Today Kelly is starting a new series with some other bloggers. The series is called "Build 'Em Up" and it's about encouraging each other as wives and mothers, and future wives and mothers. I know, for me, I learned a lot about how I wanted to be as a wife and mother from other parents before I even had kids. Or a boyfriend for that matter!
So Dave and I both go to synagogue and church and we celebrate Christmas and Channukah. In Edmonton, I was on the Ritual Committee at the synagogue (the committee which decides how the synagogue marks the year) and Dave plays guitar for the Children's Assembly at church. Dave helps to decorate our Christmas tree and I light candles on the menorah.
We have also started our routines the way we want to continue them. What I mean by that is that, for example, there is a mid-week program at our church called LOGOS. Even though the kids can't officially be involved in LOGOS until Grade 1, Dave and I both volunteer with the program and Sam and Rachel are in the nursery. We eat supper there and then Sam and Rachel play with the many younger kids. Sam already knows that Thursday nights means LOGOS and we go to church. We also try to celebrate Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, as many Friday nights as we can. Sam is also in Sunday School and the synagogue has a Tot Shabbat (early years religious school program (which is very similar to Sunday School)) about twice a month.
And we encourage our kids to think of others -- we try to give food to the food bank, and we give offering every Sunday. For Sam's birthday we have started doing "toonie parties." (The toonie is Canada's two dollar coin.) Instead of bringing gifts every guest brings at least two toonies and one goes towards a collective gift for the child and the other one goes to a charity of the child's choice. Sam has chosen to make school kits for kids in other countries as his charity for the past couple of years.
I also make sure the kids see me reading the Bible and attending Bible Studies and making time to volunteer for church activities. If something is happening at the church or synagogue, as much as possible, we try to go. We have a small group at church which is super-important to us and that we make a huge priority in our lives. And our church has a playgroup on Mondays which we also go to. Unfortunately there is not as much available through the synagogue for young families so we have found it harder to be involved there but in Edmonton our kids would be the only ones at the bi-weekly Torah Study! I want the kids to see church and synagogue involvement as huge priorities in our lives so that it will also be a big priority in their lives.
I cannot describe who I am, and why I am the way that I am, apart from my faith in God and my prayer for my kids is that they are the same.
EDITED TO ADD: Dave found my last sentence confusing so here is my new attempt at it! "My faith in God is at the core of who I am, and why I am the way that I am. My prayer for my kids is that their faith is as central to them and to their lives."