I recently shared about how I get up each morning and take a walk – for an hour – and pray the rosary while I walk.  This has been a tremendous blessing to me and I look forward to getting back to it soon.  I think maybe I was getting a little cocky because I haven’t been able to walk for the last 2 weeks – first snow storms and ice rain, then sciatica acting up.  This has given me time to think about how to incorporate prayer into my day when I don’t have that hour set aside.

I’ve been praying for the upcoming papal election.  Praying while driving.  After picking up milk this morning, I drove around the neighbourhood slowly praying at each house “Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Living God, have mercy on us sinners,” a prayer time with scripture reading and journalling, a quiet moment when I close my eyes and remember Jesus and ask for His presence, and extra fervent prayers when I’m really struggling with one of the kids.  I’m also taking extra time to share about WHY Jesus is THE most important person in my life.  I can’t wait to get outside walking again!  A whole rosary and fresh air – the perfect way to start a day and shake off the February doldrums.

At first I tried taking that hour first thing in the morning to pray a rosary the same as always, unfortunately I fall asleep while praying at such an early hour when I’m not walking to keep awake.  The rosary is very meditative and soothing to the spirit, and such a relaxed state is wonderful, especially late at night when I’m trying to calm my racing mind and fall asleep, but it is counterproductive to focusing on the rosary at an early hour.

I do, however, manage to pray one decade of the rosary before praying a second with the kids in the a.m.  I’ve been spending the rosary meditating on why God created me and on my purposes, keeping an eternal perspective.  I’ve tried sharing these wonderful insights with the kids, and they understand some, but as my 16 year old daughter put it, she has no idea what I’m even trying to say.  I will be trying again with the kids next week, but I’ll have to try new strategies – something the kids can relate to.  I’ll let you know if I come up with something that works.

I will be simplifying our purposes into two:  loving God, and loving our neighbour.  My goal is to make it real, fun, and something they can relate to and implement in their lives.  I’ll be breaking my kids & their cousins into 4 groups:  teenage boys, teenage girls, pre-teen boys, and little girls.  Luckily these groups are the perfect size (3-5) for outings and activities together.  I want to do something special – somewhat of a mini Lenten retreat – with each group & I have another month in which to do it.

For the teenage boys, I’m hoping for an active outing – maybe laser tag – so that they’re looking forward to going.  Maybe get some friends to meet us there.  Get someone to share their witness during a meal with lots of food – the way to any man’s heart.  Fun, food, faith, and fellowship.  The perfect combination.

The teenage girls will go shopping, eat out, pysanki egg decorating, and maybe some hot tub time.  Fun, food, faith and fellowship.

The younger boys & girls are a little easier – they’re still pretty much happy with doing anything mom suggests.

Other ideas include toboganning, board games, swimming, museum outing, movies, skating….  The kids (most of them) and I are hosting at a family camp during our March Break for 4 days.  Some good family time!  We also emphasize Saturday night and Sunday night suppers for the family.  I started a bible study/sharing with the pre-teen boys on Friday nights and we’ve met twice already.  They really look forward to this!

Looking forward to watching my kids grow in Christ!

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