Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Kids 'n Worship Part 2



Instilling a love for worship in your children...

Hi! And welcome back to the second week of Kids ’n Worship!

If you’re joining us for the first time please go back and read Part 1 of Kids ’n Worship! Have you done it? Oh, great! So let’s move on!



So, I started out by talking about “What is worship?” It’s so important that we teach our kids from such and early age about what worship is truly meant to achieve.
Essentially, if a child is taught to believe that they come into a worship service to be entertained, then we’ve already lost.

Do you remember me saying that? Well, it’s the truth. But once we’ve got a good idea of what worship is and what we’re achieving by doing it....Shana, what’s next?

I hope I can give you a little insight now!

It’s going to seem so “adult” but we need to teach our children the basics of a worship service, or the worship section of a Sunday morning service.

I know, I know. You’re all going ‘but Shana, I thought we were focusing on kids. I can’t explain this stuff to my 3 year old! She’ll just run in circles!’ Don’t stress, I’ve got your backs friends! I got this okay!

We aren’t planning to break things down and expect the littles to sit while we drone on and on about each little step to the boring pie charts we’re displaying on the TV! I’ll give you a heads up so that I don’t loose you, okay?
I’m going to give you the adult hum-drum here and give some examples of how we’re planning to make this a part of your toddlers life!

The next thing you’re probably wondering {no, I’m not psychic...I’m just going with what I asked when I first thought of it!} is why we need to do this.

At a young age, and I’m talking weeks old, we can see how important normalcy and routine is for young children. They need to know what is going to happen and when. Why? Their little minds have so much to deal with...emotional development, physical changes, and their learning capacity is beyond anything we know! When we start throwing a bunch of new stuff at them, they get overwhelmed and tend to do one of two things....retreat within and fail to participate or act out and cause a scene. Neither of these are positive outcomes...therefore out of consideration for their littleness...we prepare them!

Preparing for a Service

Do you ever feel like this in the mornings? In the midst of total chaos as the kids look on?
 This is a lot simpler than it seems. Church can sometimes fail to keep it’s significance and become more of a routine. We’re simply going to church each Sunday because we’re supposed to and heaven forbid so and so notice we weren’t there. We rush around Sunday morning because we slept in after staying up too late Saturday night. We attempt to round up the troops without causing too much havoc and do our best to keep our voices down. Dad is in the car honking that we’re going to be late as you quickly toss shoes to the older sibling to put on the youngest sibling while trying, with all luck failed, to wipe the sucker stains from your middle child’s face.
You rush into the car as Dad moans about how you’re never going to get decent seats and everyone is going to look at you as you walk in late. You apply a quick throw of mascara and threaten the kids that if they don’t settle down and behave they won’t get pudding after dinner today. You arrive at church and quietly get everyone out of the car and walk in as if you’ve had the best morning of you life, mean while you’re actually wondering if you remembered to turn your hair straightener off.

Does any of this sound familiar? It happens more often than most would like to admit! And what we fail to realize in all of this is not only are our hearts not prepared for service but neither are our children’s!

I will be the bigger person and step up and say this happens way more often in my house than it should! We are a very social family. Saturday nights normally mean friends over and a fire until the wee hours of the morning. It’s lekker. It’s a lot of laughter and a LOT of coffee! We pour ourselves into bed way past an appropriate time with our social side sated. It sets me up for a terrible Sunday morning...especially if it is a Sunday where Hubby Dearest is working and I must get to church with the boys alone!

Here is where we need to accept the facts and prepare! Sunday morning is necessary for us and our relationship with God. (Or Saturday night, Sunday night...whenever it is that you as a family head out the door and go worship!) We as the adults need to make sure things are prepared in advance!

I start by talking to Lil Mister about Sunday church Friday after school. I remind him that it is just two sleeps then we’re going to church. On Saturday, I’ll ask him what are we doing tomorrow when we wake up. And again before bed, I remind him that in the morning we’re going to Jesus’ house. I make sure he knows that we’re doing it. This isn’t different from anything else. If a friend’s birthday is coming up, I’ll start reminding him 2 days before. That way the day of...he knows what is going on. Toddlers, especially, need to know what is happening around them. It helps them feel in control and surprisingly that little bit of control goes a long ways in their behavior!

The next step in this is that I prepare everything the night before. I pack our diaper bag, lay out clothes, get the snacks/bottle ready, and throw in a toy or a book. I make sure the house is picked up before bed and dishes are done so that my main focus in the morning is a quiet calm morning.

Regardless of how late we went to bed, I make sure I’m up before the kids! This way I’m prepared for them when they begin to stir. It helps keep me calm and also lets me double check that I have everything we need.

Then I plug in some worship music! You’d be amazed at how this changes our mornings! Saturday mornings are for cartoons. Sundays we listen to music. The kids know this and therefore don’t complain. Lil Mister is starting to sing along which simply warms my heart. As he drinks his tea, I ask him what are the plans and he’ll tell me we’re going to sing and give Jesus his monies. (I’ll explain that later!)

The rest of the morning commences easily now. Yes, one child might throw a tantrum or a poosplosion may occur. I cannot control the entire universe (not for a lack of trying most days!) but I can set everything up so that I am prepared and in a mood to deal with it.

Lastly, we pray before we leave. As a family, we sit down and thank God for another beautiful Sunday and for getting us through the week. We make sure Lil Mister and LJ (although still too small to get it yet) hear us pray to God about how we’re going to bring our praises to Him for all he has done for us. We ask forgiveness from sins that we have committed so that we can come to God with a pure heart and conscious. We ask God to prepare our hearts for the worship and what the teachers have to tell us today.

Why do we do all this?
One, because the routine makes it familiar for the kids. They know what to expect and are therefore prepared themselves.
Two because it helps give me an environment to prepare my heart for worship as well. Kids learn more by what they see us do than what they hear us say! Therefore, my children are seeing me praise God as I get ready. They see me calm and collected and joyful at the prospect of worshipping the Lord. They gain comfort in my joy and readiness.
Three because the Bible tells us that performing the actions of worship without our heart being in the proper place is done in vain.
These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.                                                                               Matthew 15:8
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.                                                                                                              John 4:23

I’m going to stop here this week! I was going to go through the entire service, but as usual I ramble WAY too much!

I pray that you’ve gained something this week, even if it is just the comfort of knowing that YES another Mom is going through similar Sunday morning struggles! Struggles that sometimes make me just want to keep myself in bed and skip all the rush and commotion of it! I hope you see that we can have it easier....it just takes a little elbow grease. And most of all, I pray that God has blessed you and that you are a little more prepared in your heart to fight off the battle Satan is proposing to keep you at home each week!


May your coming week be blessed and full of little smiles and big laughter! Join us next Tuesday as we look a little more into teaching our littles about worship!

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XOXxx

Shana Danae..

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