Good Evening/Morning! My name is Abbie Mitchell and this is my 7 year old son, Gavin. We are disciples of Jesus Christ. We attended the parish mission as a family and it profoundly impacted us. If I'm being completely honest, my husband and I were nervous about taking our kids for four nights, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours each night, around bedtime. We wondered how they would they behave? I can't tell you how glad I am that we didn't let that stop us.
I've noticed such amazing changes in myself and in members of my family. I've been praying the rosary daily and spending time being quiet and listening to God. I've made it a priority and that is no easy task for a busy homeschooling mom of three. I've come to cherish that peaceful time and my children know not to interrupt me unless it's a true emergency.
After the mission, my husband, Brian, felt called to make it to the next Knights of Columbus meeting after missing months in a row and is setting up a prayer area in our bedroom. We are planning to hang crucifixes above the doors of each bedroom to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice and truest example of love. Each of our children now have a special place to pray in their own rooms. I often catch my girls in quiet time alone with God or singing church songs. This makes my mama heart proud.
Gavin is standing up here because I think the mission had the biggest impact on him. On the 3rd day of the mission, Gavin and I got up at 2:00 am to head to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis for surgery. This is part of our norm as we do it often. That was actually Gavin's 35th time under anesthesia for various surgeries, procedures, and tests. It would have been very easy for us to use that as an excuse not to go to the mission talk that night, but Gavin insisted that we go.
After the mission, he started expressing his desire to go to confession. He is only in the First Grade, so I wasn't sure if this could happen. I reached out to Father Alex and we are setting it up this Lenten Season. He will also be doing his First Holy Communion in May. He is beyond excited about this and spends time with God every day using his new reading skills to read his Bible. He is even expressing an interest in becoming a Deacon or Priest ~ Father take note!
Deacon Ralph used a metaphor of a wheelbarrow. He talked about how we need to fully get in the wheelbarrow and allow God to push and guide it. We tend to have one foot in and the other out with the weight in the "world" instead of with HIM. I know that I need to put all of my weight into that wheelbarrow. Kids seem to have an easier time doing this and I need to follow their example. I also know that I can tell my kids how to be a good child of God, but showing them is much more effective. Taking them to the mission for the first time is something we will never forget or regret. Thank you.