I’m returning to school today, and I’ve been really weepy for the past couple of days! I’m going to miss dancing to “Yo Gabba Gabba” and our library time and Family Fun Fridays. I’m going to miss playing on the playground and taking walks around the neighborhood together. I’m going to miss hanging around my cubs all day long while they laugh, argue, cry, and play together. Cub 3 excitedly told me yesterday that her poop looked like an alligator – what mom wants to miss those cute-rageous moments?!
I’ve been weepy just thinking about all of the changes that have started and will start to take place. Changes that will be taking away the family time that we’ve enjoyed this summer. Of course, there is the beginning of the new school year. Cubs 3 and 4 will begin waking up and heading out of the house like the rest of us this year. Cubs 1 and 2 are both playing flag football which ensures that we won’t be together at least two evenings out of each week with practices, and games will be every Saturday until the end of October. We are losing family time. In the midst of all of these new routines and changes that are taking place, we’ve decided to try out a new routine – family prayer time. We may leave out of the house in the morning yelling at cubs to hurry and get moving, but we will always end our day with prayer before they go to bed.
My friend, Allison, and her family are the inspiration behind our family prayer time. Allison just recently moved to Georgia, but before that she worked for my school system and volunteered at my school where her two children attended. Allison would have you cracking up at the stuff that so easily flowed from her mouth, but Allison also has the faith of Job…that’s another blog post, though. When she found out that PB had prostate cancer, she told me that they were going to add his name to their prayer list. Recently, she asked for an update on PB because her kids get excited about being able to take someone off of their list. I was indeed happy to let her know that PB was cancer-free and could be taken off the list! I also thought how neat it was to have that type of prayer life with her children, so I asked her to share more details about their prayer time. In their home, they always say their prayers together in one of her kids’ bedrooms before bed. She usually asks them if they have any prayer concerns, then she leads them in prayer. The first thing they do is thank God for another day. They also pray for those on their prayer list, their family, and any other special concerns.
We always thanked God for Daddy’s job and now have switched over to “help Daddy find the right job at the right time” and “we are grateful for all that we have.” We have 2 young people we pray for, so they get mentioned at the same time & we pray specifically for their needs if there are any. We have several adults we pray for who have cancer (and the kids were very happy to remove PB from that list)! We also pray for any surgeries. The rest of the prayer mentions our grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins (there are too many to name individually, unless they have a specific concern), our preachers, teachers, church, friends & neighbors, and then “anyone else who has a need that we have forgotten or don’t know about.” Then I add in whatever’s going on with us, like school starting, meeting new people, etc… I also occasionally add in “thank you for the house that we live in, the clothes that we wear, the cars that we drive & the food that we eat.” That’s about it – I try to mix it up so it’s not SO routine night after night. If there’s ever anything negative that happened, I try to turn it into a positive, like if someone has a busted knee, I ask for healing and say we are thankful it wasn’t anything worse.
I already knew that Allison’s kids were amazing, but now I understand why! What greater gift can you give your children than to teach them to talk to God about what concerns them? Not the normal routine of “Now I lay me down to sleep…” but really teaching them to take their specific concerns and thanksgiving to Him.
Although I’m not looking forward to our routine changes, I’m excited about the benefits of adding family prayer time to our new routine. When you’re all tangled up in new routines, don’t forget to keep time set aside for your family. It may not necessarily be family prayer time, but it could be making sure that everyone eats a meal together once a week without the tv on, or iPod, or cell phone. Or it could be an afternoon/evening set aside just for family; no friends or extended family invited. It’s okay to do that!
Peace and Blessings!