For February we read chapter two on Prayer from Habits of a Child's Heart: Raising your kids with the Spiritual Disciplines by Valerie Hess and Marti Watson Garlett. It has been a great way to move into the Lenten season. Prayer has been so central to my faith and relationship with God. I have kept a prayer journal since I was a teenager. It is my "Ebenezer" of sorts - a marking of God in my life. I have been able to see how God has been working in my life and answering ALL my prayers. I am in awe and amazement any time I think of it all. Seeing His faithfulness in my life in the past gets me through the times when it is hard to see what is going on. It has built my trust when I am in a wilderness or when I cannot see ahead of me or understand my circumstances.
Anyway, I only want the same prayer life or even better for my children. I try to pray with them regularly and spontaneously. I encourage them to record in some way God in their lives. This chapter has many suggestions of encouraging and sharing the prayer habit in your and your children's lives. Some ideas include: a prayer "rule" (a regular time of prayer whether we feel like it or have anything to say or not), a prayer journal, memorizing prayers, and more.
How do you pray as a family? How do you encourage your child's prayer life?
I feel prayer is so central to our faith. I am hoping to share more prayer resources and books over the next couple of weeks that have really shaped our prayer life in our family. Do you have any recommendations?
Home is where the heart is.
Home, sweet, home.
There's no place like home.
Keep the home fires burning.
Make yourself at home.
Charity begins at home.
Close to home.
A good laugh is sunshine in a house.
A happy home is but an early heaven.
A house is built with boards and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
In our home let love abide, and bless all those who step inside
Have LOVE in your HEART and PEACE in your HOME
Having someplace to go is HOME . . . Having someone to love is FAMILY . . .
Having both is a BLESSING.
When children laugh and families play, home is where they want to stay.
Our home is filled with peace and rest – may all who enter in be blessed.
Sit long, Talk much, Laugh often
I wrote shortly after we moved last year about starting to feel at home in this new place. And yet this world is not truly our home. I am understanding that more and more. I think I had hopes of finding that perfect house and perfect setting here. But I was looking at it all from my point of view and my wants. What makes a home? Is it just a residence or a dwelling? Where do we find home? There's no perfect house or location. Even if you had plenty of money and built your dream house - would it be perfect? Probably not (that's a guess).
I think home is not where but WHEN we are embracing our plans and life in God's hands knowing he loves us and he has our best. We can trust all our dreams and desires to him when we are seeking and trusting him with all our heart. It's not all about me right now. Maybe I am here for my kids - this is the best place for them right now. Or maybe it is for me and I don't see it yet or for my husband or for a way to serve.
Today we added a little clean fun to our school day. We put a bar of ivory soap in the microwave to see it grow! We also read a little bit about the history of soap. Then so as not to waste the soap, we crumbled it up. It fell and looked like snow - ivory snow :). I made some mint tea that we added to the "snow" and kneaded it into a dough. We molded the dough into some cookie cutters to dry. Now we have some fun soap bars we can use in the bath tub. We could of added some food coloring to make them prettier, but I like to use natural dye, and we are all out at the moment.
We love this magazine - Pockets. Lila is even on the advisory board this year. When Kyle was younger he also got the opportunity to be on the board. But that's not what we love. We love all the stories, devotions, games, recipes, poems, jokes, etc. My kids have been reading now for maybe 10 years. And we've been saving the magazines - they even reread them. It's nice to have a magazine come in the mail that reinforces what we believe and teach at home.