I just put my son in his room for a quiet time. Not because he needed one…because I needed one. Because this has been one of those weeks where trouble seemed to seek us out on every front, and nothing went according to plan, and bills were higher than expected, and bank accounts lower than hoped. One of those weeks where screen time wasn’t strictly monitored, where frozen pizza and box mac and cheese were consumed, and where the very thought of being intentional in the discipleship of my kids was wearying at best.
Yup, there, I said it. I didn’t want to do a faith talk or point out a God moment or celebrate squat. I was too tired at the end of the day to ask if they had any questions and too turned-around in the morning to eek out a blessing. Dinner conversations were good but didn’t follow our usual highs-lows format and, since we were (are) a one car family this week, time in the car was more like, “Hurry up, drop you off, pick you up, you go there, run in quick, did you fill up?” than it was a time for discussion or singing.
In the light of the very many blog posts I’ve written on faith formation at home and intentional discipleship or your kids or inviting Jesus into your everyday, it would appear that this week was a colossal failure.
Good thing, God doesn’t, you know… grade us. Or judge us. Or dock us spiritual points. Or doom our kids to a lifetime of wandering far from HIm because we drop the ball. Or ever look at us and say, “Failure.”
Good thing, God’s grace is greater than my weakness and not dependent on my parenting. And it’s a really good thing that God loves my kids infinitely more than I ever could and doesn’t stop drawing their hearts just because their mom and dad have an off week.
So what did happen this week?
One night at dinner, one of our daughters led our family through “highs and lows” when I forgot to do it.
Another evening, both girls found a song about being in God’s army and spent the evening working on a dance to it which they showed me and talked about how the music reminded them of how Jesus is their leader and they follow Him.
On our car ride, our 4 year old son made up a song that went something like, “Oh God, you are the biggest and we love you the most. Oh God, you are the God. Ooooohhhhh God!!!!”
And one early morning, before the rest of the family woke up, I found a note from one of the girls written to me a while back that just basically thanked me for loving her and loving God. My own morning blessing.
Even in the “off” times, God is there. When you create space in your home to welcome Jesus into your everyday, He shows up. Discussions about faith, worship of God, and prayer for one another happen. And while I am a huge advocate of those intentional moments and very much feel that as the spiritual leaders in our home we should strive to be consistent in making those happen…I’m also a tired mom who is grateful to rest in the knowledge that God’s grace extends far beyond the scope of my parenting wins and into the very fabric of our home.
So during my quiet time today, I just want to say…
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:2,3)
He’s got this! We are never alone. And when we are weak, He is strong. He is always with us. And as you cultivate that atmosphere of welcome in your home, everything we need for a godly life will be evident, even on the days where our spirits are weary. If you are having an off week, month, day…don’t walk in guilt and shame. Rest in Him and continue to prayerfully invite Him in.
Quiet time is ending. The party awaits, The son is growing anxious. But God is here, an ever-present help in times of need. Rest in His grace.
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About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at ChildrensMinistryBlog.com, Seedbed, and D6 Family.