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Head of School Blog

Profound and Meaningful Habits

January - the start of a New Year! This is the time of year during which many talk about New Year Resolutions. Personally, I shy away from “resolutions,” preferring instead to spend time reflecting on the blessings and challenges of the past year and considering things that I may desire to do differently. Within the context of this old year to new year personal practice, I was drawn to a book by Justin Whitmel Earley entitled, “Habits of the Household - Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms.”
All of us, whether currently in the trenches of raising a family or in the stage of life as my husband and I are with parenting adult children, we can all agree that parenting is hard work. It is the most profound and meaningful work assigned to us by our heavenly Father as children are placed in our homes to shepherd and steward. In my practice of old year/new year personal reflections, if I go back further to the time during which I was the parent of young and school-aged children, I can either recount the number of things I did wrong (and there were plenty), or I can recognize that God’s grace was present and at work even in the midst of our imperfect mess.
In Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, the Lord spoke through Moses with instructions to the people of Israel that they were to disciple their children to understand,

The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Our calling and challenge as parents is to disciple our children’s hearts toward God through every part of the day and in every aspect of our homes. That’s a monumental task and one that seems insurmountable. In his book, Earley reminds us of the importance of first being parented ourselves by our heavenly Father, “When we look up, we see that we have a heavenly Father, a divine parent who is parenting us. He is forming us into perfectly loved children of the King. We do not have to invent anything, carry anything, or bear the final burden of parenting. We just get to follow someone. The Christian posture toward habits of the household is not about carrying our families on our backs and hiking up the steep mountain of life. It is much more childlike than that. It is simply about taking hold of the outstretched hand of our heavenly Father and following him, one baby step at a time, (Earley, pg. 17).
If you are looking for a book to begin the new year, I recommend Earley’s Habits of the Household. Through personal stories of an imperfect household with imperfect parents, depending on the heavenly Father, Earley provides practical ideas to help establish family habits that disciple both parents and children in the areas of waking, mealtimes, discipline, screentime, family devotions, marriage, work, play, conversation, and bedtime. As seen in Deuteronomy 6, these are the normal rhythms of a family’s day.
Thank you for allowing Cornerstone Prep to be a participant with you in the discipleship of your children.
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, January 24, for the Annual All-School Parent Meeting. Five names will be drawn to receive a copy of the book referenced in this blog post.