Sometimes, when the house looks like a tornado ripped through, I hide from my toddler and romanticize living in a cloister.
The freedom! The simplicity! The…
…my son pounds a toy tractor against the door, “Mama, NEED snack pwease!” and I’m throttled back into the reality that I’m a mother. Really, it’s for the best (I’d be a terrible nun).
So I head back to the kitchen.
My toes squish a blueberry while I set down a bowl of mac and cheese and when I look back at Shep he’s feeding Mary and Baby Jesus a spoonful.
“Here you go, guys!” he exclaims.
And I wipe my berry stained feet smiling at the familiarity with which he calls them “guys” and the thought of Jesus enjoying a box of Annie’s White Cheddar shells. Food fit for a king, ya know?
Filling our home with beautiful religious items is up there on my priority list with good food, good friends, and good books. It makes teaching my children about God a regular part of our day rather than something we only see at church. Mind you, I’m not great at this. I have Catholic All Year in my nightstand and have yet to implement a single liturgical idea because heck…I can barely keep blueberries off the floor. Also, have I told you how Shep slithered around Mass a few Sundays ago yelling, “I’m a snake!”?
Yeah, I’m a novice.
Yet I’ve seen the fruits of having images of Christ amidst the tractors and baby dolls. Prayer cards and rosary beads next to Brown Bear Brown Bear.
If you’re not sure how to incorporate the faith into the home and also don’t have the wherewithal to put the clean laundry in the dryer, let me recommend a simple solution: Have Catholic stuff. If nothing else, it’ll start conversations with your children…
“Mama, what’s dat?”
“It’s a rosary! We think about Jesus and ask Mary to pray for us…”
“No, it’s a key.”
“Well, no. It’s a rosary. But okay!”
“C’mon! Let’s go unlock da door…”
…whatever. I’m calling it a win.
I’ve learned that, if you let it, holy water can be as natural to family life as sippy cups and dirty diapers and maybe that’s the point? These messy lives of ours are sacred because the Lord himself says so. The visible reminders of God’s presence in our homes are simply reminders of the fact that He’s already there.
I want my children (and your children) to be so familiar with Jesus that they plant slobbery kisses on the crucifix and feed him bites of lunch. May it be the beginning of an eternal friendship.
Looking to add more Catholic items to your home? Here’s a list of my favorite shops along with the items we currently love.
Santa Clara’s Sacred Heart of Jesus print + Immaculate Heart of Mary print sit on the children’s little table in our living room. I also have the Good St. Joseph print for Shepherd’s room and am eyeing the Vintage Madonna and Child or Our Lady of the Rosary for Maria. Am I obsessed with having religious art in front of my kids at every turn? Yes. Are there worse things to be obsessed with? Also, yes.
The Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati print sits on our little family altar and I just put in an order for some of the prayer cards (because they are gorgeous)- specifically I grabbed, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Saint Michael the Archangel, and Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity.
We gifted Maria a Mary doll as a baptism gift and have also purchased the rosary teether! Love them both. The wooden puzzles are beautiful (but currently sold out) and the muslin quilts look so cozy, too. I’m also thinking about completing our Holy Family set at some point with Joseph and Baby Jesus.
Honestly, I rarely EVER wear any jewelry. If I do decide to put on a necklace (that my baby ends up yanking around until I take it off), it’s either: The Sacred Heart Necklace or Saint Benedict Necklace. The Miraculous Medal and Crucifix and cross studs look really pretty, too.
Last but not least, I’d be remiss not to mention one of my favorite art pieces that is definitely not from a Catholic small business (hi, Amazon) but is on display in our home!
I’m not entirely sure if anyone reads blogs anymore- let alone comments on them. But if you are one of those people I’d love to know your favorite Catholic shops! As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s be friends.