There have been two recent happenings within our family that sparked fear in one (or more) of our children – and me, to be honest. The first happened at a baseball game (balls come at you fast when you’re learning how to play first base) and the second happened during the middle of the night as we hung out in our basement during a Tornado Warning (Warning, not Watch… meaning it was time to take action). Both times, I found myself comforting my children while also wanting some comfort myself.

During the baseball game, all I wanted to do was let my son “give up” because I, too, was scared of him taking another ball to the face. But I knew that it was important he get back out there and try again – if not for his own self, but for his team as well. I didn’t know what to say to him, but I knew that prayer can help calm any person down. So, I suggested we pray. So I said a “Hail Mary”. As I finished, my son asked if we could say a special prayer to St. Francis, too. So we did. “St. Francis, help us be brave and to enjoy God’s gift of being outside on a nice night getting to play a game that’s fun!” Soon enough, my son was back out there, laughing and smiling again. 

During the Tornado Warning, we were woken up at 1:30am by our phones alerting us. It’s always jarring to be jolted awake, but because it was a Tornado Warning, I found myself wanting to be fearful again. As the only person in our Pennsylvania home who grew up in Kansas, I knew what I was doing. I knew that the green sky and the stillness of the wind meant business. I had experience with this type of warning before and knew there, quite frankly, was nothing more we could do other than protect our physical selves. But as we sat down in the basement (my husband holding our one-year-old trying to keep her asleep, myself holding our 4-year-old daughter and her 7 stuffies and also keeping our son close under my arm) I couldn’t help the thoughts of fear enter my mind. I started thinking of the “things” that were upstairs. Our important documents, our computers, food, kid’s backpacks – what was I going to do if those were blown away. My daughter sitting on my lap quieted my thoughts. She was shaking (just from being cold after being thrust out of her cozy, warm bed), but I realized I needed to simply provide comfort rather than worry about any “what ifs”. I was ready to throw myself on top of them if I heard so much as a window rattle. Again, I turned to praying a couple of “Hail Marys” outloud. Soon enough, the storm passed, we all went back upstairs, and woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning. 

I think as I’ve grown as a mom, I have realized that there are SO many things I want to do for my kids. Whether that’s to protect them from a ball on first base or shelter them from a literal storm, I’m here for them as a “care provider”. But sometimes, that’s really difficult as I battle my own fears or discomforts in any given situation. In those moments, I find myself praying to Mary, over and over again. “It takes a village” is a common phrase. For other people, their village is their closest friends and family. I’m finding that my village includes Mary. For some people, it includes St. Francis. For some people, it includes Jesus and Him alone. In moments of fear or being overwhelmed as a mother, I’d encourage you to let Heavenly figures into your “village”. Let them help you guide your children. Let your children know them, so they can ask for special prayers while they build courage to get back out on the baseball field or to take on the storms of life. We are the Body of Christ and the communion of saints exists to aid us on our journey to heaven. They are here and waiting to help us out – we only have to ask for their intercession.