Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ash Wednesday Blessings

141. Made it to and through mass with all 4 children. A first for me to do alone!
142. Steven crawling on the floor being a dump truck during mass, he's so cute it's sometimes hard to discipline him!
143. His "thankful" heart...I told him to pray to Jesus and tell him what he was thankful for. He folded his hands, put his head on the pew, and then popped back up saying, "Mommy, I prayed for JESUS! And I told him I want a new dump truck to play with!"
144. Gorgeous sunny weather after Mass
145. A nearly clean and de-cluttered schoolroom and girlroom
146. Mary Clare and detachment. The girls were supposed to clean their room and hang up their shirts. After several hours and several interruptions I just went to work myself. I've filled an entire garbage bag! Mary Clare thanked me and apologized for not doing a very good job. When Ellie was sobbing about things I threw away and the way I moved the furniture, Mary Clare just said, "I don't really care what she threw away. We probably don't play with it anyway. It's better I don't look in there and see what she threw away so I don't miss it." Growing up.
147. Ellie's sensitive soul. Oh she hates change! It hurts her to the core, but of course is a part of life that she must face.
148. Babbling baby in mass, all those around us were enamored.
149. Finding missing things under beds
150. Kids being faithful to Lenten observances, even though they're not required.

I think I'm going to try out my friend Elizabeth's sacrifice idea for Lent with children, choosing a different sacrifice for each day of the week. Here's how I'm tweaking it for our family:
Monday- No screen time
Tuesday- No treats- this includes fruit snacks, candy, cookies, etc.
Wednesday- Go to Daily Mass as a family
Thursday- Learn about a new Saint
Friday- Pray the Stations of the Cross, or at least a few
Saturday- Pray a Rosary
Sunday- Nothing- Sunday is always a day of celebration!

I'm going to refrain from buying desserts and drinks (aside from milk and water). I won't be stringent when we're away from home, but we'll plan to keep sweets and juices out of the house. I'd like to do better at praying with all the kids before bed. This has been hard because I'm usually putting all 4 to bed at 3 different times, and Steven is usually already asleep. The girls read books in bed, I nurse Thomas down at some point, and SJ's bedtime fluctuates depending on if he took a nap or not. So somehow I need to figure out a family prayer time before Daddy goes to sleep!

This is a random post, but my internet is working so I better take advantage! Yesterday was Cooper's funeral. It was so, so sad. Funerals for children are just really difficult. I have a hard time watching the mom and the siblings, thinking of myself and my own kids and how we would deal with that kind of grief. But it was a beautiful celebration of Cooper's life, and was healing to be together with so many people who loved him. I'm sure they are now facing a very hard road having to go back to normal life without their boy. Praying for them...

This coming Saturday would have been the 3rd birthday of my friend Bernie's little boy Luke, who passed away at 5 weeks old due to a severe heart defect (HLHS). She now lives out of state so a few of us are going to visit his grave on his birthday for a little celebration. I hope it's beautiful weather. Yesterday it was rainy and made the day even sadder.

You know, when I was little I didn't know anyone who died. Never a child or even an adult until I was a preteen and my grandmother passed away. My children have encountered loss from toddlerhood. I hope it makes them fear death less. I know they understand that we believe our loved ones are still part of our Heavenly family and can pray for us. My kids are constantly talking about my 2 little babies, miscarried when I was just a few weeks pregnant, Agnes and Augustine. Always asking questions about them and counting them as members of our family. I guess it's always good to face our mortality. None of us will live forever...

Like one of the phrases used when we are receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return."

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