Bring Your Kids on the Journey
I used to think that when a woman had kids, her life was pretty much over. How moms got out the door with their teeth brushed and two matching socks was beyond me. I now have two, healthy young kids and don’t believe your life ends. Well, the world of consistently matching socks may, but not your entire world.
When I had my first child, I decided that I didn’t want my personal journey with Christ to come to an abrupt end with the introduction of a baby. I’ve always loved 1 Corinthians 1:8-9. “God, who got you started on this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus.” So, I purposed in my heart that while my personal spiritual adventure might look different with the addition of children, I was still going to pursue what God had for my life’s calling.
Since having my first child, I have found a few practical ways to bring my kids with me on my journey.
1) Ask God to help you to see how to creatively expand your adventure so they can be a part. I developed a new passion for early childhood education, and so I started serving in the children’s ministry. I also volunteered to organize our neighborhood playgroup. This worked well as I figured out all the new Mom “stuff”.
2) Physically bring your kids along when you serve. For example, I deliver our neighborhood newsletters because it is a flexible task that I can do while our kids ride in a stroller with me. Or, Hunter will often take Annabella on a “Daddy date” when he puts up or takes down the church yard signs. Also, we empower Annabella to “help” in moving things, whether it be running some wires during set-up or carrying small bins for tear down on Sundays.
3) Explain to your kids the “why” behind what your family is doing, especially if they can’t be directly involved. For example, my toddler can tend to be quite grumpy when it is me and not her Daddy waking her up on Sunday mornings. I always explain that one of our family values is serving, especially serving in the church.
That is why we let Daddy go to church early to set-up. If we have a babysitter and our toddler is sad that we’re leaving, then we explain why we’re going – that we believe in serving, and she is helping by having a good attitude when we go.
Bringing your kids along on your journey is truly a priceless gift you offer to them. By inviting them to sojourn with you, they learn that there is a journey worth prioritizing and that journey can truly be an eternal adventure.
Joy Wilder is loving her life adventure as a passionate Christ-follower, lucky wife and Mom to two girls aged 8 months and 2 and half. She serves with her husband as the Co-Director of Ministries for Capital City Church‘s Kingstowne site. Joy is also the co-founder and co-owner of a Montessori preschool in DC, a personal trainer and gym nut, a Settlers junkie and an aspiring member of the “Socks Always Match Club”.