Today, I am thankful for family worship times. I haven't always been grateful for these experiences. In fact, they used to be a source of stress and discontent for me. I used to get so jealous of the bloggy moms that would post these beautiful family devotional ideas, especially around the holidays. I would aim to replicate those plans, only to find that my children were too squirmy to follow through with them. All that time wasted- no one wanted to color the reproducibles or answer the questions or anything! I’d get frustrated and tired and cranky and feel anything but worshipful. I felt like I was checking off a box on the list of “Things Good Moms Do” and, if I was honest, I shouldn’t even get to check the box because I had failed so miserably.
So, I quit. I stopped trying. I gave up on lighting the advent wreath and reading the scriptures. I waited a year or two, until my kids grew up a little. And then, when I did begin again, I didn’t try to follow some super mom’s plan. I let my kids dictate what we would do. We started small- taking turns around the dinner table saying the grace. Audrey and I began reading a few verses before bed. We got a subscription to Pockets magazine and started reading the stories together. We choose one thing per week to focus on in our prayers. Slowly, without any cute worksheets or prescribed readings, we’re starting to have those family worship times that I so desperately wanted us to have.
I began to focus less on being THE perfect mom, and more on being a better shepherd. When I began to see that this wasn’t about doing what awesome moms do, but about leading my children into their own relationships with Christ, things began to click. Instead of wanting others to see us as a perfect model of a Christian family, I wanted my children to see Jesus as a perfect model of love and holiness. The de-emphasis on me and the emphasis on Jesus made a huge difference in the success of our family worship times.
I am thankful for the change God brought about in me and the growth He is bringing in the spiritual lives of my children. I am thankful to be able to bond with them over the Word. I am thankful that they hunger and thirst after righteousness.