Two years ago I was constantly asking when I should move my children to having a closer relationship with God. My mentor told me, “Ashly, just exercise it in your life and they will pick it up along the way”. Not only was it the best advice I ever heard, but it made the whole topic lighter for me. I didn’t fear making the wrong moves, I no longer had the fear of destroying them by forcing something on them. I no longer worried if what I was doing was right. In the end, what I’m doing was more than what I had as a child. It reminded me to just keep on growing my faith and my relationship with God and to allow them to be bystanders watching from the front row and hopefully falling in love with the show as much as I have.
As a parent I’ve always just wanted them to love as God has loved us. To never feel empty inside, and to just believe in something more than just themselves. I have never forced my beliefs on them, I have only tried to create activities and prayers that allow them to begin to know who God is. To share stories from the bible so they can begin to understand how mighty our God is.
A few sites that I have found in my search are easy, fun, and convenient. I only use two of these still but have enjoyed several apps, and websites that have added value in one way or another. The top five websites/ apps that I have tried and enjoy are:
With those being said, we have thoroughly enjoyed three years of ABCJesusLovesMe activities and daily school work. My oldest has completed three years of it, my middle has done two years and now the youngest has enjoyed a handful of activities I have chosen for her. The activities are great because umm….are you ready for this, THEY’RE FREE!!! Let me repeat that, for starters, they’re free! Secondly, ABCJesusLovesMe has weekly activities for each age group for the whole year that you get to hand pick for your child. The best, it isn’t just about God, they have activities that teach personal hygiene, manners, sign language, and of course letters, numbers, and words. It’s great for homeschooling parents with many resources.
I’ve loved it for having amazing activities that my children have loved throughout the years. One that has introduced my children to God in a fun, easy, no pressure way. There are several that have been forever imprinted in my heart because they made lasting impressions in my children’s minds and hearts as well. For instance the apple activity. You cut up an apple and discuss faith with your children, is a lot like a seed in an apple. You can’t see it at first, but when you cut the apple up, and look closely, you can see a seed surrounded by a beautiful star. Just like God, you can’t see him, but because we have faith in him, we knows he’s there, around us, and within us.
A new activity that I have recently begun is an app that I found from my church that I have attended for seven years, HCBC. My kids go to Sunday school there, and my oldest has recently begun the process to get enrolled into the school. I’m constantly roaming their site to find resources for parents and came across an app. Now, I will wholeheartedly admit that I hate using apps for everything, because for me its clutter. This however is an app that adds value to my children’s life. It’s called Parent Cues. It gives you cues on when to discuss God with your children in your everyday lives with your children. It’s great! It has many features that I love.
To begin with the Countdown:
“There are approximately 936 weeks from the time a child is born until they grow up, graduate, and move on to whatever is next. Since your time with your kids is limited, consider counting down the weeks. Why?”
When you see how much time you have left, you tend to do more with the time you have now.
Then there are the Cues:
Not only because it has cues during normal routines that make it easy and not forced to talk about God with your children, but it has cute videos, and the best…it coincides with what they discuss in Sunday school. I have been told by many people, and read in articles and other blogs to find ways to have your children involved with people with your same mindset, that speaks of God in the same way. This app works along with what they discuss in the youth church groups. No matter how involved you get or where you join your child in, the same topics are discussed.
I have to admit, it was the most amazing thing to see my son light up when I discussed with him the cues that were given to me during the week, that were already discussed during that week at Sunday school. He was so proud that I knew it, and that he could show me, and most importantly that we could go over that topic together and further in depth. It is a little saying now that has been used thoroughly in our household now for three weeks. It’s not only a simple statement that he learned at Sunday school, reinforced by me, but one that is meaningful, useful, and purposeful. One that helps build his character and one that deepens his understanding of God.
I gained affirmation from him the day I saw his face light up. Affirmation that I was not only doing the right thing, but that I was on the right path to leading him in his own journey. Parenting is tough, and mentoring your child is even tougher. I took a leap of faith when I started pointing them to God, and take one everyday when I use little activities and apps to help me along the way. I pray to God to lead me to guide them to be closer to him, so they can serve him, so they can feel him, and so they can learn to quite the world and hear him, and above all so they can love like him.
3 Things I have learned from all this:
- Just take the Leap of faith- Don’t wait for signs.
- Pray about it, but seek it out as well. Do research, and more research.
- Join a community that shares your beliefs, for yourself and your children.