Transforming Experiences

Help your kids encounter God any time, anywhere.

Every so often we experience those surprising "God-moments" in our lives. Maybe it's seeing an arrow of birds fly across the sky at sunset. Maybe it's the heart-warming shock of a long-awaited answer to prayer. Maybe it's when a "coincidence" reveals God's sovereign hand working behind the scenes. Or maybe it's when, in the depths of your soul, you can just sense God's comforting presence.

Experiences like these cannot be manufactured, planned, or drummed up by us; they're all about God and his work in making his presence felt. God is going about this work in our kids' lives too! Even little ones without a vocabulary to describe it experience and encounter God's presence in their own childlike fashion: in dialogue spoken aloud to Jesus during playtime, in a look of wonder at the stars, in a sense of awe when first discovering basic concepts of math and science.

It starts with something simple: speaking aloud about God as often as possible.

Hidden in the backdrop behind the more notable "God-moments" is the reality of God's constant, faithful, and enduring presence in each moment of our normal, everyday lives. God is always there; we need only to pay attention. In Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C. S. Lewis wrote: "We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito." You can play a crucial role in helping your kids "find" God in those incognito experiences, cracking open mundane reality to discover a stunning treasure of spiritual joy.

Experiencing God … Monk-style

French monk Brother Lawrence worked in his monastery's kitchen in the 1600s. He wrote that he best connected with God not in corporate worship or personal devotions, but simply while going about his everyday routine in the kitchen. Though he valued contemplating Scripture or praying with others, it was in the setting of his normal routine that he tuned in to God's presence. In his book The Practice of the Presence of God, he taught that Christians ought simply "recognize God intimately present with us … [and] address ourselves to Him every moment."

Like Brother Lawrence taught, our kids can learn from us two foundational truths that will transform every moment of their lives: God is always literally and miraculously present (not just in Sunday school!); and one can always speak to and listen to God.

Everyday Life … with a Twist

Beyond simply telling our children these key truths, we can help kids experience them by intentionally sharing and framing key experiences. As we spend time with them in play, making crafts, cooking and eating, doing science experiments, talking, exercising, and more, we can capture the spiritual potential of those moments and lead our kids into a deeper connection with God.

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Kelli B. Trujillo

Kelli B. Trujillo is editor of Today’s Christian Woman. Follow her on Twitter at @kbtrujillo or @TCWomancom.

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Awe; Character; Child-rearing; Creation; Gratitude; Relationship with God
Today's Christian Woman, September/October , 2012
Posted October 15, 2012

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