As parents, we do our best to teach our kids what is right and what is wrong. We’re blessed to be a part of a church family that values teaching us parents how to implement “faith at home” too.
In 2010 my family and I had endured some major changes and I wanted desperately to find a way to bring faith home in a fun way that my kids might look forward to…something that would keep us grounded in God’s goodness regardless of what was going on around us. Sunday Sundaes were the result of this desire. For Christmas I bought a journal with “2011 Prayers” imprinted on the front with good intention to fill this journal with our family prayers as we sat down for Sunday sundaes each week.
That first year did not go so well. The intention was good, but the dedication was nonexistent. Through 2012 my kids would often ask me, “Mom, what happened to Sunday sundaes” and I would make some excuse. Each time conviction gnawed at me more and more.
The end of 2012 God had a loving, but stern talking to me. After finishing the Resolution for Women study by Priscilla Shrier it was really time to be a woman resolved and carry out this really important habit that my kids really looked forward to. The last few Sundays of 2012 I took out our pitiful “2011 Prayers” journal and we started up again. Three weeks of doing this and I have witness character changes in my kids along with an eagerness to write their prayers in our journal.
Tonight, I showed my kids our new “2013 Praise & Prayers” journal. They immediately started spouting off their praises and requests for today (and it wasn’t even time for Sunday sundaes!). We ate dinner together and had genuine conversations about areas that God is working in (prompted by my son, Christopher, not by me). They helped me clear the table and I as I went to take care of some other house chores they took it upon themselves to get Sunday Sundaes all set up (working very hard to make it a surprise).
As I walked into the kitchen I witnessed 3 smiling faces ready to spend time with me AND with God (and with ice cream and toppings of course). Their praises and requests were already written in the journal for today and the boys even wrote in Bella’s which she instructed them very carefully on what to write on her behalf. We made sundaes, talked about our praises and requests, and one by one we prayed aloud.
I’m not sharing this to toot my own horn for some brilliant idea because it’s not brilliant (it’s a sundae…and a bribe that worked out like I had hoped) and it took me over a year to resolve to really be committed to this, but here is what I’ve seen God do:
#1 He used my kids to show me something I needed to change
#2 He has created a consistent habit and a potential tradition to pass down for generations
#3 He is created a desire in myself and my children to talk…REALLY talk about IMPORTANT things!
#4 He is showing us how to pray by listening to one another. We’re praying for more than just giving thanks for video games now…we’re praying for the world (Brandon’s request tonight)!
Isabella is teaching us that prayer is as simple as sharing what is on our hearts with God. Tonight her prayer was this (paraphrased and shortened as her prayer went on FOREVER)…”Father God, I thank you for loving on me, for my loving on mama, for my loving on grandma, and this is my dog and he eats this play food like this…”
#5 He is showing us that he is real, he does listen, and he does change our hearts, our thoughts, our attitudes, even our desires…my continued prayer is that they see He works for the good of us who love Him even if our prayers aren’t answered like we think they should be.
I’m sure I’ve left things out, but I just wanted to share our Sunday Sundaes with you. It’s powerful! Try it. Share it with your friends.
Our kids might not want to sit and do a devotion everyday, but offer ’em a sundae and introduce them to a real prayerlife and watch God work.
I’m humbled by what I experienced tonight. My heart swells with joy!
Happy Sundae ;D