There’s Still Time…

I’m very embarrassed to say that my daughter saw our nativity for the first time yesterday. Also, our second purple candle on the Advent wreath had yet to be lit, and our first one is almost gone because I left it burning on accident one night the first week after saying our prayer around the Advent wreath (which, as an aside, we’ve done twice).  All of this does not bode well for our first Advent as parents, nor does it mesh with whatever rosy catholic dreams I had envisioned in ‘passing on the faith’ once we started a family. Part of me feels like I’ve already failed some epic Catholic mom test, 10 months in.

Advent.

Fail.

I soooo desperately wanted to start teaching Pia in small ways how to prepare and reflect during this precious start to our liturgical year. I know she is too little to understand it all right this second, but I think even the littlest things when they are really young must – have to – be tiny building blocks for ages 2, 3, 4 and so on. But it’s been harder than I’ve thought to wrangle an almost-walking little one and carve out the time for preparations, especially as we’ve added in a new big family challenge that has already taken much daily mental energy and time.

The reality is, however, that I can’t create building blocks now or in the future if I am not sincerely preparing my own heart first, and setting aside this time “waiting in prayer” as we get so very close to Christmas.  The nativity wasn’t out and the candles uneven ultimately not because I didn’t stick to my to-do list, but honestly because of my own lack of personal prayer and disposition towards doing those activities – such as joining around our wreath – that coincide with that prayer. I can’t teach or remember to give what I, again embarrassingly, don’t have, so I’ve been painfully reminded of how important it is to slow down and keep my heart recollected.  The world and busyness – even additional tasks we believe as a family are God led – can’t derail me from one of the most important of tasks, the raising up my children in the Faith.

Fortunately, there’s still time left this year…both for me and for Pia. And as I offer up my very paltry efforts at Catholic mothering this morning three weeks into Advent… and Pia reaches to sweetly kiss some of our nativity figures… I’m reminded for the billionth time that Christ will take whatever we give and multiply it tenfold. Thank goodness!

  • Katrina

    Beautiful, J! Yes, thank goodness that there is always “still time” in God’s timing, especially for us busy mamas :)

  • Kathy

    When I read about how she kisses the figurines it sounded more like success to me. But I am right there with you in the trying to get it all in to help prepare children. I should listen to my own advice as I tell you to just keep on going. Everything thing we do to instruct our children in the faith is important. It is better to get one thing across rather than nothing.

    As for getting things set up in time – someone had advised putting things like the advent wreath, advent calendar and nativity set with the autumn decorations rather than Christmas as you will pull it out earlier than December. And for the short hual you could place the items near where you will display them so you don’t have to do so much to get things going. Once I did this we had a wreath on our table on the 1st Sunday of advent.

    Also we bought a fIsher price nativity, inn and wise men sets (nativity can be found at Kohls) for our daughters they could play with it and act out the story – and give baby Jesus kisses too. :-)

  • buildingcathedralstexasmommy

    J, your humility is so beautiful. Pia will learn by your striving to seek Jesus!

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com/ Kellie

    Great news is that she is so young, you can’t screw it up too much and you have time to learn how to work these new routines into your family! Love the honesty in this post. Love you!


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