DH and I have a have a lot of worship habits, mostly in a good way, not a mindless way – we keep a chronological Bible in the tea towel drawer handy for DH to grab and read a proverb and psalm after supper (assuming K isn’t melting down, then a Proverb is all we get) we pray before meals, we sing a hymn before school, and all the kids get a Bible story at bed time – K from the Beginner’s Bible, M from the Taylor Bible Story Book, and B reads us a chapter from the ESV before we all say goodnight. All this reading with them helps me. The pattern of the day is a comfort.
DH gets up early to read his Bible and pray. I sleep in. Sometimes K will look at the pictures in her Bible Story book on the couch next to him while he reads, she often asks him to read to her.
For my personal reading, I subscribe in the Google reader to the ESV online, this year the chronological arrangement. Sometimes I click the listen button, and listen while doing the dishes. Though it’s not exactly giving God my undivided attention, it does make it harder to skip the geneologies.
Prayer. Umm. Do I pray enough? As much as before kids? lets see: little intersessions all the time, like, “Please help M to remember his phonics and not get frustrated with arithmetic!” and for people outside my walls when the phone rings with phone chain requests, when I get e-mails from friends, or see trouble on facebook or blogs, or see a friend at co-op, when I hear the neighbors discussing things in the drive way, when the radio mentions trouble in the news, for the president and other leaders once a week when our pastor prays for them, and when I can’t sleep at night. Every other week I get to be the adult at prayer meeting sans kids. That’s mostly intersession too. I manage adoration when we take walks or watch nature documentaries, confession almost as often as intersession – especially when I am about to scold children, sometimes after scolding children.
Other kinds of worship are woven automatically into life – though I’m bad with the calender, so sometimes on communion Sunday, I have to very quickly remember and confess sins I’d forgotten about as the elements are being passed, and since we sit up front, it’s very, very fast. But showing up to sing, listen to scripture, and give offerings, are habits of life thanks to my Mom (Dad wasn’t following the Lord when I was a child or at any rate, not going to church.) I don’t have to think about going to church on Sunday anymore than I have to think about brushing my teeth every morning. Fortunately, my church has a pleasant nursery with people I know and trust, so when K is too antsy or loud, she has a safe place to play.
Thinking about God comes up all the time thanks to the kids. Why do they have to show respect to each other? (Imagio Dei) Why can’t they read trashy books or watch racy movies? (Pillipeans 4:8) Why must they not deceive each other? (Leviticus 19:11) Why should they not compare themselves to others? (Galatians 6:4) Why is race unimportant for picking friends? (1 Samuel 16:7) Why should they be careful about the characters of who they choose as close friends? (1 Corintheans 15:33) Why to they need to control their tongues? (James 3) Why to they have to mind me? (Exodus 20:12) Some days I don’t get to phonics and history, because I’m too busy teaching justice and hygene. Hopefully modeling them – or repenting that I have not modeled them.
That’s me talking to them. They have their own issues. Why do adults think girls better than boys just because they can sit still? Why did our ancestors do embarrassing things in history? She hit me!
There are so many rubs and chaffs in life, and it’s all a chance to talk about God. As my wise mother-in-law said, “If something is a character issue, it will keep coming up, so you will have lots of opportunities to address it.” How often do you get to be a leader? How often do you get to talk about really important things? Teaching in real time is stressful, but you can always tell everyone to go to their corners while you grab your concordance, pray and get your game on. (of course you don’ t have to homeschool to discipline and disciple your kids – but you get to do it in the morning and early afternoon if you are.)
I want those wise words that promote learning. (Proverbs 16:23) I want not to worry and fret. (Matthew 6:25) Vacuuming doesn’t do it all – I need God or I get cranky. Selfish as that is, focused on his imminent qualities as that is, I’m comforted that admitting that I am a creature in need of council, redemption, and energy is itself an act of worship, because God is the source of those things, and the very act of asking him for them acknowledges that he is.