Your (intimidating, awesome) Mama-job

Hey, Mom! You’re doing a great job — do you know that? It can be SOOOOOO rewarding to be a mom at times. And it can also be SOOOOOO tiring and intimidating and guilt-inducing if we try to live up to some outrageously unrealistic standard and perpetually feel like we’re failing. So let me ask you: Do you love your kids? Are you doing your best? Did you answer yes and yes? Then you’re doing great!

OK… glad to get that out of the way. I needed to hear that and to say that and I hope you took it to heart. Now on to this week’s topic . . . which can, unfortunately, actually BE a source of said frustration and sense of failure. Let’s talk about the faith we impart to our kids.

b.w. girls playing bike

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 charges us with the weightiest of responsibilities and the most amazing of opportunities: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

So, let’s be candid. Do I literally do all this? No. If we understand this as an exact literal directive, it’s impossible to achieve. (And, to be honest, it would make my kids very annoyed. We don’t want our non-stop God-talk to end up sounding like Charlie-Brown adults, bwah-bwah-bwah, bwah-bwah-bwah…) But if we understand it as casting a vision for us — making plain a principle — it’s so inviting and exciting and invigorating. It’s about weaving discussions of faith in and through everyday life. It’s pulling God-talk out of the van-on-the-way-home-from-church box and sprinkling it into all those other moments of living. It’s turning plain-moments into God-moments with a bit of intentionality. And one crucial ingredient to cultivating such moments? Adding FUN!

And so, without further ado, here are 12 ideas for you of ways you can transform fun experiences with your kids into meaningful faith-metaphors:

Bunnies, Turtles, and Puppies . . . Oh My!Visit a pet store to explore together God’s tender care for us.

Dance PartyWorship God together with wild, fun, dancing.

Deep RootsMake plant cuttings to help your child understand how we nourish and deepen our faith in Jesus.

Five-Thousand Freckles Count your body parts together and meditate on God’s detailed knowledge of and care for each of you.

Funny FacesPlay a silly game to help your child discover that she can talk to God at any time, no matter what she’s feeling.

God’s Laundry Recruit your child to help do the laundry…and learn about God’s forgiveness in the process.

I Am the Clay Make homemade play-dough with your child to teach him about God’s role as the “potter” in his life.

If Necessary, Use WordsPlay charades with your child to help her develop a full picture of what it means to be a witness for Jesus.

Litter-Bug Patrol Turn a walk outside into a mission to clean up God’s creation.

Never, Ever Alone Use the card game Old Maid to help your child understand that she always has a partner in life: God.

Rally Up Some PrayerTurn a neighborhood bike ride into a family prayer experience.

The Power of a DollarTurn ten common dollars into ten priceless gifts of love.

Faith-Filled.Moments.cover

 

(You can find 80+ ideas like these (but even better!) in my book Faith-Filled Moments — a great resource for parents, grandparents, teachers, aunts, babysitters, and so on!)

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