Right Start

In typical form, the kids and I were rushing around this morning to get out the door and to an appointment. We were even running significantly ahead of schedule and still fell victim to the “hurry-it-up” mentality.

As I grabbed our bags, my youngest child’s hand and scuttled all of us out the door, God stopped me in my tracks. I was stressed for no reason, Lauren was whining and dragging her feet and Jackson was complaining about something that happened earlier.

Suddenly, I knew what was wrong. We didn’t begin the day with our Savior.

For the past few weeks, the kids and I have started a morning devotion time right after breakfast, before everything starts moving fast. Though I had been reading my Bible and spending time with Jesus each morning, God showed me that my children needed that kind of start to the day as well. Since then, we have been going through a great age-appropriate devotion book, with a Bible verse, life application story and prayer guide. Inevitably, the application always has to do with what we are struggling with that day or what we need God’s strength to work on in our relationships and responsibilities. Go figure!

Today, I missed doing our devotion together. And as we were hurtling toward the car, the Holy Spirit convicted me before the garage door went up. I told the kids that we hadn’t gotten to the right start this morning and asked their forgiveness. Then, I requested that they come back inside so that we could read our devotion and pray before leaving. Without any fuss, both willingly and happily followed me, and we snuggled on the couch with our devotion book.

This is the prayer from our devotion this morning.

Jackson prayed for us as we finished our time together: “Dear Jesus, please help us to be kind, loving and respectful to each other and have a great day. Amen!”

God provided us plenty of time still to arrive to our appointment, early to boot! And, more importantly, we started the day fresh with Jesus.

Family Rules

Our family devotion time yesterday morning was about following rules and why obeying God matters. As we finished praying, I decided to ask Jackson for help in creating “Family Rules” that we would post in a prominent place in our home to remind us of how we are to act and love each other as a family.

Jackson took the mission to heart, and carefully thought of these rules. Each are his own words.

These are the rules Jackson thought were important for our family.

In the formation of these six guidelines, it helped that there were several instances to exercise them. For instance, Lauren came and interrupted by coloring on the rules, and Jackson had to not fight with her and be kind.

Rules aren’t meant to restrict. They are to free us from our sin entanglements and enable us to live the abundant life promised to us. Throughout Scripture, God places an emphasis on obedience and following Him. In the second letter of John, the beloved disciple, we are encouraged and warned of the priority of obeying Christ’s commands. In fact, when we follow His directions, God’s love is perfected.

This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in Him: The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.

– 1 John 2:3-6

In our Family Rules, Jackson’s suggestions are very simple. Yet, we will each need God’s strength and presence in our lives to see them through.

In fact, we’ve already broken every one of them. Each of us (me included) has a great deal of growing to do!