It's easy to get lost in my daily hustle and forget to actually be intentional about the way I'm living my life (and, in turn, teaching my children to live theirs). But choosing to purposefully open our hearts, minds, and schedules to Jesus and His Church in little ways each day will, in time, make a huge difference.
It helps, at first, to take it one step at a time. Start small, make a habit, and then add on to your daily routine as you go. Even though we live less than a five minute walk away from our parish, we rarely make it to daily mass -- and I'm telling you this because pointing it out makes me remember how much I need and love to go and now you can all hold me accountable. ;)
- Go to daily Mass. Every morning is a struggle but there has never been a day when I wasn't so glad I made the effort and began my day with morning Mass. It's so short in comparison to the whole day, and the little old ladies in your parish will truly appreciate that you and your children are there. I've gotten plenty of stink eyes from grumpy people when Lily is loud during Sunday Mass, but I've never gotten anything but smiles from people at daily Mass. It creates such a strong foundation for our children and, as I've been told by many sweet elderly parishioners, it makes others so happy to see mamas bringing their children to Mass. Win win.
- Read the Bible! Read it over breakfast, read it while the baby's napping -- just open it up and read it, whenever you can.
- Subscribe to a daily devotional that includes each day's readings, like the one from Blessed is She. And while you're at it, subscribe to "Saint of the Day" emails. Just make sure you actually read them instead of letting them clutter up your inbox. ;)
- Listen to Christian radio. Whether it's Immaculate Heart radio, a praise music station, or Catholic Answers Live podcasts (available for streaming or download on the Catholic Answers app).
- Pray before meals. It comes naturally when we're all sitting down for dinner as a family, but remembering to also pray when it's just you and the kids (even if they're just babies) is so important. Teach them to be thankful for everything they've been given, and that includes each meal.
- Surrounding yourself with Christian media. This isn't to suggest we shut out anything labeled "non-Christian" (because we definitely don't), but it's worthwhile to be intentional about what TV shows, movies, and music we consume on a daily basis. Thankfully, I don't get my theology from Ed Sheeran or my morality from Parenthood (although I quite enjoy both), but it still wouldn't hurt to choose something more compatible with the Church's teachings, at least more often than not.
- This goes along with the previous point, but it's still worth discussing: Follow social media accounts that promote and encourage a Christian life. I try to think of the people and accounts I choose to follow as if they're people I'm letting into my home -- so I try to be very selective. Is this account going to make me feel discontent with my own life (like, coveting $500 purses, immaculate Pottery Barn fancy pants homes, or lifestyles that aren't compatible with my vocation as a wife and mama)? If so, I don't follow it.
- Praying the Rosary as a family. Or praying in general, really. Finding a routine of prayer as an individual, as a couple, and as a family will do wonders and set a strong foundation for your children. This is probably one of the areas in which I struggle the most, yet it's probably also the most important.
- Keep a prayer/scripture/devotional journal, and keep it somewhere you'll see it often. There's no point if it will just get buried under the stack of mail every afternoon. Keep it out -- maybe together with your Bible. Use them often.
What ways do you live out your faith in your daily routines? I'd love to hear and add them to the list!