Four candles get lit on the Advent wreath these days, which means that there are enough candles for each child to get to blow out one at the end of dinner. Of course, there are still discussions as to who gets to blow out the pink one, but this serves perfectly as a lesson in taking turns. As Christmas nears, and I am slowly buried in Things That Need Doing Before Christmas, it takes all my strength of will to keep important things in focus, to remember to first pray, then act. I have a tendency to act, act, act, act, mess up or get in trouble, then pray. Instead, I’m trying to pray, act, pray, act, pray, act. I find that when I sandwich the tasks of my day in prayer, I am gentler with my family, among other things. I’m not talking of rosaries here, more like, Hi, Jesus. I’m about to put dinner on the table. Help me not yell at the first child who comes in and whines about being hungry. Not that there’s anything wrong with rosaries, but that’s a different blog post.