A Peaceful Habitation or a Hectic Home

We all desire a Peaceful Habitation, but it doesn’t “just happen”. It seems strange to say but you have to “fight for peace” if you want it to happen.

There are some wonderful verses in the Bible that speak about living in a peaceful habitation.

Is. 32:17,18 “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Isn’t that what we all want.

Pro. 3:33 “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the abode of the righteous.”

Don’t we want our home blessed by the Lord? It sounds like being “righteous” is the key of both these verses. The Isaiah verse talks about the ‘effect’ of righteousness will be peace, and the ‘result’ of righteousness will be quietness and trust forever.

Righteousness seems to be the key, but what actually is righteousness? Webster says, “Righteousness is doing that which is right” and also, “free from sin”. We can do neither of those without Christ.

Jeremiah 23:6 say “The Lord is our righteousness”.

Matt. 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness for they shall be satisfied”.

Matt. 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you”.

Now we shall look at some practical ways to have a peaceful habitation, knowing that first we must have Jesus and his righteousness.

Isaiah 30:15-18 “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and in trust shall be your strength,’ AND YOU WOULD NOT, but you said, ‘No! we will speed upon horses’, therefore you shall speed away and ‘we shall ride upon swift seeds.’ Therefore your pursuers shall be swift. A thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill. THEREFORE, the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of Justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”

AT THE THREAT OF FIVE” spoke to me as a young mama of five children. I was not to be frightened by those 5 children, nor the huge task of raising them. I was to be in control and not them of me. I had the Lord with me. These verses are encouraging on that point. Out of context but they spoke to me of this need.

Part of being in control is making wise decisions as a parent, and setting boundaries for our children. We can’t just always ask our children, in a gentle voice, what they want to do, and then go with that decision. We have to see the far reaching aspects of that decision that our children wouldn’t see.

These verses were also helpful:

Deut. 1:29-30 “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or fear of them. The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you.”

Deut. 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them; for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”

I am going to share some thoughts from a diary from May 4, 9, 11, 1978. I was 46 years old. Becky was married and Jane was to be married in June.

[Editors Note: These particular dairy entries were not included in this typed talk.]

Longer term lessons learned from those hectic days.”

  1. Listen to God. What is it he wants me to do.

  2. Talk it over with Dick. Get his approval and support before undertaking. Learning more and more God uses Dick to protect me as I submit to him.

  3. Learning to say No to things PEOPLE ask me to do – if not in line with what the LORD has already shown me I should be doing.

  4. Remembering – His burden is light – Whose am I carrying? Matt 11:28-30

  5. Most important what God thinks of us – not peers and relatives etc.

  6. Learning to take moments of time for myself (what brings me peace)

  7. Take positive steps toward peace – it won’t “just happen”. Lev. 12:14 Strive for Peace with all men.

Striving for peace also could involve some “fighting” for peace. Right now there are so many good things in the world to ‘fight for’ and so many bad things we need to ‘fight against’. Just reading Dobson’s Citizen magazine can really get you riled as to the sin in the world. It can give us a restless, disturbed, fighting heart that we need to turn over to God, in order to be the “peacemaker” in our home. We need to deal with our own restless heart before we can bring peace to our family. We need to ask God to help us with this, as we are called to minister to our family.

Yes the world is changing. When I first wrote this lesson in 1978 life was different that it is now. But we must remember that “Jesus is Changeless”. His truths are changeless. His truths remain the same throughout all the generations.

Heb. 13:8 “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Psalms 145:4 “One generation shall laud thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.”

Ecc. 1:4 “A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.”

Learning the difference between Hospitality and Entertaining. Martha was “entertaining” Jesus. Mary was showing “hospitality”. How often do we do the same – wanting the ‘best’ in the name of honoring our guests, but making our family crazy and really doing it in the name of ‘pride’.

Something comes to mind that I learned at one of the first retreats I had ever been to. At the final meeting I could hear women working in the kitchen, behind the scenes. The Lord spoke to my heart saying, “These women have worked hard to make this a pleasant and restful retreat for you. Now you are to go home and work hard to make your home a special retreat place for your family.”

A friend sent me an article quite awhile ago entitled, “What Makes Your Home a Sanctuary?”. It was from an article in the Chicago Tribune and written by Michele Weldon. Now these aren’t thoughts from a Christian paper, but I think they are very true and very noteworthy, and some things that would be helpful for us to apply to our lives.

You can sense it immediately when you walk through the door. There won’t be a sign, or brochure in the front hall. But if it’s there, you can feel it through you; it is nearly palpable, a smell, a feeling, a radiance, a calm. When a home is a spiritual place, it feels real as a golden retriever curled at the foot of a favorite chair.”

(Now we might mean something different than she does by a “spiritual” place, but we want a home that Jesus is present, and that presence is pervasive in our home to others.)

Continued: “When you walk through the threshold of your home, you feel you are safe. Even gardens for a lot of women are their sanctuaries. It is essential to create a small space, a place of retreat. Whether it’s a room, a tent in a yard or a chair with a walkman, it’s a place where I need time for myself in order to be a better human being. When you are out of balance and life is chaotic, and you walk through the door and can’t find a place to sit down, then you are robbing yourself of serenity. My home was always a sanctuary, and I knew everything was OK as soon as I walked in the door. I want my kids always to feel safe when they come home. It’s my special place. It’s where we belong.”

If we can create this kind of a home, it will be one where your children will want to invite friends to come.

To be happy at home is the greatest gift life will ever present to us.”

We hear a lot about “peer pressure” these days, mostly in relation to our children. But I think peer pressure has a lot to do with our having a peaceful habitation. And that is “our” falling in the trap of “peer pressure”. Do we fall into the same trap as our children do?

  1. Wanting everyone to like us. It is a favor to tell our children that no, everyone is not going to like them. Then they are not so shocked and hurt when someone doesn’t.

  2. Trying to please everyone – keep everyone happy.

  3. Not wanting to say no for fear of rejection.

Let us set an example for them as Jesus is our example. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Perhaps someone will be affected adversely by my saying no. Yes that might be likely. Good words on this in Oswald Chambers My Upmost for His Highest, January 11th.

[Editor’s Note: Oswald passage not included in typed talk]

Sometimes we get too busy for our family by doing everything everyone else wants us to do. The little booklet “Tyranny of the Urgent” is very helpful on this point.

Remember this, “The Need is NOT the Call”. So many needs, but we are not called to them all. Only Jesus can show you what is the most important and what He desires you to do.

How do we get all the things done on our “to do” list?

  1. Let Jesus make your list.

  2. Do only what He gives you strength to do.

  3. Do it in the calm manner that he would do it.

There are also allusions – mirages that the world would have us believe.

  1. There will be more time later (60min Father, Cat in the Cradle, Greatest Man I Never Knew)

  2. I shall always be this age. Remember we all have just one year at each age. Remember being 7, 14, 21. And suddenly you are a mother-in-law and then a grandmother and you feel the same inside.

  3. I’ll be a big nothing if I don’t – do this, join this, have this person over, etc.

  4. My child will never be able to play in Jr. High or High School sports if I don’t start him out in preschool sports teams.

Can I trust God to help me in these areas?


The world and common sense say one thing. But God often says the opposite. Sounds crazy – but makes for a happy exciting life, full of glad surprises along the way.

Oh may we follow Jesus in his guidance to make our homes a Peaceful Habitation.


Nine points for raising your children for the Lord

These are just some preliminary points. It’s important to note that you don’t have to know all the answers. We raised our children leaning hard on James 1:5. You don’t have to be afraid of them or of raising them correctly. Let nothing terrify you (Duet. 31:6 and I Peter 3:6).

1. You must know Jesus yourself and have Him living in you. Keep check on your own life in the Lord (Galations 2:20). Is it as fresh and alive as it always has been? (Revelations 2:3-5). Are you spending time daily with the Lord in personal devotions and in the Word?

2. It is important to have a Christian spouse. (II Corinthians 6:14)

3. It is important to attend church regularly and worship together as a family. Dick strongly encouraged the children to sit with us in church and now it is a habit and we do it out of love and joy for each of us. Make sure you are sensitive to the needs of your children in choosing a church. Avail yourself to what the church has to offer. But be most sensitive to that little seed of God in your child and watering it and nurturing it and not be so concerned about what he/she is participating willingly in, in church. Beware of your own pride at this point.

4. Family Devotions. We really feel that faithful daily devotions, especially when the children were small, was a key factor in the building of faith in our children. Be creative with what you do and where you have it. Try the fireside in winter or outside fire in the summer with kerosene lamps. Children are sensitive to atmosphere. Do things of interest to children. Devotional stories, singing, sharing, praying… We also went through all the Laura and Mary stories with one chapter at the beginning of our devotions. Do not let TV rule your time but be aware of Eph. 6:4 and consider the children also.

5. Use daily life to teach them. Joys, sorrows, problems… all with the purpose of teaching spiritual truths (Duet. 6:6-7). As we talked through these points with our children it seems they all felt this point was the most important in their growth. That Jesus was made real in our daily life, and was interested in their daily concerns. As Bart said, “I heard about the miracle of God at Sunday School. About prating the Red Sea, etc., but when He helped me find my lost math book, that was a miracle that I could see.”

If we never laugh or are big grouches spending most of the time yelling at the kids, kids see that following Jesus is no fun and just for sourpusses. John 10:10 has no meaning for them.

If we worry and fret about not enough money, taxes and what the world is coming to– kids see that we cant cast all our cares on Him. That when the chips are down we don’t rely on Jesus. I Peter 5:7 must be real to them. Share family financial problems. If you don’t share the problem with the children they will never rejoice with the answer.

Two verses that we raised our children with and what we consider companion verse are I Thes. 5:18 and Romans 8:28. Learning to pray when bad things happen and saying “Thank you Lord for allowing this to happen and help me to see the blessing in it.”

Making Jesus a part of everything in their lives from finding lost articles, to praying before a shopping trip, before taking a trip in the car, tests at school and class elections, broken hearts and all the hurts and relationships at school, the things they are desiring and friends who are hurting, and the athletic events they are participating in. In fact, ANY AND EVERY part of their life.

As you look for help in the Word don’t be afraid of using the concordance, or saying you don’t know the answer but you will look and see what the Bible says.

6. Pray daily for your children (James 5:16). Let them know you are praying for them. Ask them for requests and soon they will give them to you freely.

7. Be willing to ask for forgiveness and admit mistakes and ask for God’s forgiveness for yourself.

8. Follow God’s plan for discipline. Love them enough to discipline them. It will be harder to accept God’s guidance and discipline if they haven’t experienced yours.

9. Have fun together as a family and make Jesus the center of whatever you are doing! 


Two verses that mean a lot to Dick and I in raising our children and which verse we are seeing fulfilled as we see our children marrying Christian spouses and raising children for the Lord.

Psalm 128 “Blessings on all who revere and trust the Lord, on all who obey Him. Their reward shall be prosperity and happiness. Your wife shall be contented in your home. And look at all those children. There they sit around the dinner table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees. That is God’s reward to those who revere and trust Him. May the Lord continually bless you with heaven’s blessings as well as human joys. May you live to enjoy your grandchildren and may God bless Israel.”

Jeremiah 32:29 “And I will give them one heart and mind to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.”

Precious Treasures and Promises

God’s Bank Account verse:

Psalm 50:14-15 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the most High; and (then) call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you shall glorify me.”

What does this mean to me:

During the everyday disappointments of daily life- being thankful for EVERYTHING- Saying “Thank you Lord for allowing this to happen and help me to see the blessing in it” Based on Thess. 5:18 and Romans 8:28.

We raised our children on these verses. They are the key of making Jesus real in our home. It is like depositing in the Bank of Faith- your sacrifices of thanksgiving- even if you don’t feel like it. It will really build your faith as you see that “all things DO work together for good.”

Then when the bad things do come into your life, you can call upon the Lord and you have built an account of faith and you know that He will deliver you in the big things too.


Pray about everything in your life, little things, big things. Ask him about all the details. Our children have said they felt one of the biggest reasons they became Christians was that Jesus was made real in our home. And this is how He can be made real. To pray about everything and allow the children to see that He does answer and He does care. We would always pray in the car as we left together to go to the mountain, on any little trip. Pray before we went shopping, that the Lord would help us find the perfect things at the perfect prices. Pray for all sporting events. Pray at the exact time of school tests. Pray for personal relationship, for disappointments, for finding things, and this could go on and on. Allowing the Lord to be part of EVERYTHING you do.


After saying “yes” to many things during the Spring, we get into our Summer season. Oh yes, we are blooming… we are enjoying what we are doing and our self esteem is going up as we get compliments on the good jobs we are doing. But we start hearing from our children, “You’ve been gone three nights in a row. When are you going to stay home?” They start saying “Who is sick?” when they see a cake you have baked or cookies you have made, knowing it wouldn’t be for them. What started out as fun and challenging is turning out to be a drag and hard work and you start thinking “I’ll be glad when this is over!”

Do we get so busy in the Summer season that we don’t have time for our family? We begin to hear, “You said you were going to fix this…. do this… talk more to me about this… but you never have time.” They said, “I have tried to tell you but you didnt listen, you were in a hurry.” Soon we dont have quite the excitement for the job as we did in the Spring when we said yes. This is why you need to ask the Lord BEFORE you say yes. He knows what it will entail and what it will cost your family. He knows better than you how much you can handle. You might say, “Ok, I didnt ask the Lord or get his OK for what I’m doing but the results are good. Isn’t that what is important?” NO. The bible has some strong things to say about “Doing a good job but neglecting our family.”

I Timothy 5:8 “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

One of the strongest examples is the story of Eli: 1 Samuel 2:11-12 “And the boy (Samuel) ministered to the Lord in the presence of Eli of the priest. Now the sons of Eli were worthless men, they had no regard for the Lord.” Now there was a priest at the temple of the Lord He was serving the Lord and doing a good job, wasnt that enough. He had worthless sons who didnt love the Lord, but that wasn’t Eli’s fault was it?

I Samuel 2:22-2 1 Samuel 2:22-25  “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.  So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the Lord’s people is not good.  If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the Lord, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death.”

I Samuel 2:34-35 “and this which shall befall your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you; both of them shall die on the same day. And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind; and I will build him a sure house and he shall go in and out before me anointed forever.”

Do we become so busy during our summer season that we don’t have time to restrain our children or even love them properly? I shall give you a personal example of this and what the Lord showed me:

Becky was in Bible School, Cindy and Jane in High School, Bart in Jr High and Pollyann in grade school. Dick and I had been asked to be counselors at a Young Life camp and we said yes. We were done for the weekend and left the older children in charge. Monday after the camp weekend I got a knock on the door and it was a policeman. He said, “Do you know what your darling children were doing this weekend? Oh my, I didnt like the tone of his voice. My children were darling but he was being very sarcastic. He said they had pulled out a stop sign and were stopping cars and then squirting them with whipped cream and then jumping back in to the bushes. It was night time and very dark, and apparently they had left Pollyann home alone sleeping.

When the children came home I told them of the visit. They were very honest and said that yes, they had done that and also their cousin Jim Tobiason was with them. They said they had found the stop sign in the woods behind our house and the whipped cream bit was from some movie that was popular at that time. They were very sad and hadn’t meant to do anything bad. Well, I went to the police station and talked to the policeman. He really was a nice man and realized it was just in fun but he said it could have been serious and we should make the children realize that. So Dick and I talked with them very seriously and told them they had to take the sign down to the police station, and apologize to the policeman and say they will never do such a thing again. They did and it seemed like it worked out OK.

But the next day I went to Bible Study Fellowship and we were studying Genesis and it just happened to be in Genesis 34. Jacob was so busy away serving the Lord that he was not aware of what his sons and daighters were going. One of the questions was, “Are you sometimes so busy serving the Lord that you do not know what your children are doing?” Oh my, did that hit home!

It also taught us some lessons. We would concentrate on raising our own children and “do camps” for other children after ours were raised.

Raising Your Children For the Lord

In the early 80’s I presented a similar lesson to this one about raising godly children. After presenting this lesson one Sunday, I had all five of my children come the next Sunday, hoping they would back up what I had presented. But I remember Bart had rather shot down what I thought was important. One of the points was making Jesus real in our home. Bart said that to him it really didn’t matter that we went to church, and what it was that made Christ real to him was that he was made alive and real in our home.

So that has given me the thought to look into a little different area of this subject.

1 Peter 3:6b  “…and you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you.”

Deut 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them; for it is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear to be dismayed.”

These verses are so true for mothers. It is an awesome job. Awesome for you with young children and all that is ahead of you. Awesome for me as a grandmother and walking beside my grown children. Let those verses give us courage.

Thinking of this lesson a sentence came to mind in a paper we received from the Browns in London regarding their vision for the United Kingdom. It said, “History in this country has shown that when a few committed young men and women embrace and live out the principles of Jesus Christ, the nation had not only moved, but changed for the better.” I think that is so true as we consider bringing our children up for Jesus and leading them to follow him. We first have to embrace and live out the principles of Jesus Christ in our own lives and in our home. Our first priority is to be attached to Christ ourselves, embracing him and living out his principles. As we lift Him up in our homes and in our daily life, He will draw those children to himself.

Matthew 19:13-14 “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people; but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder him, for such belongs the kingdom of heaven'”.

John 12:32  “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

How can we lift up Jesus in our homes for our children to see? For one thing, by having Jesus live in us and through us and by knowing what Jesus would have us to do…. and then do it. I think a key thought in the Matthew 19 reference is “not to hinder the children from coming to Jesus”. What do we do as parents that ends up being a hindrance to our children seeing Jesus? Perhaps…. arguing with their dad in front of them? Gossiping? Being sarcastic, bitter or revengeful? What can we do to help them see Jesus in our actions and decisions?

We can either claim James 1:5 for wisdom in the little decisions, and perhaps help build the fence at the top of the cliff. Or wait until disaster strikes and pray for ambulance service at the bottom of the cliff. Time with the Lord is so important in raising our children and asking the Lords wisdom on decisions we need to make. If we don’t do this, we will use our human wisdom and what seems good and right to us, not necessarily what the Lord would have us do.

Isaiah 55:8,9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”

Example: When Jane didn’t want to be confirmed and instead wanted to be baptized in the water off Fox Island

Don’t let pride enter into your decisions with your children. What will the church think? What will my friends think? It is important to not only pray for our children, but with them for their personal needs.

Example: Praying for Pollyann with sports and praying for tests with Bart

Dick one time shared in a couples class about living on the edge financially, and how he felt he invested in his kids lives, not financially in their future. He didn’t save for college for them and didn’t have large insurance plans. He felt by being a part of Sitzmark Ski Lodge at Crystal and skiing and playing with them, he was investing in their lives and our life as a family. He felt boats, jet skis and waterskiing were also investments in our family, keeping the kids close to home and out of trouble.

There was a couple in the class we were teaching, who we had hoped to get to know better and who after this class asked us to have coffee. We did, anticipating they wanted to talk about the Lord or parenting. But no, he was an insurance agent and he really confronted Dick for telling people, in his opinion, to not buy insurance but rather to spend money on activities to do with your children. So, not everyone agrees with our theories.

In the 80’s when Dick lost his business and we went through some very hard times financially, some people would ask, “Do you now wish you had done things differently and had been more careful with your money?” He always said, “No, I wouldn’t change a thing.” He felt he had his children and they were close to him and that was more valuable than all the money in the world. The Lord did provide a way for them all to do to college for as much as they wanted or needed.

If we can lift up Jesus in purity and truth, not hindering our children in anyway, they will see Him and He will draw them to himself and they will follow Him.

Oh, Lord give us grace to allow Jesus full reign in our lives, to live and shine, so that He will be lifted up.

The Joy of Eating Together

I want to encourage you to take time to eat together with your family. January is a great time to start new habits and traditions and this is one to carry out throughout the entire year! I believe this is an important tradition of the past that is often lost in the busyness of life. It will take time, along with a little work and planning. You may have to slow down the pace of life and say no to others things to be successful. BUT I really believe it’s worth it and your family might even enjoy it once they got used to it on a regular basis.

The Bible speaks much of “eating” together, “fellow-shipping” together, and “suppering” together. It must be important since God speaks of it often in the bible and gives many example of Jesus doing it.

Here are a few of those references:

Perhaps the one we think of first is Revelation 3:20 “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me.”

I love that verse. Jesus thinks it’s important enough as he talks really about salvation, of allowing him to enter our life, that he speaks also of sitting with us and “eating” a meal. What a meal that would be! The food would not be important, “but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. That should be our example too as we “sup” with others. The food is not to be the prime purpose, but instead visiting, listening, loving, and just being together.

Acts 2:42 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellow-shipping, to the BREAKING OF BREAD and the prayers.”

John 21:9-14 “When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went abroad and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.”

Revelation 19:9 “And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage support of the Lamb.”


*Side Note from Mali:

Reflecting on Grandma Rosy’s words reminded me of all the wonderful prayers we sang and said around the dinner table as a family. I have several in mind that are Norwegian but I have no idea how to spell the words 🙂 But here is one the whole family would sing together….

The Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord

For giving me the things I need, the sun and the fun, and the family

The Lord is good to me…. amen, amen, amen, amen, amen…..amen. Hallelujah!

Family Devotions

I am going to share some simple thoughts and memories from Family Devotions with our children.

We started in a little house on Oxford St. when we had only Becky. She was between 2 and 3 years old. I wanted to have an atmosphere for this time and since we had no fireplace I decided to use a kerosene lamp in the center of the table and we would sit around it. It worked well and in a dark room it was quite cozy. I used the lamp even during time of the year when it was light because it still helped with making it a meaningful time.

When we moved to 35th in University Place, I liked to have devotions in front of the fire whenever possibly and in the summer at the beach cabin, in from of a beach fire on the bulkhead. I think atmosphere helps make it a special time for the children.

I think about Jane’s comment a while ago, “Mom, I think devotions meant more to you than it did to us kids.” That could be true, but I needed that time as a mom. It was the most precious time of the day for me, but I still think these times of devotions had an impact on the lives of our children as well. All are now raising/ have raised children for the Lord and doing a good job (and their children are raising children in the Lord).

As a busy mother, I needed time with my little chickens gathered around, quietly talking to them about Jesus. It was a wildly noisy time between 3-5pm  with 5 children and trying to make dinner. And then began the unwinding time. I would give them their baths and then send them down to the fire place to be dried off by Dick and put on their pajamas. I would then gather the children together and hand Dick the devotions book. I always found it important to get Dick’s approval for devotional time. But like most things, it doesn’t happen unless mom takes a little initiative.

We often began devotionals with a regular story. We went through “Laura & Mary” books, a chapter at a time for example. Dick would then read a chapter from a Children’s Devotional Book such as “Little Ones Time with God” or “Happy Acres”. There are books to fit every age group. Dick would read the story and then ask the questions at the end of the chapter which the children would answer and discuss. After reading and asking questions we would sing a few songs or choruses. Then each would pray. I still remember Bart’s regular prayer every night when he was little, “God bless all the people in the world. The ones I know and the ones I don’t know”. That rather covered it all 🙂

We would always end with the song “Now the Day is Over”. Singing one verse and humming one verse. Then bed time would start for the young ones. I could see extra benefits from these times for children, besides learning about Jesus. It taught them to pray out loud and as a result they were never afraid to pray in a group whenever they were asked. It also taught them to sing as a family. Sometimes we were asked to sing and they always had a song ready. They had several that each one would sing a verse or special things within a song. They changed the words to “Micheal Row the Boat” to “Barty Row Boat”, which had lines like: “sisters help to trim the sails” and “Nanny and Boppy on the other side” and “milk and cookies on the other side” and “Wollochet bay is chilly and cold”. All ending with hallelujah.

Benefits I could see as a mother:

  • taught them to pray and be concerned for one another
  • they learned how to share prayer requests
  • they learned how to ask for forgiveness from God and others
  • opened up opportunities to mend relationships in the family

It’s easier to establish this routine when they are small, before school age, and easier in grade school. It becomes more difficult for a routine as they enter Jr. High and High school. Each child in the family has a different experience and a different remembrance of their life in the family. I know Pollyann’s memories of Family Devotions are very different from Becky. I feel it provides a strong basis for praying “for everything”(tests, games, friends, disappointments). It also is a natural time to witness for Jesus when kids have friends over to spend the night. As a mother it made me feel I was daily taking a step in fulfilling Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way she would go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

May the Lord bless you as mothers and fathers as you train up your children.