Every family has their own wonderful ways to encourage and teach each other. Here are a few of mine. I’d love to hear a few of your ideas too!
- Display a colorful book at the breakfast table (a children’s bible, a book of saints etc.)
- Gift cute stuffed animals that have a little recording of a bedtime prayer.
- Play bible games (memory, Pictionary, trivia).
- Have kids flip your rotating Christian calendar.
- Host parties for Saint’s feast days.
- Put up hand written Scripture verses around the house from your own personal prayer.
- Celebrate saint feast days specific to your children.
- Let your kids light a candle at a church on a special day – like the anniversary of their baptism.
- Give Holy Water to your children and let them bless the house.
- Start your drive on long trips with a prayer.
- Pray the rosary in the car.
- Listen to cd’s about saints, scripture or good stories.
- Explain basic prayer into words kids understand.
- Participate in Feed My Starving Children with your family.
- Pray every night at bed time.
- Make a morning offering with your kids.
- Walk your kids on a tour of your church.
- Walk the stations of the cross as a family during a time when the church is open but not busy.
- Emphasize the physical motions of piety and reverence during Mass. (Kids love kinesthetic learning!)
- Aim to do a devotion every morning with your kids.
For 10 more tips…
I didn’t used to be crazy about the saints until I realized that they were becoming my friends. As I get to know the stories of their childhood, their struggles and their ways of living out deep concepts, I myself find a strong grace at work in my own thoughts and actions. Surprisingly, I can see this effect in my children too as they relate to Christians from the past and carry a kindred connection to the present. Here are three of my favorite ways of getting to know a saint. I call it “easy” because the writing of these three approaches is simple, story like- almost candy. Continue reading “3 Easy Ways to Get to Know the Saints”
Sometimes getting ready for the Sacrament of Reconciliation can be like staring at a blank wall. We don’t know where to start. Plus, you might be freaked out because you don’t remember what to do once your are in the confessional. Here are two guides that that my family uses. 1. One of the guides is to prepare (we often do this in the car on the way to the church, at the church in the pews or in line for confession). 2. The other guide is a cheat sheet to bring in to the confessional so we remember the steps. Priests way of conducting Reconciliation vary quiet a bit so, this can make any guide a bit ridged at times.
You can use this word document or read below.
Confession Steps and Prep
Continue reading “Guide for Confession”
There is a wellspring of things to offer to God and receive from him by simply looking at your life. This prayer never seems to get old because life is so full and God is so active. Here is my version of this “examen” or “reviewing of my day with God.” Most of it was passed on to me by some great Jesuits. 5-7 minutes is an ideal amount of time for this prayer but depending upon circumstances, it can take between 30 seconds to 30 minutes. Whether you pray with words, feelings or images, lift up everything to God, bringing your life into the loving Light of Christ. Periodically you can adapt this to review a certain season in your life instead of just a day.
Prayerful Review of the Day
Pray for Light
- Ask that you can look at this day with His light.
- “Holy Spirit, please enlighten my mind so I may see this day you gave me in truth and love.”
From this day, for what am I most thankful?
Where do I see God’s grace active in this day?
- Converse with Jesus about these things and listen to what these good things mean in your life.
- “Thank you… Jesus, you are… This is special because…”
- Allow gratitude to well up. Offer it back to the Father with love.
From this day, for what am I least thankful?
What needs to be converted?
What was a challenge?
- Converse with Jesus about these things and listen to what needs healing.
- “Please forgive me… I’m sad… Please help…”
- Offer it back to the Father with love.
Tomorrow with Christ
- Converse with Jesus about how God wants to (or has already) equip you for tomorrow.
- “What concept, scripture verse or resolution shall I carry in my heart for tomorrow?”
- Make a tiny resolution about your own action for tomorrow. Ask for God’s grace to fulfill it.
At a soccer game this weekend, I listened as a lady and her husband lamented that they could not turn back the clock to a few months ago, before their son began playing Fortnite. They wished they could do it differently. These parents longed for the old productive good fun their son had and they felt a bit mournful and defeated amidst his new addiction to the game. However, they were wearing a chipper attituded in the midst of their “defeat” because they love their son no matter what and figured this is the way it just had to be. At least it wasn’t worse, they thought. We traded stories. At first they were surprised at my family’s stringency however, by the end of the soccer game (which we won), the mother was ready and energized to restore the order she and her son once had. The only thing that my stories really told her was, “you can do it.” Continue reading “Surrender your dreams for your family? No way.”
“May the word of God dwell in you richly.” – Col 3:16 Oh, how I long for my kids to experience this! I know that they can be “transformed by the renewing of their minds” and touched deeply by the “living and active word.” But the Words of Scripture first need to enter into their thoughts. Seems like such a simple thing- for a parent or teacher to “feed” the word of God to her children but I don’t think I’m alone in feeling frustrated at the difficulty of this task.
Here’s an idea to help a bit:
Post a scripture verse for the week somewhere in your house. Have one of your kids pick the verse out from a list of suggestions (see below). Decorate it. Read it out loud when you pass it. Mention it. During bed time prayers, see if they remember it. Add more highlights and decorations to it as the week goes on.
We have a big chalk board in our mudroom that still has a message on it from 4 months ago. It think it is time to change it up and start this weekly bible verse idea! What are some of the ways that you help the word of God dwell richly in your children? Mention it in the comments if you’d like
Continue reading “Weekly Bible Verses”