Hey ya’ll! Last week I laid out my wishes for my son, and today I’m sharing some of the strategies that we are using – hopefully you can too – to help your kids become saints.
My son has been terrified by (and simultaneously intensely preoccupied with) our yellow vacuum cleaner since the day we brought it home. I mean, the little guy spends hours everyday talking about it, looking at it, opening the cupboard, saying he doesn’t want it and that he’s “not a brave boy”. That is… until two days ago.
Two days ago, our wonderful nanny was vacuuming the floor. Generally this means that Little is shrieking in my arms, clinging to me like a spider monkey, and reiterating repeatedly how much he “doesn’t want the vacuum cleaner”. Point taken son, point taken.
This time, things were different… he asked if we could go out and see the vacuum cleaner in action. So I took him into the living room and put him safely on the couch where the suction couldn’t get him. Then I cautiously told him I was going to get my glass of water from the table and I’d be right back! He bought it, and stayed there calmly by himself (!!) while the brightly colored instrument of torture darted around him. Then I showed him that I could touch it while it whirred and come out alive… with some hesitation he followed suit.
You see, for weeks, I’ve been telling him that he doesn’t need to be afraid of anything because the Holy Spirit is in him. God’s power and His very life will make him strong and courageous.
Two days ago, he touched the vacuum cleaner and then proclaimed “I’m a brave boy” and I said, “why bud?” “because of the Holy Spirit” Hallelujah! #joyfulmommoment #patsownback. (Later that day when I asked who was inside him making him brave, he said pancakes…) #takesbackthebackpat
I can’t think of a more important role or vocation I have been tasked with than helping my children to know, love, serve and bring others to Jesus. It’s also the one I happen to be most excited about! I love a challenge.
How to Help Your Kids Become Saints
This is a simple (entirely unordered) list of things we, as a family are doing and going to do to help our kids develop that relationship with joy and enthusiasm:
1. Pray for them – daily, nightly, hourly. Pray for their protection from evil and unwavering devotion to the Author of Love.
2. Walk the walk – be the loving hands and feet of Christ who extends mercy, grace, compassion and joy. Live the message.
3. Read God’s Word with and too them – It’s so wonderful to see how he loves to tell the stories of Daniel, Jonah, Noah, Adam and Eve, and Jesus calling the 12 to all of his friends in the playroom. Sometimes we’ll be running around the living room, and he quotes the story of Jonah to me saying “you can’t outrun God mommy”! (He’s 2, people. This blows my mind.)
4. Play Hymns and holy music around the house – I do have a musician husband… so this one is a given (read about why just singing with your child is so important here). His toy guitar and microphone are some of the best gifts he has ever received. Matt Maher’s youngest fan up in here! From the mouth of babes….
5. Have a library of great books in our home
6. Run a prayer group or Bible study from our home
7. Observe the Sabbath day as a family – remember to dedicate it to the LORD and worship Him as a family
8. Pray together – every evening after dinner as a family
9. Surround our family with other faithful families – (especially while they are young) so that they see good examples everywhere – and have friends who will encourage and support them
10. Watch wholesome programming – Brother Francis…. If you have met my son, he has asked you to “Puh-leeeease put on Brother Francis. Please.”
11. Continue to help out at lots of retreats – my husband leads worship, and I speak…. So bring the kids along to be surrounded… it takes a village!
12. Be involved in serving the community as a family – things like helping out at a food bank, a seniors day care or nursing home, fundraisers at church…
13. Send of them on a “come and see” weekend – (probably only in their late teens) to aid in discerning their vocations and meet outstanding priests and nuns
14. Go to adoration, confession and daily mass – as much as possible, and as a family
15. Study the Bible, the Catechism and debate moral teachings together as a family over dinner and on long drive
Goodness! I thought of 20 more ways to help your kids become saints while I was writing this… but…did you even make it to here? #patsyouonback. Thanks for sticking through this with me, friend ☺
May the same Holy Spirit make us bold witnesses to inspire our children, and through them – the world.