When I think of any holiday, I think of traditions. Traditions are things done every year that build memories and cause an elated anticipation for everyone. Traditions are ideas and events established and passed down from generation to generation and can serve to knit a family close together. It is never too late to start a new tradition.
Over the years we have created some traditions we didn’t even realize we were creating. Now our kids count on them! Our family is starting a new tradition this year. The idea, a tradition a dear friend, Cubby Culberson, and his family does every year at Thanksgiving! Here it is in his own words.
“On Thanksgiving I ask everyone to commit to one discipline in their walk with the Lord that they aren’t presently doing now and then at Christmas (about 30 days later) we discuss it–my thought being, not only does this allow us to stretch ourselves with a “new” discipline (something other than what they are doing now), but it also allows us to have eternal conversations at our meal time. Some of the disciplines over the years have been:
- Annie at 8 yrs: memorizing one new verse every week for 4 weeks.
- Maddison: (Junior at Clemson) memorizing 3 verses a week.
- Tyler: sharing the gospel with 1 new person a week for 4 weeks.
- Phil: (brother-in-law) one year he fasted from everything associated with technology (phone, computers, iPods, etc.) for 1 day a week. The next year he came back and said he would never commit to that again and went back to a 1 day fast a week from food.
- Every year I commit to 30 minutes of just prayer (no study, no reading, etc.–just prayer) before I start any reading or study. Just a note on that, it always starts out the first few days with me looking at my watch and thinking, “This is taking a lot of time.” At the end I’m praying for 45 minutes and can’t believe it has gone by so quickly.
- Helen Grace: (a niece) agreed to, I think it was Romans, but to read a chapter of Romans every day for 30 days.
You get the drill–
I’ve done other fun/challenging things over the years, but this is the one we do most consistently now and it seems to be most effective. I make participation optional (Susan’s parents, for example, don’t participate in the 30 days–and occasionally one or 2 of the kids don’t participate) but most everyone tracks. Now I also send an e-mail out the week before so they can be giving it some thought.”
I hope this motivates you as it has our family to continue establishing “meaningful family traditions”.
Today I would also like to take a moment to say how thankful I am for all the love and encouragement I have received in my endeavor to follow God’s call on the “Back 9!”
Psalm 69:30, “I will praise the name of God with song, and shall magnify Him with thanksgiving!