Traditions are the building blocks for strong families. Dr. Kimberly Thornbury shares some of hers.
I’m a firm believer that a few low cost household rituals, practiced faithfully, can have a disproportionate positive effect on the everyday busy family. Habits and layering, doing the same things every day, every month or every season are key to shaping individuals and families. Below are three simple ideas that have become beloved traditions and have helped us cultivate some good habits in the midst of extremely hectic lives.
House of Prayer
When my two daughters were very young, I wanted to teach them about the importance of prayer, and also help them understand more about family and friends and they had not yet met. In 2004, shortly after Christmas, I took an old green Pampers wipes plastic bin, covered it with construction paper, and filled it with Christmas cards our family had received that holiday season. (I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing out all those beautiful Christmas cards.)
I stapled a 3 x 5 index card to each of the Christmas cards, and wrote down specific prayer requests related to that particular family or individual. During meal times, our two daughters were very interested in the new ritual of pulling out a colored photo. We would pass around the photo and pray specifically for the person or family on the card. Often times, we would write updates on the back of the card. Although we didn't pray for these people daily, we would pray for them regularly and most certainly consistently. Our mealtime prayers became less monotonous, more creative and more intentional. Sometimes if we didn't have a card on someone, the girls would take time to find a picture of someone in a magazine (for example, the president of the United States) and create a card. Tragic situations would ...