Tools for Tilling


Fasting: Giving up something on purpose so we can hear God better

Some ideas for practicing:

  • We never encourage children to fast from food; it goes without saying that children are growing and need the nutrients. However they can give up desserts, sweets, video games, TV, etc.
  • During Advent and Lent, invite your family into a reflective time asking the question: What “thing” is keeping me from hearing God clearly? Or What “thing” do I love more than God? Give that “thing” up during these seasons.

Learn more about fasting.


Study: Learning about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit

Some ideas for practicing:

  • On the first day of each new earth season, go on a nature walk, collecting items like leaves, rocks, flowers, dirt, feathers (in our case we collected animal poo). Bring them back and look up information about them.
  • Engage your family in a reading of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) using your imagination. After reading a passage invite people to answer: What did you see? What did you hear? What did you smell? What did you hear? What did you feel? And lastly, what did the Holy Spirit teach you?

Learn more about study.


Prayer: Talking with God

Some ideas for practicing:

  • Create an atmosphere in your home where talking to God out loud is welcome, by talking out loud to God yourself.
  • While prayer is talking with God, any good conversation involves listening as well. Many families pray at meals; try starting those prayer times with a minute of silent listening. Extend an invitation during the meal for people to share what they heard God saying.
  • Memorize the Lord’s Prayer together as a family. Pray it each morning before people bound off to their days. Or invite the whole family to help rewrite the Lord ’s Prayer specifically for your family, and pray it daily.

Learn more about prayer.


Meditation: Focusing our minds on God and his words to us

Some ideas for practicing:

  • First, I think we have to say that technology is often the enemy of meditation, for the simple fact that it keeps our monkey-minds running. Meditation slows the mind down to a walk and even gives it the chance to sit still. In our culture this takes some practice. Try laying out in the yard staring up at the clouds and use your imagination to find pictures.

  • Watch some ants, notice where they have been, where they are going.

  • Read Luke 12:22-24 aloud. Then go outside and actually consider the flowers and the birds.