. I know that prayer is not easy, and the day will come when the novelty of this space wears off for me and the hard work of daily prayer begins.  But I am firmly convicted that allowing them to be a part of it gives me the best chance of success on this journey. Because when it was only up to me, I inevitably gave up when things got hard.  When I had to carve time out of my schedule and away from my kids to do it, it became one more thing to do.  But now, they walk with me.  They encourage me and lift me up.  And I feel that in this way, I stand the best possible chance of passing my faith along to them.  Faith is of course a personal and private journey with the Lord, and we can't depend on others to get us there.  But we can't shut them out either, especially our children, who we are so often tempted to.

Sometimes I think that they make things so hard.  But I'm starting to see they are the very things that make it easy.  May I never take my children or their persistent presence in my life for granted. When they fly to me in a private moment, may I be open to their influence on my life and accept them as the Lord intends - a help and not a hindrance to my journey.

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