April Family Challenge

April Family Challenge

It is estimated that parents have 3000 hours of intentional time with their kids each year. The Kids Team knows that those hours are vital in the social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of your kids. In 2019, we want to encourage and challenge you to find rhythms in your home that are engaging, creative, fun and allow for natural conversations about faith and Jesus. Every month a staff member from the Kids Ministry Team will share an idea from their family rhythm that will guide you in making those 3000 hours a year a little more intentional. Join us each month by sharing how you incorporated the month’s challenge in your home. Post your family experiences to social media using #mhcfamilychallenge for chances to win prizes and encourage other families to join the challenge!

MAKING THE MOST OF DRIVE TIME

Some seasons feel like they lack rhythm. In the often dizzying pace of work, school, weekend plans, after-school clubs, sports, church activities, birthday parties, dinner plans … it’s hard to find good solid time to really stop and talk with your children about the important things in life. You know, the things you really want them to get so they can grow to be a young man or woman of God. With electronics pining for more and more of our time (because let’s face it, our entire lives are on those little devices), we really must be intentional in finding pockets of time that we can dedicate to engaging our children.

Our pack’s family rhythm doesn’t beat to the same rhythm set by the Cleaver’s. In the morning, we’re barely able to all get out the door in a timely fashion with everything we need for our day. Family dinner doesn’t always come together with our various schedules and activities, and by the time bedtime rolls around we just aren’t awake enough to really engage in family conversation.

So when am I supposed to mold this young mind God’s entrusted me with?

There is only one time where we are all off our devices (for the most part) and have a captive audience away from life’s distractions and constant clamoring for our attention. This amazing utopia is in our car during our drive times. Whether we are on the way to or from one of our several destinations, our “grocery getter” is a hallowed space where we do life together.

Living 20 minutes from many of our destinations gives us ample time to listen to a devotional over the speakers in the car and gives us time to unpack what God is teaching each one of us in our own personal walk with Jesus. Travel time also allows us the intentional time needed to check in and hear about each other’s day or week. Our son is always up for any short conversation about just about anything while riding along the highways and byways. We have found our car to be a sacred safe place to unpack life and walk through difficult situations. It’s the pause and the confined space that allows us time to really be present in a way that no other time or space does.

We are a family of music lovers, but sometimes the best thing we can do is turn down the tunes and tune in to conversation that will help us all be more on point with each other, with life and with God. I hope the next time you are in the car with your kids, that you will take the opportunity to connect and point them to God.

Check out the Parent Cue App for personalized ways to connect to YOUR kids while you drive. Find it in your App store or via the button below (you can also click on the picture above to take you there). 

TRACY ADAMS
KIDS MINISTRY COORDINATOR – RAHAPLACE

March Family Challenge

March Family Challenge

It is estimated that parents have 3000 hours of intentional time with their kids each year. The Kids Team knows that those hours are vital in the social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of your kids. In 2019, we want to encourage and challenge you to find rhythms in your home that are engaging, creative, fun and allow for natural conversations about faith and Jesus. Every month a staff member from the Kids Ministry Team will share an idea from their family rhythm that will guide you in making those 3000 hours a year a little more intentional. Join us each month by sharing how you incorporated the month’s challenge in your home. Post your family experiences to social media using #mhcfamilychallenge for chances to win prizes and encourage other families to join the challenge!

Marching to a different drum

Walking with Jesus is “Marching to a different drum!” My husband Tim and I chose that drum beat as first-generation Christians. We both had great values & morals displayed in our families, such as great love, generosity, and more, but we both sensed something was missing. It was in our twenties that God captured our hearts and we gravitated toward a personal relationship with Jesus. Fast forward now as parents, our prayers and desire of our hearts has been to have our kids know and love the Lord. But what does that look like? Where do you go to see that lived out? How do you know that you’re doing it right? All these questions have swirled in our heads. Luckily, we found an incredible church body.

For us, the church community displayed a heartbeat for providing parents with resources to walk authentically with our kids. Sometimes an activity would really connect for our family, like squeezing toothpaste out of the tube, trying to race to get it back in to win the $20 cash prize Tim placed in the center of the table! But the real prize was the life lesson that our words can’t be taken back, only forgiven and that we need to use our words wisely. One of my favorite moments was “steps to a good day,” which I made up! I placed a small, “SHORT” devotional on the stairs, and I would read it to the kids as they put their shoes on before they walked out the door for school (man, how I miss those elementary days). In the whirlwind seasons that came later, we struggled to be consistent with the devotionals. Today our parent posture is that of thanks; we are thankful for the small group leaders, family, and friends that influence our kids in their faith as they walk through middle and high school. They are a vital part of our family marching to a different drum. Remember, no matter the phase your kids are in, I think God just smiles when we attempt to “March to a Different Drum!” by placing him in our daily rhythm. And if you get off beat, try a new rhythm, just keep marching toward Jesus.

Check out our parent resource page for some great ideas to authentically connect and march to a different drum with your kids. Parent Cue is an amazing place to start. 
*Check out the links (via button) below. 

First beats, (aka- getting started) initiate a great conversation about what it means to choose Jesus!

Tricia Stefaniak
Kids Director

February Family Challenge

February Family Challenge

It is estimated that parents have 3000 hours of intentional time with their kids each year. The Kids Team knows that those hours are vital in the social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of your kids. In 2019, we want to encourage and challenge you to find rhythms in your home that are engaging, creative, fun and allow for natural conversations about faith and Jesus. Every month a staff member from the Kids Ministry Team will share an idea from their family rhythm that will guide you in making those 3000 hours a year a little more intentional. Join us each month by sharing how you incorporated the month’s challenge in your home. Post your family experiences to social media using #mhcfamilychallenge for chances to win prizes and encourage other families to join the challenge!

Walking is a part of my weekly rhythm

Often I walk with my husband as it is the best time for us to catch up and it gives us a little alone time (our kids are now old enough that we can make this happen…if you aren’t there yet, just blink and your time will come). Sometimes my walk is just me and the dog. But my favorite walks include my kids. Walking with my kids has given me a window into their lives. I realized when my kids were younger, as we walked along sidewalks or trails, their imaginations would explode and I was hooked to many of their make believe stories. As they have gotten older their willingness to share what is on their mind or heart is elevated when we are walking. They ask really good questions and are more willing to engage in conversation.

Let’s be honest, there are times I invite my kids to walk and you would think that I asked them to cut off their arm, but I keep inviting and may even force their participation. Sometimes our walks become an arguing match between them or a contest to see who can annoy the other the most, and I can’t wait for the walk to end, but I keep inviting and may even force their participation. Sometimes we walk and not much conversation is had, but I keep inviting. Why? Because of the potential. The potential for engaging, witty, rewarding, life giving conversation with my kids. Walks remove distractions from home and allows me to be present, to know about their friends, to hear about their day at school, to understand how they are processing a current event, etc. Walking is a rhythm in our family.

Get outside and take a walk!

Some walks can be with one kid and some with all of your kids. If your kids are young, ask them what they see and hear that God has created or have them make up a story that may continue on future walks. If your kids are older, you can have an open ended question ready to ask or just walk and wait for them to begin talking. Don’t force conversation, it will happen naturally. Take a walk and be present with your kids.

Take a picture of you and your kids on a walk before the end of the month and post to social media using #mhcfamilychallenge.

Some of our favorite trails:

Kim Hanson
Kids Director