How many times in 14 years as a flight attendant have I listened to an actor’s voice telling my passengers traveling with small children to “put their own oxygen mask on first”?
I believe that putting on the armor of God every morning means that I am not only preparing myself spiritually to handle whatever comes at me but also preparing to be the spiritual authority with my children during the day. Jesus is my oxygen, and if I don’t allow Him as my armor bearer to place His armor on me first, I won’t be much good to my family.
However, any stay at home mom or dad of little children knows how difficult it is to find time to spend with God each day.
As I accepted the challenge to begin praying on the armor of God every day, my first thought was How?
Young children have the potential to keep you busy every minute of the day until bedtime.
I have been living with a certain amount of fear for a while. Fear of being a leader when it comes to my kids. I believe part of this is because I was raised an only child. We never had to deal with sibling rivalry or conflict in our house.
Not only are there conflicts, there is also a lot of noise and loud, rambunctious playing. My kids are good friends with each other and play together all day long.
I realized this past week that I would need to stop parenting from a place of fear and instead begin parenting from a place of leadership. Maybe kids can’t smell fear, but I believe they can sense it. I believe they know deep down when mom or dad are intimidated by them.
I mentioned in a previous post that I am learning to care for both my children on a daily basis again. After I got better from my illness, I was mostly taking care of my son on the days I was not flying while my daughter was in school. Now that it’s summertime, I have them both all day when I’m not working.
I knew that one key to our success as a family each day would be structure. Kids seem to thrive on routine. It is comforting to them because it lets them know what to expect. As my daughter likes to say “What comes next, mommy?” She likes to know what’s next on the agenda.
We don’t have a concrete schedule with precise times on the clock to do different things, however my kids know what to expect in general out of each day.
“Mission impossible” for me was to figure out a way of beginning each day praying on the armor of God. I began to add two new routines into our day and did them consistently each day. My kids and I began praying together as a family every day after breakfast. We pray over our day and pray for each person in our family.
Afterwards, I instruct them to go to the older child’s room for playtime while “mommy prays”. They know that they will not be able to come back to the living room until mommy is done. They leave the door open so I can monitor them. I take this time to pray on the armor of God. It is not as long a time as I would like it to be, however it is what I have grace for at the ages the kids are now.
My kids have come to expect this routine every day. Anything new you start may be rough the first few days, but the family will adjust with time.
I know that many moms and dads have little ones that are too young to entertain themselves yet. However, I believe there is a grace for every stage of parenthood. If you are not sure how you can fit this into your day, ask God to give you wisdom. According to James 1:5-6, He will generously give this wisdom to you if you believe He will.
My old singles pastor used to say that you have to be intentional about everything you do. If we are passive and just sit back waiting for life to happen to us, we will not achieve our goals. I have to be intentional about my prayer time every day. My kids need me to have that oxygen mask on. So does my husband.