Something new

Yesterday we had a great visit with Rebeca and her three children~ they were in the area and joined us for most of the day. It was so nice to sit down and talk face-to-face, and our children played so well together.

This morning we're making a paper chain for Isaac to assist him in counting down the days until his fifth birthday. Only 26 more days... I might cry if I dwell on that much longer so I won't say any more about that.

Then we'll do some school, have lunch, quiet times/naps, and then we get to play with our best buddies this afternoon, and we're all looking forward to that, as it's been several weeks since we've seen them.

Okay, on to the topic of this post. I wanted to share about one of the new things we're beginning this year as a part of our daily routine. More than anything in life, we want our children to love God with their whole hearts. I can see that Ella is figuring out how this faith of ours is more personally a faith of hers. We have had some wonderful conversations lately where I've been able to guide her to "pray about that sin" or "spend some time talking to God about that; ask Him to help you", etc., and she has told me that she's spent time doing that. I've seen the fruit, too, and have been able to commend her for those things.

One of the things we wanted to start with Ella this year is to begin her on a life-long road (Lord willing) of spending individual time with God. I love the idea of starting this early with our children; of making it a habit in their lives from a young age.

I so appreciated Lindafay's recent posts on this subject at her blog Higher Up and Further In. You can read her thoughts on Practical Ways to Cultivate Spirituality in a Child by clicking on the links below:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

I know how desperately I need that time (which I do before any of the kids wake up) before the day begins to right my heart before the Lord, to surrender my authority to Him for the day, to pray specifically about the current areas of struggle I'm having, and to read the Word. Surely we can guide her, even at her six years of age, to begin this practice, too.

I wasn't sure how to begin this with just Ella; what would the boys do while she went off for her morning quiet time? So I decided to gather them together and make it a habit for all of us.

I reminded the kids that in the Bible, it often tells of Jesus going out, in the morning, to a quiet place, to meet with his Father. I shared that mommy needs that time, too; and I thought we should all begin learning to spend that time with God.

So I laid out the ground rules:
*I would set the timer for 20 minutes (not ideal for me but I didn't want to push it with the little ones. The idea is to help them form a habit.)
*I wanted each of them to go find a quiet place, away from each other.
*I encouraged them to do one or more of the following things during their time away:
-Sing a song to God
-Read (or, for the boys, look at) their Bible
-Color a picture of something from the Bible or make a picture for God
-Pray. I specifically encouraged them to ask God to help them with one of the sins they struggle with. And I gave them an example of something I might say to God during that time.

They were thrilled with the idea, and happily set out to have their time with God.

I set the timer and sat with my own Bible and journal, and Adelia beside me.

What I heard the first day:
Ella, reading a Bible story aloud from her Bible. Then singing loudly these songs: Jesus Loves Me, Blessed Be The Name, O, Happy Day. She told me later that she also prayed. And that she made up her own song about "I adore You."

Isaac, singing at the top of his lungs from downstairs in the tent. I couldn't make out what song he was singing but found out later it was "Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum" (aka: The Little Drummer Boy). I also heard him take a potty break and then he appeared at my door, after about 9 minutes, saying he was done. I gently reminded him that the timer would go off when he could be done, and that he should choose something else to do until the timer beeped. He went to find some coloring stuff. He later told me he had also prayed.

Isaias, who colored a picture of God and Satan, and a sword. He had done that and then moved on to playing quietly with some toys beside him. I asked him if he had prayed, and he said no, so I asked him to do so before he began his day.

We have done it several days since then, and if I've forgotten, one of the kids has eagerly reminded me. They look forward to that time. Yesterday morning I sent them each off with an encouragement to pray about one area of sin (that I've witnessed of late) in their lives.

So far, so good. I do think the 20 minutes is a bit long for the boys at this age, so we may tinker with the time (or activities during that time), but it seems perfect for Ella. Plus, it gives me an additional 20 minutes of quiet time at the start of my day! :)


  1. Oo, thank you for this! I've been wanting to foster this habit and needed a little encouragement (er, a template) for how to start. Thanks!

  2. How precious those songs must sound to a mama's ears. So appreciate your purposefulness and wonderful ideas in this area. I want to take time to read the series at Lindafays too.
    Our oldest has been doing bible readings every morning since Jan. before she comes out of her room but haven't put much thought into the my 5 year olds habits. I like your idea and come later fall or January it sounds like a great way to get him started.

  3. This is neat, Stacy!

    I so want to begin my day with time in the Word but generally, I don't discipline myself well to be ready to do so by going to bed early enough...I love how you sat down with the kids and explained it to them.

    I've often had this thought- I want to set an example to my kids by spending time daily in the Word at a time when they can see that I am doing so.

    Great things to think about, Stacy!!

  4. Hmmm, I am sure that Jesus is smiling.

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  5. What a blessing. Thanks... Just what I needed to day.

  6. Stacy, that is so awesome! Maybe I can try that in the evenings...

  7. good job stace. teaching them to love the word as you do!

  8. Hi Stacy :) Thanks for sharing what you are doing! Love, Q

  9. That's wonderful, thank you for sharing.

    I've just borrowed this book from the library, which I thought you might like too (after our recent comments about our boys). It's really simply written with loads of practical examples. "About Our Boys: A Practical Guide to Bringing out the Best in Boys" by Lucinda Neall

  10. Thanks for sharing how you're doing this. I would like to try something like this together too. We usually read some Scripture and pray together after breakfast but making it more of a designated time, and earlier, sounds good.
    Thank you again for having us the other day. It was really wonderful to get to visit with you, and so nice that the kids played well.
    Many blessings!

  11. Yes, this is wonderful!! I so enjoyed reading about this. I agree that this is very important. I can't wait for the day when we can do this with Lena. My mom wrote a devotional book for children because this is a matter that she feels very deeply about. Thanks for sharing this with us!!


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