Twenty-4 Family Ways means it is for the whole family. As I look back on the years my children were young and I was idealistic afresh in my home, I now realize that as I took responsibility for their hearts, minds and faith, I realize that this discipline changed me as much as the kids. I was forced to think through my priorities, my values, God's ways for me. It is my hope that as we go through it this summer, you will feel refreshed in your own foundations for your personal and spiritual life.
Usually when we went through this book as a family, we did one way a week--repeating the way and studying a new verse 5 days in a row. But this summer, in order to get through this together, I will be doing one way each Monday and Friday so that we can get through the book by summer's end. Use it however you will. Memorize the way and the memory verse each time a new one is introduced and read along with the daily devotions in the book, or just read my blog and the material the day it comes out. However you want to use it will be beneficial, I am sure. (We did this 3 times during the kid's childhood and always used this for training and discipline--"What is our way about using words for kindness? What is our way about work?")
My wonderful friend, Kristen Kill, who lives in New York City with her 4 children, is an assistant of sorts in a lot of work I do in my ministry. She will be helping get the 24 ways post up each week this summer. I asked her if she would share with you just what she learned from going through the book with her family. I will do the giveaway on Friday from the comments of women here this week. So be sure to join me on Friday and I will list all the names of the winners of books and the 24 ways from the past few weeks. We shall enjoy our summer together so very much!
Kristen Kill and her daughter, Halle, who is now 14 and growing up ever so quickly!
As I write this post my oldest, Halle, is away at camp for the week and even there there is still a distinguishable hum and bustle of activity in my home, the lack of her presence is acutely felt. As we round out her first year of high school, the clock is clearly ticking down to more days that will feel just like this one, to days when she has flown the nest. I only have four more summers with my girl at home, only three more Christmases, three more birthdays.
When we have the end in mind, when we catch a glimpse of life without our babes in the ordinary moments of our everyday, an urgency to finish well swells up inside us. There is a running list in my mind of all I still want to do with the days that I have before I launch my girl into her next adventure, but as that time nears, I can say with confidence that I will be ready. There will of course be stretching and growing into the skin of a new season, I have a peace that I will enter it with joy by having sown seeds of truth and life in the details of her days from the beginning and through the middle and onward from here.
Motherhood isn't only about being hit with the anxiety that our chicks are leaving someday soon and racing forth to fill in all the gaps, but in the tender cultivating of the soil of their souls day in and day out, investing time and energy in ways big and small, stewarding these lives faithfully. As our children grow and rise to leave us, there is great peace in having guided them and instructed them, through their struggles and dark seasons, through our own difficulties and through all our joys, in the ways God has called upon them to live.
In our home, one of the most beloved and well worn resources for teaching and training our children to grow in their character and to be become wise in Biblical thinking is Our 24 Family Ways. This book really did make it easy for us to set on the dinner table each night and dive into together. We would copy questions and pull them out of a big jar and take turns sharing. Some of my fondest memories are the conversations that were stirred along the way in our children's little years.
I learned early on that I could not pour out to them what I did not own for myself, and as we read this book together, I found it was also changing me, growing me, equipping me with the Word of God. It became such a useful tool to help us discern and distinguish our values as a family, how we would spend our time, where we would invest and what all of our rules were going to be in our home, as well as the "why" behind them. Over time, a grid was formed in our family that shaped how we saw the world together and united us in what God was calling us to.
This summer, our family is opening up this book again and we are so excited to be joining Sally right here on her blog for posts that dig deeper into each of the 24 Family Ways. She will be posting here every Monday and Friday throughout the summer, so you will have five days to read and discuss each way with your own family and in your own quiet times. This summer could really change the course of our homes. It could be the season God uses to begin planting and growing seeds of truth and wisdom in our families and could be the beginning of a season that leads you into ending with joy, and launching your children into the world with all they need to walk in ways of God.
Be sure and post this on the side bar of your blog or share it on facebook and have your friends join you in our study. You will get more out of it if you discuss it with a friend and if your children get to repeat and practice the "ways" with their friends. Just copy the html on the side bar of this post and you can insert it in your own side bar. Thanks for spreading the word.
You can find the book, HERE.