If so, might I suggest that you pause a minute.
Before you continue to be swept away in the back-to-school hullabaloo, just pause.
Ponder: Are there any habits, rituals or practices that my family and I might develop this year to strengthen our faith?
Think about it.
Then, take out our your planner and pencil in specifics as to what you feel called to focus on, where you will do it and when. Really. Actually schedule time for your new habit, ritual or practice in right now – just like you would annual back-to-school physicals, special birthday and anniversary celebrations or weekly enrichment activities for your children.
I did this last year by noting all of our family member’s Name Days on a calendar and deciding that we would celebrate each with special foods and activities. What a wonderfully enriching choice that has been for our family! We have learned, feasted and prayed together, developing a new and meaningful family tradition.
I will definitely keep Name Days on my calendar this year and will also be adding some other faith initiatives.
How about you? Might you decide to:
1. Celebrate Family Name Days, too, thus providing an opportunity for your family to learn more about the saints each member of your family is named after, while also practicing practical life skills, such as planning for events and cooking. If you decide to do so, you may want to check out 10 Go-To Sites for Planning Saint Day Celebrations.
2. Commemorate Baptism Anniversaries, First Communion Anniversaries and/or Confirmation Anniversaries, thereby developing yearly family rituals that honor these important milestones while also, perhaps, deepening your family’s understanding of the importance and interconnectedness of these three Sacraments of Initiation. (By the way, the First Holy Communion Printables and Preparation e-book, which was previously reviewed here on CMO, can help you to reflect on First Communion as well as to prepare for it should you need a helpful resource for your yearly anniversary celebrations.)
3. Include Adoration in your own life – and even that of your children’s – on a regular basis. Be it daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly, making Adoration a priority not only promises some quiet among the chaos, but also offers you (and your children) a chance to sit in the presence of Jesus – a choice that brings immeasurable blessings to life.
4. Read the Word as a family at least once a week (or month, if that is all you can manage) at a designated time. Then, talk about it. What passages stand out? What implications do they have? Wonderful discussions and insights can be shared by making family Bible Reading a habit.
5. Add a daily good morning, good bye or good night blessing to every day. Touching one another physically and spiritually, at the same time, daily, can have an impact.
Or, perhaps the Spirit is calling you and your family to enrich your faith in other ways. Only you can know that.
For me, sitting down with my calendar and daily rhythm chart and actually scheduling in faith-based initiatives works. For you and your family, something else might draw you closer to each other and to God.
Will you take a moment today pause amidst the back-to-school push to simply pray?
Martianne writes at her family blog, Training Happy Hearts, where she shares about training up her children (her husband and herself!) to live fully, love deeply and learn passionately, with faith that promises (and delivers!) true happiness. You can also find her on Facebook.