What a wonderful time I had with you and your precious daughters this weekend at Camp! I was blessed to meet so many of you, to dive into God’s Word with you, and to watch all of you pour into FRUITFUL relationships with your daughters. Seriously, what an amazing community we get to be a part of!
After we talked on Saturday night about the “Family Farm” and I told you that I encourage my children to have their own time with Jesus daily, I had several of you ask what we use. I will share a short resource list with you but first I just want to expound on my heart and reasoning in this practice… You see, I believe it does take practice!
We encourage our children to be disciplined in their school work and in their activities. We are training them how to be faithful, committed friends. And I believe that the relationship they should be most committed to is Jesus and the practices they should be most disciplined in are the ones that draw them closer to Him. It’s not magic. Just like in my own daily time with Him, sometimes He shows up in big ways and speaks loudly into their lives, and sometimes He is quiet and they just put the time in. But if they never learn how to sit and wait on Him, what they will miss! I believe that “emotion follows motion.” It is my testimony, in fact. The emotional connection will follow what we put into motion in our lives. That’s the heart… here’s our how:
My youngest son is 6 and for his “Jesus time” he likes to color a picture in a Bible coloring book, turn his Kindle Pandora station to a kid’s worship song, and pray. My 8-year-old daughter has really enjoyed the “Kids Read Truth” studies by “She Reads Truth.” My 11-year-old-son likes it short and sweet. He has done “365 Days to Knowing God for Guys” by Carolyn Larsen and the “Triple Dog Dare Devotional” by Jeremy Jones. My almost teenager (YIKES!!!) has enjoyed “Whatever is Lovely” by Faithgirlz, and I think we’ll add Sophie Hudson’s “All in All” devotional journal to the mix when we cross the teen threshold. Last summer I also taught them all (all the readers at the time) to prayer journal using the simple acronym PRAY.
- P- PRAISE. Write down something you want to praise God for today!
- R-REPENT. Write down one sin or behavior you need to repent of and ask forgiveness.
- A-ASK. Write down what you want to ask God to do in your life, relationships, or circumstances.
- Y-YIELD. Always remember that God is in charge and He knows what is best. Write “Your Will Be Done.”
If this is something you’d like to start, I’d encourage you to take your kids with you to Mardel or Lifeway and let them pick a devotional out that looks appealing to them. This is their chance to really take ownership in their relationship with Jesus so they should get a choice!
I will also tell you that we have taken all screen time off the table during the school week. If watching something or playing a game on a device is not an option, it is much easier for them to find 5-10 minuets in their day to have their Jesus time. In the summers, we have also instituted a “Watch List” of things they must accomplish before they get a screen and it includes Jesus time.
Again, there is nothing magic about any resource, other than the Word of God. We are just helping them pave the path to a lifelong relationship and discipline. My time alone with Jesus has been my life line for almost 20 years and there is no greater legacy I would like to pass down to my children.
Guess what? I have an adorable surprise for you! We have made a beautiful printable with our theme verse from Mother/Daughter on it to remind you and your girls of the abundant fruit God wants to produce in our lives.
Print it, frame it, memorize it, live it! Remember, “It is to our Father’s glory that we bear much fruit!” John 15:8
Thanks again for the wonderful weekend! I am so for you as you raise these girls (and boys maybe) and I cannot encourage you enough in making personal Jesus time a priority in your kids lives!
All My Best,