School is coming…For some it is already here…For some parents it is a great day, for some parents there will be tears . For some kids it is a struggle filled with anxiety and for some kids they just can't wait to be back at school with their friends. It is a mix of anxiety, joy, fear, and excitement for a new year.
One thing we will all experience this year is the busyness that comes with a new school year. It seems to me that every year, sports gets more intense, classes get harder for kids, the schedule for ministry even seems to get more and more intense. All these things may be amazing opportunities for learning, exercise, friendships, and fun. Yet these things can make it almost impossible to have opportunities to share a meal, share your day, or just find times to be home and slowing down together with your family.
Somewhere as a family we all learned that to be the best parents we have to run, run, run. We have to be in everything, be there for everyone, and give our kids the most experiences possible. I am here to tell you we are all wrong on this front. Yes, experiences for our kids are great. It is important to give them times to succeed, to fail, to find joy and sadness, so we can help them navigate those moments before they become adults. The thing I think we miss is how can we also teach them to rest. How do we teach them to slow down, to enjoy life with the people God has put in our lives?
This fall our church and school are starting something new. We are calling it Family Rest Nights. The second and fourth Wednesdays of each month during the school year, we have opened the church and schedule so that no events happen in the building after 4:00 PM. We want to model for families to be home and with each other gathered around His Word. I love food, so for us it will include a meal. We plan to send out emails with devotional questions, Scripture readings, and prayers for the family. The goal is to help model family times of rest. My prayer is this will help families slow down and be. Slow down and be in the presence of each other and Jesus. I know I need to have those times of rest. Join us in resting in Jesus and growing together as a family.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (Acts 2:42 NIV)