My joy does not come from myself. Left on my own, my selfish desires easily take over, I become weak to the temptation of sin, sucked into worldly concerns, and prideful of my own doing…certainly nothing to brag about! I know God does not mean for us to fight for the victory of heaven alone...I know He left us endless opportunities to tap into His grace; His presence in the Eucharist, His Spirit on earth, His Word, the joy of confession, the rest of the sacraments, sacred art and on & on we know! Yet, while I know these beautiful things exist, in my fickle nature, amidst the grind of my daily life or within the walls of my own home, I’m easily distracted and quick to forget. How can I “decrease, so He can increase?” John 3:30 How can I constantly remind myself to “fix my thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable?” Philippians 4:8
I can intentionally surround myself with the true, good and beautiful reminders. I can choose to fill my walls with holy images, my bookshelves with spiritual reading, my playlists with worship music, my work desk with bible quotes, and my social time with holy friendships! We are only human, can only output what we input, and really need all the help to stay on the right track we can get! Plus, you can never have too much truth, beauty or goodness in your life ;)
One of the biggest influences to creating more of a 'domestic church' within my home started with my reading of the the highly recommended book, The Little Oratory: A Beginner's Guide to Praying in the Home. Definitely add it to your summer bucketlist! Along with other resources that have inspired me the past few years, here are 10 simple things we do at our house to surround ourselves with holy reminders:
- Wear a miraculous medal around your neck. Buy one for your husband, children, family & friends, keep spare ones in your purse. Im addicted to putting a miraculous medal in mostly every card I send, thanks to the amazing read of The Miraculous Medal: Stories, Prayers and Devotions. You can buy 50 of them for $8 from her site to keep on hand! Miraculous Medal Page
- Set your phone screen and/or laptop backdrop to a bible or saint quote.
- Put a rosary on your driver’s mirror inside your car. I also recently purchased a CD recording to play occasionally for longer trips when we want to pray in the car.
- Use a prayer card for your bookmark.
- Hang a crucifix in every room in your house.
- Use a Catholic planner and/or calendar. This year Im using the planner from Small Things with Great Love & LOVE it! Has all the feast days and inspirations for the liturgical year.
- Have a Mary garden or statue in your front yard.
- Keep a Bible by your bedside. And a rosary, prayer cards, or prayer journal. I also started a prayer corner for my oldest, inspired from the Little Oratory.
- Fill your house with sacred art, holy statues & quotes. Finding something for holy wall decor like my amazing friend's business Cottonwood, sacred art like my friends gorgeous work at Visual Grace, or shopping around Catholic sites like Blessed is She shop!
- Keep holy water in your bedrooms or a holy water font by your front door.
I need help remembering the Christian life is a journey that requires focus on the ultimate goal of heaven. Joy is a choice, that I need to keep choosing. The ability to create holy reminders throughout my life is a great step in that process.
Let’s keep encouraging each other to choose to surround ourselves in the best ways we can that lift our hearts and minds to heaven! Here are some picture ideas to share from around my house/domestic church in progress! We got this sisters!
In Joy, Alex