This summer I’m continuing my ‘Year of Intentionality.’ The thread that has been woven through my conversations this year at home, work, and ministry is that to grow in our faith we must be intentional.
It will happen when I take time.
It will happen when I plan.
It will happen when I focus.
I’m taking it to heart.
When our hearts, minds, and bodies can grow complacent in the vacation months, I’m striking forward with a plan for a faith-filled summer. I will have three rules.
- Start small
I tend to make grand plans, but forget to finish them. We’ll aim for five faith-focused minutes each day, whether it’s memorizing a Bible verse, learning about a saint, or saying special prayers.
I plan to pick a biography of a saint I’ve always been interested in and when I need it – I’ll take a five minute break and read while they play.
There is much to be thankful for every day. I will enjoy time with my children to look at bugs, flowers, baseball games, etc. We’ll revel in the glory of the earth and I’ll teach about conservation, recycling, and care for God’s creation.
The importance of prayer
My children are young, so my biggest challenge is often trying to remember to take time myself to pray in among the busyness. I keep a prayer journal and use it every morning for five minutes to reflect on a Bible verse.
Attending Vacation Bible School and continuing to play the CD of VBS music helps tremendously with my four year-olds. During the school year I work with middle school youth, so I know some of the challenges there are trying to help them see the everyday impact of their relationship with Christ in their lives.
Help them, firstly, by praying for them every day. Also help them by showing how Christ is present. Consider taking a pilgrimage to the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend for a day trip. Find out the patron saint of whatever they’re involved (hint: St. Adjutor for swimmers). Create a prayer wall somewhere in the house (dry erase board & markers) where everyone can list their intentions for the day.
The importance of service
Our family will also be volunteering our time weekly at a community garden that donates all produce to local food pantries; it’s important for my children to learn the importance of Matthew 25, beginning now.
Children follow where we lead. Help them to keep their faith alive this summer by taking a few extra moments each day and every week to explore in their faith. Keep it simple and keep it heartfelt.
(Abby Henderson, Assistant Director of Religious Education, Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Parish)