I hit the ground running at 5:00 a.m. A workout is necessary to lose what was gained over the course of three pregnancies. Then it’s back to the house to help Jim rush the girls through the morning routine of bed making, dressing, breakfast, hair detangling, and teeth brushing. After dropping off children at their respective schools, it’s back to the house to enjoy a few minutes with God and my coffee, make myself presentable, start a load of clothes, clean the kitchen from breakfast, and possibly squeeze in a trip to Walmart before work at 9:00 a.m. When the clock is punched at 5:00 p.m., it’s back home to begin the crazy two-hour task of cooking, feeding the troops, bathing the munchkins, and looking over homework. All the while, I am listening to the mysteries and excitements of that day and picking up shoes and Wii remotes. After tucking in the girls, Jim and I begin an intimate time of kitchen clean-up and clothes folding. Sigh. Is it over yet? And this doesn’t touch the days with a meeting or extracurricular activity!
This is a day in my life – my perfect chaos! Sound familiar?
Now, to the important question – where does God fit into this? Like many families, I struggled for a while with how to fit God time into our schedule. My solution – take God on the go and be intentional.
Tip 1: An example of something that works for us is doing a devotion during the car ride to school. Once we pull out every morning, my oldest daughter opens our children’s devotional book to that particular date, and she reads aloud the verse and clip of wisdom orchestrated for that day. This is a great opportunity to process scripture and dialogue as a family. At times we have incorporated song into the “lesson,” and we always end in prayer; each person takes a turn. When we first began family devotions, we read A Child’s First Bible (Kenneth N. Taylor); now we use Blessings Every Day (Carla Barnhill).
Tip 2: A new idea shared with me recently was to pray your children awake. Can you think of a better way to start the day? We work so hard to remember praying at bedtime, praying our children to sleep, so why not pray them awake! I tried it just this week, and it was a beautiful experience. Even though I was met with sleepy eyes and a few grunts, I could feel the difference it made.
Tip 3: Take advantage of teachable moments. We are instructed in Deuteronomy 6 to make God the center of our homes. We teach our children to be in constant conversation with God through prayer; let’s be in constant devotion, too. Think outside the box – devotion can be mobile. Whether you are watching a movie together, playing in the yard, or reprimanding one child for being unkind to another, teach the word of God in everyday conversation.
Because God-time is so vital in our homes, it is necessary to be home together. (Busy schedules make this difficult!) Guard your calendars. Reserve family time each week, specifically for dinner. Mealtime is a great opportunity to share and grow. No matter the ages of your children, make quality family time a priority.
The bottom line is you must be intentional. Everyone has an excuse; who isn’t busy? Figure out what works with your family and do it. No child is too young or too old to experience family devotions.
Editors Pick: Other great resources (click on picture for more info. most links have a preview option to look inside):
This Bible is our boys favorite, it is beautifully illustrated and it also has a DVD available for purchase.
This is wonderful to help kids experience Gods Truths through fun activities.
Easy (prep is under 5 min) hands on Science Tricks to help kids capture Gods truth.
Discovering Gods World and His truth through stories about animals: otters, iguanas, ants, etc… Our boys love this little quick devotion.
first image -via Serendipity Mom