When my children were little, it was a crazy busy time. Between school, their activities, jobs, church, and every day life, it was non-stop. Guess what I’ve learned? Life doesn’t change much. Busy seasons are always going to be a part of the landscape. The key to navigating these seasons well is to be intentional and build foundations into our lives that influence our children and those around us for Christ.
First, remember that spirituality isn’t reserved for Sundays. God is part of our lives all of the time. Each situation our children face is an opportunity for us to share God’s Word and plan for their lives with them. Psalm 138:8 KJV says, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me..” Not just the big things, but everything. When your child or grandchild brings a need to you, take the time to look it up in the Bible and read what God says about their situation with them. There isn’t any situation they will face that God hasn’t addressed in His Word. Once you’ve found out what God says about it, pray with them what God says, and thank Him for helping your kiddo through the situation.
When we moved from Maine to Oklahoma, Shauna was 7 years old. She’d lived in Maine since she was a baby and she was not only leaving her family behind, but friends too. The night before we left, we were riding in the car to my brother’s house to spend the night. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, “What if I don’t make friends in Oklahoma? I’m not sure how to do it.” I told her that God said that He would supply all of her needs according to the riches of his glory (Philippians 4:19), and that God had friends for her just waiting for her. I also told her that if she wasn’t sure how to make friends, we’d ask God to show her, because if any lacks wisdom they should ask God, and He gives generously without finding fault (James 1:5). Then we prayed together and thanked God for friends for her and her brother, and asked Him to show her how to open her heart and be friendly. And you know what? God DID have friends waiting for her. Two girls lived in our apartment complex, and one was next door to us. They became fast friends and it was a wonderful thing to watch God meet that need in her life.
Next, make church and fellowshipping with believers a habit. Just like exercise, doing devotions, and cleaning up after ourselves, it is easy to get out of a habit when it isn’t made a priority. It’s not a religious thing, but a habit thing. Healthy habits in our lives beget stability and health in our children’s lives. We didn’t do some of the traveling teams for baseball with Lance because we would miss church, and it was important to us. One of the things we required of our kids when they were in college was that they attend church or a Bible fellowship once a week. We knew if they lost the habit of going to church, it could be hard to get it back. Now both of our children have children of their own, and they are making fellowshipping with other believers a habit too. They go to church regularly and fellowship in groups with other believers. Our grandchildren see their parents bring meals when someone is sick, they drop off food monthly to a shelter, and donate clothes and toys regularly. They are seeing love in action and learning what it looks like for believers to do life together.
21 years ago, Mark and I moved into a beautiful, old house in the downtown area. It needed so much work I quickly got overwhelmed. I heard someone say, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” How do you get back on track if you’ve lost your way-one life giving decision at a time. Ask God to help you and He will show you what to do. It might be a really simple thing. Don’t worry about it, do the first thing He asks, and then He’ll show you another. Before you know it, you’ll be navigating the season you are in. Stand on God’s promise found in Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you or abandon you.” Remember, you and God together can face anything, and your family won’t just survive, but they will thrive!