Family Devotions. Each night after dinner. All seven of us. The Bible, the piano, a hymn and two readings. Prayers together.
Sounds peaceful and pious and devout, yes?
Well. . .not exactly, and not all the time. Wonderful? Yes. Important? Yes. Blessed? Yes.
But peaceful? Not so much.
One night recently, we settled into the living room to have our devotions as a family, and the kids missed the "settle in" part. People were having trouble winding down, we had a child with balloons in hand, kids wiggling in laps of others, a child with a pen being used as a weapon, giggling fits from others...you get the idea. General chaos with little attention to worship. We redirected, disciplined, encouraged, and persevered.
And then we all stood and headed around the piano. And this, dear reader, is where family devotions get me every time. Because no matter how bumpy or beautiful the prior ten minutes were, something happens around that piano each night that makes my heart sing along with my voice. I sit and play, with my husband and children surrounding me. I hear my husband's booming voice in my ear, and my older three children's voices sweetly singing with all they have in stereo around me. And my younger two, bouncing a bit around the group, singing the parts they have learned. My older daughter often patiently shows my seven-year-old early reader how to follow along, and all these parts add up to beautiful. I imagine heaven - full of singing and praise and worship and parts coming together, exalting our God.
Our devotions aren't perfect. Far, far from it. They're full of crazy and naughty and wiggles. But they're also full of praise and grace and most of all, Christ.