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Time Is of the Essence

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

I awoke this morning to a seven year old boy, six year old girl, and five year old boy/girl twins balancing books on their heads. They were dancing around slowly, regally, while their thirteen year old sister, Mary, tapped her hands, singing out: “one two three, one two three ...”

Christ is slowing us down, removing distractions and calling us, as a family unit, to deepen our relationship with Him and with each other.

You see, Mary is planning a ball and tea social for her siblings, and in preparation, there are waltz dance lessons and lessons in etiquette, such as: tea cup lifting (pinkies up), royal waving, and the art of receiving compliments like a boss ... well, at least like a royal.

Yesterday, my husband led an impromptu bubble-popping session and kite flying.

Last week, there was a coronation of four queens and a strange version of Snow White that involved Darth Vader.

Before that, a lively Mass with a priest and deacon going head to head.

COVID-19 self-isolation boredom seems to have led to a rise in creativity.

It is gold.

Relationships are being forged.

Memories are being made ... mostly good memories.

Pope Francis had once implored parents to “waste time” with their children. Although I saw the beauty of this simple yet sage advice, I kept thinking, it’s hard to find the time to attend to all our daily tasks and numerous obligations. We don’t have the luxury of added time to waste.

But now we do. This unprecedented time is perhaps a gift as much as it is a challenge, especially for families. Yes, the messes continue to mount, but the load on our calendar has lessened.

I keep thinking about the words Sister Lucia wrote to her bishop before her death:

“The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan

will be about Marriage and the Family.”

If the final battle is about marriage and the family, then I can understand why God would be keen on using this time to bring families back together. He’s removing the rush, the obligations, and the profound social pressure to have our children enrolled in countless activities that often pull us out of the home.

We have been given the gift of time: the gift of being present to each other. This is truly a divine mercy.

Many of us were running on fumes, and had lost our focus.

Christ is slowing us down, removing distractions and calling us, as a family unit, to deepen our relationship with Him and with each other.

He’s calling us to play together, to enjoy non-rushed family meals and uninterrupted conversations.


It’s such a small word for the vastness of its implication.

There are so many uncertainties right now, and there are times when I’m not sure if I’ll be able to meet everyone’s needs. I’m praying that I’ll be able to embrace this time, even with the chaos confinement can create, as a time to grow and thrive together with my family.

I believe that for those who have given their lives to God, this time will ultimately be used for their good, and that their families will be strengthened as a result.

“Jesus, I trust in you.”

Stay with us Lord! 

Mane Nobiscum Domine


*I want to acknowledge those essential workers who are busier than ever. I pray for you. You have been called away from your home. Your time is not your own. This is an immense sacrifice, and I am deeply grateful for your gift.


Carissa Douglas is a Canadian author and illustrator, known especially for her Little Douglings brand—a series for kids in which a group of children is sent on a mission by God with the assistance of a Saint. Carissa is the mom of 14, and a passionate promoter of the culture of life and all things related to this: our awesome Catholic faith. While her kids are busy with school work and projects, she spends her downtime writing stories and illustrating. To follow the adventures of the Little Douglings, visit them here.

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1 Comment

Kenton Biffert
Kenton Biffert
Apr 24, 2020

The creativity in our house has increased as well - but its focus has turned to building things in the backyard. We now have rabbit hutch, rabbit run and a chicken coop on the way!

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