When they fuss, I fuss. So I am trying something I should have done a long time ago. Family devotions. We really need to start living a different way. We always need to think of our actions and learn how to choose our words carefully so that we don't hurt each other. We need to learn self control and new ways of coping with everyday disappointments. I mean come on, do you really have to lay down in the floor and cry for 10 minutes like you're bleeding to death just because your sister got the last yogurt?
I'll admit that normally I try to avoid those sorts of situations altogether. I buy snacks in multiples of 4 and everyone knows how many each person is allowed. Unfortunately, I can't forcast every emotional breakdown, or that Madeline won't want her yogurt, and we end up with chaos.
I hope that by adding daily devotionals, it will teach us how to live and love like Jesus did (and does), as well as make us more open and comfortable about discussing God in our home. Sometimes things won't go as planned and you will not get an even number of yogurts, but never fret. There will be more grocery trips and more yogurts. I pray that I can lead by example as we learn how to be more like Jesus and more thankful of the love and sacrifice that was made for us. I'd like the girls to take a different mindset. One that really gets them thinking more about the most important things in life.
Will it take time? Yes. They are only children. Even after our devotional, they argued about their science lapbooks and which statements were facts, they argued about who was leaving their open banana on the table, and they argued about who was going to use the crayons first (even though there are PLENTY to go around at the same time).
What is it and How do I do it?
Since I am a devotional noob, I had to turn to the internet for help. I found three websites that got me through my first day.
In my first search, I learned how to have a devotional. This extremely easy how-to can be found here. I learned that devotionals should be about 15-20 minutes and include the following:
1. Read from the Bible.
2. Sing songs of praise.
3. Memorize a verse.
4. Take requests.
Easy enough, right? But, where in the world do I start with material?! After searching for children specific devotionals (since they need to be done in children's terms for understanding), I came across the most AWESOME website. If you are interested in children's devotionals, you should go and print out every.single.one here. They are an average of two pages each, complete with what to read from the Bible, an explanation, questions to discuss, and a verse to memorize.
Today we began our devotionals with "For God So Loved the World." We all sat down at breakfast together, and after breakfast we began our devotional. When it came time to sing songs, the girls wanted to make up their own songs. Neely went first and it was great. Teagan had to think about hers, but when she sang it I was so surprised. She has the most tender heart ever, and while she was singing her beautiful, well thought, song, her eyes welled up with tears. We eventually made our way around the table taking prayer requests about the things we wanted our family to pray for, things that are worrying us, and/or things that we just felt like needed some extra attention in our lives and then I prayed us out. My sweet 4 girls and I really had a good time with it. They all participated, and, in the end, they wrote out their verse and drew a picture pertaining to our devotion. I know their little hearts are thirsting for knowledge of our faith and I hope I will be able to supplement it.