Lisa Simmons describes some ways she fueled the faith fire of her family's soul and helped her children build their faith for the future.
I was reading some blogs by other Catholics the other day and it got me laughing and nodding my head. As a 60-year-old wife, mother of three (six when you count your in-laws, which of COURSE I do!) and grandmother of three, two here and one in heaven, I have trouble always remembering the 'early years' of being a younger mom, what it was like doing the day-to-day struggle of diapering, feeding, walking the floors, soothing back to sleep, sharing your faith, parenting. I was transported back by some of these blogs, remembering how I worried about how to teach my Catholic faith to my newly converted husband, and my babies.
I read in one of the blogs that a parent was given the advice about sharing her faith with her teenagers as you just keep doing what you are doing. In other words, if you are praying faithfully every day, attending Mass, telling your kids about saints and God, then just keep doing those things. Our kids follow our example.
So as I look back on more than 30 years of parenting, I remember the little things … collecting flowers in the back yard to put by our Mary statue in the house, walking up to the statue of Mary in the front yard and telling my kids, "This is Jesus' mama!" Taking them to church and whispering during the consecration, "That is Jesus he is holding up!" Taking my kids to Stations of the Cross, Chrism Masses, First Fridays and getting donuts after Mass, leading the Rosary before Mass, praying the Rosary together before bedtime, praying the Guardian Angel prayer before tucking them in. Getting up, even after a bad night's sleep, on Sunday morning and getting everyone ready for Mass. There is so much more, but what it all has been was an adventure in Faithing.
Faithing is living your faith. It's an actual word, the verb form of Faith. But I have to admit I had never thought of using it as a verb before. Faithing means you don't just talk about your faith, but you show it by example what it means to be a believer in Christ Jesus. So we all have adventures in Faithing, or living out our faith life.
I have a tendency to look at everything in life as an adventure. I don't really know why, it may be the writer in me. But for some reason as a child I looked forward to every trip to the grocery, to school, to the backyard, and even the doctor's office as an adventure. So of course, going to church and Mass was an adventure too, and I tried to make it that way for my kids. Sometimes it meant taking them for donuts after attending Mass because they had behaved so well, or going on nature walks where we 'spied' things God had created.
One of my favorite activities was cutting out construction paper hearts that the kids would write the good thing they had done that day during the Lenten season. After they had written their good deed they put it in a basket on the kitchen table. Then on Easter Saturday we took out the multi-colored hearts and taped them into long strings and decorated the picture of Jesus hanging over our kitchen table for Easter. Those were our love hearts for Jesus!
There are lots of ways to have adventure in faith! And those adventures are what will fuel the faith fire of your family's soul and help your children build their faith life in the future. We can help our family experience God in so many new ways when we 'live' our faith life and not just talk about it. We are all called to put our faith into action so having Adventures in Faithing is a wonderful way to see our God and feel His love.
About the Author
Lisa Hendrix Simmons is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, and lover of adventures! She works full time at her Catholic parish as the social media/technology/Family Life Ministry coordinator. She writes about staying young and fun while living Catholic. When not writing she is knitting, playing music with her husband and having fun with her kids and grandkids. Visit her blog at https://youngfunandcatholic.blogspot.com/ and at www.simmonsfamilycenter.com/mommaknitsayarn