by Kayla Craig
In the whirlwind of modern parenting, we often find ourselves juggling tasks, chasing deadlines, and racing to keep up with the demands of family life. It’s easy to overlook the presence of God nestled within ordinary moments. As parents, we yearn to infuse our lives with purpose and meaning, but we need reminding that sometimes the seemingly mundane moments hold the most sacred opportunities for connection and growth.
1. Stay present. In our fast-paced world, it’s tempting to multitask and miss out on the beauty of the present moment. Setting boundaries with and disconnecting from technology so we can be present to where we are and who we’re with isn’t easy—but it’s possible. This week, consider where you might pause, take a deep breath, and fully engage with your child. Let these moments anchor you in the present as you notice God’s presence in your fantastic, dirty, messy, holy life.
2. Cultivate gratitude. Gratitude is transformational. Take time each day to reflect on the seemingly ordinary moments of connection in your life, whether it’s the warmth of a shared meal, the comfort of a bedtime story, or the hug from your teen when you least expect it.
3. Create rituals of connection. What might it look like for you to integrate rhythms of connection with your family? This fall, consider establishing a daily routine that includes intentional conversations, a family prayer, or even a few minutes of shared silence. These small but significant moments deepen bonds and build a strong foundation of belonging—both in your family and in the family of God too.
4. Embrace playfulness. It’s easy to overthink play. As we become more aware of the aches and pains of the grown-up world and get burned by the demands of adulthood, we can lose our ability to embrace play, and in doing so, we miss out on experiencing God’s presence in new ways. Kids remind us to embrace the sheer joy of play. Allow yourself to let go of adult worries and enter their world of imagination and curiosity. Engage in their games, explore new activities together, and let laughter from kids of all ages fill your home. Embracing a posture of play is available to all of us!
5. Get outside. Nature is a treasure trove of wonder waiting to be discovered. Embark on nature walks in your neighborhood, explore the changing seasons, and let the beauty of creation spark personal reflections and family conversations about the Creator’s handiwork. Throughout His ministry, Jesus paid attention to the seemingly simple parts of life, coloring His teachings with lilies of the field and ordinary sparrows of the sky, reminding us that God’s infinite love stretches across all of creation. God not only notices but cares deeply for the mundane parts of nature we often take for granted (see Matthew 6:26-29). Perhaps Jesus told people to become like children because the youngest among us seem to inherently pay attention to God’s presence in all things (see Matthew 18:3). If God cares deeply for what we so often fail to even notice, how much more does God love us? God might just show up right in front of us if only we will slow down enough to notice.
6. Practice curiosity. Whether you’re parenting a toddler or a teen, you can ask questions to nurture connection and notice God’s presence in your everyday lives. Use open-ended questions to encourage them to share their thoughts and deepen their understanding. (Download 100 free conversation cards to get you started.) Talk about them on the way to school, around the dinner table, or before you say goodnight. This will look different depending on the season your family is in, but the purpose remains the same: for your family to grow in Christ and show up in the world with love. Children’s questions can be a pathway to meaningful discussions about faith. Don’t shy away from their inquiries; instead, explore them together.
7. Practice mindful listening. Listening is an act of love. Create a sacred space for your child to express their thoughts and feelings without judgment. These moments of attentive listening strengthen your connection and allow them to feel genuinely heard.
8. Do it together. Daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and bedtime routines can become opportunities for connection and noticing God’s presence in our homes. Engage your kids in the daily happenings of your day, sharing stories and discussing the values that guide your family. For example, when prepping a meal, give thanks for the people who grew the vegetables and the workers who stocked the shelves at the grocery store, and talk about how your family might help serve your local food pantry.
9. Let your breath become prayer. In our overwhelming daily realities, it’s easy to become disconnected from who God has created us to be—fully human, with a connected heart, soul, mind, and body. Breath prayers are short meditations to help you focus your body and mind on the One who gives each breath. Simple prayers can act as an anchor, tethering you to contemplation and reflection throughout the week. Whether you’re rocking a baby, helping with homework, or stuck in traffic, you can integrate these mindful moments into the rhythms of your day. Need one to borrow? On your inhale, pray, “O God,” and on your exhale, pray, “You are with me.”
10. Love your actual neighbor. Teaching our children to care for their neighbors begins with simply showing up. Encourage kids of all ages to join you in performing small acts of love, such as baking cookies for a new neighbor, writing encouraging notes for friends, or offering to help with chores for an elderly neighbor. You might see the glory of God in unexpected ways.
May you live wholeheartedly and be wholly present in this season, knowing God’s extraordinary love covers each moment of ordinary times.
What does it look like to live a flourishing, messy, wonderful life together? With tender curiosity and contemplative wisdom, Every Season Sacred is a weekly invitation to grow spiritually alongside our children. Blending thoughtful musings and practical resources, author Kayla Craig meets parents right where they are, offering:
Every Season Sacred is an invitation to ask big questions, embrace faithful rhythms, and experience God’s mysterious, loving presence together.
Bio: Kayla is a former journalist who brings deep curiosity and care to her writing. She’s the author of Every Season Sacred and To Light Their Way. She created the popular Liturgies for Parents Instagram account, which Christianity Today named an “essential parenting resource.” She also hosts the Liturgies for Parents podcast. Kayla’s nuanced and accessible reflections, essays, and prayers are featured in various books, devotionals, and Bible studies. Kayla lives in a 115-year-old former convent in her Iowa hometown, where she hopes to create spaces of welcome alongside her four children, two dogs, and pastor-husband, Jonny