Friday, January 29, 2016

Breakfast Devotionals - Bringing Family Together

It happened. My little family just grew by two more feet! And those feet belong to a pre-teen boy who wears a size 6.5 shoe. Yay! My wonderful daughter has gained the sibling she's dreamed of having and I have an amazing son. After months of waiting, praying and wondering what would happen next, finally my son was officially placed in my home January 2016! We still have the state required "6 month waiting period" before we can finalize the adoption, but I'm committed to him and so is my family. 

One desire of my heart right now is to deeply bond and bring our family of three closer together. Everything changes when you suddenly have a new person in the mix but each day we develop a closer bond through laughter, tears, new experiences and normal routine. 

As part of our normal routine, I've tried to incorporate a weekly, bible-based family devotional. I began them when my daughter moved in but I'd not quite "figured it out" or always been consistent. This past weekend we had our first family devotional with the three of us. I'm sure it went okay but afterward I began feeling our devotionals needed to undergo some adjustments. My children have a seven year age gap so longer devotionals that draw out deep topics for my seventeen year old daughter are not necessarily a good fit for teaching my 4th grader. And yet, if I shortened the weekly devo to something better for his attention span and level, I feared she might not get what she needed either. Hmmm...

So I began praying to God and while sifting through devotional books online, I was reminded of Corrie ten Boom's book, "The Hiding Place." In the book, she wrote about how her father would read from the bible every morning to his family. I meditated on that and decided that a Monday - Friday breakfast devotional was the answer! 

Neither of my children grew up in or around a church, so the devotional book I selected is Grace for the Moment: 365 Devotions for Kids by Max Lucado. Each day is one page with a scripture, topic, and practical. Having a "bite-size" daily devotional instead of a "full meal" weekly one meets my children's needs. Benefits include, bonding deeper as a family, hearing God's word more often, and having a daily spiritual focus. This also gives me the opportunity to "each day proclaim the good news that [the Lord] saves" to my children by feeding them both spiritually and physically at the same time. (A1.) I've already shared with them about my personal conviction of spending daily time with God so, who knows? Maybe they can even begin seeing the power of spending consistent times with God in their own lives too! 

In case you are curious, here's an example of how a breakfast-devo flows for us. Today we sat down to breakfast and (using what my kids have affectionately nick-named 'awkward prayer hands' - ha) I prayed over them individually. I prayed specifically into the challenges each are facing at school with classwork, friends, and other situations. As they ate breakfast, I read today's daily devotional. It included the scripture, "But the wisdom that comes from God is pure, peaceful, and gentle..." then Max shared short reminders of when Jesus had exhibited his peacefulness and gentleness. (A2.) Afterwards, we took turns sharing what stood out to us and each committed to focus on being peaceful and gentle throughout our day, like Jesus. :)

Now, for your family, a breakfast-devo simply might not work. That's totally okay! This is just the way God has directed me as he Father's my little clan so I wanted to encourage others by sharing.

May your day be peaceful and gentle.

A1. scripture - 1 Chronicles 1 6:23b
A2. scripture - James 3:17b