Oh, it’s Back to School season. This time of year for my family means so much more than just school starting again. It’s really a big change in our lives. We go from having lots of fun times, lots of down time, lots of family time and very little scheduled time into a rigorous schedule of school, sports, and meetings. It’s not only the beginning of school for the kids but also the beginning of several things for my husband and me. We launch small group and the start of a new Love and Logic class and a few other responsibilities that have been put on hold for the summer.
I love this time of year!!! I am craving a schedule, a rhythm, a routine. By the end of the school year last year, I was yearning to get out of my routine, to break our rhythm, and to have a more flexible schedule. It’s hard for me to fathom how I love two opposite seasons. I believe what I desire is a change in season. When there’s a change in a season, there’s an opportunity to start afresh. There’s an opportunity to realign our priorities, a time to say “yes” and “no” on purpose.
There are a few actions that I want to put into my schedule on purpose in this new season. I am going to plan to be consistent. As we think about discipleship for our families, we must make a plan, we must make space, we must put it on the schedule, we must be purposeful…or family discipleship simply won’t happen.
Let’s look at some different ideas for the rhythm of our lives:
- On the drive to school- pray over our day
- As you are getting ready for the day, pray on the armor of God—you can place strategic words or pictures in the bathroom for the kids (I’m working on some documents that I will post)
- After School:
- On the drive home from school, share what you were thankful for that happen in your day.
- At dinner, speak encouraging words to each other.
- “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
- Read the Bible as part of the daily reading for school.
- Before Bed:
- Spend some time praying with your kids.
- Listen to worship music as you’re winding down and preparing to go to sleep.
- Have a weekly memory verse that you’re whole family learns together.
- Spend some time one night per week discussing what you learned at church on Sunday. It’s great to follow up on what the kids learned; it’s also wonderful for adults to share what they learned and how the teaching has landed in their life.
- Take time as a family to go outside and enjoy God’s creation. While you’re out in nature spend some quiet time of prayer with Jesus. This will look different for each age group. Toddlers and Preschoolers: Thank you Jesus for……, Elementary and Youth can take some time by themselves to read their Bibles and journal.
Now, in all honesty, I just paused my writing and groaned with feelings of failure on my own part in my own family. This summer has been a time of busy fun and very little structured, purposeful discipleship. However, I’m going to beat myself up for a few minutes and then take action. I am going to implement my own advice this morning by posting some things in the kids’ bathroom. What are you going to do? I’d love to hear your ideas and how it has worked in your family.