For years I have wanted to do daily devotions with my children- in addition to the Bible studies they do as part of their daily school work. But it always seemed to monumental. Here are my lists of
Getting everyone up at the same time just did not happen- some kids woke
at the crack of dawn, early, some woke at nine, some were kind of random. I did not mind that because it is one of the beauties of homeschooling, but still, doing morning devotions when kids were all up, dressed, and eating breakfast at different times made it hard.
The kids are all different ages. I have kids spanning 22 years. Right now, my oldest is 24 and my youngest is 2. Finding a devotion that fits everyone is near impossible. Seriously.
My babies have
the attention spans of a goldfish. a limited attention span. They will be crawling all over, crying, puking, whatever. It just won’t be worth it.
My husband is not home to lead devotions and he “should be” the leader of family devotions. It’s biblical. (I mean ignore Timothy and all, but it’s really his job).
However, before you throw in the towel and say, “Me, too, sister!” let me let you in on a little secret.
We have been doing devotions for a couple of months now. And it’s really working.
Here is how we do it:
Most of my young kids were up
obnoxiously early. My older girls were getting up later (closer to nine or so) so I picked a time I thought was fair: 8:30 am. Everyone is required to be in the dining room (and mostly dressed) by 8:30 for devos. Hungry, full, wet, dirty, tired, disheveled. It did not matter. I just wanted their seats in, well, a seat.
I read a very very very very brief devotion. I picked one that was appropriate for my oldest two still at home and just read it. I do a very brief prayer. Then we do “announcements for the day.” This brief time is when I tell them the plan for the day- who is going out of the house for something, who is coming over, who is cooking dinner, etc. And then, we end. It takes just a few minutes. In fact, we are almost always done by 8:40. Ten minutes. That is all it takes.
The first few times were a little rough. The baby did not understand, and had to be held in my
vice grip lap the whole time screaming while I pretended to calmly read the devotion. A couple of times, the four-year-old had screaming fits during devos and got sent to his room. Once or twice a teen overslept and missed it. (We give each child one free miss, and after that, the older kids get the opportunity to write out the devotion I read as a penalty for blowing it off.)
After the first couple of weeks, all the kids just do it as if they have always done it. The older girls have alarms, and the younger kids know how to watch the clock, so it just happens. Even the two-year-old now will bring a story book with her when it is devotion time, and sits at the table flipping through it. She knows it’s “votion time” and is excited to be part of the “big people thing.”
And for me, it’s just a couple more minutes taken out of our far-too-busy world to sit at the Savior’s feet for just a few minutes at the beginning of the day.
If you have been resisting doing devotions, can I sweetly suggest that you grab whatever five-minute devotion book you have sitting on your shelf and at least challenge yourself to do it for a month, and see if you want to continue?
Right now, we are finishing up:
In two days we are going to start reading through Pilgrim’s Progress a little each day. My older girls remember this book from years back, but my younger three have never heard it! I can’t wait to introduce them to the all the vast and varied characters and hear them start to recognize them in the real world.
Are you doing family devotions?
If yes- what’s your favorite?
If no- What’s holding you back?