When Kara and I were expecting our first child, I remember the instructor of our childbirth class telling us that after children we would never sleep again. The class would chuckle, and she would slowly shake her head, and repeat with more emphasis, "You will never sleep again." Three and a half years into parenthood, I’m terrified that she was right.
My mom always seems a bit pleased when I tell her about sleeping struggles. She reminds me that I was a terrible sleeper and that she would be up for hours with me almost every night. When I asked her what she did sitting up with me all night, she said she’d pray the rosary. Not one set of mysteries, but all of them. And not one rosary, but as many as it took. In fact, when I think of my childhood and my mother, when I think of sick kids, or road trips, or waiting for a sibling to come home, I think of my mom praying the rosary.
During this month of Mary I’ve been thinking a bit about my mom’s rosaries. I was a pretty terrible child and made a lot of bad choices, and yet somehow I’ve been so blessed with my faith, my family and my work. It’s really humbling to think of how God has provided for me. I’m convinced that so many of the blessings in my life came from the graces of those rosaries.
Growing up, the rosary was at the center of my family’s life, and now with my own family I strive to make the rosary a part of our lives, too. The family rosary is such a beautiful devotion to bring into the home.Iit’s simple but hard to put into practice. I hope that this month you’ll join me in trying to make it more central in your family life. If you’re wondering how to start, here are a few suggestions:
- Start small: Maybe you don’t yet have time for a whole rosary, but start with a decade each day. What’s most important is consistent and intentionally times for prayer.
- Pray as a family: Sometimes the kids aren’t as excited about praying together, and if you have young children, a rosary can be especially challenging. But get everyone involved. Like all habits, it’s hard at first but you will begin to treasure it!
- Be patient: Praying with a three year old and an 18 month old is not always as serene as we’d hope. It’s something that we’re still figuring out, and I’m sure it’ll take more work and adjustments. But it’s important to us, so we keep trying. Prayer starts with a desire to pray, and if you have that you can sort the rest out.