Free Printable Planner: Family Devotion and Quiet Time
So before I had 3 children my mornings went like this:
Feed the dogs
Water the garden
Go for a hike
Have quiet time
Go to work
Now that I have 3 kids (age 7 and under) my mornings go like this:
Slap the alarm clock because I just fell asleep
Change a baby diaper
Splash water on my face
Trip on a scooter
Hear laughter and crying sometimes from the same kid within milliseconds – amazing really
Make breakfast for Kids
Make Complete vegetable / fruit smoothie for me
Catch my breath
Fix wake up hair (kids, maybe mine)
Look at how many dishes accumulated in a matter of 1 hour awake time
You get the point. Things change with little ones.
But I did not want my quiet time and devotion to get lost in this season.
PRINT THE FREE PLANNER BELOW
One of my hubs and I most effective practices for marriage team building, and family strengthening, are daily quiet times, where we can do devotions together and have time to pray and listen quietly for the daily direction our lives and the course that our family will take. We needed to build this into not just our adult routines, but our entire family routine as well.
I began praying about how to do this and I received two people encouraging the same idea during that time. My Pastor’s wife encouraged me to do our devotion time together and teach the kids to have a quiet listening time as well. Another friend of mine also told me that she does devotions as a whole family. Now – I have done this before but I always used a “Kids” program, or a “Kids Devotion” but then I was left trying to squeeze my own quiet time in later. I had never done the Bible NIV itself with all of our children and adults for devotion time. I thought it might be painful to try but here’s how I turned it from this (which is how I feared it would go):
Into this: (which is how it did go!) Not every morning is easy. We KNOW that. Some days the baby barf just lands where it may right?! But the point is, I am trying to develop a healthy routine that “quiet time” is not something they will have to learn to “make room for” when they are adults, but rather grow up with a habit of giving themselves, just as routine as eating breakfast.
I took words of wisdom from a dear friend of mine who homeschools all 5 of her adopted children plus her biological as well. She said in the mornings they do a devotion all together, from the devotion she is doing herself. She applies it to the different ages and they learn and help each other.
My goal: to combine that principle with a quiet time for all of us.
I had to get my supplies prepared ahead of time. It’s really easy: I am a visual person so I made a quick supply planner sheet that you can SCROLL TO BOTTOM TO PRINT FOR FREE.
I simply needed: Bible, journals for each child (coloring book for my 1 yr old), 3 Busy Baby Tray ideas ready, pencils / crayons. Breakfast – we decided to do our family devotion time during breakfast in the mornings.
Here is how we practically include our young children into our daily devotion and quiet times:
1) Set up 1 yr old with my Busy Baby Tray (I add uses to this constantly at my Youtube channel I Believe in Joy). Have 2 back up Busy Baby Tray ideas ready because the attention span of a 1 year old is about 10 minutes and I needed 30 minutes for devotion time.
2) Have each child grab their own journal and crayons / pencil, and mine as well.
3) Grab my bible & decide on a short section of a chapter.
4) Have the oldest child read the short section (we do 10 verses at a time), with parent helping as needed. We are doing Ruth right now.
5) Talk about what part of that section struck our hearts.
6) Give the whole family time to have quiet listening for about 2-4 minutes for their age level is realistic (I give the baby a new Busy Baby Tray right now).
7) All have quiet journal time. Our first time doing this I was very open and flexible. I simply explained the idea to our 1, 4, & 7 year old and they loved it. After quiet listening prayer time, I asked them to either write a few sentences, draw a picture that came to their heart, or write down any words in their heart. I was not sure how they would respond. I was amazed enough to write a blog about it:
She had never drawn a big heart like that before, and we do art every single day. She usually draws what she sees – science observations, plants, graphics or patterns. I had never asked them to draw or write what they felt inside after quiet time during devotions. We talked how important it is as a person to have that daily time with our Bible and with quiet in our heart to hear God’s love and care for us. They both immediately liked the idea and it has been our family breakfast routine ever since. Another bonus – they love to get to do the quiet time because they draw or write what is on their heart afterwards. I keep this time very relaxed and personal. Their journals are their spaces. It is between them and God (this heart example page was shared with permission). I am just allowing them the freedom to have quiet and respect their need for God’s moments just as much as I need them. In fact, the other week we had company over and we did not do morning devotions. My 4 year old said later in the day – “Hey Mom, what was different about today? We did not do something but what was it?” I said, do you mean devotions and quiet time? “OHH Yes” she said, “we did not get to do that, why not?” The fact that she noticed tells me that she values it, so I will continue this way. It also provides all of us, me included with a set time to do my devotions and quiet time. Win, Win!
I have noticed a trend in this generation that we spend a large amount of time, energy, and money on providing exceptional nutritional and educational focuses for our children. As a parent I can give them monetary possessions, nutritional health, I can teach them many faith principles, and can give them a well rounded education. Yet, I realized that perhaps one of the most powerful tools I can instill in them is a still heart that listens for God in the quiet moments. After all, these children do not belong to me. I learned that over and over working as a trauma nurse. When life ends, I end. I am not the author and perfecter of my children’s faith. Anything I give them is nothing compared to what God wants to say to them in their hearts. This truth inspired me to create a Family Devotion & Quiet Time that gives all ages of my children their own quiet time with God. Within a week, a stillness and quiet fullness was present in my home. Not just in the adults, but in the family.Of course it is still a crazy mess of spills and life!!! BUT there is a still center at the heart of it.
Thank you so much to all the busy moms who have provided me insights about how they do a daily family devotion time. Thank you to the Pastors & Wives who have influenced my own quiet time. Thank you to my UIO group for bearing with me as God gently works on my heart. Thank you to God for being patient as we put everything else above our need to listen to Him – day in and day out, we fill our lives with agendas and fullness with everything that ends when life ends. Lord give me the presence of heart to create a family devotion time up to 30 minutes every day with our family devoted to listening to you. I give you my children’s hearts as they listen to you – the author and perfecter of their faith.
Hebrews 12:2 “We fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him..”
If you have been doing devotion time together, and after reading this you try incorporating a quiet listening time for your kids followed by journal or coloring based on age, tell me about it. I love hearing your stories!
Click the Link Below to PRINT THE FREE PLANNER (Word Doc):