Life can get so busy, especially for young families. There are jobs and school and extracurriculars and volunteer commitments and making dinner and doing laundry and…
What can get lost in the shuffle are God and gratitude. While I don’t want faith to be a routine and rote practice, I also know that if it’s not part of the routine, it doesn’t always happen. So, as a family, we’ve found ways to build God and gratitude into our every day.
As parents, we are the first and most important teachers of the faith for our children. Through our example, through our instruction, and through what we prioritize as a family, we show our children not only the importance of faith, but we also open the door to a faith-filled life.
At every meal time, we pause to pray before we eat. This simple act reminds us to be grateful for not only our food, but the opportunity to share it as a family. The prayers makes us hit the pause button on the busy-ness of the day; on getting up to refill glasses or grab something we forgot to bring to the table; on whatever hustle and bustle was happening before we sat down. In that pause, we find God and gratitude. And the conversation that comes after is inevitably more focused, kinder, and richer for the pause.
Our second pause comes before bed. I don’t know how it is at your house, but bedtime is chaotic. There are baths and books and brushing of teeth. A time that should be winding down somehow always feels rushed. So, before we turn out the light, we say, “Thank you God for having a nice day with _____.” We fill in the blank with a fun moment or two or a special friend who touched us that day. Sometimes the fill in the blank surprises me. Sometimes when I think we’ve had an awful day, it’s nice to be reminded that something was nice. Something was good. And we can pause to be grateful to God for those moments. In the pause, we see those moments.
I know how tricky it is to hit the pause button in our busy lives. But once you build in these moments of pause, wherever they work best for your family, you will find that you are more connected to both each other and to God. And that is something for which to be truly grateful.