1. Thanks to a former homeschooling aunt and her encouragement to start praying the Stations of the Cross at home with my young children, I’ve found a meaningful way to help my preschooler journey with Jesus to the cross this Lent.
Here’s what we’re doing to bring the stations into our home: I light a candle and then I read a brief description of each station, say a prayer, and finally ask my daughter to find an object from a small box. The small objects symbolize each station and provide something visual and tangible for her to hold in her hands. We reviewed the stations for the first time using this method last week, and out of the blue yesterday she actually asked to “do those stations” again.
I’m using the following objects to represent each station:
Pilate condemns Jesus: A red string (because Jesus’ hands were bound)
Jesus carries his cross: A cross made from two Popsicle sticks
Jesus falls for the first time: A Band-Aid (to remind us of how much Jesus was hurting when he fell)
Jesus meets his Mother: A rosary (to remind us of Our Blessed Mother, the pain she endured watching her son suffer, and that she remains close to Jesus even now and can bring our prayers, joys, and sorrows to him)
Simon helps Jesus carry the cross: A small piece of white felt with the letter “H” drawn on it (“H” stands for “help” and is a reminder that we should always seek to help others)
Veronica wipes Jesus’ face: A cloth with a drawing of Jesus’ face on it (Here we discuss how we must reach out to others and see Jesus in all things)
Jesus falls for the second time: Another Band-Aid
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem: A tissue (to remind us that Jesus is always here to comfort us and to wipe our tears away)
Jesus falls for the third time: a cutout of my daughter’s hand made of cardstock (serves as a reminder for us to lend a helping hand to those who fall since we could not be there to lift Jesus up when he stumbled)
Jesus is stripped: A piece of purple felt (the piece of cloth represent Jesus’ garments. I chose purple since this is the liturgical color for repentance and preparation. We talk about how Lent is a time to prepare for the joy of the resurrection.)
Jesus is nailed to the cross: A nail
Jesus dies: A small crucifix
Jesus is taken down from the cross: A postcard of Michelangelo’s Pieta (We talk about the sorrow Mary must have felt holding her dead son in her arms and yet, she remained faithful, believing in God’s eternal promise.)
Jesus is buried: A stone (to remind us of the sealed tomb that enclosed Jesus’ body)
Christ rises from the dead: A picture of our Risen Lord resplendent in his victory over death!
2. What I’ve come to refer to as the “interminable incubating” continues as does what the medical community defines as “early labor.” It’s been almost one month and counting now since I was told the baby’s birth was imminent. I’m walking around with a fully engaged baby, a cervix that’s almost halfway to the point of complete dilation, and fully effaced.
There’s some success in the fact that I haven’t given birth yet since the baby has had more time to grow healthy and strong (I just hit the 38-week mark and my second child was already in my arms for over a week at this point after premature dilation), but the real success lies in the fact that my tendency to be completely anal is waning (somewhat), and I haven’t gone absolutely insane wondering when baby will fall out (though I have taken to gnawing on my nails). Yes, gravity has turned from foe to friend. Nothing like the unpredictability of babies to help a control freak like me relent and turn things over to God. It’s fitting that this is all happening during Lent.
3. We’ve narrowed down our list of names for our newest addition after my oldest child suggested that perhaps the baby was waiting until we at least had something to call her other than “baby.”
Share (and celebrate) your own and other moms’ small successes at Faith & Family Live!