Being Intentional in the Midst of the Busyness

How intentional are you about talking to your kids about life and spiritual issues?  Today, I’m excited to welcome Lori from Everyday Truth where she encourages moms and dads to take advantage of the everyday moments to teach their children about God.  I think you’ll be encouraged and challenged by this post.  

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We enjoy the lazy days of summer around here. Trips to the pool. Hours spent playing board games.
Time with friends. Vacations. Books to read. And plenty of time to be intentional with my kids.

It seems like during the summer, we have time for those conversations about the big stuff – who we
want to be, how to treat our friends, what kind of words we should use. I’m always really intentional
about making time to teach my kids in the summer. We have a schedule and a plan. And we have plenty of spontaneous moments in which to talk.

We’re three weeks out from starting school here, and I’ve begun to realize that I’m not nearly as
intentional with our time during the school year as I am with our time during the summer. Oh, we try to have a family devotional at dinner, and I try to talk with my kids on a regular basis, but with school, sports and church activities all rolling into full swing, some days it takes everything I have just to get everyone fed and where they need to be.

So, how do we live out the directive found in Deuteronomy 6:6-9 to teach our kids as we walk along the road, as we go to sleep and as we wake? How do I fit that into our four-night-a-week practice schedule?

I think the key is found in choosing to take it one day at a time, one moment at a time. Choosing to grab the moment instead of the day. Choosing to live where we are at instead of where we will be tomorrow.

Our busy schedule during the school year mostly gives me time with my kids in the car and before bed.  It would be easy to turn up the radio in the car and let the girls play video games in the back seat. But if I want to be intentional, the car is a great time to talk. Everyone is in close proximity, but no one has to look at each other. Sensitive subjects can be discussed, and words of wisdom dispensed without a lot of the awkwardness.

Before bed is another time when my girls are ready to talk with me. I’ll be honest; this is my toughest time. I’m tired, and I really just want them to go to bed, so I can have some time to myself. But if I take the time to really listen to them at bedtime, I usually find I’m well-rewarded for the effort.

Bedtime and car time may not be your best time to be intentional with your kids. Your kids may be
most open with you at the breakfast table or right after school. Whatever that time is though, grab the
moment. Make the most of the conversation your kids want to have. Use the situation to help your kids grow to be more like Jesus.

We don’t have to have a big plan to teach our kids the things we want them to know about life and
about God. We simply have to make the most of each moment we are given. When we think in
moments instead of weeks and small steps instead of great leaps we become much more effective as
parents. And we begin to appreciate the everyday moments as much as we enjoy the planned ones.

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Lori Fairchild is the mom of two daughters, ages 9 and 11. When she’s not at the hockey rink or the
soccer field with her girls, you’ll find her blogging at Everyday Truth, where she talks about the ways we can teach our kids about God in the everyday moments of life. She has also written the e-book Everyday Christmas, a 25-day devotional that will help keep Jesus at the center of your family’s Christmas celebrations.