Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our Nighttime Routine

When we moved to Watertown, our kids all rode the same bus, which meant all five of them (before Anna joined us) were up at the same time. We used that opportunity to wake everyone up a few minutes earlier than necessary in order to gather at the kitchen table to read scripture.
Moving to South Carolina created a huge challenge in this area. The little ones start school 20 minutes before Harry and 45 minutes before Eleanor. The little ones catch the bus before the other two are even stumbling out of bed. I didn't want to lose the momentum we had gained...and I surely did not want to lose the comfort we had reading the Word together.
But one thing we were lacking was prayer. It just never flowed naturally for us to go from reading Proverbs to then a time of prayer, when in reality, everyone needed to start getting ready. I know..I should have bumped the alarm up fifteen minutes. But, that is neither her nor there at this point.
Joe suggested we move to night.
So, our nighttime routine has drastically changed. And...I love it!!!
At a certain hour, the kids know it is time for pjs and "devotionals". It has become a sweet time that we ALL treasure. We are using a book by Josh McDowell called Family Devotionals. Here is the link, because I highly recommend it:
The book gives you a Bible passage to read, and then there is a verse of the day. After we read the Bible, the devotional goes through an age appropriate lesson that teaches on the scripture. I will admit that sometimes the stories are way over some of the kids heads, and other times completely juvenile for some of the other kids. But most nights, they are all gaining some insight into God, His character, what it means to live like a Christian and gives them practical advice for how to deal with certain situations.
We have had some great conversations lately about mercy, forgiveness and the 10 Commandments.
We always end in prayer. And the kids pray. And I am amazed at some of their honest, heart-felt prayers as they share with God their desire to follow him.
It is in this spirit that we quietly and calmly put the kids to bed.
I am looking forward to starting the second book next year.

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