La Famiglia – It’s Just a Phase

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This is the second week of our series, It’s Just a Phase. Lauren Snyder spoke on “Bigger Families Are Better.” She challenged us to think about the voices outside of our families that are helpful to us. Lauren shared that Rhythm + Relationships = The Phase We Remember. Today, we are going to focus on the rhythms of  our current phase.

Our current phase is built upon the sum of our past phases. So before we can discuss our current phase, we must talk about our history. I was raised in an Italian-American, blue-collar family outside Youngstown, Ohio. That rhythm itself draws colorful images! My mother was one of ten children, my father one of six. Even though I was an only child, our family was bigger than most! La famiglia included grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends. With a large family, there was a lot of activity and it didn’t always create rhythms that harmonized with the rhythm my parents really wanted! Fortunately, I had a grandmother that understood her influence, and she was intentional about creating rhythms that included God. She took me to church and read stories from the Bible.

Fast forward to my current phase—three grown children, the youngest of whom is living with my husband and me, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and five grandsons. Our current pace is much slower than it was when our kids were younger, but it is still fast and fulfilling!

I’ve found that parenting thirty-something children is different than parenting younger ages. It’s especially hard supporting them through  issues that I didn’t experience—like social media, a pandemic, working from home, online schooling, and a polarized nation. It’s been helpful finding our rhythms and relationships. We’ve tried to stack habits related to faith, family, and freedom. Habits like being involved in a faith community and celebrating family milestones such as birthdays, weekly meals, and annual vacations. Habits like being involved in our community and exploring its attractions and events together. Habits that teach them about the world and country we live in and our place in making it better by sharing God’s light in it.

I am thankful that the following is one of the verses my grandmother read to me. She was intentional in her time with me and stacked habits of faith in all that we did.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7
5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

Do you have the rhythm you really want? How can you make God part of your rhythms in the phase you are in?

Do your rhythms reflect what you want for your children and grandchildren? Is God a part of your rhythms?

Next Steps:
Stack habits to build a rhythm that recognizes God. Fill in the blanks below with habits that recognize God throughout your day.

Morning time habit – _________________________
Meal time habit –  ____________________________
Drive time habit –  ____________________________
Bedtime habit –  ______________________________

Start one rhythm that will help you with your relationships, whether it’s with God or your family.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for all that you have given us. Help us to teach future generations about you and your kingdom. Help us to strengthen America! Amen.

This post was written by Pam Haynam. Pam is a writer for the LivingItOut Bible Study and a cook for the weekend worship band. She has a passion for education having served her community on a district school board and is currently serving on a board that sponsors charter schools across the state. She and her husband have three grown children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and five grandsons.

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3 replies
  1. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    Thank you Pam, I hadn’t thought about Anerica as a polarized nation. I go about my days in a rythm, and I am trying to explore more areas where I can stop, and insert a little more God time. I hurried off and didn’t yesterday, and the day was a chunk of noise, without any rhyme or reason. Ugh!

  2. Ned Miller
    Ned Miller says:

    Thank you for your story of having a grandmother who helped you be grounded in faith. In case you and your husband are interested I am leading a group this summer semester called Grandparents for Christ. It will be an online meeting once a week. We will look at famous Grandparents in the Bible and share ways to help our grandchildren stay grounded in faith. I would love to have you join us.

  3. Kim Kurisco
    Kim Kurisco says:

    I love having LIO as part of my spiritual morning ritual. It helps me start my day in love and light and makes my whole day better. Thank you CedarCreek

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