Pondering Places - Second Instalment
In the Introduction to this I talked about creating a place of safety, and habit of meeting with God. What this looks like for you will be different to another person. You know the circumstances and needs of yourself and your family. Timings and regularity, what happens and where needs to fit the circumstances you face.
Take your time introducing these ideas. Maybe start with just trying a few prayer activities to draw your children in before asking them how to build their pondering place. (If your children are very young - just start, build the associations and the habits as you go, and don't worry if they toddle off occasionally....it's normal!)
Involve the whole family.
Choose where: Of course, this will depend on the space you have. Round the table, on a specific rug or blanket. Maybe a blanket fort or under the table! Or where-ever a designated bag of helpful things is placed. (Choose a designated bag instead of a fixed place and you can take it to the park!)
What will you have for that space/bag? Aside from what is needed for Pondering Platypus Prayers, what would help the whole family connect with God. Some people need stillness, so a larva lamp might be good (With switching it on 30 minutes before starting being part of the ritual). Glitter tubes - when you use these, it looks as though some bits go down and the glitter goes up. Its relaxing, but also reminds us of our prayers going up and God's love coming down - a good reminder as you prepare to pray. (The case pictured above has some ideas - but you don't need all of it!) If some of your family need to be active, have an active fiddle toy and allow room to move around, spin or flap. Many children listen and connect better when doing this....even if it seems they don't!
Have a bible - Biblica's Accessible Bible is good as it has a larger font, shorter sentences and is easier for those who struggle to read. If you have children who like Lego or Mine Craft, there are Bibles themed for both.
Have a clear signal for when this time is over; a wacky way of saying 'Amen', an electric candle or larva lamp being switched off.
Using the space by yourself at anytime during the day is fine. It shows the family that they too can come to God at any time. If your child/children go to it outside of the planned time, even tipping things all over the floor, let them. Feed in a thought, ask a question or just leave them alone. It has long been known that boys are more private with their prayers and will pray alone more than with the family group....and I suspect many girls are the same.