Every one of us is unique in the way we connect with God and the Holy Spirit. Think about ways that fill your “spiritual tank”. And by this I mean, what ways make you feel close to God, at peace, content, heart-full. Is it through music, art, journaling, reading the bible, nature walks, dancing, running, gardening, etc?
There’s a great book called Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas that talks about 9 different ways that we connect with God:
- Naturalist: loving God outdoors.
- Sensates: worship God with the senses.
- Traditionalists: rituals, symbols, sacraments, and sacrifice. Tithing, structure, church attendance.
- Ascetics: loving God in solitude and simplicity. Live a fundamentally internal existence.
- Activists: loving God through confrontation. Standing against evil and calling to repentance.
- Caregivers: loving God by loving others.
- Enthusiasts: loving God with mystery and celebration.
- Contemplatives: loving God through adoration. Mary of Bethany.
- Intellectuals: loving God with the mind. *(summary from: https://jsilva.blog/2020/02/17/sacred-pathways-summary/)
Do any of those stick out to you? If you’re still questioning what fills your tank, then I encourage you to talk to God about it. Ask Him to reveal it to you. And, experiment! And it may be more than one! Actually, I guarantee there’ll be more than one!
After you’ve pinpointed some areas that you know make you feel connected in your spirit, now think of ways you can incorporate them into your every day with your kiddos.
I’ll use myself as an example. I find a huge connection through music- listening, singing and dancing. So, depending on what mood I’m feeling, I put on some music in the living room and tell the kids we’re having a dance party with Jesus. I’ll often shout out the main points of the song while we’re listening so they intentionally listen for it. If I’m feeling more contemplative and want some quiet time, I bring out the art supplies and get the kids set up with that while I put on some quiet worship music. I love this one as it stirs me to do some art too. I sometimes ask God what picture He’d like me to create. I talk about this with the girls and suggest they try asking too. It’s so fun to watch them watch me and mimic what I do and to see how proud they are of what God ended up asking them to create.
This brings me to one of the things I’m most passionate about… teaching your kids to communicate with God. Your kids are never too young to talk with God! God has not given them a junior Holy Spirit! Which means that they can come to Him with their child-like faith and so when they ask a question, they have no reason to believe that He won’t be answering them.
Start making communication with God as a part of your normal day. Thankfulness is an easy way to start. When the kids get up, thank Him for the day, thank Him for the sunshine, etc. One of my girls favourite books is God Made You Special (a classic VeggieTales!) and in there is a line “a thankful is happy heart” and I love reminding the kids (and myself!) that when they are feeling grumpy or down, being thankful for something helps our heart turn happy. It’s a fun thing to try!
So to answer the question of this two part blog, no, things don’t go back the way they were. However, by surrendering to God, searching and allowing for change in your relationship with Him, you can be living a thriving spiritual life, be a thriving mom as well as teaching your children to have the same!