We had our annual Christmas card devotional last night, where we pray for all our friends we received cards from. I was afraid that maybe our tradition might have been outgrown by our kids, but when Dad told them we were going to do it last night, all 3 made sure their friends knew they weren't available until 8 p.m. In fact we did have 2 extra to eat pizza but they made themselves scarce because they knew we were having family devotional.
I've been recuperating so I did not prepare any thoughts whatsoever about a verse to encourage the family. My husband went off an idea from our youngest son and it was a really interesting spirit led conversation. The highlights: he read two verses from the Bible and asked what they had in common. One was Genesis 1:1 and I wasn't sure where the other one was found. Turns out it was the very last verse of Revelation. Our son said the point was that life is not about the beginning or the end, but what happens in-between. Which led to many other cliches from the family that we all think are good. A couple I remember:
It's the process, not the product (that counts)
It's about the journey, not the destination!
So I asked if they could find a scripture to back it up. This was their choice:
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal where God is beckoning us onward - to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. Philippians 3:12-14 MSG
Then a song broke out which surprised me, it's not really a popular song, or one sung by youth much. It's amazing what your kids soak in, in their short lives!
Living by faith in Jesus alone,
Trusting, Confiding in His great love,
From all harm safe, in His sheltering arm
I'm living by faith and feel no alarm.
My kids laughed at me because once again I couldn't make it through our round robin prayer with out crying. But really one thing I just have to thank God for every time I hear their spiritual thoughts and prayers is that I have been able to watch them mature a little more spiritually.
I don't tell you this to say my kids have arrived or that I have perfected parenting. It wasn't some super sermon or a well planned lesson at all. Just a time we gather to share a thought and pray. I tell you all this to encourage parents out there to have some structured times of devotion with your kids. We used to do this much more frequently, but things change when they hit high school and it's harder to find the time. The only way to do it without awkwardness is to do it little by little throughout the years. There was no hint of awkwardness this time - I loved it.