(S.O.S. Challenge #2)
Today is the National Day of Prayer (2014). Part of what I will be doing with my kids today is visiting the “quiet spots” we created earlier this week.
Last week, each of my kids chose their bag/bucket/box/basket to use as their “Spiritual Survival Kit” (S.O.S. Challenge #1). A couple of them changed containers a couple times before deciding on their bag, and it was fun to see what they came up with on their own.
Then I gave each child the challenge to find/create 5 special places to meet with the LORD. These were the guidelines:
- one quiet spot must be in their bedroom
- at least one needs to be somewhere else inside the house
- at least one must be outdoors
- the other two could be any place of their choosing
- they must show me all five special places to have this challenge completed
The kids tidied up their rooms, moved furniture, arranged pillows and blankets, and busily created cozy, inviting corners all over the house. We ended up pulling out the rocking chairs, benches, and deck furniture out of the barn to prepare places outside, and then we even cleared away some of the fallen branches from our “prayer path” in the woods.
Here are a few examples of our “quiet spots”:
A few of my favorites were the blanket spread out on the floor in the corner beside Little One’s bed, the tree with “the perfect branch to hang a bag” that Adventurous One climbed, and the big rock with the old tree beside it to lean against.
Nothing is really “needed” to create a spot. All that must be done is claim it. But, it can be motivating to declutter a bit and fun to add a few extras: like a mason jar with pens and highlighters, a basket with a new translation or devotionals, a box with paper and envelopes for writing an encouraging note, a comfy quilt or fluffy pillow, a lamp, or a special candle.
Today, I plan to give the kids 3×5 cards with topics written on one side, hole punching one corner and tying them together with a string. Then, as I send the kids out to visit their quiet spots, I’ll ask them to write a prayer on the back side of each and place them in their bag. (I’ll give them extra blank punched cards to write other prayers on if they wish.)
— When I first presented the idea of make a bag and starting a special study of the life of Paul, each child responded differently: “This will be fun!”, “Do we have to?”, and “Please, don’t make us study Paul.” — I was slightly irritated; so I gave a lecture and assigned all less-than-cooperative participants the jobs of cleaning their rooms until they felt more inspired. (Looking back, I wish I hadn’t been so offended and had just persevered cheerfully.)
In the end, all my crew “got on board”. (A cheerful heart is a more creative heart.) Now they all have very original bags and clever quiet spots that they can happily call their own. — So, don’t be discouraged, or follow my bad example of taking it personally, if they don’t enthusiastically respond immediately. — I pray that in the end you will be encouraged and all your household will be happy you challenged them to put some creative energy into seeking the LORD.
As always, I hope you’ll share with your kids from the over-flow of your own time of seeking the LORD. Every challenge or idea I share is just a suggestion. I hope you’ll take this post and all suggestions others share from their experiences as a launching point for making your own time of seeking more special… go deeper, be original, be even more creative .
— I’m praying for you and your family as I post this.