Beyond the holidays: Get in the habit of praising God daily

By Gavin Lewis, NOLA Catholic Parenting

Yearly, as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season approaches, I begin to reflect on my role as a husband and father, questioning if I have done enough to ensure that my family knows that praising God and giving him thanks is something that should be done daily and not just during the holiday season.

I often wonder: Are we living the life that God has led us to live? Are we walking in our purpose? Do others see Christ-like qualities in our daily interactions with them? How do we recognize the voice of God and identify what he is saying to us? Are we as a family leading by example and leading others to Christ?

With so many questions and so little time each day together as a family, it is imperative that we make the best of the time we have together.

Often times in the daily grind of life, work, school and extracurricular activities, it is tough  for me to sit back and reflect on these questions, as well as the blessings that are continually bestowed upon us. So, I push for us as a family to talk about our blessings daily.

These are not just the material blessings, but, more importantly, the blessings we have that are often taken for granted, such as walking, breathing, having a house to live in, clothes on our backs, having the ability to wake up every morning pray and talk to each other about our expectations for that day, sitting together as a family after school and hearing about the great things that happen, as well as any challenges presented to us.

That allows us more time to reflect on the how grateful we should be. I am also continually pushing our children to talk to each other about what they are thankful for and take pride in their faith.

Following this routine daily is a challenge for a family of six, but we do our best to keep our schedules consistent.

Our morning routine includes morning prayer and then a brief discussion about what they are thankful for.

Our evening routine includes a discussion of the great things that happened to them during the day, as well as the challenges they faced. This gives us another opportunity to become closer as a family, while showing our gratitude for the blessings we have.

Proverbs 22:6 tells us to teach our children right from wrong, and when they are grown, they will not depart from it. I challenge you to talk to God daily as a family so that your family knows that giving God thanks should be a daily routine and not just something we do during the holiday season.

Gavin Lewis, a New Orleans native, is married and has four young children. He is a graduate of McDonogh 35 High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana, a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Holy Cross and is pursuing a doctorate in organizational development. Send comments to nolacatholicparenting@clarionherald.org. Our blog and new podcast are at www.nolacatholicparenting.org.

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