Yesterday as I washed dishes, unbeknownst to me, my toddler son was upstairs making a swimming pool out of my bathroom. I heard the water running above when I turned off the kitchen sink faucet. I immediately bolted upstairs and, not yet noticing the drenched floors, I ran into the bathroom to shut off the water. I must have looked like a cartoon character slipping on a banana peel as my feet flew out from under me. My knees slammed into the cabinet just before I landed harshly on my rear.
I was hurt, annoyed, and even a bit angry. I yelled at my mischief making little one. Guilt and fear washed over his sweet face as his bottom lip quivered. I instantly felt awful for yelling. But, darn it, I was hurting.
As my curly mop-topped little guy walked away sheepishly, I wondered; would I have had the graces to proceed more calmly if I had begun my day by praying the Apostles Creed to kick off a rosary instead of sifting through social media. I’m not sure, but it certainly could not have hurt. I have yet to regret finding time to pray the rosary.
Making the rosary a daily habit is not easy. However, once I discovered and also created some alternative tools to help me pray the rosary throughout the day, it became more habitual. I love the traditional beads that I received as a gift at my first communion as well as the beautiful crystal beads my husband gave me for Christmas one year, but sometimes they are not conducive to my busy mom life.
These are my five favorite alternative ways to pray the rosary. Even if you already have a nice habit going, it’s always great to try something new. You may add a different dimension to your prayer life when you mix up your routine.
Several years ago, I started using my ipod, and then later my smart phone, to pray an occasional rosary. The Laudate app offers the perfect way to get back into praying with its interactive rosary. It walks you through each bead. Don’t have the mysteries memorized? No problem. Laudate has you covered! You can read here about how I relearned the rosary with during my long train commute to work. This was of course before I became a Catholic Homegirl, my funny way of saying a Catholic Stay at Home Mom. Find the Laudate app for the iphone here.
Do you have a rosary bracelet from Chews Life yet? It is an ideal rosary for the busy mom. Fifty Five colorful beads wrap around your wrist. A clasp with a crucifix keeps your place when your prayers are interrupted. I have to thank the makers of this bracelet, Shannon and Laura, for helping jumpstart my daily rosary habit. Their 28 day challenge was also a game changer for me!
Also, with this bracelet, my daughter came to understand Mary as her other mother. A few months back, she started getting anxious before bedtime on a regular basis. I gave her my bracelet to wear to bed and told her it was a reminder that when I’m not around, she can look to Mary for comfort. It’s now a ritual that we pray a decade of the rosary together before bedtime. Sometimes if I stand close to her bedroom door, I can hear her sweet almost 7 year old voice reciting another decade on her own.
I love the Laudate App and my bracelet, but sometimes, my hands need to take care of household chores. Although I love watching TV while I fold laundry, I often find myself distracted. Praying a rosary while I fold laundry keeps me on task. I count out ten items to fold while doing the first leg of the rosary. I use these folded pieces of clothing as beads. I pray the rosary while folding the rest of the laundry, keeping track of my decade by moving one of the ten pieces of laundry from one pile to another.
One Tuesday night I found myself in adoration with no rosary, not even my bracelet. I did, however, have a pen and my journal. I began drawing a rosary as I prayed. Doodling engaged my right brain, helping me enter into an almost timeless, but also focused, state of mind. If you already pray the rosary often and are in a bit of a spiritual rut, I highly recommend doodling your next rosary.
I started by drawing a little cross to say the Apostles Creed and with each prayer, I drew a flower or other design for the duration of that particular prayer until I had completed a the rosary.
Hands Free Rosary – a Catholic Homegirl original
My final alternative way to pray the rosary uses something that I created. I call it the Hands Free Rosary. The rough idea came to me about six months ago when I longed for some sort of object to help me pray a rosary while doing my dishes. I finally had a bit of inspiration and went to Michaels to buy some materials. I had a vision in my head but was having difficulty helping it materialize. Then, on the morning of the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it came to me. My original plan had me searching for pink flower shaped beads. At Michaels I could only find white rose shaped beads and I’m convinced that it was no coincidence. They were perfect to help illustrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
The beads across the heart are the decade beads and the bead on the side trace the decade that you are praying.
Do you have any creative methods of praying? Would you like to enter a contest to win a Hands Free Rosary? Comment below!
Update: One rosary was given away via Instagram! I plan to set up a shop to sell a new version soon.