Intentional Connection Time
29 Oct 2021
Intentional Connection Time. It’s what I call time that’s focused on connecting with another person. I have this with my husband too. Although there have been seasons where we've spend the entire day together, there’s something very different about spending intentional time that’s set apart for one another, focused on each other and our hearts towards one another. It’s giving each other space and time to share and listen. To know one another deeply means not assuming we know everything about each other but knowing there’s more we can learn from and about each other.
This is the same for our time with the Lord. We set apart time that’s intentional to connect with Him. We love spending the entire day with Him and connect with Him throughout the day, but sitting down and focusing on each other, again, is different. I love doing that by myself but I also know it’s important to welcome my children into that space. They get to see process, solutions, creativity and how to have that time together.
I want to invite my children into my time with God so they know there are different ways to cultivate a relationship with Him, just as there’s many ways to cultivate a relationship with people.
Earlier this year in May, I saw this post by Sarah (@themummymission) and was reminded to do my devotional time with my toddler. Around that time, we were living with my parents and I felt external pressure to focus on getting our children to bed by a certain time. No matter how I tried making that extra time before bed, it wasn’t working out. The reminder made me re-focus my priorities and make connection with Jesus together more important than what time I got them into bed. I felt Holy Spirit wanted me to read the passages that I had seen in my devotional time the past 2 nights (John 16 or Eph 1) with my 4 year old. Since it was late, I let him choose one of the two and he chose Ephesians 1. Before we could even get to passage reading, he started asking about baptism, prompted by photos in his bible.
Earlier that evening, he and I made bookmarks from pressed flowers. He'd asked what bookmarks were for and I told him he could place them in his bible to mark his favorite passages so he can turn to them quickly without searching for them each time. So when it came time to do devotions, he wanted to put the bookmarks in his Bible before starting. I’m sharing this because allowing what we consider as “tangents” or “road stops” or “distractions” to what we’re about to do opens up such beautiful conversations. It had happened multiple times in the past year so I’d learned to welcome the flow instead of working against it. He opened his bible and placed his bookmarks (5 of them) in his favorite passages. When he saw the picture of Jesus in the water, he asked why there was a bird on him. We talked about baptism by water and he asked about baptism by Holy Spirit. We chatted about Holy Spirit and His relationship with us, which leads me to pause for a moment to share something before continuing on.
Nate and Christy Johnston have created this amazing online community called GROW. I participated in GROW in this year's first season and had signed up for Season 2. They had two pathways (Cultivate and Pioneers) from which you can choose. When I signed up, I chose to receive a hardcover workbook (I’m more of a paper person than PDF, which is what I had for Season 1) and felt to purchase both pathways even though I felt only to partake in Season 2 of Pioneers. In May, I received GROW workbooks in the mail. I figured since GROW Season 2 didn't start for another 2 weeks, I could do the Cultivate workbook while I wait so I could start the Pioneer workbook along with everyone else. Little did I know that I would be using Cultivate Season 2 workbook content with my toddler.
During our time together, he asked questions that went right along with the workbook that I had read the past 2 days. As I chatted with Him about Holy Spirit, we ended up working through day 1 and 2 of the workbook. I didn’t read every word in the workbook to him but summarized parts that were important while re-phrasing so he’d grasp the concepts well.
Can I encourage you? The time together with Jesus doesn’t have to be or look any specific way.
- Whatever you’re studying at the time and whatever resource you’re using can be used.
- Children need to learn and see/experience process just as much as you nailing it or failing it (and recovering from it). (ooh that was God, I don’t usually rhyme haha)
- Organic is better than perfection. We’re not trying to make the time with Jesus perfect (talk about x, y, z or follow this that and the other or doing it in x amount of time). It’s about enjoying Him together. Whatever cultivates that - do it. If you’re not sure what to do, I hope what I share on this blog will help encourage you and bring ideas flowing to you about what would work for your family.
You’ll probably read this over and over again here. It’s never about a right or wrong way. Each family is unique and each child is unique; you be you and find what works best for you, your kiddos and your family. Let what I share be something that helps your creative juices to flow. I’m only sharing what’s helped us and I’m sure it will change as seasons change and other variables shift. And I love that. I want to always move where Spirit is leading me with my own time with Him and I welcome it because it keeps my relationship with Him always fresh, new and exciting. What do you love about your relationship with Him and what does your intentional time look like in this season?