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Experiencing Faith in Everyday Life

Parents have great opportunities in everyday life for helping their children experience faith. We were curious what our Mom Mentors and their families did this summer, outside of going to church.

How has your child’s participation in a Christian group, club, or camp supported you in spiritual parenting?

Chere_Williams_PictureChere Williams: Every summer my daughter and I have a tradition of attending Vacation Bible School. Our church’s VBS is for both children and adults, so it is an ideal time for some family fun and faith bonding. One of best things about VBS is that we’re both studying the same theme, which is great because we can discuss what we learned at home. I strive to create an environment with my daughter where we can talk freely about God, study the bible together and both grow in our faith. Attending VBS aids in opening that line of communication that often leads to some in depth discussions about God. I also want her to learn how to explore the bible independently. VBS encourages her to find the answer she’s asking, by searching through scripture and also by talking to other adults in the church. My prayer for Anya is that she develops her own personal relationship with God and a desire to read the word. I also try to teach her about the importance of fellowship in the body of Christ, and VBS provides a setting for her to interact with the other kids and create bonds with them. It does take a village, and I’m so grateful that Vacation Bible School nurtures and promotes fellowship, learning and spiritual development in her life.
Charissa

Charissa Kolar: My son Jack was in the Santa Cruz Mountains for a week away at a 4th/5th grade summer camp. We dropped him off and watched the opening ceremonies. College kids from all around the Country introduced themselves and the camp theme was “Identity.”

It was really wonderful experience for Jack to be among 250 other kids who are following Jesus and at least 50 young adults who lead them in songs, devotions and fun—and talking to them about how their identity is in Christ alone.
This “saturation” seems especially nourishing after a year in public school where
he is a Christian among many others who are not. This camp was a huge spiritual blessing for our whole family!
KonaBrownKona Brown: I have the privilege of participating as a Mom Mentor all the way from South Africa, which quite literally means that my inputs are often topsy-turvy and upside down! So too is our winter holiday your summer holiday and vice versa. “Summer camp” is not a “thing” here and our winter break in July is only 3 weeks long. But thankfully the challenge of routine, structured, fruitful parenting in the flux of a holiday is universal for parents! This year the Browns escaped Johannesburg’s cold, dry climate to pursue a bucket list item that my husband and I saved 10 years for: to take our boys to Disney World. We added a few other destinations to the trip, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Key West. I knew that being in transit (planes, trains and automobiles) would mean a lot of waiting. I also knew that there would be little of the family Bible study, meal times and the bedtime routines that punctuate our rhythms at home. So I used simple index cards and wrote down memory verses. I kept these handy with our passports so that we could 1) memorise them in those spaces where we are waiting, queuing, or hanging about and 2) discuss in transit from one place to the next. 1 Thessalonians 5 v 23-24 proved to be a wealth of transformative conversations for us as we unpacked it piece by piece with the kids, exploring the meanings and touchpoints of God’s character and His intention for every part of who we are, spirit, soul and body.
Audra HaneyAudra Haney: Norah (my two year old) didn’t participate in a structured summer program. However, because of the break in school, one of my best friends and I did a lot of baby “swapping” over the summer. It allowed the moms to still work and because our children play so well together, they enjoyed the quality time. I really love watching Norah interact with my friend and her son. My friend is a different kind of mother than me—craftier, more extroverted, prints off coloring devotional pages, and actually loves to take two toddlers to the community pool! I’m more likely to turn on the sprinkler, give them popsicles, and let them run together wild and free in the backyard–while I finish up my devotional and watch from a lounge chair. HA! All this to say, I’m still the best mom in the world to Norah…but it is a good reminder that she needs influence and experiences outside of what I can offer. When we take the pressure off of ourselves to be “all” to our children, invite other people into our space, allow them to help out, and let participate in our children’s lives—I believe that everyone benefits.
JillWilliamsJill Williams: Our youngest child attended a Christian camp at our church. While much of the camp was entertaining and fun for her, she heard the message of the gospel that she knows we believe in our home. It reinforced this truth for her in that she heard it spoken by other adults and young people who she admires. Not just mom and dad. She also saw it modeled in the way they enjoyed her and the other kids at the camp. The camp sent home each day a small booklet informing us of the Bible truths they discussed, allowing us to partner with them in discussing these truths at home. This mostly happened in the car ride home. As we continue to live out our faith together as a family, it is helpful to have this camp experience to refer back to with our daughter as a reminder that others cling to Him just as our family does.

MomMentorLogoFBThank you, Mom Mentors! Learn more about them here and connect with their blogs. We would love to hear about your experiences, too! Do you have a question for them? Please post it below. And share your answer with us. See children’s books for growing up in God at grahamblanchard.comText Copyright © 2016 Graham Blanchard Inc. Photo Copyright © 2016 iStockphoto.