October 10th, 2011
Yesterday Kevin and I attended a fantastic one-day parenting conference at our church called Extreme Home Parenting, led by Mark Holmen of Faith @Home. Kevin and I have always been proponents of teaching our kids at home first before taking them to church, and Mark Holmen talked a lot about how a lot of families “do church” rather than give to the church – we should come to church filled rather than needing to be filled.
Yesterday morning, he preached on Deuteronomy 6, especially verses 5-12. (I’m linking to NIV because that’s the version he read from that morning, but he did talk about using different versions of the Bible for study.) If you were unable to hear this message, it will be on KBTX this Sunday morning at 10 am cst, if you’d like to set your DVRs. Or, FBC has copies of the cd that you can get from the church office. I loved his emphasis on praying blessings over your children. For his child, he used Numbers 6:24-26 -
May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace. (NLT)
Last night I sang a version of this to our kids before bed, and Kennedy kept asking me to sing it over and over again. So I did!
In the Extreme Home Makeover, Mark mentioned that not every family’s faith walk would look exactly the same. Some families do devotions in the morning (which is clearly not us – we like lunch time devos) and some parents get on their knees in front of the bed to pray, some families keep prayer jars or boxes and some families do prayer journals or prayer trees. Kevin immediately elbowed me when he said “prayer journals”, because we know how much all of our kids love to write and draw, and while the other options seem a little foreign to us, this is one that we could keep up. And, my mom is a huge fan of prayer journaling – I have learned my journaling/writing skills from her and am all too thrilled to be able to pass them down to my kids.
So, here’s our first attempt at prayer journaling with the kids. I gave each of the kids a spiral notebook that I got for 5 cents each at Office Depot last month. We introduced it today slowly; the kids got to decorate the front and back covers of their journal this afternoon, and tonight we had Colby write some prayer requests down (tomorrow we’ll have the girls draw pictures and write). Then we all took turns praying out loud individually for these requests. The advantage of journaling is being able to look back and review, to see what still needs prayer and what God has done in answering these requests.
In this age of self-comparison and “keeping up with the Joneses” (love you, Joneses!), I won’t pretend to think that this will work perfectly, nor do I think it’s the best way to do prayer for every family. But, I am blessed to live in a nation where we have the freedom to worship God in the way that is best for each family, and to be able to teach our kids at home before we drop them off anywhere else.
What works best for your family – how does your family do “faith at home”?