Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What is the Families of The Way Ministry?

Gone are the days when parents can say a few prayers with their children, drop them off for occasional faith-building activities at church, and  reasonably hope their children will grow up to know and love the Lord and be actively involved in the wonderful family that is His church.
Parents are the primary role models of their children, yet many feel ill-prepared to pass on the love of Jesus Christ and a true appreciation for His church. In today's complex and challenging world, parents also need support to grow in critical family life skills.
The Families of The Way program combines and connects spiritual growth, daily faith practices and the strengthening of parenting, communication and other important life skills.  In a welcoming church environment, parents benefit from discussions and exercises that are relevant to their spiritual growth and to the mindful raising of their sons and daughters. 
We are also building an electronic network of like-minded Christian parents and other loved ones to pray, to discuss, to explore and to grow ourselves to better raise our children, who are our future here on earth, and to set their feet on the path to a never-ending relationship with God.
Please join and support us today by visiting https://www.facebook.com/familiesoftheway, hitting the “LIKE” button, and sharing your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

“By and by the week came and went and it was Tuesday again…"

The rhythm and familiarity of this passage of time happens to us all.  It is very automatic. Some weeks it can seem like we are operating by rote. This repetitive phrase is a tool (known as the loop) used in story telling. The “loop” helps the storyteller and the listener connect and follow the action of the story. It symbolizes the passing of time—quickly.

Yep. Life is going quickly. We are in the eighth week of 2015…already!

 “By and by the week came and went and it was Tuesday again…"

This week we at Fine Tuned Families are working through our Families of The Way ministry to create a family retreat for St George Maronite Church, here in San Antonio, TX. (Learn more about them here: http://www.stgeorgesa.org/ )  The retreat is focused on sharing their faith and heritage with family through story sharing. And since the parish is celebrating their 90th anniversary, there is a lot to share and celebrate!  We are very excited about this event and opportunity.  Watch this space for more news on the process. 

It was while we were deep in the process of getting this retreat ready that we realized….

 “By and by the week came and went and it was Tuesday again…"

We do not want this blog post or the fast approaching (tomorrow!) Lenten season to be rote or an automatic process. We also recognize that lent allows us to focus on the journey and sacrifice Jesus made for us all. During Lent, we surrender ourselves to prayer, fasting and giving of ourselves to prepare spiritually to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. For the next 40 days, we parents, the first and primary teachers for our children, have the opportunity to reflect, renew and reshape our hearts and minds. 

How will you and your children approach Lent?  We pray it will be spirit filled and intentional.
Here is a simple and yet prayerful way to help you bring your Lenten journey in to focus: http://catholicmom.com/2012/03/05/printable-jar-petitions-for-lent/.

Until next week, may your time be filled with grace filled moments. If the time becomes hectic and automatic, hit the reset button.....and pray for peace.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Heading Off Crises in Family Life

Family life, especially in today’s world, can be quite challenging.  If you think about it, I imagine you have family or friends who have sad stories of struggles with children and other loved ones.  But these challenges, these problems, don’t usually happen overnight.  Seldom does one wake up to suddenly have issues like being in a marriage in crisis or having sons or daughters who are in trouble with the law - without some warning signs.  

You can take action to deal with problems before they become crises. A critical first step is to improve communication in your family – to learn how to really hear what your loved ones are telling you and how to work through issues.  Better communication skills will lessen disagreements, build trust and foster a stronger sense of family support.  It will give your children a sense that they can turn to you when they have problems.  When you've built better communication and trust, your sons and daughters are more open to seeing you as a role model in word and action.  You can then work to pass on the skills and values you hold dear. 

Question for reflection:  What are one or two areas I'd like to improve to better communicate with my loved ones?