Welcome to our series “A Peek into the Process” where moms like you share honestly about how discipleship looks in their homes.
Today’s post is written by Christie Thomas, mom to 3 boys, a children’s ministry director, blogger, and friend. Find out more about Christie and her family below.
One of the things I love most about this series is seeing how different discipleship can look in different families. You may not choose the same schooling method or you might disagree on favorite resources — or you might have everything in common, but parenting and discipleship aren’t one-size-fits-all formulas.
So poke around the series and pick up a few ideas or leave a few but most of all — be encouraged to walk faithfully in the direction God leads your family.
Meet the Thomas Family
- Kids :: 3 boys
- Ages :: 3 yrs., 5 yrs., & 8 yrs. old
- Schooling Choice :: Public School
The Discipleship Process
When our boys were younger and the smallest was still a baby, devotional time was simple. Each night we would sit down on the floor in their tiny room and do a 3-5 minute Bible study. Some nights we would act out the week’s Bible story or draw a picture of it. Other times we would look up short verses or make up a song about the lesson.
Currently we find ourselves in a transitional period.
Our 3 year old does not speak yet, so many of our conversational devotions do not connect with him. Our 5 year old does not like acting out stories, and the 8 year old is too old for the devotional book we used in the past. Our day-to-day schedule also changes because of lessons and evening meetings.
As a result, our “family devotions” have become much more fluid.
At the breakfast table, I usually reach for a read aloud devotional book. Sometimes we simply read through it, but other times it sparks a conversation.
As I drive them to school, I try, with varying success, to engage them in spiritual conversation. Sometimes our conversation is related to a story we’ve listened to, such as when we had just finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
I have been reminded recently about the power of these short faith conversations. Take, for example the day the street sweeper did multiple passes of our road. I asked my boys, “How does a street sweeper remind you of God?” and got a very surprising answer from one of my boys.
These short conversations are like starting a savings account. Each dime put into the account is comparatively tiny, but over a lifetime, it accumulates and grows interest, becoming something more than the sum of its parts.
It is this perspective that helps me give myself grace on the days we don’t have a chance to do formal devotions.
This unstructured approach does not work for everyone, but because our faith is infused into our daily life, rarely does a day go by without a meaningful spiritual conversation of some sort.
Formal devotions in the evening are not as regular as they once were, although as we move through this transitional period, I’m sure we will do them together again.
The eldest gets a few conversations each week where we look up and discuss the lesson from Sunday School, read through a devotional book from his room, or talk about something that has come up during the week. We also pray with him, usually following a prayer pattern.
Bedtime devotions with the younger two sometimes occur together, other times separately.
Our youngest does not talk so all the conversational ones we used to use are not currently an option, but I recently discovered that he loves to act out the Bible story he learned in Sunday School. We alternate acting with reading from a children’s Bible. Sometimes our middle son joins in, and other times we read a separate devotional with him. Then we pray.
Our most regular spiritual habit is praying a Biblical blessing over each child, each night. We use a few different blessings, and I have seen the effect these repeated verses have had on them as we speak the same words over them nightly.
Resources we are currently using:
- Wise for Salvation (ages 2-6)
- My First Hands on Bible (ages 2-6)
- Thoughts to Make your Heart Sing (ages 5+)
- I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God (ages 5+)
Christie is the mom of 3 boys who love stories and wife of an educator (who doubles as her personal key-finder). She is the Director of Children’s Ministry at her church, a family faith blogger, and the author of a devotional book for families with busy little ones. To connect with Christie or to snag her 3 free “Stories to Stir the Soul of Your Kids”, pop over to her blog! You can also connect with Christie on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.