As a couple who both serve in vocational ministry, Jared and I spend A LOT of our time planning intentional opportunities for spiritual growth for those we work with. We sit though hours of meetings and make countless phone calls all with the purpose of nurturing spiritual growth. However, there are 2 little people who live at our house that we don’t always spend quite as much time purposely planning opportunities for spiritual growth.
I was reading the beginning of a book called Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider for her blog tour, I came across this line:
to live with intention means to make little daily choices that resonate deeply in our souls—that make sense deep in our being and ring true.
The main premise of her book is about slowing down which I’m a HUGE fan of, but this is the line that struck me. Living intentionally. I’ve taught it, I’m not sure how many times. I’ve tried to live it. But, on this Saturday, as Jared turned to me and asked “What do you want to get done today?” That line rang through my mind.
Instead of making a trip to the indoor playground because it was cold, catching up on the laundry or even enjoying a quiet morning at home, I wanted to live and parent intentionally. (Now, please, don’t misunderstand. I didn’t just decide for this one morning we would be intentional parents.) I wanted to make a small choice for that day that would resonate deeply in me and my children.
[Tweet “I wanted to make a small choice for that day that would resonate deeply in me and my children.”]
So, as a family, we began to talk about the homeless that we see on the street corner as we drive. We began talking about how we could show God’s love to them by being prepared to help them. And, then as any godly, 21st century mom would do, I went to Pinterest! I wanted to find some ideas for what we could put in some packets for the homeless.
We began to take inventory of what we already had at home and made a list of the things we needed and off we went to Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart.
One of the perks of being on staff at the church is having keys! So, once we got all of our supplies we decided to take them up to the church to put together our packets so we could play on the playground after we were done. We made eleven little piles that would be the makings of our homeless packets. Jared & I would hand the kids the supplies and they would make sure there was one in each pile.
We finished our packets with cards. As the four of us decorated (with Hello Kitty & Bob the Builder stickers) and wrote on the cards, I was struck by what I saw Kati Ann writing on her card. She wrote the words, “I love you and so does God.” Homeless or not, I wonder how many people need to hear that someone loves them and so does God.
[Tweet “People need to hear that someone loves them and so does God.”]
And you thought Pinterest was just for helping you get in shape or get fat or make cute crafts…think again! Here’s a great example of something I found on Pinterest that makes a difference.
Question: What are some other ways you have seen parents intentionally parenting their children? Do you have some fun ideas you’ve used yourself? I’d love to hear them.
6 comments found
deciding to homeschool my daughter and be responsible for what she is taught. Best parenting decision i ever made..:)
Bobi Ann, this is fantastic. I’ve made these packs at iWoman and maybe somewhere else with other adults. This could be a fantastic idea to be intentional, showing our children how to show God’s love and put our words to action. This would even be a cool activity toward the end of the semester with Mission Friends! I have mad brainstorming going on now.
When I was a little girl, there was a home for women who chose life near to where we lived. We went shopping together around Christmas time for things these women might need for them selves and their babies. We wrapped it all in a huge tub. Christmas morning we drove over, dropped it off on the porch (my parents dragged the heavy cellophane wrapped tub while we watched from the car), rang the door bell and ran. I’m this activity, my parents taught us so much. It’s great to see and be a part of showing God’s love like that as a family from a young age.
I love that story, Sandy! I also know it is in intentional moments that we notice God moving more. He moves all the time, we just have to watch!
What a beautiful idea!! I love this and will do it with my kids this week! Intentional parenting is my jam, so I could write a book with ideas that I’ve seen modeled by others and tried in our own home, but one of my favorites is just validating the emotions my kids have. It can be so hard for me to remain calm when their mad or sad emotions arise, but calmly saying, “You are mad, I’ll sit with you while you feel mad.” Or, “You feel sad; I feel sad sometimes, too.” Makes all the difference and actually helps to resolve things!
I love that. Validating emotions is a great sign of support and love.
Being intentional with spiritual growth is so important and often gets forgotten amongst all the other priorities and pressures of life. I love how you’re helping your children to be intentional with their own spiritual growth though. So inspired to help my little one be intentional with her own faith from a young age.