Lent is upon us and after my Emmaus retreat in December I have been trying really hard to connect with God more. As I shared in my post ‘My Emmaus Retreat Experience’, I came back from my retreat knowing that I needed to prioritize time with God and time to express gratitude more. I have been more consistent with this lately and while I definitely have my moments, I am finding that this is really helping me find more peace these days. I have been fairly consistent with my Blessed is She devotional on weekdays and my journaling. I also started to listen to the Bible in a Year Podcast. I plan a blog post on some of my favorite podcasts soon and so I’ll elaborate more on this then. I also started to attend my prayer group again regularly which had not happened since pre-COVID!
Since I have been spending more time trying to connect with God, it would make sense that I want to take this lent to really help strengthen that relationship. This year Natalia is also doing her first communion and I want to set a good example for her. At the time when I am writing this I have not quite decided what I want to do for lent whether it’s to give something up or commit to a DAILY habit- even on weekends! I do have some things in mind. Nonetheless I think I was once told you are not really supposed to tell the world what you are doing for lent since it’s between you and God, however, I personally may need to mention it to those around me in order to hold myself accountable!
At any rate, I wanted to share something today related to my faith. We took Natalia’s communion photos a bit early. This is in no way because I have it all together, in fact, I don’t! This was because my mom likes putting an AD in the yearbook for the kids, we wanted something to commemorate that this was Natalia’s communion year and the AD was due February 18th. Immediately I knew I needed to get some photos with some meaningful rosaries.
I also did my first communion when I was in the second grade. My grandfather passed away when I was 10 years old but I remember him well and I have many memories of him. One that stands out is when my grandparents gave me my gift on the day of my first communion. They gave me a beautiful Swarovski rosary.
At the time they told me that this was not just my communion gift but that it was also my wedding gift in case they did not make it to my wedding. When the day came, they wanted me to say my vows with the rosary in hand. I did not forget their wishes and the rosary was with me the day I said ‘I DO’.
Thankfully my Grandmother did make it to our wedding!
Sadly, my grandfather was not there but it was very special to have a gift from him on that day even though he hasn’t been with us on Earth since I was a child. I knew Natalia needed to have photos with this special gift now that it is her turn to have her first communion.
I also made sure to take photos with another special family heirloom. My grandfather, the same one who gave me the Swarovski rosary for my communion, always wore a rosary ring around his finger. Despite it being big and bulky he always had it on and since his passing it has always reminded us of him. My cousins and I were all married with it inside of our dresses. I plan to pin it in Natalia’s dress as well during her first communion. We also captured special photos with it.
When Peter saw I was including these pieces of my grandparents in Natalia’s photos, he wanted his late Grandmother to be represented too so we also took some photos with a rosary that belonged to his grandmother and was passed down to him when she passed away.
Needless to say we miss our grandparents and wish they could be here for these special moments in our kids lives. It is very special though to have these family heirlooms to remember them by and to help us feel as if they are here with us on these important days. I know for me, my faith is rooted in the example my grandparents, specifically my Abuelo Ricardo, set. He had wanted to be a priest until he met my grandmother! They had a beautiful family with 5 kids, my mom being one of them. My grandfather had such strong faith that when he had cancer, he was not afraid of death because he knew this was the day he would be united with God. I hope to have half the faith he had and although I know I am nowhere near where my grandparents were, I do try to follow in their footsteps.
As I wrote this post, it did cross my mind that for someone who had her daughter take so many photos with rosaries, I do not pray the rosary often… if it all if I’m being honest. Maybe that is something I can improve on this lent!
I wish everyone a very blessed and special Lenten season!
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