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Learning for Little Ones: Family Devotions

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Learning for Little Ones: Family Devotions

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Learning for Little Ones: Family Devotions

Family devotions is something we are doing with our little one that has me most excited! We didn't start right away (though I wish we had), but now that we have started, it is a regular thing. I'll admit, there are nights when we are getting home late or something else happens and we opt to put our already (or practically) sleeping baby right to bed. Most nights though, we have built family devotions into our bedtime routine. For now, this works best for us. You may have a different time of day that works for you. Some, I know, build their family devotions into breakfast, or do it right after dinner. The time doesn't matter... doing it is most important.

So what do we do? When DS was born last December, my in-laws bought him a children's Bible that we have chosen to read through. Being a "study Bible", it has lots of little opportunities in each story to really talk about and teach what the Bible is saying. For our 13 month old though, we just stick to the basic stories. As he gets older and we are going through it again and again, we will take the time to discuss what we are reading.

After reading our Bible story (one story each night), we sing a song or two. It's amazing how someone so young can learn so much. After we finish reading the story, we ask DS what is next. Almost every night (and he's been doing this for a couple months now) he sways back and forth or claps his hands to signify song time. It's adorable! The past couple months we've been singing Jesus Loves Me every night. In December we added a Christmas carol on there too. :) It is fun to see how he is familiar with the song when we sing it at other times. He gets very excited. We are now transitioning into another song (one I wrote) taken from John 1:1-3. Even though he isn't talking yet, this is the part of family devotions he is most attentive to.

After singing, we have a time in prayer. The amount of time we pray (and whether or not DH and I both pray or only one of us) depends on DS's tolerance. When he is especially tired or cranky, we keep it short. On other nights we spend more time.

This is what has been working for us. It is short and simple (way shorter and simpler than my explanation). We don't spend much time, but it is something our little boy is learning to expect. He is learning that we make God our focus everyday! At 13 months, he still doesn't pay close attention to the story or prayer time. He still tries to get down off my lap or reach for a nearby toy. We remain flexible with him. We want him to enjoy the time, not learn to hate it. Right now it is more about him learning the practice of family worship time.

Plus... many nights we are learning new things from this children's Bible too! :)

It Works For Me!



At January 16, 2008 at 3:57 PM , Blogger Earthmommy said...

We do this too with Aspen, our 2year-old. She has a little story bible and she and I read it at breakfast together and talk about what happens in each story. Also throughout the day we listen to praise songs, and she has come to love (and sing with!) "Amazing Grace".

It's so great to read about other moms and Dads doing this too!

At January 16, 2008 at 4:21 PM , Blogger Laura said...

I'm so glad to read of your family worship time. It's so important to start young. Good work!


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