As a bright eyed, somewhat naive college gal, I was rooted in rich soil living in the Ford household. Each morning Dr. and Mrs. Ford’s youngest daughter, Hannah, would ring a bell to signal that it was time for breakfast. We would come to a table that was simple in beauty and food. Yet, these meal times with Mrs. Ford and her three girls were a rich feast for my hungry soul.
Towards the end of breakfast, Mrs. Ford would share morsels of what she was gleaning from Scripture or a treasured author and invite us to ponder with her. It was here that I was first introduced to Sally and Clay Clarkson’s writings. I was challenged to think during these meal times and my heart was awakened unto the day with a sense of hope as well as purpose from being connected to this family.
Therefore, I shouldn’t have been suprised when I eagerly shared with Mrs. Ford all I was learning about our bodies’ digestion process on into the morning and posed the idea of merely drinking a barley green drink for breakfast, only to be quickly shut down. Mrs. Ford quietly informed me that the breakfast meal was of primary importance in her home. Not only for the nourishing food, but it was an ‘anchor,’ or a BIG rock in the day which she used to disciple her girls.
Today, 18 years later, guess what anchor I have attached a devotion to? You got it…BREAKFAST! And while my children eat, I speak out a Psalm, a verse to ponder or a devotional reading. No, it is not always the peaceful low-key breakfast I enjoyed at the Fords’ because my children are younger. Juice is spilt, kids speak too harsh, little ones wiggle or hop from lap to chair, someone needs more of something and I stop many times. And some days we are rushing and crabby and I’m just trying to hold on to the reigns and breathing and praying through it all and we skip our devotions. But most days, it is a big rock in the rhythm of our days. Something I pray my children- who are blossoming way too quickly into adults- will STAND as they seek to navigate their own lives and the lives of their children.
Because today she’s 6 and as precious as can be and all about her Mama and learning to write and bake bread and do art for friends and welcome Daddy home. Today she is safe in our care and provision. But the world she is walking into is a bit shaky and quick to come at her with challenges. And I want her to be a awoman who STANDS on the rock of God’s Word, of His promises to her as his daughter, who knows the stories of old and lives from a place of knowing who God is and how deeply he loves her. I want to cultivate faith in my children and embrace the unique opportunity of these days to grow that faith.
What are the BIG rocks for you in your household? The main things of the main things you want your children to remember, to walk in, to live out of? Think 10 years down the road, setting off for their big adventure, be it college or marriage. What is paramount for you that they know and have in their hearts so they can BURST forth and live out of the fullness of who God created them to be.
I invite you to think about an anchor in your day that you could attach or re-attach this big rock to…be it breakfast, lunch, bedtime, afternoon nap routine or Saturday tea time. Whatever it may be, I encourage you to own your life by growing into the reality that like it or not, YOU are the Mama! (some days I wish I could be the kid again, don’t you?!?) But we are not the kids, we are the MAMAS of the world and have such a sweet , blessed calling to rise up and nurture our kids faith, whether we come from a strong faith background or not! We can do this! God in us can and will lead us!
God has sent each of us Moms out into the harvest of our own homes. May we learn to disciple our own kids and slow down on looking elsewhere for a ministry. Just as Jesus spent lots of time with his 12 disciples may we also order our days and lives to be present to our children and give them the gift of time with us and let them grow up strong in the garden of our loving care.
For those interested, here is a list of some of our family’s favorite devotional books. The New Testament stories of Jesus are a great place to start with children also.
Our 24 Family Ways by Sally & Clay Clarkson
My Big Book of 5 Minute Devotions by Pamela Kennedy
Leading Little Ones to God by Marian M. Schoolland
Long Story Short by Marty Machowski