I don’t know about you, but I’ve found I’ve had to re-learn how I connect with God since becoming a parent. I know God’s the same, but my life with young children is very different. I’ve found God is very gracious, and meets me wherever I am, but I have found some things have really helped me. Here’s 10 of them:
1 Wanting to connect with God
This is where is all stems from. My motivation is often because I need Him to get through my day – not the purest motivation – but I know God is forgiving.
- 2 Getting quality Christian children’s books and music.
I find I am often blessed through reading my children’s Bible to them or listening to an audio book or worship CD in the car. Can I just add that too many times I’ve heard people say that Christian stuff should be free or that they can’t afford it. Can I suggest that as parents we spend a lot of money on a lot of things for our children and that resources which help and us grow spiritually should be up there with the vital essentials. There’s loads out there, but try to get recommendations or read before you buy. Here’s some of my favourites.
3 Sharing adult Christian music and books with my children.
Don’t forget to play your favourite worship music as well as theirs. And offer to read to them from your Bible. This works well if you use a version such as the Contemporary English Version which is more accessible for younger listeners. I’ve just finished reading 1 Kings to my girls as their bed time story, one chapter at a time. I’ve edited a few bits, like the dogs licking Jezebel’s blood, but on the whole they’ve enjoyed it and I’ve relished the chance to read large blocks of the Bible again.
4 Make the most of every opportunity
This can be as simple as using their toys to share a Bible story like this or a game to pray for them like this. I’ve also found that doing more creative prayer myself means I can do it with them, such as this prayer book idea.
5 Developing significant family rituals to connect with God.
We’ve found that celebrating Shabbat each Friday evening has been a wonderful way to grow in God together. You can read more about why we celebrate Shabbat here. Even short, simple rituals such as lighting a candles and giving God thanks before meals is a good way to give yourself a moment of connection as well as an accessible ritual for your family.
6 Being open to God meeting me when and however He chooses.
As you can see here, God has a way of speaking to us even in situations we aren’t http://www.onlinepharmacytabs.com expecting. I find asking Him to meet me and looking out for Him is often enough for me to discover many moments of connection in a day. I often find being outdoors really helpful – for us it’s a good way to calm our children – and I often find God speaks to me through nature, which is easier if I’m outdoors 😉
7 Making the most of seasons
I find Christmas and Easter are great times to have resources, activities and rituals to help me connect with God. But there’s also other seasons. We have some days we celebrate, such as Baptism birthdays which we do as a mini-birthday, with cake and bunting up in the house and I get out the photobook of their baptism day and we look at it together. I also tell them the baptism Godly Play story and leave out the baby, the jug of water and bowl, the candle and the scented oil plus the three white circles representing the trinity – for them to play with. We sometimes celebrate the Jewish festival of Shelters, and we make the most of the natural seasons, using elements to enhance our prayers and Bible story times. For example, in the summer we collect stones and make them into story stones.
8 Listening to my children
Jesus said we are to be like little children, to be child-like in the way we relate to Him. I often find what they do naturally really helps me in my walk with God. But it takes discipline to listen, to be still, to not be so tied up in what I’m doing that I miss the moments when God is speaking through them to me.
9 Learning how to worship and pray without a warm up
As a parent, I’ve become a master at holding two (or more!) conversations at once, having a chat with a friend while being interrupted every few minutes by a delightful small person. What I realised recently was that I’ve also got better at doing this with God. Don’t get me wrong; I love having an hour to spend time with Him in a focused way just as I love having an hour to chat with a friend uninterrupted. But if our children want to spend time with me while I’m spending time with God, I’m getting better at attending to both conversations at once.
10 Remembering God wants to connect with me!
It’s not a one way street. And like the Father who’s Son left home and wasted his inheritance, Father God is always looking for me, and when He sees me turn to Him for a moment’s connection in a busy day, He’s right there. Next to me. Ready and connecting with me. WOW!