I can't quite explain it, but the slow and faithful practice of a few moments in the morning leaning into God's Word is heart-changing. It is the kind of change that can sometimes be frustrating for me. It isn't instant, and there is never a checkbox that I can check off to show progress. But it is the real deal. It is true growth in a festina lente and an esse quam videri kind of way.
As a busy mama, my morning time devotions change with the seasons of life. Sometimes, these moments are quiet times where I can read and write and really dig into what will stir my heart. Honestly, these kinds of moments are rare. Usually, I am reading the Bible on my phone while I am brushing my teeth or picking up one of the printed out cards I have sitting by the kitchen sink so I can pray it while I scrub the pancake batter out of the bowl.
I want to build this heart-growing habit into both my kids, while they are still young, to prioritize time in their day to read the Bible and to pray. It is important to me that we don't make this time into another "to do", and so we don't work at it like a rule, but like a habit towards relationship. The time we spend in the morning doing our devotions, or adorations, is not a study (although, sometimes it can look very similar), but a time to open our hearts to the Truth, Goodness and Beauty of God's Word.
Because this time isn't for study (we do that at other times), I do not supervise or "correct" these journals for my kids. It is for their hearts, not their minds. We still discuss and share things that have stirred our hearts, but we don't take this time to teach. I trust that God will work in their hearts during this time.
He always does.
For years my kids have been using a simple format, and I've let them follow along with children's devotionals, story bibles or even just picking a book (like Psalms) and they choose verses from it. Last month, I introduced them to Adoration using Sara Hagerty's free Adoration for Kids (it was amazing!).
This month, since it is November and we always focus on giving thanks, I created this Grateful Heart devotional. The best part about it is, it is simple. It can be used with many different ages (I will be using it, too!). You can have older kids locate and copy the verses directly from their Bibles. Younger kids can copy from a whiteboard, or you can even create worksheets here for them to copy from. You can dictate the verses if you want it to be a family activity. You can print it and bind it. You can staple the pages, have the kids make their own book with it or just hand them a page daily. The possibilities are endless.
I added a few days with spaces for art instead of copywork in this devotional. Up until last month (for years, now!) both of my kids have been writing (even if it was very, very basic copywork!) for their morning devotionals. Last month, I had them draw pictures only (even my oldest!) and it really refreshed their time and let their creativity shine. The pictures were very precious depictions of how God's word had moved their hearts. I didn't want to neglect this creative piece this month.
You can download the Grateful Heart booklet here.